Walk Your Way To Better Health!
Did you know hips swivel approximately 2000 times when you walk one mile?
When done correctly walking invigorates your entire body without stress. Its benefits range from stimulating creativity and calming nerves, to conditioning coronary arteries to open while gently strengthening the heart muscle. While people have been walking for thousands of years, in late the practice of walking has been down-played as banal and too easy to be counted as a worthwhile exercise as opposed to harder workouts that yield more sweat showing more vigour and effort.
According to the late Dr Simon J. Wikler, walking is a primal and normal activity few people enjoy, and those who do may not be walking correctly to get the full benefits. He believed since the invention of automobiles, trains and other motorized transportation walking became less important. This Industrial age created more prosperity and with it came opportunities to wear fashionable clothes and shoes because of shorter distances one would have to walk to their destination. However, this lifestyle also leads to weak feet from reduced activity and subsequently, disinterest in walking.
Famous Presidents, inventors, and writers have been known to take regular Constitutional walks to clear their head. According to an article written in BBC.com June 12, 2017 Albert Einstein enjoyed a mile and a half walk daily, “to introspect and work out complex problems in his head”.
Others who were known for walking include Philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche who considered walking a necessary pre-condition for his writing stating, “all truly great thoughts are conceived by walking”. Pyotr Tchaikovsky would start composing his pieces after taking long walks and Charles Dickens was known to take twenty-mile long speed walks in the middle of the night to relieve anxiety. More modern and prominent figure, Steve Jobs has often been spotted walking while engaging in deep conversation.
Walking as a rhythmic, uninterrupted exercise is highly beneficial and conditions every system in the body. Make walking your first choice of exercise and all other exercises secondary for better health.
Keep a good pace for 13-15 minutes to begin (more time can be added gradually).
Keep your chin parallel to the ground and look straight ahead.
Allow your arms to move while you walk. Keep hands out of pockets and do not carry anything.
Stay off your cell phone.
Walk alone or with someone who can keep the same pace as you.
Keep the dog at home. Make walking the dog a separate event.
Walk on even paths, one without obstacles, and in places you will not have to stop for traffic.
Create a good rhythm and do not stop until the exercise is over.
Wear clothing to accommodate inclement weather.
In the end you should feel slightly winded and sweaty.
Walking benefits the entire body. If you enjoy running, as I do, make this a separate activity to engage in after your feet and body have become conditioned as one of the main objectives to walking is to open coronary arteries for better blood flow to the heart as opposed to running first which may lead to complications when the heart becomes too muscular to accept flow of blood, a common occurrence with runners.
Enjoy your walk!
Getting to Know Jayne Amanda!
As I work with my clients, we build relationships and I learn about them as individuals. It is important to dedicate time for yourself and the benefits can be felt both on the inside and out. This month for my blog, I will share a little about myself, my lifestyle and my thoughts on wellbeing.
What does wellbeing mean to you?
It's all about balance. If I’ve got too much on, either work or personal commitments I start to feel overwhelmed and out of kilter. So, I review my diary, look at my personal commitments and make sure I have some ‘me time’ scheduled in. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to actually put it into your diary! If I look after myself, then everyone around me benefits.
What do you do to help improve your wellbeing, sleep or stress levels?
Exercise, I run which allows me to have ‘thinking’ time and I practise Pilates which keeps me balanced and supple. I have regular massages as mentioned above and try to get out into ‘nature’ as much as possible.
Do you feel the pressure to work long hours, lead the perfect Instagram life or be perfect?
I love what I do, I feel very privileged to be a Reflexologist and Reiki Master. My clients and students look to me for answers and knowledge. I am aware that I hold a great deal of responsibility in what I pass on. For me, this is the most important aspect of feeling the ‘pressure’ so I keep informed and up to date.
I love a bit of social media, but for me, it’s not about the numbers, it’s about sharing a story or an exciting new development or research.
What’s your relationship with your mirror?
“Who is that person – is it my mother”!
As my eyes have changed, I have resorted to a magnifying mirror x 5 – scary!!
That’s a funny one… getting out the tweeters, applying my makeup daily, taking it off at night and giving myself a mini face massage, 2-3 times a week.
Tapping is a great way to bring your face alive – try a facial reflexology treatment it really relaxes you.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give to improve wellbeing?
For me, that is a no brainer, have a regular reflexology treatment.
What’s your attitude to time passing by?
Well, there’s no stopping time…. For me it’s all about acceptance. I try to live in the moment as much as possible and give thanks for what I have.
What’s your favourite things to do after work or to recharge?
Music is crucial for my happiness. I love to listen to music and go and see live music regularly, for me this is how I recharge away from what I usually do. I am also a keen walker, and happy to say my husband is too! We have a beautiful cocker spaniel who needs to be walked, rain or shine.
My family is so important to me. I have amazing children that I love to spend time with, and my mother. It is so important to give time – when you can.
Reiki and Animals
At my clinic in Ettington, a number of clients attend for Reiki - an ancient Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. The method of receiving a Reiki treatment from a practitioner is a very simple process. The recipient simply lies on a couch and relaxes. If they are unable to lie down, the treatment can be given in a sitting position. The whole person is treated rather than specific symptoms. It is possible to heal at any level of being: physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.
The benefits of a Healing Treatment have been found to be to ease tension and promote relaxation, boost the immune system, help with bereavement, improve quality of sleep, soothe pain and reduce the effect of trauma. It is also used to support other complementary therapies and medical treatment.
Given the range of benefits for humans, the treatment is also being extended to pets. As a pet lover and puppy parent to Dexter, this article caught my eye. Below is an excerpt from the Reiki Council by Valerie J Mann, Maryland USA.
“Reiki teaches us that as long as our life-force energy is flowing unimpeded throughout our bodies, we will be in good health. The health of humans and animals alike is dependent upon the free flow of energy. I have heard it said that pets sometimes respond to the emotional state of their human companion and take on the characteristics of that person, including any symptoms of ill health. With Reiki we can respond to human and animal needs to a supportive and benevolent end.
A very good friend of mine who practises Reiki was dismayed to learn about a year ago that her yellow labrador-retriever had a two-inch tumor on his side. Her veterinarian suggested that she bring the dog back in about two months so that it could be determined whether the tumor was growing. He prescribed no other treatment. Since she incorporates Reiki into her daily life, it seemed only natural to treat her pet for his tumor. She gave him Reiki for about 30 minutes and thought nothing further of this until about a week later, when her husband was shocked to find that the tumor was completely gone.
Another very dramatic case occurred with a pet guinea pig of mine named Miranda. This little creature developed a milky film over one of her eyes. Naturally, I took her to the vet. He explained that this was a cataract and while the situation could be handled in humans by simple surgery, it was impossible to operate on guinea pigs. He told me that there was about a 20% chance that the cataract would shrink a tiny bit around the edges, thus restoring a little bit of her eyesight. I was determined that all or most of her eyesight would come back I set up a treatment protocol to send Reiki distantly to Miranda. In addition, I gave her regular twice-weekly Reiki treatments for 10 minutes at a time. For a small animal like a guinea pig, 10 minutes is enough for a full treatment. I am happy to say that, eight months later, the cataract has shrunk to only 1/8 of its original size. Even the small portion remaining is not nearly as opaque as it was in the beginning. I also had a beautiful grey cat named Henley whom I rescued from a very neglectful home.
One day, he just walked away and disappeared. I did not see him again for two more days. When he came back, he was in a very bad state, looking extremely tired and thin. He would not eat the food that I set out for him. This continued for several more hours. Ordinarily he ate ravenously. It was obvious that he had picked up some sort of stomach ailment, possibly from some rotten food. I set him on the ground in the front yard in the warm sun (it was spring) and started to administer Reiki. I was pleasantly surprised to hear him begin purring. He lay perfectly still and continued to purr, obviously enjoying the Reiki treatment. I could feel a constant gurgling in his stomach. After about 20 minutes, the gurgling stopped but I continued to treat him for an additional 10 minutes or so. If it can be said that a cat can look blissful, that is what I saw that day.
At the end of the treatment he got up and went over to his food dish and started eating as if he were starving. I believe that Reiki can be used to treat nearly any type of ailment experienced by people or animals. Every animal I have treated seems to love Reiki. It is truly a blessing that I am delighted to share with the animal friends who have so enriched my life.”
Sleep - the Ultimate Luxury
Sleep is the ultimate luxury, and it’s free – so why aren’t we getting enough of it?
Ahh, sleep (yawn!)…the non-negotiable wellbeing essential most of us can’t get enough of – and that includes millionaires. Yet the health risks of sleep deprivation go far beyond a groggy day in the office. Chronic lack of sleep crushes the immune system and can pave the way for life-threatening illnesses or serious memory issues like heart attacks or dementia.
The ultimate beauty and brain tonic, sleep is up there with the other six pillars of health: clean water, clean air, optimal nutrition, exercise, and sunlight. Sleep, the ultimate luxury, is free, so why is it so frustratingly elusive? A recent study revealed Brits get on average a slim 6 hrs 18 minutes a night – that’s almost two very long hours less than the “ideal eight” (although some people and children and teenagers need more). When you think about it, before “modern civilisation” and the invention of electricity, we’d sleep just after sunset and wake up with the sunrise and birdsong.
If you dream of hitting your pillow earlier, here are 3 ways to super-charge your sleep:
- Problem – Checking emails, social media and late night TV, etc. before bed. HEV/blue light from our smartphones and tablets is one of the worst hidden enemies – and just like UVA/UVB rays, it ages your skin.
Barring a magic solution, it’s down to willpower and creating healthier habits. Switch off your devices at least an hour before bedtime and (ideally) unplug all electrical devices and the Wi-Fi, too. The news is a terrible thing to watch just before bed, it’s a toxic overload for the brain and emotions (I haven’t watched the news for at least 5 years and feel much better for it).
- Problem – Anxiety, Worries or a Long To-Do List
Introduce sleep-inducing rituals to begin your nightly wind-down. Have a relaxing essential oil bath and try a nightly natural calmer like a magnesium tablet, or a valerian, hops and passion flower blend. Essential oils and rituals combined can be really helpful in taking the edge off insomnia and anxiety – for this you need look no further than the Tisserand Aromatherapy 3-Step Ritual to Sleep Better Kit.
You can turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary: Tisserand Aromatherapy Aroma Spa Diffuser (winner of 2018 Beauty Shortlist Awards Best Stress-Less Product) and Tisserand Aromatherapy Sleep Better Diffuser Oil would make a beautiful “buy for yourself” treat. Make a shortlist of your favourite guided meditations or mantras, and don’t keep to-do lists or worries in your head – write them down – and tick them off. Remember there’s a solution to almost every problem.
- Problem – Noise, hormones, room temperature and the list goes on…
It sounds like an ancient Chinese saying but it’s so often true – the more you crave peace, the noisier your neighbours are! The day I discovered silicone swimmers’ Bio-Ears plugs changed my life, now I never travel without them. I can sleep through anything even if my hotel’s next to a late-night flamenco bar and I’ve got to be up at the crack of dawn to travel to an early morning meeting.
Sometimes pinpointing exactly why you can’t sleep can be tricky, though. Look at the obvious things like room temperature (slightly too warm?), or less the obvious, like blood sugar levels, hormonal fluctuations. Even when – and what – you had for dinner can play a role. Eating too late, for instance, can be as bad as skipping dinner entirely.
And sometimes, all you need is a little help. Cue Tisserand Aromatherapy Sleep Better Pillow Mist… #goodnight
Summer is around the corner - Prepare with body brushing
Fast, effective, numerous health benefits – what’s not to love about dry body brushing in the morning?
You may be thinking, Why do I need to add something else to my already busy morning routine? Let me assure you, the extra five minutes this takes is well worth the investment.
Think back to your human biology class (minus the traumatizing exam) and answer these questions: What is the largest organ in the body? What is one of the most important elimination organs in the body, playing a large role in daily detoxification? What organ receives a third of all the blood that is circulated in the body? When the blood is full of toxic materials, what organ will reflect this with problems? What organ is the last to receive nutrients in the body, yet the first to shows signs of imbalance or deficiency?
The directions are pretty simple:
- Start on dry skin before bathing
- Work in gentle circular, upward motions, then longer, smoother strokes.
- Always begin at the ankles in upwards movements towards the heart - the lymphatic fluid flows through the body towards the heart, so it's important that you brush in the same direction.
- Your back is the only exception to the preceding rule; brush from the neck down to the lower back.
- After you've finished with the ankles, move up to the lower legs, thighs, stomach, back and arms. Be cautious of softer and sensitive skin around the chest and breasts, and never brush over inflamed skin, sores, sun-burnt skin, or skin cancer.
- Ensure you shower to wash away the dead skin cells and impurities.
Tip: alternating temperatures in the shower from hot to cold will further invigorate the skin and stimulate blood circulation, bring more blood to the outer layers of the skin. Then follow it up with a slick moisturizer to nourish the skin (personally, I'm a fan of coconut oil).
Do you get enough daylight?! The importance of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is one of the most important minerals for the body. Apart from strengthening the bones, it also plays an important role for the health of children with asthma.
Sufficient levels of Vitamin D can help in making children with asthma more resilient to the harmful effects of indoor air pollution. Vitamin D helps in building immunity and that is primarily the reason behind its effect in controlling asthma, which is a disease mediated by immunity. We speak to Dr Himanshu Garg about the relationship between asthma and Vitamin D. He says, "There has been some evidence which suggests a link between Vitamin D and asthma. It is believed that Vitamin D helps in building a strong immunity and it is thus important for asthmatic adults and children."
If you shun the sun, suffer from milk allergies, or adhere to a strict vegan diet, you may be at risk for vitamin D deficiency. Known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is produced by the body in response to skin being exposed to sunlight. It is also occurs naturally in a few foods including some fish, fish liver oils, and egg yolks -- and in fortified dairy and grain products.
The Top Foods Containing Vitamin D
- Shiitake and Button Mushrooms
- Sockeye Salmon
- Cod Liver Oil
Vitamin D is essential for strong bones, because it helps the body use calcium from the diet. Traditionally, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with rickets, a disease in which the bone tissue doesn't properly mineralize, leading to soft bones and skeletal deformities. But increasingly, research is revealing the importance of vitamin D in protecting against a host of health problems.
Symptoms and Health Risks of Vitamin D Deficiency
Symptoms of bone pain and muscle weakness can mean you have a vitamin D deficiency. However, for many people, the symptoms are subtle. Yet, even without symptoms, too little vitamin D can pose health risks. Low blood levels of the vitamin have been associated with the following:
- Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Cognitive impairment in older adults
- Severe asthma in children
- Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
New Year, New You - Don't Let January Be Blue
We all know that January feeling - Christmas has left us, we’ve overindulged and are missing the sparkle of our decorations. For some people, the month is the beginning of New Year, New Me resolutions and activities. Whether it is to learn a new language, quit an old habit or start a new hobby I wish you the best of luck. For those that have decided to give ‘Dry January’ a miss and will be enjoying a tipple over the weekend here are some holistic ways to tackle a hangover.
Whilst the medicine cabinet is often our first port of call, essential oils, combined with other holistic methods, can help you recalibrate and relax via scent, stretching and sipping tea. Here’s some easy-to-use natural remedies, be it for relieving headaches, tackling nausea or simply aiding that get-up-and-go feeling when you need an extra boost.
Perfect for dealing with intense nausea and relieving headaches, Peppermint essential oil will be your saving grace.
Headache blend: For this, you need look no further than Lavender and Peppermint essential oil. By no means a cure, inhalation of these oils can reduce symptoms, duration, or severity of headaches. A few drops into a diffuser and or onto a tissue will soon leave you feeling brighter and ready to tackle the day ahead.
Nausea blend: 2 drops of Cypress, 2 drops of Grapefruit and 1 drop of Peppermint in 10mls of Jojoba Oil, massaged in circular movements into the abdomen, will help ease nausea and gently remove toxins after a heavy night.
Spring in your step blend: Add a few drops of Lime, Grapefruit and Orange onto a pocket tissue and inhale at any moment to keep you feeling positive.
No, we don’t mean hair of the dog! Drinking plenty of water is an obvious tip, but for a good reason, it works. Alcohol is a diuretic, so it drains your body of water and dehydrates you. If you need something more, try coconut water or a rehydration drink to help restore your hydration levels. Or if a trip to the shops is too much effort, you can easily make your own. Dissolve a tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of salt in a pint of water and sip throughout the morning.
Resist cravings – you think you need a sugary or salty fix but don’t; they will only add to your already unbalanced blood sugar levels. Instead, satisfy your cravings naturally by choosing fresh fruit for its vitamin and water content, or blend yourself a delicious fruit and yogurt smoothie.
A lesser-known hangover hero is asparagus! Steam this delicious vegetable before or after a night on the town to help break down toxins. Scientists in Korea recently discovered that a product found in the shoots and leaves of asparagus boosted levels of the enzymes Alcohol Dehydrogenase and Acetaldehyde Dehydrogenase, which help digest alcohol.
For a dose of sunshine when you’re feeling less than perfect, Higher Living Morning Mojo is pure morning magic. The lively blend of green tea, cocoa peel, green coffee and ginseng will help you have you feeling as good as new in no time.
Gentle yoga when you’re feeling delicate can help in many ways. The Child’s Pose to help ease a headache. This beautifully grounding posture helps drain the lower half of the body of any toxins and boosts blood flow to the head. Not only will it help to settle the body, but it also calms the mind and is perfect if your headache is really limiting your movement. Book yourself in for a relaxing Reflexology treatment and help to move those toxins.
Big AoR Data Collection Project
The Association of Reflexologists are conducting a research project on the benefits of reflexology with Migraine suffers – if you or someone you knows fits the criteria please get in touch by email.
To be included participants will match the below inclusion criteria;
1.Diagnosis by a GP or hospital Doctor.
2.Still having Migraines now.
3.Hope that they may benefit from the reflexology
4.Having other ongoing issues as well as Migraine is acceptable so long as the symptoms chosen on the MYMOP form are Migraine related.
5.Can be taking medication for Migraines.
6.The Migraines are of sufficient frequency to see a difference over 6 treatments (eg one Migraine a year is not frequent enough).
7.Ideally - a minimum of one treatment per month should be suggested as therapeutic advice.
8.The client consents to involvement.
1.Migraine is self-diagnosed without medical input
2.The Migraines are too infrequent to notice a difference.
3.There are other ongoing overlapping medical issues – brain tumour or previous damage to the brain which could be causing problems.
4.Migraines have been diagnosed in the past but are now no longer active.
5.The client does not consent to involvement.
Insufficient treatments take place – less than 6.
Only participants with 6 or more treatments can be included BUT this does not mean that the data would be wasted as it can be used to help the client understand the changes, they have made in the treatments they have received. We will be adding a ‘how to use the data’ button soon.
Don't Lose Yourself In Christmas Chaos
Christmas is the season for making merry and with all that tempting food and drink at your fingertips, it’s easy to be guilty of a little festive overindulgence. To help you enjoy the Christmas festivities without regretting your choices come January, try this survival guide.
Optimise Your Energy
When we’re tired and sluggish we tend to overeat. Staying active will help you keep your fingers out of the Quality Street tin and burn some excess calories.
Eat light wholesome nutritious meals in between feasts.
Take breaks from sugar, sweets, alcohol and refined carbohydrates in between feasts.
Keep well hydrated with water and herbal teas.
Do exercise or a walk in the fresh air each day.
Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Don’t overheat your home. 18-21 degrees and cooler at night is about right.
Keep Your Tummy Happy
Indigestion, bloating and gas are common symptoms of overindulgence.
Eat slowly and chew thoroughly.
Don’t drink too much with meals.
Allow sometime between courses.
Have a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or bitters in some water 30 minutes before your meal to help improve your digestion.
Avoid Headaches and Hangovers
Drinking sensibly is always the best advice, but when the fizz is flowing, it’s easy to leave your sensibilities with your shoes by the side of dance floor! Excess alcohol can lead to dehydration the combination of which often results in a headache or hangover.
Drink a glass of water in between alcoholic drinks and before you go to bed.
Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Fatty foods – the good fats – are your best bet to help reduce the risk of a hangover. Opt for healthy oils in salmon, mackerel, tuna, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil.
The day after, eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and ideally give yourself a few days break before consuming alcohol again.
Avoid Dry Skin and Hair
Central heating, freezing temperatures and overindulgences can wreak havoc with our skin and hair.
Moisturise thoroughly. Try using your night cream during the day as these are usually oiler and heavier than day creams.
Minimise central heating in your home. Rather put a sweater on than crank up the heating too high.
Consume plenty of oily foods. Oily fish, flax seeds, avocado, nuts and seeds, olive oil, coconut oil and take an omega 3 supplement.
Eat plenty of leafy greens and red, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables.
Enjoy the season and be mindful of taking care of yourself!
Reflexology, Reiki, Indian Head Massage & Hopi Ear Candling with practitioner Jayne Amanda. Complementary therapy for Shipston on Stour, Wellesbourne, Stratford upon Avon, Warwick, Leamington Spa and surrounding areas.