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Archive for February, 2010

I have to admit, for a women, I’m not really that into pretty, lacy bras. For a start they’re far too expensive. Gok Wan would have a panic attack if he looked in my underwear drawer! But I do know that all these lovely designs are genearlly underwired and that many women wouldn’t dream of going out without the support of underwire, which is generally plastic coated metal.

But what is that underwire doing other than holding up your boobs? Have a think about all the electromagnetic fields that surround us in the 21st century – electrical transmission lines, microwave towers, phone cables and mobile phone towers have been demonstrated to increase the risk of breast cancer by interfering with cells’ hormonal, enzymatic, and chemical signals, causing DNA damage. EMFs are everywhere in our house, our office, whilst out shopping coming from our computers, clocks, fridges, TVs, phones, and so on. How many of us have our mobile phone near us most of the time, in our bags or, worse, on our person in pocket or, as I’ve seen during some running races, stuffed down sports bras!

The metal wire in your bra could just be acting as an antenna so picking up all those EMFs that surround us and giving them an open invitation to come in and mess around with our cells and chemicals.

Secondly, the metal wire passes right over a couple of important acupunture points. Dr George Goodheart, the founder of Applied Kinesiology, found that by tapping a small metal ball onto an acupunture point, longer-term stimulation to that point can be accomplished, but, following the Law of Stimulation, after a while continued stimulation actually causes sedation of that point. It followed that by tapping ANY metal consistantly on a point may cause problems depending on where that point is. Now, as far as bras are concerned, the underwiring is placed directly over two very important NeuroLymphatic Reflexes. The one under the right breast goes to the liver and gall bladder and the one under the left breast goes to the stomach. Continued stimulation is therefore going to create some sort of havoc with the functioning of these points.

Now, I know that there are so many other factors to consider regarding breast health – diet, lifestyle, family history, hormonal factors, age, race (apparently white Europeans are more susceptible to breast cancer) and all these factors are an individual debate. But if you’re serious about looking after your health then swapping your underwire bra could be a good place to start. Swap the metal wire for a plastic wire for starters or simply try a good supportive non-wired bra. Marks and Spencer sell a good one that also looks good, or try a supportive sports bra or a strappy vest with in built support. Never wear a bra to bed and, where you can, go bra-free -it’s very liberating, whatever your size.

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December was a fun time for some people guessing by the number of pregnancy reflexology emails I’ve had this month!

Reflexology is most definitely recommended in pregnancy and also to help you get pregnant. However, I do not suggest you have reflexology in the first trimester as your body is going through a lot of change. Once 16 weeks are up, it’s perfectly safe to have a course of treatments.

There are many reasons why women turn to reflexology when pregnant – to reduce nausea, to give relief from insomnia, swollen ankles, dizziness, constipation and heartburn to name just a few. Or perhaps an expectant mother just needs some time out to de-stress or to help calm any anxiety over the birth. Indeed, reflexology has been shown to bring about labour at the required time, which is often shorter and easier and less stressful for mother and baby.

During the treatments, certain reflex points, such as those relating to the endocrine system (hormones) are avoided, as are those relating to the reproductive organs because they do not require stimulation. However, from 36 weeks a pregnancy specialist will start to stimulate these points in extra ways. Regular reflexology throughout the pregnancy is fantastic but I would certainly recommend weekly from 35 weeks. Treatment can be given whilst actually in labour, subject to midwife’s consent.

It’s not just during pregnancy that reflexology can be used. For any would-be parents having problems conceiving, reflexology is a therapy that has seen good results. Tests may show an imbalance of hormones or it may just be unexplained reflexology. Either way, reflexology can help to balance hormones, de-stress the recipient and help the body to provide the best environment for conception. Both men and women could receive reflexology here if it’s unclear as to whose body is out of balance. During a consultation with me, we go through your lifestyle, not just your medical background, as we can also possibly find some areas that need addressing that you may not realise are hindering conception.

After the birth, reflexology is a useful tool to help rebalance the hormones, helps lift moods, boosts the immune system and regulate the sleep pattern. Again, it’s also a chance for mum to have some time-out to herself.

Babies, too, also respond extremely well to reflexology and I will be talking about this next month when I launch my Baby Reflex workshops.

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This time last year was my first foray into being green and thrifty. I think my bank account suggests I’ve been more green! Anyway, I discovered on my green journey this excellent exhibition, UK Aware, which I went to at Olympia (see my blog of 19th April 2009) and promised I’d go this year. Well, I’ve got my ticket and i’ll see you there on 16th or 17th April.

If you haven’t been before, then I highly recommend it, whether you’ve been living the greener, more ethical lifestyle for many years and this is your way of life, or whether, like me, you’re more of a light greenie.

The exhibition hosts over 200 exhibitors and over 15,000 vistors can listen to any one of 50 expert speakers. There’s everything from green energy to ideas for green business start-ups, clothes swapping, ethical travel, eco living and, if get hungry during the day, there’s plenty of organic and ethically grown food to try and buy.

Tickets are £15 on the door but follow the link below and you can get a discounted ticket for just £6.

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Have you seen some of Britain’s major landmarks shining out in red? No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you – they’ve been turned red to mark National Heart Month organised by the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

The BHF is raising awarenss of heart disease and how to change your lifestyle to help prevent illness. Execise, not smoking, cutting down (or out) alcohol, losing weight and eating healthily will all play a part in keeing a healthy heart. To assess your lifestyle, the online check, at http://www.bhf.org.uk/beat, generates a personalised report with tips and recommendations on people’s lifestyle choices, weight, eating and drinking habits, physical activity levels, emotional health and smoking.

Conditions affecting the heart are (but not limited to):-

•Arrhythmia – a disorder that causes irregular beating of the heart.
•Congenital Heart Disease – conditions that the person is born with such as a defect.
•Heart Attack – a condition that occurs when blood flow to the heart is cut off or severely reduced, resulting in permanent damage to part of the heart muscle.
•High Blood Pressure – often the cause is unknown but this condition can be deadly if not treated or controlled.
•High Cholesterol – too much build up of cholesterol can lead to coronary heart disease and eventually a blockage resulting in an attack.
•Metabolic Syndrome – a combination of ‘risk factors’ that can lead to heart disease including belly fat, hypertension, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol levels.

So how can a complementary therapy play its part in keeping your heart healthy? Well, to begin with, I’m not looking at your heart in isolation, I’m looking at you as a whole person and considering the whole of you, the underlying cause for any circulatory or heart condition, and looking at your lifestyle. As the heart works in conjunction with the lungs, so the lung and diaphragm reflex points would be visited, along with the kidneys which filter blood constantly.

Reflexology is the practice of applying pressure to reflex points in your feet which are associated with organs, systems, joints etc in your body. By stimulating these points, an automatic reaction is created in the corresponding organ via the nervous system and energy pathways which then work to bring about a balance or homeostasis.

Taking high blood pressure, or hypertension, a reflexology treatment would entail me working over the whole of each foot but paying particular attention to, and working extra on the heart reflex, the lung reflex, the kidney reflex and the spinal reflexes relating to these organs. I would also discuss with you the possible cause of your hpertension. Stress is a major factor and the mere receiving of reflexology generally will calm the autonomic nervous system and help reduce stress.

Take my client, J, who had high blood pressure for many years. After just 6 treatments they felt a lot less stressed and could deal with life’s stressors just that bit easier. Around the 10th treatment, J had a GP’s appointment where they found out that their blood pressure was back to normal.

It’s important to let your GP know you are having reflexology so that they can monitor and decrease the medication as appropriate. Never alter your dosage without your GPs knowledge.

Of course, reflexology would and should not be used if you suspect a heart attack – that is a medical emergency but it could be used as an after-care therapy to help circulation, normalise heart rhythm and encourage healing. As reflexology affects your general well-being, it can be used safely as a preventative treatment.

Whilst reflexology is a very safe therapy, there are a couple of contraindications, one of them thrombosis. As circulation is improved greatly, there could be a danger of the blood clot coming away from it’s original site and travelling around the bloodstream, possibly lodging itself in the lungs. If you suffer or have any suffered from thrombosis then it is very important to seek your GPs approval before receiving reflexology.

Reflexology really is a true complementary therapy as far as heart disease is concerned as it is complementary to and works well with conventional medicene. Don’t forget that a healthy diet, not smoking and getting sufficient exercise are also important factors.

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