Archive for September, 2013

September 25, 2013

Reflexology Case Study- Treatment 3

by lrmetcalfe

Treatment Plan

My client has nearly recovered from her cold, she is producing a lot of mucus, which is a good sign and shows the body is ridding itself of the infection.

She has cut down the medication she takes for her anxiety to 5mg every other day; she is currently having no ill-effects from this, which she has experienced in the past when reducing her dosage. This is a major achievement for my client.

As usual, the client’s main wish from the treatment was to feel relaxed.

 

The Treatment

The treatment started by cleansing the feet and relaxing breathing and foot manipulation techniques. To encourage relaxation and to relieve anxiety I decided to focus on the reflexes for the head, pituitary and adrenal glands. Due to the client’s cold I also paid a little more attention to the sinuses, eyes, nose and face reflexes.

The client had dramatically less ‘popping’ on her reflexes today. She only had a little ‘popping’ on the shoulder reflexes. The shoulders are a reflex which commonly ‘pop’ showing an imbalance in this area. Most of us hold a lot of tension in the shoulder especially those of us who sit at a desk all day, or women who carry heavy handbags.

I used the same massage oil blend- almond oil with ginger, lavender and black pepper essential oil, as the client really liked it last time.

 

Feedback

At the end of the treatment the client said she felt relaxed.

 

Changes/ Areas to focus on for the next treatment

The client chattered through most of the treatment. Next time I want to concentrate on getting her to focus on relaxation more. I may try and get her to do breathing techniques throughout her treatment to encourage relaxation.

 

Aftercare

Client is drinking more water and has been taking her multivitamin and mineral tablets.

I have spoken to her about exercise, being good for anxiety- related conditions and she has started going for daily walks.

So her aftercare this week is to keep up the good work.

September 23, 2013

Healthy Eyes

by lrmetcalfe

My mother took a trip to the opticians today, for her Spinach-photoannual check-up. Worryingly he has said that her eyes are showing the beginnings of cataracts. My mum dismissed this as just a part of the ageing process, however, there are dietary changes we can all make to improve the health of the eyes.

Increasing the levels of certain essential nutrients which are important for maintaining eye health, can help. Antioxidants are important- Vitamin A,C, E, selenium, lutein is particularly important as it has specific properties for protecting the eyes.

So, I thought I would look at some yummy foods and recipes which contain these antioxidants.

Popeye never wore glasses- Spinach is a great source of the antioxidant, Lutein, along with other leafy dark green vegetables.

Palak Paneer (Spinach & Paneer Curry)

Ingredients

4 cups of fresh finely chopped spinach

1/3 lb paneer

2 medium tomatoes

1tsp chopped ginger

1tsp coriander powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon oil

½ tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp salt, or to taste

2 tbsps of whole wheat flour

1 ½ cups of milk

  1. Blend the tomatoes and ginger to make a puree.
  2. Mix coriander, turmeric, and red chili with tomato puree and set aside.
  3. Mix whole-wheat flour with milk and set aside.
  4. Cube the paneer into pieces and  fry them on medium high heat just for few minutes so paneer becomes golden in colour, take paneer out, and put on kitchen towels
  5. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add cumin seeds.
  6. After cumin seeds crack, add the tomato puree mixture, and let it cook for a few minutes until the tomato puree is about half in volume.
  7. Add the spinach, and let it cook on low medium heat for about 10 minutes covered.
  8. Add milk mixture and let this cook another four to five minutes.
  9. Add paneer and fold it gently with spinach and let it simmer for a 2-3 minutes, keeping the pan covered.
  10. Serve with rice or chappatis.

 

Blueberries are a great source of bioflavonoids, which encourage eye health. Try this healthy smoothie…

Super-Berry Smoothie

50g blueberries

50g Canteloupe Melon, diced and de-seeded

Banana

Pure orange juice (not from concentrate)

½  tbsp ground flaxseeds

1. Place melon, blueberries, banana and flaxseed into a blender, and whizz. Use the orange juice to thin out the smoothie, making sure it is smooth.

 

Check out these other great sources and include them in your diet to improve your eye health….

Vitamin A liver, paprika, chilli powder, sweet potato, carrots, butternut   squash, dark leafy green vegetables such as- kale, spring greens, spinach
Vitamin C chilli peppers, dark leafy green vegetables, broccoli, cabbage,   brussel sprouts, kiwi fruits, oranges, strawberries, guava, papaya,   grapefruit, cantaloupe melon
Vitamin E Sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, swiss chard, papaya, asparagus,   wheat germ
Lutein Spinach, kale, swiss chard
Selenium Brazil nuts, shellfish, liver, tuna, swordfish, anchovies, sunflower   seeds, bran
September 18, 2013

Reflexology Case Study…Treatment 2

by lrmetcalfe

Treatment Plan
This week, I met my client and last week’s slight sore throat, had turned into a fully-blown (pardon the pun!) cold. She had blocked sinuses, a headache and felt ill and shivery.

From today’s treatment, the client wanted to have a little symptomatic relief from her cold. Her feelings of anxiety have been worsening this week; she thinks this is partly due to her cold and also because her daughter has started nursery school- so she also wanted to feel relaxed.

The Treatment
I commenced the treatment with the usual combination of cleaning the feet and relaxation techniques. The client’s feet were very cold again.

Due to her cold, I decided to focus on the reflexes for the head, sinuses, eyes, nose and face.

The client had a lot of ‘popping’ in these areas. There was also popping in the upper spinal area.

The client’s feet were still in immaculate condition, with no dryness or issues. However, her ankles were slightly swollen; the client believed this was due to walking a lot that day. I focussed on massaging, in long firm strokes up the client’s calves to try and relieve the swelling and encourage drainage.

Today I used a different massage medium- almond oil blended with the warming essential oils, ginger and black pepper. I also used lavender oil to help blend the oils together and encourage relaxation. The client loved this oil blend; she liked the smell and said her feet felt warmer during and after the massage.
Feedback
At the end of the treatment the client said she felt much calmer, her feet felt warm, her sinus pain had eased a little and she was able to blow her nose, whereas previously her sinuses has been to blocked to do this.

Changes/ Areas to focus on for the next treatment
At the next treatment I will use the same oil blend, hopefully the client’s cold will have improved and I can go back to focussing on making the client feel more relaxed and less anxious.

Aftercare
Client is still not drinking water, and is forgetting to take her multivitamin and mineral tablets- I pressed the importance of this.

The client’s sinuses are very blocked, I suggested she have an Ear Candling treatment to help to relieve this, she has booked this treatment.

I also suggested she do some steam inhalation daily, using a few drops of A.Vogel Po Ho Oil.

September 16, 2013

1, 2, 3…..Breathe…..

by lrmetcalfe

breathAfter a long break, I recently started practicing yoga again; and was amazed at how powerful I find this activity.

Due to back problems, I now have to stick to the basics- warm up stretches, simple postures and breathing exercises; however controlling my breathing is the part of yoga I find most effective.

It’s during the breathing exercises that I feel most relaxed, I often feel inspired or have new ideas, as my mind is cleared and becomes more focussed.

Breathing is the most basic of all human functions, if we stopped breathing in and out we would cease to be- yet we all take breathing for granted. We never think of the power that we can have over our health and our bodies if we took a few minutes each day to focus on the breath.

You may be surprised at the changes you notice just controlling your breathing for even 5 minutes a day. Try  sitting down and focussing on your normal breath for a few minutes, then start to control it- breathe in and out, slowly and deeply, inhaling and exhaling through your nose.

 

There are many breathing techniques, some extremely simple, others take a little more time to master. If you attend a basic yoga class the teacher will be able to show you many effective techniques. I want to mention a few of my favourites in this post:

Basic Abdominal Breathing/ Low Breathing

If you ask most people to take a deep breath in, we immediately suck in our stomach and force in a sharp inhalation of air through the nose. This is incorrect.

Inhalation occurs when the lungs expand to take in air, air is then exhaled when the lungs contract.

Focus on slowly expanding the abdomen as you inhale through the nose, hold your tummy still for a second and then slowly exhale out through the nose pulling your tummy in. Place your hand on the tummy to help you focus on breathing into this area. It can take a little getting used to at first.

Once you’ve mastered this, try counting while you inhale and exhale- in for a count of 5 and out for a count of 8- increase the numbers you count to as you become more practiced.

 

Full Breathing/ Complete Breathing

Full breathing is the deepest possible breathing. It involves the shoulders, collarbone, ribs, abdomen and diaphragm. Once you have mastered abdominal breathing, you can move on to this more difficult technique.

  • Lie on the floor and tilt your chin into your chest a little.
  • Keep the mouth shut, you should only be inhaling and exhaling through the nose.
  • Breath into your tummy, expand the abdomen.
  • Let the breath move up the torso and expand the diaphragm and rib cage
  • Then try and expand your chest, raise the shoulders a little towards the ears.
  • Feel the breath create warmth in the throat. As you inhale, you should also hear a sound in the throat.
  • Slowly exhale, lower the shoulders and chest, relax the ribs, relax the diaphragm, slowly relax and pull in the abdomen. The slower the better. Use counting to help you maintain control.

 

Alternate Nostril Breathing

My favourite technique, this exercise is extremely relaxing.

Get comfortable- sit on a chair, on the floor or lie down. If you are seated keep your spine erect and shoulders relaxed.

Place your left hand at your side or on the left knee, palms open to the sky.

Close the index finger and middle finger of the right hand in towards your palm. Keep the fingers in this position throughout.

  • Place the ring finger and little finger on the left nostril, to breathe in through the right nostril
  • Gently press your thumb down on the right nostril and breathe out gently through the left nostril
  • Then inhale through the left nostril
  • Press the left nostril gently with the ring finger and little finger, to exhale through the right nostril.
  • Repeat this for 5 rounds to begin with, increasing the number of rounds when you are ready.

After every exhalation, remember to breathe in from the same nostril from which you exhaled. Keep your eyes closed throughout.

 

Try and do a little deep breathing each day. It is especially good when you’ve had a tiring or hectic day. Breathing is not only relaxing but energising, so, you can also use it to give yourself a boost. Why not swap your mid-morning coffee for 5 minutes of controlled breathing!

In addition these breathing techniques have many other healthy benefits. Controlled deep breathing….

  • kick-starts the metabolism
  • improves the condition of the core muscles, improving posture.
  • encourages elasticity in the lung tissue, allowing you to take in more oxygen.
  • tones the abdomen.
  • strengthens the immune system.
  • is useful for sufferers of respiratory conditions.
  • reduces levels of tension and anxiety.

So what are you waiting for! Controlled breathing can be done anywhere, by anyone, all ages and abilities.

So breeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeathe!

September 12, 2013

Reflexology Case Study…Treatment 1

by lrmetcalfe

Treatment Plan

We started today’s treatment in the usual way, by discussing our last meeting. We reviewed the changes she has made to her diet; Client A has reduced her diet coke intake to 1 glass a day, however she is still not drinking enough water. She has been eating more vegetables and making sure her meals are well-balanced.

We then went through the client’s expectations for today’s treatment and how she was feeling. She wanted to try and relax; today she was particularly agitated due to issues with work. She felt angry and wanted to let off steam.

She also has the beginnings of a cold- a sore throat and is feeling ‘under-the-weather’. She also felt cold.

I made sure she had a blanket, was warm and asked her to put her work phone  on silent and out of her eye-line, so she could have no diversions to relaxation.

The Treatment

I cleansed her feet and used warm-up foot manipulations and breathing techniques to aid initial relaxation. Her feet were very cold, a sign of poor circulation; apart from this the client has very healthy looking feet- a good sign.

During a reflexology treatment, a reflexologist looks for signs which can tell us more about our client. These signs include, dry skin, corns, calluses, a feeling of ‘popping’ when certain reflexes are pressed- all of these can tell a reflexologist about health problems or ‘imbalances’ in certain areas of the body.

I pressed all reflexes and paid particular attention to the reflexes for the adrenal and hypothalamus glands, lymphatic areas, head, solar plexus, face, eyes and sinuses.

When I pressed Client A’s head, shoulder, thyroid and small intestine reflexes, I felt popping. This shows me that there are imbalances in these areas.

After I pressed the client’s reflexes, she said her feet were feeling a little warmer. I then massaged her feet using grapeseed foot butter.

Feedback

At the end of the treatment the client said she felt much calmer and had forgotten her work troubles.

Changes/ Areas to focus on for the next treatment

At the next treatment I will use a blend of warming oils such as ginger and black pepper to massage the feet, to try and warm the client’s feet and improve circulation.

Aftercare

I have asked the client to try and increase how much water she drinks.

Her multivitamin and mineral supplement should help to support her immune system during her cold, so I’ve told her to ensure she takes this and to try taking a teaspoon of manuka honey to soothe her sore throat.

September 8, 2013

Reflexology Case Study…Meet Client A

by lrmetcalfe

409054_240835962658691_2146072352_nThis article is the first of a series of posts in which I am looking to give you an insight into Reflexology.

A client has agreed for me to use her treatments as a case study and to post my findings in this blog. I will refer to my client as Client A from this point onwards.

Reflexology is a form of foot or hand massage which manipulates points or ‘reflexes’ which correspond to various parts of the body. The practice of Reflexology was developed by the American physiotherapist Eunice Ingham in the 1950s. Eunice spent many hours studying and working on people’s feet, she mapped the anatomy of the body onto the corresponding areas of the feet and this practice developed into Reflexology.

A course of reflexology always begins with an initial consultation in which I find out more about the client’s diet, lifestyle, health conditions and reasons for treatment. The following summarises my initial consultation with ‘Client A’.

Client A

She is a 28 year old, mother of one; she has her own internet sales business and works from home, whilst also managing her household and caring for her 3 year old daughter.

Diet

Currently overweight, she is trying to diet and is a member of a well-known slimming club. She finds when she sticks to her diet she does lose weight, but finds this difficult at times. She drinks a lot of diet coke, approximately 2 litres a day and does not drink very much water. She eats about 2 portions of vegetables a day but doesn’t eat any fruit.

Stress Levels & Relaxation

Suffers from anxiety and has previously had panic attacks, she takes medication for this condition. Her condition is improving and she is trying to reduce the dose of her medication.

She describes her stress levels at home as low and has a good sleep pattern. To relax she enjoys knitting and crocheting.

Activity Levels & Exercise

Does not do any form of regular exercise and her day-to-day activity levels are low. She would like to do more exercise.

Health Conditions/Issues                           

  • Anxiety
  • Acne Rosacea on cheeks and dry skin
  • Tension headaches & pain behind eyes

Reason for Treatment

Client wants to feel healthier and improve her energy levels, often feels lethargic.

My Observations & Feedback

I have advised client to try and eat healthier. She has completed week long diet diary and I have spoken to her as to how to introduce more fruit and vegetables into what she usually eats. I asked her to either give up diet coke or drastically reduce her intake and instead to drink water. She has now cut down to one glass of diet coke a day. I think if she makes these changes to her diet, the condition of her skin will improve.

I have asked the client to supplement with a good quality multivitamin and mineral high in Vitamin C and B Vitamins; also advised to use lavender oil neat on her rosacea daily.

Client A needs to do more exercise as it will speed up weight loss and is a good way to reduce stress and anxiety levels.

My Aims & Areas to focus on

During the course of my treatments, I want to ensure my client uses the time to relax, to reduce her anxiety levels.

I will particularly focus on the reflexes which correspond to the hypothalmus gland, adrenal glands, solar plexus, face, eyes, head and sinuses.