Author: Dr Rhonda Lee
Christmas is one of the most testing periods of the year. It can be stressful but also challenging for our digestive system. We are excited but also anxious about organising the festivities and celebrations, whilst at the same time agonise about what presents to get for our friends and family. Being the end of the year we are also preparing to ‘wind down’ and regenerate for the New Year.
‘Tis the season for Flu and Colds’
Changes from autumn to winter means that the period prior to Christmas is full of flu and colds. This can carry on well into the spring. Frequent travel both local and distant exposes us to different cold viruses. Minimise your risks by maintaining a healthy immune system so you are more able to fight off any viruses. Eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and not smoking will help.
‘All I want for Christmas is Food’
Food and drink is a large part of Christmas. We must remember to stuff the turkey, but not ourselves. Food is always plenty at Christmas, turkey, nuts, chocolates, cheese, pudding, mince pies and cheese straws. One Christmas dinner can add up to 3000 calories, between 500 -1200 calories more than the average adult requirement. This does not include what we eat the rest of the day. Slowing down the speed of eating and savouring each bite will help to make the meal more satisfying. Remember that it takes our brain 20 min to register that the stomach is full. A huge meal will give us indigestion and make us tired, thus contributing to weight gain. Be mindful about what you eat, and decide if it is something you really want before popping it into your mouth. Don’t eat it just because it is there.
‘Keep calm and say Ho, Ho, Ho……’
Don’t stress about making sure Christmas is Stress-Free. Most of us will be working through long lists of shopping, cooking and cleaning and visitors, so try to keep things manageable. Plan ahead and try to be organised. Shopping online can make things easier and if you are terrible at wrapping presents use gift bags. It’s not a disaster if everything is not perfect and the mashed potatoes were a bit lumpy, or that the top of the Christmas tree you bought is not perfect – it’s what makes Christmas memorable. You could think ahead and consider organising some therapeutic treatments in the New year. Complementary therapies work really well for stress relief.
‘Peace, love and Joy’
Catching up with family and friends is a big part of the Christmas spirit. Instead of the usual salutatory wishes in a festive card, consider instead a photo card or a few sentences updating them about you and the family. We have little choice in who we are related to, so there will always be a critical mother-in-law or a disapproving relative. Prepare yourself for what is to come, but remember it is only for one day and you still have the rest of the year without them.
Make sure you rest and renew with plenty of restful sleep. Despite the time off work, late night celebrations from Christmas to the New Year will disturb our normal sleep pattern. Sleep hugely influences our physical and mental wellbeing. It is when our body heals and recovers from our waking activities. Try to return to your normal sleep pattern as soon as possible. Further about the benefits of sleep here.
‘Don’t get Ho, Ho, Hammered!’
During Christmas, alcohol is free flowing, mulled wine, bucks fizz, brandy, wine and even alcoholic punch. Don’t just indulge, decide what your limits are and then keep tabs on how much you are drinking. Mix non-alcoholic drinks in between and it will make it much more enjoyable. Excess alcohol can affect others. Be aware that although it can lift your mood initially, it is also a depressant and in some people can bring out unsociable and aggressive behaviour. There is a considerable rise in the number of assaults and drink driving over Christmas and New Year. Added to this is increased incidence of alcohol poisoning.
Happy New Year!
Let’s be honest, most of us spend the entire year not thinking about our health. Review the past year and consider if your health needs some attention. If you have had more frequent flu and colds, developed an allergy or skin condition, tend to get tired more quickly, fatigued most of the time, bones and joints ache, have a brain fog or spend time feeling frustrated and depressed, then it is time to make a plan to do something about it. It is more important than ever to get out the vitamins and minerals, consider having some therapies or book a doctor’s appointment.
Stress affects most of the systems in the body, and can have a huge impact on the mind, think about that, it’s strange because stress originates in the mind. So this thing we call stress originates in the mind, and affects the mind, and then the body as well, how can that happen?
Most of us think of stress as the external situation “I have a stressful job” “my boss is giving me stress” “moving house is stressful” but some people in exactly the same situation would not be stressed. Stress is a mental response to a situation not the situation itself so these earlier statements could read “I find my job stressful” “working for my boss is difficult for me I get stressed” “I was very stressed when we moved house” now see what the difference is, in terms of where the stress is located.
Once we realise that stress is a reaction, we have choices, we can choose to react differently and that can lead to feeling differently. Beliefs create thought patterns, and we feel based on what we think. We can control what we think to an extent, but how much better and more fundamental to change what we believe. For example “no job is stressful it’s how we react and I choose to react by being really calm in situations that I used to find stressful” “I realised my boss is always stressed and tries to pass that on to others, now that I realise that; I choose not to react to that situation by being stressed” “last time I moved house I felt stressed so this time I chose to plan how to avoid experiencing moving in a way that led to stress, I took control of the whole situation, instead of reacting to it”
Stress management is about learning to recognise stress, locate the triggers and causes and dealing with it proactively to give ourselves more choice, more control, and less stress. A stress management consultant will guide you through learning the techniques and stratages, and then acting on them in your life. Taster sessions and short courses for individuals or groups are sometimes available, just to give you a taste if it’s benefits. to be kept informed about this send a text with the word “stress” to 07956322170 or ring 01922649142, or follow me on Facebook or twitter by clicking this link
National Council for Hypnotherapy Gill Wood, recently gave an interview with an overview of her work on phobias. Gill has a general practice in London and has a special interest in dealing with phobias.
She says she finds working with clients who have a phobia is great because she can often get really significant results in two or three hours. Many of her clients have lived with a phobia for years and it has completely compromised their ability to live a normal life. Often these people have tried all sorts of other things with no success. So, says Gill, to work with someone to enable them to get back in the world and do things they couldn’t do before is one of the most rewarding parts of their practice.
Gill has many examples of how she has helped someone overcome a phobia and change life for the better.
She talks about a lady in her late 20s who was engaged and planning a dream honeymoon in the Seychelles. But she also had a spider phobia and was then told that there were many spiders, including some living in trees in the Seychelles. Her phobia was so bad that at the beginning of her first session she could not even say the word ‘spider’ – Gill had to use the term ‘s’ instead. Gill spent the first session uncovering the cause of the phobia (which turned out to be an event which had happened to the client when she was 10). By the end of this session Gill was able to bring in a box containing a cartoon video of a spider. Not only was the client able to tolerate the box, she also said she would try to watch the video! She came back for one more session, and by that time she had booked the honeymoon.
Another success story was a teenage girl who needed to fly on a school trip. The girl’s flying phobia was so severe that she had got off planes on the tarmac before. A couple of hours of hypnotherapy did the trick and the girl flew on her trip. Her mum was pleased to receive an email saying her daughter had arrived and the flight had been fine.
Another client who had a flying phobia, but this involved a phobia of being sick on a plane. Gill future paced her journey out and the client arrived just fine and had a great holiday. Unfortunately Gill had not future paced the return journey. The client, believing she had overcome her problem had a meal the evening before her return. But the difference between out and back was enough to see the phobia return. She came back to Gill on her return and a bit more work saw the phobia off for good. Gill said she really learnt from this just how unique and specific each phobia is to the individual and how the more precise the treatment is, the better the result will be.
Gill frequently uses timeline regression to get to the cause of the phobia, she will then future pace the client. She also uses self help techniques and anchoring and sometimes uses EFT. She also uses the fast phobia cure.
I work in Walsall from a practice on the Broadway near to the Fulbrook, and work very successfully with fears and phobia’s so to discuss how this might help you please give me a call 01922 649142
Stress affects our body in lots of ways
People often under estimate the impact stress can have on our physical well being, it affects most of our body systems in some one way or another. Our hypothalamus, pituitary gland and adrenal glands combine in a triad response to any situation that we experience as stressful. In the short term, this can be helpful by giving us a boost of energy to run away, or respond to a threatens situation. Over time though this triad pattern of chemical change become unhelpful, then damaging and in the longer term can become dangerous.
Neurotransmitters interact directly with the tissues of our endocrine system, the system that produces the hormones which are the chemical messages to manage our other body systems such as digestion, circulation and respiration. The hypothalamus releases a hormone called cortisol which acts on the anterior pituitary, which releases another chemicals. If this chemical is constantly present stimulating us then we are in a constant state of readiness to respond to a perceived threat. Our digestion slows and becomes less efficient, our respiration is increased sending more oxygen to give energy to our cells, our circulation is altered to provide more blood and thus more energy to the major muscle groups used in running, fighting ETC.
Over time this can lead to digestive problems, poor nutrition, heart disease and peripheral nerve damage. Elevated levels of cortisol can lead to suppressed thyroid function, cognitive impairment and increased blood pressure, decreased bone density, lowered immunity and increases in inflammatory responses.
Complimentary therapies can help in a number of ways, lets look at some examples. A massage stimulates the production of endorphins, another hormone, but one which encourages relaxation of body systems, potentially combating the effects of cortisol.
Reflexology can produce a more balanced internal state, this can enable your body to cope better with the elevated levels of adrenaline and cortisol, but can also enable your body to rest, relax and release the chemicals that have built up in the system as a result of the imbalanced biochemistry experienced as stress.
Aromatherapy can use specific oils to stimulate and regulate glandular responses such as he secretion of cortisol, certain oils such as lavender have an impact on both the emotional and physical state, leading to very deep relaxation to enable you to rest and let go of things that have been troubling you.
In short, you can use complimentary therapy to help you manage stress and limit its impact on your body and mind. A good place to start might be to book a session with one of our Hypnotherapists, to learn some stress management techniques. this might be followed by a series of treatments with our therapist, perhaps starting with some reflexology and progressing to massage or aromatherapy massage.
To book consultation please ring 01922 649142 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep an eye open for our special offers, which give you a chance to experience the benefits of a treatment at a much reduced price.
Author: Alex Simon
Lymphatic Drainage massage aims to detoxify by assisting in the movement of lymph; a watery fluid drained from the tissue, which carries metabolic wastes, excess water, bacteria and toxins out of the body.It can benefit those who suffer with congestion or inflammation associated with migraines, sinusitis, swollen legs or ankles and also has positive effects on the appearance of cellulite and skin conditions. It can also be beneficial post-injury, to promote healing and skin regeneration and to athletes as part of a detox programme.
The treatment begins with a full body and head massage to help draw toxins out of the muscle and soft tissues and then trains them towards the lymph nodes. The lymphatic system is then stimulated with long massaging strokes in and pumping movements are applied to specific nodes to assist them to flush the lymph away.
A natural health treatments that assists your body’s to clear itself functions.
Courses of treatment are recommended for maximum results, discounts available for pre-booked courses, with measurements taken on your first and last session so you can measure your results.
Author: Alex Simon
All the benefits of deep tissue and stretching techniques of sports massage, enhanced with the healing properties of the essential oils. Long used by top athletes around the world, sports massage with essential oils plays an important part in preparation for and post exercise and events.
Many common remedies for sore muscles include essential oils such as ‘Tiger Balm’ and ‘Ben Gay’ for example and aromatherapy blends are often applied by athletic trainers to support the health and performance of their athletes.
Specialist blends include; Eucalyptus, for invigoration, circulation and opening airways; Lavender, an anti-inflammatory that can soothe pain, Rosemary, stimulates the mind and body, warms the muscles and relieves spasms; Juniper Berry, post-exercise, detoxifies and helps eliminate lactic acid from muscles; and Sweet Marjoram which helps relieve cramping in over-exerted muscles.
So for a natural way to support your performance and keep you working at your best call… Walsall Mind and Body Centre on 01922649142 (open 7 days 9-8)
Author Dr Rhonda Lee
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common chronic conditions of the digestive system found in around 1 in 5 people. Women are 2-3 times more likely to develop IBS. It is characterised by bouts of abdominal cramps, bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea and/or constipation. The severity varies from one person to another. They can last from a few days to months. Symptoms may ease after going to the toilet, often the condition is life-long. Unfortunately the cause of IBS is unknown, but most people find it is related to an increased sensitivity of the gut and problems with digesting certain foods. Stress is also a known contributor. IBS can be painful and debilitating affecting personal, social and professional life. Treatments for IBS are mainly limited to symptom control, stress reduction, altering the amount of fibre in the diet, regular exercise and identifying trigger foods in the diet.
IBS is described as a functional problem, which means that anatomically or physiological investigations are completely normal. Instead there is impairment of the body’s normal function. This makes it difficult to treat. An increasing number of studies have found that IBS can be safely and effectively managed using acupuncture.
In Chinese medicine, IBS is considered to be an imbalance between the liver and spleen. The liver is associated with emotions and stress, while the spleen is linked to digestive function in the body. A weak spleen Qi (energy) allows the liver to dominate. When this occurs over a long period of time the continued disharmony causes IBS symptoms to manifest.
Research evidence has consistently demonstrated that a course of acupuncture improves IBS symptoms and general wellbeing. These include;
• Pain relief
• Regulating the motility and movement of the digestive tract
• Reducing gut sensitivity
• Reduce stress related sympathetic nerve impulses e.g. abdominal spasm, by increasing the parasympathetic tone of ‘rest and digest’.
• Reducing anxiety and depression by increasing production of mood altering chemicals serotonin and endorphins.
IBS related changes in diet are individualised. It should focus on identifying trigger foods and eliminating them from the diet. These can vary from wheat, dairy, alcohol, coffee, fatty foods and some fruits and vegetables In the case of constipation adding adequate fibre to the diet is helpful. Some people may find that soluble fibre like, oatmeal, berries, legumes, beans and lentils are easier than insoluble fibre from raw vegetables and bran. Probiotics, multivitamins and minerals can be helpful to normalise the digestive environment.
Life style changes
Some of the following lifestyle changes can benefit IBS symptoms, but are also good for general health and well-being.
• Regular exercise to relive stress, regulate the bowel and alleviate constipation
• Practicing meditation, mindfulness, yoga, breathing exercises will help to manage stress levels
• Good and adequate sleep is important for everyone, but particularly for those with IBS. It helps the body to rest and heal. Tiredness increases stress and irritability which in turn triggers IBS.
Call 01922649142 or 07810024687 to discuss your needs with our Holistic Physician Dr Rhonda Lee. Dr Lee is trained in medicine, acupuncture, nutrition, aromatherapy, massage and other techniques. She specialises in digestive disorder, chronic fatigue, pain management and stress and depression.
I find ‘couples counselling’ most rewarding, though certainly not without its challenges. I have worked with a number of couples and what has become apparent, is that in many cases; relationships begin to break down following misunderstandings, deriving from either avoiding or manipulating the way in which they communicate with each other.
At the start of the relationship, couples are able to romanticise about their future life together, possibly setting goals such as marriage or building a home together etc. However, falling in love is far easier to do than maintaining, building and holding on to the foundations of a love which has to be worked at. Have you ever noticed that a particular personality trait that we loved and adored about our partner at the start of the relationship, can turn it to the very thing that you find irritating, this change can sometimes cause conflict or resentment within the relationship if not addressed quickly?
We all need to feel secure and appreciated within our relationships, but sometimes we find it difficult to articulate this message successfully to our partner, which can lead to frustration and disillusion. This often happens when our partner and the mechanics of the relationship do not meet our expectations.
I feel that if couples were able to communicate more effectively and in an empathic way, this would allow them to express how the relationship was making them feel. What we need to remember is that as we develop and change, so to do our relationships, it is extremely important that we pay particular attention to our relationships to ensure that they are not being neglected or even sacrificed. Maintaining the relationship can often become less of a priority when the ‘daily grind’ of life takes over; finance, children, family, friends and pressures of work. Couples counselling provides the space and time to focus energy solely on your relationship and each other, it gives couples the opportunity to develop and learn new ways of relating to each other.
In addition; the counselling process helps couples to identify core problematic issues within their relationship and gives them room to develop strategies and skills, such as active listening, better ways of responding, and maintaining relationship health checks. These and many more skills could help couples to rediscover the things that attracted them to each other in the beginning. Couples will learn new effective ways of relating to each other; being assertive and ‘solution focussed’ whilst challenging some of their own individual sometimes harmful, habitual behaviours and values.
Couples will learn how to address and explore difficult longstanding issues which they may have avoided in the past, and may have caused some resentment or distrust, consequently causing the demise of the relationship. I encourage couples to use couples counselling as a way of regaining and maintaining a healthy, supportive and caring relationship.
Alcohol, when is enough to much?
We seem to constantly be given conflicting advice about what is a safe amount of alcohol to drink each week, and the relative benefits and problems associated with specific drinks:
- A tot of whisky does your heart good
- A single glass of red wine a day is good for the baby
- Stout is full of goodness
But one thing everyone agrees with is, many of us drink too much and this has potential health implications. So if you answer yes to any of these three questions, perhaps you should think about reducing:
- Do you have a drink most days or everyday?
- Do you sometimes drink to excess, more than you intended?
- If you don’t have a drink does it impact on your mood?
- Do you knowingly use a drink to alter your mood?
If you answer yes that doesn’t necessarily mean you are an alcoholic (if you are worried you might be then please speak to GP, who can help you to deal with this and it’s health impact) but it probably means you need to make an effort to reduce your alcohol consumption. Hypnotherapy can help with this, as it can with many behavioural habits related to lifestyle and health.
As a hypnotherapist I use what you might call a two pronged approach, looking at both the behaviour I’ve when you drink what you drink, how you drink, and also the triggers; why you drink. This enables the best chances of success. Many people drink primarily as a social activity but also if their honest they drink to help them feel a certain way as well, more confident, more relaxed or perhaps to help them forget the stress of the day. In hypnotherapy I would offer alternative patterns for how to access the same feelings without the alcohol and generally build confidence and self-esteem.
It’s always a good idea to start out with a realistic goal and it may be that in therapy our starting point would be determining that goal and then over a period of weeks or months working towards it.
Once started this isn’t necessarily a quick fix it’s an investment in your health and think about the savings in the amount you spend on alcohol as a great way to offset the costs of therapy. In addition we have a prepayment scheme which offers a really cost effective way of managing these costs.
Here are some generally interesting facts to help you decide if this is a route you would like to follow:
- Women’s bodies don’t process alcohol as well as men, partly because generally women weigh less than men, also because women tend to have smaller livers, but also because of the way alcohol is stored and processed differently by men and women. Alcohol also tends to stay in women’s bodies longer than in men’s, which maximises potential negative impacts.
- Four out of ten men drink more than the recommended daily allowance, which is more than the average for women, but women are catching up fast.
- Research shows that alcohol reduces testosterone levels in men that lead to poor sperm quality and count, potentially leading to fertility issues.
- The amount of calories consumed on a night out with friends can be as much as 1000, a similar amount as you would get from eating a hot dog, a hamburger and a couple of doughnuts in one sitting.
- Frequent alcohol consumption can lead to weight gain, tired eyes, dehydration the body, this may mean you start to wake up in the morning feeling dreadful, affecting how you start each day, your relationship even your work.
- As they get older men get older men in particular also risk skin disorders like rosacea which causes the blood vessels in the face to expand, making your face redder permanently. It can also lead to inflamed red bumps and that familiar ‘sozzled’ look which is really ageing. Add a bear belly and you can really start to feel and look less than in your prime.
If we were to look at statistics for drink driving and effect that has on lives, it’s often not somebody who is knowingly driving while drunk, it’s often a frequent drinker unaware of the impact the alcohol has had on their general reaction times and observational awareness.
Hypnotherapy can help you to take control of that the alcohol habit and its associated patterns, adopting a more health and positive frame of mind relegating alcohol to its proper place as an occasional treat rather than an habitual everyday crutch.
Just like stopping smoking, a hypnotherapist can help you kick the drinking habit.
Become alcohol aware! With hypnotherapy
Feeling blue as the days get shorter? With winter around the bend, seasonal change is upon us, so if you’re feeling down in the dumps why not adding Aromatherapy to your routine?
Plant essences have been used for ages to change moods and elevate emotions and Aromatherapy is a natural approach to relax and restore balance between mind and body. This therapy is a natural management technique which uses essential oils, applied either to the body or inhaled
Seasonal light variation can cause a winter depression and one in eight people will suffer the ‘winter blues’. If you suffer from seasonality leaving the body you may recognize symptoms such as a drop in energy level, irritability, low moods, a tendency to oversleep, weight gain and a change in appetite, especially a craving for sweet or starchy foods.
With such symptoms, leaving you feeling downright depressed during you may seriously consider Aromatherapy Massage as a calming therapy. Aromatic oils combined with massage touch, help to relax and rejuvenate the body through the stimulating of the nervous system. Essential oils have various effects on the body, depending on the type of essential oils used.
Rose, Geranium and Melissa can be included to boost your mood, without a sedative effect and Clary Sage can help regenerate your energy. Lemongrass is often used for its uplifting effect and for regulating appetite whatever your needs there is will be a combination of oils which can have a positive effect on you.
While essential oils are very safe when used correctly, it is important to realize that although they are natural and free from harmful synthetic chemicals, they are very potent. You can consult with a registered Aromatherapist at Walsall Mind and Body Centre, who is well-versed on how each oil works and can design a massage treatment that can help you chase away those winter blues!
Call 01922649142 and speak to our Aromatherapist Alexandra Simon today.