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What is Reflexology?

What is Reflexology?

What is reflexology?

Reflexology is a gentle yet powerful complementary therapy which uses systematic pressure on specific points of the feet, face, hands or ears to bring the body back into balance. This is combined with a range of massage techniques to warm up the muscles and tissues and to help relax and restore you. It has an all-over-body effect yet doesn’t involve you taking any clothes off apart from your shoes and socks! 

It is thought that by pressing specific areas (the reflexes) the associated organ, bone, joint or tissue will be brought back into balance. If something is running a little too quickly, pressing the reflex should help to reset it back to normal. If it is running too slowly, again reflexology aims to bring it back into balance. If you’re feeling tired reflexology can help re-energise you and if you’re feeling like you need to slow down and relax it can help you do that too.

what is reflexology

Why should I have reflexology?

There is something deeply nurturing about putting your feet up and allowing someone else to hold space just for you for that hour. In my practice I use hot towels whenever I can. Just taking the weight off your feet, having them refreshed with hot towels, having your feet wrapped in a towel to keep warm. Being tucked up under a blanket (if you like) all contribute to a sense of being safe, warm, nurtured and cared for. A place where you can really unwind and be yourself. 

Sometimes we find that we hold everything together for other people and reflexology allows us to take some time out for ourselves where we’re not having to hold space for anyone else. We’re not having to work out what’s for dinner or how we’re going to pay the electric bill. We  just have our feet wrapped up in a towel, there may be some soft music playing in the background (you get to choose whether you’d like this or not, some people welcome silence) you’re warm, you’re nurtured, all you need to do is let go and relax.

wrapped up in a blanket

What is Reflexology good for?

As reflexology is usually deeply relaxing, it can help the body start to unwind. Releasing tense muscles, lifting low mood and calming busy minds. It can allow you to take a little time out from your daily life. It is good for helping improve your sense of wellbeing and can be helpful in restoring good sleep patterns. It is also great for relieving stress. 

Stress has a massive impact on the body and mind, having many potentially negative effects from raising blood sugar levels to increasing blood pressure, increasing your chances of having a heart attack, a stroke or for you to need to take time off work. 

Foot Reflexology with Sarah Cooper in Boroughbridge

How often should I have reflexology?

Essentially it is up to you, however reflexology does have a cumulative effect. To see the best results and to maximise the effectiveness of your treatments it would be advantageous to book yourself in regularly.

If you have a specific issue that you would like some help with, it may be beneficial for you to initially have a series of 4 or 6 treatments spaced weekly to make maximum impact. These could be followed up with a fortnightly or monthly maintenance treatment. 

Ideally if you have no specific issues and just need a maintenance treatment you’d have a treatment every 3-4 weeks.

I offer a package where you can buy 6 treatments and save £20 which can help with budgeting. 

reflexology may be covered by your health insurance plan

Check your health insurance, some companies include Reflexology!

If you have health insurance either privately or as a benefit through your work It is worth noting that some health insurance providers offer cash-back on Reflexology treatments but please double check this before booking your appointment as I will need paying on the day of the treatment (you then send the insurance company the receipt and they pay you back) Imagine being able to have regular reflexology treatments at no extra cost! 

 

If you would like Further Information or to Book an Appointment  please use the buttons below

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7 Quick ways to get to sleep

7 Quick ways to get to sleep

7 Quick ways to get to sleep

If like around 50% of the UK you are struggling to sleep at the moment you will probably welcome these quick tips! 

1.Try Massage (either massage yourself or get a partner to massage you)

 Choose a night time Aromatherapy Massage Blend and massage it in.  You can buy night time or relaxation blends or you can make your own. If making your own carefully measure the ingredients and only use on adults.

If you are pregnant, on medication, have a medical condition, a skin sensitivity, are taking homeopathic remedies or are under 18 please consult a qualified aromatherapist before use. 

Sleep Well Blend

If you would like to make your own night time massage blend add 1 drop vetiver essential oil, 3 drops of neroli essential oil and 3 drops of lavender essential oil to 15ml of massage oil and gently stir to blend. 

The act of massage itself is very calming. If you don’t have any essential oils plain massage oil will work just as well. If you have a partner you can ask them to massage it in for you, using long, slow, sweeping strokes towards the heart. If you don’t have a partner you can massage your own arms and feet. 

 

milk

2. Have a warm milky drink  

Using the milk of your choice (this could be plant-based milk like almond or oat, or cows milk depending on what you prefer) I like cocoa (rather than hot chocolate which is way too sweet for my taste buds) or cacao (which is the unrefined version) You can buy Cacao latte at the supermarket on the shelf along with the hot chocolate and cocoa. This is very soothing.

If you don’t like the taste of chocolate, try having warm milk with a light sprinkling of cinnamon on the top. Alternatively have a malted milk drink which doesn’t tend to have caffeine in it.

Whilst it’s generally not a great idea to over do caffeine in the evenings, a hot milky drink can be soothing and nurturing.

bedroom window

3. Keep Cool

Bedrooms need to be fairly cool, even in winter. If it is safe to do so, have your window open a little way to let some fresh air in. It helps to keep the air nice and cool. Radiators in bedrooms should be kept at a fairly cool setting as it’s difficult to sleep in a hot room.

blanket

4. Make the bed

Whilst many people make their beds every day as part of life, some people don’t. If you’re currently not making your bed as part of your morning routine, either add it in or do it before you jump into bed.

Add a heavy blanket, even in summer as it will help weigh you down a bit and keep you feeling secure. It is often easier to sleep if you’re feeling grounded and weighted down a little. This is great for calming anxiety and helping you drift off to sleep

bedtime alarm

5. Create a bed time alarm

Whilst it might sound a bit daft setting an alarm to tell you it’s time to get ready for bed, it really works. Having a set bed time or a set time to start your bedtime routine can be really powerful. Our bodies are creatures of habit and they like to know what is happening next. So if you get used to going to bed at a certain time or at least running your bath at a set time, your body will learn to listen to the cues and start preparing for sleep. 

Doing the same or very similar things every night is helpful too. Your phone should be able to remind you when it is bedtime either by using the bedtime app, or by setting an alarm like you would for the morning. Choose a gentle ringtone, so if you happen to go to bed early one night you won’t get jolted out of your snoozy state.

music

6. Play some soft music.

 I listen to soft music as I’m drifting off to sleep most nights. If you have a device which will let you play one album and then switch off, great.

If you use a smart speaker it may be able to automatically play some soft music to you each night using a set voice command. I love listening to Aroshanti or Nils Frahm or Einaudi as they’re all very soothing to listen to.

7 tips to get to sleep put your phone away

7. Keep your phone elsewhere!

There is the temptation to charge your phone by your bed, then play with it in the night if you happen to wake up. There’s also the temptation to roll over again and go back to sleep once your alarm goes off in the morning. So the best thing to do is keep it out of your bedroom if you possibly can do so you’re not tempted to be checking your Facebook at 3am on the way back from the loo! 

Resources

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/healthy-sleep-tips

https://www.sarahcooper.co.uk/how-to-get-a-good-nights-sleep/

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How to get a good night’s sleep

How to get a good night’s sleep

How to get a good night’s sleep

Do you find that you spend night after night tossing and turning, with sleep completely evading you? You’re not alone! 48% of adults in the UK report that they don’t get a good nights sleep. Before we look at how to get a good nights sleep let’s look at what happens if we regularly don’t get a good night’s sleep

What happens if you don’t sleep well?

You’re more likely to:

  • Suffer from foggy-headedness
  • Have impaired cognitive function,
  • Have a weakened immune system
  • Be more prone to picking up common colds 
  • Have increased weight gain or cravings for the ‘wrong’ kinds of foods
  • Be more prone to stress
  • Be more likely to have fine lines and wrinkles on your face
  • Be more likely to have an accident or indulge in impulsive behaviour
  • Have exacerbated mental health issues
  • Find it hard to control your emotions effectively
counting sheep

Why do some people find it hard to get a good night’s sleep?

Lots of things can affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

These can include snoring partners, sick or restless children, traffic noise, emergency sirens and light pollution. Needing to have a midnight loo trip, feeling hungry or thirsty, not winding down effectively in the evening, alcohol, too much caffiene, being in pain, having symptoms of the menopause and being pregnant can also keep you awake . The bedroom environment not being conducive to sleep can also be a factor.

Worrying about health, money, family, work, bills and situations beyond our control can also prevent us getting a good night’s sleep.

bedroom

Physically having the right environment

Ideally your bedroom should be:

  • Dark enough with no light filtering in from the street. Blackout curtains or blinds can be very useful. Ensure there is no blue light emitting from your alarm clock. 
  • The right temperature. At the risk of sounding like Goldilocks the room should be not too warm and not too cold but just right! 
  • Well Ventilated without being draughty! 
  • Tidy and uncluttered and only used for sleeping, reading and ‘bedroom stuff’. If at all possible avoid working from your bedroom.
  • Free from electrical equipment if at all possible. Remove any unnecessary items like iPads, phones, televisions, radios etc.
  • Comfortable with a supportive mattress and pillows and a big enough duvet so you’re not having to fight for your tiny share of the covers. If your partner likes to hog all the covers, buy yourself your own set! Having the right amount of pilllows for you is important. Having too many pillows can exacerbate head pain and backache.
journal

Create the right emotional and mental environment

Write it down! 
If you find that your head is buzzing with ideas, thoughts, worries, shopping lists, and your to-do list, it can be helpful to have a notebook by the bed. Write down anything that is rattling round your head. This ensures your mind is not having to attempt to remember everything and hopefully will be able to switch off and go to sleep! 

It is also thought that writing down three things that you’re grateful for in a gratitude diary can help a lot! 

Be prepared

Before bed lay out everything you need for the next day. This could be your clothes, any equipment you might need for work, school or leisure. This helps your morning go more smoothly as you’re not looking for last minute PE kit items or trying to find your car keys or a pair of socks that match. You can rest assured that everything you need is all found and ready for you.

reading

Create a great bedtime routine

  • Start winding down from early evening onwards.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol after 6pm
  • You could go for a short evening stroll after dinner. This helps you cool down and calm down, and if you’ve a partner it helps you to be able to talk without distractions.
  • Take a couple of hours distraction free if possible before bed. Reading and meditating is a good idea.
  • Have a small drink and a light snack an hour or so before bed so you’re not hungry during the night. 
  • Put on some soothing, relaxing music
  • Have a warm bath
  • Apply a little hand cream to your hands and moisturise your face with a good quality moisturiser. (Maybe start with your face and work your way down to your feet!)
  • Try massaging some body lotion or foot cream into the soles of your feet.This helps to moisturise your feet and is wonderfully relaxing too.
  • Try to go to bed every night at around the same night and get up at a similar time every morning, even at weekends
blanket

Other ways of helping you get a good night’s sleep

  • Wear a light cardigan or a long sleeved pyjama top in bed (unless you’re menopausal suffering from hot flushes) 
  • Have the window slightly open if it is safe to do so (if you don’t have children and are living in a low crime rate area)
  • Have a heavy or weighted blanket on your bed to weigh you down
  • Use a night time or calming blend of essential oils. Lavender is a good essential oil for bedtime add a couple of drops to a tissue and tuck into your hot water bottle or pillow case. Just don’t over do the lavender or it will keep you awake all night! In small doses it is very relaxing and in larger ones not so much!
  • Always make your bed on a morning (and if you forget make it before you get into bed!) Having plumped pillows and a neat duvet can make all the difference)
  • Change your sheets and duvet covers regularly
  • Have Regular Reflexology or Massage Treatments. Both Reflexology and Massage are great for relaxing the body and soothing the nervous system, putting you in a naturally relaxed state which is conducive to good sleep. If you live in the Boroughbridge or Ripon area and would like a Reflexology treatment in the comfort of your own home please get in touch
  • Tuck a small amethyst crystal under your pillow (just make sure it doesn’t have sharp edges and NEVER leave crystals in the bed of babies, children or pets)
what to do if you really can't sleep

What to do if you really can’t sleep

If you’re tossing and turning and simply cannot get to sleep don’t worry about it. It can help to get up and do something else for a few minutes. As long as it’s not practising your tuba or bagpipes or anything else that is likely to wake up the neighbourhood it will be fine.

  • Have a warm drink,
  • Read a book or magazine.
  • Do some light housework (NOT vacuuming, obviously!) write in your journal.
  • Find a yoga for bedtime video on YouTube.
  • Have a light snack

Just don’t lie in bed worrying about not being able to sleep. Hopefully before long you will start to feel tired again and will be able to drift off back to bed.

Sleep Resources

Sleep Foundation

7 quick ways to get to sleep

 

Over to you!

What do YOU do to ensure you get a good night’s sleep? Please pop me a note in the comments box below. 

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