Getting To Grips With Myofascial Trigger Points

Myofascial trigger points and self-treatment

If you’ve ever felt a “knot” in your shoulder and dug in with your fingers to find both tension and relief, then the chances are you’ve found a myofascial trigger point – a knot of connective tissue that is tender to the touch and causes pain or other symptoms.  This post today is all about getting to grips with myofascial trigger points.

Where are Myofascial Trigger Points Found

Myofascial trigger points can be found most commonly in the soft tissues of the body – the muscles and fascia – the connective tissue.  They can also form in ligaments, tendons and nerves.  Some can be as large as a golf ball, while others are as tiny as a grain of sand.

We owe a lot of our understanding of myofascial trigger points to Dr Janet Travell, personal physician to John F Kennedy, whose lifelong study of the phenomenon of myofascial trigger point syndromes started from her desire to understand often unexplainable pain symptoms.

Referred Pain

One of her key discoveries is that the effects of a myofascial trigger point may be felt either where the trigger point is located or, more commonly, elsewhere in the body.  This is called ‘referred pain’.  Although myofascial trigger points are usually associated with pain, they can also produce a wide range of other symptoms including problems with vision, sleep coordination, and balance.

Despite Dr Travell’s work, myofascial trigger points are still not commonly understood from a medical perspective.  The referred symptoms that mean trigger points are often overlooked and sometimes misdiagnosed as a better-known medical condition.

Getting To Grips With Myofascial Trigger Points

Nearly everyone experiences symptoms from myofascial trigger points at some time in their lives.  The causes of trigger points can be due to trauma, such as an accident or surgery; overworked muscles through work or sport; or the simple wear and tear of daily living.

Many people don’t even know they have problem myofascial trigger points until they visit a massage therapist or other hands-on bodyworker.  However, once you know about the typical patterns of pain and other symptoms caused by specific trigger points, it is easy to start to treat yourself.  Regular self-care can address existing myofascial trigger points, it is easy to start to treat yourself.  Regular self-care can address existing myofascial trigger points and prevent new ones from forming.

Body Maps

Working with your myofascial trigger points is not an exact science, as their location can vary from person to person.  However, armed with a good trigger point book that shows ‘body maps’ of common referral patterns and typical trigger point locations, you can identify your most likely problem areas.

Start by getting the feel of myofascial trigger points.  They may vary in size but will always feel tender to the touch.  Sometimes pressing on a myofascial trigger point will recreate a familiar pain pattern, which means you are in the right place.  Often the area you are working on will twitch as the trigger point releases.

Pressure is Key

Myofascial trigger points respond to gentle sustained pressure of up to 90 seconds.  Working too hard or too fast can be painful and cause the tissues to tighten instead of releasing the restrictions that have caused the trigger point to form.  Maintain the pressure until you feel a softening in the tissues or change in your pain.  After 90 seconds release the pressure even if you feel no change in this session.  Sometimes myofascial trigger points need to be worked on a few times to help them release.

You can apply pressure with your fingers, thumbs, or a soft fist.  Or it’s often easier to use a ball, or a larger inflatable myofascial ball which creates a more gentle pressure.

Little and Often

Little and often is best when working with myofascial trigger points.  Regular daily work brings the best results so aim for 20-30 minutes a day in total.  Stretching after treatment is beneficial as this helps the muscles return to a relaxed state and prolongs the benefits of your self-care.

Here are some good areas to treat:

Back of Neck

Myofascial trigger point patterns here can cause a stiff painful neck, headaches and burning pain in the scalp.  Trigger points under the base of the skull may also cause eye pain and disruption of vision.

Self-treatment:  Place 2 inflatable myofascial balls in a bag and lie flat on the floor or your bed with a small pillow under the top of your head.  Place the balls just below the base of your skull with one on either side of your spine for comfort.  Rest on the balls and the weight of your head should be enough to help release trigger points here.

Top of Shoulder 

Myofascial trigger point patterns at the top of the shoulder can cause problems with moving your arm in all directions and can affect movements such as waving, lifting and carrying items like shopping bags.  Trigger points here are felt mainly when you use your arm and can also cause a sense of weakness in your arm and pain in your shoulder.

Self-treatment:  Position a ball between the top of your shoulder and a wall.  Move the ball around slowly until you find a tender area which is a myofascial trigger point.  Lean into this with a sustained gentle pressure for at least 90 seconds, or until you feel a sense of eased tension or reduced pain.

Front of Pelvis

Myofascial trigger point patterns at the front of the pelvis can cause pain and tightness in the hips and legs when you walk, run, or go upstairs or up hills.  Trigger points here can cause back pain, difficulty getting up from sitting, or standing for long periods, and also can affect your breathing if they restrict the movement of your diaphragm.

Self-treatment:  To find the right area, feel on one side of your lower abdomen to locate your pelvic bone, place a ball just inside the bone on the soft tissue, and then lie on your front on the floor or a bed.  This may cause an indigestion-like discomfort at first but maintain gentle pressure until the tenderness eases or for 90 seconds.  You can then move the ball to work on the other side.

Calf

Myofascial trigger point patterns in the calves can give rise to pain in the calf itself, plantar fasciitis or foot pain, and lower back pain.

Self-treatment:  sit on the floor with your back to a wall and place a ball under your calf letting your leg rest on it.  Allow the weight of your leg to press the ball into your calf for 90 seconds or until you feel the tissue softening.  You can move the ball to other tender points on your calf and repeat it.

I hope you find this post of interest.  There is a book by Amanda Oswald who is a leading UK myofascial and trigger point specialist entitled “Living Pain-Free:  Healing Chronic Pain with Myofascial Release and Trigger Points:  Use the Power of Touch to Live Life Pain-Free”.

I’ve got it on my shopping list.  As usual please feel free to visit my lifestyle blog which you can find by clicking here.

Love and Light

Tracey xXx

 

New Scientific Research Studies

New scientific research studies of interest

Today I am going to share with you new scientific research studies that I think you may find of interest as published by The Federation of Holistic Therapists.

 

Psychedelics:  Placebo effects may be stronger than previously thought

Scientists from Canada’s McGill University have found that up to 61% of participants in an experiment reported some psychedelic effects after consuming a placebo administered in a psychedelic party setting with lights, a DJ, psychiatrists and technical assistants in lab coats, a security guard, and several actors trained in mimicking the expected effects that a dose of the real psychedelic drug would have.  This is amongst the highest levels of response found so far in research into psychedelic drugs.

Recent research has shown that psychedelic drugs may have much to offer in the treatment of depression and anxiety.  This study suggests that the context in which a drug or placebo is administered can be leveraged to give a comparable response, but using a lower dose of a psychoactive compound, or, indeed, a placebo treatment.  The results may help explain the idea of a “contact high” where people experience the same reactions as someone who has taken a drug.  They may also suggest that the current trend of micro-dosing, where very small amounts of psychedelic drugs are taken to enhance creativity may have a strong placebo effect.

Nutrition:  Enzymes to reduce FODMAPs

Consuming foods that are high in FODMAP compounds often results in digestive distress, but a new study from the VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland may offer a solution.

FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrate molecules that are poorly absorbed in the human small intestine.  These non-absorbed compounds move along to the large intestine, where intestinal microbes feed on them.  This results in the production of gases that causes symptoms especially for those suffering from intestinal disorders, but also for many others.

VTT used enzymes to break down galactan, commonly found in legumes and fructan, which is present in many cereals.  Further studies showed that the enzymes also worked in the commercial preparation of food products.  This would allow the food industry to reduce or eliminate problematic FODMAPs during processing.  It’s thought that the research could lead to the introduction of new low FODMAP.

Pain – Spider venom may offer opioid alternative

The venom of tarantula spiders may offer pain relief without the addictive side-effects associated with opioid painkillers, according to new research published by the University of Queensland.  The university’s research team used the molecules in the spider venom to create a mini-protein that binds to pain receptor sites in the body, blocking the transmission of pain signals.  They hope new drugs developed from the venom will provide relief for severe chronic pain without causing addiction or serious withdrawal problems.  So far, studies on mice have proved effective.

Nutrition:  Statins appear to improve gut microbiome diversity in the obese

Obese people are frequently prescribed statins to lower their cholesterol levels, but the drugs may also offer the additional benefit of fostering a more diverse range of healthy gut microbiota.  Previous studies have shown that obese individuals have a gut microbiome that differs from those in a healthy weight range, having a poorer bacterial diversity, with fewer good bacteria and more of the species that promote inflammation.

The results suggest that statins could potentially modulate the disrupted gut microbiota and linked inflammation in obesity.

Bone Health:  Trials bring benefits of organic nitrates into doubt

Trials conducted by a research team at the University of Auckland have shown that organic nitrates do not have clinically relevant effects on bone mineral density or bone turnover in postmenopausal women, and the medications caused significant side effects.

Previously, several clinical trials suggested that organic nitrates could reduce the risk of fractures in postmenopausal women, who often experience a loss of bone density as they age.  Some of these studies have subsequently been withdrawn as a result of scientific misconduct.

The new double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trials of three different preparations and two dosage levels showed that such treatment resulted in no differences in bone mineral density or bone turnover markers between organic nitrate treatment and placebo.

Diet: Potatoes can be a source of high-quality protein for women

Potatoes have traditionally been considered as a source of starchy carbohydrates, but researchers at McMaster University have discovered that potatoes can offer potential benefits as a source of protein, particularly as dietary trends change and worldwide demand has increased for plant-based alternatives to animal-derived sources.

Young women fed additional potato protein isolate increased the rate at which their muscles made new protein, while the placebo group did not.

Energy:  Electrical activity in living organisms mirrors that of atmospheric electrical fields

We’ve known for over a century that living organisms demonstrate electrical activity at very low frequencies and that some diseases, such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s occur in conjunction with electric abnormalities in the body.  Now a group of researchers at Tel Aviv University has shown a direct link between electrical fields in the atmosphere and those found in living organisms, including humans.

The paper published in the International Journal of Biometeorology, suggest that over evolutionary timescales, living organisms adapted and evolved to actually use the electricity in the environment in the form of global lightning.  The process was likened to the evolution of our eyes being driven by sunlight.

Furthermore, in some animals, the electrical spectrum is difficult to differentiate from the background atmospheric electric field produced by lightning.

It is thought that the connection between the ever-present electromagnetic fields, between lightning in the atmosphere and human health, may have huge implications in the future for various treatments related to electrical abnormalities in our bodies.

Medical Herbalism:  Magnolia bark compound may help with drug-resistant epilepsy

A paper presented in Chemical Neuroscience suggests that a compound derived from magnolia bark could quell drug-resistant seizures.  Globally, around 50 million people have the disorder and around 30% of them find that the currently available drubs do little to control the disease.  Some who can control the seizures with drugs find that they experience side effects ranging from dizziness to mood disruptions.

The research team looked at 14 plants used as anti-seizure remedies in Traditional Chinese Medicine and found that the bark of Magnolia Officinalis, a tree native to China, reduced seizure-like behaviour when tested on zebrafish and mice.  In tests with mice, the researchers found that the magnolia bark’s most potent anti-seizure compound, magnolol, reduced the rodents’ otherwise drug-resistant seizures.  It and similar compounds in magnolia bark could provide a starting point for the development of treatments for resistant epilepsy, according to the researchers.

I hope you found this post “New Scientific Research Studies” of interest I know I did.  

Tracey

4 Coping Strategies When Thinking About Suicide

Mental Health Awareness Week

You may or may not know but this week is mental health awareness week.  Sadly the number of suicide is increasing and is now at 17 a day in the United Kingdom.   So today I am sharing with you a blog post on 4 coping strategies when thinking about suicide by Dr M Welby a Harvard psychiatrist.  I hope you find it helpful.

Preventing suicide takes forethought and planning, not only in the world as a whole to create better support systems and treatment but for individuals struggling with how to deal with suicidal thoughts.  Creating a plan for how to prevent suicide and manage emotions at the height of intense feelings is a lot to ask of anyone.  But coming up with a plan ahead of time for how to manage distress and suicidal urges can help allow the feelings to pass.  This post includes coping strategies to manage distress, problem-solving techniques to help cut down on crisis, and suggestions on how to create coping cards and a hope box to use when thinking about suicide.

1. Prevent Suicide By Learning Distress Tolerances

Suicidal impulses are often brief, intense urges lasting minutes to hours. Trying to come up with how to manage these waves of intense suicidal feelings the moment they are occurring is a challenge. Having a go-to list of coping strategies is a helpful tool in getting through a wave of suicidal urges unharmed.

Even for people that are chronically suicidal, there are often moments of increased intensity for suicidal feelings. Using these distress tolerance skills can help reduce risk.

Exercise

10 Coping Strategies To Manage Distress

Each individual may find different things soothing but I encourage you to come up with a variety of options so there are more to choose from at the moment you need them:

  • Deep breathing: Use an app like Breathe2Relax or other mindfulness apps that can walk a person through a breathing relaxation exercise. Find one you like and have it ready on your phone.
  • Phone apps such as Stress Free Now, Calm or Headspace.
  • Aromatherapy: Pick an aromatherapy scent you like and carry it with you. Taking a moment to focus on an enjoyable scent can be grounding.
  • Exercise: I particularly like high-intensity bursts of exercise that can match the intensity of the emotion. Exhaust yourself by doing rapid jumping jacks, pushups, running quicker than is comfortable, burpees, a punching bag…there are many options available. If this level of exercise is not possible, find other exercises that are doable such as going for a walk.
  • Take a warm bath
  • Music: Crank it up or play it softly. Music can be a great distraction.
  • Pet: There is nothing more grounding than spending some time petting or playing with your animal. Animals are always in the moment and can help us get back to the here-and-now by following their lead.
  • Nature: Being out in nature is calming and grounding. It sometimes helps us to see the world is bigger than this moment.
  • Do a word game or puzzle
  • Any other distraction you can think of!

2. Using Coping Cards When Thinking About Suicide

During a wave of intense distress and suicidal feelings, thoughts become distorted and people are often unable to come up with solutions at that moment.

The pattern of thinking during a crisis is often pretty consistent. Many people have predictable thoughts that happen when they feel distressed:

  • “I’ll never get better”,
  • “I’ll always feel this way”,
  • “My life will never change”,
  • “I’ve made no improvement”

    It can be helpful to list these thoughts on a notecard and write out a matching response on the other side:
  • “I’ve made it through times when I felt hopeless before”,
  • “I do not always feel this way”
  • “The last many times I felt this bad I was happy I didn’t harm myself the next day because I felt better”

Carry these cards with you (or take a picture on your phone to access them) for the moments you may start to struggle and forget that distress and suicidal urges will pass.

3.  Preventing Suicide With A Hope Box

A hope box is just like what it sounds: a box full of reminders of hope and reasons why you are choosing to live. Life-saving information is stored in this box so when a person is in crisis and can’t recall their coping skills or reasons for living, they can access this box and see the information in one place.

I first heard about hope boxes while researching mental health apps and discovered Virtual Hope Box. This is a free app that adapts the physical hope box (which obviously would be challenging to carry around) into a virtual space so it is always there, ready to access on your phone. It includes options like: Distract me, Inspire me, Relax me, and Coping tools.

Things To Include In The Hope Box

  • Coping cards that you made with alternative thoughts to counteract the challenging ones that usually come up in a crisis,
  • Emergency numbers: both numbers for crises lines but also numbers for your support system (family, friends, therapists…whoever you need to call for help)
  • Reminders of coping strategies to use and distress tolerance skills (see the list above for ideas of coping strategies)
  • Lists of reasons to live
  • Pictures of loved ones: family, friends, and pets,
  • Letters from loved ones,
  • Sentimental objects or gifts
  • Reminders of past successes
  • A pleasurable aromatherapy scent to distract you
  • A treat you would enjoy like a piece of gum or a hard candy

Create both a virtual and a physical box. Going through the physical box can be grounding in itself- physically touching the items and sorting through the box can serve as a distraction while waiting for the distress to pass.

Problem-Solving Skills

Suicide is an attempt to solve a problem. Be it a harmful attempt, it is an attempt nonetheless. Although this may sound overly simplistic, improving problem-solving skills can help people see other options besides suicide.

The goal of these problem-solving techniques is not necessarily so that a person can solve everything in the heat of the moment. The hope is that improving problem-solving capabilities will cut down on moments of crisis by being proactively better able to think through challenges. Problem-solving techniques are one part of the formula to manage distress and suicidal ideation.

A Lesson From The Business World

Problem-solving skills are commonly used in business to successfully resolve obstacles and are also needed in general life. Recommendations in business management rely upon breaking down the problem in order to better understand it and come up with a solution. These steps help take some of the emotions that can cloud thinking out of it.

5 Problem Solving Steps To Go Through

  • Define the problem.
  • Determine the causes.
  • Generate ideas.
  • Select the best solution.
  • Take action.

 Personally I think the problem-solving steps to go through are done best with a counsellor or therapist or a good friend.

I hope that you find this article helpful. But please remember you are not on your own and there are people out there who can help you. All you need to do is reach out…

Contact the Samaritans

Contact Mind

If you are local to Harrogate, North Yorkshire there is a free online support group on Facebook called Harrogate Black Dog.

Love and Light

Tracey x

What Depression Looks Like

Depression comes in all shapes and sizes and ticks various different boxes.  The thing with depression is a lot of people are quite good at hiding it, in fact, they are very good.  How many times have you heard that sadly someone had taken their own life and their friends and family didn’t have a clue.  Believe me, it happens and it happens a lot.  I will try and talk about what depression looks like but there is no description that fits all people.  It is also one of those things that is so difficult to understand unless you have experienced it yourself.  I hope today’s post goes some way to show you what depression looks like, also it might help if you are starting to think that you may be struggling with depression and also highlight some things to the loved ones of people who are struggling.  

I Understand

It is so important to be able to understand; it’s a valuable position to be in and you can help more than you realise.  You don’t need to be a psychologist to help someone.  The biggest thing you can do is to listen…. just that…. listen.   No interruptions from you just be there for the other person.  It takes a lot to be able to say “I’m struggling” so stop whatever it is you are doing and just be there.  Believe me when I say you can make a difference!

I have experienced a lot of tragedy, hurt, pain, and loss throughout my life.  Rape, murder, physical abuse, homelessness, emotional abuse, financial abuse, the list goes on.  The last major episode was when I was in an abusive relationship and spent 8 months sleeping on the living room floor.  That ended with me being found in the garden with a knife in my hands; needless to say I ended up in A&E with the crisis team.  So I know what it feels like to be so desperately unhappy to the point where you can’t take anymore.  

We all have different limits but there is a level to how much we can take as an individual.  This is why it is so important to try and recognise the signs if you possibly can.  I hope that today’s post will also give hope to people struggling.  After everything I have been through I can promise you that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  

I have achieved a first-class honours degree while in an abusive relationship, homeless and with a new baby.  I have retrained in complementary therapies while struggling with fibromyalgia and other chronic health conditions.   I set up an online mental health support group while struggling with PTSD which now has over 500 members.  I have this month set up a not-for-profit community interest company while we are in a pandemic.  So seriously if I can get through to the other side there is no reason why you can’t either.

Emotions I Have Felt Emotions I Now Feel
I felt unheard  I feel empowered
I felt judged I feel strong
I didn’t feel good enough I have self-worth
I didn’t feel worthy I have passion
I felt left out I believe in myself
I felt blamed I have the power within in me to achieve anything I want to
I felt uncared for I have love in my life
I felt unloved I have compassion
I felt controlled I have empathy
I felt betrayed I have kindness
I felt unimportant I have friends
I felt disrespected I have my life
I felt desperately sad  I have tenacity




It Can and Does Happen To Anyone

Depression, anxiety, etc can happen to anyone and everyone.  It can creep up on you and it can hit you suddenly for all sorts of reasons.   Today is the basics for people to understand that it affects everyone and anyone and you know what it is ok; it doesn’t mean you have failed at something, or you are not good enough.  All that is bollocks.  The more we talk about it the better it will be.  We live in a crazy world and we all need help even if it is just a hug; we all have needs and we are all different thank God.

As nearly everyone knows depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.  It affects how you feel, think, and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.  It is a cruel illness.  It moves over you like a black fog until you feel like you are clinging onto a clifftop by your fingertips.  The easy thing to do is just let go the hard thing is to climb back up.  People are there to help you climb back up; you are loved more than you will ever know.  There is always another option.  

So I have written a list of things that you can feel or experience when suffering from depression.  The list is just a way to make you think about where you are emotionally; do any of these things below resonate with you?  If they do then please talk to someone.  You can talk to your GP, a friend, a boss, the Samaritans, Mind, there are a lot of groups out there and I will be providing the information for all of these organisations on a separate page.

Alarm Bells

    1. Canceling plans at the last minute
    2. Believe you are a burden to people
    3. Eating all the time or not at all
    4. Mood swings that can last for hours or days
    5. Being emotionally distant
    6. Constantly needing reassurance
    7. Isolating to protect themselves
    8. Frequent crying
    9. Having an outburst over something that others would consider to be small
    10. Avoiding reality
    11. Pretending to be happy or okay
    12. Feeling incomplete and messed up
    13. Avoiding people and social interaction
    14. Sleeping too much or too little
    15. Increased use of drugs or alcohol

 

I am not going to end this post without some kind of self-help so please find below 10 ways you can try to help yourself get to a better place.

Things You Can Do

  1. Commit to plans, practices, habits, rituals, routines that are good for your well-being – even when you don’t want to.
  2. Allow yourself to feel a multitude of feelings without labeling it as wrong, bad or negative.
  3. Practice listening to your needs and discovering different ways of meeting those needs.
  4. Practice self-forgiveness for not being perfect, for forgetting, for your past, for what you don’t know, and for getting “off track: sometimes.
  5. Let yourself start again, over and over, as often as needed.
  6. Take care of your basic needs, stay hydrated, get enough sleep, move your body, and eat plentifully. 
  7. Give yourself permission to rest, to take breaks, and to have downtime.
  8. Spend quality time with yourself: reading, writing, creating and getting to know who you are underneath who you think you should be.
  9. Use a lens of curiosity and compassion with yourself as often as possible.
  10. Remind yourself that you are as worthy as anyone else in life.  Make yourself a priority in your own life.

I hope you find this post valuable.  If you would like to leave comments or ask me questions then please do and I will get back to you as soon as I possibly can.  I suffer with depression and have bad days just like a lot of others do.  However, I will always be here and will continue to raise mental health awareness and continually fight to prevent suicide.

You can also email me here.

This weekend I  listened to my own advice and I went outside to a wooded area, surrounded myself with nature and walked the dog with my daughter.  Every day is precious and every day should be celebrated in a small way.

I hope you enjoy your weekend and I will speak to you again on Monday.

Love and Light

Tracey xXx

10 Questions to find and ignite your passion

Exercise

I don’t know about you guys but it is very easy to lose sight of what you are passionate about while being in lockdown.  Times are scary, unknown and we lose track.  We have a future we are uncertain about and we don’t know which way that will take us as a nation, a community and as an individual.   This is the reason that today I am sharing with you 10 questions to find and ignite your passion.

I have been a bit in limbo and it dawned on me today just how much I’d lost my mojo.  So today’s post is all about looking within and reconnecting to the things you are passionate about and to use these as a focus for our future lives.  Because one day we will get them back; so just hang on in there.

If you don’t have one it might be worth getting a really nice book/journal and a nice pen. and get into the habit of writing things down; like the questions and answers to the below.  When you get five minutes pick it up and give it a read; form the answers in your head and visualise yourself doing them.

  1. What was your favourite thing to do growing up?
  2. When you were a child what did you dream of doing when you grew up?
  3. What is your favourite topic to talk about?
  4. What is it you like doing so much that you lose track of time?
  5. Whose life do you envy the most and why?
  6. What would you do differently with your education if you got a chance to start over?
  7. If you had 5 minutes and the whole world was forced to listen what would you say?
  8. What would you do with your life if you had no fear?
  9. What would you do with your life if you had a guarantee of success?
  10. What would you do with your life if money wasn’t an issue?

I will be writing a lot more posts during lockdown so please feel free to keep visiting.

Stay safe

Tracey x

Help Me Help The Frontline Workers

20 Ways To Get Rid Of A Migraine
Reflexology Treatment

As you know I am now a “not for profit” community interst company.  I set this up to provide free complementary therapies to people in emotional crisis and on a low income.  To do this I have to apply for grants, fundraise etc.  Also the profit from private clients gets put back into the company.

Unfortunately my start date coincided with lockdown and isolation so it is proving to be very difficult to fundraise and to also help anyone who really needs it.    It occurred to me yesterday that I could encourage the sale of gift vouchers through this site which can be then used by the frontline workers fighting the coronavirus.  

Reiki

All you need to do is when completing the gift voucher is to put NHS in the “to” section.  This will mean that the money will be put to one side so that on the day we are allowed back to work I can start treating front line workers immediately.  I am also putting together a group of volunteers that will be willing to assist me.

I know it is difficult right now with money and believe me I am in the same boat as you but even £1 can make a difference.

Please help me to help the people who need this.

Thank you for reading and thank you for helping it is greatly appreciated.  If you could also share this post I would be extremely grateful.

Tracey x

 

My 30 Day Vegan Challenge

30 day vegan challenge

My health isn’t great I’m on medication for fibromyalgia, gerd, diabetes, heart rate etc and I’m finding it frustrating and worrying.  My daughter told me she wanted to try a plant based diet and to watch “What The Health” on Netflix along with “The Game Changers”.  Wow all I can say is I urge you to watch them both.  

As a result my daughter and I will be starting my 30 day vegan challenge from Monday, 2nd December 2019.  Yep that means no turkey at Christmas but after what I watched last night I don’t care.  I was intersted to find out that the protein we actually get from meat is from the food that they eat.  Cattle etc are just the middle man in the whole process.  

I don’t mind vegetables in fact I like them a lot more than I did when I was younger.  The only thing I’m not keen on are kidney beans etc so this will be interesting.  Next week I will get a health and lifestyle blood test and will do it again after 30 days.  

If anyone has any vegan tips I’d be very grateful for them, recipe suggestions, anything at all.  For those of you that have not watched the two documentaries that I mention please give them a viewing it really open your eyes to a lot of things.

I actually feel quite excited by it so bring it on!  Why not do it with me..  

Tracey x

 

What’s Going On In The World Of Karma Times

The World Of Karma Times

Today’s post so what’s going on in the world of Karma Times is basically just that.  An update of what I’ve done, where I am now and where I’m going.

20 Ways To Get Rid Of A Migraine
Reflexology Treatment

Complementary Therapies

Some of you may already know but for those that don’t I have officially finished my studies and am now a qualified complementary theapist.  This is one of the best things I have ever done.  It has taken me a long time to find a job that I actually love so feel very privilidged.    The treatments I am currently offering are reflexology, aromatherapy, massage and Reiki but more will be added.

Nail Technology Training

Because I actually enjoyed the learning process so much I made the decision to study level 3 Nail Technology so that I can provide pedicures and manicures alongside hand and foot reflexology.  It will also be a seperate add-on that I can provide a range of manicures, nail enhancements etc as an extra which is great because that appeals to my creative side and breaks my routine up slightly.  

The nail course runs for 26 weeks and is quite intense.  But throughout the year I will be adding nail related treatments/services as and when I have received the training to a suitable level to practice.  So keep a look out for that one.

Beautician Training

In about 2-3 weeks I will be also starting my level 2 beauty so will be able to provide facials, waxing etc.  I am now also seriously considering Level 3 beauty afterwards so that I can provide mini makeovers for people who need a bit of a lift on an emotional level.  Where that is someone who has just broken up with a partner, or recovering from cancer etc..

Social Enterprise

The setting up of a social enterprise is extremely important to me and is definitely my aim.  I want to be able to provide complementary therapies and now also beauty therapies for people struggling and having an emotional or physical crisis.   As I have said before the people who really need these services and treatments can’t afford to have them.  I know this because I was one of them.  I have seen the difference these things make first hand.  I will be looking for sponsorship and financial backing moving forward to help make this happen.  So if there is anyone reading this who can help please do not hesitate to contact me.

Monthly Meetings

My aim is also to provide a monthly meeting for people who are struggling with a variety of things.  It will be a social club but with a difference.  It will cover healthy eating, weight loss, exercises as in stretching etc, mindfulness, different forms of creativity, coffee, chat, anxiety, depression, social anxiety help, and also for people with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, ME, MS etc..  Hopefully at some point in the future it will become a weekly meeting.

What’s going on in the world of Karma Times

I think I have covered the above as best I can.  There will be a lot more going on but this is enough at the moment.

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend.

Tracey xXx

What is Reiki?

Reiki

 

Reiki” (ray-key) is Japanese for ‘universal life energy, and is also a word used to describe a system of natural healing, This tradition was founded by Mikao Usui in the early 20th century and evolved as a result of his research, experience and dedication.

We live in a world of energy that nourishes and maintains all living things. When this energy flows uninterrupted there is balance and harmony within and around us, and we experience a sense of well being.

There are many variations of Reiki, but in essence, Reiki treatments can help the body emotionally or spiritually. It is a tradition that is open to any belief system.

Reiki treatment is a process that anyone can enjoy in the normal course of their life. Reiki can be used alongside other conventional or complementary treatment and often helps to provide emotional support during recovery.

The practice is taught by Reiki masters/teachers who have trained in the tradition passed on in person from master to student.

The method of receiving Reiki is simple. The recipient remains clothed and lies on a couch or sits on a chair and relaxes. The practitioner gently places their hands in a series of non-intrusive positions on or near the body. There is no massage or manipulation. The whole person is treated rather than specific areas. Sessions can take 45 minutes to an hour-and-a-half, depending on the client’s needs.

Reiki practitioners are not trained in the diagnosis and will not predict any specific outcome from treatment. If people are concerned about their symptoms they should see a doctor.

What do Reiki treatments feel like?

Each person experiences Reiki differently depending on their individual needs at the time.

Clients may or may not feel sensations during a Reiki treatment. Benefits reported by recipients include deep relaxation promoting a calm, peaceful sense of well being on all levels. Some people feel sensations of heat, tingling, or experience seeing colours, whilst others can have an emotional response, indicating that shifts are taking place, allowing harmony to be restored.

What do Reiki treatments do?

Reiki is a safe and soothing treatment that can be:

Comforting when life is tough
The relaxing nature of Reiki can be very helpful to people especially at difficult times in our lives. We can all feel overwhelmed or disconnected, sometimes there is a real sense of isolation, both emotionally and spiritually. Reiki treatments can bring feelings of peace, centeredness and an ability to cope better with the challenges of life.

Reiki can be beneficial in circumstances that are short term but can also support people dealing with long-standing conditions, helping to bring comfort, acceptance and a more positive outlook.

Supportive during pregnancy
Reiki can be wonderful for pregnant women. Treatments can be very relaxing and enjoyable for the mother.

Calming for children
Children usually love Reiki. The length of a session is often shorter than it would be for an adult.

Reassuring for animals
Animals also respond well to Reiki, they too seem to find it relaxing and soothing

Helpful at the end of life
In such cases Reiki can be a great comfort, helping to promote a sense of peace and acceptance for the dying and their families.

How much Reiki would I need?

A single session may be sufficient, but it is best to discuss this with your practitioner. For instance, if you have long-standing emotional or spiritual issues, a series of sessions may be beneficial. In general, if you find that helpful changes are taking place, it is a good idea to continue treatment.

Contra-indications

There are no known contra-indications for Reiki. It is a non-intrusive treatment that can be delivered in a variety of settings and requires no special equipment.

During August I will be offering half-price Reiki treatments to give people a chance to try it for themselves.

Please feel free to book your appointment online.  You can find the book appointment button at the bottom of the price list and also at the bottom of the home page.

“As running water smoothes the jagged edges of a rock until it is small enough to roll away, Reiki flows to the areas of need, soothing and supporting the body’s natural ability to heal itself”

Reflexology and Mental Health

 

by Simon Duncan

Executive Officer, United Kingdom Association of Reflexologists
A reflex is a point on the body which, when stimulated, will have an effect on another part of the body. The classic one is the knee jerk reflex. If you tap the knee, the reflex action is the spasm of the thigh muscles which makes the knee jerk.

Reflexology is based on the concept that every part of the body is connected by energy pathways which end in reflex areas on the feet, the hands and the head. Reflexology is the practice of working over these reflexes in a precise and systematic way. By applying controlled pressure, the body is encouraged to achieve its own natural state of wholeness and good health. Working on the feet is especially beneficial in clearing and balancing the body.

The concept of stimulating the body’s own healing energies by using pressure points on the feet is not new. It has appeared in many different cultures around the world and throughout history. Earliest traces have been found over 5,000 years ago in China, Japan, Egypt and among Indian tribes in the Americas. It spread to Europe in the Dark Ages and forms of “pressure point” therapy were used in the Middle Ages by both peasants and the aristocracy.

The therapy was rediscovered in the late 1890’s by a Dr. William Fitzgerald and introduced into the United States, arriving in Britain, as “reflexology”, in the 1960’s.

The physical, mental and emotional benefits of reflexology make it particularly helpful for all stress-related conditions, even when there is no clinical evidence of disease. By inducing a state of relaxation, tension is eased, circulation improved and toxins released and eliminated from the body. And as the body’s energies flow there is a renewed sense of health and well being on all levels. Reflexology can benefit, and be enjoyed by, everyone.

For clients suffering from stress-related illnesses, anxiety attacks, confidence issues or where they may be mentally or emotionally challenged, reflexology can prove to be a life-altering therapy. Self-esteem and confidence can be enhanced significantly, with recipients reporting an ability to deal with difficult situations more ably. They can feel stronger and more in control, with communication improving for some. This often leads to the ability to articulate ideas and express emotions and feelings more readily than previously possible. There may be a general improvement in being able to feel as well as assess and fulfill needs.

A treatment usually lasts between half an hour and an hour and, if possible, the client should rest for a while afterwards. Occasionally there is a temporary reaction as the body rids itself of released toxins. This will not last long and should be seen as part of the healing process. If there is a reaction, it is wise to eat lightly and drink plenty of fluids.

As reflexology works so well with other forms of treatment, many doctors are finding that referring patients to reflexologists actually saves patients money. Some participants are able to reduce or stop medication in co-operation with their medical practitioner. People prescribed drugs or other medical treatment report that reflexology reduces or eliminates side effects, and so enhances the benefits of orthodox medicine. Before and after surgery, reflexology can stimulate healing so that patients can leave the hospital sooner and experience fewer complications. Studies have suggested that patients undergoing a course of reflexology prior to a surgical operation are less likely to suffer from secondary infections as a result of the surgery.

Reflexology is rapidly becoming one of the most popular complementary therapies available today. There are a number of reasons for this: reflexology is simple, safe and very effective; the patient does not need to undress and the therapist uses only his or her hands to give a treatment. Although a therapy in its own right, it works well with other forms of medicine, both orthodox and complementary.

Until recently there has been little research into the benefits of complementary medicine, and, in one way, clinical research seems inappropriate for holistic therapies, which aim to improve the total well-being of the individual, rather than cure illnesses. However, there have been a number of controlled research projects over the past few years which provide evidence that reflexology has an effect on the human body and can help to improve various conditions and general health. Positive research findings also validate reflexology in the eyes of the general public and the medical profession and so increase public demand. As such, there is an upsurge in interest for the development of appropriate controlled research projects, with a long term view to integrating reflexology with the medical profession to provide healthcare at a more holistic level.