Beating the January Blues

Suffering the January blues?

Cold and grey, no money, low mood?

It can be a hard month, especially considering the excesses of December. Perhaps you’ve gained a couple of pounds in weight, lost a couple of pounds in cash. Feeling sluggish after too many late nights, one too many Prosecco?

You were so committed to those New Years resolutions when you made them, but now? Well, life just ain’t turning around quick enough. The best way to deal this is imagine you’re climbing a ladder. Each rung is a step up from where you were. You have your baseline, so even if you have to take a breather after a wobble every now and again, you’re still further on than you were! Remember whatever challenge or promise you’ve made to yourself, it should serve your life. It should enhance it, not make it hell, otherwise why would you stick to it?

Things to muse on?

If you’re wanting to get fit, gym sessions aren’t the only solution…

What form of exercise will you get the most from, what will you enjoy the most? Are you more outdoorsy, do you like to dance, are you competitive? Choosing the right activity for you can make a big difference when it comes to sticking with it!

Why do you want to lose weight? Is it to get healthy or thin?

There is such a thing as loving yourself truly and if you do, you’re far more likely to nourish your body with the right nutritious foods that will leave you with plenty energy, feeling good and looking good. Make your goal to make peace with yourself and it’s all much more likely to fall into place.

If your wanting to improve your diet…

Hit the market. Nothing quite like an independent market with an abundance of fresh fruit and veg, herbs and spices to choose from! Cooking it shouldn’t be a stressful affair either stir fries, soups and stews essentially require a bit of peeling and chopping, but once that’s done, you should be flying. There are an abundance of recipes available online to follow

It’s good to be grateful.

With an empty bank account, grey clouds looming and the lull after the storm, it can be hard to see the light, but it is there! Find three things to be grateful for everyday. Be it for the affection of those around you, the warm bath you grated yourself to when you got home from work or a well cooked meal. Whatever it is, however small, it’s a great healthy habit to get into! It’s invariably the small things that make up your life!

Keep life interesting.

Most people are never tourists in their own town. Get out and about and see what’s out there and hey, we are blessed because a lot of it is free! We have art galleries with regularly changing exhibitions, libraries, historic sites, beaches, woods, nature trails, parks in the city, museums of all kinds, architecture and yes most of it is free besides perhaps a car or bus ride. Go see something you’ve never seen or that interests you. Have a break from the same four walls!

Need a bit of a pick me up?

Cash may be at an all time low this month, but it doesn’t mean you have to go without feeling good! For free or even a few coins, you can help perk yourself up!

Raid the kitchen cupboards. Organic honey and lemon juice make a nice softening and brightening face mask.

Make a body scrub from some finer grain Himalayan rock salt and grapeseed oil. Add a couple of drops of lavender for extra calm. Do it before your bath, and allow yourself to relax into the warm water and absorb the benefits of the salts.

Start as you mean to go on and commit to 10 minutes meditation a day. Turn off your phone, make sure you’re warm and lay on the floor in a comfortable position. Knees bent up or flat out. Empty your mind or at least, don’t worry if you cannot. Stick with it the ritual, even if it doesn’t work immediately, your commitment and patience will pay off.

Go all hygge and wrap yourself in your fluffiest blanket. Grab your favourite book and settle down for half an hour!

Do you have any tips for beating the January blues?

Wishing you good health & good habits.

Felt pulled in every direction lately?

Burnt out with Christmas?

Boxing Day can be a big chance if you haven’t already done so to wind down. Christmas prep is done and dusted, the day is over. Most of us will have oodles of leftovers from Christmas dinners which are easy enough to rehash, so it’s not like you’re going to have a repeat of those hours slaving away in a hot kitchen! Make the most of the slower pace and don’t pack your schedule too full!

This is your day! The long awaited lie in. Don’t fill the rest of your time off with must dos. Use this down time to reflect on the year gone. How have you felt? What in your lifestyle worked, what left you feeling fulfilled? How has your diet been. Have you got your exercise just right or could you do with a bit more, a bit less, a different activity?

Think about what you need from life, then think about what you want from life. Life is a marathon, not a race. So come new year with your realisations, take those small steps.

Tweak that diet one ingredient at a time if need be. Make healthier swaps. Chips for baked potato wedges, sweets for fruit or even occasionally dried fruit. Crisps for baked tortilla wedges. Chinese takeaway for simple homemade stir fry. Maybe try swapping that elevenses bar of chocolate for a banana or a couple of dried figs.

Ease yourself into the gym, don’t burn yourself out in the first two weeks and put yourself off. Better still buddy up with a friend for mutual support, find a good personal trainer or find a good class! As tempting as it is, don’t try to run before you can walk. 😉

If you’re losing weight, realise it’s a holistic lifestyle change, not something that should be focused on the way you perceive yourself.

Think about small good habits you can take up. Self care. Meditation, it’s been clinically proven how good it is for your health. Even 5-10minutes a day can help settle the mind, lower stress, reduce blood pressure. Restless mind? It takes practice just to be, it will come!

Those niggles that you’ve been trying to deal with all year. The ones you keep putting off getting sorted. Maybe a night in the pub appeals more, but is that really going to make your running any better or make your back any less painful?

Expressing gratitude and love is something that we talk about a lot, but do you practice it daily? Unconditional offers of help, goodwill and expression shouldn’t just be kept for Christmas. Have a spare hour a month, go offer your assistance to a charity, a neighbour in need. Offer your ear to someone who needs, truly learn to listen. See what you have in your life, rather than comparing yourself and identifying what you don’t. It leads to a much happier place than following the lower road.

Above all, let this be the year you start to shine. Be happy, stay well and be all you can be from this moment forward.

Holistic Healthcare – Living with AIDS and HIV

By the end of 2017 there were 36.9m people affected by HIV & AIDS. In 2017 alone, 1.8 million people were Infected. The fight continues to educate, raise awareness & continue research to combat this pandemic.

Whether you’re supporting someone with HIV or AIDS, or going through it yourself, I hope this post will provide a few holistic nuggets of information that might help.

For those living with the condition, it is possible to live as near to a normal everyday life and by implementing simple health strategies can help you stay on form.

🔴Where possible, simple wellness – a healthy nutritious diet, regular exercise to keep the body strong – walk, run, cycle, swim, even yoga – take your pick & stopping smoking will improve the quality of life for anyone, not just those affected by HIV & AIDS!

🔴Remembering that 2/3s of HIV cases are found on the African continent. We have a lot to be grateful for here in the UK. Most (and I acknowledge the current complications here) have access to clean water, nutritious food, healthcare & education. Fundamentals that aren’t always so freely available in other parts of the world. Use them wisely!

🔴Essential oils such as frankincense, oregano, lemon & tea tree are good for helping to support the immune system, having antiviral and anti inflammatory properties. Try 12 drops of oil blended with grapeseed oil and added to a bath or diffused around the home. German chamomile also has many benefits, including helping to calm associated skin conditions. Mix with calendula for a topical body oil. Add 8 drops of chamomile to 10mls of calendula and 10mls of grapeseed for a 2% dilution.

🔴Oregano tea can help support the immune system. Add hot water to fresh leaves and steep. Strain before drinking, aim for 3 cups a day. Chamomile or valerian tea with a touch of honey may help those struggling with a restless mind and unable to fall asleep.

🔴The stress and anxiety of dealing with such conditions can leave you feeling isolated and alone. Please, keep talking, there is always someone who will listen to you! The Terrance Higgins trust provides invaluable resources to those affected. The following link is for their website and contains other support platforms on the landing page – https://www.tht.org.uk/our-services/phone-and-post/tht-direct-helpline

🔴Oils such a lemon & bergamot, can help lift spirits. Geranium, frankincense and vetiver have calming antidepressant properties which can help provide valuable emotional support.

🔴Holistic therapies can play and important role in the treatment and wellness of someone going through HIV and even in the latter stages of AIDS in palliative care . Massage, aromatherapy and even reflexology aim to help restore balance to the bodies systems. They can also provide physical and mental space to help deal with the condition. All are very relaxing and can soothe nerves, and calm anxiety. The physical, physiological and emotional effects of these treatments can be invaluable and are well worth exploring to find what works for you to compliment any medical interventions.

There are more alternatives available than ever, to try conjunction with allopathic medicine. Things that will give a more rounded approach to your healthcare. I’d be interested to know your experiences and what holistic ways you have found for keeping yourself healthy.

How to beat the winter blues.

Are you –

Tired?

Low in mood?

Anxious?

Do you find yourself comfort eating stodgey carbs?

It’s terrible for some come the latter months of the year, mood and health can take a nosedive. I’ve spoken to many about the condition, who have commented, the older they get, the more profound they feel the effects of seasonal affective disorder, or SAD as we have come to know it.

There is so much research out there and blogs that offer advice, but as a therapist who regularly sees clients dealing with the condition and as a fellow sufferer, (for want of a better way to put it) I wanted to put forward my own take on the most effective holistic options, including use of essential oils, treatments, diet and exercise.

SAD is very often accompanied by feelings of anxiety and lethargy. In severe cases profound depression, a weakened immune system and an inability to function as normal. All this from a lack of sunlight? Actually yes! The problem is that sunlight helps our bodies to produce vitamin D. This precious vitamin is responsible for a healthy immune system, bones and, healthy muscle function. Winter also sees an increase in melatonin production, which helps regulate our energy and sleep patterns.

Massage

Massage is an be a great pick me up if you’re feeling below par or stressed out. SAD can hang around like a bad smell, so any intervention that’s likely to perk you up is good! Not only does it give you time out, but it can also relax you and increase feelings of overall wellbeing.

You may find anxiety levels increase during the winter months and massage is great for helping to soothe over heightened senses and bring you down a notch or two. Massage can also help revive you if you’re struggling with lethargy, as it stimulates circulation encouraging fresh blood flow to nourish the muscles. Take away all the niggles with the body and often the brain doesn’t feel so crowded with woe. Not only this, but many comment at their next appointment, how refreshed they feel and how well they’ve been sleeping since!

Reflexology

Reflexology is a treatment to the feet or hands, working through the zones of the body. Much like following meridian lines. Each part of the foot, corresponds to a part of the body, so essentially in treating the whole foot, you’re treating the whole body, it’s very relaxing to boot! Scuse the pun…

Now we can’t generate sunlight treating the foot, but what it can do is bring the body back into a better state of balance. Inducing feelings of calm and relaxation. When you start to realise the way conditions such as SAD stress the body and mind, you’ll appreciate the effects of rebalancing and calming the bodies systems has! Clients very often experience ripples of energy and adjustment throughout their body during the treatment, even occasionally coming in as a cynic!

Aromatherapy

The use of essential oils derived from the resins, leaves, bark and petals of botanicals. Each plant has its own medicinal value, which appears much more concentrated in the oil. As such, the oils can be used to assist healing the body from a whole range of physical and emotional ailments. Looking at typical symptoms suffered through the winter, flus, coughs and colds, aching arthritic joints and low mood.

I find the zingy top notes of citrus oils particularly good to work with when tying to lift the spirits. Sweet orange and lemon are favourites, with the latter having antiviral and antibacterial properties which may be useful to those who regularly suffer colds. Frankincense and oregano are good oils for supporting the immune system, frankincense especially as it has been found to support white blood cell proliferation – the bodies immune defence. I’d further throw in perhaps some lavender and eucalyptus to clear away congestion caused by colds.

Self care

No matter what treatment you choose, it would not be complete without you carrying on the good work at home! At the risk of sounding like a broken record…

Sensible diet! The rule of thumb is moderation, though things like artificial sweeteners – saccharine, aspartame and monosodium glutamate, we can really do without. I find cooking for myself is the answer. It needn’t be complicated or timely to eat well! Avoid or at least limit stimulants such as coffee, tea, alcohol and excessively processed and sugary foods. The extreme highs and lows will rarely provide longer term benefits physically and can cause mood slumps too.

Simple swaps –

sweets for a banana

Crisps and salted peanuts for rice cakes and peanut butter.

White bread for unleavened bread such as a wrap.

Can of coke for some sparkling water with lemon

Chineses takeaway, for a homemade fresh ginger and soy stir fry. It takes minutes!

You get the idea!

Exercise, walk, run, cycle, swim, dance. Do what feels good and do what you enjoy. If it hurts, we’re talking pain, (not that awkward exercise discomfort), modify or choose another activity. You want to give your joints a break from impact, hit the pool or try cycling. Just because it’s different, it doesn’t mean you won’t be working as hard! It does to have variation, because come the harshest winter weathers, not all of us are diehards! Join a club, very often the social side can provide motivation and support on not so good days!

Yoga can be a great grounding practice with all round health benefits. Hatha yoga in particular aims to balance the body, helping to calm and release tension. There are many types of yoga to try, from the more relaxing to the more dynamic and demanding.

Sleep.

It can be hard during winter as naturally we are in hibernation mode. Without as much sun to help us optimise vitamin D production, it explains why health wise, you may feel more compromised!

Melatonin is a hormone produced at night, it makes us sleepy; hence during/the winter months with the extended darkness, we can feel like no sleep is ever enough. Trying to keep a regular bedtime is a good idea! If you have a light box with a timer, or an alarm with gradual lighting, it’s a good time to use it, so you awaken more naturally, like you would with the sun during the summer months.

Be sure to get outside whenever you can. You are like a solar panel and getting that extra bit of natural light and fresh air will help with your lethargy!

A trip away to sunnier climbs is always a nice thought, but maybe not so practical for some, so there are a few other back up options such as light boxes, which you can place on your work desk and vitamin D supplements, which some people find useful at this time of year. I say get to know you and find what works for you!

Do you have any little rituals or go tos during the winter months to keep you up and running?

Sports Massage for Pain Relief.

In pain?

Have you noticed an increase in the frequency or severity of your pain?

Has that spring in your step, turned into a shuffle?

Stiff knees, stiff hips, bad neck, bad back, headaches, grouchy, tired! You forget how one thing can feed into the other!

Winter is kicking in and particularly here in Britain, it can be pretty grim. Damp and cold. Possibly the worst weather for joint problems such as arthritis. However, you might find other areas seem to flare up too.

If you can imagine how relaxed and warm you we’re over the summer. Roll forward to now as you walk with your hands stuffed into your pockets, arms stuck to your sides, shoulders up around your ears, we draw everything close to the body to conserve heat. See how the posture changes and why you might be feeling a little sore or tight?

That joint that’s been getting sore. Circulation is a little sluggish. It suffers the cold frequently, but still it might feel hot and swollen.

OR

You have a muscle that feels tense. The aching comes and goes, comes and goes.

You realise there’s a problem here, but you either a) carry on regardless trying to ignore it. Or b) try to disguise it with painkillers. Painkillers shouldn’t have to be a regular addition to the diet!

Pain is the bodies way of saying, hey there, something ain’t right!

So maybe it’s time you listened to it! Start listening soon enough and you might be able to reduce the symptoms significantly or even kiss goodbye to the discomfort and suffering completely.

There are a few more holistic ways of addressing this, however sport massage is what I’m about today! I certainly can’t walk you down the street keeping you warm; however, what i can do is tell you the benefits of sports massage and how it can relieve pain and tension in and around the joints and muscles.

Sports massage is a deeper form of massage using a variety of techniques which can really penetrate the muscle, helping to release fibres that have stuck together or become tight, causing stiffness, restriction and discomfort.

It can help stretch and tone the muscles, re-educating muscle fibres to relax.

It can help provide warmth throughout the body and to the joints.

It can help to increase circulation, helping to carry away debris and encourage fresh blood to the muscles.

It can increase overall feelings of wellbeing in the body and mind.

It can be as good for the mind as the body, helping you to relax – we know being in pain can be tiring and stressful!

It can sometimes take a few sessions to make headway with persistent problems, however there is usually an immediate relief of symptom severity. Many clients return for maintenance treatments, to keep their muscles happy and healthy.

After suffering from a painful back and neck, I was referred to Sarah at The Therapy Zone for a deep muscle massage.

I’ve been three times now and the pain has been greatly alleviated and my posture improved as a result! ~ M. Elwood

Why spend the rest of the winter shuffling along when we can help put that spring back in your step?

Interested in how we can help you. Why not get in touch?

Managing pain.

7 ways to help manage pain

Do you feel overwhelmed with pain?

Every time you move or try to do something, do you catch yourself groaning with discomfort?

Have pain killers become a supplement to your daily diet? If you’ve answered yes to one or more of these questions, then this article may just be for you!

Pain can become an all too regular part of our lives. In 2016, the UK alone, 30.8 million work days were lost to musculoskeletal problems, we’re talking, back, neck, shoulders and so on. Now life being life, very often the problem is there manifesting, before we even realise it. It can be an apparently minor everyday manoeuvre, such as putting on a seat belt, or it could be the result of repetition. Bad posture, twisting, folding yourself over a desk for hours on end, overtraining, arthritis, bad technique at the gym. I could obviously go on…. in that sense, this likely won’t be the last post I write on this subject.

The amount of times people find it hard to describe a pain or a level of pain, because it’s just part of their life is phenomenal. Sometimes you get lucky and find what helps you most, sometimes you just try to ignore the little niggles and hope that they’ll rectify themselves, then sometimes you need a little guidance from those in the know, which can be implemented into your everyday lifestyle.

The effects of pain.

Pain can be both physically and emotionally exhausting. In chronic cases, it can lead to feelings of frustration and irritation, impacting on work, relationships and everyday activities that once upon a time were enjoyable. The stress of it can even play havoc with your immune system.The aftermath can be just as awkward, with an approach to activities that is so tentative, you never quite have the same confidence in doing them again. On the flip side, you might be the one who on the slightest improvement, dives back in with both feet. A little too much, a little too soon…you been there too? When pain killers and anti inflammatories become a part of your regular diet, it may be time to start to reassess your approach. Besides, long term implications on the gut aren’t so great, nor is it ever an ideal situation where you should have to become dependant upon such things.

As we are all individuals, our perceptions of pain will always differ. The cause and effect upon us also. Our attitude towards our experience with pain, often plays a dramatic part our recovery. As with anything, the more positive you can stay (I know it’s easier said than done at times), the better the outcome. It has been proven that even the most standard of treatments are likely to work more effectively if you approach them with a positive mindset, and I’m in no way trivialising or saying that all symptoms are psychosomatic.

So, without making you have to relive every other pain infested moment that you’ve ever had, maybe a few of these tips might help!

Distract your mind

Distraction. I know it may sound dismissive and we aren’t trying to minimise your experience of pain, however if you can find some form of distraction, such as reading a good book, a favourite movie, something absorbing like painting, even chatting to a good friend, it can remove the focus from the pain. Albeit, sometimes we really do need something a little stronger. And remember, try to stay positive!

Keep track

Keep a diary. This is really useful for tracking patterns in the occurrence of the pain, it’s whereabout in the body. Has it spread, is it localised to a specific spot.what had you been doing before the pain was initiated or got worse. Keep a personal pain scale. Imagine that one is the least painful and ten the most. Keep track of how this figure varies throughout the day, week,month. This will help you avoid or modify the cause, give you a clue as to how you can help yourself and avoid the cause in the future and help a third party, should you seek outside help.

Know yourself

Know your pain! If the pain is sharp, toothache like or does it cause pins and needles? It’s likely to be nerve related.

Does it feel stiff, tight or dull, like you’ve just done ten rounds with Tyson? The body often reflects pain in other areas, it may even in an unconscious level, adapt the way you hold yourself. Keep track in a diary of how the pain changes in severity, what you were doing, whether you had to medicate. Finding a pattern of what might have caused the pain can be very helpful!

Drink up

Stay well hydrated. Although water may not cure your pain, unless it’s a headache brought on by dehydration, staying hydrated helps your body function at its optimum and is vital to the health and integrity of its components. To demonstrate,considering the body is 75% water, the muscles, 75% and bones 22% respectively and that’s without considering major organs, lymphatics and blood, it’s common sense keep fluid levels up. Don’t like water, try adding slices of lemon or lime to add a bit of a zing.

Heat therapy

Turn the heat up. Applying heat to muscular aches and pains can help to soothe and relax the muscles, so long as there is not swelling and inflammation present. Make sure not to burn the skin, by wrapping a hot water bottle in a doubled over towel or use a microwaveable wheat pillow for 10-15minutes. This is particularly good for stiff necks and lower backs.

Keep on moving

If you can, movement is best, so as to avoid the body setting in one position. If you think about how we’ve evolved and how life has changed over the years, we were never made to be so static for so long. Modern day life has brought with it so many bad habits. You may notice a pattern with your diary in that you get out of bed feeling fairly stiff in the morning, which eases as you begin to move. Movement increases circulation to the muscles and gets the the joints moving. You don’t have to run, a gentle lunchtime walk especially during a more acute injury phase, is all it takes to get things going.

Massage

Massage is a great way of helping to unlock muscles. They have a memory and if the last thing they remember is trauma, they may try to stop you using them and lock up around the injured site to prevent further damage. Using various techniques to warm the tissues and penetrate deeper layers of soft tissue, the muscle can often be coaxed out of that state, helping to relieve pain, tension and stiffness.

These are just a few ideas, but there are lots of different ways of dealing with our experiences of pain. Do you have any tips to share?

Pete suffered for month and after deciding to come and see us, this is what he said –

I highly recommend anyone who has any muscle pain or injury look no further that The Therapy Zone. Sarah is such a great professional therapist. I went in with a very restricted shoulder and after the assessment, Sarah got to work. After one session, I now have full mobility of my shoulder for the first time in over six months.

Most of us, no matter the occupation or lifestyle suffer at some point. To illustrate a point, I’ve treated anyone from the spritely musician and athlete, to the teacher and retired nurse and many in between. If you have ongoing issues that you’d like us to help you with, why not book a consultation. With our specialist knowledge and over 13 years experience, we can help design a treatment plan to help you towards your optimum health.

How to avoid the immune crash.

How many times have you looked forward to your time off only to be met with a nasty cold?

Do you regularly crawl across the threshold of The weekend feeling burnt out?

How many times have you commented to your friend or colleague that, “I’m always ill during the holidays”?

Sound familiar? There’s usually a reason behind it and frequently it’s one that we try to turn a blind eye to in the hope we’re not really right. So before we get to a point where we’re trying to do too little, too late to repair the damage, here are my top tips for keeping your immune system a little happier and healthier.

Diet – the body needs vitamins and minerals for its various functions to stay healthy, it’s one thing that all these quick sugar fixes can’t give you. Ensure you have plenty fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet. Vitamins A, C and E all act to mop up nasty free radical damage. Free radicals are bi products of stresses on the body, which can eventually cause inflammation and disease in the body.

So don’t entirely deny yourself of chocolate, but do think of the alternative sweet fixes such as bananas, a handful of dates, oranges, even pineapple which is filled with bromelain, a great all round natural anti inflammatory.

Soups, stir fries and salads are a great way to pack in an abundance of fresh produce and lean proteins such as oily fish for healthy immune strengthening omega fatty acids, chicken, turkey, or pulses such as chickpeas and lentils.

Exercise – it can leave you feeling great, but it can also leave you feeling wrecked. It can be a fine line. Rule of thumb, if you have a temperature, or any cold symptom going on below the neck, give it a miss. Get to know your body and the amount it thrives on, but don’t deny yourself vital rest days. Your body will thank you for the chance to recover!

If you don’t exercise regularly however, maybe think about finding an activity that you’ll enjoy! Dancing (think beyond ballet if that’s not your thing 😉 ), swimming, cycling. Getting out and about socially is good for us, those endorphins we produce when we get active are natural pain killers, it strengthens our lungs and gets the blood pumping. Feeling more alive, more confident and happier in ourselves, our immune systems will respond positively.

Sleep – beautiful sleep. Too much, too little? Too little can severely impair our ability to function and our immune systems. It’s time your body uses to reset, restore and repair! On a serious note, I met a girl once who had been so sleep deprived, it led to mania. Now I’m not suggesting that we’re all susceptible to that, however just to illustrate a point that it can weaken you and lead to illness. Think about how emotional and miserable you become when you’ve had too little sleep. I know many new parents will agree!

Too much however can feel you feeling lethargic. A need for too much can be a sign of other problems, so if in doubt, get checked out! All of us are different, but aiming for around 7-8 hours of quality sleep with a regular bedtime could be what you need. Help yourself out with some lavender or vetiver on a tissue under your pillow.

Supplements – Need a boost? Manuka honey, garlic, ginger, echinacia and zinc are all supplements that you can buy in capsule form. And of course some you can just pluck from your store cupboard and use in your cooking. I’m not a fan of some of the tonics as they contain caffeine and various artificial colours and sweetners and whilst they may “do the job”, a lot of it our bodies could do without. If I’m going to have caffeine, I’d rather have in the sensible dose of a well made cappuccino thank you very much!

Reducing Stress – Work pays the bills right? But overworking can leave you clinging on to your sanity by your finger nails, leading to feelings of stress and anxiety. Try amidst your work life to allocate some me time to keep yourself balanced. I can’t stress enough, how too much stress wreaks havoc in the body causing inflammation and chipping away at our immune system. Make time for you time, it doesn’t have to be lavish, just something that makes you feel good. A good book, a trip to the cinema, 20 minutes yoga, a jog in the park. Remember amidst whatever work strife you have, you and your health matter a great deal! See my blog post on 7 ways to destress – https://thetherapyzone.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/how-to-destress-and-other-stories/

Essential oils – are a lovely way to help keep your body balanced and supported. In particular frankincense is a wonderful sumptuous oil that can help to support a flagging immune system. Whilst rosemary and tea tree, slightly greener in aroma, can help give a boost and shorten the lifespan of any lurgies. Tea tree has even been used in clinical settings to control the outbreak of MRSA! There are a multitude of ways to use them, possibly the easier is to pop a few drops on a tissue and inhale deeply. It’s certainly the most portable option. Using a diffuser or oil burner is another. Frankincense is lovely for drier, mature skins, so you could even put a few drops into your face cream for the additional benefits.

Massage – When you feel yourself sliding, do you listen to what your bodies needs or do you carry on regardless? I’m a big advocate of learning to listen to your body and being in tune with what it’s trying to tell you. When people come to see me for treatments, they’re often very apologetic if they fall asleep, almost embarrassed. My answer is always, well if that is what your body needs, then don’t deny it that opportunity. Learn to listen to your bodies needs and it’s likely your going to do your immune system more justice and it will serve you better. Massage, be it aromatherapy using essential oils or a deeper sports massage that helps unravel mangled muscles, are both good ways to help restore balance and often give you some much needed time out. Remember, rest equals recuperation! A chance to recover from the day to day stresses and strains that life can throw at you and wear you down.

Do you have any tips on boosting your immune system?