Posted by kate on March 25, 2016
Improve fertility naturally
Fertility problems, and the process of undergoing conventional fertility treatment are now widely acknowledged to be one of the most stressful experiences that an individual can experience. Small wonder then, that so many people look for ways to improve fertility naturally.
I suggest to my clients that they should picture how they imagine their future life with their new baby, and as far as is possible, try and make their life now, match that. An essential part of overcoming fertility issues is looking at a couples lifestyle and expectations.
People have an expectation that they can work hard until their 40s to get their lives to a certain point, and then have children when they want. Unfortunately, a woman’s ability to conceive starts to drop dramatically in her late 30s, so one factor to consider if a person wants to improve fertility naturally, is making positive lifestyle changes in order to optimize health.
There are many small changes that women and men can make to improve fertility naturally, and these are part of a process of making positive lifestyle changes. Smoking, alcohol and caffeine all have a negative effect on a person’s fertility, and so addressing these habits should be the first place to start.
Before couples even think about consulting a doctor, they should be looking at these factors. A study by Klonoff-Cohen et al (2002) found that consumption of alcohol and caffeine was a risk factor for not achieving a live birth (either by not becoming pregnant or due to miscarriage.)
Fertility and stress are often linked, but there is no conclusive scientific evidence that stress has an adverse effect on fertility. However stress can have an effect on the endocrine system and the appropriate production of hormones, and so if a couple are trying to improve fertility naturally, both partners should be evaluating how much stress there is in their lives, and taking steps to reduce it.
Certain factors such as poor sperm quality or mobility can make a huge difference in a couple’s ability to conceive, and so a good understanding of how this is positively and negatively affected is important to improve fertility naturally. It takes about 3 months for new sperm to fully mature, which means that something like a bad virus with a fever can kill sperm, and reduce fertility dramatically for 3 months. Additionally as alcohol and caffeine consumption have an effect on sperm production, this three month life cycle should be considered, while waiting for sperm quality to improve.
A regular menstrual cycle is also critical in conception. If a woman’s cycle is extremely irregular, she will not be ovulating, but even small variations in the length of a cycle can have significant impact on how often a woman ovulates.
Some of the greatest success I have had in my clinic, has been with women in this position. They have been struggling to get pregnant, but no one has really talked about how vital having a regular menstrual cycle is. A menstrual cycle with less than 12 days between ovulation and menstruation can be problematic because the mucous membrane in the uterus needs time to prepare for the fertilized egg. We work together to reduce their stress and bring their endocrine system back into balance, so that they can have the best chance of ovulating.
If you live in Bristol and want to talk about how Reflexology can help improve fertility naturally, please call me for a consultation on: 0117 950 6629 or 07811 619860.
Below is a link for further information on the effects of caffeine, alcohol and smoking on fertility:
Posted by kate on March 17, 2016
Natural treatment for verruca
Verrucae are one of the more common things I have enquiries about in my Foot Health practice, which is hardly surprising as they are one of the most common problems people encounter on their feet.
Here’s the thing. In my opinion, no one should ever have to pay money for someone to treat a verruca. THEY DO NOT NEED TO BE TREATED. I have met countless people who have made repeated visits to different practitioners to have their verrucae treated, often for quite a lot of money. It is not necessary. I much prefer to advise people over the phone, let them try a natural treatment for verruca, and only see people in the clinic if the verruca has become painful.
Verrucae are a virus, much like a common cold. Once you have caught a verruca, most commonly during childhood, the virus will continue to live in your system until you die. You cannot kill a verruca, so there is little point going to great lengths in order to do so.
There are, however things you can do to encourage them to go away.
Firstly, it is important to remember that if you are getting verrucae as an adult, it is a sign that your immune system is weak and you may be run down. So eat healthily, drink plenty of water, and make sure you are getting plenty of rest. The best natural treatment for verruca is to make your body so healthy they cannot thrive in it.
One of the best home treatments for verrucae is tea tree oil. If you paint some tea tree on any and all verrucae on your feet, morning and evening, it does seem to discourage them from hanging around too much. You have to be absolutely fanatical about this, painting them twice a day until all signs of verrucae are gone. This is what I advise my clients to do, and it seems to work very well. Most people who try this natural treatment for verruca find that it works with two or three months.
Occasionally you might have a verruca which is so large, and so inconveniently placed on the sole of the foot that it becomes really painful to walk on. In these cases, clients can come and see me in the clinic, where I will file away any hard skin that has built up around the offender, and then carefully reduce some of the bulk of the verruca itself. It is not very common to have a verruca this problematic, and nine times out of ten, I would say it is completely possible to treat verrucae at home, following the treatment I have outlined above.
If you live in Bristol and want more information about treatments, please call me on: 0117 950 6629 or 07811 619860.
Posted by kate on March 3, 2016
How to deal with corns.
Corns are very much a “shoe shape” issue, in that the vast majority are caused by ill-fitting shoes. Although corns are often associated with women, I expect to see more and more men in my clinic with corns, as the population ages, and then trend for very narrow shoes continues.
Corns can be divided into three types. Hard corns are found on bony prominences, especially the toes. It is here that the result of wearing pointed shoes, high heels and court shoes for extended periods of time can most clearly be seen. They are usually very painful.
Soft corns are only found between the toes. They are literally soft because of their location, but they can still be extremely painful.
Seed corns occur on the bottom of the foot, and there is no clear reason why they appear. They can become large and painful, and do have a tendency to reoccur, unlike soft and hard corns, which usually go once the cause is removed.
When I am asked how to deal with corns I always advise that the best way is to remove the cause completely. That means looking at your footwear and replacing it with shoes that fit better, and don’t cause undue pressure in those areas. Unfortunately shoe manufacturers produce according to demand, and so most shoes are made with quite a narrow toe.
Time and time again in my clinic I hear people defend their shoes because they are comfortable, but this does not mean that the shoes are not causing the damage. Our feet become used to being cramped into shoes and we might not feel any obvious discomfort, but they can still be causing the problem.
When people ask how to deal with corns, often they are not prepared to take the action required and change their shoes.
If people are not prepared to change their footwear they often try over the counter remedies such as corn plasters and shoe inserts. Shoe inserts are in my view a mistake, and can either aggravate the problem or create another elsewhere. If the shoes are already too tight, introducing something else will only reduce space further. You could find yourself with another corn.
A lot of women like corn plasters as they do seem to work, but they only work on a temporary basis, so if the cause is still present the corn will always come back. Personally I don’t like them as they seem to leave the area quite raw.
I have a lot of regular clients with corns, who don’t want to change their footwear and so come to me to have them removed. Filing down corns doesn’t work, because the nucleus of the corn, the part which causes the pain, is like a small ball-bearing of hard skin which is being pushed into the foot by pressure. Filing only removes the top of the hard skin and doesn’t get down to the nucleus. A skilled Foot Health Practitioner will remove all the hard skin and the nucleus of the corn, leaving the client pain free for many weeks. If the individual then changes their footwear the corn will not come back.
If you are in Bristol and need more information on how to deal with corns, or any other foot problem, call me on :
0117 950 6629 or 07811 619860
Posted by kate on February 26, 2016
Manage anxiety naturally using Reflexology
Anxiety is something I see in my clinic very often. People come to me with a variety of symptoms such as insomnia, IBS, persistent headaches and exhaustion, and frequently anxiety is the common theme underpinning everything.
We are not brought up to be able to identify anxiety. Very often we are not taught to examine our emotions and look at the factors leading up to them. It is very rare that anyone even points out that the hectic pace of life and many demands on our time are not quite right and may be beyond our ability to cope with. So clients come to me with a few symptoms and describe juggling all sorts of demands and stresses, and do not identify that this all might be too much, and they may be overloaded.
Actually it doesn’t matter. The wonderful thing about Reflexology is that you don’t need a diagnosis to be able to work well with complicated health problems. Because Reflexologists work holistically, a good practitioner will work on every area of the body.
Reflexology works to manage anxiety naturally in a number of ways. The first part of this process is time. By committing an hour to visit a Reflexologist an individual is sending a powerful message to their body, that they value it enough to prioritise self-care. For some people the hour in the Reflexologists chair is the only hour of true relaxation they have, and it is precious.
The second way Reflexology works to manage anxiety naturally is by encouraging people to review their lifestyle. During the initial consultation a very thorough health history will be taken, which will cover the habits of day to day life, and quickly flag up if someone is doing something like drinking too much caffeine, which could be aggravating their symptoms.
During treatments with my clients, I try to create a space where they can understand how different factors are affecting their lives, and allow them to acknowledge that they may have been more overwhelmed than they realise. It is very easy to ignore the fact that you are overworked, “because that’s just the way it has to be.” If a person can identify that, they then have the power to make changes to bring themselves back into balance.
The third way in which Reflexology helps people to manage anxiety naturally is directly through the treatment. All treatments begin with a warm up of the feet, and then move on to the relaxation reflexes. There are areas in the body which particularly hold tension, and if these are relaxed, the whole body can let go.
Following this there are specific reflexes on the feet which we can work on to help calm the body and reduce anxiety. The principle reflex is the adrenal glands on each foot. The adrenal gland governs the secretion of adrenaline in stressful situations, so working this reflex is essential during every treatment.
Reflexology is an excellent way to manage anxiety naturally, both in a crisis situation and as a long term strategy. Rather as people service their cars regularly, I believe people benefit from having regular Reflexology sessions. Having a treatment once a month, helps a healthy individual support their body, and stay in balance.
For more information about treatments in Bristol, call me:
Kate: 0117 950 6629 or 07811 619860
Posted by kate on February 18, 2016
Cure sugar cravings – one change that worked for me!
Since becoming an adult I have always struggled with sugar cravings. My parents were very responsible and severely restricted my sugar intake for the sake of my teeth, so as soon as I moved away from them, I went crazy. I was so thrilled to be able to indulge my sweet tooth, that I was quite happy to have chocolate and cakes every day, and as I was lucky enough not to put on weight at that time in my life, I didn’t worry about it. I didn’t see any need to cure my sugar cravings.
When I began to look at my lifestyle and make healthy changes, sugar was always the thing that let me down. I found that for most of the month I could control myself, but in the run-up to my period I would stumble, and once again, there I would be working my way through 200g of fruit and nut.
I got to the point where I felt that my hormonal fluctuations would prevent me ever managing to cure my sugar cravings and as I was still not putting on much weight I just resigned myself to it. After all, the rest of my diet was good, and chocolate is delicious.
In 2014 I became ill. In January I started to cough and couldn’t stop. I was diagnosed with asthma after a few months, and the cough seemed to go away with the medication. But there was still a tickle in my throat and my nose seemed to run constantly.
I knew that I was probably slightly allergic to my pets, and I knew that dairy products increased mucous production, which was undoubtedly aggravating my symptoms, so I decided to try going dairy free for a few months to see if it helped.
After Christmas I cleared out all the dairy products and finished all the milk chocolate and started the new dietary regime. Within about a month I noticed that my constant sniffles were gone, and in fact my nose felt quite dry which was a new experience for me.
Chocolate addict that I am, I had stocked up on dark chocolate that was free of milk, except from the possible cross contamination disclaimer. But I wasn’t eating it. I had 5 big blocks in the fridge and after the first couple of weeks I wasn’t even looking for it.
One year on, there is plenty of dark, dairy free chocolate lying around the house, which I nibble at occasionally, but that is as far as it goes. The days of polishing off 200g in an evening are long gone. So my recommendation if you are trying to cure sugar cravings, is to try cutting out dairy.
It worked for me.
Posted by kate on February 11, 2016
Runners foot problems and how to treat them!
It should be obvious to any serious runner that they need to look after their feet. After all, unlike other injuries, an injury to your foot can finish your season. The foot absorbs so much impact on landing, and stretches so much on take-off, that is surprising injuries don’t happen more often.
For the purposes of this blog I am going to categorize injuries as internal and external. Both can be helped, and often prevented, and that is what we are going to cover here. I am going to concentrate on the most cost effective ways of treating runners foot problems.
By internal injuries I mean injuries which are beneath the surface of the skin. The principle ones are plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis.
External injuries are less serious but still painful and debilitating. They include: calluses: black toenails and blisters.
So what can we do about the most common runners foot problems? Well the first thing to make sure of, is that your running shoes are supportive and fit well. They should be measured properly in a specialised shop which will give the best recommendation based on your measurements.
One of the most common “internal” injuries experienced by runners, is plantar fasciitis. The most common causes are neglecting to stretch calf muscles properly, or overtraining, particularly hill work. The plantar fascia is a thick band of muscle running underneath the foot from the toes to the heel. It can tear due to overwork which will lead to painful inflammation, and will be very slow to heal.
At this point Reflexology would be recommended, to help reduce the inflammation and speed the healing process. Similarly Achilles tendonitis, which also arises from inflammation due to overwork, would benefit from Reflexology to speed the healing process.
“External” injuries are where the services of a Foot Health Practitioner would be most useful. A build-up of hard skin is an indication that your running shoes don’t fit as well as they should. This can be because they didn’t fit well in the first place, or because due to age and wear and tear they have lost some tension and support. The build-up of hard skin can be removed in minutes by a skilled practitioner.
Toenails can be injured by shoes that are too tight, or by shoes that are a little too big, allowing movement backwards and forwards in the shoe. This causes bruising, and can cause thickening of the nail. In either case the nail may fall off and re-grow. Thickened nails can be reduced in bulk by a Foot Health Practitioner, and this is advised, as they can become painful.
Blisters are also a sign that your running shoes do not fit well, but can also occur when people start training as the feet become used to the new demands made of them. The best treatment I have found is the application of pure aloe vera gel, which calms the pain very quickly and helps the healing process.
Whether you are training for a big race, or just run for enjoyment it is really important to properly care for your feet. If you are suffering from any runners foot problems I have mentioned in this blog call me to discuss treatment on: 0117 950 6629 or07811619860