Posted by kate on February 3, 2016
Migraine – A Case Study
Migraines are extremely debilitating and can arise from a variety of causes. The following is an account of how I worked with a client over a period of years to help manage her migraines. For reasons of confidentiality I refer to her as X.
I first met X in June 2010. She was referred to me through a project I was working with at the time, for help with anxiety.
She had a demanding job in the mental health sector with a lot of responsibility and very little support.
She had a history of depression, which was not present at the time we started working together, but she had developed acute anxiety.
The greatest and most significant health problem she felt, was recurrent migraines around her period, and the most recent episode was the day before our first meeting.
Her diet and lifestyle were fairly good, and she exercised quite regularly. Her periods were regular but she noticed hormonal fluctuations around them. X occasionally suffered from IBS symptoms and tended to be constipated. She slept well but could struggle to get to sleep.
From the case history she gave me, I felt that the anxiety, constipation and possible hormonal imbalance were going to be the three main factors implicated in the persistent migraines. We agreed to begin with weekly treatments and to review this after 6 weeks.
Because I work the body on a bodily system by bodily system basis it is very easy to tailor treatments to the specific needs of each client. I work in a holistic way, so I pay attention to each area of the body, but there is still plenty of room to make the treatments individual. For this particular client I generally emphasised the reflexes to do with stress and the nervous system, and also the hormones through the endocrine system. There is considerable overlap in these two areas. Reflexes of particular importance were the adrenal glands, which not are not only implicated in stress response, but tend to amplify any other issues.
Initially after treatment X had a slight increase in anxiety which is not unusual, but found it calmed quickly. The low level constipation she had been suffering from was at least partly resolved the same day after a bowel movement. She found that in the week after the treatment she experienced an increased sense of wellbeing during the day. By the third treatment X reported significantly less anxiety.
There was a 3 week break before the 4th treatment, and the client reported a low level feeling of stress. She had had a small migraine after the third treatment, but nothing around her period.
X had two more weekly treatments and then moved to having monthly top up treatments. Although she reported feelings of work related stress and feelings of tiredness, she did not experience a full migraine although she occasionally had the feeling she might get one. It wasn’t until February 2011, eight months after she started having treatments that she had a migraine. After that she didn’t experience anything more than slight symptoms until December 2011 when her marital problems reached a crisis point.
X continued to have monthly treatments during this time and her marriage did break up in May 2012 triggering a huge migraine. Over the next few months she had headaches and symptoms but no full migraines, so we worked hard at bringing her stress under control. She struggled with stress and anxiety for a while following the marital breakup but did not have another migraine until April 2013. X continued to struggle with work related stress and had another migraine 6 months later.
I continued working with X on a monthly basis until September 2015 when due to changes in circumstances we were no longer able to work together. After October 2013 she had no further migraines although she occasionally suffered with minor symptoms.
Over the course of the treatments I feel we were able to restore some hormonal stability. It is my opinion that her migraines were extremely closely linked with her menstrual cycle, but that her stress and anxiety levels were the critical factor in whether or not she would have a full migraine. When her life was in a fairly good balance, her own self-care, coupled with regular Reflexology meant that she didn’t experience migraines on a monthly basis any more.
If you live in Bristol and suffer from migraines, please call me on 0117 950 6629 or 07811 619860 to discuss a treatment plan.
Posted by kate on January 27, 2016
This is my favourite soup at any time of year, as it is packed with protein and vitamin C. However it is during the cold and gloomy winter months when it really comes into its own, not only because it is deeply warming but also bright and colourful.
1 Butternut Sqaush
1 small red chilli
200g red lentils
2 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper
This soup couldn't be easier to make. Peel and roughly chop the vegetables. Finely chop the chilli. Place all ingredients into the slow cooker, and cook on low for 4 - 6 hours. Then transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Serve with bread and hummous.
And smile from the inside!
Posted by kate on January 22, 2016
How are you getting on with your New Year Resolutions? Have you given up already?
Well don't lose heart! Most resolutions flounder because they are too large and overwhelming. If your aim was to improve your diet, why not start with just one change, and make it positive. Introduce one new thing into your routine, like drinking more water, or eating more fruit, and try to keep that up for three weeks. By the end of three weeks it will have become a habit, and then you can try introducing another positive change.
Another reason resolutions fall by the wayside, is because they are framed in a negative way. People talk about giving up, which creates a negative feeling of deprivation around their goal. So instead of giving up smoking, why not just stop smoking? Instead of giving up chocolate, why not eat more fruit? Any lifestyle change around food, which focuses on not being able to have certain things, as most diets do, may become unsustainable in the long term. Try introducing more fruit, vegetables and legumes into your diet. If you crowd your meals with nutrient rich healthy food, you will have less room in your stomach for junk.
Do your resolutions cost money? Gym memberships can be really expensive and unless you are someone who loves the gym and already has a habit of going two or three times a week, you may end up not getting your moneys worth. If you want to go to a gym as part of your exercise routine, but aren’t sure about how commited you can be, most local leisure centres have a gym where you can pay as you go, just as you can with their swimming pools. Why not try something completely free? If you drive to work every day, why not leave earlier and park a mile from your office, giving you a brisk walk before and after work. Walking before work will wake you up, and walking afterwards will help you process any stress and frustrations which built up in the day.
So if you have let your good intentions slip, don’t beat yourself up. Just make one small change!
Posted by kate on December 22, 2015
Maintaining healthy lifestyle choices can be tough at any time of year, but it becomes especially difficult around Christmas, when the emphasis is on over-indulgence and feasting. Now I am a great believer in feasting, particularly when it brings family and friends together, but I am not a fan of feeling bloated and sluggish. So here are some tips to help you stay on track.
1. Drink lemon water. If you have followed my blog for a while, you will know what a fan I am of lemon water. It is incredibly refreshing and it has powerful de-toxifying properties. Having a cup of hot lemon water in the morning can really support your organs. So instead of always reaching for the tea, coffee or wine, have a cup of lemon water. I make mine by squeezing a quarter of lemon into a cup, dropping the quarter in, and pouring on boiling water.
2. Stock up with healthy snacks. Make sure you have an abundance of healthy snacks in the fridge and cupboards. This will help you avoid always reaching for the heavily processed treats that are everywhere. I like to have plenty of humous, avocados, dates and exotic fruits available. These choices satisfy my cravings for sweet, indulgent treats but are still easily processed by the body.
3. Drink water. And repeat. If you are going to parties and will probably be drinking till the early hours remember to keep drinking water in between alcoholic drinks. Your body will thank you for it!
4.Go for walks. While the gyms and sports centres will be closed, or running restricted opening times over the holiday period, make the most of the great outdoors, at the same time as spending time with the people you love. It may not be the same as doing 30 minutes on the treadmill or rowing machine, but being outside in the fresh air helps us unwind. And in a pinch any kind of movement is better than no movement at all.
5. Don't beat yourself up. The whole point of the festive period is to be thankful, and enjoy spending time with the people we love. If all your health goals go out the window for two weeks it is not the end of the world.
Posted by kate on December 15, 2015
I have wanted to try making sushi for a while now, but I was put off by how fiddly it seemed, and the fact that I don’t like fish!
After watching a production line style Sushi fast food outlet, produce wrap after gorgeous wrap at Bristol Vegfest in the summer, I was determined to try it. As I was queueing for my “ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING” wrap I was keeping a sneaky eye on the woman’s technique and I thought I saw the trick to it. She was using what looked like a ridiculous amount of pressure, squeezing and rolling, so that the contents must have been pretty compressed.
Later in the week I picked up the sushi rolling mat and special sushi rice with the aim of trying it that weekend, and I found a simple recipe in Anne Carlin’s “Keep It Vegan”.
From start to finish the whole process took 2 hours and some of that involved waiting for the sushi rice to stand. I had considered using a different rice but I was glad I didn’t, as the rice was so starchy it was obvious how it held everything together. I am not the most delicate cook but with some care it was easy enough to lay everything right, and with a bit of experimentation get the rice positioned so it wouldn’t spill out of the sides. The part I was dreading, the rolling, was actually fairly straightforward, I used plenty of pressure, and all of a sudden it was done.
I was very happy with the results and the taste was divine, but you can judge for yourself! I made 24 small rolls and had them as snacks and lunches, as they lasted pretty well in an airtight container in the fridge.
Posted by kate on December 8, 2015
My five top tips to make Christmas less stressful
1. Be prepared. Christmas is the same day every year, so now is the time to decide where you are going, what you are cooking and who you are buying for.
2. Use the power of the list. Whether it’s Christmas shopping or cooking preparation, having a list of all you need to buy and do, helps bring order to the process and makes you less likely to forget things.
3.You don’t have to please everyone. Christmas is often about balancing the wishes of a variety of family and friends, but if that makes you feel that you are being torn in two, you need to stop. It’s ok to say to people, “Let me check and get back to you."
4. Have spares! Have a few generic presents in reserve in the event of surprise visitors. And of course, have extra bits and pieces in the store cupboard in case you need to knock up a quick meal for visitors who rock up unexpectedly.
5. Make time for yourself! You are no good to anyone if you are so stressed you turn into a banshee the minute someone asks you a question. Here at Lotus we provide high quality Reflexology treatments, and our current gift voucher offer makes it more affordable than ever to indulge in the ultimate treat!
or call 07811 619860 or 0117 950 6629 to find out more!