Suaimhneas Reflexology

Peace, tranquillity, quietness, rest, CALM COMFORT.

This popular Irish word encapsulates the sense of serenity that is much striven for in modern life.

Our Blog - a selection of 'random' information to help you maintain good health and wellbeing:

“People can accept you sick or well. What’s lacking is patience for the convalescent.” (Alain de Botton)

16th January 2022

Is it just me or is anyone else concerned at this drive to get people back to work as soon as possible, after contracting Covid? – Or any other illness for that matter!

I am seeing more and more people in my treatment room who have had mild or asymptomatic Covid, that continue to feel ‘out-of-sorts’ for weeks or even months afterwards. The potential lasting symptoms are endless and dependent on individuals and sadly many have gone on to develop other significant health problems as a consequence.

In this modern ‘western’ world of medicine, we seem to have forgotten something of the importance of the broader approach to recovery. And with Covid in particular, the recovery schedule is of someone else's making, with little regard of the impact that the virus can have on our health, wellbeing and indeed our immune system.

This in turn is leading our employers to place higher expectations on our performance and attendance and in the meantime we are left wondering why we are struggling to get through the day!

We are all unique so our recovery is going to be unique but sadly convalescence as a whole is now the forgotten phase of the recovery process, yet it is the vital key to our long term wellbeing.

The term convalescence comes from the Latin ‘to grow fully strong’ and refers to the time between being very unwell to feeling 100% back to your typical self. How we achieve that is dependant on you and what works for you.

However, as a mental health practitioner, as well as a complementary therapist, I think we need to expand our understanding of what it means to convalesce and what counts as therapy and treatment during this period.

The use of non-medical solutions can be just as, if not more, effective during this time. I cannot emphasise enough how rest and recuperation is ‘the’ most neglected part of our health and wellbeing generally and yet many of us just don’t know how to do it.

This is where complementary therapies, such as reflexology, come into play. When people come to my treatment room, they receive so much more than just a reflexology treatment. That in itself is healing and nurturing but there are so many levels to the process of coming to see me, or any other therapist, that cannot be underestimated.

When you book a reflexology treatment in addition to the treatment, you get:

  • Time for yourself
  • Someone to talk to
  • Someone who listens
  • Time away from distractions in a calm environment
  • 'Headspace' – time to reflect
  • Time to rest and relax
  • Tapping into the power of therapeutic touch

This creates a holistic package of care and support that can help you on your journey to recovery, whether from Covid or any other event, illness or situation that life has thrown at you.

So please, however you choose to rest and convalesce, just give yourself time to get back into your typical daily life. Gradually build up your energy reserves and allow your immune system and body to rest and recuperate. A few extra weeks will be time well spent for your future health and wellbeing. 

With very best wishes

Tanya x

'Massage breaks the pain cycle': the return of touch - after almost two years without it

16th November 2021

Last week The Guardian published an article highlighting how, for many people, social distancing and lockdowns left them bereft of physical contact.

Touch is one of 'the' most basic human needs and one of the most healing things a human can do. Yet in Western Society being touched for our health is frowned upon and can bee seen to have negative or sexual connotations.

Yet Francis McGlone a Professor of Neuroscience at Liverpool John Moores University states"We are wired to respond to emotional touch. My analogy is that [touch is] like a vitamin – if we are depleted, there are consequences in terms of our physical health. I make the same argument about the C-tactile afferents – the nerve fibre that evolved in all social mammals to provide the reward associated with close physical contact. When the fibre is stimulated, it does a number of measurable things – it lowers heart rate and it lowers cortisol, the stress hormone.” It’s one reason, he says with a laugh, he believes so many people got pets during lockdown: “That’s the brain recognising ‘I need to touch something’.”

A survey into how people have been dealing with the lack of physical contact since this Covid-19 pandemic has found that 60 percent felt deprived of touch, and that can lead to a raft of health problems including depression and anxiety.

To highlight how essential touch is to our health and wellbeing, the Evergreen Psychotherapy Centre highlighted that institutions surveyed in 1915 reported that a majority of infants under the age of 2 had died due to failure to thrive, related to the lack of touch and affection (Chapin 1915; cited in Montagu 1986, p. 97). Prescott (1971) found that deprivation of touch and movement contributed to later emotional problems.

Yet there is growing evidence to show how therapeutic touch is and by just holding hands with someone in pain, will comfort them and cause your brain waves to synchronise. The study showed  that holding your partner’s hand can ease their pain, raise your empathy, and even cause you and your partner’s heart and respiration rates to synchronise.

The power of touch is undeniable indeed, on my first day of training to become a reflexologist I was eager and excited to be starting the next stage of my life and career, what I was not expecting was the discovery of the immense power of touch. Coming from a long career in health and social care where touch with people I worked with was controversial, the overwhelming realisation that touch is a powerful healing tool was startling. 

So, having any form of touch therapy, including reflexology, can be one way to help mitigate the negative effects of this touch deprived world we find ourselves in.

With very best wishes,

Tanya x

Going back to the office? 6 tips to help you adjust

12th November 2021

Our working situation has changed dramatically since early 2020 and despite the initial shock of having to adjust to working from home, many are getting anxious about going back to the office. Therefore I wanted to share this article which gives some great tips on how to adjust.

With very best wishes,

Tanya x