Reflexology Life: Feb 16 - Referrals, Breathing, Belle Flowers & Snapchat

How are you today?

February has gone by in a flash, so quickly that I almost forgot to write this post!  Good start Sam.

To start, some important things for your diary.  My therapy room will be closed at the end of March for a week so I will not be treating from Wednesday 23rd to 30th inclusive.  I'll be back to normal from Thursday 31st and appointments can now be made from this date forward.

I still have availability between now and the 23rd so if you would like a treatment in March, please book now to avoid missing out and waiting until April.

So firstly, February was a biggie for me in terms of new clients.  I've doubled the number of people that have trusted me with their feet or faces compared to January and I'm totally over the moon to be able to help so many new lovely people.  Thanks in particular go to those that has referred me to their friends and felt delighted enough to recommend my Reflexology treatments.  Referrals are a massive part of my business, like all therapists.  If we don't do a good job and you don't feel happy that you've benefited from a treatment then you won't talk about me to others.  So for that, I give you my deepest gratitude.

Building relationships with clients is very satisfying, especially so when they have chronic conditions or complications with health that are lengthy and frustrating to deal with day to day.  Even treatments involving persistent conditions that don't involve being 'ill', such as pregnancy and the menopause but can be uncomfortable and affect daily life. 

Being able to create a treatment plan to aim to improve the severity of ailments and be able to see a difference in health over a few sessions is always satisfying yet surprising, which might seem like a daft thing to say but it's true, Reflexology never ceases to amaze even me.

There's been a theme showing up on the feet, and that's lots and lots of tight diaphragm reflexes, I'm finding a need to work them for longer periods during a session, or going back to them before the end of a treatment.  If you follow me on facebook you'd have seen me posting about this a few days ago.  Honestly, there seems to be so much tension around currently.  With our busy lives, regular relaxation, deep breathing and taking time out to nurture ourselves ends up on the bottom of our priority list and feels like an extravagance we can't afford but our health depends on it.

I'm a big believer of self-help and I'll use my own Reflexology techniques to take care of myself but I'm also fond of mindfulness and I use resources that I think you'll find useful too.  Here are my 3 tips:

1) Work your own diaphragm hand reflex once a day, while taking a few deep breaths.  This is good to create some calm and relax a tight chest, but and it's also an essential lymphatic reflex for boosting immunity and fighting infection. Follow along using this video.

2) Try mindfulness and meditation daily, for 5 to 10 minutes.  Use resources like Headspace and Calm to get off the radar and focus on yourself and clear your mind.

3) Spend an hour each month on my therapy couch and allow me to lull you into pure quiet and relaxation via your feet or your face.

In other news, I mentioned last time about some new projects. Well, I'm pleased to say that I started my Reflex clinic on a Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning at Belle Flowers in Sylvania yesterday. I'm among a great group of massage therapists and yogi's that are massive supporters of women's health although the guys are just as welcome too!  I of course continue to treat every day in Rozelle, so don't worry.

If you know of anyone that would like to have some proper, professional Reflexology that lives in the Sutherland Shire area, do encourage them to get in touch. I'm taking bookings via my website rather than through Belle's system, so I'm the first point of call for appointments there.

Are any of you on Snapchat?  With Facebook, Instagram and a YouTube channel, plus a blog, you'd think that would be enough social media to update and deal with every day.  I thought Snapchat was an app for teenage boys and girls to talk crap to each other all day, at least its the app of choice for my teenage nieces, but my husband Den assures me its the next 'big' thing.  It has almost 8 billion views a day which isn't far off Facebook in terms of popularity so I've signed up and decided to give it a go if you want to follow along, My user name is samalenn.

I warn you now, it's not easy to get your head around its workings, it's not fool proof (read: forty-something woman proof) but it's actually quite addictive once you get the hang of it. You post 10 second videos or photos of your day to your 'story' and everyone has 24 hours to view them before they are automatically deleted.  It sounds ridiculous and don't shoot me, but go have a look, it's a bit of fun and a birds eye view of folk!

Have a great month, I'll see you on the couch soon.

Warmest wishes

Reflexology Life: Jan 16 Round Up

In the run up to the start of a brand New Year, did you heave a sigh and think ‘blimey, I've got the whole of January to get through now’

When I was living in the UK, I’d think this every single January but as we are right in the middle of Summer here in Sydney, funnily enough, I haven’t given a second thought to the cold weather and long dark nights.  But… missing family and particularly my boys, and often wondering what they are up to, leave me feeling a bit melancholy.

January for me, tends to mean a quieter time in the therapy room.  This January especially so as starting up business in a brand new country takes an immense amount of courage, effort, determination and perseverance.  There’s a stark reality in the fact that when you turn up in a brand new location, whether that’s a small town, a country or a continent; nobody gives a toss! There are no doors flung wide open in anticipation of your plane landing or a long line of welcoming arms ready to embrace you.  Don’t get me wrong, this is not a criticism, only an observation. And I guess I’m writing this as it might resonate with you or, if you are thinking of starting your own business, it might serve as a piece of useful advice and insight.  It takes time to find common ground with local people and forge valued, lasting relationships, especially in a business that relies on ‘referrals’.  From experience so far, Sydney dwellers are a nice bunch... honestly, and a special handful of them have made both Den and I very welcome.  It’s just that my impatient gene gets the better of me from time to time.  But I’ll get there :)

During moments between clients, I’ve been posting some basic how-to, YouTube videos for you, leaflet dropping around the neighbourhood and working on growing my social media presence, particularly on Facebook and Instagram, as contacts, great collaborations and fab ideas will often come from having these platforms.  I’ve discovered they are quite different in what they do and it’s important to get to grips with what your objective is before posting, otherwise the whole social media thing can feel ‘rudderless’ and a bit of waste of time. 

Oh, and the website got a bit of a facelift too.  Please do go have a look around and tell me what do you think?

Meanwhile, in the therapy room.  The most interesting and satisfying moments come along when you least expect them and among the clients I’ve treated this month, I had a referral for some relief from sudden arm swelling.  Normally, the aim for clients is to achieve some long term improvement in health, and this takes time for the body systems to react, heal and then maintain themselves.  A single, one-off session is less common.

Having trained in Reflexology Lymph Drainage techniques, I spent most of the session working points on the feet to draw excess lymph fluid from the arms and into the Upper Lymphatic drainage points for removal.  The specific benefit of working these points are two fold, firstly to reduce the local puffiness and secondly to relieve the pressure and residual pain. 

I’m always really keen to find out how a client got on after an initial treatment, so 24 hours and a phone call later, the client enthusiastically reported feeling well and the swelling had subsided.  That’s a fix and a fist-pump! Job done.

RLD is a fantastic technique I’ve been using for a year now but it never ceases to amaze me how effective it is, so I use elements of it on every client I treat.  One of my objectives for February and the coming months is to be able to help more people to feel better using RLD. From my experience so far, I believe not enough is known about the benefits of RLD or Clinical Reflexology in Sydney (as opposed to the foot-rubbing type massage you get on the high street when getting your nails done, which IS NOT proper Reflexology) and I want to make it my mission to raise awareness of this therapy as a serious contender for optimum health & wellbeing.

So, if you know of anyone who could dearly do with some help improving their health, who'd love an hour of down-time, purely for themselves, then do refer them to me and I’ll gladly do what I can holistically to help.

As the beginning of the Year seems to be all about new beginnings and setting out plans, intentions and dreams for the future, I’ve decided that I’m going to dedicate February to fully embrace new and different things that come along in life, as you never know what direction it might take you in!  In addition, I have a couple of Reflexology projects that I’m keen to get off the ground and I’m trusting will see some progress by the time I share next month's Round Up with you.

And on that note, I’m officially committing here and now to doing a monthly update, so I hope you enjoy the stories, and you get something useful from them.

What about you? Have you set yourself some plans or goals this year?

Warmest wishes

When you need a solution...

A fist pump, courtesy of Taylor Swift... this completely sums up the feeling of pride and satisfaction I get when I call a client the day after a treatment and they tell me their pain and swelling has disappeared.

I love helping people feel better.

Happy 2016!

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To all of my wonderful followers and clients, thank you for all your support, faith, commitment and humour in 2015.  I love sharing Reflexology with you all and like a proud mum, I'm so happy for all the great benefits you receive from putting yourself my hands and experiencing this wonderful therapy.

I wish you all an incredible, inspiring and exciting year ahead.  May all your hopes and dreams come true and that your positivity shines through.

I look forward to seeing you here or in my therapy room in 2016.

Warmest wishes


Expanding Horizons

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Image credit: Pinterest

I'm having one of those days.

Y'know, the Should-Really-Be-Doing-Something-Other-Than-What-I'm-Doing days. 

Unfortunately, the list in front of me isn't likely to shrink any time soon.

I'm a list writing person. This helps me keep on track of my things to do, and by writing it down, there's a sort of accountability to those things too.

There are the mundane, daily tasks on it such as bill paying, laundry, checking emails (read: pontification)... I'll spare you the rest of the list.  But, I also list my 'Self" items too - exercise, healthy eating, time out. therapies, good quality sleep, laughter.  All the things I like to do in order to take care of my mind and body, to ultimately achieve a sense of happiness and well being.

But often I wish there was always an entry on there for spontaneous or never-tried-before- pursuits.  A permanent entry that gets smugly ticked off the list, just as the other regular tasks tend to do.

For me, I'm not talking about risky pursuits like jumping out of a plan or fighting crocodiles, but more subtle, yet perhaps more though provoking stuff such as travelling to new places, meeting new people, studying a new topic.  Whatever floats your boat, so they say.

I'm thankful that my family and I lead a great life where we largely get to make the most of new opportunities.  We really do make it a lifestyle choice.  I firmly believe it's essential for our well being and happiness that we break out of our comfort zone and try something different with our time.

Here's an idea... Why not make your own list of Daily Things to Do and at the bottom of that list, add an entry for something you'd like to try or experience, or see, or do, that you've never done before.

Make it happen and it will feel like a real sense of achievement.  Whatever it is, you'll learn something from it and you'll feel as if you have grown and gained more experience in the process.

If you've not tried Reflexology or Natural Facelift Therapy before, but you have a real desire to improve your health and well being both mentally and physically, then pop either therapy on you own 'Self' list and get booking a session right now.  Trust me when I say it will help you to feel better about yourself, for the long term.

Eat.Nourish.Glow

There's a new healthy eating and wellness book I'm just starting to read that I thought you might be interested to learn about too.  As you may have seen in the media, it's the best selling book that the very talented singer songwriter Sam Smith has just recently and successfully, lost weight with the help of.

Yeah I know, you might be thinking 'not another healthy eating book for another so-called guru', but personally I love absorbing any facts about health and wellness and I really don't think there's such a thing as having too much of a variety of information when forming your own opinions and habits on this topic.

Likewise and if nothing else, I find that I need to read new nutrition books to get additional tried and tested recipes, otherwise I get fed up with the same old go-to dish and the temptation of a take-away or pre-packaged meal becomes too irresistible.

Amelia Freer's Eat.Nourish.Glow. is helping reinforce how important and powerful eating natural, organic, raw food is to our long term health and well being but what makes her book so engaging is that she keeps her professional advice simple and encouraging, gently emphasising that it's okay to take small steps so that you won't feel as if you are going cold turkey on those guilty, not-so-good-for-you foods. Falling off the wagon isn't something she berates us for, she gives you this lovely guilt-free sense that I've not found in other books.

As I've said before, when it comes to our health, well being and fitness, we have to Kick Butt. Nobody else is going to do it for us.  You won't get the healthy mind, body and spirit just by sitting back and thinking about it, so just start somewhere, anywhere... just make a start.

Amelia is a qualified Nutritional Therapist, like many diet focused professionals I'm currently following with fascination. To be honest, Amelia makes a lot of sense and I'm really starting to think that it would be a good move to book a session with a therapist like her, to review my food habits and have a 'reset'. 

Do you believe that adding a healthy eating guru to your holistic well being armoury in addition to, and to complement the other therapies you are practising? Would be a logical, smart move to make? I believe so.

Have you ever seen a dietician or nutritional therapist and how did you find their advice?


Have a great day.
 

Kicking Butt

Phew, welcome to a new week. 

Now... with the absolute certainty that Spring has arrived, so has the need to take a fresh look at our health and well being and review the whole caboodle. 

Let's feel positively good about losing any habit or thought that no longer serves us well, take stock of all that we've learned during the Winter period and move on to a new, more constructive, happy and rewarding way of life.  Let's make progress :)

When it comes to our health, well being and fitness (yes that's me included), you have to Kick Butt and especially your own. Nobody else is going to do it for you.  You won't get the healthy mind, body and spirit just by sitting back and thinking about it so just start somewhere... just make that start.

We are our own worst enemies when it comes to sabotaging ourselves with excuses and denial.  When I started the year making juices and smoothies, it was at the same time as starting a weekly yoga class.  After a few weeks I realised that I was kidding myself into believing that a single session plus daily plant juice was enough to make me healthy and fit, so I gamely upped the exercise routine to two yoga sessions per week and more recently, combined it with do-at-home circuit training.  I'll tell you more about the circuit training in another post, but for now.

My birthday is coming up and with this major milestone comes the reminder of not necessarily being a year older, but more like feeling a year older, you know... in the body. Aches, pains, extra wobbly bits that were perhaps a little less wobbly and wrinkly just 12 short months ago.

We have to set ourselves a goal, an achievable goal.  However, set the bar too low and the results will be disappointing but too high and as I said, sabotage can play too big a role.  Included in my own health and well being goals for this Summer is to feel fitter and tone up and get myself some complementary therapy. I have a HUGE Summer coming up, with major life changes and so I have a massive motivating factor to achieving this goal, my levels of determination haven't been this great in a long time. 

I think my point is that no matter what your health & well being goals are, whatever you may suffer from or want to improve on, you can help heal your body and get the level of well being you deserve.  It doesn't matter if you are not there yet. If for example you want to get fit, make a start and you will be fitter a few weeks down the line.  Just start by Kicking Your Own Butt and hang in there.  It doesn't matter if you feel you are out of shape, just find satisfaction in the fact that you'll be well on the road to becoming the best version of yourself.

Have a great day.

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Luxury Candles Worth Forking Out For

Being a complementary therapist with a love of interior design, it goes without saying really that scented candles are an important, exciting, indulgent part of my home and working life.  They make my rooms smell wonderful of course, but their proven well being benefits give an added, welcome dimension to my Reflexology or Natural Facelift treatments. 

Scented candles to de-stress, bring calmness, energise, aid sleep and more.  Whatever fragrance you desire, there's a scented candle out there to help achieve a better state of body and mind, go and experiment.

Having tried many brands on the market, from affordable to pure luxury, I've found that it does not pay to scrimp.  My advice?  Purchase the most expensive ones you can afford.  That way, you'll get a candle that's created from pure, natural ingredients and a fragrance that uses the best essential oils available. There's nothing worse than those cheap, chemical laden, fake smelling examples made with vivid coloured wax you often see in store.  Don't waste your money.  Plus, when you spend a bit more money, conversely it will last longer because you don't have to burn it for a long time.  Just an hour, or until there's a nice even pool of melted wax around the wick, then blow it out.  It will continue to fragrance the air for a while longer.

It's difficult to whittle them down but in no particular order, here's my top five brands of choice that I think you'd enjoy too...

1/  The ultimate indulgent candle with simply stunning scents within a hand blown Italian glass container by French brand Astier de Villate.  Expensive and I wish it would last longer!

2/ Pretty containers, wonderful prominent scents and more affordable than its competitors.  A great, visually pleasing candle to display on a fireplace and use as an interesting vase when it's finished- Voluspa.

3/ Pretty, elegant glass containers, packaging and variety of delicate fragrances from British brand, Jo Malone.  The attention to detail with this brand is first-rate.

4/ I really like Molton Brown, not just because of their fragrance combinations but because of their lovely coloured glass containers and seemingly longer burn time.

5/ Pure aromatherapy indulgence, quality and simplicity go into making Neom one of my top five candle brands.  They group their range so it makes it easier to combine candles with body lotions, oils and foams for a complete head to toe, inside out experience.

Do you have a favourite scented candle? Do share below.