Committing to Change

Committing to Change

Committing to Change 

Getting the results you want takes commitment & consistency is the key to creating change.

In my experience, the best results I see are in those who have a course of treatments in a fairly small timeframe – roughly one treatment every 5-7 days, over the course of a month. I was intrigued as to why this was and put this post together to share what I found.

Relaxing in to your treatment

Firstly, it’s easy to over-think and stress during your first treatment. Especially if you haven’t had reflexology before.

“Is this going to work for me?…what’s going to happen next?….when will I come back?…what does my diary look like?….I’ve got so much to do this week….is it okay that I feel this sensation?”.

 I know from my acupuncture experience! It makes it really difficult to get into that lovely parasympathetic/yin/relaxation state which is so essential in allowing your body to achieve balance. You’re in fight or flight rather than rest and digest. A lot of my work is about helping you to get in to that healing state and teaching you to achieve that at home, out of the treatment room. I really believe that it is one of the most important things that we can do for ourselves. You might be interested in reading about the stress response here. By the time you come for your second session you know what to expect, you’ve already experienced good effects of your last treatment and you’re more able to allow your body to relax and be receptive to the treatment.

Developing a therapeutic relationship 

Secondly, the relationship with your therapist develops over time. Over a course of treatments, I get to understand you and your life better therefore I can offer more effective and practical support.

But it’s a two way street! You also get to understand me better! While there is a lot of valuable information that I can communicate the first time we meet, there is still a lot that just wont fit in to one session (especially if you have a chronic condition). It can be totally overwhelming if you try to cram it in, which I definitely have! 

Chronic issues 

Many people come for help with chronic issues that don’t just have one single cause and have developed over a long period of time. Therefore it makes sense that one session, of any modality, isn’t going to turn things around within that first treatment. I will say, as a piece of good news, although it might take longer to feel better, generally the improvements are more sustainable when achieved through wholistic means. If you have an acute condition, it generally resolves much quicker.

Working with the body

It’s not a coincidence that we often work together over one month. Doing this allows us to sync our sessions to work with our body’s (roughly 28 day) cycle. 

You’re also probably aware of that piece of research that says it takes 21 days to implement or change a habit. If you only have one session – which is only one session out of your week, month, year – it might not be enough to create a long lasting change and won’t deliver what you want it to. 

Finally because three to four weeks is enough time to implement a change, it makes it easier to evaluate and reflect on how you feel afterwards. this then informs what we do next which might be switching to a maintenance programme. 

As a reminder – everybody’s plan is different and will be created with you at your first appointment after consultation and treatment. If one session is all you can commit to at the moment, it will still benefit you short term! 

At their first session, generally people feel a deep deep sense of calm. Often people comment that they feel like they’re in a pleasant dream-like state.

Physically

– your blood pressure will drop, your pulse will slow, your muscles will relax.

– you’ll feel like you’ve had a great nights sleep and will have a good sleep that night.

– less muscular tension

– you probably will experience an improvement in the symptoms you have came with. You might have a change in your perception of them too. 

 

Emotionally 

– more patient and accepting

– optimistic

– relaxed 

– centred & grounded

 

“Not only was it an hour where I could relax and float away in to my own world, it also helped me sleep better, cured my worries and soothed my aches & pains“ GG, on pregnancy reflexology at Atlas.

 

I love hearing your opinions on topics like these so please let me know what you think! What results did you see when you decided to commit to change?

Categories: Complementary Therapies, Holistic Health, Pregnancy, Reflexology, Stress, Womens Health
Tags: , , , , , ,
Coming Soon – Facial Reflexology

Coming Soon – Facial Reflexology

A few months ago, I came across Italian Facial Reflexology (Dien Chan Zone) as taught by Helen Black of Mirror Medicine. Intrigued, I decided to learn more about this ancient form of Reflexology that offers us another way to understand the body and encourage balance within it.

The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn!

Initially, I realised that it shared all of the things that I love about Foot Reflexology – namely, the way it induces deep relaxation in receivers as well as it’s view of the body as a whole. I also love that as part of your treatment, you receive a set of Facial Reflexology points to work on yourself at home between appointments which are in line with everything I try to do with my work at Atlas – I believe that you already have the capacity to heal and that my role is just to support you on this journey.

Conversely, I also loved the differences that it has from the Reflexology that I offer on the feet! I know that there are a number of people who would like to experience the benefits of Reflexology but can’t bring themselves to let anyone touch their feet – Facial Reflexology is going to be much more accessible to a number of people for this reason.

Facial Reflexology has a much quicker impact on the body systems too, often it might take a few sessions of Foot Reflexology to see a change in a long-standing, chronic condition whereas results appear much quicker with Facial Reflexology.

Lastly, Facial Reflexology is safe and beneficial to receive in pregnancy, if you are trying to conceive and at any other time. I realised that it would be a real compliment to my practice.

So with all of this in mind, I decided a quick poll of interest of interest from my clients was in order – everyone said they would love me to offer this! I decided to enrol in the next course offered in the UK. I can’t wait to develop my skills and to be able to offer a different form of Reflexology to you, which should be available to book in May. I will be sharing my journey through training on social media, so make sure to follow along here (link) if you are interested. While you are there, I really recommend that you follow Mirror Medicine to understand more about Facial Reflexology and it’s application, Helen manages to describe it in a much more eloquent way than I ever could!

Categories: Complementary Therapies, Holistic Health, Pregnancy, Reflexology, Stress, Womens Health
Tags: , , ,
Atlas Therapies Launches New Service

Atlas Therapies Launches New Service

Bespoke Aromatherapy Blends.

Alongside offering reflexology and massage, Atlas Therapies has developed a new service to help you benefit from aromatherapy outside of the clinic!

Who is it for?

  • Anyone who wants to benefit from the effects of aromatherapy in a more flexible way
  • Women going into hospital to give birth – take a rollerball or room spray with you to create a more comforting environment (you can use the same scent during your pregnancy at home to enhance this effect)
  • People who have sensitive skin and can’t use many pre-blended aromatherapy products
  • People who would like to use aromatherapy to help with specific emotional and physical health issues
  • Women practising hypnobirthing who are looking for a pregnancy suitable massage oil
  • People who don’t have time for a treatment in the clinic
  • Someone looking for a special gift for a loved one – you can purchase a gift voucher for this service

How it works

Following an email consultation, a bespoke blend of essential oils will be created especially for you. Your blend will be created based on the symptoms and conditions that you wish to manage and for their therapeutic effect on mind, body and emotions. You can choose to have your bespoke aromatherapy blend made for use as a bath & massage oil, rollerball or room spray.

Personalised advice will also be given on how to use your bespoke blend at home and information on the oils included.

Great! How do I order?

Just email rachael@atlastherapies.co.uk and request a consultation form for Bespoke Aromatherapy. Once I receive your completed form, just pay via Paypal then I’ll get to work creating your very own blend! Choose to have the oil sent out to you or collect from my clinic.

Categories: Aromatherapy, Complementary Therapies, Holistic Health, Pregnancy, Womens Health
Tags: , , , , , , ,
How To Use Essential Oils During Pregnancy

How To Use Essential Oils During Pregnancy

Aromatherapy and, in particular, essential oils have many benefits to offer during pregnancy. With a little caution, they can be used safely and positively throughout the whole of your pregnancy to help maintain your wellbeing and naturally manage any issues you experience. This guide will cover how to use adapt aromatherapy for pregnancy. This post details some of the safest and most effective oils you might want to use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using Essential Oils Safely
Dilution – Essential oils are sold in their highly concentrated form and therefore must be diluted prior to use. In aromatherapy, dilution is measured in percentage and a dilution of 1% or less is recommended for pregnancy. This equates to one drop of essential oil in 5ml of base oil (almond, coconut, olive, avocado, jojoba oil etcetera).
Skin sensitivity – Your skin can become more sensitive during pregnancy so it’s a good idea to patch test oils 24 hours before first use. To do this, just create your blend, add to a cotton bud and swipe onto your inner arm. Monitor for any itchiness, redness or irritation at the site.
Light sensitivity – Due to increased melanin stimulating hormone levels in pregnancy, your skin can be more sensitive to the sun. Citrus oils can cause further light sensitivity so make sure that your exposure to the sun and/or sunbeds is limited for up to 24 hours after using.
Smell sensitivity – Throughout pregnancy you will have a heightened sense of smell. Some oils that you liked previously might now smell overwhelming to you. This is another reason that a dilution of only 1% should be used.

How to use Essential Oils
Diffuser – fill the diffuser with water and add up to 4 drops of essential oil
Massage – use 1drop of essential oil per 5ml of base oil then gently massage into skin or book an appointment here.
Bath – Dilute 1 drop of essential oil in 5ml of base oil then add to your bath

Categories: Complementary Therapies, Pregnancy, Uncategorised
Tags: , , ,
The Alternative Gift Guide – Presents to Promote Wellbeing

The Alternative Gift Guide – Presents to Promote Wellbeing

A gift guide to help enhance your loved ones wellbeing this festive period.This list might also be useful if you’re having difficulty deciding what to get that tricky person who’s impossible to buy for – there’s always one!

 

Yoga Class Pass

Many yoga studios offer multiple-class passes or gift vouchers so that people can try out different styles of yoga and teachers to find what suits them best. Why not buy one as a gift for someone who is thinking about starting yoga?

For those people who already have a regular yoga practice, how about some yoga accessories? A new mat, towel, bands or blocks could revitalise their practice.

 

An Aromatherapy Diffuser

Diffusers are becoming more popular now and can be used to add fragrance in to the home or in a therapeutic way with specially chosen essential oils to address specific issues. Why not also gift a blend of essential oils too?

 

Complementary Therapies

Give the gift of relaxation this festive season with a voucher for one of Atlas Therapies’ treatments – choose the ideal therapy for your loved one, or choose the amount and let them pick for themselves. Guaranteed to make you very popular this Christmas!

 

Reusable Water Bottle

We all know how important it is to stay hydrated so a reusable water bottle makes a thoughtful and practical gift. Not only is it eco-friendly, but it also contributes to the recipients day to day wellbeing and there are so many modern designs available, you’re sure to pick something they’ll love.

 

Categories: Complementary Therapies, Holistic Health
Tags: , , ,
Autumn Attunement – Seasonal Wellbeing

Autumn Attunement – Seasonal Wellbeing

As I’m writing this blog post, it is cold and grey outside and rain is pouring down. It’s the end of October and this weekend the clocks ‘fall back’ an hour. We are approaching the time of year when coughs and colds abound and we start to crave hearty meals and warm drinks!
Autumn has many positives – the colours of the landscape, the crisp weather and pumpkin flavoured everything! Although sometimes the effect that this change into the second half of the year has on us can be far from positive. The idea behind the Autumn Attunement is that any negative effects can be addressed to let you fully embrace the new season and everything it has to offer us!
So, who is this treatment for?
Well, it’s for you if you feel lethargic since the summer ended, if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or find it difficult to get going in the dark mornings. It’s also for you if you want to align yourself with this new season and welcome everything it has to offer us. Equally, if you want to spend an hour on self-care and supporting your wellbeing then this is the perfect treatment for you.
The Autumn Attunement has been designed to nurture each of your senses from the moment you enter the room until you leave feeling restored, energised and balanced. After the treatment, you can extend the benefits by using the specially designed Autumn Wellness Guide that I created. I have made this available to download from the website – just click the link in the latest newsletter to access your copy.
So if this sounds like something you could benefit from, just send an email to Rachael@atlastherapies.co.uk to arrange an appointment.

Categories: Complementary Therapies, Holistic Health, Womens Health
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Natural Menopause

Natural Menopause

This month I have been re-reading a book by Dr Christiane Northrup called “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom”. Originally released in 1995, it has been updated and reprinted many times since then and is a great reference book for all issues related to women’s health. The reason that I consult it so often is because it covers each topic from a holistic viewpoint and doesn’t just rely on the western model of health and care.

I have just finished reading a chapter all about menopause so have decided to focus this month’s blog post on the same topic since it’s at the front of my mind! Included is an overview of what the menopause is and natural ways to cope with the side effects.

Firstly, some background information on the menopause. This season of a woman’s life usually begins between the ages of 45 and 55. It can occur quite suddenly or over a period of 10 years and is caused by a change in levels of sex hormones, as well as the ovaries becoming less receptive to other hormones. Because of this, ovulation and menstruation become more and more irregular until finally ceasing.

Biologically, this means the end of childbearing but the symbolic beginning of a new chapter in the woman’s life and, possibly, the chance to focus on her own needs and interests again. In a culture that celebrates youth and fertility, it is easy to lose sight of the positive aspects of the menopause but it can be helpful to remember that menopausal and post-menopausal women have a wisdom, power and beauty that only come from experiencing this life stage.

 

Symptoms of the menopause and natural ways to cope

The symptoms of menopause that women can experience include: fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, dizziness, decreased libido, decreased confidence, mood changes and hot flushes.

Making positive lifestyle changes can help in managing the symptoms, this includes supporting yourself with good nutrition. Including lots of whole foods and reducing sugar and caffeine consumption can help. Incorporating foods like soy beans that contain phytoestrogens can also help.

Sleep is another important aspect. Developing a relaxing night time routine to prepare yourself for sleep and aiming to be in bed by 10pm can help.

Getting some light to moderate exercise a few times a week is so beneficial to your physical and emotional health too, so try to find something  you enjoy and that leaves you feeling invigorated rather than depleted.

There are a few complementary therapies can help support you through menopause as well, including herbal medicine prescribed by a qualified medical herbalist. There are various herbs which can reduce the severity of symptoms. Reflexology can help you to achieve balance within in the body, reduce stress and improve mood, as can massage using specially chosen essential oils. You could also use essential oils at home in a diffuser or added to a bath.

Hopefully this post gives you some inspiration and ideas to explore more thoroughly and if you know anyone who might benefit from the information then share this blog post with them!

Categories: Complementary Therapies, Diet, Holistic Health, Menopause, Reflexology, Womens Health
Tags:
Five Reasons To Try Reflexology

Five Reasons To Try Reflexology

Welcome to the first ever Atlas Therapies blog post! I plan to write a new post each month with the aim of sharing useful information that you can incorporate into your own life – usually health and lifestyle reflecting the holistic nature of my work.

In this post, I wanted to shine a light on Reflexology. Recently I’ve had a surge in people booking reflexology appointment so to reflect this I thought it might be interesting to look at the conditions people use it to manage and the reasons why it works.

Firstly, I thought I’d share a little about my own experience. Reflexology is one of my favourite therapies to practice, but it wasn’t always this way! I always considered myself someone who understood that the mind and body were connected but I really struggled to accept the Eastern philosophy of reflexology, which sees the body reflected on the feet with channels of life energy flowing around the body.

I have to admit, I was skeptical.

However, as I read more and more about the therapy and saw first-hand the effect it had on my clients, something clicked! One day I remember it all fell into place and I became its biggest supporter! One of the main principles of reflexology is that the body has the ability to bring itself into balance and heal and we just support and encourage that process through reflexology. Strangely, this was exactly the way that I saw my role as a midwife when caring for women in pregnancy and labour. I was just the facilitator of a natural, beautiful process that women had the ability to complete themselves. Once I made that connection I felt so much more confident in my role as a reflexologist and its ability to bring about positive change in people.

Since I have started practising, people have come to me for reflexology to help with :

  • Pain and lack of mobility caused by arthritis
  • To help encourage the healing process following surgery
  • PCOS
  • Migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Stress
  • Physical and emotional symptoms of PMT
  • Physical and emotional symptoms of menopause
  • Common ailments of pregnancy – indigestion, backache, nausea, tiredness, oedema
  • MSK issues such as tense and achy muscles
  • Side effects of chemotherapy – nausea, changes in appetite, pain, low mood, isolation, lack of mobility
  • And as a preventative measure, as a way to maintain good general health.

Although the real benefits of reflexology accumulate over the course of a few sessions, most people respond well to reflexology immediately. Within minutes of beginning their treatment, it’s not uncommon to feel the muscles releasing tension and stress beginning to lessen. I feel privileged to be able to create an environment where people feel comfortable and safe enough to relax completely like this and find it one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.

So what is it about reflexology that causes people to feel like this? After reflecting on it, I think that there are actually a few different factors that contribute to the effect.

  • It’s non-invasive. This is especially important for people who are ill and whose experience of healthcare can sometimes involve quite invasive – and sometimes what can be seen as violent- interventions like being jagged with needles, physical examinations, scopes etc.
  • Gentle but effective! There are specific techniques involved in reflexology which apply pressure to reflexes but generally, there isn’t too much kneading or manipulation required to bring about change. This can be important for people who feel quite vulnerable, emotionally or physically, when going through an issue that they are seeking help for. Also, as reflexology is a touch therapy it creates a feeling of being nurtured and cared for which is soothing in itself.
  • It allows for reflection on your own health. Having a period of time which is devoted entirely to your own wellbeing encourages positive reflection on the effects of your lifestyle on health and wellbeing.
  • It brings attention to areas that need some TLC. I often find that clients enjoy the ‘feedback’ session at the end of a treatment when we discuss things that I have noticed during the treatment. Sometimes this confirms a thought that they had and therefore creates a feeling of confidence in their ability to be ‘in tune’ with their own body.
  • It is a truly holistic treatment. By this, I mean that although I only work on the feet during a treatment, all of the body’s systems can be addressed. Also, reflexology is perfectly safe to use alongside conventional health care and medications and other complementary therapies.

Maybe this all explains the recent surge in popularity that reflexology has had at Atlas Therapies! Are there any other reasons you think could contribute? What is your favourite effect of reflexology?

Experience the benefits yourself and take 20% off your first reflexology treatment.  Quote ‘September Blog’ when booking.

Categories: Complementary Therapies, Pregnancy, Reflexology
Tags: , , , , ,