“It helped me sleep better, cured my worries & soothed my aches & pains” – An interview with pregnancy reflexology client and Lipstick & Loathing blogger, Gillian

“It helped me sleep better, cured my worries & soothed my aches & pains” – An interview with pregnancy reflexology client and Lipstick & Loathing blogger, Gillian

After the excitement of welcoming baby Ellie into the world,  Gillian from the blog Lipstick and Loathing managed to spare some time to share her experience of pregnancy reflexology with Atlas Therapies readers…

So how did you first come to hear about reflexology and what made you want to try it in pregnancy?
 Whilst pregnant I had issues with hip pain & sleep was in short supply. I tried pregnancy massages but I felt that it didn’t really leave me feeling as relaxed as it should. When I was looking at the different options, I came across an online forum for pregnant ladies who were discussing the benefits of reflexology. I could relate to so many of their pregnancy woes & decided I needed to give it a try. 
What made you choose Atlas Therapies for your treatment?
I read the reviews & all the information about Atlas Therapies & after speaking with Rachael via email, I knew it was the right choice. 
Tell us about the treatments you had, did you enjoy them? Was there anything you weren’t too keen on?
I had reflexology in my third trimester. I loved it! I used it not only to help with my aches & pains, but also as a time for me to clear my head & completely relax. 
Did you feel that reflexology met your expectations?
I didn’t know what to expect from reflexology, but it’s safe to say I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did I benefit from deeper, more relaxed sleeps, I also left feeling a sense of renewed energy. Something that was in very short supply toward the end of my pregnancy! 
Is there anyone who would you particularly recommend reflexology to?
Anyone who loves massage but wants a feeling of total zen & relaxation. Reflexology delivers these things without the discomfort of getting undressed in front of a stranger. 
And finally, what advice would you give someone thinking about trying reflexology?
Go for it! Go with an open mind & be prepared to learn things about yourself & your body. 
To read more from Gillian, find her blog at – www.lipstickandloathing.com

Categories: Pregnancy, Reflexology
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Bonjour from France 🇫🇷

Bonjour from France 🇫🇷

Hello!

I hope this letter finds you well – enjoying the last of summer and our transition in to autumn! I just wanted to get in touch and give you a few updates on what has been happening at Atlas, along with plans for the next few months!

Firstly, you might be aware that I have relocated to the south of France (a beautiful place called Aix-en-Provence, I highly recommend that you visit if you haven’t been already!). My partner was offered work on a project here and honestly, it just seemed like too good of an opportunity for us both to pass up – these offers don’t happen that often! So although the move has ultimately been a good thing for us, it has also meant that I had to take the difficult decision to step away from in-person client sessions for the time being. However, I am taking this time to really evaluate where Atlas is just now and how I can create new offerings that best serve you all!

So at the moment I am working on creating a way to work with people online, creating ideas for classes as well as various policies to make sure that you are taken care of (a loyalty & referral reward programme and packages). All of these things (and more!) will come to fruition in the next few months so although things might seem quiet on the surface, please know that I am still very much devoted to this work 💛.

Now that you’re all caught up, lets look to the future and what you can expect when I get back to the UK! In November I am undertaking training in a new modality of facial massage (please follow my instagram account to hear more about this soon) with a fabulous teacher who is coming from New York to share this skill. I’m really so excited to be in the first group of therapists learning this new technique outside of the US. It will work beautifully with the Dien Chan Zone facial reflexology that some of you have experienced already. After this, I will be back in Glasgow and open for treatments again from the end of November – I will notify you with more specific information closer to the time ☺️.

In the meantime, I plan on keeping in touch with you by email at least monthly and much more frequently on instagram so please follow me there for everything related to holistic women’s health. If you have any thoughts, questions or suggestions I encourage you to just reply to this email – it’ll come straight to me! If you feel comfortable, you could also maybe share with me some topics that you would like some advice and guidance on from a holistic point of view. This would really help me to develop some useful resources for you to access in the near future. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Take care and I’ll speak to you soon,

Rachael x

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Understanding the Stress Response

Understanding the Stress Response

What is Stress?

Stress can be described as pressure we feel when the demands placed on us exceed our resources. Sometimes, this can be positive and stress can be used as a motivational force for example – helping us meet deadlines or react in dangerous situations. Other times, stress can threaten our wellbeing and challenge our ability to cope with everyday life.

There are multiple sources of stressors – environmental, emotional, chemical & nutritional. Some examples include: moving house, financial worries, loss, pregnancy, excess alcohol or vitamin deficiencies.

When you are exposed to stress, your body reacts in a few different ways. Firstly, it has a short-term response (often known as the flight or fight reaction) which helps you to cope with any immediate threats. Your body releases hormones which increase heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar levels while diverting blood to the essential organs like the heart and brain.

If the stress is maintained, so is the body’s stress response. This adaptation to stress causes continued increased blood pressure, increased blood sugar levels, poor digestion, inflammation and a weakened immune system.

If the stress continues long-term, the body becomes exhausted and depleted. Drained of resources, there often can be a worsening of any ongoing health complaints or recurring illnesses. People often experience a type of ‘burnout’ and are forced to rest due to ill health.

If you are suffering from stress, you might be experiencing a combination of some of the following symptoms;

  • feeling overwhelmed, irritable, ‘wound up’, anxious, scared or lacking in self-esteem
  • You might find that you are constantly worrying, find it difficult to make decisions or concentrate
  • Physically, you could be suffering from headaches, muscular pain, dizziness, tiredness and trouble sleeping

Often in our everyday lives, we are exposed to at least one stressor and we adapt and cope with this. However many of us have to respond to multiple sources of stress on a daily basis. This has a massive impact on our ability to cope and, over time, leads to the deterioration of our ability to manage stress.                

Coping mechanisms

  • Becoming aware of our reaction to stress
  • Talk to someone about your feelings and concerns, don’t be afraid to ask for help or speak honestly about your problems
  • Try to maintain healthy habits like exercising (swimming, yin yoga, cycling or brisk walking are especially recommended) and eating a balanced diet
  • Prioritise the things most important to you and try to eliminate the less important things
  • Making time for fun and relaxation

Recovering from Stress & How Reflexology can help

Reflexology aims to restore and maintain the body’s natural balance (homeostasis) which is disturbed by the effects of stress. Reflexology calms the mind, body and emotions allowing harmony to be restored to the body systems.

Relaxation affects the body in the following ways:

  • Decreasing adrenaline levels, blood sugar levels & cholesterol levels
  • Increasing immune system functioning
  • Calming emotions
  • Reduces muscular tension
  • Improving digestive system functioning
  • Slowing breathing, increasing lung function

The effects last much longer than your treatment duration, often still being felt days and weeks afterward. Coupled with lifestyle changes and other appropriate care, reflexology can be a long-term solution to stress and anxiety.

Click here to book an appointment to help manage stress.


Categories: Stress, Womens Health
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Seasonal Wellbeing – Surviving & Thriving over Christmas!

Seasonal Wellbeing – Surviving & Thriving over Christmas!

The festive season is well and truly upon us! I hope you are all having a lovely time and enjoying everything it has to offer – from time with friends and family to delicious festive food and drinks. I know that for all the benefits that this time of year brings, there are a few downsides. It’s so easy to overindulge on everything, saying no (to socialising, shopping, eating, drinking…) is so difficult when you feel that you have to make the most of it because it only happens once a year!

There is often a lot of stress involved with trying to get organised for Christmas, feeling the need to please everyone and not to mention the financial stress that can affect us too.

Often these things combine to result in us feeling tired, run down and not at our best to enjoy the things we want to say yes to! With this in mind, I’ve put together a few tips to keep you glowing over Christmas and to start the New Year off in a happy and healthy place!

15492312_860682314068684_8213854764066920618_n“Prevention is better than cure” 

Balance

If there is one thing that I’ve learned about health and wellbeing, it’s that balance is the key! So enjoy that mince pie and mulled wine, but also cram lots of veg into your meals. Have a great time at your Christmas night out but also schedule a quiet night in to restore your energy later in the week.

You can always get by for a while if one aspect of your life is out of balance but if everything is then you will feel run down much more quickly.

Beauty Sleep

Good quality sleep is the key to enjoying yourself this Christmas and approaching events with energy and vitality. Your body loves a routine to help wind down at night so why not create a lovely ritual to encourage this? You could start by having a bath with some lavender essential oil and magnesium flakes added to it, listen to some calming music or a podcast and drink a cup of herbal tea. Finally, spritz your pillow with a sleep mist and you’ll find getting your beauty sleep a breeze.

Obviously, at this time of year it can be difficult to switch off and if you find that this is affecting your sleep, why not try keeping a notepad next to your bed to jot down anything that’s on your mind before going to sleep? You might also find that only drinking caffeine before 4pm can help too, as can getting some exercise every day.

 Hydration

The cold weather, central heating and air con during winter really affects our skin and hydration levels so ensure that you’re looking after your body inside and out by drinking plenty of water, fruit and herbal teas throughout the day. This not only helps your skin, but it also keeps your body functioning well and helps you to keep thinking clearly and feel energised.

If you find that your skin needs some extra help, you could try applying some rich moisturising cream or oils to your skin. Olive oil is great for chapped hands and feet, while sweet almond oil is lovely on the face.

Exercise

When it’s cold outside it is so tempting to stay indoors and hibernate and there is definitely a time for this, but make sure that you introduce some movement into your body every day too. This is also good for your mind and emotional wellbeing. You could go for a short walk during your lunch break to try and absorb some natural light, or wrap up warm and take in all the festive lights and decorations around town in the evening. A gentle walk after dinner has the added benefit of aiding digestion.

Extra Support

Finally, there is also extra support to be had in the form of herbal supplements, superfoods and therapies. You could try some Echinacea in a tea to help support the immune system or baobab powder added to a smoothie or your porridge for a boost of vitamin C.

Aromatherapy massage is fantastic for helping to energise and restore, or calm and balance depending on what you need. Reflexology is also a lovely way to spend some time on yourself and to achieve balance.

Wishing you all a healthy and happy Christmas and New Year!

Categories: Holistic Health, Reflexology, Stress, Uncategorised
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