Elisabeth Grover
07794351958

Tag: reflexology

A Day in the Life of a Reflexologist and Doula

Whilst I’ve been recuperating, I have been flicking through lots of content on the internet, blogs and Instagram images and seeing how other people spend their days.

I am really interested in daily life and I enjoy reading blogs documenting the daily life of women. This gave me the inspiration to create my blog post “A Day in the Life of” to give you an idea of the daily practices that help me through.

5am – Yes, an Early Start!

Not sure why I wake up so early but I have never been able to lie in bed once I’m awake, and this time of year is perfect for an early start. I get up straight away, make myself a cup of herbal tea and sit down with my Morning Pages.

For those of you who haven’t read my blog from the beginning, here’s a link to more information about Morning Pages.

I love starting my day with a journal entry and, although most of the time it’s utter rubbish, it helps me to focus on the day ahead if I do a brain dump on my page. I use a large Moleskine blank journal as that gives me creative freedom to write as much or as little as I like. I always fill the page as I think it’s good practice to complete it even if it’s complete unintelligible!

6 am- My Therapy Walk with The Mrs

I have to drag my dog Coco out of bed –  she is really not a morning girl! Colloquially we call her ‘The Mrs’,  something my son named her after we picked her from a local rescue centre. It’s just stuck and seems to suit her.  We like to think it’s because she is The Boss in the family! No wonder she doesn’t come when we call her –  poor dog has so many identities, she can’t work out who she is.

The Mrs and I head out to our local fields at 6am, me with my podcast playing in my ears and Mrs checking out the local squirrel fraternity. One day she may catch one but that hasn’t happened yet. I have an eclectic mix of podcasts on my phone and I pick one according to how I’m feeling at the time.

Our walk is a wonderful time for me to clear my head ready for the day and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

8 am – Back for Breakfast

Our route takes 90 minutes and I feel great when I have completed it, rain or shine. I jump in the shower when I get home and get ready for my day.

My clinic space is a little round room in my garden called Bumble and I make sure that it’s warm and ready for my first client of the day. The underfloor heating is pretty efficient so I can put it on when I go out and Bumble will be lovely and toasty by the time I get back.

About 30 minutes before my client arrives, I light the scented candles so the smell is delicious when they arrive. I am currently using Heartwood Candles as I love to support local businesses and their range of essential oil candles is just what I need.

I bring in the warm fluffy towels and prepare the area for a spa reflexology session. My wooden pedicure bowl is filled with hot water and Arbonne Rescue and Renew Detox Soak sprinkled liberally allowing the scent to radiate around the room.

I lay out my scrub, the oils, and a spare towel to dry my client’s feet and I sit alone in silence, enjoying the feeling of the sun as it shines through the door and the little round skylight above me. My room is very special to me and I decorate it with meaningful items from around the world.

10am –  My Reflexology Client

My client arrives and I welcome her with a cup of herbal tea and a warm smile. I love to hear how my ladies are getting on in their day-to-day lives and to meet new women who have heard about me through social media or through the recommendations of friends.

It gives me great pleasure to treat them to a reflexology treatment as I know how much I enjoy having reflexology too. My ladies are often busy with the many demands placed on them and to give them a little space to themselves is a wonderful gift.

Whilst we are talking, and my client is soaking her feet in the warm water, I take each foot and gently massage it with the body scrub in the Rescue and Renew Range.  I can see her visibly relax as the treatment goes on.

After washing each foot and changing the towel, I lay her back on my reflexology chair and I offer her a soft blanket to keep her warm before I begin my foot massage with my Arbonne Massage Oil.

My clients tell me that they find a deep state of relaxation with my treatments and I love hearing that kind of feedback. It’s difficult to switch off when life is busy and to have the opportunity to leave the world outside my little wooden door is one that is too good to miss.

The ladies who come to me in the evening can often leave me and go straight to bed when they get home. What could be better?

Once I have gently woken her up and offered her a glass of fresh water we talk about how she feels and what I have discovered during her reflexology treatment . After she has gone, I tidy up the space, change the towels and prepare for the next lady to arrive.

12 pm – Lunch and Journal Time

I have been enjoying substituting my regular meals with Huel a vegan protein shake. I make up a Huel shake for breakfast and lunch and I have a vegan dinner in the evening.  I became vegan for a number of reasons, animal welfare, health, sustainability and weight loss and I am thrilled to have lost 3 stones whilst following this plan.

I became vegan for a number of reasons, animal welfare, health, sustainability to name as few and weight loss too.  I am thrilled to have lost 3 stones whilst following this plan.

On a summer day, I will take my shake outside and sit in my hammock, catching up on emails and social media posts. I have my bullet journal by my side and I will reflect on the day ahead whilst jotting down some thoughts.

13 pm – My Doula Work

My next client is a pregnant lady who I am supporting during an exciting time in her life. My doula work gives me a huge amount of pleasure as it brings together different passions in my life in a neat little bundle.

I offer couples two or three antenatal sessions and in these sessions, we look at their feelings towards their pregnancy and birth, ideas about positions for giving birth, alternative comfort measures, positive thinking during pregnancy, and my recommendations for books and websites.

I am passionate about women’s bodies and the power that they have within. I have utmost faith that they can birth their baby and I love to remind themselves of how amazing they truly are.

If I am taking her through my hypnobirthing course, I will arrange to see her with her birth partner as it’s important that her partner is supportive of the relaxation methods she will be using during the birth of her baby. It’s a great thing for them to do together during the latter few weeks of their pregnancy too.

We reflect on her feelings about her birth and what measures we can put in place to help her find her inner strength and deep feminine guidance. I love to help my women find this strength so that she can feel good about her birth experience.

I firmly believe that a couple can have a good experience regardless of how their baby is born. A woman can have an assisted birth with forceps or ventouse and feel that every decision was hers and she felt strong throughout. It’s important to remind couples of this and I really like to be part of this positive process.

15 pm – Painting and Relaxation

My client leaves and I have some time to rest with my journal at hand. I will get my watercolours out and create a small painting, or I’ll do some writing. My bullet journal gives me ultimate flexibility to create the kind of content I like at the time and I recommend it to everyone to give it a go.

I say to people who ask me about my art that it’s the process that matters and not what it looks like at the end. It can be really quite intimidating to look at the lovely images online and it can put you off creating if you aren’t particularly ‘arty’.

What it looks like is really not important as there is something very calming about choosing your colours and putting them onto paper in either swathes of colour, or circles, squares or other shapes. I love it.

 

17 pm – Walking and Talking

Another walk with The Mrs, this time with my daughter who uses the time to tell me about her day. Walking provides a perfect opportunity to talk about things that matter to her and we enjoy our afternoon strolls whilst The Mrs frollicks in the long grass looking out for a doggy friend or that  ‘Squirrel that Got Away’.

19 pm – Home for Tea and finally……Bed

Home for tea, a lovely easy vegan feast of puy lentils with a tomato and chilli sauce, black olives, tofu and fluffy rice, accompanied by some ciabatta bread dipped in Spanish olive oil. The candles and incense are burning in the background and my salt lamp provides a calming light to accompany my evening meal.

A quick catch up on my favourite boxed set episode or a chapter in my latest book and it’s time for bed at 9.30, ready for that early start.

The Mrs has snuggled up on the sofa after her busy day and is catching up on some rest before I wake her up ready for our next morning walk.

Conclusion

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, and you’d like to come and see me in The Garden Sanctuary, please book an appointment by clicking here. I’d love to welcome you to my little sanctuary of calm and relaxation (and a nice cup of tea!).

 

 

Support During The Dark Times

Sometimes life can throw us curveballs and it can be difficult to navigate through these difficult times. It can seem like the pain will never subside and day after day you wake up with that horrible, dark sadness.

I listened to a podcast on my dog walk this morning and the presenter was talking about depression in relation to a cancer diagnosis. His openness prompted me to write a short piece today with a slight slant on how reflexology may be able to help.

Openness

The more open we are about our struggles, the better, and deeper, our conversations. This depth of dialogue can have far-reaching effects for those involved.

I am immensely proud of the people I talk to who are open and frank about their difficulties as I know it can be hard to open up and be present with that level of pain.

I find sitting with someone and holding the space for them while they make sense of the world around them can be very helpful. I’m not a therapist so I don’t employ any ‘techniques’ but I do enjoy listening and really hearing what someone is saying to me in these moments.

Cancer Support

In my reflexology journey, I have seen clients at the beginning of their journey with a cancer diagnosis and treatment plan, and moving towards the end when the care I offer becomes palliative and supportive.

Some of those who have been given the all clear find life difficult to cope with after such a difficult journey.

My therapy can help people in their dark times and a listening ear is invaluable in supporting these people and their families. Although it is hard to measure the efficacy of complementary therapies, and therefore research is problematic,  there is strong anecdotal evidence that reflexology can help with symptom relief.

Sometimes clients can feel that a treatment is helping without knowing what part is providing the relief. It’s like an inner knowing and that can be very powerful to the client.

Depression

Talking with my clients about their thoughts and feelings before offering a treatment can help promote a positive mental state. Feelings of being supported, and walking the road together for a period of time, can help relieve some of the symptoms of anxiety and overwhelm.

This article by Mental Health Daily  looks at the systems of the body that reflexology can help with when someone if suffering from low mood and/or anxiety.  Similar to studying the efficacy of reflexology in cancer care,  it is difficult to measure the efficacy with treating depression but this research study has shown that statistically, it made a difference

Life’s Challenges

Although these two issues may not affect you or your family, I’d like you to think back to times when life was challenging for you and what helped in your darker moments.

I know that having friends who will just listen and be present with me was immensely powerful. I also enjoyed walking alone with my thoughts, taking in the energy of the trees and being mindful of my surroundings really helped me. Looking up at the tree tops and listening to the birds, the crackling of the fire and the smell of scented candles.

Simple things.

I’d love to hear from you with your thoughts and ideas about what helps you to find that peaceful place in your heart so drop me a line in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflexology at The Garden Sanctuary

I’m conscious that I haven’t written a blog post about reflexology yet! Hence why today’s article is for those who would like a little more information about one of the treatments I can provide.

So, what is reflexology?

 Reflexology is a therapeutic method of massaging feet. By applying pressure and stimulating the reflexes/pressure points on the feet, reflexology can open up neural pathways, boost the immune system and increase circulation. The techniques of reflexology can be performed on the hand and the face in situations where a session on the feet is not practical.

Reflexologists work from maps of reflexes that are located on the hands and feet. These reflexes are thought to connect directly through the nervous system and affect the corresponding body parts, organs and glands. Through the application of gentle pressure and massage techniques the reflexologist manipulates the reflexes at the respective foot or hand location.

Through controlled pressure on the relevant reflexes, it becomes clear which points are tender. This highlights the area of the body that is out of balance. It is the intention of the reflexologist to treat this point and so help bring a person back to a state of balanced health and wellbeing.

Reflexology promotes healing by stimulating the nerves in the body and encouraging the flow of blood. In the process, reflexology not only suppresses the sensation of pain, but relieves the source of the discomfort as well.

Relaxation

It can bring about a state of deep relaxation and stimulate the body’s own healing processes. As a result, it is believed reflexology can be just as effective at preventing illness and promoting good health as it is at relieving symptoms of illness, injury or stress.

Stress

The most recent Labour Force Survey found that there were 488,000 of stress-related illnesses in 2015/16, with a total of 11.7 million working days lost to stress-related illness which is pretty shocking. The occupations with the highest rate of stress connected time off were health professionals (in particular nurses), teaching, healers and educators and caring personal services (in particular social services).

How you cope with stress in your life determines which, if any, diseases you are susceptible to. Individuals have their own unique set of coping mechanisms and their own unique predisposition to disease. When reflexology relieves your stress, it also reduces your vulnerability to disease.

Reduced stress improves blood and lymph flow, as well as nerve supply, which facilitates rejuvenation and revitalization of the cells, thereby strengthening the healing process.

Reflexology does not claim to be a ‘cure-all’ but many people have found they have been helped by reflexology. Surveys carried out have shown benefits to those presenting with symptoms of stress, insomnia and irritable bowel syndrome. It is a very relaxing therapy which may reduce tension and lead to an improved sense of well-being. This can only be of benefit to society today and the pressures and anxieties that are continually present in our cultures and the way we choose to lead our modern day lifestyles.

How to book an appointment

If you would like to contact me about booking a reflexology appointment, please drop me an email for info (elisabeth@thegardensanctuary.co.uk) or book using my appointments page.

A Little Space

IMG_2542 As a holistic practitioner, I felt that my first blog post ought to be about living my values. You’ll hear me talking about values in my posts as I find that the words that represent values, and what those words mean, really inspire me and make me who I am.

This morning, I wrote about making time for yourself for a feature in my forthcoming newsletter and it prompted me to start here.  It’s hard to give to others when you are tired and feeling over burdened with no space to think. So I thought I would start my blog by taking a picture of me having time to myself in The Garden Sanctuary before my children get up. You can see ‘Bumble’ my therapy space in the background.

A little about my morning ritual. Although my four children are older now, I have been prioritising this space for a long time, even when they were little. The only thing that changes is the venue. Inside V Out. I’m not keen enough to sit outside in the winter even though I would like to! I am a morning person so this is the ideal time for me to mentally create my day. Evening’s may work better for you, or during the day, and that’s great too. As long as you are building that time in and prioritising it daily as you would any other diary event, it doesn’t really matter when it is.

I get up out of bed as soon as I wake and I make myself a large cup of herbal tea. On a lovely day like this, I’ll take it out into the garden to sit and reflect on the day ahead.  I have a lovely little water feature which gently flows in the background so it helps to clear my head before the day begins. I use a journal idea which I have adapted from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way  called The Morning Pages. She advises hand writing three pages of A4 a day which I haven’t been able to achieve ( I am human after all!) so I adapted the idea and cut it down to one page of extra large moleskine journal. That way it’s achievable and I do it daily. I’ll be writing more about this in subsequent blog posts as I think it’s been a real help in getting all my ‘stuff’ out before I start my day.

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I have a separate Moleskine book for a list of 20 affirmations that I’m currently working on. When I’m writing, I think about how great I will feel when I am achieving them. One of my affirmations is to be a certain weight again. As I’m writing the affirmation down on paper, I think about what it’s like to wear size 10 jeans and I embrace that wonderful feeling. I do the same with the other 19  affirmations so this does take some time. I don’t do it daily, maybe three times a week but in between those times, I am thinking about the feelings I will get when the affirmations come true.

In the following blog posts, I will talk about journal writing, affirmations and making time for yourself in a busy life as well as posts about alternative health, aromatherapy, mindfulness, creating calm in your day, meditation and visualisation.

Before I go, I will leave you with an image of my mindfulness trainer, Coco the Dog. As soon as I sat down to create this post, she decided to dig up the garden in search of buried treasure (those lovely ants). Yes, it was a good lesson for me as I felt the stress levels rise whilst chasing her unsuccessfully around the garden.

Note to self: In order to do one thing really well, I  can only do one thing at a time.

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