Massage therapies v’s beauty school massage.

It's amazing how often people visit us for the first time who have had a massage before and leave with a parting comment like 'I didn't realise this is what proper massage therapies were.'

The issue is that these clients have been to therapists who have received different training from ITEC qualified massage therapists.

Let's be clear, we're not knocking they type of massage that they learn at beauty college, we're just saying there is a difference that's all. And the difference is because all we, as professional massage therapists specialise in is healing your body through physical touch, whereas the focus for beauticians is more varied.

So if you go to a salon for a massage, your therapist will often use the same strokes in the same pattern. Your massage is purely for relaxation and so the format will usually be the same from one client to the next. In this instance there is no need for practitioners to mix up techniques during your treatment. They're not there to deal with muscle pain or sports therapy in treatments. As a result they'll usually use Swedish massages with a light pressure which don't work deep tissue or focus on health beyond relaxation.

There is a lot to be said for that to be fair and linked to releasing mental tension and even a little anxiety, beauticians are more likely to add aromatherapy/ essential oils or hot stone work on your muscles.

The cost of these massage therapies is usually less, often considerably less, than we would charge for a massage at Essential Feeling. This isn't because we are ripping you off, it's simply because we have a much greater level of expertise in how the body will respond to the different types and styles of pressure to achieve your desired treatment outcome.

Similarities between the two styles of massage therapies

Both can be relaxing, although deep tissue massage isn't always so until after the treatment ends. However, generally, both are done on a massage couch or table.

General benefits of massage

Increases blood flow (circulation) and thus oxygen around your body

Reduces mental stress by giving you some much needed you time to relax

Can improve muscular discomfort

May improve or give relief from pregnancy associated aches and conditions

A traditional complementary therapy based on rhythmic movements

Great gifts for friends and relatives including couples

Can promote improved sleep and reduce symptoms of insomnia

What is the point of your advanced massage techniques if I can get all the above for less money?

We've broken down some of our most popular massage therapies below so you can see the effects each can have on various ailments.

Deep tissue/ sports massage

Deep pressure often including kneading of tight muscles breaks down injury sights and promotes self healing. It's often useful where you have physical injuries that clinical physio just can't touch. You may experience some soreness after your session but this is only minor and temporary compared to the longer term results.

Swedish massage

Sure, we've said that beauticians learn this, but on top of their knowledge we have expertise in how the muscles lie under the surface of the skin. This means we can elevate the service we provide by using specific strokes and patterns in an active and firm way to ease pain in muscles and joints. We go over and above using effleurage to gently add healing outcomes to your unique massage.

Pregnancy massage

Prenatal care is important for both mother and baby. An easy and happy pregnancy means a much happier new born. During this massage you will lay on your side and your qualified pregnancy massage therapist will work you from behind whilst you're comfortably propped up on pillows and cushions.

Fertility massage

We've seen how massage can improve blood flow, lymph flow and oxygen distribution above. Here we take this one step further to provide maximum nutrients to the all important area of your abdomen and ultimately uterus. We may also add in some myofascial release as described below to ease away any scar tissue which may impede fertility.

Lymphatic drainage

Manual lymphatic drainage, or MLD as it is often known is designed to treat swelling. Often this is post-operative, including liposuction and we are affiliated with London's Harley Body Clinic to improve their patient's conditions post surgery. This is one of the lightest massage therapies practised as it is used to work the lymphatic system (vessels nodes and ducts) to drain fluid, rather than break down muscle fibres.

Myofascial release

Effective on scar tissue, your practitioner will use controlled pressure applied in a slow stretching motion to soften and ease the sticky layers of fascia. This is particularly effective when you have had surgery and want to avoid the raised bump associated with scarring.

Reflexology

Often known as a foot massage, reflexology is so much more. We use acupressure on your feet to restore homeostasis, or balance in your system and organs. It's a great way to have a general once over. It's also possible to work with specific chronic conditions such as anxiety, depression or fertility to trigger your body's natural healing response.

Indian head massage

Working your head, neck and shoulders, this is a fully clothed massage technique that eases emotional strain whilst dealing with the associated physical responses. This can be great if you suffer from regular migraines, osteoarthritis of your jaw or psychological strains. The practice goes beyond what you see being given upright on a chair in a shopping centre.

Reiki

Whilst not strictly bodywork, reiki is something we offer at Essential Feeling and so we though we should include it here under massage therapies. You may book a session alone, but to be honest, whichever one of our massage therapies you choose, you'll more than likely get a bit of energy healing thrown in for free. It's just what we do.

Mobilisation techniques

Essentially this is Thai massage which seeks to improve mobility performance through a number of assisted stretches. However, we don't advertise this because we get way too many calls from people expecting mobilisation of a different part of their body to the joints we're used to working whilst you remain fully clothed! The massage technique should not be undervalued though as a result of its bad rep. It can be an amazing way to see improvements in knots. The flowing movements complement a traditional massage helping you to have a fully rounded end result.

Essential Feeling are based in Gidea Park, Romford, Essex. We are open 7 days a week for appointments which you can book online and attend between the hours of 7am and 10pm. You'll enjoy free off street parking right outside our professional treatment rooms

Reflexology

The number one question I’m asked is, ‘what is reflexology?’ So here is my personal perspective. As a practitioner there are certain things we can and can not claim, legally and to be within the confines of professional conduct. You’ll read that elsewhere on this site, but here; well, this is my take on the ins and outs of reflexology. As a person.

When I first trained to be a reflexologist, I remember people asking me, ‘Oh, isn’t that feet. How can you touch someone’s foot?’ The truth. It never even entered my head. I was so caught up in being able to learn the ancient art of healing someone from pressure points that it never even occurred to me that I would have to deal with all kinds of ugly feet.

And ten or so years on, I still never think about it. Because I’m so fascinated with the ability to improve people’s health and pain with a therapy that is focussed on a different area of their body to where they are experiencing their issues.

Simply put…

Reflexology is the complementary therapy which uses a zone format to trigger reactions in different areas of our client’s bodies. This treatment is so much more than a foot massage as many people think of it. We have reflex points that we use our hands and fingers on to improve the functioning of specific organs. This includes the brain, and in particular stress anxiety and sleep disorders.

What medical conditions can reflexologists who have had training help with?

If you speak to any doctor with modern thinking they’ll tell you that stress leads to approximately 90% of all disease. For sure this may well be indirectly, but if you track it back, the figure lands up somewhere in this region.

Research studies have shown that practitioners can legally claim that they can help with the symptoms of stress. But in reality, what I have experienced is benefits far beyond this one condition. Perhaps it’s because we don’t think about stress as being an underlying condition which almost encourages other diseases to manifest, but regardless, the effects of reflexology on any number of conditions including fertility and cancer can mean it is a practice that stretches further than the hour of the session.

So what body parts can you help with reflexology?

Foot map showing some of the main reflexology points in different coloursPretty much any body part. When I’m running my finger on the underside of your sole during a reflexology treatment, I can feel if an organ or system is out of balance. For instance, if I am working on your right foot, I may feel some crunching, or popping under the surface of your skin when I put pressure on. This may mean that your liver is out of balance. It does not mean that you have liver failure, liver damage or any other such disease. It may mean that it’s a good idea to get it checked out by a medical practitioner if this goes on over a few sessions, but we do not diagnose. We can simply tell that your liver is struggling.

Working this back the other way with a health history is really helpful. So a client will come to us and say that they have an issue with fertility for instance. Often this can be an inexplicable reason, other times it will be because of a diagnosed condition such as endometriosis or PCOS.

I will then focus my attention to specific areas, say the reproductive area and then track back throughout the body system where else I think is out of balance. Using my training and years of specialist experience in fertility, I’ll then work with the client to see what we think they can change in their lifestyle to have a positive effect on their chances of conception.

It’s not unusual in an example such as the above to feel some imbalance around the ankle areas. These are the reproductive reflex zones. But, if the client is under a ton of stress, this can affect their relaxation and nervous system. There’s more on this here. It’s likely I’ll find something also out of balance around their toes.

Reflexology never fails to astound me on how it can affect and improve a health condition seemingly unrelated to the feet.

Doesn’t a reflexology session cover an entire body?

Yes it does. When I mention I’ll focus on an area, it means that I know this is why the client is coming and it gives me a starting point for which internal organs I need to zone in on and track back. But, I will always work your entire body during a session. We’ve seen too many times how one health condition can be affected by body health in a seemingly unrelated area.

Is reflexology a medical treatment or a complementary treatment?

Absolutely it is complementary. Doctors can prescribe and you can take traditional medication whilst receiving the complementary benefits of reflexology, either alongside or separate to whatever conventional treatment your doctor sees fit to give you for any condition.

Can reflexology be used to relieve pain?

I have studied and therefore have professional training in a particular branch of reflexology which uses nerve reflex points to reduce pain. This could be something as common as period pain (and/ or premenstrual syndrome), down to neuropathy or ongoing pain management. Using targeted acupressure in these instances is amazing. It shocks me every time. And I’ve been doing this for years now.

But here’s the thing. You come in, relax in a reclining chair and give me your feet. I press a few areas and can tell which part of your nervous system is struggling. And that’s when we get to work on using nerve reflexology to ease discomfort. We do not diagnose or classify symptoms associated with an issue. That’s down to your GP.

This is where we have issues. Because there generally isn’t the funding to show beyond anecdotal evidence that the energy flow client’s enjoy when they receive reflexology is useful in relieving chemical imbalances that lead to many diseases. We need significant current discussions to develop into clinical studies if this alternative therapy.

Certificate of Karen Botha the qualified reflexologist at Essential Feeling in RomfordHow do you qualify to be a reflexologist?

My certification is of a standard high enough for me to be a part of the AOR which is the Association of Reflexologist’s. So, for me, the efficacy of my training was far more advanced than some other courses which people can do. For instance, there is a one day course that I know of some local practitioners doing.

My education spanned months with hours of teaching on practical skills being developed alongside anatomy and physiology content. For instance, I learned not just about the human body, but also about chronic diseases such as diabetes. I learned how the pancreas can be fundamental if you’d like to avoid eye disease. And the integrative nature of how all the systems in our body link to create overall health, or illness. So the consultation process is so invaluable when you come for a session with us. It helps form the basis of your treatment, because we understand so much about the different conditions of our body — and how to use reflexes to ease the issues you are undergoing.

At the end of my training I sat an exam which gave me a level three therapists qualification which means I can practise in the UK and abroad.

Karen is the lead reflexologist at Essential Feeling who are based in Gidea Park, Romford, Essex. You may book your session online today.

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The best reflexology post COVID lockdown in Romford.

Post COVID lockdown finding the best reflexology isn’t as easy as it once was. It’s not just the reflexologist and their training that you need to check out. But also their safety practises to make sure that your entire health is being taken care of whilst you’re having your reflexology treatment. Settling down for a relaxing foot massage with no other considerations is now a thing of the past.

That’s why we’ve got you covered at Essential Feeling in Gidea Park, Romford. Karen your MAR reflexologist will work your feet whilst ensuring your health is being taken care of.

We’re taking into account all the COVID health practises advised by the Association of Reflexologist’s which we’ve listed below. And then we have installed some additional safety precautions to maintain a healthy environment for but you as our client and us.

We have installed a unique simultaneous air conditioning unit which has groundbreaking virus filter technology in Client receiving best refleoxlogy in Gidea Park, Romfordboth our massage and reflexology therapy rooms.

Besides this, for the reflexology, we now also have a large perspex shield. This folds out once you are seated comfortably so that both it protects you and your therapist not only by the mask which is now a legal requirement but also by this shield.

Why do we take extra precautions during your reflexology therapy?

We all want to be safe. You’ll notice from our current online reviews that we take your reflexology treatment seriously. And we’re good at it, we hope we’re the best. But we want to do more. We want you to know that when you come to us that our holistic approach to your wellbeing aren’t just empty words.

And second, reflexology is a transference of energy. If we’re uptight and dealing with stress, that’s not the right situation for you to get the best out of your session. And we strive to give the best reflexology treatments in the area, so every technique we can use to relax your body and your mind just enhances your treatment outcomes.

Giving the best reflexology is about more than thumb walking and pressure points. It’s about ensuring that you’re enjoying your time to the max.

Want to know a little more about reflexology?

Some people confuse reflexology with a foot massage. Both work on the feet and use a relaxing massage motion which eases tension and eeks out tightness.

However, besides this, reflexology uses targeted pressure techniques to help your intrinsic relaxation resulting in stress reduction. As doctors now say that 80% of all health issues they see in the GP surgery are stress related, then this practice has many benefits over and above a person being chilled out.

We can aid sleep by working your big toe, ease hay-fever by working all the toes, and reduce migraines by working a distinct part of your big toe.

We read your feet, for instance, hard and cracked skin around your heel could be a sign of hormone imbalance, or pain in your back. Hard skin on the ball of your foot could mean that you have issues with your chest, or that you’re carrying some emotional heartache.

We use these techniques and combine them with using the correct reflex to give you the most healing outcome for your personal experience. Sometimes, it can be over one step, we’re using building blocks to support your ongoing health improvement. Other times, you will only need one session and will leave feeling like you’ve received the right level of support for you to walk out on air.

Having the best reflexology is more than a physical therapy. We’re not just pressing randomly to relieve pressure. Our practitioner uses hands and thumbs to keep you relaxed and comfortable but also to help your body cope with specific disorders, including nervous conditions, calming your overactive brain and improving your circulation and lymph flow.

What is the theory of reflexology?

Reflexology began almost simultaneously in the West and Chinese medicine. The theory of both are similar because it uses the effects of gentle pressure whilst your reflexologist focuses their attention on different organs and systems that need help in functioning optimally. This brings about a state known in the medical profession as homeostasis.
Association of reflexology recommendations post COVID government lockdown:

*Additional cleaning measures to include disinfecting any areas that clients touch.
*Airing out the treatment room between clients and not using our waiting room.
*Scheduling clients so that there is no crossover within the therapy rooms
*Using sheets over the reclining chair in which you’ll relax and even sleep during your reflexology treatment
* Hand gels (which we’ve always used)
This is besides the cleaning regimes that we’ve always had in place.

Book your reflexology session online now.

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Dealing with menopause in women

Women who are dealing with menopause often feel like they’re going mad. Hot flashes, memory loss and disturbed sleep and mood swings; all combined with weight gain and vaginal dryness, erratic bleeding and lack of sex drive are just a handful of symptoms associated with lowering levels of oestrogen.

However, that isn’t the end. Groundbreaking new research suggests that health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s traditionally associated with age, do in fact start during the perimenopause. It’s the change in hormonal balance that triggers the plaque to form around the neurons in the brain and this new study suggests that these diseases begin when our hormone levels change, but take so long to manifest that they are only discovered when we reach older age.

It has never been more important to look after ourselves when dealing with menopause.

How does reflexology therapy help in dealing with menopause?

Reflexology balances our body. It won’t stop our bodies from changing, that is a natural part of the ageing process. But what reflexology does do is remove the stress from the process.

So for instance, we can expect our periods to be more balanced, because our hormones aren’t spiking and tumbling out of control. Anyone who is going through this will talk about how this alone is enough to give reflexology a go!

In turn, by your hormones being more balanced, we can expect the knock on effect to be improved liver and kidney function, fewer UTI’s and better skin. We’ll look and feel more healthy. And our midlife crisis will be a distant memory.

Health improvements without supplements

And what’s better, we’re not selling supplements. There’s no medical intervention with side effects. We’re literally just using pressure points in your feet to remove blockages of energy, which then allows your body to operate optimally. You never know, you sexual desires may even rekindle.

Not convinced? Here’s what the research says.

Below are the summaries of two independent research studies conducted on how women dealing with menopause can benefit from reflexology treatments. This is in addition to our own experience working for over ten years on ladies suffering from the effects of menopausal symptoms.

Research one — sleep disturbances & hot flushes

1. Methods 100, more than 12 months post -menopausal women ranging from 45-60 yrs of age and reporting sleep disorder were randomised to either reflexology or foot massage. None had taken HRT. The outcome measure was the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) which measures quality and patterns of sleep. All women taking part had sleep disorder (score >5).

Reflexology or foot massage was given for 15 minutes daily for 21 days. Base line measurements were taken from the previous four weeks prior to the intervention. There were no significant differences between the groups in any of the parameters.

Results

Hot flushes: Hot flushes at baseline were 4-9 per day and this stayed the same for the foot massage group but reduced to 2-3 per day in the reflexology group. This was a statistical difference of p<0.001

Sleep: Both interventions had an effect – 41.5% reflexology and 19.1% of the nonspecific massage had normal sleep after the intervention. But the difference between groups shows a statistical difference of p<0.01 towards the reflexology group.

Conclusions ‘Reflexology is an effective non-hormonal approach for treatment of sleep disorder (in the menopause).’

Research two — Hot flushes and night sweats

2. Methods Outcome measures: Women’s Health Questionnaire (WHQ) using the sub-scores for anxiety and depression A visual analogue scale for severity of symptoms

Frequency of flushes and night sweats (options – flushes 0-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16- 20; night sweats, 0-5, 6-10, more than 10). 6 weekly treatments of 45 mins. followed by one treatment per month for three months. (Minimum inclusion criteria of 7 treatments)

Results Both groups had a reduction in symptoms but there was not a statistically significant difference between the two groups.

Conclusions Reflexology wasn’t more effective than foot massage in the treatment of the psychological symptoms of the menopause. They needed a larger sample size. The study was under-powered. There were limitations on the recording of the flushes and night sweats. The effect of the placebo effect was miss estimated. There was a relatively short duration of follow up. The blinding of the control was of limited success.

Comments The limitations of the flush / night sweat notation is that there is a big difference to a menopausal woman between having five flushes or zero flushes, yet these would have entailed the same tick box to be marked. This measure would not truly represent the effect of the treatment to the women. It is important to be aware of the limitations of the outcome measurement chosen. This isn’t a great study in methodological terms nor is it particularly well written up BUT it is controlled and for a reflexology study is relatively large with almost 50 in each group (47 / 53).

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Why massage is the best of natural anxiety treatments

If you’re looking for natural anxiety treatments, I bet you haven’t considered massage. Here’s why you should.

Many people think massage is only good for treating muscle pain. And for sure, they may relax when they go to a spa day, but somehow we never really get as far as making the link into massage being one of the best natural anxiety treatments out there.

Having a massage has many physiological effects on our body, which not only improves our immune system but also gives the body what it needs to cope effectively with stress, thus reducing our anxiety and depression.

Just think about a time when you have received a great massage from a well-trained therapist. How do you feel when you get up off the table?

The effects of your massage aren’t just looser muscles easing a sore back. You feel calm, your breathing is slower and your blood pressure drops as your heart rate slows. These are proven physical effects of massage on these conditions, it is not a placebo.

Types of anxiety

The 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) classifies 7 official anxiety disorders of the mind:

According to the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), there are 7* classified anxiety disorders. Their effects can range on the scale from mild to debilitating.

*Separation Anxiety Disorder

*Selective Mutism

*Specific Phobia

*Social Phobia (fear of socialising or social situations)

*Panic Disorder (potential for panic attacks)

*Agoraphobia (increased heart rate when confronted with leaving the security of your personal space)

*Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) including obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Massage is an effective natural health remedy to all these and helps you stay naturally positive with a healthy and calm outlook without the adverse effects of some other psychological medications that dampen your neurotransmitters.

massage can boost mental clarity and improve anxiety

What are the best massage styles to act as natural anxiety treatments?

The Mayo Clinic reports a 60-minute massage can lower cortisol, the stress hormone, by up to 30 percent after just one session. This is because massage increases blood flow (and all the good stuff including serotonin) in much the same way exercise does. The issue is, that when you’re suffering with anxiety and depression, much as you may want to get out and jog around the block, the disorder prevents you from literally taking the next step.

It doesn’t matter what type of massage you choose.

You could have a soothing Swedish massage which relaxes the entire body, but if you’re struggling with tight muscles, then a deep tissue massage will help your anxiety and depression too. They have proven both complementary therapies to help you, so it’s down to you to determine your ideal choice. What’s better is that you can do this as your therapist works. If we find an area that you feel needs more pressure, then just say. We can adjust according to your needs.

It’s down to what you feel you need most.

A recent study published in the journal Depression and Anxiety found participants who received regular massage therapy for 12 weeks had a 50 percent reduction in anxiety symptoms. There wasn’t a need for the massage to be a particular style. What’s better is that these effects of massage as a natural anxiety treatment lasted.  Their reduced anxiety symptoms were still 50 percent lower after 26 weeks. That’s six months without a massage session.

What’s better is that the calming effects of massage in dealing with anxiety disorder mean that symptoms such as muscle tension and sleep disturbances also improve.

It’s a win win.

Symptoms of anxiety that massage helps.

As we’ve said, massage benefits physiologically and easing stress. Anxiety is a mental health disorder that affects twice as many women as men down to the hormonal balance of the female brain composition. And it isn’t limited to an age. We see children as young as nine suffering with crippling anxiety and panic attacks right the way through to the older generation facing a single life for the first time.

If you have anxiety, you’ll worry excessively about anything. It could be one thing, or a whole host all at once. And this will be persistent, with you being preoccupied by worry more days than you aren’t.

This can manifest as you feeling restless, or on edge. It will often affect your sleep quality, patterns and result in you waking feeling like you’re still tired (insomnia). You could be easily fatigued over the course of the waking day. And you’ll often struggle to concentrate and being more irritable than is your disposition outside of being anxious.

All of this ties in with muscle tension that often creeps up on you if you’re suffering with panic slowly.

Massage is an effective natural anxiety treatment that you know is safe. The thing with many of the herbal supplements out there is that you don’t know how they work with what else is going on in your body. Much like the pills your doctor would prescribe, they are good at helping one thing. But it’s important to consider how this combination of supplements works with what is already in your body.

Many people will take magnesium. But, what is your current magnesium levels? Do you know? Because if you don’t you could easily overdose. Your anxiety and depression disorder may not be due to a lack of magnesium. And too much can cause serious side effects including irregular heartbeat, confusion and in extreme cases death. For sure, these are the worst cases, but you don’t have any of this uncertainty with a massage.

Plus a massage is a fast acting natural anxiety treatments. Remember the evidence-based research we quoted earlier. You feel better right after the massage and if you keep up with a course, then the effects are long lasting.

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Covid-19 reveals sexism towards holisitic healing therapies

The government has categorised holistic healing therapies such as the pregnancy reflexology and the remedial massage work we do at Essential feeling, as being less safe than getting a haircut. Apparently maintaining social distancing working only on a client’s feet whilst wearing full PPE, disinfecting between clients and treating fewer patients to allow our space to air and ensure no cross contamination, is a colossal risk to the spread of Covid-19. To the point where holistic health therapies are bundled up into the same category as the body touching and up close and personal nature of strip clubs.

Yep, you got it right. Reflexology sits nestled against adult nightclubs for re-opening.

Our professional bodies, including the Association of Reflexologists have written to the government about the value and real life content of holistic healing therapies. They’ve pleaded with MP’s who have argued our case with parliament. And still the issues remain.

Nope, we’re told. You must take your brand of holistic healing therapies and wait like the rest in your group who have way more close contact with the public. We have apparently being categorised as we have because of scientific research which shows the health benefits of getting a haircut in a salon whilst blowing around hot air, during which it’s impossible to wear a mask for the entire duration of your visit, is less risky than me as your reflexologist sitting at your feet, wearing a mask a visor.

Ah, but the government must know what they’re doing, right?

Well, that’s what we thought. At first. We trusted them. We closed down Essential Feeling on 16 March which means we don’t earn. Being self-employed we don’t pull in a wage if we don’t work.

But, that’s all fine because we care about our country and the wellness of our society. We’d rather take the hit than contribute to this pandemic. It’s the nature of holistic healing therapist’s that we’re caring by nature. We’re the last people to want to do anything harmful.

We took our self-employed income support with gratitude even though it was less than we needed to support the ongoing business costs of the three months it was initially supposed to cover. The way the government sorted this out meant that they paid out on profits after business expenses. So, even though the amount we received only covered one month’s expenses, that’s also fine. We understand there is only so much money to go around, and we were happy to just get something in the name of the country getting back up and running again from a better position later on.

Instead of complaining, we’ve taken the time to revamp our treatment rooms, and to install some new groundbreaking air conditioning units which filter out virus and bacteria. They’re not cheap. But we’re happy to do it. Because we care and it helps. And because we’re responsible holistic healing therapists.

And yet we still can’t reopen.

But. What if the government’s logic makes little sense?

Honestly, we can see how massage parlours with all their sexual connotations may not be able to re-open. We’re not living in a bubble, we know they exist. In fact, when you listen to the calls we get, we’re could not ignore their existence even if we wanted to.

But, this assumption by many men who ask my husband ‘how many girls we have’ assuming he is their pimp has been adopted by the government.

And this is putting us to our knees. We’re not due another respite payment until August, and that will be less than the first one. Despite us needing to invest heavily and when we do re-open, being responsible alternative therapists, they will force us to take fewer physical treatments so we have the time between clients to implement our enhanced cleaning practice.

Again this is fine. But, please, what’s important for the government to understand is that we have our client’s best interests at heart.

Our regulars and new people alike are calling us daily, asking for us to treat them, even though we’re not allowed to. They are in pain. Either their mind or their physical body. They rely on us to balance their energy and to balance their stress. Increased stress caused by Covid-19 and all its repercussions I might add. Their life has turned upside down and they’re banned from getting a perfectly legitimate holistic healing therapy that they swear supports their wellness better than any medicine.

Let’s break this down by type of holistic healing therapy.

Before a client arrives, we send them a risk assessment that they must complete the morning of their session and send back to us so we can check it first.

When we take any client from now on, our waiting room will no longer be in use. We’ll greet clients on the drive and test their temperature with a remote infrared thermometer. Before they come any closer they’ll be required to wear a mask and visor if they’re not already. And to disinfect their hands using gel.

The air conditioning units that we have installed will run before the client arrives and continue after they leave. There is one virus filter in each of our treatment rooms.

We’ll do the same.

This applies to all our clients.

Reflexology, including pregnancy and fertility reflexology

Karen the MAR reflexologist specialising in Fertility at Essential Feeling Gidea park, Romford giving reflexology on foot
During reflexology we’ll wear full PPE and only need to sit at your feet while you recline backwards

We work at a client’s feet. They lie back on their chair so that our faces aren’t directly facing each other. We cover our chair with a one use sheet that we wash directly after they leave. As will the towel which we use to wrap their feet in.

During this entire programme, your reflexology practitioner will be no closer to someone’s face than we require to touch your feet when you lie flat on your back.

Deep tissue massage, holistic massage and Swedish massage

For sure, there are elements here that we would rather not do for our own safety and our clients. Despite hairdresser’s being open, if you called us today and they allowed us to treat you, we wouldn’t give you an Indian head massage.

But, if you’re having remedial massage work done because your back or neck is stiff, then you’ll be face down with your head in a cradle covered by a clean towel to filter bacteria. Our therapist will be at least 1 metre from your face — which is pointing towards the ground.

Massage therapist massaging Back during therapy at Essential Feeling Gidea Park, Romford
It’s possible to maintain social distancing whilst delivering a great quality massage.

And don’t forget the air conditioning unit will filter our air.

There is normally a time when we’ll ask you to turn onto your back so we can work your neck from a fresh angle. We will not do that. We’re experienced enough and adaptable as holistic healing therapists to work you from multiple angles. We do not need to include an approach that will not be healthy for either of us. Don’t forget that at the time of writing we’ve had almost four months without a salary, if either of us or our clients get sick that was all for nothing.

In conclusion

We are not a spa resort where water and damp air can carry bacteria. We are not a massage parlour where clients faces come inches from another, where bodies touch and where it would be natural for intimate physical contact to spread disease. Our massage isn’t even done by a woman for goodness’ sake.

We treat clients with anxiety, with conditions affecting their mental wellbeing. We are their retreat away from normal life, and we seek to improve that with valid complementary techniques designed to be effective at improving our client’s wellbeing. Not making them sick.

The holistic healing therapies that we offer at Essential Feeling are performed by responsible and caring responsible therapists who would well prefer to put our own financial and mental health to the side for the benefits of our clients.

And we’re more responsible than some other elements that the government has lumped us together with because our healing therapies contain some similar elements. We’re certainly more contentious about spreading disease than anyone drinking in a pub at 10pm.

The time has come where we no longer see the flawed logic that is preventing us from re-opening and helping our clients recover from the terrible emotional pressure and physical muscle tightness which are the effects of self isolation. And let’s not forget that massage contributes towards a strong immune system. This isn’t just about relaxation, improving quality of sleep and easing depression.

Now what?

We have to wait and maintain being patient. Hopefully, the government will review their flawed module which classes genuine holistic healing therapies in the same batch as sexual nightclubs and we will get a positive outcome that will allow us to practise again.

You can help us by raising awareness. Shouting from the rooftops that your chosen holistic therapy is a technique which benefits your health rather than risking it. And we will continue to work with our governing bodies such as the Association of Reflexologist’s to pass evidence to the Government to use in their review studies. We are more than a sanctuary for our clients. We achieve patterns of healthy growth, in a gentle and compassionate way which our clients tell us improves their quality of life in a way that traditional medicinal practices have failed.

How can I stop my insomnia?

Definition of insomnia

Before we answer, ‘how can I stop my insomnia?’

Insomnia is a sleep disorder. If you suffer with insomnia, it is difficult to fall asleep, to stay asleep, or both.

When you have insomnia you won’t wake feeling refreshed after a night’s sleep. This is tricky because it has a ton of knock-on effects because of the resultant fatigue.

Of all sleep disorders, insomnia is the most common. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) notes that one-third of adults report symptoms. But, what’s more worrying, is that there are between 6 to 10 percent of us who have symptoms of insomnia which are severe enough for us to get a diagnosis of ‘insomnia disorder’.

The clinical diagnosis of this disorder is when you have trouble falling asleep. And staying asleep.

  • Sleep difficulties for at least three nights a week. This must last a minimum of three months.
  • Sleep difficulties create a major distress or functional difficulties in your life.

Let’s investigate these types of insomnia in more detail.

Insomnia causes

There are many causes of insomnia. And it links them to your particular type of sleeplessness.

You may suffer with short-term insomnia. This is an acute condition often created by a spike in stress from e.g. an upsetting or traumatic event. It can even come from changes to your sleep habits if e.g. you’re travelling a lot with work.

Chronic insomnia is a more continued issue. It lasts for at least three months. This is usually secondary to another problem, for example:

  • A medical condition which causes e.g. pain which keeps you awake. Many of our clients with lower back pain or sciatica suffer with this.
  • Psychological issues also play a part. If you have anxiety or depression, they wake up at night when the world is lacking distraction.
  • Substance use including cocaine and alcohol stimulate us and prevent sleep

Risk factors for a reduced ability to sleep

Some people are more naturally pre-disposed to not being able to sleep well than others, although it may occur at any age. Insomnia is more likely to affect females than males.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)Trusted Source, other health concerns increase your chances of suffering with sleep disruption.

  • top levels of stress
  • emotional disorders, such as depression or distress related to a life event
  • lower income leads to stress
  • travelling to different time zones and changing shift patterns
  • Sedentary lifestyle means your joints may cause you pain. Obesity and cardiovascular disease.
  • hormonal shifts such as menopause.

Insomnia symptoms

You’ll know if you’re experiencing insomnia because you’ll report one of these three symptoms.

  • waking up too early
  • not feeling refreshed when you wake
  • Trouble falling asleep. Or staying asleep.

These symptoms of insomnia then lead to other symptoms, including:

  • fatigue
  • mood changes
  • irritability and difficulty concentrating

Treating insomnia

You can get pharmaceutical drugs to help you sleep, but there are also nonpharmaceutical treatments for insomnia. Always speak to your doctor about what treatments are appropriate for you.

A combination of techniques may work best to cure your insomnia. It depends on your personal circumstances. For instance, if your issues are stress, anxiety or depression, then your focus may well be different to someone suffering because of pain from arthritis.

Sleep hygiene

We’ve adopted behaviours that interfere with sleep and cause us to lie awake at night.

Some sleep hygiene routines which may help cure your inability to sleep could be:

  • avoid caffeinated beverages within a few hours of bedtime
  • Give exercise near bedtime a wide berth. Whilst exercise is good, it’s also a stimulant so pick your time.
  • minimise the time spent on your bed when you’re not intending to sleep also helps to train your mind that bed is only for sleeping

Home remedies to help stop disturbed sleep

Lifestyle changes, or home remedies are often effective at curing insomnia.

Warm milk and herbal tea such as chamomile are well known natural sleep aids.

Meditation

Meditation is one of our personal favourites which we use within our reflexology sleep aid and massage for insomnia. We love it because not only does it work, but it’s a natural and drug-free method for treating insomnia.

Meditation is so effective that the Mayo Clinic says that meditation also helps symptoms of conditions that may contribute to insomnia.

  • stress and anxiety
  • depression
  • digestive problems and pain

Melatonin

The body naturally produces the hormone melatonin during the sleep cycle. People often take melatonin supplements, hoping to improve their sleep. However, this is also produced naturally by the body during a massage. Hence why the massage for insomnia is such a brilliant choice for many people.

Melatonin for sleep

Insomnia and pregnancy

Just like when women head into menopause their sleep cycles can go haywire because of hormones, the same is relevant during pregnancy when insomnia is common. Especially in your first and third trimesters.

It may not be that you can’t sleep per se, more that fluctuating hormones cause you to feel nauseous which prevents sleep. As done the increased need to pee and being generally uncomfortable.

Depending on why you can’t sleep will determine which holistic therapy is best. Reflexology can help with balancing hormones, calming emotional stress and cutting out nausea. Massage helps with being uncomfortable, including cramps.

If you’re looking to change more lifestyle elements that help stop insomnia:

  • keeping active during your pregnancy stops you seizing up
  • maintaining a healthy diet improves constipation, and gut issues
  • it might sound odd as you’re in the loo so much already, but staying well-hydrated stops you from swelling up, improving your comfort
  • maintaining a consistent sleep schedule
  • practising relaxation techniques such as meditation and holistic therapies during the day as we’ve described above

We would always advise that you make any lifestyle changes such as increased exercise with your doctor first though as everyone’s starting point and body are different and it’s important to do only what is safe for your personal circumstances.

Types of insomnia

Distinct ways to characterise insomnia are below. Please note that some of these types of insomnia overlap.

Causes of disturbed sleep

Your inability to sleep can have either  a primary or secondary cause

Primary insomnia is when another condition does not cause your insomnia. Your issues such as stress, work, bereavement cause these changes in your sleep patterns.

Secondary insomnia (often classed as comorbid insomnia) is the opposite. An underlying health condition or lifestyle habit, such as depression or anxiety, are playing with your mind at bed time.

Duration of insomnia

Short-term (acute) types of insomnia include situational insomnia and episodic insomnia. We know. It’s getting technical! Let’s explain.

Situational insomnia (acute) and lasts only for days, sometimes up to a few weeks. But, episodic insomnia lasts for one to three months, so it goes on for longer.

Layered on top of this, there is chronic (long lasting) forms.

These include persistent insomnia and recurrent insomnia.

Persistent insomnia lasts for at least three months.

Recurrent insomnia doesn’t continue for as long. But you will have at least two episodes of insomnia (episodic insomnia) over one year.

Symptoms of insomnia

We’ve discussed symptoms of insomnia in more detail on different pages, so check them out.

These include insomnia and depression and anxiety.

Hopefully we’ve answered your questions, ‘How can I stop my insomnia?’ To book in for one of our insomnia sessions, please read the pages as detailed above under the headings to establish which holistic therapy will best help your personal conditions. To get in touch, text us on 07757 946023.

Can reflexology help with fertility?

When you start out asking ‘can reflexology help with fertility?’ it’s important to understand one thing. We don’t always understand! And that’s OK because, did you know that the traditional medical field don’t always understand why medicine works? They just know from the testing procedure that it does.

I know. We were shocked too!

Complementary therapies such as reflexology and massage can offer you benefits if you’re trying to conceive though. As long as you’re coming to a fertility trained therapist — like we are at Essential Feeling, Gidea Park.

Not all reflexologists and massage therapists know how to adapt treatments to your specific conditions, your cycle and your IVF journey if you’re on one.

At Essential Feeling in Gidea Park, Romford, Essex, we often focus on the woman, just because they are the more open to coming for this kind of complementary therapy. It’s you as the female who is going through the assisted reproductive technologies, who has had the miscarriage or is checking every month for a positive pregnancy test.

But the male client is important to the fertility process. They often sit on the outside looking in. So, we help with lifestyle factors that may affect your fertility path.

The role of your fertility reflexology therapistKaren the MAR reflexologist specialising in Fertility at Essential Feeling Gidea park, Romford giving reflexology on foot

Our role as your fertility practitioner is serious. We’ve undergone several advanced training courses in fertility reflexology, but we have also enhanced our learning with a continuous cycle of other training materials. You will often find us at home, reading recent articles, have a stash of books we are always adding to on the fertility subject.

And we’ve also trained in nutrition and counselling.

The overall effect is that we have a plethora of resource upon which to draw, before we start with the role our years of experience plays in understanding not only the main issues of infertility but how these fit into your lifestyle.

We’re able to work with you throughout your early pregnancy in your first trimester. And we understand the risk of miscarriage. We’re not about to give you false hope, we’ve been around the block too many times for that. But we will always be honest with you. And clear about our role. And yours.

If you need us to communicate with your other healthcare professionals, then that’s also great.

Factors reducing fertility

There are different quotes out there, but anything from a quarter to a third of couples struggle to conceive. Even without specific fertility issues, in our modern stressful lives it can take two years to conceive.

The reasons affecting your fertility will be different to the person we meet after you. But here are a few of the common factors that may reduce fertility:

*Nutrition: this may not be in line with what is good for improving your fertility even if you have a ‘healthy’ food consumption.

*Alcohol and drug use: read our post on this for full information.

*Environmental toxins: We’ve written about what are toxins and they’re useful to understand.

*Age: There’s no getting away from it. Your age matters. Once you reach 35 the quality of your eggs diminishes and between 40 and 41, your eggs are in danger of being so poor quality that natural fertility is affected. Even IVF may struggle at this point. Men also have issues after the age of 40, so it’s not all on the female!

*Weight: if your BMI is too high or too low, it will negatively affect your hormonal balance.

This is before we start with conditions such as PCOS and endometriosis for women and low sperm count for men. You can see why this is a minefield!

Now, to the marvellous stuff!

Potential benefits of fertility massage and reflexology.

We’ve said elsewhere on this site about the lack of medical research on fertility improving after reflexology. But there are plenty of case studies, and we also have years of working with fertility clients.

Supporting natural fertility

In order for successful conception to occur:

  • Balanced hormone levels, so the egg develops
  • As a woman you must ovulate so your egg is releases. Some menstrual cycles are anovulatory (we release no egg). Hormone levels affect this.
  • It’s important to have sex at the right time in your cycle.
  • A male’s sperm need to be healthy and have a good count.
  • The lining of your uterus needs to be perfect to induce implantation of the egg in its wall
  • After all of this, hormone levels still need to be at the right balance to support your foetal and placental development.

Note: The stress of trouble conceiving can cause hormonal imbalance. This negatively affects your chance of a successful pregnancy.

We have seen repeatedly how effective reflexology is at reducing stress. It’s also great at balancing hormone levels. Combining the two techniques into one reflexology for fertility session are wonderful.

Effects of stress on fertility

We cannot underestimate the effects of stress when talking about fertility. Whether this be natural or supported with a process such as IVF or ICSI. The whole concept of wanting a child and to form a family and it being out of your control is stressful. Deal with the stress and the rest often follows. Even with health issues such as endometriosis, because it’s hormone imbalance that creates this issue and by balancing out stress, we balance out these hormonal messages which trigger infertility disease.

So answering your question, can reflexology help with fertility? we are happy to say yes. 

Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Chemical Pregnancy. Moving through loss.

Many of our clients are pregnant, or trying to conceive. Their natural fertility isn’t playing ball with their inner drive to have a baby. This often means that they come to me having suffered from a chemical pregnancy or miscarriages, whether these be an early miscarriage, or any time throughout the pregnancy through to still birth and down to missed miscarriage.

Common factor in all miscarriages

Hurt. Deep rooted, soul wracking pain that wields through your body when no-one else understands. Often not even your husband. For sure, you both have had a future ripped out of your hands, often with little or no warning, but men grieve in an entirely unique way to women.

As a trained counsellor, I use a range of techniques to help my clients through their suffering whilst they relax and enjoy a simultaneous reflexology treatment. This enables us to balance your body and your mind at the same time. Sometimes, I will play short wellness clips from a selection of my favourite teachers and we’ll discuss the meaning of these afterwards.

We’re currently in COVID lockdown which prevents me from doing this with my clients but I thought it would be a nice idea to write a blog on this and perhaps prevent some deep-rooted hurt from manifesting as miscarriage won’t stop for an international pandemic.

Here is the video from Lauren Eckstrom and Travis Eliot. I’ll discuss some key points below:

Both Lauren and Travis are successful yoga instructors, so some examples that they discuss of healing mechanisms may not apply to what you’re naturally do in your life. I’m not here to tell you that you should start chanting. As they say, this is a moment in your life when you are suffering in your own unique way. That requires the same for how you deal with these symptoms.

But they made some valid points.

Take time for yourself to mourn your miscarriage

For you and for your partner. Reconnect and ground together. Become a unit that takes on the world as one entity. It’s easy for you to fall into a hole where you each deal with the pain of miscarriage independently and eventually this will eat you guys up.

If I have one piece of advice, it’s do everything you can to communicate and getting outside somehow always makes this easier. However many weeks you were, whatever trimester you were at when your bleeding started. Do not let this miscarriage divide you. There are some points to consider with this though, and they’re important.

Men and women deal with miscarriage grief differently

This is something that the couple touch on in their talk, but what I pulled out of this is the subconscious messages that they probably weren’t aware they are giving off.

Travis talks twice about how ‘disappointing’ their experience was. Disappointing? It sounds so callous. But, listen to him talk, towards the end, his grief and his pain at their loss is so overwhelming that he fills up. His voice cracks when he talks about the child they have lost.

He’s been holding it together, and still is, so that his wife can deal with this traumatic period by breaking apart. Look at the body language of the couple. Lauren is teary, Travis is sitting more tense. It isn’t that he has experienced any less heartbreaking anxieties, but he’s dealing with this in the way men are conditioned to do. He alludes to this, but it is probably even more prevalent than even he realises. And this is a man who is in touch with his emotions and knows on a conscious level that it is OK to cry.

Holding onto pain won’t bring back what couples have lost

It’s a natural coping mechanism to ignore the pain and move forward. It’s kind of what’s expected when we have busy lives. We are expected to carry on, go to work, take the kid we may already have to school, be professional and break our hearts in private. And so we become conditioned to using this as a way of coping.

But you were going to be parents.

The issue here is that the grief you were feeling is still there. It’s just buried. And so the stress, anxiety and depression associated with it is pushed aside, but is still real. And trust us, this will come back to haunt you.

You were a mother, your hormones were geared up for that and when it’s snatched away your partner can’t understand the weight of this, because although they have lost a child and that future, they are still as balanced hormonally as they were before the day this happened. We can see here how Travis was truly affected in his vulnerable interview, but he’s behaving differently to the mother who miscarried.

It’s just different. But it doesn’t mean men don’t care. Even if they can’t fully understand.

So find a place, like my clients do with me, and allow this to be your safe place where you let everything out. Bawl out your eyes, show your anger and bitterness which are valid emotions and let them go. Do not feel shame for grieving. But do not wallow. When the emotion is out, embrace the calm that follows and this is what you hold on to.
When the next wave takes you, allow it to flow in the knowledge that all things in life will pass and look forward to the calm you’ll obtain from once again allowing the wrecking ball to ricochet through your body as it passes through. Then once again hold that calm that follows.

Women who miscarry have a feeling of isolation

They talk about the joy of finding out they were pregnant. Their faces light up when they discuss the day they found out they were expecting their daughter. Don’t lose that joy. Keep the child you had close. You love them. Just because their body didn’t work out it doesn’t mean that when you miscarry that you aren’t still emotionally connected.

This bereavement is different to anything else

When you lose someone else that you have loved, you have a history with them. For sure you may have also had a longer future, but you have memories. These help.

When you have a miscarriage, you don’t have anything. Not a single jot of memory other than the time you had a scan or the time you found out. There’s nothing tangible to ease the pain. All the memories you were going to make evaporate.

And unless you’ve been through this, it’s tricky to empathise in a way which is helpful.

Family and friends don’t get it, no matter how well meaning they are

They don’t. Not unless they have been through it and not many people want to revisit that memory with someone over and over and so you are left alone. This is where counselling comes in because as I do in my miscarriage sessions, I use the experiences of multiple people in the past to help you through this time. This understanding that you are not alone is helpful.

A keepsake

Lauren and Travis talk about each finding a keepsake to cherish as a reminder. This works wonderfully for my clients. You have something to cling onto during the tough times. A tangible reminder of the mother you were going to be to this child. It’s not something you need to discuss with anyone else because this is entirely personal.

When you’re suffering from a miscarriage your anxieties, and the hurt is overwhelming, you have something to touch. A necklace often works well because you can hang it around your neck, keep it close to your heart and in those horrible moments when grief strangle holds you unexpectedly you can scan your fingers lightly over it and feel some peace at being reconnected.

Another coping mechanism

Getting outside with nature is a great opportunity to look after your health. Not only are you in the fresh air away from pollution, but when they are outside, people somehow automatically feel less connected to the freneticism of modern life.

This automatically lifts a weight of grief, although as Travis says, you will still feel the ton of bricks in your heart. The thing is, that’s OK. Because you are dealing with loss. And you’re acknowledging it and giving it space to pass through you. Getting away will help that pass without the same pressure to push it aside. And in so doing, you’re giving yourself the best chance to heal.

And when we heal, we have a better chance of future health. As most of our ladies move on to want to try to conceive again at some point in the future, being healthy and this healing is critical.

 

Finally, thank you to Lauren and to Travis for allowing us access to their hearts in such a personal way. I hope the video and this blog was helpful for you. If you would like to book an appointment to see Karen in Romford, Essex, then you can do so here (once COVID is over).

Be happy

Martin Seligman did a great talk on how to be happy. He has spent literally years researching happiness in full on clinical trials, concluding in his results that we have a great reason to be optimistic about life.

Spoiler alert:

The state of psychology today may not be good enough yet, but we can improve it.

Psychology in the past.

In the past psychology was about finding out what was bad with someone, but today it’s more about fixing disorders. Through this, a science of mental illness has developed so we can now measure and classify mental illnesses such as depression and alcoholism.

We can look at people who are genetically vulnerable and isolate their variables by experimenting on their effects and rigorously. The end result is that we can make miserable people less miserable.

But there were three consequences.

1. By testing people in experiment ways we forgot people make their own choices.

2. Forgot about improving the lives of normal people, you don’t have to be depressed to benefit from an improvement in your mental state. There is always room for improvement.

3. In our rush to help people in trouble, and repair their damage, it never occurred to us to create interventions to make people happier.

What is positive psychology?

Positive psychology has three aims:

*Psychology should be as concerned with strength as weakness.

*Building strength and fixing damage.

*Making lives of normal people fulfilling by nurturing their genius.

If you’re interested in testing your own happiness, then you can take a test. This quick survey looks at all the different causations of happiness and the way the left and right brain works and interacts.

There’s a difference between happy people and those who are sad. There are a few ways, but the primary way is that intrinsically happy people are all social. Extremely so. They are all in a romantic relationship with a rich repertoire of friends.

Note this isn’t the cause, it’s the result.

There are three ways we can be happy.

1. The pleasant life – you crave as much positive emotion as possible and fill your life with activities that create this state for you. This could be physical activity such as running, or emotional such as spending time in study. Whatever floats your boat, but the commonality is that you naturally have the skills to amplify it by filling your life with as many exceptional experiences as possible and engaging in skills such as mindfulness to amplify their effects. If you’re an introvert, this could likely be your natural state of happiness and maybe money is a great barometer for you.

Drawbacks:

Approx 50% of people who create this state do so because of heritage, and this is a state which is not modifiable.

Positive emotion habituates rapidly, so it dilutes over time.

2. A life of engagement – you have the natural ability to focus and look at things in detail and stop time meaning that you enjoy even the smallest things around you. A flower blooming on a passing meadow could be a positive source against negative emotions that others may miss.

If you want to become happier, if this is your natural state, you can work on your highest strength to practice and build its intensity.

For example:

You can be a bag packer in the supermarket, but as long as you are aware of every customer interaction and making this as happy as possible, you will create happiness for yourself. And often for those around you, too.

3. A meaningful life — knowing your true highest strengths are and using them to belong to and in the service of something larger than you. This is a little like the bag packing example above, but it’s all about creating lasting change. The circumstances will be personal to you, but each exercise will have an overarching natural purpose which you feel is important. It could be relationships, learning and studying or literally spending a few minutes a day with a lonely person to improve their mood and outlook. Positive interventions.

There have been random rigorous tests in the same way we test drugs on this. When we teach people about the pleasant life, they take the mindfulness skills and design a beautiful day. You savour this day to enhance the pleasures.

We use gratitude in meditation by closing your eyes and thanking someone for something they did for you who you haven’t properly thanked. In this experiment you write a 300 word testimonial and go visit them when you read the testimonial. Up to three months later, people are still happier and less depressed.

This works for couples too. Design an evening whereby both use their strengths. It’s a great way to strengthen a relationship.

You can have a pleasant life and a life of engagement at the same time. For instance, an introvert who is a trader but no social life, could well be happy if they can stop flow and become totally engrossed in whatever is happening at that point in their time. For instance, they go to work and are only concerned with what is happening in that moment.

Life satisfaction.

How much life satisfaction do you get? Research of thousands of people shows that the above three pursuits of pleasure. The pursuit of meaning is the strongest, engagement is a close second.

If you have pursuit and meaning combined, develop long-lasting happiness.

Note: Don’t underestimate the role of health.

Not only does exercise, (which incidentally could be moderate walking, it doesn’t need to be vigorous) improve the chemical balance of our brains, whilst giving us a leisure pursuit to fill our time and allow us to appreciate the small things around us, but it also has other benefits.

If we’re healthy, then our body works optimally. Our blood is flowing and delivering all of the nutrients to the right parts of our body in the right quantities. This is where massage and reflexology come in.

The role in relieving misery and achieving happiness is important. If you make someone not angry or less anxious, this doesn’t mean they will become happy. The skills of being happy and achieving the pleasant life, the good life and the meaning of life are different to the innate skills of misery.

Woman dressed in white doing fertility yoga for infertility at Essential Feeling

The role of technology in your strive to be happy

Technology and design can increase happiness by increasing meaning engagement in life where people don’t have the base level internal skill set. For instance, if your natural studies involve you watching and listening to a professor, online video course can improve this percent of students success where in the past home study would have been paper bound.

As we’ve already seen, the state of happiness is linked to setting and achieving goals about which we are proud, so the successful achievement of an academic study will therefore links to that person’s happiness.

Likewise, if you’re more of a life-of-engagement-be-happy-kind-of-person, then researchers think building habits that allow you to track the small things you see while walking will make you happier if you can then remind yourself of these in your more down moments. Camera’s on our phone are an enormous deal.

Chat with us today on 07757 946023 to find out more.