Pregnancy massage is beneficial in many ways, here at Solace we pride ourselves in understanding the female body and how we can help women through this precious and exciting time in life, not to mention exhausting and somewhat uncomfortable.
More times than often you will hear that it is safest to wait until your second trimester to receive pregnancy massage. Reasons being in your first trimester your body is going through so much hormonal change. This can bring on “morning sickness” which in actual fact can be “any time of the day sickness” depending on your pregnancy. If you have been advised by your doctor as high risk pregnancy then it is best not to receive prenatal massage. Otherwise if you are feeling well yourself we are happy to massage you during your first trimester. If you are unsure by all means you can consult with your doctor and they can help advise you on this.
In your second trimester you will find your body is adjusting and hopefully coping a lot better hormonally. This is when relaxation and bonding with baby is key. Prenatal massage promotes relaxation and bonding, relieves a strained back and tired muscles, soothes nerves and improves sleep. All the things an expectant mother and baby need. Coming into your third trimester your baby is growing in size and it can be very strenuous on you body, causing many uncomfortable factors, these being
Swelling/Oedema: The extra pressure your uterus places on your legs can cause swelling in your legs, ankles and feet. Massage can improve lymph flow to effected areas and reduce swelling.
Muscle discomfort: Muscle stiffness, leg cramps, knots and tension can be relieved by massage due to improving circulation and can therefore stimulate the flow of blood to these areas, easing your discomfort.
Headaches/sinus pain: Massage of the shoulders, neck and face can alleviate sinus pressure and headaches caused by tension.
Constipation and heartburn: Your digestive system becomes sluggish due to allowing your baby to absorb key nutrients. Stress can also contribute to both factors. Massage can help reduce anxiety and tension and help ease symptoms.
Fourth trimester, I find this is not spoken about enough, your fourth trimester is
the 12 week period after you have had your baby. This is a time of huge physical and emotional change for both you and your new born baby. Your new born is trying to adjust to the outside world whilst you are trying to adjust to your baby and what every cry and noise means. Is she/he hungry, have wind, tired, needs nappy changed. Feeding your baby weather you are able to breast feed or not is priority. Waking several times in the night to feed can leave you feeling so incredible tired. Whilst you are lacking sleep in the meantime your uterus is shrinking back to its former size and your hormones have shifted, this is a lot of change. Weather you have had a natural birth or a C-Section, postnatal massage can help you recover and re-cooperate from pregnancy. Looking after your baby is your priority, looking after you is our priority.
Here are some benefits of postnatal massage.
A question that we frequently ask our clients in Solace is 'how is your body feeling?' The answer that we get varies but one that comes up frequently, particularly for females is 'I just feel tired.' There is a difference between that sleepy tiredness one feels at the end of the day and the tiredness that people describe feeling on a regular basis. The latter points to something more than natural tiredness.
Fatigue and low energy can occur for many reasons - stress, overwhelm, taking on too much, digestive issues, poor sleep quality, low thyroid, hormonal issues can all contribute so finding the cause is important.
How can massage and reflexology help with low energy and fatigue?
A massage / reflexology treatment gives time to tune in to the body. Sometimes we are so busy that we don't give ourselves a chance to check in with ourselves. Giving time to yourself is a really supportive way of minding your energy.
Rest and Digest - The parasympathetic nervous system is one of the divisions of the nervous system. Sometimes called the rest and digest system, the parasympathetic nervous system conserves energy as it slows the heart rate and supports healthy digestion. When parasympathetic activity dominates, healing and regeneration occur. Massage and reflexology both activate this branch of the nervous system.
Reflexology works on reflexes of the feet which correspond to the organs and systems of the body. It can help to bring the body back in to balance while also working on specific issues. Fatigue and low energy can occur when our system is under pressure. Reflexology can help to tune in and bring harmony back to a body that feels overworked.
Tension can be exhausting. Massage and reflexology help to relieve stress and unravel tension so that the body feels lighter. Dealing with tension, emotional and physical, can help to ease the burden and in turn lift fatigue and increase energy.
For more information or to book a treatment call or text 0879510554
Often I find clients asking what the difference is between Holistic Massage and Deep Tissue. Both treatments can effect you differently, emotionally and physically. Here you have both types of massage explained.
Holistic massage meaning whole, this type of massage is a light to medium pressure.
The meaning of holistic is the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of pain. The massage combines how you feel emotionally and physically. It helps relieve stress, reduce muscle tension and helps you connect to your spiritual side.
Studies show that holistic massage can reduce anxiety and can also help improve blood circulation issues. A 2013 study showed that a four week course of massage therapy reduced heart rate and blood pressure in people with hypertension.
Emotionally holistic massage can sometimes release emotion you have been holding in or struggling to let go of. Breathing through your massage can help shift emotional tension and helps the brain focus on forgetting your problems and focus on how relaxed you feel. You can completely switch off and enjoy your experience. We all need this from time to time and will seriously reap the benefits.
Each therapist will start the treatment by having a consultation with the client. They will ask a few questions, covering your medical history, lifestyle, what you’re looking to achieve with the therapy, and more. This is important with holistic massage in particular as tailoring the session to each individual is very important. The therapist will be working with you, possibly even communicating if the need arises. We ask things like “is the pressure okay, are you
comfortable’’ etc. The massage draws from a wide range of massage techniques. Therapists trained in holistic massage have typically been through a much wider training curriculum and have a lot of different skills to utilize. The goal is to stimulate lymphatic drainage, increase circulation and work on any areas of tissue that need some attention. The therapist can put some added emphasis on creating a relaxing environment if working on a client’s emotional stability. We play relaxing music throughout the treatment and some therapist will burn different essential oils to help you fully relax into your treatment. Its normal to feel a little light headed after your treatment so we always advise you to take your time getting dressed and drink plenty of water. Hydration is key in helping flush out any toxins that have been released during your massage. Massage can take a toll on your energy levels at first and can also lead to your muscles feeling tired. That being said, once you have had a couple of sessions you should start to feel a natural energy like you have never felt before.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is best for giving attention to certain painful and stiff areas in your body. We use slow, deliberate strokes that focus pressure on layers of muscles, tendons, or other tissues deep under your skin. Massage techniques we use to access multiple layers of the muscle and fascia to improve alignment, reduce levels of resting tension and helps improve posture. Though less rhythmic than other types of massage, deep tissue massage is therapeutic it relieves chronic pain and tension.
Here are a list of some of the benefits:
The overall aim is to realign the muscles and release chronic muscle tension from ailments or injuries.
Deep tissue massage can be slightly uncomfortable at times, especially when the therapist is working on a knot in the muscle or a sensitive area that needs more attention. However, deep tissue massage should not be painful.
After care is very important, we recommend drinking lots of water to help flush out anything that has been shifted.
Taking a bath with Epsom salts is great as it will also help draw out any toxins and the heat will help relax the muscles. Fatigue is to be expected and perhaps the feeling of tired muscles. Don’t over do it as the body needs plenty of time to readjust.
Holistic massage and deep tissue massage are popular forms of massage therapy. Although some of their techniques are similar, they differ in the amount of pressure that they involve and in their intended purpose.
Holistic massage helps promote circulation and relax the surface muscles also taking in mind the clients well being. Deep tissue massage works into the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue to remove knots or chronic tension.
To find a massage session beneficial, people must choose the technique that best suits their needs. We will always be here at Solace to offer advice and help you choose what treatment suits your needs best.
Reflexology is a very popular treatment with our clients at Solace with many noticing an improvement in their health and wellbeing. It is lovely to have our clients experience backed up by clinical studies. A study published in 2019, which we reference in this blog, indicates that reflexology is successful in relieving PMS symptoms.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to a set of somatic and psychological symptoms that occur cyclically in the luteal phase of a menstrual cycle. The symptoms occur cyclically just before menstruation and disappear when menstrual bleeding starts. Major somatic symptoms include swelling, breast tenderness, headache, increased appetite and palpitations; and psychological symptoms include depression, irritability, fatigue, aggression, suicidal tendency, and social isolation.
The exact cause of this syndrome is unknown, and symptoms are reported such as changes at estrogen and progesterone levels, central changes in catecholamines, response to prostaglandins, reduction of dopamine and central serotonin levels. There is no effective single treatment, which is universally accepted, for this syndrome.
A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted which examined the impact of reflexology on women with premenstrual syndrome. Results of the present study indicated that reflexology could relieve PMS symptoms, so that overall scores, somatic and psychological symptoms of PMS decreased by applying the reflexology intervention. Results showed that reflexology can be used as an effective intervention in a patient care program and its efficiency can be enhanced by increasing intervention time in each reflexology treatment session.
Reflexology involves stimulating reflex points on the feet which correspond to the organs and parts of the body. It is a relaxing treatment which encourages the body to restore health.
'Effects of reflexology on premenstrual syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis' Marzieh Hasenpour et al, Biopsychosocialmedicine, 25;2019
If you would like to try reflexology please call or text 087 9510554 to book an appointment.
The most common hormone condition in women of reproductive age. PCOS affects 20 percent of women and can interfere with fertility by blocking regular monthly ovulation. PCOS is characterised by insulin resistance and ovarian cysts.
What does this mean for someone who has PCOS?
Insulin resistance can cause weight gain as blood sugar levels become destabilised. Many people experience cravings because of this and find it hard to lose weight.
High insulin also leads to hormonal imbalance which in turn may lead to acne, lack of ovulation and unwanted hair growth.
Women with PCOS typically develop many small cysts on their ovaries resulting in a breakdown in ovulation which can cause fertility issues.
What can someone with PCOS do to support their health?
Symptoms can vary from one person to the next but there are lifestyle and nutrition changes that are effective in supporting the health of someone with PCOS. I will outline some of these here.
Manage stress: Stress can exacerbate symptoms of PCOS so noticing your stress levels and putting things in place to manage stress can be highly beneficial.
Eat low GI foods: These foods help to stabilise blood sugars which in turn support hormone balance.
Increase Fibre: Many women with PCOS have high testosterone levels. Fibre increases excretion of testosterone from the body.
Lower sugar intake: Sugar causes insulin to spike which drives high insulin, cravings and weight gain.
Optimise nutrition: Focus on nourishing whole foods and think of food as medicine.
Sarah Forristal is a Holistic Therapist who uses a combination of massage, reflexology and nutritional therapy to help women with hormonal issues.
A tailored treatment plan can be beneficial for someone with PCOS. Nutrition advice coupled with reflexology sessions can support stress levels and ensure the body is getting what it needs to balance hormone levels and manage symptoms.
For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text 087 9510554
As we age it becomes more important to look after our bone health. Women develop osteoporosis more easily than men because of hormonal changes and nutrient malabsorption. How can we look after our bones to ensure that we remain strong and active?
Here are some recommendations for increasing calcium absorption through food and exercise:
Reference: 'Healing with Wholefoods', Paul Pitchford, 2002.
The concept of Mind, Body and Soul has been mentioned and discussed a lot more in
recent years. This concept is not new and is all encompassing of the person as a
whole but that does not mean we understand fully what each part entails and that
essentially each part works together to make a person whole. The mind we
understand as our brain functioning and we can comprehend that there are times
that the mind needs support through counselling or learning new skills. Physically
our bodies are made up of our organs, skeleton, muscle and blood, and this we can
look after through diet, exercise, massage.
But how do we nourish the Soul and what in fact is the soul? This is the part of us
that is essential to live a full life and that we need to nourish to complete the Mind,
Body, Soul connection. The soul is that part of us that exists within from which we
feel our emotions, fears, passions, awareness, understanding, intuition and insights.
It is ‘The Essence’ of who we are, it’s what makes us individual and unique like our
So how do we nourish and support our Soul, the essence of who we are. The first
step is to acknowledge how you are feeling in this moment. This feeling can be one
of happiness, sadness, anger, hope, despair, bored, fearful and many more the list of
emotions is a long one and includes a lot more than ‘fine, ok or grand’. In knowing
how you are feeling, we acknowledge those feelings and we do not dismiss them, to
do this writing them down is a good option. In writing down the emotion, looking at
it on paper, the process of breaking it down to see where it has come from and how
it can be resolved in ourselves can start.
Our soul needs constant nourishment otherwise it will become exhausted and to use
an age old expression “You can’t see the wood for the trees” John Heywood 1546. By
focusing on the detail one can lose all perspective and miss what is important to you.
What are your values, what brings joy and contentment to your life, this is what
needs to be addressed in order to soothe and nourish your soul.
Tips to nourish your Soul:
Talk to your self as though it is your best friend you are talking to. Be
conscious that your inner voice is what you hear every day.
Choose who you truly want to spend time with not who you think you
should spend time with.
Self-date, take your self on a date. Go for a cuppa, cinema, out for lunch
whatever you feel will bring joy to your own self that you enjoy doing.
Take up a new hobby, what was it you enjoyed doing as a child. This could
be colouring, jigsaws, reading, being outside (gardening), taking pictures, music.
A hobby is just for you and no one else.
Gratitude and appreciation, to give and receive thanks is what we can all do
and this nourishes everyone’s soul. The gesture of ‘Thanks’ or holding a door
open for someone can only come back to you ten fold when truly felt in that
Be of service to yourself and to others. If you feel that you are constantly in
the service of others, then really take a look at how you can be in service of
yourself, ‘ You can’t pour from an empty jug’ self care is filling yourself first so
you can be in service of others.
We are all here together to live and learn and to do this takes courage and
vulnerability. Being open to learning is essential but this comes with choosing
courage and vulnerability to put your own Mind, Body and Soul first and foremost
and in doing so much more can be opened within and around you in your life.
Solace Holistic Centre, 0879510554
Your skin is the largest organ in your body and is connected with all the other organs and systems in the body. Therefore it can be said that glowing skin comes from the inside. Health can be seen in a person's face through eyes that are bright and skin that is clear and hydrated.
What we put on our skin is also important, as essentially we are feeding the skin. The skin has a complex microbiome which functions optimally when it is in balance. Skin problems can occur when this balance is disrupted. The use of certain cosmetics can strip the skin, disrupting this delicate balance. Natural skincare cares for the skin, ensuring the skin is nourished and nurtured.
We use Flourish Organics products for our facials here at Solace. Organic essential oils along with natural carrier oils and locally grown ingredients are used which benefit the skin and also relax the mind. We stock a lovely range of Flourish products here at reception with samples, so feel free to try them out.
Skin problems can occur for different reasons, hormones can play a part, along with our digestive system and organs of detoxification. Our skin microbiome is linked and somewhat controlled by our gut microbiome so maintaining a healthy gut is very important. Sometimes it can be confusing to figure out what the cause of problem skin is, but it is well worth investigating. Sarah Forristal, our nutritional therapist here at Solace is available for appointments to help you figure it out and support you in obtaining healthy skin.
To book a Holistic Facial call or text 087 9510554
For more information on nutrition and skin care email email@example.com
We have recently started stocking Findhorn Flower Essences here at Solace and the feedback from clients using them so far has been great.
Findhorn Flower Essences is a small, well established and award winning business. Their essences are lovingly made by hand according to the methods of Dr. Edward Bach in the north of Scotland.
Flower essences are aqueous infusions of flowers, endowed with the very essence and the highest concentration of the life force of a plant. They work on the subtle levels of our human anatomy. They assist in aiding the etheric and subtle bodies to deal with the conditions that predispose people to disease, and the mental and emotional effects of illness by balancing and strengthening our psycho-spiritual health and wellbeing.
Flower Essences can help:
They can be taken under the tongue by dropper or spray, and also come in a mist which can be sprayed in a room or around the body.
Our range of flower essences are available at reception where you will also find more information on each remedy. We would be happy to help you select the remedy that is right for you.
Call or text 087 9510554 to book an appointment.
Reflexology is the technique of applying gentle pressure to reflex areas on the feet to bring about a state of deep relaxation and to stimulate the body's own healing processes. The theory underlying reflexology is that the organs, nerves, glands and other parts of the body are connected to reflex areas on the feet. By stimulating these areas using special techniques a reflexologist can create a direct response in a related body area.
The roots of reflexology date back to ancient Egypt where early paintings depicting reflexology were found in the tomb of the ancient Egyptian physician Ankmahor.
Dr. William Fitzgerald was one of the pioneers of modern reflexology who undertook extensive research in to the effects of stimulation of the sensory pathways on the rest of the body. He developed 'Zone Therapy' on which the modern form of reflexology was subsequently based. In the 1930s Eunice Ingham the 'mother of reflexology' developed techniques and devised reflexology maps which form the basis for the way in which most reflexology is practised around the world today.
What are the benefits of reflexology?
Reflexology stimulates the body's own healing capabilities by restoring natural balance. It does this through working on the nervous system, improving circulation, improving energy, and supporting the organs and their functions. Reflexology can be beneficial for digestive health, female health and hormones, stress relief, pain relief, migraine/headache relief, and overall health and wellbeing.
What can I expect from a reflexology treatment?
Reflexology is a deeply relaxing treatment. The feet are warmed up and then pressure is used on reflex points throughout the feet. By stimulating these areas using a compression technique a direct response in the related body area is created. Clients generally feel very relaxed during and after the treatment.
To find out more or to book a reflexology treatment -
call or text Solace Holistic Centre on 087 9510554.
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