Reflexology for Diabetics

It is well known that people with diabetes need to lookafter their feet. In very basic terms, when the blood is not releasing the sugars into the cells ofthe body, the blood can get syrupy and thick, which means that it isn’t flowingsmoothly and is not getting to the extremities as efficiently and aseffectively as it should. Because of this, some of the smaller blood vesselsbecome restricted and nerve endings can start to become damaged, causingperipheral neuropathy.

My first ever reflexology client I booked after qualifyingwas an elderly lady with type 2 diabetes. She was keen to have her feet touchedand worked on because of the peripheral neuropathy she was experiencing. Hersymptoms were numbness and tingling, making it difficult for her to walk and difficultto sleep. She found the treatments soothing, comforting and relaxing.

It is well known that reflexology can improve circulation within the body: the main contraindication for the treatment is thrombosis and clotting, simply because the improved flow of blood could cause the clot to move. With this in mind, it is a great treatment for diabetics.

Being diagnosed with any type of diabetes, but especially atype 2 diabetes diagnosis in later life, can be very difficult to manage.  A massive change in lifestyle, eating habitsand general discipline around food choices, exercise, blood sugar monitoringand medication timings can be very stressful not just for those with thediabetes but also the surrounding friends and family. This is where regularreflexology treatments can be so beneficial for so many of life’s illnesses andproblems, because it is such a great stress-buster.

Regular reflexology will also optimize the condition and health of the skin of the feet and ankles. As diabetics will have restricted blood flow (particularly to the extremities), this can cause excessive dryness, making the skin fragile and thin, and causing serious problems if a wound occurs. Healing will take much longer and may lead to other complications such as infections and ulcers. Ensuring that the skin is thoroughly moisturized and nourished will be hugely beneficial in maintaining the overall health of the feet.

In addition to general reflexology, the specialized sequence of Reflexology Lymph Drainage (RLD) may also be a good choice to make in a multi-faceted approach to managing diabetes. Diabetes causes the lymph vessels to become weak and too permeable, compromising the flow of lymph and thus the immune system.[1] We know that it is likely that the RLD sequence has a causal effect on the lymphatic system through studies conducted and results published around managing breast cancer related lymphoedema.[2] Of course more research is needed to present evidence, but I wholeheartedly believe in the modality of reflexology and the powerful effect it can have on the mind and body.

[1] http://revistaseletronicas.pucrs.br/ojs/index.php/scientiamedica/article/view/10095

[2] http://www.reflexologylymphdrainage.co.uk/abstract-2016.html

Jackie Marsden is a Reflexologist, Acupuncturist and Foot Reading Practitioner, based at Elder Cottage Clinic, Warton, Preston, PR4. She is a full member of the Association of Reflexologists.

Ski Essentials

If you’re planning on hitting the piste this winter season, don’t leave without these ski essentials from Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic.

Arnica salve  This has got to be at the top of the list for essentials when skiing/snowboarding. We all use muscles that we don’t normally exercise when we go skiing! A full day skiing can take its toll on the quads, knees, shins (if you’re not used to your boots) and feet. This Arnica Salve comes in a easily-packable sized pot and is great for rubbing into those tired and weary muscles and joints to increase blood circulation, reduce inflammation and help ease out bruising, aches and pains.

Why not also look at the Warming Salve which is great for rubbing into your joints and muscles before heading out onto the piste after breakfast? Or the Arnica and Seaweed Foam Bath for a luxurious soak afterwards.

To learn more about the Power of Arnica please read my other blog post here.

Wild Rose Moisturing SPF 30  Stay beautifully protected, nourished and nurtured in the winter sun with this organic, high level broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection. This natural moisturiser contains natural non-nano mineral filters, blended with antioxidant radiance-boosting organic wild rosehip oil, deeply nourishing organic shea butter and baobab oil. Together they protect, nurture and moisturise the skin. It is also free from harsh chemical filters, nano particles and synthetic fragrances.

This award-winning Wild Rose Beauty Balm can be used as a rich cleanser, gentle exfoliant or deeply nourishing balm/moisturiser – to quench areas of dry or dehydrated skin. The exceptionally high levels of wild rosehip oil – a potent antioxidant proven to help repair, firm and smooth the skin – are combined with geranium, starflower, hemp and rosemary oil, to help decongest and enrich the skin, restoring its natural radiance.

This pot is ideal for packing in your suitcase: it is a cleanser, mask and moisturiser all in one so you can travel lightly! The smaller 15g pot is also small enough to fit into hand luggage.

Bee Lovely Lip Balm

Nourishes and softens your lips on the slopes with moisturising cocoa butter and beeswax. It is gentle enough for the whole family (aged 3 years and over) so great if you’re taking your little ones with you too. 3% of sales goes to charities that help Save the Bees.

Remedies to Roll: Energy

This blend of rosemary, lavender and grapefruit essential oils applied to the pulse points can help to stimulate and boost the body and mind to overcome tiredness for that much-needed pick-me-up we all need when out on the slopes all day. Comes in a little roller-ball bottle ideal for popping in your pocket.

White tea facial mist

This is a gentle facial mist to calm, refresh and rehydrate the skin – ideal for a quick, cooling spritz after lunch. Infused with antioxidant white tea, calming organic aloe vera, aromatherapeutic organic essential oils and soothing Bach Flower Remedies. This will help the face recover quickly from any sun exposure, or dryness caused from cold winds. You can also use it as a toner so no need to pack your big bottle, and  travel lightly!

And while I’m talking about travelling lightly – how about looking at these wonderful skincare kits which come in travel-sized pots ideal for hand luggage.

 

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist and independent consultant (Group Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

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Coping with Seasonal Allergies

POST102 million people in the UK suffer with seasonal allergies.

Generally speaking, early symptoms are caused by tree pollen, and later symptoms are caused by grasses and weeds. This is known as seasonal allergic rhinitis (or more commonly referred to as hay fever).

Symptoms that continue all year are called perennial allergic rhinitis and commonly relate to indoor allergens, such as house dust mites, pets and indoor moulds.

In response to exposure of an allergen (e.g. pollen) the body’s immune system overreacts and releases chemicals (histamines) which cause inflammation. Histamines work quickly, causing sneezing, itching and runny nose. The eyes may also be affected, with itching, redness and watering (allergic conjunctivitis).

Other chemicals released during this overreaction can cause a blocked or stuffy nose and sinuses, which may lead to headache and difficulty sleeping.

Rhinitis is often regarded as a trivial problem but studies have shown that it severely affects people’s quality of life. It disturbs sleep, impairs daytime concentration and the ability to carry out tasks, causes people to miss work or school, and has been shown to affect children’s school exam results. (Source Allergy UK).

Treatments that suppress the symptoms of rhinitis or hay fever are antihistamines.

Quercetin is a natural anti-histamine i.e. it is known to inhibit the manufacture and release of histamine. It is also high in antioxidants.

  • Quercetin is an flavonoid (plant pigment) commonly found in fruits and vegetables, especially onions, citrus, and apples.post5
  • In this new supplement, Quercetin and Nettle complex, it is blended with other ingredients (such as nettle) to have a synergistic effect. Nettle is known for antihistamine affect too, but also believed to be soothing and anti-inflammatory for skin problems such as eczema, hives, redness and itchiness.
  • Other ingredients include bromelene which is an anti-inflammatory (found in pineapples). Reduces swelling/inflammation in the sinuses.
  • And liquorice – this also has anti-inflammatory properties but also has de-stressing qualities.
  • Since over-the-counter and prescription antihistamines can have side effects like drowsiness, seizures and dry mouth, our natural option is a good choice.
  • Use with Vitamin C for an optimal effect.

Zinc also helps with hayfever. Zinc reduces histamine levels and will enhance Quercetin.

  • If you suffer with regular colds/infections – you could well be deficient in zinc. post6Zinc will reduce a cold by up to 7 days, because it is toxic to viruses.
  • Zinc is amazing for skin – crucial skin healing and repair, acne, blemishes etc. balances sebum.
  • Zinc balances the reproductive organs so it’s a great choice for couples wanting to conceive. Great for bones and nails.
  • NYROrganic zinc has a great base of carrot, alfa alfa and bilberry. No fillers.

NYROrganic Summer tea is full of natural remedies:

  • Eyebright herb for reducing inflammation around the mucus membranes.
  • Nettle and liquorice (already mentioned above).
  • Plus peppermint to calm and boost immunity.

TOP TIP: Pop the used tea bags into the fridge and then place on the eyes for calming itchiness.

Any of the White tea range will be hugely antioxidant so great for any allergies/hay fever.

  • White tea facial mist – lovely and refreshing, and cooling for the face. Use as a toner and as a facial spritz throughout the day over make-up.POST8_white_tea
  • White tea toning eye gel. Again this contains the Eyebright herb for reducing inflammation around the mucus membranes, more specifically the eye area here. Keep in the fridge for that extra cooling effect.
  • White tea enriching facial mask  – the kaolin clay cools and calms the skin.

OTHER TOP TIPS:

  • Apply the bee lovely lip balm around nostrils to prevent the pollen/allergens from entering the nasal cavity.
  • Some people with an allergy to pollens (especially tree pollens) may be affected by cross-reactions between their pollen allergy and certain foods. For example, they may find that when eating certain fruits, vegetables or tree nuts, especially raw, they get an itchy mouth or throat.
  • Keep windows closed when indoors. This is most important in the early mornings, when pollen is being released, and in the evening when the air cools and pollens that have been carried up into the air begin to fall to ground level again.
  • On high pollen days, shower and wash your hair after arriving home and change your clothing.
  • Avoid drying washing on a clothes-line outside when pollen counts are high.
  • Wear wraparound sunglasses when outdoors to keep pollen allergens out of your eyes.
  • Start taking a spoon full of locally sourced honey every day as early in the year as possible to build up immunity/resilience. (Source Allergy UK)
  • Get some reflexology. Reflexology Lymph Drainage has helped others manage rhinitis.

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist, promoter of healthy living and independent consultant (Team Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

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Prebiotics and probiotics

Do you know the difference between pre and probiotics? If not read on to discover more.

Probiotics are commonly known as good bacteria and are widely available in supplement form, and they can also be found in some yoghurt. On the other hand, prebiotics are fibres that stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria that are already present in your gut. [1]

Many of the beneficial bacteria in our lower intestine feast on fibre which we can’t digest ourselves and so passes through the stomach and small intestine to be dealt with by the bacteria in our large intestine (gut). So eating a diet which is high in fibre is hugely beneficial to our gut health, because the fibre is the food for your good bacteria.

ID-10099484But do we need to take a probiotic supplement? Lots of research has been done on this and while there is mixed results from the findings, many people are agreeing that taking a probiotic supplement can help with the treatment of Travellers Diarrhoea and other gastrointestinal problems, to upper respiratory tract infections, allergies, various skin disorders, diabetes, weight loss to infantile colic.[1]

Another good time to be taking a probiotic supplement is during and after periods of antibiotic use. Antibiotics are good at killing all the bacteria, good and bad, so it is important that we put good bacteria back into our bodies to maintain a healthy gut. My mother suffered with oral thrush during courses of antibiotics for years until she discovered probiotics.

Additionally, stress can take its toll on the good bacteria of the gut.

The topic of pre and probiotics can get very complex as there are many different species of bacteria and some species can be beneficial for specific health concerns. For example, research at the University of Aberdeen has shown that eating a bowl of oats every day can clearly change the proportions of different types of bacteria in the gut, and their research has shown that some of the species that particularly increases when people eat more oats can be very good for us. These bacteria produce chemicals which are good for our hearts and for our gut lining. [2]

So my personal recommendation would be to take probiotic supplements during periods of ill health and stress, or to combat particular health concerns. But during times when health is good then eat a diet with lots of fibre including oats, and indigestible carbohydrates (oligosaccharides, dietary fibre and resistant starch). Examples of these are onions, garlic, beans and lentils, cashews, and cooked potatoes that have been cooled.

probioboost

For a good, high quality supplement see Pro Bio Boost supplement from Neal’s Yard Remedies. This is suitable for vegetarians, and contains Bacillus coagulans, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifido Blend 3 Strain and Inulin (a type of prebiotic/indigestible carbohydrate derived from plants). No GMO and no synthetic binders or fillers.

Alternatively, the Organic Fibre Blend Cleanse help to maintain a healthy digestion with a cleansing blend of apple, flax seed and chia seed. Contains psyllium husk and Bacillus coagulans to help promote the natural health of your gut.

 

[1] Monash University https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/food-as-medicine/1/steps/82004

[2] http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4s0XkHq0HxZhjd5V2lQ2LRm/do-probiotics-do-any-good

Image courtesy of dream designs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist and independent consultant (Team Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

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Charity Fundraiser for Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Last week was Eating Disorders Awareness Week. During this week I co-ran a fundraising event with a local Preston-based charity Support and Education for Eating Disorders (S.E.E.D). S.E.E.D is dedicated to raising awareness about eating disorders in Lancashire by providing information, resources, education, training and support for everyone affected by eating disorders and/or working with eating disorders. S.E.E.D acknowledges that the symptoms of eating disorders are an expression of deeper emotional need; they believe that people suffering can get better; that there is help available and this help should be freely accessible.

The event was a shopping evening held at Howick House in Penwortham. We started off with drinks and nibbles, and then got started.

I donated a reflexology voucher worth £35 as one of the raffle prizes, so began with a short talk on what reflexology is, how it works and some of the benefits it can have on general wellbeing.

I then moved onto Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic, showcasing the natural and organic approach, and the ethical credentials of the company. We had a bit of fun with a “smell test”, guessing the scents of different essential oils, and learning about their health benefits.

S.E.E.D’s very own Shelley Perry enjoyed a mini facial, a demonstration of the key facial products and their benefits for the skin. Shelley was very relaxed afterwards! We then tried various different products, many of which are my favourites such as the Wild Rose Body Elixir, Firming Body Cream and the Melissa Hand Polish.

Afterwards everyone relaxed with the brochures and placed enough orders for me to donate £65 of my profits to the charity, and along with the other monies raised through the raffle and refreshments, a total of £165 was raised on the night. What a great result and everyone had such an enjoyable evening!

If you are a local charity and would like to hold a similar event with me please get in touch. Watch out for another shopping evening with S.E.E.D this summer.

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist and independent consultant (Team Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

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Selling is about people helping people

I am always slightly dumbfounded when I invite other therapists on the NYROrganic journey and they respond ” no thanks, I’m not into selling”. Even as therapists we are still selling, and selling is selling whether it be a product or a service.

There seems to be a conflict of interest within the mindset: therapists are passionate about their therapies but anything to do with money seems to damage or taint their holistic principles.

ID-100341024

But it is like a very good friend of mine said of reiki, “everything is energy: money is energy, reiki is energy. So all you are doing is exchanging energies.”

Ultimately, selling gets a bad name when the person selling the item is selling for selling sake: they are not passionate about the product and they don’t believe what it stands for, they just want to make money.

When you believe wholeheartedly in what you do and why, selling becomes something else, it becomes the promotion of a good thing, it becomes “spreading the word”, it becomes “people helping people”.

So if you want to be about people helping people, where the product ingredients are natural and organic, where the people in the supply chain are treated fairly, and when you look behind you there is no carbon footprint, then adding NYROrganic to your therapy business is a good choice.

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist and independent consultant (Team Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

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Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Be Prepared for Biting Insects (let’s live together!)

We’re off to the midge haven of Scotland for our summer holiday, so in  true girl guide fashion I’ve followed the motto of “be prepared” and have stocked up on insect repellant and cream to apply on bites.

Just as well I did because just as my stock arrived I suffered this nasty bite to my thigh whilst outside in our garden, from what I can only imagine was a horse fly.

As is usually the case I only noticed it when it started to itch. Immediately applied a generous amount of Stellaria cream from Neal’s Yard Remedies. This cream is rich in almond oil and chickweed extract – exactly what the skin needs to reduce inflammation, itching and allergy. I applied approximately every 3 hours (basically when the itching re-started after the last application) and now 5 days later it no longer itches and has reduced considerably. It didn’t bother me during the night either which was surprising!

I’m sure if I hadn’t had this cream to hand the itching would have been unbearable and I probably would have been scarred from scratching.

When I was bitten I was outside taking my regular yoga practice. It’s so liberating and uplifting to practice outside, and I don’t want to stop doing this. So insect repellant to the rescue! The Neal’s Yard Remedies citronella formula spray has worked a treat ever since. With witch hazel and citronella it is cooling to the skin and smells great (but not so attractive for those pesky insects!)

If you prefer to make your own insect repellant lotion, then the following ingredients will serve well: create your own face and body lotion, citronella essential oil, thyme essential oil, lavender essential oil, pine essential oil, peppermint essential oil. Work to 2% of oils to lotion to keep it skin safe. Switch the lotion for a little alcohol (to disperse the oils) and water to make a spray instead. [Note I am not an aromatherapist however I sought this advice from a qualified colleague.]

While we’re away I will also pop a few drops of citronella in a bowl of boiling water to diffuse through the van of an evening.

Jackie Marsden is a qualified reflexologist and an independent consultant for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. All views are my own.

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Feeling the burn? Be careful what you slap on

I think I’m safe in saying that we all look forward to the summer and the summer holidays.

The problem with the summer is the risk of sun damage to our skin, from prolonged exposure, burning and skin cancers.

We need to find a good balance between safe sun exposure for vitamin D production whilst simultaneously protecting us against skin cancer.

UV explained 

The sun’s UV (ultra violet) rays can be a danger. They both have strong links in the development of skin cancers. Here they are explained in a nutshell:

UVA: these rays penetrate deep into the skin and are strongly connected to premature aging. This is the predominant tanning ray.

UVB: these rays mostly affect the surface of the skin and cause reddening and sunburn.

The World Health Organisation have identified UV as a human carcinogen.

Which suncare product?

Firstly look for “Broad Spectrum”. This means that the product has been tested and guaranteed to provide both UVA and UVB protection.

The Neal’s Yard Remedies range is Broad Spectrum.

Many suncare products usually contain synthetic and potentially toxic chemicals e.g. sun filters, preservatives, colouring, perfume. Nano technology is often used too, however this means that these tiny particles are then absorbed by the body and can be harmful to the environment.

Neal’s Yard Remedies use a physical barrier as opposed to a chemical barrier. A certified non-nano form of zinc oxide is used, which is processed so that the particles become transparent. This allows the zinc to better cover and shield the skin while minimising the white cast that used to be a common trait of physical sunscreens.

A physical barrier is much better for us than a chemical barrier which can be absorbed through the skin and be toxic to the body.

Other suncare nasties are oxybenzone, octocrylene, honosalate, octonoxate, methylisothiazolinone, the latter a common preservative to which more than 10% of the population are allergic (Allergy UK).

Chemical suncare ingredients are linked to hormone disruption, skin allergies, and traces have even been found in mothers’ milk!

Neal’s Yard Remedies use natural mineral filters blended with deeply nourishing and organic shea butter, conditioning beeswax and moisturising oils of karanja and baobab, infused with cleansing lemongrass and soothing lavender essential oils (which are also naturally insect-repelling). Together they protect, nurture and moisturise the skin.

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist and independent consultant (Team Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

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Let’s take care of our hands

Dry, cracked, bleeding hands was something that I used to suffer with, particularly over the winter months.

Over-washing, not drying hands properly, washing with petrochemical-laiden handwash, trying to moisturise with petrochemical-laiden handcream, all contributed to the condition.

Once I started to train as a reflexologist, I knew something had to change. I had to solve this problem as my hands were going to be the tools of my trade!

Cracked skin on hands, knuckles
Cracked skin on hands, knuckles

The first thing to do is change your hand wash. Most hand washes available on the shelves on the highstreet will contain petro-chemicals: synthetic chemicals derived from petroleum. One main culprit is SLS or SLES (Sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate). This man-made detergent will strip the skin of its natural oils and it leave it bare and unprotected, flakey and inflammed. You only have to do a quick google search to discover the known evils of this petro-chemical: a known irritant used in skin-testing trials; a penetration enhancer, a corrosive.

Dry, cracked skin on hands
Dry, cracked skin on hands

Next, ensure you moisturise. This doesn’t mean using a product contain petrolatum, paraffinum liquidum, parfum, propylene glycol or parabens. You will not be moisturising or nourishing your hands if the product contains any of these ingredients. Your skin might feel smooth and soft on the surface but these ingredients will not be nourishing your skin to help it heal. In fact they will be doing the complete opposite: blocking the skin’s pores and upsetting its natural equilibrium. In a nutshell, it will be making the problem worse. You might also experience a stinging sensation.

Switch to a brand that you can trust to give you a high quality product containing ethically sourced natural ingredients free from anything derived from petroleum: Neal’s Yard Remedies. My top recommendation would be the Bee Lovely Hand Wash. This is infused with moisturising organic honey and fragrant, uplifting organic orange and mandarin essential oils, to gently cleanse and subtly scent the grubbiest of hands. It is gentle enough for the whole hive, including children aged 3 years and over. It also comes in a large 295ml bottle made from recycled plastic which means it is safer for children to use (rather than glass).

Bee Lovely Hand Wash

There is also a hand cream to accompany the hand wash. If this doesn’t appeal, there are many other products that will look after your hands, nourishing, moisturising and protecting your skin, hands and nails with organic, natural ingredients.

If your hands are like those in the pictures above, you may need a product that is going to “kick-start” the healing process.

preservative-free cream, made with soothing organic Roman chamomile in a base of nourishing organic sunflower oil and antiseptic zinc oxide, helps prevent nappy rash.
Preservative-free cream, made with soothing organic Roman chamomile in a base of nourishing organic sunflower oil and antiseptic zinc oxide, helps prevent nappy rash.

The baby barrier cream is an excellent healing and nourishing cream. Although it is marketed at baby’s bottoms(!) this cream is excellent for working hands such as gardeners or mechanics, and eczema or dermatitis sufferers, and skin thinned by aging and long-term steroid use.

Take care of your hands while outside. Always apply handcream and wear gloves in cold weather. Make sure you dry them thoroughly after washing, and always moisturise afterwards. While at home have a bottle of wash and lotion next to each other at the basin to encourage good habits.

 

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Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist and independent consultant (Team Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

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Chicken Pox: A Mother’s and Therapist’s Perspective

My youngest daughter has recently contracted the common virus known as Chicken Pox (herpes varicella-zoster).

The virus can cause a high temperature, loss of appetite and the well known spots or rash. The spots start off looking like red spots, then they blister and finally scab over.

Once the blisters have scabbed over the child is no longer contagious, even though the scabs are still present and can still look alarming, particularly to other parents! They can take up to two weeks to fade and disappear.

Chicken Pox
Chicken Pox

During the blistering and early scabbing stages in particularly, itching can be pretty debilitating. My daughter didn’t try to scratch the spots but just stood there and cried in despair! At this point I used Calendula and Oat lotion. I chose this over the “traditional” calamine lotion because I always want to avoid synthetic preservatives that are found in many products nowadays.

Calendula and oat lotion is deeply soothing and calming, with anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to this, it also contains Stellaria media (Chickweed) extract, a traditional herb renowned for cooling and soothing itching or red skin: ideal for Chicken Pox.

Chickweed
Stellaria media (Chickweed)

We had only one full day of itching and feeling miserable in general. I used the Calendula & Oat lotion regularly during this day, as well as giving her an oat bath. To do this I simply put half a cup of organic porridge oats into an old sock and knotted the top. Then I placed it under the running water when filling up the tub.

calendula_oat

I genuinely believe that the two above remedies reduced the time of itching and discomfort for my daughter (and subsequently me!) and am now prepared for my older daughter to contract the virus too!

In addition to the above, I really wanted to give reflexology, however my youngest daughter is very much a person who knows her own mind and would not be persuaded. I would have liked to give some short and gently zone therapy with emphasis on the thymus and lymphatics to help the immune system fight the virus, and the solar plexus for calming. My older daughter is more welcoming to the therapy and she is already receiving reflexology regularly in the anticipation of catching the virus.

It should go without saying, that in addition to topical lotions and medicines such as paracetamol, what the body needs the most in situations like this is water, and plenty of it.

Now that the worst is over for my youngest daughter, I am now applying Organic Rosehip Seed Oil to reduce any potential scarring. Rosehip seed oil contains vitamin A, vitamin C and the essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6, which are fantastic ingredients to encourage skin rejuvenation, moisture replenishment, and healing.

rosehip

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist and independent consultant (Team Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

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