Opportunity for reflexologists to enhance your business

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

As reflexologists we are passionate about our therapy and believe in its powerful yet gentle and subtle effectiveness. Our beliefs and enthusiasm drive us forward in promoting reflexology to everybody we meet.

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, as therapists we are selling our therapies, so why not also sell products too? Especially when the brand sets the bar in its ethical ethos, organic standards and care for the environment.

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.

By adding NYROrganic to your reflexology business you will open up more doors to an additional income stream, you will discover new ways of marketing your business, casting your promotional net further and wider, you will meet new people and learn new business skills, and become part of a wider community of like minded people, many of whom are also therapists.

I run reflexology parties with NYROrganic.  This works well because you are combining/showcasing both sides of your business.

I use the following products in my reflexology treatments, but this is in no way limited and there are many products that would work with reflexology from the NYROrganic range:

Mother’s Balm This is a lovely medium to work with without fragrance so great for new clients who you haven’t gotten to know very well yet, and for clients who might be hypersensitive to strong fragrances.

Geranium and Orange Body Balm This is another lovely medium to work with, and the smell is quite strong but beautiful. Definitely a great conversation starter.

Arnica salve  This is a great medium to work with for client’s feet as it improves circulation, encourages lymphatic drainage, eases tired and aching muscles, and is great for the feet and also YOUR hands! See more about Arnica here.

Organic Defence Hand Spray I use this to sanitize my hands before starting. It smells lovely and can generate conversations. It is also much nicer for my hands than the yukky stuff you can buy on the shelves of the supermarket.

Facial Wipes  I use the cotton facial wipes to cleanse the foot. Like all NYROrganic products, these are  certified by the Soil Association. The cotton is biodegradable so is kinder to this beautiful planet. You can also use one of the two spray deodorants as a foot spritzer.

If you would like to know more about this wonderful opportunity please get in touch with me on 07799144606 or JMReflex1@gmail.com, or take a look at the information here.

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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Combating Winter Colds and Viruses

ID-100231025It’s that time of year again when the weather turns colder, the central heating goes on, and windows tend to be closed, creating a breeding ground for winter colds and viruses.

There are simple ways of combating the prevalent cold virus, and this is more in prevention rather than cure.

Immune system

Our immune system needs regular boosting so that it is ready to fight any invaders. Do this by eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, preferably organic. Fruit and vegetables are full of antioxidants, which fight those free radicals which are released within the body to attack.

A regular vitamin C supplement can also help boost the immune system, optimising it for attack. Have you ever drunk a glass of organic juice and noticed its acidic effect on the digestive system? This is caused by the ascorbic acid. The vitamin C supplement I use contains Calcium Ascorbate instead, which is slow release, non-acidic form of vitamin C.

Stress will also damage our immune system, prioritising our adrenalin and sympathetic nervous system, and thus neglecting those systems that are not needed for immediate survival such as immune and digestion. A regular session of reflexology can help reduce stress and evoke relaxation.

Vitamin C

Patrick Holford’s advice re. vitamin C absorption is to take around 2 grams every 4 hours. This will saturate the tissues with vitamin C and thus flushing out the cold virus, maintaining a high level of immune protection. [1] This will completely blow the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) out of the water, however vitamin C is water soluble and thus the body cannot store excess amounts in fat – it simply excretes via the kidneys.

The RDA was written years ago based on the nutritional value of our foods after the war – nowadays our foods are nutritionally poorer due to the depleting quality of our soil. This is why I advocate an organic based diet and lifestyle. If we don’t adopt this way of life our future foods will be nutritionally worthless.

Antioxidants

berry complexI have been using the Organic Berry Complex to continually saturate my body’s tissues throughout the day, particularly if I know I’m going to be busy with clients, driving long distances or late nights. Whiz up 2 scoops of the complex with some sprigs of mint and a blender jug full of water. Add a glug of Elderberry syrup to give a deeper taste and a richer content. It tastes amazing, so refreshing and the children love it too. Take a small glass of it regularly throughout the day to top up.

The supplements created by Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic are superior in the way they work because they are synergistic blends of carefully selected and sourced vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals work with each other to do their jobs efficiently – not in isolation.

[1] Patrick Holford The Optimum Nutrition Bible pg. 289 How to kill a cold

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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What can we do for Eczema?

Eczema is dry, itchy, flaky, red and inflamed skin (and sometimes worse). It is largely a chronic condition meaning that it is long-lasting and can be controlled but not cured.

Those suffering with eczema usually suffer also with other conditions such as asthma and hayfever. This is because they are all types of allergies; the body has an inapproprate allergic reaction to antigens that are usually harmless (e.g. animal hair, pollen, dust). When the body reacts in this way it releases huge amounts of histamine which then causes inflammation, itching, sneezing, wheezing etc. It is usually the immune response that causes the damage to the body, not the allergen itself. (1)

So what can we do for eczema, and why do people suffer with eczema? I believe it has a lot to do with the gut. If we don’t have good gut health then the toxic overload is too much for our bodies and the skin will try to help by excreting those toxins. Remember that the skin is an outlet as well as a protective barrier and receptor. So cleaning up diets, eliminating processed foods, sugar, caffeine etc. and increasing the intake of vegetables and water is going to have a profound effect in the long term. I think we all have room for improvement with our diets!

But in the shorter term something is needed to apply to the skin to reduce the symptoms and give relief. This is particularly true for children whom are a large group of atopic (hereditary) eczema suffers.  Any petroleum-based products are not going to do this. The skin might feel soft and moisturised initially but after continued use the product will block the skin’s pores, causing imbalances in the skin’s natural equilibrium and resulting in even more problems.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and its replacement, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are both known irritants. Beware of products labelled “sensitive”. Many products on the market are full of chemicals that have no place on the skin. However, most people can tolerate them. For those who can’t, the manufacturer removes the problem chemicals, and replaces them with some that are actually worse, on the basis that the customer is unlikely to react to both. (2)

The following products are those which myself and colleagues have seen to be helpful with treating eczema:

NYRO baby balm. This balm protects and calms the skin with a combination of gentle, moisturising ingredients, including olive oil, coconut oil and shea nut butter. Apply as required to affected areas. One mother kindly shared these amazing photographs of her daughter’s eczema, before and after using the NYRO baby balm for 6 weeks.

eczema before

eczema after

For small patches of eczema or dermatitis, consider the NYRO Stellaria Cream  which is fabulous at reducing itching. Chickweed, a traditional herb renowned for cooling and soothing itching or red skin, is the active ingredient in this formula.

Another fantastic product to try is the anti-inflammatory and deeply soothing Calendula and Oat Lotion, which is suitable for extreme dryness and sensitive skin.

calendula_oatOne particular customer has experienced great success with seemingly uncontrollable eczema by the daily application of organic virgin coconut oil. The Neal’s Yard Remedies coconut oil is raw, unrefined, unbleached, and processed without heat to retain its unique balance of nutrients. Applied directly to the skin, coconut oil makes an extremely effective conditioning treatment, gently soothing dry, sensitive skin or scalps.

As a reflexologist, I am very much aware of the power of stress and what it can do to the body. If you are suffering with eczema it could be exacerbated by stress, or vica versa. A course of reflexology might help the situation, calming the sympathetic nervous system and in turn stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system and allowing the body to regain a state of relaxation and homeostasis. During the reflexology sessions particular emphasis would be paid to specific reflex points, particularly those of the digestive system, endocrine system, lymphatics and immune systems.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the lungs are linked to the colon; they share the same meridian. This ties in with the commonalities between eczema, asthma and hayfever, and highlights another reason to look to improve digestive health. They are both organs of elimination.

Along with a cleaned-up diet, a cleansing and healing supplement such as aloe vera juice and/or beauty oil might also be used to help with the healing and replenishing process.  Aloe vera juice is an excellent digestive tonic. Beauty oil is a blend of avocado, hemp, flax and evening primrose oils.

(1) Ross & Wilson Anatomy & Physiology  in Health and Illness. p371

(2) Closed discussion thread

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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What’s all the fuss about Parabens?

Parabens – what are they? Why are more and more manufacturers labelling their products as paraben-free? Why is paraben-free so important? One of my customers asked me these questions this week and so has spurred me on to write this (previously promised) blog post.

ID-100115115Parabens are synthetically made chemicals, derived from petroleum, and are produced very cheaply and used by the beauty industry to increase the shelf-life of products largely to prevent fungal growth within products. The individual ingredient usually ends in paraben e.g. propylparaben, methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, and less commonly heptylparaben, isobutyparaben, isobutylparaben, benzylparaben.

There is an opinion that the amount of parabens in each product is so tiny that it is negligible to the potential risks. This opinion is flawed because it does not take into consideration the very nature of personal-care products allows for daily exposure to these chemicals and the continued and gradual build up of toxicity within the body. What are the effects after prolonged and repeated use?

Parabens, once entering the body, mimic oestrogen, thus creating imbalance in our endocrine system. As they are fat soluble, so they are stored within our bodies. The absorption of substances through the skin and mucous membranes is particularly disturbing, because the body’s normal filters, the kidneys and liver, are bypassed.

Oestrogen mimicking is a concern because even the smallest amounts can disrupt the normal hormonal balance of the body. Oestrogens are known to be a cancer trigger. So one could deduce that increased levels of oestrogen in the body could be a potential cause of cancer. This is why parabens are linked in particular to breast cancer, as studies showed that parabens have been found, intact, within breast tumours. http://www.breastcancerfund.org/clear-science/radiation-chemicals-and-breast-cancer/parabens.html

Parabens are also known as a reproductive toxin causing infertility issues, generally from low sperm count. Some countries have enough doubts about their safety that they have been banned in product use, especially for children’s products.

Beware, though, of brands labelling their products as “paraben-free” when they have switched the parabens for another synthetic and potentially hazardous preservative, simply to save the brand name over concerns of health risks to the consumer. But this is for another blog post.

So you know how I’m going to summarize don’t you? Use a brand that you can trust. Use organic. Use natural. Use Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic.

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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Petrochemicals: An Overview

Petrochemicals are a group of ingredients used by the beauty industry that are derived from petroleum. The beauty industry relies on a variety of basic ingredients made from petrochemicals.

These ingredients are not just bad for us, but also for the environment. Firstly, these ingredients are energy intensive to produce. Secondly, their production contributes to the depletion of finite resources. However, because they are cheap to produce, and are easily available, they dominate the products on the supermarket shelves.

Look at detergents and surfactants (allows rinsing) as an example. Whether they are derived from petrochemicals or natural material they perform much the same function in the product.  Yet it is easier and cheaper for companies to use the former, without any concern for the health implications of the consumer’s continued exposure to these ingredients. Don’t be fooled by “greenwashing” either, where the addition of one natural ingredient assumes that the whole product made from natural ingredients.

ID-100218602In NYROrganic products, these types of functional ingredients are processed from natural plant material (as opposed to being derived from petrochemicals).  Petrochemical ingredients offer no real benefits to your skin and can even be toxic. Here is a list of common petrochemical ingredients that you might be exposing your skin and body to on a regular basis:

Isopropanol: A solvent and penetration enhancer, found in make-up, shampoo, moisturisers and nail polish. It is neurotoxic, skin drying/irritating and potentially liver toxic.

Methyl-, Propyl-, Butyl- and Ethyl-Paraben: The most widely used preservatives in the cosmetic industry. Parabens can cause allergic reactions and skin rashes and are easily absorbed into the body (because they are fat soluble). They have also been found, intact, within tumour biopsies. More on parabens in a forthcoming blog.

Paraffinum liquidum: Also known as mineral oil, this is a cheap, abundant ingredient found in face creams, make-up, body lotions and baby oils. It does not add moisture or nourish the skin. Instead it can interfere with the body’s own natural moisturizing mechanism (blocking the skin), which over time can lead to dryness and chapping.

Petrolatum: Also known as petroleum jelly, this mineral oil derivative is used for its emollient properties and can cause similar problems to Paraffinum liquidum. Found in lipsticks and balms, hair care products, moisturizers, depilatories (hair removal creams) and deodorants. NYROrganic simply use nature’s oils, such as sunflower, brazil nut, beeswax, shea butter, to name a few. These natural oils are absorbed into the skin, actually moisturising and nourishing the skin, rather than just making the surface feel smooth.

Propylene glycol: Can be found in moisturisers, deodorants, make-up, depilatories and soaps. It can be derived from natural sources but is usually a synthetic petrochemical mix. It is added to keep the product moist and acts as a penetration enhancer – driving other ingredients deeper into the skin. It has been linked to allergic reactions, hives and eczema. Ingredients such as PEG (polyethylene glycol) or PPG (polypropylene glycol) are related synthetics.

Sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate: Detergents commonly used in shampoos, body washes and toothpaste. Some labels list this ingredient as being derived “from coconuts”. However producing sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate requires the addition of petroleum-derived ingredients and the finished product is far removed from its vegetable origins. These detergents can cause eye irritation, scalp scurf similar to dandruff, skin rashes and allergic reactions. They can also cause damage to oral tissue and be responsible for mouth ulcers. They are particularly worrying in toothpaste because of the risk of swallowing.

Fragrance or Parfum: Around 95% of the fragrances used in toiletries and cosmetics are petrochemically-based. Often the ingredient listing “fragrance” or “parfum” can be an umbrella heading for a whole list of undisclosed ingredients. Perfumes are neurotoxic and can cause headaches, mood swings, depression, dizziness and skin irritation. They are also very common triggers of asthma attacks.

References/Further reading:

The Dirty Dozen: 12 ingredients investigated by the David Suzuki Foundation

Petrochemical Beauty? No Thanks! NYR Natural News

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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