Tuesday, 17 February 2015


A beautiful oil with many properties, olive squalane

·         stimulates blood circulation
·         revitalises and nourishes the skin into different layers
·         increases and locks in hydration of the cells
·         restores skin elasticity
·         and much more!

A new improved Olive S Serum has two new ingredients added. This highly increases the benefits of this beautiful skin nourishing oil.

First a little bit of chemistry to briefly explain the role of free radicals and anti-oxidants and why anti-oxidants are an important part of skin care.

Free radicals and anti-oxidants 

·         Free radicals are unstable and to address this instability they steal tiny parts from the nearest stable molecule. The attacked molecule then becomes unstable as it loses an electron and in turn becomes a free radical. When anti-oxidants are unavailable, there is increased instability and cells dehydrate, collagen loses its elasticity and the damage accumulates with age. The results are visible signs of ageing.
      Anti-oxidants protect cells from the destructive effects of free radicals; they neutralize them by donating one of their own electrons to stop the ‘stealing’ effect. By donating a small part, anti-oxidants prevent cell and tissue damage. Antioxidants do not become free radicals, as they are stable in either form.

Ingredients in Olive S Serum
·         Olive Squalane
Olive Squalane is literally a ‘skin food’ as it actively revitalises the skin well into the different layers. It has many beneficial properties some of which are mentioned at the start of this article, it also reduces skin redness and irritation.
·         CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
CoEnzyme Q10 is an anti-oxidant that is naturally found in living cells in the body and as we age, the production of it slows dramatically. Adding it to a moisturizer, it fights off the damaging effects of free radicals and maintains the beautiful, youthful radiance of your skin and softens existing wrinkles and age spots.
·         Vitamin E
Vitamin E is the most abundant and efficient fat-soluble antioxidant found in the body. It is an excellent moisturizing and hydrating agent that penetrates the deeper skin layers and binds water in the skin.
·         Vitamin A
Vitamin A is an active agent and promotes enzyme activity in the treatment of ageing skin. It thickens the epidermis and can regenerate skin prematurely aged by UV-radiation. It also helps increase the skin’s elasticity.

Essential oils in Olive S Serum
Both Lavender and Helichrysum are skin healing oils; they promote cellular growth and repair damaged skin.

This beautiful blend is quickly absorbed by the skin and leaves it feeling nourished and smooth.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Reiki and animals - my dog in particular

The first time she came into my life she was such a soft ball of white fluff. She was a delight, very loyal and making sure her ‘herd’ was all right. Being a Maremma, an Italian sheepdog, she bonded with us from the moment she entered our lives. Walking her, even as a puppy, she would tap her front paws against my ankles to tell me ‘where to go’; I had to stop her doing this as I wore stockings to go to work.

My children delighted in her, lying on the floor with their heads on her flank, my son juggling her when he got older and big enough to lift her and toss her around his neck over his shoulders, something she had great pleasure in allowing him to do. We had once 10 young adults camping in our backyard, friends my daughter made overseas. They stayed 4 nights, what a delight it was to have them there. The first night, as their visit was impromptu, we had macaroni and shared the one bottle of bubbles we had in the fridge. They left one morning and it took my beautiful loyal dog a few days to get over the fact that she lost part of her herd.

I am telling all this as when she was about 8 years old she seemed to have a problem with one of her hips and it looked it was getting worse. The vet gave her anti-inflammatory tablets and said that if they helped, great, if not than she had arthritis in her hip, common in larger dogs. One evening, I nudged her gently as she was lying in the way. She got up with difficulty and very slowly. It looked like she was partly paralyzed from the waist down.

A little later she lay down on her good hip and sitting next to her, I lay my hands on her bad hip, gently resting on her. She bit me, she was in that much pain. I then lifted my hands off her and sat there doing Reiki. After about half an hour she moved a little and I took my hands off and left her there.

The next day, when I came back from work, she was jumping up and down, twirling with a big smile on her face and looking at me. I made a big fuss of her as I walked to the couch. Sitting down, she ‘parked’ her bottom between my legs, with her head turned towards me, then off she went jumping up and down, galloping through the lounge room. She repeated this three times. Were we happy!

She lived for another three years and never had this pain again. 

Reiki is wonderful for people and animals alike

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Reflexology: an immune booster

book your reflexology treatment
boost your immune system and feel invigorated and refreshed

It is winter, temperatures have dropped and we rug up to keep warm. Our bodies need to be nourished and supported to get through these colder months with a strong immune system that helps the body deal with infections and stops us from feeling run down due to a lack of sunshine.

A number of choices help us to stay healthy and strong during these darker and colder days.

Food is medicine. Nutrients in fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, etc. feed all cells and systems in the body. Those nutrients are also found in our blood which travels to all organs.

Winter may not be the time of year that you feel like drinking water but it is an important part of our diet as it hydrates, helps nutrients to travel to our organs and it helps regulate body temperature. 

Through normal daily activities we lose water through sweating, passing urine, etc. and as our bodies are made up of approximately 60 to 70% water it is important to replenish this daily.

The brain and digestive systems certainly benefit from a balanced diet and water intake, leaving you to feel more alert and better able to concentrate.

Through exercise blood and lymphatic fluids are pumped through the body bringing essential nutrients to all parts of the body as well as carrying waste material to those organs that eliminate them from our system such as the kidneys and the bowel.

Reflexology works from the inside out. Whilst working reflexes on the feet, hands, face, etc. I ask clients to visualize my hands reaching inside their body massaging all organs, glands and muscles individually. Through this work, the blood, hopefully already enriched by a healthy diet and exercise, is pumped to all the corners of the body. I like the image of cobwebs in those dark corners being washed away opening space for a healthy blood flow!

Do not hesitate! Book your reflexology session today, you will feel invigorated and have an increased level of energy with a strong immune system to sail through winter. Make a beautiful winter stew loaded with vegetables and drink 6 to 8 glasses of water!

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Reflexology: 'non-insulting' to the body

In Reflexology and Cancer I mentioned a client who had mesothelioma and how Reflexology impacted on his quality of life, as he was able to reduce his morphine intake. A Reflexologist never tells a client to change or stop taking prescribed medication and it was true in this case, however the client made his decision based on how he felt.

Today, it is more and more accepted that Reflexology, a complementary therapy used in addition to conventional therapies, has a valid place in cancer care. Pain is a huge factor in the lives of cancer patients and anything that helps to reduce it is welcome, especially if it comes in a natural form such as Reflexology.

Here is a brief outline of the benefits of Reflexology for cancer patients as outlined by Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance1:
·       Relaxation
·       Improved bowel function
·       Pain reduction
·       Improved circulation
·       Soothed tired feet
·       Reduced swelling and fluid retention
·       Encouraged overall healing

Reflexology also impacts on
·       Emotions
·       Appetite
·       Feelings of wellbeing
·       Sleep
·       Mobility3

The above benefits are achieved naturally without any side effects unlike the normally prescribed medication, which can cause extreme sedation and compromise the patient’s quality of life.

Research, involving various forms of cancer, has been conducted worldwide and generally shows that cancer patients have a reduction in pain and anxiety when choosing to receive Reflexology treatments. One male patient, following a day of intrusive medical treatments, said that Reflexology was the only ‘non-insulting thing’ that had happened to his body in the hospital that day2.

Reflexology has an impact on our wellbeing and is showing that it has a right of place in supporting (cancer) patients.

1.     Reflexology. Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, resources for patients and their families. Retrieved from http://www.mesothelioma.com/treatment/alternative/reflexology.htm#ixzz30FvBbly7
2.     Stephenson, N., Dalton, J.A. & Carlson J. (2003). The effect of foot reflexology onpain in patients with metastatic cancer. Applied Nursing Research. 16(4). 284-286.
3.     Teagarden, K. What does the research say about reflexology? University of Minnesota. Retrieved from http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/reflexology/what-does-research-say-about-refloxology

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Plantar fasciitis, reflexology and foot mobilisation

Plantar fasciitis: "Rather than being the result of inflammation, the condition more closely resembles long-standing degeneration of the plantar fascia near its attachment.” 

Statement by James Speck1 who has a master’s degree in physical therapy and a special interest in understanding injuries

Possible causes of the condition
  • Repeated strain on the fascia may cause small tears that lead to pain
  • Heel spurs, with new evidence, are unlikely to be a cause of fasciitis and seem to develop due to compression
  • Excessive pronation leads to extra weight on the fascia
  • Tissue degeneration in areas that receive poor blood supply 
Risk factors
  • Decreased ankle dorsiflexion with a normal flexibility range being 20 degrees.
  • Increased body weight (BMI) in non-athletes
The above risks lead to increased strain on the arch and increased pressure/compression on the heel. Muscles and ligaments in the arch are then unable to balance body weight.

  • Limit the natural movement of the foot
  • Prevent/limit muscle activity
  • Hold the plantar fascia in a stretched position
  • Reduce circulation to the bottom of the feet
Shoes are generally too rigid with a toe box too high above the ground. This restricts the activity of intricate muscles in the toes. The foot forced into this rigid ‘container’ leads to
  • Strong reduction of the gripping action of smaller toe muscles
  • Prevention of the shock absorption capacity of muscles and the plantar fascia
  • Prevention of muscle contractions to support the arch
  • Possible reduction of circulation
As toes are not working as intended, it is possible that their restricted movement may lead to degeneration of either the plantar fascia or the tendons.

Walking barefoot allows all muscles to grip and stabilize the arch. When all these muscles are strong, the plantar fascia is more flexible and lengthens with the complex movements of the foot when walking and/or running.

The arch of the foot is naturally elevated to create space for the nerves and blood vessels that pass through. Arch supports found in shoes more often than not put undue pressure on this area reducing blood flow and inhibiting free muscle movement.

Conclusion one
James Speck reports that plantar fasciitis is not caused by
  • Inflammation
  • Wearing shoes that don’t have enough support
  • A tight plantar fascia
  • Running or standing a lot
It is rather caused by a combination of:
  • Heel compression where body weight is carried by the heel instead of the whole foot when standing
  • Excessive stress put on the foot due to decreased ankle flexibility, pronation and carrying too much weight
  • Rigid shoes reducing muscle activity which in turn reduce the plantar fascia’s ability to absorb shock
  • Weak foot muscles
The aim of a treatment is to
  • Reduce compression of the heel by changing the standing position
  • Take weight off heels and spread this evenly from heel to toe
  • Wear more flexible shoes with a low heel
  • Exercise
    • Increase barefoot activity
    • Increase ankle flexibility
    • Strengthen muscles in the foot and leg
    • Stretch and massage legs and feet
In my 15 years of clinical experience2,  the following treatment techniques have proven to be successful
  • Foot mobilisation uses gentle techniques to increase flexibility in the ankle and foot and stretches muscles and tendons
  • Reflexology massages the muscles at the base of the feet loosening them up so they can stretch better. Blood flow and nerves are stimulated
  • Massage loosens and stretches muscles and tendons
Exercises to strengthen the feet
Here are a few examples of how to strengthen the complex muscles in the feet
  • Picking up small items with the toes
  • Walk on soft (beach) sand and make the feet work
  • Standing on toes, raise heels as high as possible, hold and lower slowly, repeat several times
  • Stand on the toes and walk a few steps
  • Stretch toes out like a fan, sideways and forward
  • Roll arch of the foot gently over tennis ball or golf ball, this loosens up the muscles in the arch of the foot

This video shows a great quick routine that can be performed daily: 

Conclusion twoPlantar fasciitis is the result of the wrong kind of pressure on the heel and treatment needs to concentrate on the entire foot to evenly carry body weight and to encourage a healthier function of the whole foot.

1. Speck, J. (2013). The real cause of plantar fasciitis. Retrieved from
2. Hilarius-Ford, A. Orthopractic foot mobilisation. Retrieved from