A headshot of Sarah Woodhouse. She has shoulder length brown hair, a pair of glasses and is wearing a striped blue and white top

Sarah Woodhouse Therapy

REFLEXOLOGY, BOWEN AND HOLISTIC FACIALS IN BURY ST EDMUNDS

Resources

This is where you’ll find tips and resources to support your holistic approach to health

and well-being, as well as my latest Blog post

Blog

AUGUST 2021

COPING WITH STRESS: HAND REFLEXOLOGY TECHNIQUE

There’s no getting around the fact many more of us are feeling more stressed than before, and it’s not just because of C19; the kids are off school (again!), it’s raining, finances are tight, the job’s getting on top of you – or could be that life is just pants at the moment. 


When you are stressed you can go through the whole gamut of emotions, one minute you’re living off adrenaline flying high, the next your teary or angry, the next you are just totally and utterly exhausted.

You might find this little hand reflexology routine can help – it only takes about 10-15 minutes, and all the instructions along with a downloadable sheet are on my website. It’s suitable for all ages, and it could even be something fun to teach your kids over the holidays…..just imagine, 15 minutes of quiet time while they work on their hands! Oh! Happy Days!

THE ROUTINE

HYPOTHALAMUS

The hypothalamus sits in the brain and has an important role in the body, including regulating the release of hormones. Using a firm pressure rub in small circles at the lateral edge of your thumb, adjacent to the nail for about 1 minute. Repeat on the other hand.

SPINE

The spine protects the spinal cord and back pain often goes hand in hand with stress. Using a caterpillar motion walk up and down the length of the spine – from the first joint in the thumb all the way to your wrist and back. Repeat 3 times using a medium to light pressure. Repeat on the other hand.

LUNGS

When we’re stressed we are often not getting enough air into our lungs and we shallow breath – we want to slow this breathing down and make it deeper. Cross hatch the lung area 3 times using a caterpillar walking motion, or by rubbing in large circles for 1-2 minutes. Repeat on the other hand.

ADRENAL GLAND / KIDNEY

Adrenal glands are responsible for secreting hormones like adrenaline when we are stressed, and the kidneys are involved in filtering and removing toxins from our body – we don’t want that adrenaline hanging around!  Walk up and around the fatty pad of your thumb using a caterpillar motion.  Roughly in line with the index finger you may find a tender spot – work into this in small circles using whatever pressure you want to…don’t be surprised if this area feels tender and bruised!    Repeat 3 times and the repeat the sequence on the other hand.

hand reflexology map for coping with stress

Previous Blog Posts

JUNE 2021

HOW TO TAKE A MORE HOLISTIC APPROACH TO SEASONAL ALLERGIES LIKE HAY FEVER

pollen being released from a grass

Hay fever is one of the most common allergies in the UK and depending on what pollens you are allergic to you could be experiencing hay fever symptoms from February/March with tree pollen, to as late as October if grasses and weeds are your trigger.


Hay fever is, excuse my French, a bitch – and I should know.  From the age of about 13 I spent what felt like most of the year shoving sprays up my nose, tablets down my throat, and drops into my eyes.  On bad days I felt totally exhausted, as if I had a terrible cold, and it was all I could do to crawl into bed, close the curtains, pull the covers over my head and sleep.

WHY DO WE GET HAY FEVER?


The medical term for hay fever is seasonal allergic rhino conjunctivitis and it occurs when pollen enters your body (via your nose, mouth and eyes) and rather than viewing it as something harmless your body instead thinks it’s being attacked and reacts as if it were being attacked by a virus.  Your immune system kicks in by ‘attacking’ the pollen with histamine (which is why you take antihistamines to treat hay fever), and it’s the histamine that causes the itching, sneezing, runny nose and irritated eyes.


WHAT CAN YOU DO TO STOP HAY FEVER?


There is no cure for hay fever but there are a lot of effective over-the-counter medications available and for serious cases your doctor can prescribe a steroid nasal spray.  But what can you do if you want to take a more holistic approach?


1 Try complementary therapies

Complementary therapies can be a great way to help alleviate your symptoms in the short-term and they may also bring about some long-term benefit.


I’ve been, touch wood, relatively symptom free for the past 4 years – and it’s all thanks to the Bowen Technique – also called Bowen Therapy.  (In fact, the impact on my symptoms was such it’s one of the reasons why I became a Bowen Therapist.) Simple, pain free and deeply relaxing, a Bowen Therapy treatment once a year seems to be all I need to keep the worst of the symptoms at bay.


Reflexology can also help, and I’ve made a quick video showing you some hand Reflexology techniques that can help you work on key problem areas

such as eyes, nose and throat.  The video also contains some suggestion on how you can work on the systems and organs in your body that have a role in hay fever and other seasonal allergies including your lungs, spleen, lymph, adrenals and kidneys – like the work we do in a Bowen Therapy treatment, working these areas are key to a longer-term approach to seasonal allergies – getting to the root cause.

Alternatively, if you fancy something ever so slightly indulgent then why not try a holistic facial?  While there are the obvious aesthetic benefits of nourishing and promoting healthier looking skin, the real focus of a facial is your health and well-being.  Using a mixture of massage, acupressure and lymphatic drainage on your face, neck, and scalp, a holistic facial can help to relieve the congestion and itching associated with hay fever, as well as lifting emotional stress and anxiety, physical stress, and tension, alleviating their impact on your mind and body.


In an ideal world it’s a good idea to seek support from complementary therapies about 4-8 weeks prior to the start of ‘your’ hay fever season as this increases the chances of reducing symptoms from the beginning and sustaining the reduction throughout.  But it’s never too late to start and, like many other therapists, I always send my clients away with tools and techniques they can use to support themselves in between treatments.


2 Homeopathy and Medical Herbalism


If complementary therapies aren’t your thing but you want to explore how you can stop taking over the counter medication you can seek the support of homeopaths and medical herbalists for more traditional remedies.  We’re lucky in Suffolk to have medical herbalists like Beverley Meredith Bailey who are registered with The National Institute of Medical Herbalists, or you can find a homeopath registered with the British Homeopathic Association.


3 Practical tips


There are also lots of practical tips you can use to help reduce some of the symptoms associated with hay fever.  These include:


  • Wearing wrap-around sunglasses
  • Applying a little petroleum jelly around the nose / eyes to trap pollen
  • Showering and changing cloths regularly
  • Keeping windows closed during the day and night – pollen is starting to fall to the ground after slowly rising during the day


The NHS website, also contains some more ‘do’s and don’t’ that may help you – largely involving closing all the windows and not going outside!


In summary


Although hay fever season is truly upon us it’s not too late to start taking a more holistic approach by:


  • Watching and using the hand Reflexology tips in my video
  • Booking in for a complementary treatments like Bowen, Reflexology, or a holistic facial
  • Seeking the advice of a medical herbalist or homeopath
  • Trying out some of the practical tips suggested above


Click for more information about Reflexology, Bowen Therapy or holistic facials, or for more information about how a treatment might help you contact me using the button below. Treatments available at Picken House, Elmswell or from Neal’s Yard Remedies, Abbeygate Street, Bury St Edmunds.

Hand Reflexology Chart for hay fever, palmer side.
Hand Reflexology chart for seasonal allergies like hay fever (dorsal aspect)

MARCH 2021

Onions and Holistic Health

While life might well be like a box of chocolates, your health and well-being is like the layers of an onion. As a therapist my job is to peel away those layers to get to the root cause of your current problems, whether that’s your aching back in the morning, your painful knee as you walk up the stairs, your stiff shoulder that’s stopping your from reaching round to undo your bra strap, or that aching hip that’s stoping you walking the dog as far as you’d like.

The onion principle explains why, without you even realising it, your body has been compensating subtly over the years, to the point where the pain or discomfort you feel now could be located far away from the initial problem.Let’s take the example of a knee injury you experienced in your teens:

  • Layer 1: Your thigh muscles have worked extra hard to support your knee
  • Layer 2: Your hip and pelvis have provided additional support to those thighs
  • Layer 3: Your lower back has taken on the additional strain to help those hips
  • Layer 4: Your back starts to niggle
  • Layer 5: Your back hurts every morning, waking you at 5.30am
  • Layer 6: Now its your hips too, waking you throughout the night as you toss and turn, trying to get comfy


Your knees?


Aside from the odd creek when you walk up the stairs, they’re just fine because every other part of your body is helping them! Like an onion your body has created layers of compensation where the original issue is barely visible.

This is why the first thing we do at a treatment is talk, because I want to you to wake up at a normal time, to run up your stairs, to move your arm freely in whatever direction you want to, and to get back to walk your dog. I’ve got everything crossed that I’ll be open again for Reflexology and Bowen treatments on 12th April, and if you want to book your appointment now, or you’d welcome a free and confidential chat over the weekend then call me on 07715213392.

NOVEMBER 2020

5 Reasons it’s Safe to Book Your Holistic Treatment

Let’s not beat around the bush – is it safe to go and see a therapist while we are in the grip of a pandemic? The simple answer is yes.


With the current lock-down ending as planned at 12.01am on Wednesday 2nd December I’m going to give you 5 reasons why you should book your holistic health treatment now, including why having a treatment has been made as safe as possible, the positive impact it can have on your health and well-being, and how some hands-on therapies come with social distancing as standard.

Like every business, I have a strict Covid-19 policy in place to mitigate the risk of transmission, and for me, this includes:


A separate entrance into my home treatment roomSeparate handwashing and toilet facilities for my clientsClean, fresh linen for each clientCleaning and ventilating my treatment room between each treatmentWearing appropriate PPE in the form of a type II face mask and a visorLeaving a 30-minute gap between each appointment


But if you’re worried about going into someones home then there are plenty of therapists who work from dedicated treatment rooms on your local high street. For example, I rent a room at the Neal’s Yard Therapy Rooms in Bury St Edmunds, and their policy is as rigorous as mine, starting as soon as you walk into the shop with their amazing Hand Defence Rub. Find out more about the holistic treatments my colleagues and I offer at Neal’s Yard Remedies in Bury St Edmunds


# 2 The Importance of Touch


Touch has a huge impact on us from the day we are born to the day we die, and ongoing research continues to prove how integral it is to how we communicate, how we with bond with others, and to our health and well-being. As humans we need touch: touch is “…our primary language of compassion, and a primary means for spreading compassion” [1]. And what is the one thing that many of us have missed during this pandemic? Yup, touch – as Michelangelo once said, “To touch is to give life.”Aside from the specific support that a holistic treatment can give you, the benefits you receive from that human interaction, of social touch, can be just as important. It can help to stimulate an immune system response, it encourages the release of oxytocin (the ‘happy hormone’), and it calms and relaxes you – all factors that support good social, mental and physical health and well-being.


# 3 Social Distancing Can Come as Standard


Not every holistic treatment requires you to remove your clothing, to be close to your therapist, or even to be in the same room as them for very long, and the two main therapies that I offer, Bowen Therapy and Reflexology, are great examples of therapies where social distancing comes as standard.


ClothingIf the idea of getting undressed for your treatment causes you concern or makes you feel uncomfortable, then Bowen Therapy and Reflexology could be the perfect treatments for you. The only things you need to remove for a Reflexology treatment are your shoes and socks, and while Bowen can be performed on the skin it can be performed just as effectively through light clothing.


Time and DistanceWith the average height of a man in the UK at 1.75m and a woman at 1.62m Reflexology is perhaps one of the best examples of a socially distanced therapy there is. Sitting at your feet I will be well outside the government’s minimum social distancing guideline of 1.0m.


Bowen Therapy incorporates social distancing into each treatment because every 4-6 moves I leave the room to give your body a short break of around 2-5 minutes. Don’t worry, this is not something new I’ve made up! These breaks are fundamental to the treatment and are a chance for your body to absorb and react to the work that I have done on one area before I move on to the next.Find out more about what Bowen Therapy is and how it can support your holistic approach to health and well-being here


#4 Making Each Penny You Spend CountWhen it comes to holistic treatments, I’d argue it’s not about watching every penny you spend, but about making every penny you spend count. Holistic treatments can be an integral part of your health and well-being, whether the treatment is going help you relax and recharge, ready for whatever the next few weeks or months are going to throw at you, or if it’s for some long-overdue support for pain and discomfort that’s wearing you down. And having a holistic treatment doesn’t have to cost the earth:


You don’t have to have a full price treatment. Many therapists, including me, offer short 30-minute treatments at a reduced rate.One treatment is sometimes all you need: I know regular treatments can really make a difference when it comes to health and well-being, but not at the cost of any financial stress you may feel.


My view is ‘something is better than nothing’, so there’s nothing wrong with having one treatment as and when you feel you need it.


You set your level of commitmentIf you know you would benefit from more than one treatment, then work with your therapist to agree the number of treatments that you are happy with – there is no point feeling financially stressed! I usually suggest starting with a set of 3, where the first is the rebalancing treatment, setting the ‘healing’ process in motion, and the second and third are about reinforcing those changes. Often this is enough to bring about a positive change to even long-standing health and well-being issues.


Aftercare always comes for freeAt the end of your treatment, like all therapists, I will provide you with some aftercare advice and, if you want them, links to resources that will continue to support your health and well-being beyond the treatment room.


I’ve put together some video’s and guided meditations that you can use to start supporting your health and wellbeing now


Spend local, support local


If you’re passionate about supporting local businesses, then look no further than your local holistic therapist – you might be surprised at the number of therapists and therapies available on your doorstep. Many therapists also provide gift vouchers if you want to send the gift of health and well-being to friends and family this Christmas.


TIP: Find a professional therapist local to you by using the Federation of Holistic Therapists ‘Find a Therapist’ function. The FHT are the UK’s largest professional membership association for holistic therapist’s link to FHT


In Summary


Looking after your health and well-being has never been so important, and what better than a professional holistic treatment? It’s safe, it’s good for you, social distancing can come as standard, and you will be supporting a local business.Whether it’s for a one-off treat or because you need some specific health and well-being support, whether it’s to relax, repair or rebalance, now is the perfect time to book your holistic health and well-being treatment.


©2021 Sarah Woodhouse

Hurry Up Harry Ltd. Trading as Sarah Woodhouse Therapy. Registered in England.  Company No: 08796136.  Registered Office: Eldo House, Kempson Way, Bury St Edmunds, IP32 7AR

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