Hello! Hope this reaches you safe and well.
I thought I’d write a quick blog about sleep after attending my local FHT meeting recently. It's a really interesting topic and has a great impact on our overall wellbeing.
First what is FHT? The Federation of Holistics Therapists
is my professional association and also provides my insurance. Being a member means I have to update my knowledge throughout the year. I do this by attending local meetings where we can share our knowledge, keep our skills up to date and importantly network with other therapists from different fields of practice. As the other therapists/ attendees are trained in different areas such as acupuncture, massage, reiki, etc it’s a great chance to open my learning. We usually meet in person but have been meeting online due to covid.
I also attend another group which is specific to reflexology where again we can share case studies, carry out reflexology swaps and make new connections.
How this benefits you as a client is that I am keeping my learning and training up to date. I am not relying on just my qualifications which I may have done a while ago so this helps me to keep up with current thinking. It allows me to know if there are any new courses / training which may benefit me too. As a client you can know that I am keeping as current as I can. Not all therapists are required to do this or have a professional body or insurance.
This month’s local FHT session local was all about sleep and acupressure / acupuncture points. I found it really interesting learning about yin and yang/ Chinese medicine and some acupressure points which may be useful in reflexology.
I thought I’d share some of the learning and some general tips I’ve found on how to sleep better:
In the meeting, our trainer discussed what happens when we don't have enough sleep - what are some of the adverse possible effects on our health. The list is not exhaustive but here are some things to consider:
1. Affects our immunity
2. Affects our cardiovascular health
3. Lack of sleep may cause a build up a protein on the brain called beta amyloid which is the same protein found in Alzheimer's sufferers. There is currently research in this area to understand more – I found this article with more info on this
4. Increased risk of cancer and other diseases – more info here
I hope these 2 articles provide a bit more information on this area.
So as you can see not having enough sleep can really affect our health and wellness not to mention everyday things like effecting our levels of concentration, increased irritability, brain fog.
If you’re thinking “What do you do when you can’t sleep?” Here are some general tips to help with better sleep:
Aim for at least 8 hours sleep
Switch off your devices at least an hour before bed if possible. The light emitted from these devices can affect sleep patterns.
Try not to eat too close to bedtime
Avoid alcohol before bedtime
Find ways to relax – this will be different for everyone. (Maybe you can include some reflexology?)
Think about your environment is it restful, peaceful? Does it help you to fall asleep. Think about things like the temperature, your mattress, your covers, pillows, the lighting.
After thinking about all the tips below – create a sleep routine for yourself. Make it easy to follow and incorporate into your nightly routine.
Start small and make it simple. For example, if you think you're going to bed too late. Let’s say 11.30pm, rather than thinking, I’m going to sleep at 10pm starting next week. Gradually aim for this bedtime. Reduce your bedtime by 15 mins over a few days, and then reduce it again and continue until after several weeks you may hit your target.
I hope that you found this useful and can incorporate some of these into your routine. I will be adding some of the useful techniques / learning into my reflexology where appropriate to further help clients who are experiencing insomnia or disrupted sleep.
Reflexology is a great natural therapy to help the body to recharge and re-balance through stress relief and relaxation aswell as working specific reflexes in the feet. By relaxing the body this may help a better night's sleep. I offer evening appointments which is a great time to have this when your day's tasks are done and then can go to bed not long after the reflexology session. Find more information on reflexology here
Often we are so busy with the busyiness of life that we don't find time for relaxation by booking in for reflexology for sleep you are scheduling in this time.
Let me know in the comments any great sleep tips that have worked for you. I’d love to hear!
Till next time, Kay
Holistics by Kay - Women's Health and Wellbeing Reflexology Manchester for more info and appointments.