My Holistic July

My Holistic July

Welcome back!

Here’s how July went for me:

A- Z Blog:

In the “A to Z Blog Series” about how my treatments can help with common ailments, I blogged about the letters M and N.

Click on the links below for each in case you missed one

M is for Migraine

N is for Neck Pain

Powerscourt Estate and Gardens

In July we visited the beautiful Powerscourt Estate in Wicklow. Its so pretty and peaceful and a must see in it is the Pet cemetery 🐾 , the resting place for many a family pet, including ‘Black Beauty’, ‘Kilfane’ and my personal favourite ‘Eugenie’ and ‘Princess’ who were cows. ‘Eugenie’ had 17 calves and produced 100,000 gallons of milk and ‘Princess’ was an Irish Times champion. RIP my dear friends.. Universally beloved!

But by far my favourite part was the Japanese gardens. Future garden goals right there.

Moon Mna Diary

I was very excited when I heard about this diary online and as I couldn’t wait till January to start it, I got myself one in July. Each date has space for your daily ‘soul moment’ and ‘gratitude’ piece and it’s full of inspiration and beautiful quotes… and of course it details the moons movements and all things moon related. I just love it already!!

Galway International Arts Festival

The GIAF took place in July and here are some of it that I visited .

The Ghost Chapel in the Claddagh.

The people cardboard castle and exhibitions in Eyre Square.

Jenny Green and the RTE concert orchestra in The Big Top.


We went to see the award winning Wicked-the musician in the Bord Gais in Dublin. Absolutely amazing and so entertaining I would definitely recommend it if you haven’t seen it. I got my tickets when it was announced last October but I do believe they still have tickets on the ticket master website if you take a look. You won’t be disappointed.


The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

📚 What took me so long to find this book?? This multi award winning book is read by ‘Death’ himself and is very powerful (at times sad and at times happy) in its story about the life of a 9 year old girl and her family and friends in the middle of war torn Germany under Nazi rule. It’s an excellent read and while I know a lot of people have already read this, I would recommend it if you haven’t.

‘Not my fathers son’ – Alan Cumming

I have huge respect for this actor after reading this powerful and very personal account of family life for Alan. I didn’t know anything really about him (only from The Good Wife) but when I started reading this, I couldn’t stop. This isn’t for the light hearted but I enjoyed it and do recommend it if you like autobiographies.

Not your Average Nurse – Maggie Geoff

This is an entertaining and honest true story of Maggies own student nursing days in 1970 and 1980s in London (and Australia) . I accidentally came upon this and surprising enjoyed it (surprisingly because I could never be a nurse, all that blood! 🙈). I listened to it on borrow box and laughed out loud on my commute home.

So that’s it, a busy July. I hoped your enjoyed it as much as me.

Stay holistic


My Holistic June

My Holistic June

Welcome back! Oh my God how are we half way through 2018 already.?? Its crazy when you are busy how the time flies.

Here’s how June went for me:

A- Z Blog:

In the “A to Z Blog Series” about how Reflexology can help with common ailments, I blogged about the letters K and L .

Click on the links below for each in case you missed one

K is for Kidney Stones

L is for Lower Back Pain

Other blogs and features:

1. French Vanoli

I was featured in the French Vanoli/CrossFit Galway newsletter. We chatted about, “How long I have been doing CrossFit? How training has helped me? What do I love most about training?”

You can catch it on the youtube link below if you missed it.

2. Base Formula

In April I was given the new ‘Joint and Muscle Massage Gel’ from Base Formula to try out. I wrote a blog about it in June, which was featured on their website. Click here in case you missed it.

3. WellFest

My blog on a recent Meditation challenge was also featured on WellFest’s ‘WellMind’ section.

Check it out on here.

Mayo GAA:

As we all know by now my beloved Mayo GAA team are out of this years race for the men’s senior football All Ireland Championship. In June we had three games against Limerick, Tipperary and Kildare and alas it just wasn’t to be. I am as always very proud of them and it’s been a long road and an exceptional few years for them. This is the county that has gone to 5 All Ireland finals since 2011. Such resilience and excellence won’t be down for long and it will only make them stronger and fitter for next years championship. Mayo for Sam 2019. ❤️💚.

On a side note here I’m been totally hooked on this years World Cup. My love of soccer has returned. What will I do when it’s over?!?


This month I read:

Paul Kalanithi – When Breath Becomes Air

A true story about the authors life (he is also a neurosurgeon), coming to terms with a terminal illness and all that comes with it. Very powerful indeed and definitely worth a read.

Margaret Atwood – The Handmaids Tail

This is a story of a future dystopian totalitarian theocracy. The chosen handmaids are assigned to bear children for elite couples that have trouble conceiving. The story is based on this and their struggles in a new society that is designed to keep them oppressed and belittled. I have yet to watch the TV series based on this book and would love to hear your views if you have. I enjoyed the book and will put the show on my ‘to do’ list if recommended.

In June I also took part in a “7 day book challenge on Instagram. Post 7 covers, for 7 days with no comments.”

Here are the 7, I posted about.

1. The Magic – Rhonda Byrne

2. The Hearts Invisible Furies – John Boyne

3. How To Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie

4. Eat Pray Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

5. The 5 People You Met In Heaven- Mitch Albom

6. Sweet Valley High – Francine Pascals

7. First – Rich Froning

Let me know if you have read any of them?


So that’s it, a busy June. I hoped your enjoyed it as much as me.

Stay holistic

Catherine x

L is for Lower Back Pain

L is for Lower Back Pain

Continuing on with my blog series on common aliments that Reflexology can help with is L is for Lower Back Pain.

Lower back pain can be caused by a number of different factors for example stress, exercise, bad posture, injury etc.

Research has shown that regular massage or reflexology can help with reducing pain and stiffness and once you have a honest consultation with your therapist about your back pain, they can adjust the treatment for your back ache accordingly.

A general Reflexology treatment to start of with, will benefit the persons whole body and will help the person relax into the session.

The Reflexologist will then focus on the reflexes of the back, which is the along the outside of the foot from the end of big top down to the heel. The shoulder, neck and hip reflexes will also be reworked as some people will be dealing with referral pain from these too.

In general I recommend 4 -6 treatments for any real and long lasting effects to happen in the body.

Stay holistic


My Holistic May

My Holistic May


Welcome back and here is the round up for the month of May:

A- Z Blog

In the “A to Z Blog Series” about how Reflexology can help with common ailments, I blogged about the letters I and J .

Click on the links below for each in case you missed one.


I is for Insomnia

J is for Joint Pain


Well Fest

I was delighted when I won tickets to attend WellFest. But with such a jam packed timetable to choose from I had to be super organised to make sure I got the most out of my time there. From the off I wasn’t disappointed. I started the day with some morning grounding in the WellYoga tent, had some fab food in the ‘SuperValu’ Food tent, bopped to ‘Britney v’s The Spice Girls’ in the GoodVibes area. Mediated and opened my heart chakras in the WellSoul tent after lunch. Which was followed by some inspirational talks in the WellMind Tent by Miriam and Gerry Hussey and finished my day with some belly laughs listening to Kathryn Thomas and Davina McCall. Add in the good weather we had and the beautiful location I will definitely be returning again next year.


Darkness into Light Walk

Unfortunately this event clashed with WellFest and so I couldn’t do it but I did complete this last year and am 100% behind what it stands for.

Ed Sheeran – Concert

I attended Ed’s concert in Galway and I absolutely have to say this was an excellent concert. I love his music and for a one man band to hold the audience’s attention for nearly 2 hours is no easy feat. Well done Ed..! #sheerinSupportingSheeran


Mayo GAA

Mayo for Sam 2018 here we come!! It’s never easy for a Mayo girl living in Galway when this match comes along. (Ok maybe the less said about this match the better).  Mayo didn’t play their best here and so it’s the back door for my team. We’ve a long road ahead if we want to win the All Ireland championship -10 games I believe but I won’t be writing them off just yet. Mayo always like been the underdogs. (This photo was taken when the Sam Maguire came into the office in May ❤💚)

CrossFit Regionals

We went to Berlin for a long weekend to support the CrossFit Regionals. This European regional is one of the hottest tickets in town and most competitive of all the regionals in my opinion. All the big names, Annie, Sara, Kristin, BKG, were there and these amazing athletes gave it their all. Some people say that soccer is the beautiful game but sitting there and watching the best CrossFit athletes moving fast through muscles ups, double unders, lifting weights and doing walking hand stands with such grace and perfect technique on a big competition floor is truly a beautiful thing. My monies on Annie Thorsdottir to really give Tia Clair Toomey a run for her money in the CrossFit Games this year. Patrick Vellner will not make it easy for Matt Frasier though. You have heard it here first 🙂 ( the photos below were all taken after the finals on the last day).

Berlin City

We had some down time in Berlin. It is a beautiful city with plenty of green areas and trees and beautiful graffiti on a lot of the buildings. We visited a part of the Berlin Wall and the Holocaust Memorial which had me in tears. No words could describe the feeling here but I would recommend it if you do visit the city. May is a lovely time there as the weather is warm but not too hot. Our hotel was lovely, walking distance to the riverside, in a quiet back street but near to public tram which can take you anywhere in the city.

Physio Therm Infrared Cabin

This was in the hotels gym. You sit in it, turn the heater on and select the intensity that you prefer and sit back and enjoy. It claims to provide benefits to the immune system, improves circulation and increases metabolism. It’s also meant to help reduce tension and soothe back pain. While the sweat you create from the heat may also promote purification and detoxification. It also has spa like music playing inside and has a choice of soothing colours to help relax the mind. All positive things. I sat in here for 20 minutes while himself did a session in the gym and loved it.


This month I read:

How I became the fittest women on the earth. – Tia Clair Toomey

Excellent read from the 2017 champion and a great insight into her upbringing and how sport was always a huge part in her life and what true talent, dedication, team work and a lot of hard work can do for you. Inspirational and a very humble and modest lady.

Dying to wake up – Dr. Rajiv Parti’s

I listened to this on Borrow Box. The author details his near death experience and his spiritual awakening and how it changed his life afterwards in his career, his lifestyle and family relationships and his most fundamental beliefs. A very interesting book that really makes you think about how small positive personal changes can have a domino effect on all areas of your life.

Margaret Atwood – The Handmaids Tail.

I started reading this in May and will review it for June’s round up.



So that’s it a very busy month.

Hope yours was as fun.

Stay holistic

Catherine x

K is for Kidney Stones

K is for Kidney Stones

Continuing on with my blog series on common aliments that Reflexology can help with is K for Kidney Stones. (And other urinary infections and issues).

Kidney Stones are caused by deposits of various substances including uric acid and calcium in the kidney. It’s thought it might be caused by too much calcium in the diet and lack of fluids.

A general Reflexology treatment to start of with, will benefit the persons whole body and will help the person relax into the session.

The Reflexologist will then focus on the reflexes of the particular area required on the foot for the Urinary system .

The main reflexes are the Kidneys, the Ureter and the Bladder and they can be found on each of the feet. The Kidneys are half way down the foot, straight down the second toe and the Bladder reflex on the inside of the foot just above the heel of your foot.

Like other treatments the Endocrine and the Lymphatic system is also worked on here.

As always a good honest consultation with your Reflexologist at the start will help determine the best treatment for you and your particular issue but in general I recommend 4 -6 treatments for any real and long lasting effects to happen in the body.

Please note, if you do suffer from any of the above issues, it is always recommended that you obtain medical advise before you try any reflexology treatment as while it may aid recovery, it is not to be used as a substitute.

Joint and Muscle Gel

Joint and Muscle Gel

Back in April I was contacted by a company called ‘Base Formula’ who are a leading supplier of essential oils and cosmetic bases in the UK and Ireland asking me if I would like to try out their ‘Joint & Muscle Massage Gel’.

The product: (as described by them)

“A therapeutic gel with Aloe Vera, Seaweed and pure essential oils of Black Pepper, Lavender and Plai to warm and soothe the joints and muscles.”

They recommend that it can be used before a work out to warm and stimulate the muscles, and after a workout, to ease tired, over-worked muscles and sore joints. It is also useful for musculoskeletal problems such as back pain, arthritis (which I have) and tendonitis.


Here’s how did I got on:

This product arrived right on time for me. Coming out of my personal best ‘CrossFit Open’ season I twisted my back awkwardly doing a deadlift and following a couple of weeks of no heavy lifting I returned to the gym tentatively. Add this injury with my Osteoarthritis (in my hip and knee) I  returned to the gym hyper aware of all aches and pains in my lower back and hips.

So I started rubbing the gel into my lower back and upper gluts  after my evening workouts and instantly felt it get to work. It has no strong smell so it would simply dry in and not have that lingering ‘deep heat’  after-smell that a lot of other muscle gels would leave. If anything the hint of lavender and aloe Vera smell is refreshing and clean and helped me relax and even get to sleep.

Over the next 2 weeks this massage into my lower back after a training session and shower has become part of my diary routine and I have also used it on my calves and feet after a long day walking.

For more information on this and any of the other Base Formula products please contact their shop on line here.

Stay holistic


My Holistic April

My Holistic April

First of all… apologises for the delay in Aprils round up. I’ve been off the radar a little lately with studying and completing a work related exam but I’m back now and below is what’s been happening with The Holistic Toolkit:

A- Z Blog

In the “A to Z Blog Series” about how Reflexology can help with common ailments, I blogged about the letters G and H.

Click on the links below for each in case you missed one.

G is for Gallstones

Hi is for High Blood Pressure


Crossfit Break

I injured my back in April and had to take a step back from my regular CrossFit training while was quiet weird to begin with. But with a little help from my wonderful physio Michelle and some extra focus on lower back, hips,gluts (which was very tight and not helping the issue) through yoga stretching and holds, by the end of the month I started to see a huge improvement.

I also started using a new “joint and muscle massage” gel from Base Formula but more of that lately in my May Round up.

Wellgood Challenge

WellFest organised a Well Good challenge which involved daily inspirations, questions, fitness tips, health and wellness challenges for the mind and body. I love these types of 30 day calendars and really got into this one. If you missed my daily updates on this, check out my Instagram stories as I’ve saved the challenge in its own little story .

Gerry Hussey –  Awaken your spirit and unlock your full potential talk.

I spent an evening in the Druid Theatre listening to Gerry. He spoke about your brain, your mind, your body and your spirit and all about being and living in the present moment. “Each day is a lifetime and every lifetime is a day”. Such a great talk, I’ve definitely been moved by whats opened up inside of me that night. If Gerry is ever speaking in your area, I highly recommend you go and hear him speak. You will not regret it.


Earth Day

April 22th was Earth Day and there was no better way to celebrate it than going out and enjoying it. On the day myself and himself went to The Burren Nature Sanctuary and took in all it has to offer – countryside, fresh air, history, geography, green fields, fairies , animals and so much more.  I even said a wish or two in the fairy wishing well .


This month I read:

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

Based in 19th-century Ireland, a nurse is hired to watch a girl on a suspicious religious fast. Such an unusual but intriguing topic with an interesting ending.(no spoilers here) Let me know if you have read it?

The Little Book of Lykke by Meik Wiking it’s all about the Danish search for the worlds happiest people so I’ve have downloaded it on my Borrowbox app and dip in and out of it when I need a little bit of positive motivation . So far I love it.

So that’s it, April is done and dusted, thanks for reading and  I hope you had a great one too.

Stay holistic

Catherine x

I is for Insomnia

I is for Insomnia

Continuing on with my blog series on common aliments that Reflexology can help with is I is for Insomnia.

Insomnia can be caused by a number of reasons such a stress, anxiety and depression and can effect different people in different ways. Some people have problem falling asleep, some wake up in the middle of the night and others wake up too early. Its important to treat it like any other aliment and start with an honest and open consultation with your reflexologist so that you and they can identify some of the reasons why you might suffer from Insomnia.

As a Reflexologist I will work on the individual systems that may be causing your body issues. Then I will focus on the nervous system as this will help induce relaxation and thus slow the body’s reactions to anything that may be causing it to be stressed and help with any sleeping issues.

In a session, I will pay particular attention on the head reflex, brain reflex (the big toes), spine reflex (down the inside of each foot ) and solar plexus (the center of each foot) reflexes on the foot.

In general I recommend 4 -6 treatments for any real and long lasting effects to happen in the body.

Stay holistic


H is for High Blood Pressure 

H is for High Blood Pressure 

Continuing on with my blog series on common aliments that Reflexology can help with is H is for high blood pressure.

High blood pressure  can be caused by a number of different reasons, Stress, age, pregnancy , obesity, lack of exercise or an underlying heart condition.

Please note that while treatment of the adrenal reflex area may help reduce the blood pressure it can not be considered as an alternative to prescribed medication.

Reflexology is used to stimulate the bodies circulation system and release any blockages that might may be present. The reflexes used to treat and reduce high blood pressure are the adrenal gland reflexes and these can found above the kidney reflexes on both feet half way down the foot under the second toes.  The heart and the solar plexus reflexes with also be reworked in this treatment.

Reflexology can also be used to relax the whole body and therefore help release the tension and pressure been held by the bodies circulation system.

Like any treatment it is recommended that you get 4-6 reflexology sessions to allow the body to respond to the treatments
Stay holistic 🙂


My Holistic March

My Holistic March

Hello again and welcome to my round up of March and see what’s been happening with The Holistic Toolkit:

A- Z Blog

In the “A to Z Blog Series” about how Reflexology can help with common ailments, I blogged about the letters E and F.

Click on the links below for each in case you missed one.

E is for Eczema

F is for Fertility

CrossFit Open

If you follow my CrossFit progress you will have known that my own aim for this years Open was to do 2 of the workouts RX (as prescribed) and I managed 3 of them so I’m very happy with that.

Read all about it here in this blog.

Most of all though I had fun over the last 5 weeks during this Open. Fun with my own workouts, fun watching the announcements and after shows, and fun cheering and encouraging our own community in CrossFit Galway.

CrossFit for me is about 3 things for me:

-Doing the best I can and being the best version of myself in the workouts.

-Setting myself little personal goals and slowly moving towards ticking off those goals

-Having fun in the community with the encouragement I give and get in our gym and the friendships I’ve made because of it.

So honestly it doesn’t matter where I finish on the leader board, as long as I know that I can continue to have these 3 things I will continue to turn up to my CrossFit class.

New York City

For St Patrick’s weekend I went to New York for 3 nights with some colleaguses from my day job and without making you completely jealous I had an excellent if a bit hectic time.

Like I said before in a previous blog about been in New York (click here)  its very hard to be practice mindfulness in the city that never sleeps. But I managed it atleast afew times when was I there.

Taking a few minutes to breathe and soak in the sun rays from the beautiful and quiet(ish) Central Park.

Watching the sun rise on an almost empty Brooklyn Bridge.

Taking in the vast and beautiful views from the top of the Empire State Building by night.

In the city that seems to never sleep it can be easy to get caught up in that, but its very important to remember there are always places to go and its ok to just sit back, reflect and take it all in.


This month I read:

I found My Tribe – by Ruth Fitzmaurice

I only fully completed one book this month, which I highly recommend this one. Such an inspirational and deeply personal memoir of her life with her young family and how they coped with her husbands illness. Beautifully written and one that will stay with me for a while. Be warned I both laughed out loud and had tears rolling down my face with sadness at different parts. Let me know if you have read it.

So that’s it, March is done and dusted, thanks for reading and  I hope you had a great one too.

Stay holistic

Catherine x