My Holistic September

My Holistic September

Happy Autumn.. Can you believe we only have 3 months left of 2018?!?

September was a nice relaxing month for me as we had a few days off from the busy work life that we have and took a few days staycation (see below).

Here are the highlights:

A- Z Blog:

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

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

Q is for Quadriceps Muscles

R is for Relief from Pain

Kerry and Cork Favourites:

We went to Blarney in Cork and Killarney in Kerry for a few days ‘off’ in September and below is a list of my favourite’s.

⭐️Chocolate shop: Blarney Chocolate Factory.

They have the most amazing selection of ‘mind meltingly wonderful handcrafted chocolate’ and fudge…Devine!!

⭐️Breakfast: Blarney Old Post

Amazing waffles (with Nutella!)

⭐️Wildlife Park – Fota Wildlife Animal Park

A beautiful location and we spent the day walking around the park amongst all the animals. I couldn’t believe how close you can get to them and to be honest I wanted to bring each of them home with me. This is a place for adults and children a like with loads to do and see for the whole family.

⭐️ Waterfall – Torc Waterfall

At the base of Torc Mountain , this can be seen while walking and rambling through the beautiful Killarney National Park.

⭐️ House and Gardens –

Killarney House and Gardens is stunning and located in the centre of the town. It is a complete sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the town. It has history of the town and the house, stunning gardens, beautiful trees and views and cute little cafe shop with the most amazing home made cakes.

⭐️ Walk – Gap of Dunloe

There was too many to choose from here as both places are very ‘walker’ friendly and offer stunning countryside and views but this walk offer stunning views of both Killarney lakes and the MacGillycuddy Reeks.

Soul Space

They wanted to ‘Energise the body, awaken the mind and inspire the spirit’ and Gerry and Miriam (the organisers of Soul Space) surely did that and so much more. Based in the beautiful setting of the Claregalway castle they started with setting some positive morning intentions in the Soul Arena. They had a jam packed timetable planned for the rest of the day and I intended to dip in and out of as many talks as I could.

In the morning , I did some Yin Yoga with ‘ Dublin Yoga. I listened and learned from the stories of Brent Pope and Jessie Barr to name only two of the amazing speakers there.

While in the afternoon I joined the fabulous Sharon for her mindful meditation.

I even became all shy upon meeting Kathryn Thomas and Sile Seoige. These two inspirational ladies that spoke so well on their daily struggles with life, motherhood and working full time jobs.

I said it at the time and I’ll repeat it here. Well done Soul Space, your goal was achieved, I haven’t stopped talking about it since and I can’t wait for next years one already.

World Reflexology Week

Every year in the last week of September reflexologists around the world organise events to celebrate World Reflexology Week, to promote awareness of our wonderful therapy.

For the week I shared links to my blogs on some of the popular benefits of Reflexology on the body.

Click on the word for more information

👣Reflexology and Sinusitis Issues

👣 Reflexology and Insomnia

👣 Reflexology and Headaches

👣Reflexology and The Urinary System


Jojo Moyes – Still Me

If you liked her other books ‘Me Before you’ and ‘After you’..(which I did) you will enjoy this highly-anticipated latest chapter in the life of quirky, lovable Louisa Clark. I read this on holidays and it’s very easy to read and at times laugh out loud. I enjoyed it and was delighted with how the character has grown but I’m happy to say goodbye to her now if that makes sense.

Mary Higgins – I’ve got my eyes on you.

I’ve never read of this authors books before but when I saw she was an New York Times best seller I thought I’d give it a go. This suspense thriller was set in an American house after a murder has taken place. It’s only ok as I guessed too early on ‘who did it’ and I didn’t really care for the characters after that. I don’t think I’ll been reaching for her books again. Sorry

David Mithie – The Dalai Lamas Cat

I listened to this on Audiobook and it’s a charming little tale as seen through the eyes of a little rescue kitten who lives with the house of the Dalai Lama. It explains in lay mans terms (or cat terms) the teachings of Buddhism, the benefits of mediation, mindfulness, kindness, humanity and so much more. I enjoyed this and will look for other books by the author.

Stay holistic

Catherine x

S is for Stress

S is for Stress

Continuing on with my blog series on common aliments that Reflexology can help with is S is for Stress .

While we all know that a certain level of stress, worrying and apprehension is normal in today’s ever changing and busy world.  But if you are getting feelings of anxiety and over stressed on a regular basis it actually may be putting your physical and mental health at risk.

Reflexology aims to clear out the effects of stress while it helps the body to reach a place of deep relaxation where it can balance the body systems.

Two good reflexes for Reflexology and dealing with Stress are as follows:

– The Solar Plexus (Diaphragm Release) is the main area in the body which stores our stress and tension. Applying pressure in this area (the middle of each foot, along the line of the second toe) encourages a state of relaxation and also helps with the breathing to deepen and slow down.

– The Endocrine System controls the bodies hormones and so how this is working will have a positive or negative effect on the body. In a Reflexology treatment particular attention will be paid on the Pituitary Gland (at the top of the big toe) which controls all the hormone activity and this helps restore balance to the body.

When you go for a Reflexology treatment, the Reflexologist will start with a general consultation about you and your lifestyle. It’s very important to be honest with the therapist as this will help you get the best out of the treatment.

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

Stay holistic


R is for Relief from pain

R is for Relief from pain

Continuing on with my blog series on common issues that Reflexology can help with is R is for Relief from pain .

Ok ok I know that pain in the body isn’t just caused by one issue but if you have been following this series you will know by now that honestly there isn’t many issues that having a reflexology treatment can not help with.

Pain comes in all shapes and sizes and strengths and volumes but I think the one thing we can all agree is that Relief from it (from which ever form is always welcome) and that’s where a session of Reflexology comes in.

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

After an honest consultation with questions about the clients overall health, their lifestyles, diet, sleep patterns etc. The reflexologist will then work on the reflexes that the pain is most affecting. A good open honest conversation is always important here as the reflexologist uses this information to work on the correct reflexes that will help ease the pain.

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

Stay holistic


My Holistic August

My Holistic August

Welcome back!

Here’s how August 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 O and P.

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

O is for Osteoarthritis

P is for Pregnancy Related Issued.

CrossFit – my goals

The CrossFit Games is over for another year and watching the ‘Fittest on Earth’ compete with each other always spurs me on with my own personal Crossfit goals. There was a lot of gymnastics workouts this year and it’s something that I’ve always struggled with but I’m getting there and the first week of August marked another little mile stone for me. I got my first 3 unbroken chin ups and then my first 3 unbroken pull-ups. I’m delighted with myself but as they say ‘a pull up a day keeps the doctor away’!! So I need to keep practising and build this up to 5 by the end of the year.

CrossFit Galway – Battle of the West

A huge shout out to Crossfit Galway who let me be the MC for their ‘Battle Of The West’ competition. I just love these events and seeing how the local CrossFit Community get together to cheer each other on is what it’s all about really.

This is an annual competition and this month also marks 2 years since I competed in it myself.

(This is a Facebook memory from 2 years ago)

Hip Anniversary

August 2012 was when I got my hip replaced and I cant believe its a whole 6 years on. Every day I’m so grateful that I made that hard decision back then. Thankfully it was the right one and the surgery was a success and I continue to live by the words of my consultant who said when I asked if I could exercise after my recovery , ‘of course Catherine, that’s why I gave it to you, I want you to use it, its not for sitting still’ and so every month I hope I continue to live by those words. I have proved to myself that I can still live well with arthritis and not be restricted by a replaced hip. Long may it last.


This month also marked the third anniversary of this blog and I wrote a little blog about it. (click here if you missed it) Ive learned a lot over these 3 years and it really humbles me when people take time out of their busy lifes to read it so thank you all again.


These are the books I’ve read this month

The Store – James Patterson

An excellent read by James Patterson and Richard DiLallo . ‘The Store doesn’t just want your money, it wants your soul’ Imagine a future of unparalleled convenience. A powerful retailer, The Store, can deliver anything to your door, anticipating the needs and desires you didn’t even know you had. Most people are fine apart from the family in this story. I’m not gonna ruin this read for you but I really enjoyed it and it definitely will make me think the next time I see a drone above me. Let me know if you’ve read it?

Still me – Jojo Moyes

I started this in August and as a big fan of her other books ‘Me before you’ and ‘After you’ I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. I’ll have a proper review for this in September.

Ps I’m on a few days left in Cork and Kerry eating cake and drinking plenty of coffee but more of that in next months catch up.

Stay Holistic

Catherine x

Q is for.. Quadriceps Muscles

Q is for.. Quadriceps Muscles

A nice little reminder x

The Holistic Toolkit

Continuing on with my blog series on common aliments that Massage or Reflexology can help with is Q for Quadriceps Muscles (quads) in the upper front thighs .
Anyone who has completed a ‘hard leg’ day in the gym and tried to walk down or up the stairs or even tried to sit down on a couch afterwards will understand that ‘tightness’ in the leg that is associated with ‘quad’ pain.
If you do regular sports training then a good deep leg massage should become a part of your recovery process. As it can help with any built up lactic acid, loosen out the tight muscles and release any stress and tension held in the legs.

Like I said in the previous blog about knee pain, a regular massage can help with reducing this pain and stiffness. The therapist will use their thumbs and palms of the hand and use…

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Happy 3rd Blogiversary

Happy 3rd Blogiversary

Last week marks the third ‘blogiversary’ (birthday/anniversary!) of my blog and I just want to say a huge thank you to you all for staying on this journey with me. I’ve said it before and I mean it when I say that it humbles me when people take time to read my blog. I also really appreciate all the likes, shares, comments and personal messages people send to me. I love the interaction that I get from it.

In case you didn’t know , the reason why I set this up is all in my first blog (see my first and very basic blog here). But in short it was to mark another important anniversary for me, that of my new hip replacement (6 years old now). I wanted to share how I overcame the pain of living with arthritis and how I live well with my replaced hip every day. I have also turned it into a way to hopefully help others live a pain free life and set up The Holistic Toolkit.

My goal three years ago was to share my story with others, living well with arthritis, show how exercise helps me (not just through CrossFit but through all movement), the benefits of my treatments – Massage and Reflexology, (see my A to Z Blog Series here), some healthy(ish) recipes , some mindfulness ideas and anything else that I find along the way that I felt would benefit my life (and others) in a positive pain free and inspiring way.

So without getting too emotional on you, this is just a little note to highlight the gratitude I have for each and every one of you and just to say, please stick around because as they say the best is yet to come.

Thanks again and much love.


P is for…Pregnancy related ailments

P is for…Pregnancy related ailments

Continuing on with my blog series on common aliments that Reflexology can help with is P is for Pregnancy related ailments .

Reflexology has been shown to be a great help at easing the nasty niggles that mums-to-be suffer. It’s believed to help balance the hormonal and emotional rollercoaster that pregnancy creates and can ease anxiety symptoms. Alongside the emotional benefits, it can also help with many of the physical effects of pregnancy, such as morning sickness, digestive problems, heartburn, anaemia and general aches and pains.

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 particular reflexes that suit the individual clients needs, for example the endocrine system, the digestive system, the back reflex and the solar plexus reflex.

While Reflexology is a non-intrusive therapy it is generally not used in the first trimester and a pregnant lady should always discuss it with your health professional first.

Stay holistic


O is for…Osteoarthritis

O is for…Osteoarthritis

Continuing on with my blog series on common aliments that Reflexology can help with is O is for Osteoarthritis. (This week represents 6 years since I got my own hip replaced due to Osteoarthritis so it’s very close to my own heart).

Osteoarthritis is a chronic arthritis that affects the cartilage in a joint (or multiple joints). For example hips, knees, shoulders and elbows but your ankles, wrists, fingers and toes can also suffer from it.

As we know when the body is in pain the last thing people want to do is have that part of the body touched so that’s why Reflexology can be the treatment for pain relief for OA as the painful joint is never touched by the therapist and they can still get to work on the corresponding reflexes on the foot. (Or indeed the hand if the foot is the painful joint in this case.)

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 work on the reflexes that are affected by the osteoarthritis. The hip, knee, shoulder and elbow reflexes are along the outside of the feet (from the base of the little toes all the way to the outside of the feet). While the neck and spine reflexes are along the inside of the feet.

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

Stay holistic 🙂


N is for.. Neck Pain

N is for.. Neck Pain

The Holistic Toolkit

Continuing on with my blog series on common aliments that Massage or Reflexology can help with is N for Neck

Neck pain can be one of the most annoying pains in the body and also one of the easiest things to cause annoyance to. It’s as easy as sleeping ‘funny’, twisting too fast by looking awkward a different way or simply from holding all the bodies stress and strains of daily life.  It can start off as a little twinge but left untreated it can travel upwards to the head (causing headaches) or downwards to the spine and shoulders causing further problems.

Indian Head Massages is an excellent massage for anyone suffering with neck pain as the therapist will be work not only on the clients neck but also shoulders, face and scalp which are all connected by muscles and nerves.

In a Indian Head Massage treatment, the client will…

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M is for.. Migraine 

M is for.. Migraine 

The Holistic Toolkit

Continuing on with my blog series on common aliments that Massage or Reflexology can help with is M for Migraine.

In my blog about Headaches (H is for Headaches) I spoke about how Indian Head Massage can help with headaches. This blog will focus more on Migraines which are more serious headaches and are generally described as a recurrent throbbing headache that typically affects one side of the head. They can be caused by bright light, certain foods or a females menstruation cycle. Many migraine sufferers can also experience feelings of nausea, loss of appetite and/or insomnia which can then prolong the stress in the body.

The good news is a Reflexology treatment can help relieve symptoms experienced by headaches and mirgraine.

During the reflexology session the therapist  performs a general treatment and then rework the head, face and solar plexus reflexes as well as the pituitary and adrenals glands…

View original post 39 more words