U is for Urinary System 

U is for Urinary System 

Continuing on with my blog series on common aliments that Massage or Reflexology can help with is U for Urinary issues. Such as Urinary Infections, Cystitis, Kidney Stones or any other inflammatory of the Urinary system you might experience.

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.

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 below 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.

 

Stay holistic

Catherine

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T is for… Tennis Elbow

T is for… Tennis Elbow

Continuing on with my blog series on common aliments that Massage or Reflexology can help with is T for Tennis Elbow.

Tennis Elbow is a strain caused by repetition arm movement and overstretching of the muscles and tendons of the forearm on the outside of the elbow. The pain is felt when you grip with the hand or when the arm is used to lift something. This can be a travelling pain that can be felt moving up and down the arm anywhere from the shoulder to the wrist.

An arm massage is very helpful in loosening these tightened and maybe even inflamed muscles and tendons in the sore arm. It will also help with blood flow and allow more oxygen to be directed into the area, thus allowing it to heal more quickly.

Careful and gentle massage around the elbow and hand joints can also bring relief and comfort to a tired and stressed client who is suffering from Tennis Elbow.

Stay holistic

Catherine

How to recharge this September..

How to recharge this September..

Now that the madness of the Irish summer is coming to an end, the glad rags from the Galway races are hung up, the festival tents are been packed away for another season and even the kids are settling back into their school routines. You might be feeling a little more tired or have less energy than normal.
In this fast paced, coffee fueled, social media driven, selfie filtered, Netflix bingeing world that we live in (and I’m just describing myself) , this can be quite a normal feeling for most of us and it can be easy to forget that it’s ok to stop for a while and just breathe.

 

Below are 4 free things that I do to help ‘slow down my mind’ when I’m feel like my head is spinning and my adrenaline is pumping (and not in a good way!)
Go outside

This one might seem obvious but its easily forgotten. If you are having one of those days and need time just to think, go outside, go to the local park, walk among some trees or look out to sea. Wrap up warm and let the wind blow through your hair and I bet when you are finished your mind will be that little bit clearer to handle your day’s chores.


Read a book

I might have mentioned the phone app “Borrow Box”  once or twice in other blogs. (which I love for the handiness). But nothing beats a physical paper book. Put the screen away an hour before you go to bed and enjoy a good read (even better if it’s non work related) and let the story take your mind away to another world.


Meditation

Start your day with the awesome sound of silence.(this is especially good if you have little people in your house). Sit down, close your eyes and just sit there in silence for a few minutes and let your thoughts enter and leave your mind without been judgmental of them. Meditation clears your mind, boosts your mood and helps you to get in touch with the real you. (Im currently doing a 14 day meditation challenge with Mind body green so watch this space a future blog on this).



Phone a friend

Phone or arrange to meet up with a friend for a cuppa and a catch up and have a laugh. Did you know that laughter activates the body’s natural relaxation response. It’s like internal jogging, providing a good massage to all internal organs while also toning abdominal muscles.

Obviously this list isn’t exclusive but please feel free to try any of these tips and do let me know how you get on.

Stay holistic

Catherine

 

S is for… Sinus 

S is for… Sinus 

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

Sinusitis is an infection or inflammation of the sinuses which may cause headaches, a itchy or blocked nose and/or feelings of having a heavy or full head.

 

Like other aliments I recommend a general Reflexology treatment to start of with which will benefit the persons whole body and will help the person relax into the session.

The Reflexologist will then focus on the sinus reflexes (the tips of each of the toes) and will also rework on the head, the face and the eye reflexes. (all around the toes).

 
As the sinus issue is also connected to the immune system,  rework of the lungs, the spleen and the lymphatic system reflexes is also recommended to help support a healthier immune system and help fight any infection or issue from becoming worse.

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

Stay holistic

 

Catherine

 

Thank you!

Thank you!

This week marks the second anniversary of my blog and I just want to say a huge thank you to you all. It really humbles me when people take time to read my blog and it still makes my heart jump for joy a little when I get to interact with you guys.

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 (5 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 my own business -The Holistic Toolkit.

My goal two 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, 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.

What Ive learned over the past two years is invaluable in both the business and the blogging world. This was done through the people I’ve met, the friends I’ve made,  the places Ive visited, the treatments Ive given and the experiences I have lived and I really hope I’ve passed these onto you (the reader) through my blog posts. 


So without going all emotional on you, this is just a little blog 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.
Stay holistic

 

Catherine

Ps. Please don’t keep me a secret! My business grows by referral, please tell a friend who would benefit from The Holistic Toolkit.

 

 

R is for … Respiratory Issues

R is for … Respiratory Issues

Continuing on with my blog series on common aliments that Massage or Reflexology can help with is R for Respiratory issues. Such as hay fever, asthma, or any other lung problem that you might experience.

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.

So for example a client with Hay Fever or Sinus issues,the sinuses reflexes (the tip of the toes) will be worked on as well as the head, the face and the eye reflexes. (all around the toes). 

Then the lungs, the spleen and the lymphatic system reflexes to help support a healthier immune system will be worked on.
For clients with Asthma, they will focus on the lungs, the diaphragm and bronchi (the sole and top half of the foot) as well as the upper spine, the glands, the heart and the lymphatic system.   (down the inside of the feet and the sole of the left foot).

Like I’ve said before in previous blogs, in all my treatments I also focus on the Endocrine system (hormonal system) as this will help balance the body and unblock any negative energies it might be holding.

This is particularly good for anyone who might be suffering from a cold or flu like virus as your whole body can feel sore and achy.
As always a good honest consultation with your Reflexologist at the start will help determine the best treatment for you and your respiratory issue but in general I recommend 4 -6 treatments for any real and long lasting effects to happen in the body.

Stay holistic 

Catherine 

 

 

My Holistic August

My Holistic August

August to me was all about holidays, anniversaries and celebrations. Here are just a few of my highlights:

CrossFit Games

It started off with a trip the CrossFit Games in Madison Wisconsin in America which is a holiday of a lifetime for any Crossfitter. Imagine the All Ireland Final multiplied by 4 days of events or been a the New York fashion week for my fashion followers out there and you can get the picture. This is the biggest CrossFit event in the world where 40 individuals( both males, and female) 40 teams and 100’s of communities come together to compete for the title of the “Fittest on earth”. With over 10, 000 spectators a day, a huge vendor village, a full day time table of both indoor and outdoor events, the numerous coffee and food stalls were badly needed in this busy busy venue.

 
But what can I say about The CrossFit Games that hasn’t been said before, from day one, the buzz and excitement from both the athletes and the crowd was infectious that even the thunder storms and rain clouds couldn’t dampen our spirits. Even though there wasn’t any “Irish” athletes competing I stood there waving my tri-colour every time one of the many European athletes would be near by.

 

The days all blended into one big event, with haybales, sledge hammers, rope climbs, bar bells, burpees, running, dumbells, cycling and many many more workouts. As the events got faster and harder, these amazing athletes really showed us why they are the fittest, they didn’t seem to tire at all and it looked like they just continued to get stronger and stronger. You cant help but admire them, when fans are screaming at you from all angles and asking for selfies and autographs from the minute you leave the floor to the sheer determination and mental strength to continue each and every workout when every bit of  your body and mind must screaming at you to stop. The smiles on their faces just got bigger and brighter as the days went on.


This is amazing to watch and I have to say I was on my feet for all athletes but by the end I was definately on  ” The Toomey Train” . I can never imagine what was going through her head during that last workout and then last lunge, all I can say is my heart was in my mouth and I will  never forget that feeling when Dave Castro announced her as the overall winner. After 2 years of finishing in second place,the persistence and determination to go back and do it all again has to be admired (this lady even competed in the Rio Olympics between CrossFit Games).

I’m proud to say I had tears rolling down my face when she found out and I’m very honoured to say I was there to experience it.


Over a month later it feels some what like a dream, for those 4 days we were in a CrossFit Games bubble the Alliant centre where we mixed and mingled with other CrossFitters from around the world. The community element was alive and strong and that only made me adore it even more. A big shout out to everyone we met including some famous “athletes” parents and families (too many to mention) and to Brooke Ence who is just the warmest “American girl next door” I have ever met! Brooke if you are reading this you are welcome to CrossFit Galway when ever you are in Ireland.

 

Living Well with Arthritis

August 2012 was when I got my hip replaced and I cant believe its a whole 5 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.


Happy Birthday Blog

This month also marked the second anniversary of this blog and I wrote a little blog about it. (click here if you missed it) Ive learned a lot over these 2 years and it really humbles me when people take time out of their busy lifes to read it so thank you all again.

A- Z Blog Series

The next 2 letters in my blog series about how Massage or Reflexology (my treatments) can help with common aliments went live. Click on the links below for each in case you missed one.

Q is for Quadriceps Muscles

R is for Respiratory Issues

 

Featured on other sites:

I had so much fun when I took over the “Snap Chat” for French Vanoli for their CrossFit “Battle of the west” competition.  Sure who doesn’t like a camera been shown in their face once they finish a horrible workout?? lol

I also love when I spot my tweets been published in one my favourite magazine – Healthy Magazine. The next time you are in Holland and Barrett, be sure to pick up a copy. This magazine always has great articles, about healthy eating, exercise, healthy lifestyle and much more.

Mayo GAA championship.

Aww my beloved Mayo started August with a replay and ended August with a replay. The team with 9 lives for definite this summer. The never say die attitude in this team has to be admired as they enter into their 4th final in 6 years …and still await that elusive win in 66 years. Ive have many memories of Mayo football and one of my first is going to watch the ’89 defeated team fly into Knock Airport with all the other fans that were there just to catch a glimpse of their hero’s. This passion is still in Mayo and the hearts, hopes and dreams of a county (both at home and away) are with this team once again for this final so all I can do is hold my breath until the 3rd weekend in September and hopefully we will have a good result for my holistic September.

So that’s it, an extra long round up but such a great month I hope your summer was as good and busy as mine.

Till next time..stay holistic

 

Catherine

 

 

My Holistic July

My Holistic July

Wow I cant believe I’m rounding up July’s holistic month already! Where has that first half of the year gone to?

July was a busy month as always for the blog and the business and here are some of whats been happening incase you missed any of it.

A- Z Blog Series



The next 5 letters in my blog series about how Massage or Reflexology (my treatments) can help with common aliments went live. Click on the links below for each in case you missed one.

L is for Leg Muscle Pain

M is for Migraine

N is for Neck Pain

O is for Osteoarthritis

P is for psoriasis

Travel therapist:

Did you know that I’m also a travelling therapist and will do evening call outs in Galway City and Oranmore. In July I was kept very busy with these appointment and love nothing more than meeting new clients who for one reason or another were not able to travel to me but can still avail of the benefits of a good massage or reflexology treatment.


Hot Yoga:

In July I also continued to attend my once a week Hot Yoga appointment which indeed was getting “hotter” with the temperature outside adding to the degrees inside. (it was 29 degrees after 9pm some of the evenings!!) I love giving my heart, body and mind to this hour and to be as flexible and open to all the movements as it can be. While i’m no an experienced yogi by any means, I am noticing little differences in both my bodies flexibility and my minds ability to detach itself from my other wise busyness for that hour and for this i am very grateful. Im also working on my head stands as this whole class ties in lovely to my word of the year which is “Balance”.



Love and gratitude:

On a more personally note while spending a beautiful evening celebrating my anniversary with himself at The Wineport Lodge just outside Athlone, I got to sit back and reflect on life for a little while. This beautiful place with its tranquil and relaxing surroundings, good food and great company reminded me of how grateful I am for all the love and positivity that this person gives to me so a little note to say thank you and heres to many many more holistic years together.

CrossFit – set goals and smash them!

Anyone that follows this blog, knows how much I love setting myself little crossfit goals (see my first pull up here) and over the last few months I set myself the goal of my first toes to bar. For those of you who dont do CrossFit this is basically hanging from the pull up bar and swinging your legs around until it touches the bar that you are holding (with touching the ground). This my friends is a lot harder that it sounds (especially for me and my replaced hip and lack of flexibility). But I was very determined to do it and practicised after class for about got 5-10 minutes, recording myself and getting tips from coaches and others who could do this and low and behold on July 20th I got it.

 

Mayo GAA championship.

July was a busy month from my beloved home GAA county team with match after match and thankfully victory after victory. This team sure know how to keep the fans on their toes and anyone else who is a Mayo fan will agree that the nerves and blood pressure really cant take games like that for much more. Unfortunately I didn’t get to go to any of the matches this month due to other commitments but that didnt mean my passion and love for the red and green was any less. Even on holidays we managed to find an Irish bar opened at 8am to watch them draw with Roscommon. That match was so exciting and nail biting I was so proud to wear my county colours walking through the streets of Chicago afterwards.



Holidays time

 

Which brings me to how I wrapped up July. In the lovely “not so windy” but very busy streets of Chicago.

 

“Almost everything will work again, if you unplug if for a few minutes, including you” Anne Lamott.

Chicago was just that, no plans, no schedules, no deadlines, just plenty of good food, good coffee, people (and dog) watching, fresh air, vitamin D, sleep, great company, touristy things,all of which I highly recommend for every one for their mind, body and soul.

So that’s it.. until next time… stay holistic

 

Catherine

Q is for.. Quadriceps Muscles

Q is for.. Quadriceps Muscles

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 sweeping movements upwards and outwards over the quadriceps muscles. So it is very important that you have a honest consultation with your massage therapist about your training and level of pain so they can adjust the pressure of the massage accordingly.

Stay holistic

Catherine

P is for.. Psoriasis 

P is for.. Psoriasis 

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

This is a non contagious skin condition and is characterised by red patches covered in silvery scales that constantly flake off. It may affect specific areas such as elbows, knees , the neck or the whole body. The causes of this are unknown but it is known to get worse when the body is under stress.

In a Reflexology session, the reflexologist will start off with a general treatment to help restore balance and increase the blood flow and circulation of oxygen in the body.  It will also help in removing waste material from the body which will result in better skin.

The reflexologist will then rework on the area mainly affected focus by the psoriasis for example, the face reflex if it’s the face  and then the associated reflexes giving particular attention to  the adrenal glands, liver, kidneys, small and large intestine, diaphragm and solar plexus.

Stay holistic 🙂
Catherine