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.

Catherine

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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

Catherine

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 🙂

Catherine

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…

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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.

Wicked

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.

Books

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

Catherine

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 .

Books

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

F is for… Fertility

F is for… Fertility

Continuing on with my blog series on common ailments that Massage or Reflexology can help with is F is for Fertility Issues.

Fertility issues can affect both men and women and research has shown that it can affect 1 in 6 couples.  Reflexology has been known to aid in certain conditions such as PCOS, endometriosis, irregular periods or ovulation and stress related fertility issues to name but a few.

 

In a Reflexology session, the reflexologist will start off with a general treatment to help restore balance and then focus on the Reproductive and Endocrine systems. In females this is the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus reflexes and in males it is the testes and prostate gland reflexes.  These reflexes can be found below the ankle bones on the side of each foot inside and outside.

The Pituitary, Thyroid and Adrenal gland reflexes are also worked on in this treatment. These glands control the hormones in the body and will help release any blockages in the body.

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

Stay holistic

Catherine x

E is for…Eczema

E is for…Eczema

Continuing on with my blog series on common aliments that Reflexology can help with is E for Eczema.

This is a medical condition in which patches of the skin can become rough and inflamed with blisters which cause itching and bleeding. 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.  Similar to skin diseases  it may however be caused due to malfunction of internal organs.

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 and  will therefore stimulate and improve the function of the organs.  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 by the eczema for example, rework the elbow reflex if it’s on the elbow 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

My Holistic February

My Holistic February

Hello Spring and welcome to my round up of February and whats been happening with The Holistic Toolkit:

A- Z Blog

In the “A to Z Blog Series” about how Massage or Reflexology (my treatments) can help with common ailments, I blogged about the letters C and D.

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

C is for Colds

D is for Digestive Issues.

My CrossFit Goals

Back in January I stated here that one of my goals was to do at least 2 out of the 5 of the CrossFit Open workouts RX (as prescribed) and last week the first Open workout was released and I am thrilled that I completed this RX and not only that, it involved one of my newest movements – toes to bar !

Considering this time last year I had no toes to bar, I completed nearly 6 round of them.. that’s 48 reps .. I was delighted with myself. The 15kg dumbbell for the clean and jerks wasn’t easy though and I had a fine bruise on my left shoulder to prove it.

Such excitement in CrossFit Galway with both novice and more experienced members giving it a go. I really can’t wait to see what the rest of the Open workouts are now.

6 Nations Match

I experienced my first ever international rugby match in the Aviva stadium in February , the 6 nations Ireland versus Italy match with himself. As an avid GAA supporter and more used to Croke Park than the Rugby pitch it was great to feel the excitement when the whole country comes together and cheers for the same team. Of course they won too and that’s even sweeter!

Spotted on other sites:

I was delighted to be nominated for the Liebster Award by Emily from “Healthy and Golden”. The purpose of it is for bloggers to provide each other with a platform to be discovered, which hopefully allows people to find other bloggers they are interested in. I think this is such a wonderful and fun way to share the amazing bloggers out there, either just starting or building up their profile. You never know what you can learn from somebody else. I continued with this award and nominated 11 other bloggers blog.

Have a read of it here if you missed it.

National Random Act of Kindness was the 17th of the month and it was also the anniversary of when I did a blog about it for the ladies over on Count Her in.

Have a read of it here if you missed it.

Books

This month I read:

‘Into The Water’ – Paula Hawkins

I listened to this on Borrow Box. It’s a ‘who did it suspense thriller’ from the author of The Girl on the Train. The story itself was a bit drawn out and at times unnecessary long but it kept me occupied on my commute home. I liked the fact that it was read by different people as it might of got confusing if it was all the same voice.

‘Along came a spider’ – James Patterson

Patterson is one of my favourite crime writers and never disappoints me. This is an oldie as its the first in the ‘Alex Cross series’ but it’s a good one and I really enjoyed it. It’s easy to read and follow and at the end of each chapter you are always left wanting to know more.

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

Stay holistic

Catherine