My Holistic December

My Holistic December

Welcome back!

Here’s how December 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 W, Y and Z.

W is for Wrist Pain

Y is for Your Busy Mind

Z is for Zzzzzz

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


At the first weekend in December, I got to experience my very first ‘Friendsgiving’, which was a gathering of friends (both old and new ones) and enjoyed a ‘Thanksgiving’ meal with them . It was such a great evening of gratitude, fun, chat, laughter, eating food , making new friends and of course an hilarious game of heads up. I love this idea and will definitely be doing it again.

Hot Chocolate Season:

As the days are getting shorter and my hands are getting colder, nothing beats holding something warm in them so for the next few months I will taste (for my own personal satisfaction and not an ad for anyone else) a different hot chocolate each week and here are the four I had in December.

-Le Petit Delice – Galway City

-Insomnia ‘on the go’ – Ballindine

-Le Fournil Hot Chocolate Kit Sligo Town.

-Costa – Oranmore

Winter Solstice:

On the 21st of December, we celebrated the shortest day of the year here in the northern hemisphere, another nice gentle reminder from nature to appreciate the time to reflect and rest during the darkening days after Samhain. Reflect on 2018 and write some new and exciting goals, dreams and ambitions for 2019.

Wren Run:

On St. Stephens Day we we took a spin out to Woodford, County Galway and took part in the ‘Wren run’ in aid of Pieta House. This is their third year organising this and it’s no easy job, organising 2 different routes (3km and 6km) tons of sponsors, wonderful prizes, musicians along both tracks and before and after , wren dancers ,the mildest St. Stephens day I’ve seen in years and of course loads of dogs (to entertain me) . Hundreds of people ran, jogged or walked it (I walked and talked all the way around ha ha!) But as ‘blow in’s’ we were very grateful for the warm welcome and wonderful hospitality that everyone had to offer. A beautiful way to get moving after the Christmas feed and such a great cause. Keep an eye out for this next year, it promises only to get better.


This month I read:

The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas – John Boyne

Oh my God, what can I say about this book that hasn’t been said before only, what took me so long to read it. I know it’s a children’s book but it’s definitely worth a read (or re read) for anyone of any age. But be warned, have the Kleenex at the ready for that ending.

The 5 people you meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom

This was a re read for me. I first found this book about 10 years ago and re read it every couple of years. It’s a simple but nice fictional story about how everyone we meet along our paths in life have some effect on it and vice versa and while you might never know why, it’s important to remember it. It’s kinda reminds me of the Christmas movie ‘it’s a wonderful life’ in a little way. A great little read.

Christmas :

As I’m writing this I’m thoroughly enjoying a beautiful Christmas with familt and friends both in Oranmore,Mayo and Sligo.I hope you are happy, healthy and holistic this holidays wherever you are and whoever you are with.

Stay holistic

Catherine xx

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…

View original post 36 more words

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

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

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