FINDING A MEDITATION TO SUIT YOU…

While waiting to go into the Doctors I sat reading a Good Housekeeping Health Living magazine. It had a brilliant article on finding the right type of meditation to suit your mood. These are some of the tips to help you find the techniques that work best for you.

  • If you need flexibility then look at the apps that are available for help with all kinds of needs from performance to sleep. They recommend Headspace or Happier and Calm apps.
  • Headspace also runs bite-size guided meditations for anyone who is busy (who isn’t?) All you do is sign up for a free trial at Headspace or you could find meditation courses online but they state they can be expensive from
  • If you are having trouble sleeping (that’s me) then they say there is evidence that mindfulness works. The technique that has the most mental health studies supporting it is mindfulness-based ‘Cognitive Therapy‘, and there is an abundance of details online.
  • If you prefer to be taught personally then they recommend Vedic and Transcendental Meditation which are courses you can start with a one-to-one lesson when you’re given your mantra. Find Vedic and Transcendental Meditation from this website.
  • If your feeling angry or lonely then they suggest you try loving-kindness meditation, where you repeat a positive mantra. Visit Ten Percent Happier for details on this.

Advertisements

4 REASONS WHY RUNNING A HOT BATH IS LIKE A BREATH OF FRESH AIR…

We all have busy lifestyles now and the majority of us tend to jump in the shower first in the morning and having a bath is at the bottom of your list. When was the last time you enjoyed a good soak in the bath? I am ashamed to say it’s years for me as I love my shower but when I move house I am going to change all that.

Here are 4 reasons why running a hot bath for yourself could make you feel more relaxed and calmer, just like a breath of fresh air.

  1. It will help you to wind down before you go to sleep. They reckon that a warm bath an hour before you go to help will help you go to sleep and Epsom salt and lavender oil (five drops) will help you along your way.
  2. A quick bath can totally transform you by adding just a few drops of bath oils to soften your skin, lie with a face sheet mask warmed up in the water across your face and pop a mask on your hair. After a short while when you remove your mask from your hair and face your face and body will feel transformed.
  3. Soothe your dry skin by adding a handful of oats in your bath with a spoonful of raw honey as they are great at hydrating your skin. They say don’t soak for longer than 20 minutes and use a soap-free body wash to finish and a fragrance-free moisturiser.
  4. A bath can not only help you wind down but it can also help to pep your mood up, it’s what you add to the water that makes all the difference. Uplifting grapefruit essential oils wakes up the senses. Mix eight to 10 drops with a few tablespoons of almond oil to ensure it disperses into the water. Remember to not have your water too hot as this will make you sleepy.

HOW TO PREVENT BACK PAIN WHEN DRIVING…

The Foray Motor Group have written some of the best tips on how to prevent back pain when driving. It includes some of my own tips and others from Back on site, and Active Backs.

The main top tips include :

Tips for avoiding back pain while driving

  • Make sure your car is road worthy
  • Adjust your sitting position
  • Utilise lumbar support
  • Use heated seats
  • Be careful getting in and out of the car
  • Ice your back
  • Take regular breaks

“If your car happens to have heated seats, it’s definitely a good idea to make good use of them in your quest to prevent back pain. Heat has the great benefit of relaxing tight joints and muscles, helping blood flow to the area applied to, and therefore relieving pain. So next time you are out on a long drive and perhaps are starting to feel a little uncomfortable, consider turning that seat on. Barbara McLullich from Back Pain Blog – the personal journey of a chronic back pain sufferer – offers this advice: “I am a true advocate of heat while travelling so if your car does not have heated seats then buy a heat pad to pop on your back. You can buy these from a chemist and most last up to eight hours. Also, have some heat pads ready to use after your journey.”

Be careful getting in and out of the car

Another important thing to consider is the simple fact of how you get in and out of the car as this can have ramifications for your back health. Explaining what to be aware of and how you can help yourself, Barbara from Back Pain Blog says: “Pay attention to how you get in and out of the car. Sit down facing the door and swing both legs into the car. Getting out is the reverse. If this is too uncomfortable to do, you can buy swivel cushions to help you turn around.”

COPING WITH A HOUSE MOVE TO ANOTHER AREA IN YOUR SENIOR YEARS…

As some of my readers will know we decided to move from the East Midlands to Brighton to be nearer our married siblings. Our daughter is having her first baby in mid-August which is our first grandchild and a bonus to us, as we had planned to move before we even knew she was pregnant.

My father passed away last October after spending 3 months in hospital 80 miles away from where we live at the moment. At the ripe age of 93, myself and my twin sister felt we could never leave Dad alone while in the hospital and worked out our itinerary for those 3 months. It was totally exhausting and we decided we could not put our children through what we had been through and so the best thing was to move closer to them.

It was a big decision to make as all our friends are here. We have lived in this house for over 30 years and have a bucket load of memories but we still felt the time was right.

Of course, moving further south meant a much smaller house but they say when you get older you should downsize. We eventually found some lovely new houses being built in a lovely village only 15 minutes from our daughter and set our heart on one of these. Getting both the selling and the buying of a new home at the same time was quite an ordeal but we have managed to get there in the end. This pretty little (half the size we have now) house is just so adorable it made me cry when we decided to buy it. And the best thing is that everything is new which is what I really wanted.

The move once we have exchanged (fingers crossed) should be in the next month so we have been busy deciding what pieces of large furniture we want and what we think will or won’t fit. The whole process since the beginning of this year when we put our house on the market has been both therapeutic and also emotional. We would come across pictures that we had forgotten all about, baby items we have kept forever, letters from loved ones tucked away in a desk and an abundance of friends saying they will miss us.

We decided right from the beginning that we would have packers do it all for us as I would not be able to manage it but as we are moving into a smaller house it will be an easy move for the professionals.

Last week a good friend organised a lovely surprise lunch for me. There were 12 of us and yes my tears did fall when I opened the card from them all with vouchers in it for a garden centre. We are moving a long way from where we live to the south coast but I have told all my friends that I have done it many times on the train on my own (to go and see my daughter) and that it is a doddle. I just told them to always remember to take their stick as there really are some very kind people out there who will offer you a seat or help if you need it.

 

Even my Doctor was a tad emotional but she could not emphasize what an amazing thing we were doing and she wished some of her elderly patients could do the same as us. My pain consultant gave me the name of someone in Brighton he wants me to see as he does the same treatments as him. We decided to keep the same dentist as we will be popping over to see friends and can tie it in with that so I’ve no worries about who and where I go for my treatments.

The new house will be a doddle to keep clean, the small garden is adequate for us and the perfect size for hubby to look after. I have seen on the village’s website that there are lots of clubs and other activities if we could join them but my priority my first grandchild due in a few months time so I think I will just relax until he/she arrives.

What has astounded us most is what you collect and just pop into a cupboard or in your garage and there it stays until probably your family have to deal with it like we did with Dads. We have not only downsized in our house size but we have also downsized in the bits we kept which are really just junk. We have both felt ‘better’ for sorting things out and I have already decided that when we settle into our new home that once a year I will go round my small home and throw anything away that is of no use to me. It is actually quite liberating.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU IGNORE BACK PAIN?…

 

What happens if you ignore back pain? They say that up to 7% of people with acute back pain will develop chronic back pain.

If your back pain started after a simple movement, like picking up a book from the floor then it’s possible you could have a slipped disc or a joint problem in your spine.

However, back pain is second only to headaches as the most common location of pain so it could be a simple strain.

They say that many people who lead sedentary lives suffer back pain, or have inherited a genetic susceptibility to back pain.

Of course there are other conditions that can cause back pain. Severe intermittent back pain that goes down to your groin, could indicate that you have kidney stones. Pain in the middle of your back, which becomes worse after eating, could indicate a stomach ulcer. Neighbouring organs problematic? Back pain can also be the result of abscesses, blood clots or tumours in other organs near the spine.

People working in a job that causes vibration like a truck driver can also suffer from back pain. It is a fact that in a two-week period of time, between 25 – 33% of all adults get some form of back pain, so you are far from being on your own.

Back pain became a part of life when humans started walking upright, rather than on all fours. The vertebrae were never really designed to deal with walking upright.

You have to remember that the spine, is like a central scaffolding for the rest of the body. The skull, the ribs, the pelvis and the limbs are attached to it.

In about 85% of acute back pain cases, the exact cause cannot be identified. But the spine is so strong that it can withstand the pressure of hundreds of kilograms.

Always look after your scaffolding and visit your GP if you have any problems before it becomes chronic and remember the Red alert. When certain conditions, are present together with back pain, such as loss of bowel or bladder control, numbness, pins and needles, rapid weight loss, a history of cancer, or drug use, pain unrelated to movement, you should go straight to hospital or phone for an Ambulance.

One of the best sites for up to date research and articles is The British Pain Society which has articles on all things related to pain including pain management programs and pain clinics in the UK.