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THERAPY THURSDAY – SOPHROLOGY – FOR OPTIMAL HEALTH AND WELL BEING…

Sophrology is the latest way to supercharge your day and keep your immune system going strong from dawn until dusk. Sophrology is a structured method created to produce optimal health and well-being. It consists of a series of easy-to-do physical and mental exercises that, when practiced regularly, lead to a healthy, relaxed body and a calm, alert mind.

Sophrology Centre writes “the exercises are called dynamic relaxation (relaxation in movement). The ultimate aim is to become fully present, fully alive, and fully participating, comfortably and joyfully, in all areas of life.

The first things people generally notice after starting to practice sophrology are: more restful sleep, improved concentration, fewer worries, increased self-confidence, and a feeling of inner happiness. The most common remark after a few months of training is along the lines of:

“In general nothing has really outwardly changed in my life, but I am happier, things seem easier, I have more energy and I wake up feeling glad to be alive.”

Sophrology exercises reinforce and strengthen mind, body, and spirit improving both physical and mental health. Many people find that sophrology positively impacts all areas of their lives.

After practicing sophrology, people generally experience a more restful sleep, improved concentration, fewer worries, increased self-confidence, and a feeling of inner happiness.

Sophrology has a wide range of applications and is used in business, sport, schools, universities, relationships, hospitals, childbirth. For more information head to the Sophrology Centre Website.

Dominique Antiglio, sophrologist and author of ‘Life-Changing Power of Sophrology‘. explains that every time you practice Sophrology you will teach your body to recognise that it is safe in the present moment, and this takes the body out of the fight or flight mode and activates the body’s repair system. This Sophrology book includes everything you need to know about Sophrology, Dominique’s own wellbeing journey, case studies, practical exercises, on-the-go exercises as well as a Sophrology practice audio guide.

The Life-Changing Power of Sophrology: A practical guide to reducing stress and living up to your full potential

Dominique’s 10 mini routines to help you sail through your day are –

  1. Take pause
  2. Practice gratitude
  3. Respond, don’t react
  4. Exhale your tension
  5. Check-in with yourself
  6. Embrace the slump
  7. Leave tension at the door
  8. Keep active
  9. Practice the shoulder pump
  10. De-stress your bedtime

Source: Sophrology Centre Dominique Antiglio

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IT’S SLEEP SUNDAY – LET’S TALK ABOUT TIREDNESS & HOW TO OVERCOME IT…

Your energy and tiredness can actually be lifted in different ways. If your struggling just to put one foot in front of the other then you could try some tricks of the trade to help pick you up.

Studies have proved that an early morning workout boosts your metabolism more than at any other time. First thing for me is by far the worst time as I am always as stiff as a board but once I’ve had my medication, a hot shower and got moving I soon feel more comfortable but I might start going for my morning walk before breakfast to try this metabolism lift.

They also say that if you drop a jasmine essential oil on your wrist after showering it will increase brain waves and instantly make you more alert.

Wearing bright colours they say will give you an instant energy boost.

And, apparently when you are doing computer work you blink a lot less which can then leas to you feeling more tired. In the Natural Health Magazine they said that the University of Texas suggest a 20-20-20-20 strategy : blinking 20 times, looking away for 20 seconds and focusing on an object 20 feet away, every 20 minutes !!!!!

Include nuts in your lunch as they are high in healthy unsaturated fats and protein, and packed with key vitamins and minerals, nuts are a great source of energy.

Of course we all know that taking a nap for around 45 minutes can produce a five-fold improvement in your memory and alertness and is something I can definitely verify is so true. If I miss my 44 mins – 1 hr afternoon nap I just cannot function the same and, my pain seems much worse.

I am lucky enough to be surrounded by beautiful countryside, so I can regularly walk among nature. Researchers at the University of Rochester have found that being surrounded by nature for just 20 minutes a day makes people feel more invigorated.

Finally, at the end of your day, try this bedtime power walk. Walk as slowly as you can around your bedroom keeping your body in constant motion. Start with 30 seconds and then work your way up to 5 minutes. They say this low level exercise will reduce stress hormones dramatically.

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HOW A POOR DIET CAN AFFECT YOUR FIVE SENSES…

Taste. Smell. Sight. Hearing. Touch. These are our five senses and they help us to make sense of the world. As we age, each of these senses can become dulled. However, certain bad habits and lifestyle choices can cause us to lose our senses more rapidly.

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One surprising factor that can lead to sensory loss is a poor diet. Certain foods can damage our senses if we eat too much of them while others can damage our senses if we don’t get enough of them. Here are a few examples of how each sense can be affected by our diet.

Taste…

Unhealthy foods are often engineered to taste good. The problem is that they taste too good – and this can make healthy food taste bland by comparison.

Sugary processed foods are particularly bad for this and they can actually dull our sense of taste over time. Foods that are naturally sweet such as fruit can even end up tasting non-sweet – the copious amounts of added sugar found in processed foods causes our taste buds to become desensitised. Overconsumption of sugar may eventually lead to diabetes. At this stage, some people report not being able to taste anything sweet.

A lack of taste may also be caused by deficiencies of certain nutrients such as vitamin b12 and zinc. Vitamin B12 is found in meats, fish, eggs, dairy, and some fortified cereals, while zinc is present in dark chocolate, seafood, almonds, and cashews. Such deficiencies could be due to a poor diet or could be due to other health problems.

What else can affect our taste…

A loss of taste can also occur due to bad habits like smoking as well as poor dental hygiene. Sinus infections and acid reflux can also lead to a lack of taste. A metallic taste meanwhile could be a result of diabetes, kidney problems, or liver problems. It’s best to always talk to a doctor if you experience unexplained loss of taste to check that it isn’t anything serious.

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Smell…

Our sense of smell is strongly linked to our smell of taste and so can be affected in many of the same ways. For instance, vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause a loss of smell.

Research shows that a high-fat diet may also lead to anosmia (loss of smell). This could be an extra reason to cut down on foods that are high in unhealthy fats such as fried foods, cakes, cookies, and pastries.

What else can affect our smell…

Just as smoking can damage our taste, it can also damage our sense of smell. Regular exposure to certain chemicals such as solvents and insecticides has also been linked to loss of smell, causing damage to nerves in the nose. Most people experience loss of smell when they have a cold, but this is usually temporary. Sinus infections and nasal growths may cause more long-term loss of smell – in such cases, it’s worth talking to a doctor. Unusual smells like burnt toast can also be a sign of a stroke.

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Sight...

Overconsumption of fat and sugar is also bad for our eyes. Studies have found that people who eat a diet high in red meat, processed meat, fried food, refined grains, and high-fat dairy are more likely to suffer from macular degeneration. Such a diet can also increase the risk of diabetes, which if left untreated can cause diabetic retinopathy. Both conditions can lead to permanent vision loss. Cutting down on fat and sugar could prevent, or at the very least delay, these conditions.

It’s worth also making sure that your diet contains foods that are good for eye health, as these foods can help keep our vision sharp and ward of eye diseases. Foods containing high amounts of omega-3 such as walnuts, flax seeds, and fish are great for our eyes. Vitamin A meanwhile is another vital nutrient – this is found in eggs, cod liver oil, and spinach. Carrots are also rich in vitamin A and are excellent for eye health (they may not necessarily make you see in the dark, but could make your vision stronger).  

What else can affect our sight…

Exposure to unhealthy sources of light is the biggest cause of vision loss. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can increase the risk of cataracts, while prolonged exposure to blue light is strongly believed to cause retina damage. By wearing shades on a sunny day and using software/apps to reduce blue light, you can minimize any damage to your eyes. Prescription glasses can restore vision in many instances – if you need glasses, you can shop for pairs at sites like https://www.eyeglasses.com/. Contact lenses and laser eye treatment may be other options to consider.

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Hearing…

Our diet can also have an impact on our hearing. The negative effects have been observed mainly in children: a study into nutrition and hearing found that malnourished kids were twice as likely to develop hearing loss as young adults than well-nourished kids.  

The nutrients that are important for hearing include zinc, magnesium, and folic acid. Dark leafy greens such as spinach are a rich source of all three of these nutrients. Other foods that are good for our ears include mushrooms, cashews, almonds, dark chocolate, and broccoli.

What else can affect our hearing…

Premature hearing loss is commonly triggered by exposure to loud noise. When in loud environments, it’s worth always wearing ear protection such as earplugs to protect your ears from damage (this could include musical concerts or motorsports events). Other causes of hearing loss may include infections and ear wax build-up – most of which is temporary and can be treated by taking antibiotics or having your ears professionally cleaned. A hearing aid is recommended for those with permanent hearing loss – you can learn more about hearing aids at sites like https://www.healthyhearing.com/. Hearing aids are also available for people that suffer from tinnitus (a condition that causes people to hear sounds that aren’t there such as ringing and buzzing).

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Touch…

A poor diet may even lead to loss of touch. A condition known as neuropathy can result in numbness in the hands and feet. It can develop as a symptom of diabetes (brought on by consuming too much fat and sugar) or by years of heavy drinking. By cutting down on fat and sugar and by drinking alcohol in moderation, you can reduce the chance of developing these types of neuropathy.

You may also be able to prevent loss of touch by making sure that you’re getting your fix of certain nutrients. Leafy greens are good for the nerves due to high levels of vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, and magnesium. It’s also important to get your fix of calcium as a deficiency can cause neuropathy in certain cases – dairy, fish, and soya are good sources of calcium.

What else can affect our sense of touch…

Beyond a poor diet, loss of touch may occur as a result of injuries such as cuts and burns. For instance, burning your hand on an oven tray could be enough to damage nerves and lose some feeling. A number of diseases such as multiple sclerosis and decompression sickness can also cause loss of touch. If you notice that you have lost your sense of touch in a particular area of your body, it’s worth talking to a doctor to diagnose the problem. You can read up on more causes of neuropathy here at https://www.mayoclinic.org