Reflexology is a complementary therapy which involves the stimulation of pressure to specific points, known as reflexes, on the feet and hands to encourage the body to heal from within.  All organs, systems and glands of the body can be mapped onto areas of the feet called reflex points.
Reflexologists believe that the feet mirror the body and that by applying pressure using the fingers or thumbs a reflexologist can have a positive effect on the corresponding parts of the body.
The right foot/hand corresponds to the right hand side of the body and the left foot/hand to the left hand side of the body. Parts of the body that are found on both sides, such as the kidneys, will have corresponding reflexes on both feet/hands whereas parts of the body that are found on just one side are only represented by the foot/hand on that same side. For example, the heart reflex is found on the left foot only.
Reflexology is based on the ancient Chinese theory that energy is flowing all around our bodies. If the energy can flow freely then we are balanced and healthy. If the energy is obstructed, illness may result.
After my pain this week I decided that I could do with a session with my Reflexologist and booked an hours session this afternoon. My reflexologist is a quiet lady and always has the room slightly dark with a relaxing cd playing in the back ground and you can smell different scents from oils she is going to use for your session. I have been going to her for some years now so she knows all about my health problems and was shocked to find quite a lot of blockage in my liver and my spine. I left feeling a lot more relaxed and able to have another forty winks of sleep when I got home.

I know some people do not believe in this type of complementary therapy but even if the affect is a placebo affect for a short time, surely it is better than nothing. I’d recommend the relaxation of this type of therapy as much as aromatherapy massage.


Pillows are so personal don’t you think? After my first cervical surgery I had to wear a collar so it didn’t really matter what pillow I had but after the second cervical fusion they did not advise one but neither did they advise any type of pillow, so I’ve stuck with the same soft type for years. So much so that if I go to a Hotel and the pillow is hard I find it very difficult to get to sleep.

However, they have now found out that certain neck pillows can not only help with the pain from disc injuries and whiplash but also for back pain, shoulder pain and even chronic pain.
There are obviously quite a few different types advertised and the tempa ones are advertised everywhere but when I started looking a bit harder I found one called a cervical traction pillow which had great reviews but I can only find it available in America http://www.neckpillowstore.com and arc4life.com and its quite expensive.

I then came across another one in the UK called a water pillow which I have never heard of? http://www.waterpillow.co.uk this is a water based pillow which has been rated the top bed pillow over all others for improving the quality of your sleep and has been clinically tested and proven to be the best neck support pillow to reduce neck pain, shoulder pain and chronic pain.
When I go for my afternoon rest I always just get under the throw and sleep on one of my v cushions on my side whereas when I got to bed at night I sleep on as flat a pillow as possible which would not suit most people but after two cervical fusions my neck is pretty stiff so cannot cope with anything thick.


IBS is a common functional disorder of the gut that can cause pain, bloating, wind, constipation and diarrhoea. Up to one in five people develop IBS (my daughter being one) at some stage in their life and it is twice as common in females as in men. It can affect anyone at any age, but it commonly first develops in young adults and teenagers.
This new form of dietary intervention called the ‘Low FODMAP’ diet has been described as a significant advancement by leading gastroenterologists. With a success rate of 70% among those who are already following it, the diet’s success is attributed to the restriction of foods containing poorly absorbed sugars or ‘FODMAPs’ from the diet. Common foods containing FODMAPs include :

Excess Fructose: Honey, Apples, Mango, Pear, Watermelon, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup Solids and stone fruits, such as peaches, plums and nectarines

Fructans: Artichokes (Globe), Artichokes(Jerusalem), Asparagus, Beetroot, Chicory, Dandelion leaves, Garlic (in large amounts), Leek, Onion (brown, white, Spanish, onion powder), Raddicio lettuce, Spring Onion (white part)

Wheat (in large amounts), Rye (in large amounts), Inulin, Fructo-oligosaccharides.

Cabbage, cauliflower and brussels sprouts – traditionally regarded as ‘windy’ vegetables

Lactose: Milk, icecream, custard, dairy desserts, condensed and evaporated milk, milk powder, yoghurt, margarine, soft unripened cheeses (eg. ricotta, cottage, cream, marscarpone).

Galacto-Oligosaccharides (GOS): Legume beans (eg. baked beans, kidney beans, bortolotti beans), Lentils, Chickpeas

Polyols: Apples, Apricots, Avocado, Cherries, Longon, Lychee, Nectarines, Pears , Plums, Prunes, Mushrooms,

Polyol sweeteners, mannitol, xylitol, maltitol, and Isomalt which are often added to sugar-free varieties of gums, mints and chocolate

The diet works on the principle that not all sugars can be successfully ‘broken-down’ and absorbed within the small intestine. As a result, these sugars are rapidly fermented by bacteria in the bowel which draws in fluid and produces gas. This can cause a number of symptoms for those with a functional gut disorder, such as IBS, including bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhoea.

The diet is not as restrictive as some diets and most people find it easy to stick to. My daughter has been following it for about eight weeks now with great success. However, at Christmas she noticed straight away how bad her IBS has been, when she slipped up on some of the foods she had been without.

In the past, dietary intervention has mainly been non-specific and often just revolved around the removal of wheat and dairy products. However, everyone is different and what works well for one person with a functional gut disorder, may not work well for another. This new diet offers a really positive outlook for IBS sufferers and one which you can manage to stay on indefinitely.

For anyone interested in the recipe for the spelt bread which you can on this diet, I have just put it onto my tea4twoblog.

Non-surgical treatments for neck pain

As you know I try very, very hard to control my back and neck pain but in particular I find the neck/thoracic pain very troublesome and debilitating.

I love making things with my fingers and decided I would knit some fun mug cozies for the family for Christmas to dress up the Christmas table. Now we are only talking about 45 stitches and a few inches long and I had them made in a night but if you had seen the state I was in afterwards, you would have thought I’d done ten rounds in the boxing ring.

I couldn’t even raise my arms without pain and the only thing that helped in the end was my electric head pad which I lay on in bed. I had an awful night but decided today that I would ring up the pain clinic tomorrow to request another epidural as I think I have slipped through the net it has been such a long time since they contacted me.

I then spent some time reading on the net and one of my favorite sites is spine-health which seems to have everything about spinal problems and I came across an article about non-surgical treatments for neck pain.

It said that with the help of the forum community of neck pain sufferers, they have managed to compile some suggestions that have worked for these people, who certainly know what it’s like to deal with neck pain on a daily basis.

Take a Swim – well when I read this as the first option I thought the rest would be what I already know but then when I read on a little I realized that maybe I could go swimming – not to swim but to float as they stated that forum members noted the therapeutic effects that swimming has on back pain and neck pain, specifically in reducing inflammation, providing quick pain relief and allowing for unrestricted movements.

Some of the ways to do this were simple things like getting the water level up to the neck and simply moving around squatting until the water reaches the chin, and then moving back and forth and to the right and to the left.

Another suggestion was to utilize a Water Pillow which is something I have never tried before. It said that the rejuvenating effects of water pillows allow patients to dictate the firmness of their pillow. Specifically, more water equals a firmer pillow; less water provides a softer pillow. So now I’m going to find out who sells them and give this a try.
For me even the greatest pillow has no chance against neck pain that interferes with my sleeping, so I would be delighted if I found something that would help.

Of course, various supplements were suggested with some that stimulate the hormone Melatonin (which is highest prior to bedtime) and allowed some to at least get some much-needed quality restorative sleep. I am afraid I have tried every single one in the health store and supermarket and just when I get excited that I think I am sleeping better I have a terrible night but I would never give up on this as there are so many more to try. My Doc will not give me sleeping tablets as I am on so much medication. I guess it would totally knock me out.

One thing they did suggest was to take Magnesium as many cases of neck pain are the result of muscle strains or sprains, speaking with a nutritionist about magnesium (an essential mineral that helps contract and relax muscles) so that may be worth learning more about as some forum members noted how taking magnesium helps with muscle tightness in the neck.

I knew that Acupuncture had to be on the list and as you know I have had very little help with this and had many many treatments which again seemed to work at first then nothing the next time. But it did say that some people find no benefit whatsoever so I don’t think I am on my own on that score.

But deep tissue massage which was mentioned is something that I find does help me but is only for a short time but as I find it very relaxing I try and have one a month but its not a cheap form of pain relief at the end of the day and often depends on the skills of the practitioner. Remedial massage was another one mentioned which I must admit I have not tried and as I have a spa day package given to me by my son on my birthday I think it will be something I could try. However I am always a bit skeptical that they may not know enough about the type of surgery I have had.

Holistic treatments like aromatherapy (during which essential oils are used for relaxation and mood improvement), meditative music, candlelight, etc. were also suggested but again that is something I use and do all the time – in fact I could not cope without my meditative music when I am lying awake in pain at night.

It then went onto say how limiting instances that often spur and exacerbate neck pain (like sitting at a computer for long periods of time, driving, heavy lifting, other activities that require heavy use of the arms) have helped achieve relief, but for me there is so little left that doesn’t bother it that my life would not be worth living if I stopped everything and I think i know how to pace myself after all these years.

One thing they did suggest which my Physio told me to do recently when I had a lot of numbness was to put ice on different areas of the body (between the thumb and index finger, on the bone 1.5-2 inches behind the ear, on the indent between the middle of the eyebrow) to help achieve relief from such symptoms. The main reason I have not tried this is just simply because I am a warm person and just the thought of something cold on me would put me off trying it, but apparently one creative forum member noted using a headband to secure the ice in these different spots and on the temple. And when his neck pain got really intense, he suggested slowly moving to and lying on the floor with a towel behind the neck.(Yuk !, how uncomfortable does that sound :??

Finally it suggest sharing experiences with other neck pain sufferers which may help spark other ideas for achieving desired pain relief and at least provide comfort that there are people out there who really do care but I know I have my blog friends who care so I don’t need to go to any forums for that help.

So, after taking it all into consideration I think I should try the swimming (I mean floating) in a pool, a water pillow, start taking Magnesium and try a remedial massage. Ice is something I really don’t think I could try unless it was very hot lol 🙂

Thanks for reading my blog friends :wave:

I have completely overdone it yesterday and today!

I have completely overdone things today and yesterday – just by way of a change. I’d noticed the Debenhams 25% sale and I’m not one to miss a bargain so my other half and I trotted of to town yesterday to get some bargains and some Christmas presents. Well you know what us women are like once we get into a department store with lots of goodies to buy …………
the rest is history. But, instead of being very sensible and going straight to bed when I got home I was on such a roll with my endorphines well and truly kicked in, that I decided to finish making my Christmas cards.

Big mistake ! – my neck went into such spasm that I just couldn’t look in any direction and it felt like someone was sticking a knife in my neck. My other half was a bit cross with me but got me lay down with a heat pad on my neck and took my laptop from me and anything else I could reach and made me rest. It eventually went as it always does but it did do me in a bit and I needed the pain to go away for today as I had a coffee morning planned at my house for the ladies group with some stall holders selling Christmas goodies ( yes, more – I’m nearly done now).

Anyway, I woke up feeling the usual (rough) but once the medications kicked in I was ready for the mad house which it certainly was. The last person left at 2ish and by the time I’d tidied up it was three and I nearly ran upstairs to bed and slept until my husband (who I’d sent out to look for my xmas prezzy) brought me a cuppa up to bed at 5ish.

I know I’ve said it before but it is just such a bind that bells ring when its too late and to have a brain and mind that want to do everything at full throttle. As my husband always says to me “you just NEVER learn, do you”? I think I just have a mental block of how bad the pain can be – either that or I’ve lost the plot lol ! I think its that really.

I’m now watching the fantastic Children in Need concert at the Royal Albert Hall on the box, which is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face – I think it’s absolutely brilliant and have always supported such a worthy charity.

Until next time friends, I will try and not be toooooooooooooo naughty tomorrow (but I can’t promise you) lol.