Clinical Reflexologist & Holistic Therapist

Welcome to my blog!

Health and Fitness for busy people

The proven benefits of exercise are endless from not only a physical point of view but mentally too. From decreasing cardiovascular risk, improves mood, delays dementia, stress management and so on…

Often you get what people call ‘fitness fanatics’ and I would probably fall into that category where exercise isn’t a choice for me it’s my everyday routine no questions asked. I get up, I go to the gym and am generally quite active for the rest of the day i.e. I take the stairs and not the lift etc. However most people do not fall into this category and don’t get enough exercise into their daily routine – one regular barrier is ‘I don’t have time’ but oh yes you do!!

For me personally I cannot understand the concept of ‘I don’t have time’ because I would always prioritise exercise in my time as I find it a form of self-care. (I realise many people do not feel this way) the results you can achieve, the way it makes you feel, zoning out of the world for 60 minutes and listening to your favourite music – that’s self-care.

So how do we fit exercise into modern life?

You don’t have to go to the gym – I love the gym, the atmosphere gives me a buzz & I love strength training however this isn’t for everyone. Take a walk instead of using the car, take stairs where you can, put some music on and dance, try out some yoga on youtube, find a home workout to do – it all counts!

Working within a leisure centre is the prime place for my business to thrive, it’s busy, there’s people around all the time, and I relate to them as I use the facilities myself and have built strong relationships with staff and customers. I see the benefits exercise brings to people day in day out, it’s a space where people are bettering themselves from yoga, classes, the gym, swimming, karate – the list is endless, along with me the holistic therapist, Cora the beauty therapist and Lucy the physio.

Exercise is more than losing weight and getting fit, it’s an opportunity to experience what our bodies are capable of. From boosting your self -esteem, clearing your head and taking some well needed time out for you – it’s absolutely essential.

Several other factors that contribute to your energy and motivation are sleep, nutrition and lifestyle:

- 7-8 of undisturbed sleep is absolutely crucial!

- 2L of water every single day – minimum!

- Plenty of lean protein, complex carbohydrates and fruit and veg!

- Prioritising yourself so you don’t burn out!

Maintaining motivation differs from person to person but also from male to female – uh yes ladies I’m talking to you. A women’s cycle fall over 28 days give or take and throughout these 28 days hormonal fluctuations are going on, especially just before your period and during. Estrogen is the primary female sex hormone, it enhances endurance performance and suppresses protein breakdown. Progesterone most important function is thickening the lining of the uterus each month. Relaxin levels rise after ovulation which can mean a greater risk of injury due to more relaxed joints.

For a women will perform better on certain exercises through different points of their cycle, for example the first two weeks of your cycle a women is at her strongest and able to make significant ‘gains’ during this time as female hormones are lower. And the week leading up to your period and week of your period is a time to lower the intensity with low strength volume exercises and yoga and walking.

Now more than ever is the perfect time to look after yourself and keep active. Less of the excuses and more making time!

Thanks for reading this week’s blog, let me know what you think!

Laura x

Gluten and me…

So for those that voted on my poll for this week’s blog ‘food’ came up most voted for so in this blog I’m going to talk about my experience of the impact food has had on myself, and the importance of good nutrition and how I factor this into working with my clients.

Food is part of our everyday lives, it fuels us for our days at work, our workouts and is a huge part of socialising. More recently we’re learning the huge link between what we put in our bodies have an incredible impact on how we feel – physically and emotionally.

Back when I was at school doing my GCSE’S I became quite poorly suffering from a lot of digestive issues and overall became quite stressed about it. Doctors thought it could have been a virus, stress related or IBS but never came up with an indication it could be something I was eating. I was losing a lot of weight, tired, lack of energy and was only doing half days at school. I decided after a lot of tests with no answers that I needed to take things into my own hands and started researching my symptoms and finding natural alternatives to help me – this Is actually what inspired me to train to be a Reflexologist and start a business. Eventually I ended up going to see an incredible dietican in Oxford who specialised in gut related problems – she educated me on the relation to food and gut health and malsorbtion. She described the western diet as ‘inflammatory’ to the body (lots of processed foods, white refined carbohydrates, additives, dairy and alcohol)

We did a complete strict 6 week diet of taking all the inflammatory culprits out of my diet and almost ‘re setting’ my gut If you like. This was EXTREMELY difficult as i was left with eating mash potato a lot of the time. However it became clear that my body didn’t like gluten and dairy from this experiment. We came to the conclusion that I should remove gluten, dairy, onion and garlic from my diet which was causing the most issues.

I’ll be honest in the fact pizza is my absolute faviourite food, if there was one food I could eat forever it would be a fully loaded stuffed crust cheese pizza. – now you can see where my issues lie? So I did dip in an out of eating things I definitely shouldn’t of been eating and kind of just ignored what I was doing to my body which led things to get very very bad. A couple of years ago my stress levels had rocketed there was a change in my business, I was working 2 jobs, and my personal life wasn’t great either – which ended up giving me a diagnosis of mild ulcerative colitis (inflammatory bowel disease) which is incurable and can lead to parts of your bowel being removed – luckily mine was mild and this gave me a huge kick up the backside to sort myself out else I was going to end up on heavy medication and have a potential very different life.

From this moment I told the gastroentrologists that I didn’t want to take their steroids or anti-inflammatory drugs which came with awful side effects and I decided to sort it out myself, though they advised I took the medication to prevent it from getting much worse. I started having Reflexology and acupuncture myself, I cut out gluten and dairy from my diet properly, removed alcohol (only gin occasionally) and got myself on a strong probiotic. I also started taking turmeric, omega 3 & 6 and an apple cider vinegar shot every morning.

A couple of months later things started to improve, I put on weight, my hair and skin was looking healthy, my digestive issues were improving and I was adapting to my new lifestyle and diet. After my initial appointment with the gastroentoologist I had a follow up four months later and was signed off from him, at the time he had a trainee gut doctor with him who seemed to be very excited about what I had done and how ‘holistically’ if you like I healed myself. 2 years on from then I’ve become a gluten free mastermind – from making my own sauces from scratch, trying out new foods, finding out what works and what doesn’t, now being able to tolerate into a bit of cheese every now and then is huge progress. Depending on stress levels my tummy can flare up every now and then but overall I’ve got to a point where I’m managing it myself and am managing running my own business.

From brain-fog, bloating, headaches, tiredness, lack of energy, losing weight, digestive issues all of these things caused by what I was putting into my body – crazy right?!

From being in the industry I’m in I realise the body CAN heal itself and works alongside western medicine, how nutrition plays an impact on fertility and pregnancy and also mental health – if you eat s*** you’ll feel like s***! These links have always been around but every day we learn more of the impact of nutrition.

For fitness enthusiasts nutrition is primary for them, nutrition Is the building blocks to get stronger, leaner and fitter, once my body started healing and absorbing nutrients better I began developing muscle definition and now can chuck 20-25kg around no problem.

Although my very important teenage years were sadly ruined by my digestive problems and poor health if I hadn’t of gone through the journey I have done then I probably wouldn’t be running the business I have. My health issues made me inspired to start my own business, to help others and showed me how holistic therapies and diet and nutrition is vitally important to health.

I hope you found this blog interesting and hopefully useful, if you have any questions please feel free to drop me a message 

Laura x 

Welcome to my first blog!

Hi all!

Welcome to my first blog, I’m Laura for those that don’t know – business owner and therapist of Tranquil Touch Therapies. A haven of relaxation and rejuvenation where people come to have their stresses forgotten about (for at least the time they’re there!)

I’ve started this blog and plan to do them weekly, I plan on covering everything and anything; from my life as a business owner, how I’ve got to where I am, what I’m doing now and all things Reflexology, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, skincare, health and fitness! As a gluten/dairy free individual there may even be a few recipes posted too – basically anything!

So, welcome and I hope you enjoy reading my weekly blogs – grab a cup of tea and a biscuit (or a few!) and let’s communicate on a more personal level together.

As I said earlier, my name is Laura and I’m 23 years old from a small town in Northamptonshire. I run my small business within a leisure centre and have done for about 3 years now. I trained to the highest level of Reflexology in the UK back when I was 19 years old in Warwickshire for a year and since then have completed more courses such an Indian Head Massage, Holistic Facials and am currently training to be a sports massage therapist which I’m hoping to complete and finish in the new year.

From a very young age I was always interested in healthcare, I liked helping people and have always had customer facing jobs. I always knew that one day I would want to work for myself – I just liked the idea of things being on my terms and having flexibility – I’m also not great at being told what to do. The ‘flexibility’ aspect of things soon became essential for me as I got diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel disease when I was in my teenage years, therefore being able to have flexibility with my hours has helped a great deal which I will talk about in future blogs!

This blog was just an introduction and a hello from me, next week’s blog topic will be voted by you guys in on Instagram and Facebook so let me know what you’d like to see!

Laura x