L5 Clinical Reflexologist & L3 Sports Massage Therapist

Welcome to my blog!

Lockdown part 2...

This blog is a little late but I now have plenty of time on my hands to write more and more blogs! I thought I’d talk about lockdown in this blog as ‘lockdown’ seems to be so different for everyone.

This year without a doubt has put so much into perspective, almost everything we took for granted prior to lockdown – I mean do you remember being able to just go to a shop with no social distancing system in place and no masks!? Or jetting off abroad with no restraints – it just doesn’t seem real anymore.

In this blog I’m going to talk about my personal lockdown experiences as a 23 year old & business women! Also I will share some activities I get up to!

February 2020 – If I knew that was the last time I could of gone clubbing and dancing without a mask I would of gone every weekend no questions asked! I miss the buzz and atmosphere of a club and stumbling into a taxi with your takeaway and mates at 3am with no mask in sight! The feeling of freedom is something like no other. 2 weeks before lockdown I went on my first hen do in London going from venue to venue drinking bottomless prosecco – it’s crazy to think from that point the UK really did change.

March 20th 2020 – the day I felt like the world was tipped upside down, this was the day that all businesses had to shut on a full complete lockdown. I remember staying at work till the very last second at 10pm because I didn’t know when my little business was going to re-open or if it would! It seems surreal now talking about from March-July as one thing that made it all slightly better was the weather – we were so lucky. I spent a lot of my time drinking pimms in the garden, many BBQ’s, LOTS of long beautiful walks, I started running and there were early mornings and late nights.

I was a rock for my grandparents where I would do their food shopping, prescription runs and anything else they needed – also I jumped at the chance as I needed things to keep a focus on. I’d look around in Tesco and see if I knew anyone that I could say hello too, looking desperately for eggs and pasta haha!

June/July things started to look better, more venues were opening again, flights and holidays started again and things were looking hopeful. They then announced that beauty salons and gyms could re-open at the end of July and finally it was time for my business to reopen woohoo!

Going back to work was the best thing ever, however the rules that came with that was (is) stressful and constant change of requirements made my head hurt a little. New rules on PPE from aprons, masks and visors to leaving 30minutes between clients and creating risk assessments for the workplace. Increase in customer clientel with mental health issues and a demand in people needing treatments to help them through this crazy year. Meanwhile I’m in the background keeping my head above water but if I’m not working 6 days a week or fully booked every week then I’m panicking on if the business is doing well or not. Middle of October and I’m starting to stress about news articles saying infections are rising and a threat of a potential lockdown again – uuuuurgh not again.

Here we are, November and in another lockdown. Disappointed and shocked are two words of how I’d describe the news however this time I wasn’t a crying mess, I had no time to process this looming lockdown as I was working my bum off the days before trying to make the best out of a bad situation. The frustrating thing for people that are in the beauty/hair/hospitality/leisure and shops industries are that we made the adjustments needed to become ‘covid secure’ where businesses have spent thousands of pounds on PPE, social distancing marketing and making their business workplace a Covid secure environment in line with government guidelines. We’ve got the glass separation screens, we have the PPE, we’ve adapted work environments but still told to close.

This time feels different as I feel like the minority that isn’t working! I feel agitated and I constantly want to be outside – I think for many the weather plays a huge impact in mood and motivation. But what I do know is getting out in the fresh air does wonders and is so so so important for your mental well-being.

Here are some things that you can do to help yourself in lockdown:

- Walking/running

- Reading a book

- Helping the vulnerable

- Write to do lists every day

- Bake lots of cookies!

- Grab a take away coffee with a friend

- Visit a garden centre

- Host a virtual games night

- Christmas shopping

- Get your skincare regime up to date

- Sort out your clothes/bedroom

- Binge watch box sets

There’s sooo many things you can do to keep you busy but sometimes appreciating the rest is just as important – for me though I think 6 months of work is more rest than I need.

What are you doing with your lockdown? Are you working? Have you taken up a new hobby? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading, see you next week – Laura x 

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