What is Hypnobirthing? Don’t Watch One Born Every Minute!

Here is a quest entry from Dr Rosanna Gilderthorp, Clinical Psychologist and Hypnobirthing Teacher from Mind, Body and Baby.


red stop sign
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I don’t normally give advice. As a psychologist I have spent a decade learning how to help people find their own answers to their difficulties. As a hypnobirthing teacher I want to empower people to make their own choices about birth not make them for them. BUT on this subject I just feel so strongly I can’t keep my opinion to myself. I’m going to force it on you all and I don’t care if it is controversial.
One Born Every Minute, the highly successful TV programme that starts a new series tomorrow evening, is making birth worse for UK women. It really is and I am going to tell you why.
Your threat (fight/flight/freeze) system can’t tell the difference between real, lived experiences and imagined ones. This is because the threat response is governed by the oldest part of our brain and this has remained pretty much unchanged since we were reptiles. It is only capable of perceiving threat or safety. There aren’t shades of grey for your average iguana.

close up of a iguana
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It is the newest part of your brain however that, amongst other things, holds your ability to imagine, plan and worry about the worst case scenario. Input from your senses can directly trigger the threat response but so can input from this new part of the brain. This is useful because sometimes it is the fact that we are able to imagine the worst case scenario that stops us making mistakes that other animals might make. For example, we imagine getting run over so don’t step out in front of the car. Unfortunately it also means we can trigger our own threat systems by just thinking about something scary.

yellow and green spider
Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com

Think about it and you know I’m speaking the truth. Why else would horror movies or pictures of spiders make your heart race and your palms sweat? The problem is if we see enough negative/scary images of a particular thing they build up in our brains over time and convince us that it is something we should be scared of. This problem is compounded if what we are watching is supposed “reality TV”. And this is where OBEM becomes such a problem for women who want a comfortable experience of birth. The media bombards us with the kind of births that make dramatic TV, i.e. the scary ones. From Downton Abbey to Coronation Street you have been subjected to images of women screaming in agony, waters gushing in public, baby’s heads emerging in car parks and even mum’s dying in childbirth since you were a child yourself. People also like to tell their most dramatic stories so tales of woe are more likely to be the birth stories that you hear over coffee with friends and family. The success of OBEM is down to the fact that people love that drama in the same way they love horror movies. A little bit of fear stimulates us, activating the threat system when we are actually safe can feel good for a short period, the producers choose to show births that fulfil that need for drama and that is fine. But not if you want to birth comfortably.



The truth is that birth does not have to be as it appears on OBEM but it most likely will be if your brain has been primed to activate your threat system at the first sign of labour. Once your threat system is activated the birthing body recieves a huge hit of adrenaline. This has many damaging effects but these are the big 3:
1. TENSION! The muscles of the uterus will become tense. Baby’s head will therefore come into contact with rigid, hard wall of muscle and that will hurt. Furthermore the vertical muscles of the uterus will continue trying to pull up the horizontal muscles that are supposed to dilate the cervix. But they won’t want to go anywhere. Muscles working against each other = PAIN.
2. LACK OF OXYGEN. Adrenaline tells your body to send its oxygenated blood to the extremities to enable you to run away. This means it takes the valuable oxygenated blood AWAY from the uterus, making it inefficient and slowing labour down and taking valuable oxygen away from the baby. This is a common reason for babies to become distressed during labour and increases the likelihood that medical intervention will be needed to get them out quickly. The mother is likely to become more scared when medical interventions are suggested, more adrenaline is produced and the vicious cycle continues!
3. LACK OF OXYTOCIN. Adrenaline inhibits oxytocin, the hormone that starts labour and keeps it progressing. Without it surges (contractions) are likely to slow/stop. For the reasons given above the baby may well be becoming distressed at this point and this is when many medical interventions are offered/needed to get the baby out safely.
This reaction to threat during labour has evolved for a sensible reason. In our evolutionary past if a lion were to come into your cave you would bloody well want your surges to stop so you could get out of there and resume your labour later. It is less helpful however when what you are scared of is a long painful labour however as the fear itself is what is creating the problem!
Of course our imaginations can also work in our favour. Lizzie Yarnold credits her sporting improvements over the past four years to visualising/imagining the tracks of the Winter Olympics. Her body has primed itself to take the exact twists and turns of those courses as a result of imagining them, even though she wasn’t able to physically practice on them.
If you still feel sceptical spend a couple of seconds imagining your favourite dinner. Imagine you come home to find the house filled with the smell of your favourite food, think of what it looks like, smells like, tastes like, feels like in your mouth. The fact that you’ve probably got some saliva production going on right now shows you the strength of the imagination and the power it has over our primitive bodies.

close up of meal served in bowl
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In hypnobirthing courses we harness the power of our imaginations for good. By filling your daily life with positive birth videos, positive birth stories and affirmations you can train your brain to tell your body to relax and be excited when the first signs of labour come along. Hypnosis helps the brain get into a more receptive state to accept these new ideas about birth but essentially we are just re-programming it so instead of all the images from OBEM flooding your system you get wonderful images of empowered and comfortable births instead.
Therefore I urge you, if you are expecting a baby at the moment, please don’t watch OBEM tomorrow. If you want some birth experiences take a look at these stories from hypnobirthing mums instead. I’ve even made a Pinterest board dedicated to positive birth stories. There are births of every type on there, hospital, c-section and home birth but they are all of empowered women and their birth partners totally bossing their births. That is what you need in your life right now. Ditch the drama and prime your brain and body for the birth you deserve!
If you like the idea of a distinctly non-dramatic birth (drama is not needed whatever turns your birth takes) book a hypnobirthing course. There are online and in-person options available so whatever your situation, we will get you feeling positive about birth!
By Dr Rosanna Gilderthorp, Clinical Psychologist and Hypnobirthing Teacher from Mind, Body and Baby. Rosie specialises in helping women overcome traumatic births and prepare for positive birth experiences the second time round. She provides online therapy and specialist hypnobirthing courses as well as services in Plymouth where she lives with her husband and two young children.



It is not easy to be a man


Yes, it is not easy to a be a man. You have to be tough, strong both physically and mentally. I think that expectation makes men more stuck, more unwilling in taking part in their own journey to maintain their health and to contact health professionals. I am not talking about going to the gym to buff up. I am talking about physical and mental problems.

Being a reflexologist I see many different types of people. I have my practice around 5 years now, having seen more than 500 clients, and believe it or not I only have seen 10 men, where only 2 keep coming back.

Recently I had a one new client who admited (to my joy and excitment) that now he turned 50 he needs to look after himself before it’s to late. It was so refrshing and I felt rather proud of him (even though I just met him)

From my experience I know that they find it difficult to even answer my questions, not to mention to listen to any advice given. I think our ancestors and their cave’s times are being responsible for it. Men feel like they shouldn’t show their weaknesses, which unfortunately causes them to carry their problems for years, which in turn gives the illness a good time to develop and become potentially life threatening.

I would like to highlight here few of the most common problems that men in UK struggle with.

Prostate cancer

Unfortunately 1 in 8 men in UK will develop prostate cancer according to https://prostatecanceruk.org/ The older the men gets the higher chances of developing prostate cancer are. There are of course many factors that contribute to it, like : age, ethnicity, family history (big factor). Staying healthy weight can lower the risk of prostate cancer. Current researches indicates that being obese increases the risk of prostate cancer that is more likely to spread.

The good news that if early detected can be easily treated. Reflexology as complimentary therapy doesn’t claim to cure the cancer but it can help in staying healthy and relax, and during the treatment it relax the body and mind thus helping body to recover faster

Hypertension-the silent killer

Hypertension- high blood pressure. Symptoms are rarely noticeable. Untreated hypertension can lead to heart attack or stroke. It is important to check your blood pressure regulary so when cought early it can be brought back to normal by medication and/ or life style changes.

Last by not least -Heart disease

Heart disease remains number 1 killer in the UK. It is scary but it is a fact. High cholesterol, bad diet, obesity and lack of exercise are the biggest contribution to heart disease.

Fortunately, if any problems are detected early the help and treatment are available. The first thing to change is diet and lifestyle. They are also your first line of defence and help prevent any further damage to your heart. Listen to your GP, ask for advice regarding diet and exercise. Following these will help you protect yourself and potentially avoid any danger.

Lets talk MENTAL HEALTH. The pandemic and the isolationa contrbuted to  increase in mental health problem. I wont be going to deep into it as my main focus is men’s mental health here. *In UK men seek help less than women, in fact they make up around 38% of all refferals. They are also less likely to disclose their ,ental health issues with friends or family members. This “fear” of being seen as “weak” leads to reaching for other coping mechanisms like a alcohol or drugs to help them coping with stress.

According to Guardian the suicide rate for men in 2019 was the highest in last two decades. “The ONS said men accounted for about three-quarters of suicide deaths registered in 2019, 4,303 compared with 1,388 women.”

How reflexology can help?

Well, I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t refer to reflexology. Reflexology by being a holistic therapy works on the WHOLE naturally. It is an immensely relaxing treatment, that by lowering your heart rate, bringing down adrenaline and cortisol and working on your Central Nervous  System, it helps your body to heal itself and distress.

However, remember that reflexology is only one small step in your journey to better health. Lifestyle changes are the way to go. There is nothing wrong in looking after yourself; besides the “manly” exercises reflexology might be just the thing you will enjoy the most, after all, all you have to do is to lie down, close your eyes and relax…..


Places to turn for help:




Is it IBS or something else?


Let me first start with the explanation of IBS.

IBS-Irritable Bowels Syndrome. It’s characterised by flare up of abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea in otherwise healthy person.

Others symptoms  can also include :

  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • headaches
  • depression
  • anxiety

Flare ups are usually triggered by eating to quickly or too much, stress, diet, hormones or even minor irritants such as wheat , diary, tea, coffee or citrus fruit.


Now we know what  IBS actually is and what are the symptoms. Lets have a closer look at the symptoms:

  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • headaches
  • depression
  • anxiety

If you read my previous post Stress-the main culprit , you would have noticed that these are exactly the same symptoms ! Hmmmm…

About 6 years ago I have been diagnosed with IBS after my anxiety and depression kicked in. Since I beat it my IBS resolved itself. I realised that the reason behind my IBS was prolonged stress, previous traumas and generally not looking after myself.

Nowadays doctors very easy diagnose IBS; you give symptoms and there it is- after one appointment that lasts up to 10 minutes doctor gives you the IBS diagnose. I don’t blame GPs. They have limited resources and time to really meet their patients. I strongly believe if they had more time they might be able to get to the bottom of the problem and actualy ask the very important question : “What irritates your bowels?”


SO…what can irritate our bowels? When my clients tell me they have been diagnosed with IBS , my detective’s hat jumps onto my head and I start full investigation.  90% of them admits to huge amount of stress. I ask about their diet. Very often the food is eaten quick, not chewed properly or the food itself is not healthy. Some people have undiagnosed allergies too. In case of  food sensitivities I always suggest to write a food diary, sometimes I refer them to see nutritionist or to have a food allergy test.



To help my clients to understand more about their digestive system, I came up with a little comparison.

“You are a car, your stomach is your engine. If you run your car for miles and miles without brake, use cheap petrol , your car is bound to brake rather fast. It is exactly the same with you. If you run yourself to much, if you don’t rest, don’t eat properly, there is a big chance you will eventually develop some condition that affects your digestive system”


We all know that herbs are a very powerful thing. My all time favourite herbal teas to calm down and support digestive system are:

  1.  sage tea (follow the link)   


2. camomile tea


3.mint tea


I am rather religious about my teas and drink them in between my meals.


Reflexology can be highly beneficial to IBS. It helps to support digestion, relax muscles and unclog intestines.

As with any reflexology treatment I will work the whole foot, trying to bring the balance to the whole body  but special attention will be paid to following reflexes :

diaphragm-to relax, support deep breathing and strengthen the muscles

stomach- obvious- to support the digestion, relax the muscles

intestines-again to support the digestion, unclog any deposits of food or gas that can cause bloating and constipation

-solar plexus is a MUST-helps relax the body and mind

Continue reading “Is it IBS or something else?”

Miscarriage-when you loose a part of your soul

Miscarriage-premature expulsion and loss of fetus before it is viable, due to inadequate environmental conditions or unnatural development of the embryo.


This is a very delicate subject. I meant to write about it a month ago but something was stopping me. One of my clients is going through IVF and I was worried that writing it when she was going through her first round  might be a bad timing. However recently whenever I looked into social media I saw posts about this issue- my friends with rainbow babies were posting memes, photos to acknowledge their lost babies. Have I missed something? Was the Universe trying to tell me something?

I had a long “chat” with myself and have decided that I need to talk about it. I need to talk about sad things as well and maybe, just maybe give someone a little help.

Few of my clients and friends went through this horrible, heart breaking experience and the stories they’ve told me about the treatment they have received, or rather lack of it , makes my blood boil….

At the top of the page I wrote a definition of miscarriage, but how can you define the loss that is part of your soul? You simply can’t, there is no way to do it.

Suffering miscarriage can be profoundly distressing experience, not only for the mother but also for the father. They both go through physical and emotional shock, shock no one can be truly prepared for. According to www.tommys.org ” 1 in 4 women in UK will experience a miscarriage in their lifetimes”. This is a scary statistic.

An upset woman being comforted by her husband who is embracing her

Many women don’t even think about conceiving again for at least few months after miscarriage. Some experience low mood or even depression. It is important that the couple supports each other after the loss of their baby. There are associations that offer advice and support. It is also important that couple don’t feel abandoned at a time like this.

When both parents are recovering from the emotional and physical effects of miscarriage, I would highly recommend that couple gives each other reflexology treatment. This will make the bond between them even stronger, it will bring them the sense of relaxation and peace. 


Once they are ready to start again they both need to be in the best possible health to minimize the risk of miscarrying again. Their health practitioner will advise them on the many aspects I will mention here. It is important to pay attention to lifestyle changes and their diet. There have been researches which have found that women who miscarry have a lower level of  selenium in their blood. Vit B contributes to healthy development of the baby.


Herbal remedies

****Please note that any advice I give in my posts is my advice only- please contact a qualified practitioner for more detailed information****

There are three herbs that can be very beneficial in prevention of miscarriages.

  • Agnus castus– helpful after miscarriage
  • black cohosh– strengthens whole reproductive system and it’s said that it is particularly helpful in prevention of miscarriage
  • false unicorn root– usually in combination with other herbs



  • folic acid
  • Vit E
  • Zinc
  • selenium
  • essential fatty acids
  • vit B



19105991_1178119375625906_8813352467169791744_nReflexology can be very beneficial during miscarriage. It can bring great relaxation, sense of well-being and even mental escape.

There are few points that will be worked with extra attention during reflexology treatment after miscarriage:

  • pituitary reflex- to bring hormonal balance
  • thyroid reflex
  • uterus reflex
  • ovaries reflex
  • spinal stimulation point reflex



Miscarriage and still birth are both horrendous and sad experiences. Ones that women will never forget. The memory of the loss will live with them forever. Remember to support, love and cherish each other.


Congratulations!You are pregnant!!

ciazaYep, this is me. 7 months pregnant. I know, I know, I was huge and look like I am having twins (trust me heard it all the time, together with the “belly rub”). Every time someone touched my bump I wanted to shout”DO I TOUCH YOUR BOOBS?NO, SO STOP RUBBING ME LIKE I AM SOME GENNIE LAMP!

Anyway, Jack was huge, looked like Popeye with Mongolian face and his birth caused me a 3rd-degree tear. So there you have- some stuff to look forward to.

However, you might be ok. You might be one of those lucky ladies that gain hardly any weight (I was like this with my first one) and doesn’t even look pregnant. I really wish you that.

Now, jokes aside, let us talk seriously. Pregnancy is a time of enjoyment and a worry at the same time. I won’t be going here into details how pregnancy happens, we all know the story about flowers and bees..

Although pregnancy is not an illness it can cause problems. Reflexology can be very useful in keeping a woman feeling healthy and comfortable during pregnancy, it can also help with the development of the baby and ease or even stop the symptoms of pregnancy.

Like I have mentioned before pregnancy itself is not an illness. Our (women) bodies have been designed to be a vessel for this little miracle and to give birth. OK , time to talk about health during pregnancy.



Eating and cravings 

I’ve heard strange stories from chewing on the rubber to eating pickles in honey. I myself went through a period of eating cucumbers and tomatoes only  (although now cravings as such, just couldn’t stomach anything else). Remember that cravings are just a funny way of your body telling you which nutritions it needs (what nutritions are in rubber?!)However you need to be sensible. If you crave sweets try raisins. Fancy to munch some salty food? Try pickles instead of crisps. You have to be careful as too much sugar can increase the risk of diabetes and too much salt retains fluid in the tissues of the body.


During pregnancy, your body will need some extra iron to support the increasing amount of blood in it.Iron supplements are one of the first ones you can take. If you don’t want to take any supplements try

  • green vegetables
  • red meat
  • nuts
  • seeds such sunflower or pumpkin seeds.

*Keep an eye on bowels movements as too much iron can cause constipation.

Magnesium helps make bones, fatty acid, and protein. It also helps to relax womb muscles and is a natural tranquilizer. 200 milligrams of magnesium is sufficient in stressful time of your life(in addition to a good diet rich in this mineral).

We mustn’t forget about all mighty folic acid. You should take it until the end of the third month of your pregnancy.

I won’t be even going into cigarettes and alcohol.


Common problems in pregnancy 

  • tender, enlarged breasts-simple, your hormones are preparing the breasts for breastfeeding
  • bleeding gums-hormones that soft tissues and extra blood in your body can make them soft and spongy
  • constipation-as above, hormones can soften the tissues which can make your bowels bit sluggish
  • morning sickness-it’s not always morning despite the name. It can happen anytime and most of the time the main cause is low blood sugar. Eat often and little. Ginger biscuits seem to help many women. Peppermint tea helps too.
  • heartburn/gastric reflux- one of the main causes is your expanding uterus that is pressing into abdominal areas. It can also be caused by hormones released during pregnancy-those hormones relax the valve at the entrance to your stomach. Again eat little and often. Over the counter remedies or camomile tea can be helpful (always check with pharmacist) regarding any over the counter medication)Some find that glass of hot water can ease the symptom
  • pre-eclampsia-symptoms include high blood pressure, protein in urine and fluid retention (hand, feet and sometimes even face. To prevent these symptoms look into taking Vit C and E supplement. If you have these symptoms make sure you rest plenty to lower the blood pressure. As much as reflexology and additional vitamins can help, you MUST be seen by a medical expert.


Movement Exercises-You-Can-Do-During-Pregnancy

Remember, you are pregnant, not ill and unless there is direction given to you by your health professional, movement and gentle exercises are your friends. Try gentle swimming and walking. Breathing exercises and pregnancy yoga are very highly recommended. PLease do not forget about pelvic floor exercises, they are very important and lack of it will be evident in later years ( I do not bounce on a trampoline anymore).


You don’t need a special diet, eat regular and balanced meals. Make sure you eat at least 5 servings of fruit and veggies per day. Include in your diet food rich in calcium such as yogurt, milk, pasteurized cheese. Meat, fish and well-cooked egg should be included in your diet. If you are vegetarian eat pulses. There is a plenty advice on NHS website. You could also contact nutritionist more advice if you have any dietary requirement.


Reflexology in pregnancy

When you are looking for a reflexologist to ease your pregnancy symptoms make sure he/she is trained in pregnancy reflexology as this requires knowledge and skills some might not have.

Reflexology can help with the stress of carrying a baby and can help with any pregnancy symptoms you might have. It can only do you good and no harm to your baby.

1st trimester would be the time of very gentle treatment, half an hours only , once a month. My focus will be mostly on relaxation and eventual problems like the colon (when constipation present).

2nd trimester we will move to full treatment but still very gentle.I would still work once a month.

Finally, 3rd trimester-time when your hospital bag can be already packed, cot prepared and you stocked up your nappy arsenal. My ideal plan treatment would be short session once a week, focused on absolute relaxation and hormonal balancing.

Try to enjoy your pregnancy, take every day as it is. One more advice based on personal experience. High in pregnancy better stock up on the satin sheet and satin nighty-so much easier to turn in bed.   😉






Are you the right therapist for me?….



This post will be shorter, maybe more boring or maybe interesting, less educational or more educational. It is all up to you, how you want to see it but it won’t be about any particular health issue as such.

I am a reflexologist, dare I say a good one. I am still a baby, making tiny steps in an amazing world of reflexology. I am still learning new techniques, new ways. It is an ongoing process and will never stop, but I love it. I love reflexology, I breathe reflexology. To become a reflexologist I have searched high and low. I remember at first I was considering an online course, simply due to money and time. However, something was telling me that this is not the right way. After that, I came across some few days courses, college courses etc. I still wasn’t satisfied.

You see I am that type of person who wants to be the best in whatever I do, who wants the best in education and life (by life I don’t mean gold planes, teeth and designer handbags) and if I am doing something I do it properly. I simply typed Professional Reflexologist, a page came out Professional Reflexology. I read through it, I have found a school and I signed up.

I wasn’t accepted straight away. I was invited for an interview with this tall, blond lady who as it turned out was a big fish in industry 😉 This was  Susie Jennings from Susie Jennings School of Reflexology.  Professional Reflexology trains their students to the highest level achievable in the UK, we end up being very clever 😉 On a serious note, we are required to undergo A & P training, maternity acre, palliative care and few others. We need to know how the body works, we need to know about energy, side effects of medication and many, many other things. It is full on training. It was worth every tear and drop of sweat. I know I was equipped with every tool reflexologist should have. I am extremely proud of the letters after my name. I worked hard for them.


Recently, however, I have been alerted by a friend of mine. She is a therapist, great one but in different discipline. She has studied reflexology long time ago and doesn’t practise it. She is is very passionate about good training. She has sent me a link to a page .This company does reflexology training in a couple of days. COUPLE OF DAYS!!!! Companies like that are growing quickly like mushrooms after rain. It is scary. Nowadays you can have massage diploma online without even touching a human body. Don’t get me wrong, online can be good, I have done online. Online tutoring on massage and body but I had to meet with my tutors, go through everything on my model.Show muscles, bones, and show different massage techniques.I had to do many case studies.

There is a place for online training but no one will ever tell me that learning reflexology online or in even in 3 months is enough. Please! I had clients in local SPA who told me they had reflexology before but this one was different. Well, of course, I am properly trained!

Reflexology is not a “foot massage”, it is a complex holistic therapy. I go through very detailed health questionnaire. Sometimes I need to ask uncomfortable questions but it has to be done in order for me to treat you the right way. The same is with massage.

The worse thing I am finding is that there is plenty so-called “proressional” association that will accept graduates of such schools, so when a potential client is looking for therapist they will see association listed and they think “is all good”. Most of the time it is but more and more I see and hear about the lack of qualification in therapists. I hear it from my clients, and from fellow therapists. On the top of it many, many insurance companies will insure therapist without adequate training.

I am writing all of this not for fear of my career or fear of having competition. I know what I can do, what my goals are and reviews of my clients speak for themselves. I am writing this for your safety, for the safety of your health. It is about your money too.

Here are some tips to finding the right therapist:*

  • ask them questions, as many questions as you like
  • ask them if you can have consultation without committing to the treatment
  • What are your qualifications, and are they available for me to see?
  • Do you have appropriate insurance?
  • Do you understand my condition?
  • How much will my treatment cost?

Professional Reflexology Members will welcome these questions because they understand the reasons why you may ask them.

You may also like to ask yourself:
Does this person seem professional?
Could I relax with this person, and talk to them honestly?
If you are satisfied with the answers, then you have found your reflexologist! 



Sometimes I might not know and understand fully your condition in which case I will be honest with you and tell you that I am going to research more on it. There are aslo times when

I think you may benefit from additional therapy or even certain therapy might be more beneficial to you then reflexology. It is ok. This means I know my boundries and I don’t go out outside my field of expertise.


I hope that this will shed a bit off  light on how to choose a good therapist. Remember this is not only for reflexology. You can apply this to any therapist. ASK, ASK AND ONCE AGAIN ASK.

On this note, I wish you good therapist, successful therapy and lots of luck


*taken from Professional Reflexology website



” I” is for infertility

infertilityI am not about to change into listing problems/conditions into alphabetical order, I just simply struggled to find the right title. It is a very sensitive subject, very complex subject and I have only decided to write about it because I have become overwhelmed with the number of ladies who struggle with infertility and want reflexology to help them. With every new client, I feel proud and privileged to be a person that can help them, they have chosen me to be a part of their journey. I know there are thousands of women who struggle with fertility and I hope that this short article can help them, can give them this little light at the end of the tunnel they so desperately need.

About 1 in 6 couples will experience some problems in conceiving. If the couple cannot become pregnant in a year, despite regular intercourse, we can then say that there is a problem of “reduce fertility”.

I personally hate the word “infertile”. It feels so empty, subjective, cold and infinite. I also believe that one year very often is not enough to call someone “infertile”, therefore “reduce fertility” is the word I am going to use.

I also would like to point out that purpose of this article and my personal opinion I will be talking about “couple becoming pregnant”, “couple problems”.I will do it simply because this is a couple’s problem.

Thankfully we-the society are slowly realising that this is not only a   woman’s  problem. In many cases the “fault” lies on man side. When I see client who suffers from reduce fertility I always make sure I ask questions about the partner -“is he involved mentally, is he supportive, is he doing everything he can to increase his fertility and most of all did he have his sperm check”. My client is obviously doing everything because here she is, sitting in my tiny treatment room, asking for help. 9 out of 10 times the partner does what he should , which makes me a very happy therapist 🙂

Thankfully we- the society are slowly realising that this is not only a woman’s problem. In many cases, the “fault” lies on man side. When I see a client who suffers from reduced fertility I always make sure I ask questions about the partner -“is he involved mentally, is he supportive, is he doing everything he can to increase his fertility and most of all did he have his sperm check”. My client is obviously doing everything because here she is, sitting in my tiny treatment room, asking for help. 9 out of 10 times the partner does what he should, which makes me a very happy therapist 🙂

Let’s talk about causes….

There are many causes of reduced fertility. I will try to list some of them below

Age-couple delaying having children due to career, financial issues or even social pressure might find it difficult to become pregnant if the delay is long. We must remember to not ignore our biological clock.Women over the age of 35 start to experience a decrease in eggs production and disturbance in a menstrual cycle.


Please note! : There is an evidence in decline in sperm in men over 45.

Alcohol- has the ability to reduce fertility, so if you are trying to conceive stop or cut it down
Smoking- can cause hormonal imbalance in addition to damaging the sperm and affecting blood supply
Stress- there is no actual evidence that stress causes reduce fertility but many women who are under a great amount of stress are unable to become pregnant. Clients who come to me to help them with their fertility admitted to living under some level of stress, they suffer from depression on anxiety. The improvement is noticed within 2nd-3rd treatment (depends on personal circumstances)

Women need time and space to conquer their fears, work on unresolved issues and reflexology can play a great role in helping to achieve it.

There is plenty other causes that can contribute to reduced fertility (mineral deficiency chemicals, environmental pollutants). Some of them cannot be avoided and some can be worked on.



Supplements and other support…

Zinc– essential in supporting your thyroid. Low thyroid function (hypothyroid) can affect fertility. Unfortunately nowadays fruit and vegetable don’t have enough Zinc in them unless you grow them yourself, which is not always possible. Zinc is also necessary for the right balance of reproductive hormones and deficiency can even increase the risk of miscarriage


Selenium- antioxidant . It can prevent DNA damage ( damage in DNA can cause miscarriage or birth defects). Selenium  contributes to health of sperm so it is advisable that your partner will take it as well


Don’t forget about Vit C and Vit B

Here is a link to very useful website Dr. Axe . Benefits of vitamin and  supplements and their deficiency are very well explained there


I am a strong believer in herbal remedies. I guess this was passed onto me from my grandpa. I remember him cutting stinging nettles and hitting himself in legs to help with rheumatism, or collecting dandelion roots and mint tea.We always had mint growing in our garden and drank it like mad, dill was used for tummy aches and I remember gathering chamomile from the meadow. There is this saying I read in one of my books “God gave us our first pharmacy, unfortunately, we forgot how to make a use of it”.

Agnus Castus is my “have to”- I mentioned it in my first post about PMS. The difference with reduced fertility is that you need to read about it (consult herbalist) to make sure what is the right dose, as Agnus Castus plays a role in hormone balancing. So if you are planning to have tests or even IVF please, please find local herbalist.

How reflexology can help….

Ladies that come to see me are already seeing their consultants. If you are concerned about you fertility, please see your GP as you might need your hormone levels checked. Reflexology is a complementary therapy  and can work wonders alongside specialist advice of course however two of my clients refuse to go to see their GP’s and this is entirely their choice and I have to accept and honour their wishes (we have our little “deal” that if they won’t become pregnant until the end of this year, both them and their partners will go to see GP)


Prolonged stress can even cause a break in menstruation. It has happened to me.I skipped two months until everything went back to normal – period returned and I developed chest infection (my immune system gave in).

Reflexology is a wonderful treatment. It brings the lost balance, it’s extremely relaxing. When I treat my clients there are certain areas I pay special attention to, like the obvious ovaries and fallopian tubes and for added benefits, will work extra on endocrine and nervous system. I also highly   recommend couples to practice  on each other.This brings closeness and feeling of working together as a unison.

We need to remember that reflexology is not a magical treatment that will cure reduce fertility-it can help tremendously but there might be a situation that IVF is the only choice, and it’s ok. We can still work on preparing the right environment for your baby.Don’t give up, whichever way you will conceive you will end up with the baby and happy, healthy mind and body fertility-feet



Preparing for pregnancy




Preparing for pregnancy can be a wonderful time but it also can be a stressful one.

Once you and your partner decide to have a baby there are some steps you can take to be healthy and well prepared.

I assume that you all know how to become pregnant and how it works so I won’t be going into details  about it 😉

The first step you obviously need to take is to stop any contraceptive pills and any barrier methods such as condoms and diaphragm. It takes at least couple of months for your body to get rid of all effects they had. Start eating healthy diet, stop smoking and cut down on alcohol. Looking into some supplements is a very good idea too.

Reflexology can bring great benefits to both of you. I am saying BOTH, because   two people need to be healthy in order  to have a good pregnancy. Unfortunately we still live in society where there is a general believe that all is down to woman. Well, it is not.

Experienced reflexologist can show you simple moves you can practice on each other at  home 600_453483277

It takes at least 3 months for sperm cells to mature so “Dear Man” you need to put some effort into it. Like I have mentioned before, eating healthy is essential to be  well prepared for  healthy pregnancy. Trying to avoid preservatives, additives -those wonderful E numbers is a good start. Avoiding sugars, artificial sweeteners is good anyway , even you are not preparing yourself to become pregnant. Don’t be fooled that brown sugar is healthier-it is not.

Very good to prepare for healthy pregnancy are oily fish (no GMO), seeds and nuts-they will increase your intake  of essential fatty acids (EFA)-fatty acids  are important in making and repairing cells, support your heart, blood pressure and they are helpful with fertility and conception

                               More about diet 

  • Fruit and veggies are important anyway-no questions asked
  • whole grains-brown rice, oats, wholemeal bread (remember that brown bread is not the same as wholemeal bread )
  • include in your diet lentils, chickpeas and soya

 *current guidelines for for oily fish for pregnant or trying to conceive women  say no more than twice a week


  • folic acid-the most important supplement  when preparing for pregnancy , particularly  important for women who previously miscarried
  • Vit B12-20 micrograms per day
  • Zinc citrate 30 milligrams per day
  • selenium 100 micrograms per day
  • Vit E-300 micrograms
  • flaxseed oil-1000 milligrams
  • Vit C

*Please always consult with your doctor


Stop smoking and drinking !

If you struggle with quitting smoking and don’t want to use patches (they still release nicotine) I highly recommend hypnotherapy.This is a non invasive method to work on your subconsciousness  and it’s so relaxing. I have never seen anyone who just doesn’t like to lie down and close their eyes .I recommend it to many of my clients, in addition to reflexology of course.

There is this myth or rather stupid excuse going on ” I can’t give up straight away as my GP told me it’s not good for the baby”-

Let me tell you something THIS IS RUBBISH!! There is not many things in the world that drives me mad but smoking pregnant mothers(or walking with pushchairs) Arghhh! I see R.E.D !! YOU JUST DON’T DO IT! download


In preparation for pregnancy giving up smoking  is essential as you have the chance to get rid of all toxins and prepare your body to accommodate the little soul.



Stress can affect your ability to conceive. Your body is at its best when relaxed. Try reducing your stress level with exercising, meditation, yoga, mindfulness. The correct working of reproducing system in women and men is highly susceptible to stress. Very often we hear about women whose period stopped due to high level of stress (happened to me for 3 months)Men with constant pressure of earning enough money to support family become more and more stress.This affects their ability to produce healthy sperm and of course can cause impotence in severe cases.

I have a couple who are trying for baby. Mrs A and Mr F. They come to see me every 2 weeks, that’s their wish.It is their second month of trying so all fingers crossed 🙂


                                                       Reflexology reflexology-600x533

Reflexology can play important role in preparation for pregnancy, it can bring body to its balance and relax future mother. Regular reflexology treatments  can be very beneficial  for the couple.It’s recommended that both parents attend regular reflexology sessions. Treating both parents increases chances for healthy and relatively symptoms free pregnancy


Therapies recommended  in preparation for pregnancy

  • reflexology
  • hypnotherapy
  • yoga
  • acupuncture
  • herbalism
  • flower remedies


Good luck on your future pregnancy parents!



Endometriosis -The complicated enemy

I know this wasn’t going to be easy even before I sat down to write the title. Endometriosis is very complicated. There is so many symptoms, so many complications, medical explanations that I really struggle with what is important and what should I write.Endometriosis can be hidden for years because its symptoms can be related to other conditions and it might be undiagnosed for a very long time. Severe cases can lead to surgeries, infertility and even mental and emotional problems.

Unfortunately, the Western medicine treatment usually involves painkillers or contraceptive pills, which can be a tricky thing if you want to get pregnant.There is a possibility for some hormone releasing medication but I won’t be going into this. I am not a GP as you already know. Instead, I will stick to what I know – complementary therapies of course.

I have graduated as a reflexologist in July 2016. It is not so long ago, is it? However, over the course of these few months, I have treated 4 ladies suffering from endometriosis with rather good results must say. The only medication they were on, were painkillers and one had inserted coil.


In simple words endometriosis a disorder in which endometrial tissues grow outside its usual place, which is the uterus . Endometrial tissue will then grow on other pelvic organs such as ovaries, large intestines, fallopian tubes. This tissue will then react to monthly variation of hormones in a similar way as it would if it grew in the uterus, which basically means that it bleeds. Because the blood cannot escape it will cause pain and inflammation or even cysts filled with blood.The bleeding can cause the formation of fibrous scar tissue and over the time forms pelvic adhesion when ovary can stick to bowels.



Whenever I see my client I write a very detailed story of symptoms, observation, conclusion, suspicion etc.With my 4 ladies, I have noticed a very interesting connection-endometriosis and congestion of spleen/pancreas meridian. I am talking about  TCM-TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE.

All of my ladies have several different health problems that are associated with this meridian:

  • Mrs H.-thyroid disorder, IBS
  • Mrs D.-knee pains, excessive thirst, bunions
  • Miss F. -breast cysts, some digestive problems, bunions
  • Mrs K-curbed big toes, digestive problems

Just to make it more exciting here is a very good picture that illustrates it



Not surprisingly all ladies also suffered from some emotional issues and 2 of them had problems in their marriages. Due to the pain, normal intimacy was very restricted. I have also noticed that low self-esteem and mood swing were dominant emotions. This is not a news for me. Women who have endometriosis sometimes cannot have children, the feeling of being useless creeps up very quickly

I felt like there was no meaning in my life, my existence as a women was pointless

~Mrs H.

Let me reassure you, this lady is feeling much better now. In fact thanks to diet, reflexology, persistence and positive thoughts her body started to heal itself. The pains are less and less and GP gave them green light to start trying for a baby !!!

Thicker lining provides extra protection for feminity against abuse, disillusionment, frustration and fear “-Chris Stormer,  Reflexology The Definite Guide

I won’t go deep into this but if you suffer from endometriosis ask yourself this” Am I being frustrated with something?”, “Has something happened in the past that made me feel abused (mentally or physically), afraid or frustrated?”. If you find that the answer is “yes” for any of those questions maybe try to seek an emotional support? Someone that will help you understand and get to the bottom of it. It doesn’t mean that endometriosis will disappear but your hidden scars and emotions will.


Reflexology can help with symptoms of endometriosis and by being a holistic treatment can also help with emotional problems that accompany this condition. I have to say with a bit of pride that I was very successful. Successful to that point that one of my ladies (besides the example mentioned before)manages to live a life without pain which in turn improved her relationship with her husband


Vit B-helpful in supporting you during endometriosis.

The B vitamins are particularly important for endometriosis sufferers for a number of reasons. First and foremost, they are needed by the liver to convert excess oestrogen into weaker and less dangerous forms. One of the B vitamins, B6, has been shown to significantly reduce the intensity and duration of period pains, which will help many sufferers.

The B vitamins are also crucial for the conversion of essential fatty acids into beneficial prostaglandins (hormone-like substances that have a relaxing effect on the womb muscles and anti-inflammatory properties). Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are found in oily fish, nuts and seeds. The B vitamins are required to convert these essential fats into a form that can be used by the body to produce a ‘good’ type of prostaglandins. Without this conversion, your body will produce more of the ‘bad’ prostaglandins, which can increase period pains and set up inflammation from the endometrial patches.

Take it in addition to 1000 milligram of  choline and 500 milligrams of  inositol


Soluble fiber aids digestion and helps the body to naturally expel hormones.

  • apples
  • pears
  • plums
  • beans
  • lentils
  • peas
  • quinoa
  • whole grain foods
  • oats
  • nuts
  • citrus fruits
  • chia seeds
  • flax seeds.


Having a healthy liver is important for good hormone balance. This is because the liver detoxifies chemicals and waste products including excess hormones.Ensuring to include some iron-rich foods in your diet can replace iron that may be lost through heavy periods – a common symptom of endometriosis.

  • dark green leafy vegetables like cabbage, kale, spinach, watercress
  • broccoli
  • beetroot
  • meat, fish, eggs
  • tofu
  • beans and pulses
  • nuts and seeds
  • iron-fortified cereals or bread
  • brown rice.

Essential fatty acids (EFAs)

EFAs help to control inflammation, contribute to positive prostaglandin production and aid tissue healing. These aspects can all help to relieve endometriosis symptoms. When looking at your diet, look to include foods rich in essential fatty acids, such as:

  • chia seeds
  • flax seeds
  • oily fish
  • pumpkin seeds
  • walnuts

What to limit

Processed foods

Some processed foods can contain certain additives and preservatives that may contribute to inflammation in some people. They may also be high in saturated or processed fats that can promote the production of inflammatory prostaglandins, while potentially offering little in terms of nutritional value. Read labels, taking note of the guideline daily amount or traffic light labeling guidance as well as reading the list of ingredients to see if perhaps there are healthier products you could choose.

Try to avoid or cut down the following:

  • packaged/pre-prepared meals and snacks
  • soft drinks
  • fried foods
  • smoked and processed meats
  • baked goods
  • white flour and refined grains
  • sugary foods.


Interestingly many people with the condition report symptoms ease after limiting gluten. The link between the two is unknown, but it is thought that a gluten sensitivity may trigger bowel symptoms which may then increase pain levels. If you suspect a negative response to gluten-containing foods, try limiting your intake and eating naturally gluten-free options such as wild rice, quinoa and sweet potato to see if you experience an improvement.


Full-fat dairy products are relatively high in saturated fats and may, therefore, contribute to inflammation. Choose low-fat options for products like yogurts and milk so that you can still benefit from these foods as a source of calcium if you wish. You may want to limit cheese intakes to moderate amounts. Alternately, if you find you do better with less dairy in your diet then you can opt for calcium-fortified alternatives such as almond, coconut and rice milk.

Other foods to avoid

Limiting the following foods is also recommended for those following an endometriosis diet:

  • Alcohol – Extremely inflammatory and affects vitamin D levels in the liver.
  • Caffeine – Can increase menstrual pain and oestrogen levels.
  • Soya – Contains high levels of phyto-oestrogens and toxins that can trigger endometriosis symptoms.
  • Red meat – Like dairy, is inflammatory and can be difficult to digest.
  • Saturated fats – Found in margarine, butter, and lard, these fats trigger the production of negative inflammatory prostaglandins. 

It is recommended that you find a professional who has experience in treating endometriosis. Someone with experience in the area of diet and lifestyle changes (and someone who has received the necessary training) will have the knowledge and expertise to help.


  • Aromatherapy
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Herbalism
  • Homeopathy
  • Acupressure

and many others….Everyone is different and everyone can find something that helps them.

Wishing your good health x

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As with every article please make sure you consult your GP if you have any symptoms.Information in this article is only an advice , please contact qualified practitioner. 




Stress-the main culprit



We all get pressure, it’s a normal part of life. Sometimes is good to feel pressure, so our flight or fight instinct kicks in.

Stress is a physical reaction in the body which results in physical and emotional changes in the body.In other words stress is what happens to the body when the level of pressure goes beyond body’s natural ability to cope with it.

The human race needs a bit of pressure, positive pressure. We all know it; when you get this pressure because your deadline at work is approaching, or before the performance, before a very important client, or this moment when you see your child is going to hang himself from the Christmas tree, you know that one?

However, when the pressure turns into stress by being a long-term pressure, this is when we are in trouble.You might not see it at first, it can be slow prolonged change. Your energy is draining and this affects your long and short-term health.


I know how it feels. Long term pressure, turned into stress. It was years before my brain couldn’t take it any longer. Years of fighting for money, being a young mum, studying at the same time and trying to turn “the love of my life” into someone who actually deserves being loved. Years of mental abuse, so on, so on. With me it started with tinnitus, followed by anxiety and depression. I am ok now, but I put up a big fight and I won. Meanwhile, I discovered a holistic approach to life and of course reflexology. I have learned how to cope with it now, how to kick the pressure into its ugly butt. I am not saying I don’t get run down.Oh trust me I do, but I do recognise the signs now. I have a big arsenal of weapons, but I will mention them at the end.

Stress is a complex condition. It is very difficult to write all the symptoms of stress. At the beginning you might start to feel one or more symptoms and if you leave it untreated more symptoms appear.

International Stress Management Association UK divides stress symptoms into 4 groups:

  • physical-pains, digestive issues, nausea, frequent cold etc
  • behavioural-you feel you have no time  for relaxation, become more forgetful etc
  • psychological-memory lapses, worrying more than usual etc
  • emotional-feeling tearful, mood swings etc

These are only a few as the list goes on and on, for full list visit this link: symptoms of stress

There was this gentleman Hans Selye, very clever men. Endocrynologist.Mr Selye’s main subject of researchers was stress. He identified  3 stages of stress:

  1. Alarm reaction-your body starts showing changes of the first exposure to the stress. It basically means your alarm is ringing and your body recognises it and starts to adapt. If you address stress at this stage you are OK. It is easy for now….
  2. Stage of resistance-the stress in your life is present long enough to show physiological changes
  3. Stage of exhaustion-your body is tired of fighting. Energy is exhausted. Function and structure of the body are changed.

I am not going to go into biology and explain the boring things about cortisol, adrenaline etc. Let me just tell you that if your cortisol level has been to high for too long you are basically in trouble.

I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t put make up on, blimey I couldn’t even cuddle my children. I just felt useless and wanted to kill myself

~Me ~


In my case prolonged stress caused depression.I had emotional and psychological symptoms. There were some digestive issues but the emotional changes were the most visible. I really wanted to feel different, trust me, I really wanted. I decided to fight.You should know that I am not a big fan of medication if I can find an alternative way. I have seen my share of people drugged and basically just exist. I didn’t want this for myself.So I searched…

Stress is a process that shows a very different symptoms for a different person. Therefore it is important that the person will find what suits them most. There is many ways for self-help now. Fortunatel, society recognises the effect stress can have and many alternative, holistic therapies became widely recognised.

  1. I of course recommend reflexology. Once a week at the beginning is the best way. It is your time to relax, let the reflexologist to “work their magic”, to help your body relax, balance your nerves and hormones and give your body this needed time to rebalance
  2. regular exercise, for some it might be running, going to gym, golf etc. I hate exercise but I find yoga be the most relaxing. Tai-chi, qi-gong are ancient ways of balancing your chi.
  3. cut down on stimulants-bit less coffee , less tea, less coke and energy drinks. Trust me the last thing your body needs when is running our of steam is a stimulant with its beautiful E-numbers. Drugs are  obviously big no, cigarettes, and alcohol won’t help you either. Adding extra stimulant to overstimulated body is a very bad idea.
  4. the right diet. Your  increased cortisol can give you cravings  high in sugar, try to resist. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetable (check my previous post for advice regarding diet)
  5. find yourself a hobby, do something creative. I do colouring and knitting. Most of my friends have my scarfs and snoots.
  6. It might be hard at the beginning but increase your social life, visit family or friends. Meet new people. I myself am not a social person. I love being with my clients and family but I know I need to socialize more so I started talking to mums from school. I think that this is why I enjoy working in a care home-simple human interaction.
  7. Meditation-being with yourself, acknowledging your thoughts but not dwelling on them. I love it
  8. Other complementary therapies like hypnotherapy -I personally recommend local lady Honey Lansdown-this lady helped me a lot during my dark days,  EFT, Reiki. I was saved by hypnotherapy. This was first alternative therapy I had a contact with.I still listen once a day my hypnotherapy tapes.Highly recommend  Glenn Harrold
  9. Laugh, smile, smile to yourself in the mirror in the morning, first thing after you wake up, and say “Hello gorgeous, another beautiful day with beautiful you” and finish your day  smiling in the mirror saying “Good night beautiful, it was a good day”


It is Christmas time, it can be stressy, but just make sure you have time for yourself, just half an hour a day  is better than nothing.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, stress free Christmas. Leave the dishes or better buy the one you can recycle 🙂 Dishes can wait, be with yourself, be with your loved ones.

Merry Christmas !!download


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