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The Proven Benefits of Reflexology – an article by Giuliana Wheater

The Proven Benefits of Reflexology – an article by Giuliana Wheater

The Proven Benefits of Reflexology – an article by Giuliana Wheater and her video!

Reflexology as many of you will know is a type of non-invasive massage that involves applying different types of pressure to the feet, hands, and ears. These are all a map of who we are and can be applied through socks for those who find bare feet a sensory overload. 

Used since ancient Egyptian, Chinese and Japanese times, reflexology has been used for thousands of years. 

In the 1890’s Sir Henry Head and Sir Charles Sherrington proved that the ENTIRE NERVOUS SYSTEM adjusts to outside factors such as TOUCH because the nerves connect our skin to our internal organs!! So, there is neurological connection!!! 

They also found that pressure sends a calming message from the peripheral nerves at the extremities of our bodies to the central nervous system where it tells the body to adjust the tension level.

This then brings the internal organs and the whole body into a state of optimum functioning where blood and oxygen are boosted to the cells and our circulatory , respiratory, endocrine (hormones) , immune and neuropeptide ( anti stress) systems are positively affected. 

At the start of the 20th century Dr William Figzgerald proved that by applying pressure to the zones in the hands and feet, imbalances, pain, and blockages would be eased in other parts of the body. 

Eunice Ingham pioneered this research into what we all know as reflexology today and introduced charts showing the location of the reflexes and how they relate to parts of the body.

Reflexology works on the ten zones running through the body from each toe to the head and down the arms to the hands and back again. Inside each zone is a flow of energy affecting the body parts within that zone.

Stress, illness, and injury can cause these to be blocked. 

It is massively beneficial in easing stress, balancing the hormones , boosting our immunity, boosting our emotional, mental and cognitive health as well as reducing pain by releasing endorphins and easing stress, so fabulous too for fibromyalgia, cerebral palsy and those with physical disabilities. 

Sleep is improved as well as mood. Attention and focus are hugely stimulated too. The whole nervous system is calmed. 

Reflexology above all is very safe, even for those living with a serious health condition. 

In my video this week I will be sharing a few reflexology techniques on a friends and family basis. Anyone can do it and you will really reap the rewards! Everyone loves having their feet massaged! See you next week! 

(Do not practise on anyone with blood clots, fungal infections, open wounds, or epilepsy.)

http://www.therapiesforspecialneeds.co.uk/

 

The Hard Science behind Play Therapy
The proven science behind Reflexology
The proven science behind Reflexology
The Proven Benefits of Reflexology – an article by Giuliana Wheater

The Hard Science behind Play Therapy – an article by Giuliana Wheater

The Hard Science behind Play Therapy – an article by Giuliana Wheater and her video!

Almost all of the therapies I blend and share with children, their families, their teachers and other professionals involved in their growth, are accessed in a very playful, explorative way.

Play therapy traditionally uses tools such as storytelling, creative visualisation, mindfulness, role playing as well as arts and crafts. My own “toy box” extends way beyond those perimeters after 11 years to date of experience and never-ending exploration in my own right!

The importance of play has been acknowledged since Plato and Aristotle and more latterly Einstein who was also on the autism spectrum. Current leading researchers are Carmichael, Schaefer, Landreth and Relly to name a few.

Most importantly play therapy develops that all-important Positive Growth Mindset which is invaluable as we transition into life and the workplace. It nurtures and stimulates problem solving , focus, goal setting, viewing mistakes as learning opportunities , experimenting , exploring , thinking outside the box , learning project management as well as building team spirit , creativity , performance , emotional intelligence, social intelligence, cognitive productivity, concentration, focus, self-esteem and confidence !!

Anxiety is proven to decrease and has had long proven effects with children who have autism, ADHD, PDA and for “looked after” children.

It helps children to grow negotiation skills, stronger family relationships, better bonds with people as well as better memories, motor skills, cognitive skills, and language.

For those who do not have the vocabulary or those who simply do not want to talk, play therapy is extremely effective when processing trauma or working through mental health challenges.

Play therapy has a directly positive influence on classroom learning with happier and higher performing children who are more ready later for the global creative economy.

Currently the gap between mental health policies and educational polices is tremendous resulting in schools being around 50 years behind the workplace. Play therapy massively bridges this gap!

Have a gorgeous week everyone!

http://www.therapiesforspecialneeds.co.uk/

The Hard Science behind Play Therapy
The Hard Science behind Play Therapy
The Hard Science behind Play Therapy
The Proven Benefits of Reflexology – an article by Giuliana Wheater

The Proven Science behind Breathing Techniques – an article by Giuliana Wheater

The Proven Science behind Breathing Techniques ​- an article by Giuliana Wheater and her video!

Following 90+ emails since last week from people struggling with anxiety and OCD, particularly since the Corona virus outbreak, I felt some breathing therapy would be a huge benefit. 

Mindful breathing techniques are FABULOUS on so many neuro scientific and anatomical levels … and firmly rooted in science. Breath work is proven to increase blood and oxygen to the brain.

By contrast, when we hyperventilate, blood and oxygen to the brain is reduced by 40% which is why those higher brain functions such as clear thinking, perspective, focus, concentration, motivation, and good judgment are all severally compromised. 

90% of our serotonin, the hormone of happiness, self-esteem and confidence, is in the gut, so when we breathe slowly and mindfully deep into our tummies, we are stimulating all of that to flow up the spinal cord and into the brain!

Dopamine, the hormone of motivation and pleasure, also linked hugely to the higher brain functions, is encouraged to flood up the vagus nerve and into the brain too … we have literally billions of neurons which act just like dopamine in our gut !!

Anxiety, depression, insomnia, and PTSD are all eased significantly along with the lack of focus and attention for those with ADHD, ADD and PDA as well as ASD with regular mindful breathing. 

Nor adrenaline is also stimulated which helps with focus and positivity.

Meditative breathing has actually been proven to DECREASE the amygdala – the emotional brain – the part of the body that detects fear and triggers the fight or flight response whilst actually INCREASING pre-frontal cortex which leads to clear thinking, complex thinking , problem solving and perspective!!!

Our bodies and brains are just so PERFECTLY designed I get SO excited!!!!! It is like a miracle!! And we have all these natural but powerful neuro scientific tools at our fingertips to feel and be the best we possibly can. I absolutely love it!!! 

http://www.therapiesforspecialneeds.co.uk/

The Proven Science behind Breathing Techniques
The Proven Science behind Breathing Techniques
The Proven Science behind Breathing Techniques
The Proven Benefits of Reflexology – an article by Giuliana Wheater

The Proven Science Behind Storytelling – an article by Giuliana Wheater

The Proven Science Behind Storytelling – an article by Giuliana Wheater and her videos!

Storytelling is something we have always done as humans … for thousands of years before we actually began to write words. Sadly, today a large percentage of children don’t get read to and yet on a neuroscientific levels well as a nurturing level, it is neural dynamite!!

It has been proven that when you are immersed in a story your brain floods with cortisol, oxytocin, and dopamine in addition to your whole-body surging with serotonin, the hormone of happiness, self-esteem, and confidence.

Cortisol helps formulating our memories. Oxytocin helps is to trust, care, relate, help others, and empathise! Dopamine helps to regulate our emotional responses and keeps us engaged, inspired, and focused.

When you make stories in a group either by making a lucky dip story box or putting it into story massage or yoga you are sharing, working as a team and developing mental flexibility if the next person takes a story in a different direction from what you hoped: our internal data banks are filled with “what if’s” and “how to’s” so as a result we think outside the box and develop problem solving whilst working as a team … life skills which will layer be invaluable in the workplace !!

Storytelling widens horizons, melts boundaries, and develops a lifelong thirst for knowledge. Children who engage in stories from a young age are far more open to learning, expressing, communicating, and focusing and they are scientifically proven to have greater emotional and social intelligence.

So please watch my videos and see how even for those with autism, ADHD, PDA, and dyslexia can be engaged and grow in this therapy!

The Proven Science Behind Storytelling
The Proven Science Behind Storytelling
The Proven Science Behind Storytelling
The Proven Benefits of Reflexology – an article by Giuliana Wheater

The proven research behind Colour Therapy – an article by Giuliana Wheater

The proven research behind Colour Therapy – an article by Giuliana Wheater and her video!

Colour therapy, otherwise known as chromatherapy or photo-biology has been used since ancient Chinese and Egyptian times and is in embedded our very language itself: “seeing red”, a “white mist coming down”, “feeling blue”, or being “green with envy”.

Scientists and researchers such as Robert Gerard, Dr Max Lüscher, Ingrid Collins & Professor Stephen Westland (Chair of Colour Science & Technology at the University of Leeds, to name just a few have long established that colour is light of varying wavelengths and frequencies.

Electromagnetic waves constantly surround us: colour is part of those waves. Every single one our trillions of cells needs light energy: these absorb colour which effect us mentally and emotionally as well as physically .

Every atom we possess consists of particles of energy in perpetual motion so at our basic level we are made of energy and information.

When we add a certain colour we are adding that wavelength and frequency energy into our lives which can have a proven effect on our mood, perception, outlook and our mental and physical health.

Since I was tiny I have seen the world and people in particular as colours; my autistic son Ollie does the same. So for me it was a natural step to train in this therapy and integrate it naturally into my other therapeutic training’s as it can have such a huge effect on mood, sleep, stress, aggression, illness as well as mental, emotional and physical health.

Different colours really do have a powerful impact on how we feel on all levels.

I weave colour therapy into my meditations, guided journeys, yoga and breathing exercises, mindfulness activities, positive games and sensory play with high impact and beneficial results.

I’ve included a few ideas in this article along with a video to demonstrate how you can flow colour into other therapies although it is also very valuable as a standalone therapy in its own right too.

Our world is full of colour … think why you were drawn to the clothes you’ve chosen today for instance , colours you love and those you can’t bear.

80% of communication isn’t speech … so what do your colours say about you? It’s such an interesting therapy!

http://www.therapiesforspecialneeds.co.uk/

Colour therapy
Colour therapy
Colour therapy
Colour therapy
The Proven Benefits of Reflexology – an article by Giuliana Wheater

The proven Science Behind Yoga – an article by Giuliana Wheater

The proven Science Behind Yoga – an article by Giuliana Wheater with her video

Yoga is now well recognised as a therapy to encourage wellness, focus and peace.

But did you know about all the other physical , mental , neurological , emotional & social benefits too?! The list is endless & thoroughly researched, proven & backed by hard scientific evidence thanks to leaders in the field such as Tiffany Field amongst many others.

Did you know that yoga improves mental flexibility so is amazing for autistic people for instance ?! When we exercise our bodies we are exercising our brains. Just simple yoga exercises with our hands and fingers stimulate the brain as the muscles found here relate to the muscles of the brain.

Yoga also promotes self awareness, interpersonal awareness, compassion, body awareness along with self esteem as the neurotransmitters of happiness, confidence, productivity and motivation are pushed up from the gut & stimulated in the brain! 90% of our happy hormone, serotonin, is made in the gut!!

Yoga balances the nervous system because of the release of these vital neurotransmitters and eases stress as well building our resilience to stress & boosting immunity. Much needed in these challenging times of the “new normal”.

Through the regular practice of yoga self management, self regulation and emotional/social intelligence are given a turbo charge! Depression is reduced as well as anxiety. Sensory integration is boosted too …. fabulous for our children with autism and other different abilities.

Yoga incorporates mindfulness, sound ,breath work & meditation too so it flows beautifully alongside and interwoven with my other therapies.Yoga should never hurt contrary to a common myth and can be done seated if there are mobility issues along with assisted yoga.

Yoga is also huge fun and can be turned into stories, charades, games & even songs or music as I frequently do with the children and families I work with. Everything is an invitation and everything is fun and inclusive. I have lots of videos on my YouTube channel where I “play” with yoga in this way so that even tiny children want to explore it … all whilst getting these amazing benefits !!

My training with Jyoti Manuel, founder of Special Yoga massively enriched my work in this area with her training’s for autism and ADHD. She is a wonderful teacher and shares her courses for yoga for PMLD as well as for autism and ADHD. She can be found at https://specialyoga.org.uk/training/ – I can’t recommend her highly enough.

The proven Science Behind Yoga
The proven Science Behind Yoga
The proven Science Behind Yoga
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