My experience with a Reflexology treatment

My series of blog posts in which I meet other people who work in the wellness world continues with… reflexology! You have probably heard about it, but if you never had the chance to give it a go, here you’ll be able to find more information and see if this treatment may suit your needs.

Recently, I had the pleasure to receive a reflexology treatment from Laura Gil at Dublin Wellness Centre. Reflexology is a complementary therapy focused on the feet and aims to support the body on its way to re-balance. I really liked how Laura talks about the treatment as something to “awaken” the body and give it some extra motivation to work at its best. The human body is a wonderfully complex system but there are so many things we need to take into account when we talk about health and well-being. For example, do you ever stop for a minute and think how stress affects you both physically and mentally? There is a study published in 2000 in which the researchers looked at the effect of foot massage sessions on patients in critical care (a stressful environment): they noticed a significant reduction in stress by looking at data for heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure. Interesting, right?

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Reflexology is based on the idea that our feet mirror the whole body so, by applying pressure to a specific part of the feet, you may not only have a positive effect from a general point of view, but also on the corresponding area of the body.

As a holistic therapist, Laura considers her clients as a whole person and with her treatments gives them the right support to go to the roots of their issues. The reflexology session starts by establishing a connection with the person to create a more relaxed and supportive environment, then Laura does a full feet massage – only later on during the session, she will focus more on specific points: she basically teams up with your feet to understand better which areas need more attention and how much pressure she should apply.

The whole treatment encourages the body not only to relax but also to work at its best, to have a better response to external messages, and to find again its balance. It perfectly fits into these series on blog posts, because with them I want to show you how you can easily support your well-being in several ways – this is a simple treatment that goes straight to the point, and it’s perfect for a quick session even at lunchtime (Laura usually does a 1-hour treatment).

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SOME DETAILS…

My specific needs: the only two issues I was dealing with on the day in which I had my treatment with Laura where basically stress and a recurrent pain due to last year’s breast surgery (another story that you can read here). Laura took some time before the treatment to have a chat with me and tell me something about how reflexology works. The results: right after the treatment I was relaxed and energised at the same time – I guess part of the “extra energy” was due to my feet that were feeling way lighter than before and to a deep sense of self-love towards my body (something like “hey, I’m your body and I want to thank you for taking care of me! Let’s do it again soon!”). The session with Laura definitely moved something because I’ve noticed that extra energy for several days after the treatment, and it also gave me a few things to think about. If you are curious to know what she talked about at the end of the treatment: the complaints I had at the begin of the session were basically confirmed from her by reading my feet: a strong body’s response to stress, plenty of overthinking, water-retention, and emotional blockages.

Laura meets clients with a wide range of issues, including stress, fertility, and pregnancy.

I would definitely recommend having this treatment with Laura if you live in Dublin or nearby – it’s a good value for money (€60) and her gentle, relaxing, and down-to-earth approach will definitely help you to feel comfortable and enjoy the treatment. I also hope that what I’ve written here will be helpful and inspiring for all of you who live somewhere else!

Chiara x


ABOUT LAURA

Coming from a fitness and dance background Laura has always been concerned about the importance of health. Alternative medicine has strongly led her to the belief that we can heal ourselves by listening to what our bodies have to tell us.

Her passion for massage and complementary therapies began at a very young age and have continued to blossom ever since. Laura’s father was also involved in energy work and she has fond childhood memories playing with ‘magic stones’ and being in awe of the power of her dad’s hands when she wasn’t feeling well.

She always had a special interest in Reiki and energy work, having attended many different workshops in her native home of Barcelona. On the other hand, reflexology was always calling her attention. She has always been eager to learn more about helping others, but also herself.

It wasn’t until she travelled to Ireland that she decided to start her journey as a therapist by completing the Reiki Master Teacher and practitioner training and also studying Reflexology in the highly recognized Holistic College Dublin, taught by the inspirational Alison Kavanagh.

During her training, she had the pleasure to attend a post-graduate course with Chris Stormer, entitled ‘Language of the Feet’ and ‘Understanding allergies and intolerances through the feet’. This course really opened her eyes to the messages our feet are telling us about ourselves.

Her dancing career began at a very young age and spanned across several dancing genres, but it is with Belly Dance where her strongest passion lies. She began Belly dance following a doctor’s recommendation and it was here where she found her mind, body and soul awaken through the art of this elegant dance. It also sparked her interest in helping women’s health. She carries this interest with her still today and it is the reason why she specialized in fertility and maternity reflexology through the Obus School of Healing Therapies.

She offers sessions in both Reiki and Reflexology and also offers a special combination of the two if necessary. She applies Reiki to her reflexology treatments to enhance healing and relaxation. It can also have brilliant benefits when attending specific areas on the feet after a Reiki session. Each session is followed by a personal consultation, in which a discussion on how to aid recovery is professionally conducted. By combining self-treatment-techniques with the therapy sessions a positive first step is made in nurturing, not just your body, but also your mind and spirit.

Laura is an ITEC qualified Reflexologist specialized in Fertility and Maternity treatments. She also has developed a special interest in helping stress-related issues.

As a member of the National Register of Reflexologists Ireland, Laura’s reflexology treatments are covered by VHI, Laya, Aviva and Glo Healthcare.

To find more details about her treatments and schedule an appointment with Laura, click HERE

My experience with a Facial Rejuvenation treatment

If you have been following my blog or social media pages for a while, you know that I’m a huge supporter of all the little things that can help us to take a better care of ourselves on a daily basis. Many people think that self-care means having at least one day off each week to spend taking care of themselves and having only that single thing to do. We all know that reality is a little bit different, things don’t always go as planned and it’s not so common having the chance to dedicate one entire day each week to yourself. So, it’s important to think about what you can do on a daily basis to show yourself some love… small choices that seem simple but can actually be life-changing!

I’d like to help you figure out what you can do at home in first place and also simple treatments that you can book without necessarily have to take a day off at the spa. That’s why I’d like to meet other people who work in the wellness world and give you some examples of HOW YOU CAN EASILY SUPPORT YOUR WELL-BEING in different ways… you’ll hear from my voice about the treatment, how does it work, how it made me feel and which are the benefits that I’ve noticed.

Recently, I had the pleasure to try a Chinese Cupping and Gua Sha Facial Rejuvenation treatment with Amanda Nordell at Dublin Wellness Centre: it’s a treatment based on a combination of different techniques that Amanda carefully adapts to your own needs.

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What is it all about? The treatment lasts approx. 1 hour and includes the use of gua sha tools, a jade roller, natural facial oils, cupping (with silicone cups), basalt stones, and a face mask. You can also get a standard acupuncture treatment as part of the session as an extra support for your well-being and general balance. It’s a relaxing hour and even if it may sound a bit scary getting cupping on your face, the truth is that it doesn’t hurt and leaves no red marks, my skin was refreshed and rejuvenated following the treatment.

The combination of facial cupping and gua sha is both relaxing for the mind and body, and invigorating for the complexion and facial muscles. For this kind of treatment, Amanda works with clients who have a wide range of needs, including who have specific skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, psoriasis, or eczema and also with people who want to prevent/reduce the signs of aging. The facial can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles and reduce sagging tendencies. As she mentioned to me, there’s no downtime after the session and this makes it even easier for all of us thinking to fit this relaxing time into a busy schedule.

What I really loved about the treatment (apart from the glowing skin that I had right after it) is the idea that it helps your whole face to find its balance again and to shine from the inside out – it’s a way to give some extra support to your skin and muscles on their everyday job. No magic tricks or big promises: it’s a deep and gentle facial massage based on specific instruments, nutrients (from oils and masks), and temperatures.

Something else I really appreciated is the approach that Amanda has toward natural products. We are all aware that the word “natural” is used to advertise a wide range of stuff (and often is the perfect way to trick customers) and it can have several meanings – the best thing to do is having a better look at what there is actually behind the “natural” label. As Amanda mentioned to me, her focus is on getting products that are organic when possible, and free from parabens, silicones, mineral oil, and alcohol.

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SOME DETAILS…

My specific needs: I’ve received the treatment a few days after having a cold, with a sinus inflammation, a dry skin (I tend to have a dry skin due to psoriasis but this time was also due to the previous cold), and a few hormonal spots. Amanda took some time before starting the treatment to have a chat, tell me that the treatment could also be helpful for my sinus inflammation, explain to me that she decided to use a hydrating bamboo mask and that the hormonal spots may worsen after the session but only because the skin is clearing itself. The results: right after the treatment I was relaxed and energised at the same time – it’s a facial but it lasts one hour, so it actually feels like taking a proper “self-care break” in the middle of the day. I’ve noticed immediately the re-hydration and a clear change in my skin’s texture, the entire face looked (and felt) renovated and refreshed – hormonal spots cleared after a few days and I had a good improvement in my sinus inflammation. I always preach about listening to your body and what mine told me in the evening after the session with Amanda was to slow down and take more time off (I even went in bed way earlier than usual). Every time I go for a treatment or I do something to take care of myself, I always feel some extra motivation afterward to keep doing it and to be more consistent in adding self-care into my priorities (when I’m busy I tend to forget about using face creams, oils, self-massage, etc).

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The treatment is divided into several steps: it starts with a gentle and quick massage to apply the oil, then the use of some tools (jade roller, gua sha, etc..) not only helps with muscles and blood circulation, but it also allows the oil to be absorbed better into the skin. Gua sha, jade roller, and cupping are used before the mask, then basalt stones are the final part of the session. The tools for gua sha are used to do a gentle scraping action on the skin (this means that the layers are starting to be stimulated – you’ll also feel the skin that gets warmer), while the jade roller is naturally cold and massages the face. The technique used for cupping promotes circulation and relieves muscle tension (warm temperature), the mask nourishes the skin and the basalt stones are used again to massage the face.

Even if I love getting a massage and I truly believe that treatments like massage or acupuncture are a great and simple way to support our well-being (from both personal experience and from what I’ve learned in my training to become a Lomi Lomi massage therapist), I’m usually not keen in booking myself in for a facial. But this treatment is actually something completely different because it involves the use of tools and all the different steps follow a logical pathway that you can clearly understand and feel with all the little changes on your skin.

I would definitely recommend having this treatment with Amanda if you live in Dublin or nearby – it’s a good value for money (€65) and her non-judgemental, experienced, and down-to-earth approach will definitely help you to feel comfortable and enjoy the treatment. I also hope that what I’ve written here will be helpful and inspiring for all of you who live somewhere else!

Chiara x

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ABOUT AMANDA:

Amanda is a registered acupuncturist with AFPA, the oldest and largest professional body for practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Ireland. She is a graduate of The Acupuncture Foundation of Ireland and has completed a clinical internship at the WHO Collaborative Center of Traditional Medicine at Nanjing University, China. This programme consisted of extensive clinical instruction at Jiangsu Province General Hospital and Military Hospital 454.

Amanda was privileged to work with the renowned Dr. Wen Lei Qiao during her time in China. Dr. Qiao’s treatment philosophy is well respected across Europe and the world. Her principles of pain-free needling, use of a few needles as possible along with a gentle, consultative approach with clients is proven to create optimum results. Amanda adheres to this approach and in addition to traditional body acupuncture she uses abdominal, auricular (ear) and wrist-ankle acupuncture techniques. Also, traditional Chinese cupping therapy and moxibustion.

Amanda has 20 years of experience working in the areas of health and social care firstly as a nurse and subsequently in the area of child and vulnerable adult protection. She has worked in general medicine, surgery, pediatrics, care of the elderly, mental health, learning disability and addiction. Amanda draws on this knowledge to provide a holistic, person-centered experience for each patient treating them according to their unique specific symptoms.

Through the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, she focuses on promoting health, preventing illness, and treating health challenges through natural alternatives that complement and enhance Western Medicine treatments.

To find more details about the treatments and schedule an appointment with Amanda, click HERE: www.amandanordell.com