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How mindfulness can make you happier

With Mental Health Awareness week (14 – 21st May) and World Meditation Day (May 15th) coming hot on the heels of Stress Awareness Month in April, there has been a lot of discussion recently about mental health issues. If you’re one of the 1 in 4 people in the UK each year who suffers from a mental health problem such as anxiety, depression or stress, then the practice of mindfulness could be just what you’re looking for to help you lead a calmer and happier life. Indeed, mindfulness can be a powerful tool for all of us when it comes to feeling more in control and content.

What is mindfulness? Woman practicing mindfulness

Mindfulness is all about being present in the moment. Although this sounds simple, it is deceptively difficult to achieve. How often have you become distracted during a conversation with a friend or struggled to complete a task at work because you are worried about something or are unable to stop yourself mentally replaying an argument from yesterday? Yes, we all have moments of stress, but all too often the anxiety we feel in our everyday lives is all about events that are either already over or have not yet happened, so may not even happen at all! Most of the time our concerns aren’t about what is actually going on right now.

How do I learn mindfulness?

There is no shortage of books, apps and websites on the subject of mindfulness, so it is easy enough to find a resource which resonates with you. However it’s important to remember that although anyone can learn mindfulness and it can be practised anywhere and at any time, it isn’t something that can be mastered in a morning. Learning to become truly present in the moment is a skill that takes a lot of time and practice to master. And as with most things, some days you will find it easier than others.

What are the benefits of mindfulness?

Practicing regular mindfulness techniques such as guided meditations and breathing exercises and applying their principles to daily life can have great results in the reduction of anxiety and stress. Sitting down to do a 10-minute mindfulness meditation may not provide instant results and sometimes you’ll find your mind wanders, but the simple act of committing to this daily act will pay rich long-term dividends in the form of improved emotional and psychological wellbeing. You may also benefit from physical improvements such as reduced blood pressure. Regular practitioners of mindfulness report both an improved quality of life and a better ability to manage the difficult situations that life throws at all of us from time to time.

What if my problems are more than day-to-day gripes?

Of course mindfulness is not a magic wand that can cure mental illness or make sources of stress vanish into thin air. However, whether you are suffering from a minor case of anxiety or dealing with a much bigger issue, the practice of mindfulness can help you stay more in control and deal with the issue at hand while also empowering you to recognise and enjoy calm moments without emotions like worry or regret creeping in. For example, just taking the time to breathe deeply for a few seconds can help you stay calm in a fraught situation or cope with the stress and physical pain of receiving an injection.

Mindfulness in Market Harborough

To help you unlock the many benefits of mindfulness, Archway Health Hub runs a series of 6-week mindfulness courses. Find out more here.


By |April 12th, 2018|

How can complementary therapies help with my summer allergies?

It’s been a long winter and while it’s lovely to cast off the thick layers and coughs and sniffles associated with the cold weather, the summer brings with it new challenges in the form of allergies for many people. With World Allergy Week (22-29 April) and Food Allergy Awareness Week (13 – 20th May) in the news, alongside World Digestive Health Day on May 29th, there is a lot of discussion about allergies and intolerances in the air.

Luckily, there are many complementary treatments that can help with seasonal allergies.

Hay feverWoman with summer allergies sneezing

Hay fever is a common allergy to pollen, so sadly, for many people, a warm, humid and breezy summer’s day is bad news as this is when the pollen count is at its highest. The symptoms of coughing, itchy and watery eyes, sore throat, nose and ears, headache, earache and tiredness can make summer a real challenge to sufferers. After all, who wants to miss out on the joy of warm weather by having to avoid the simple pleasures of sitting on grass, keeping the windows open and even drying clothes outside?

The good news is there are plenty of things you can do to alleviate your symptoms without missing out on summer fun. Wraparound sunglasses are an effective way to stop pollen getting in your eyes and taking regular showers and changing after you’ve been outside will stop pollen lingering on your skin and clothes. It’s also worth investing in a pollen filter for your car and a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.

Complementary therapies such as acupuncture, aromatherapy and homeopathy can also help with the alleviation of the symptoms of hay fever. All our therapists offer a free 20 minute consultation so you can find out which treatment will be best for you.

Sun allergies

Although our skin colouring and type and any medication we may be taking can affect our sensitivity to the sun, all of us should routinely use a good-quality sunscreen when we’re out and about in the summer months, including on overcast English summer days! Look for a sunscreen of at least 15 UVB protection and UVA protection of at least 4 stars. Not only will this protect you from the short-term pain and skin damage caused by sunburn, it will also lessen your long-term risk of developing skin cancer. It’s also important to wear sunglasses and clothing that protects you from the sun and to try to stay out of direct sunlight when the sun is at its strongest between 11am and 3pm.

As well as the risk of sunburn, many of us, particularly women, develop uncomfortable and often painful skin rashes when we’re exposed to the sun. Although many people attribute their skin rash to ‘prickly heat’, a condition that develops when sweat ducts are blocked during skin exposure, prickly heat is in fact a relatively uncommon condition. The itchy red rash that one in six of us suffers from is actually polymorphic light eruption, caused when light hits the skin, causing slight changes to our skin cells – the spots are the manifestation of the body reacting to try and fight off the changes.

Again, alternative therapies such as aromatherapy and homeopathy can help with common sun-related skin complaints.

Food intolerances

Food intolerances cause symptoms for those affected by them all year round. However, it’s often in the summer months when we’re planning to wear swimwear in public that the resulting symptoms such as rashes and bloating can cause more of an issue. If you suspect you are suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome or a food intolerance, it’s helpful to keep a food diary so that you can try to narrow down what may be causing the problem.

You may also find it helpful to speak to a qualified nutritional therapist or expert in health kinesiology to get a diagnosis and find a solution to the problem.

Allergy treatment in Market Harborough

For help with a wide range of summer-related allergies, you can find more information here.

Archway Health Hub offers complementary therapies for a wide range of conditions including allergies. To find out more, please call us to discuss your needs on 01858 410 820.

By |April 12th, 2018|

How to stay motivated through your fitness routine

It’s important to remember that it’s impossible to remain motivated all of the time. You will hit times when you’ll want nothing more than to sit on the sofa with a bar of chocolate and binge a TV series. Even Olympians will have mornings where their hand hovers over the snooze button before thinking otherwise.

By |March 15th, 2018|

5 tips for getting those abs for summer

Summer is on the way and it won’t be long until we were strutting around in our bikinis and swim shorts. This is when the months of hard work and dedication through winter and spring finally come off.

By |March 13th, 2018|

5 reasons you should start Pilates in 2018

Pilates isn’t anything new. At Archway Health Hub, we’ve had a dedicated Pilates space for over 10 years, offering an expanding range of classes and services so there is sure to be something just right for you.

By |February 23rd, 2018|

Ultimate guide to the Indian head massage

The Indian Head Massage is a recent addition to our range of treatments and therefore some of our visitors may be unaware of what it is, what a treatment entails and what the benefits are. That’s why we decided to write up this handy guide to Indian head massages.

By |February 23rd, 2018|