Practitioners Blog

Enhancing men’s health

With Men’s Health Week running from June 11th – 17th, it’s hoped more men will be inspired to take action to improve their health and wellbeing. Here at Archway Health Hub, we offer a wide range of options for men looking to boost their physical and mental health. Man in suit relaxing on grass

Sports massage

The rise in popularity of cycling and running has had a hugely positive effect on men’s health in recent years. However, if you are regularly pounding the pavement or conquering hills on a bike, it can take a toll on your body, particularly in middle age and beyond. At Archway Health Hub our therapists Marie Steadman, Laurie Pratt and Zoe Pearson offer bespoke sports massage tailored for a range of needs including treating soft tissue injuries, speeding up the dispersal of lactic acid and alleviating muscle fatigue while enhancing muscle growth and repair. Not only that, potential problems can be identified and treated before they become an issue.

Pilates and yoga

These may be gentler forms of exercise than traditional male-dominated testosterone-fuelled sports, but many men, including elite athletes, swear by yoga or Pilates. Although they are very different disciplines, they both offer similar benefits in terms of improved muscle strength and tone, increased flexibility, injury prevention, stress reduction and more. And anyone who still thinks these are feminine disciplines should bear in mind that two of our yoga teachers at Archway Health Hub, Harry Hewetson and Paul Hodgetts, are men!

Mindfulness

Stress in the workplace and at home can creep up on us almost without us realising it. This is particularly true for men, who are statistically less likely to talk about their problems or seek out solutions to combat them before they threaten to become overwhelming. The practice of mindfulness, which means learning to become fully present in each moment, is a fantastic tool to help you cope with both the demands of everyday life and more challenging periods. Our 6-week mindfulness stress reduction courses run by Alec Welton are an ideal introduction to this life-enhancing practice.

Counselling and psychotherapy

The fact that men are still 3 ½ times more likely than women to end their lives by suicide is a stark reminder that when it comes to removing stigmas so that men feel more able to open up about mental health issues, we still have a long way to go. At Archway, our practitioner Nicola Flinn can help you explore and find strategies to help resolve issues that are taking over. Talking to a therapist can help with general anxieties and stress or specific problems such as a breakdown of a relationship.

For information on these, or any of the many other treatments and classes we offer, please contact our reception on 01858 410 820.

By |May 16th, 2018|

What are the benefits of aromatherapy?

With Aromatherapy Awareness Week beginning on June 11th, this ancient practice is set to be in the spotlight. Many people use aromatherapy oils in baths and diffusers at home, but for an immersive deep relaxation experience, nothing can beat a professional aromatherapy treatment.Field of lavendar

What is aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy involves using essential oils extracted from plants. At its heart, aromatherapy is a holistic treatment, designed to bring calm and balance to mind, body and soul.  Aromatherapy is a complementary therapy, meaning rather being seen as a ‘cure’ in itself, it is used to help alleviate the symptoms of certain conditions such as stress and insomnia. However, many people return to it again and again simply for the deep relaxation and the feeling of well-being it evokes.

What will my treatment involve?

A professional aromatherapy treatment involves essential oils being introduced to the skin using skilled massage. Before the treatment begins, your aromatherapist will take you through a detailed consultation to identify which oils and massage techniques will best suit your needs. Although aromatherapy is a safe treatment, some aromatherapy oils are not suitable for people with certain conditions such as allergies, diabetes or some types of cancer, so the consultation is an important way of establishing what your needs are. Based on the results of your consultation, your therapist will choose a combination of essential oils for you. Aromatherapy oils are highly concentrated, so your aromatherapist will dilute the oils in a carrier oil before applying them to your skin.

How does an aromatherapy massage feel?

An aromatherapy massage is a gentle, relaxing experience, designed to provide a release from the stresses and strains of the everyday world. As well as the soothing feeling of the oils being massaged into your skin, the olfactory experience is an important one too, as the fragrance of the oils do their part in transporting you on a sensory journey to balance body and mind. Depending on your needs, your aromatherapist may choose calming aromatherapy oils like lavender or geranium, uplifting scents like rose or neroli or oils with decongestant properties such as eucalyptus and pine.

Aromatherapy at Archway Health Hub

Our aromatherapist is Marie Steadman, who qualified as a therapist at the Shirley Price Aromatherapy College in 1995. As well as aromatherapy, Marie is qualified in shiatsu, sports massage and structural integration.

To make an appointment with Marie or find out more, please contact our reception on 01858 410 820.

By |May 14th, 2018|

Free Hatha Yoga Sessions with our new class tutor

We’re delighted to welcome our new addition to the Archway Health Hub team of class tutors, Hatha Yoga instructor Paul Hodgetts. After practising yoga for over a decade, Paul recently formalised his expertise by travelling to the western coast of India to gain his teaching qualification in yoga at the internationally-regarded Oceanic Yoga school in Goa.

What is Hatha Yoga?Man doing yoga

In the ancient language of Sanskrit, ‘ha’ means ‘sun’ and ‘tha’ means ‘moon’, meaning that ‘hatha’ means ‘balance.’ Hatha yoga is an enjoyable, accessible and relaxing way to take a break from day-to-day life and regain a sense of balance and alleviate stresses and strains, both physical and mental.

The benefits of Hatha Yoga

Paul’s new vocation as a professional Hatha Yoga teacher comes after a long career spent in senior management positions within the often stressful field of the computing industry. It was the demanding nature of Paul’s job that led him to find Hatha Yoga as he sought a way to deal with the rigours of the corporate world. Regular practice of Hatha Yoga can help all of us optimise our precious health and well-being by uniting our minds, bodies and souls to ease tensions and even reduce inflammation, the immune system’s natural response to infection, injury and stress.

What’s involved in a class?

Paul’s course is suitable for any level, including beginners. It follows a traditional hatha yoga sequence, while relaxing, having fun and finding a sense of increased calm. Each class has a different theme, such as breath, balance, core and improving back strength.

What do I need to bring?

Women should wear sports tops and bottoms and men should wear shorts with or without a T-shirt. Bear in mind that although this is not a hot yoga class, the room is heated between 28 and 30 degrees Celsius, so it will be warm. You also need to bring your own yoga mat. To get the most from your class, it’s best to eat 2-3 hours before it begins.

Hatha Yoga with Paul at Archway House

To celebrate Paul joining our team, we are offering two free taster Hatha Yoga classes on Tuesday 16th May from 6.00- 7.00pm and Wednesday 17th May from 9.15-10.15am. Book online or call our reception on 01858 410820 to secure your place.

By |May 3rd, 2018|

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|