4 Reasons to Love Parsley

4 Reasons to Love Parsley

Parsley is often used as a garnish but there is so much herb than this. Adding a sprig to dishes has some impressive health benefits and a lot more nutrients than you might think!

Here are 4 of the great benefits of parsley for better health:

#1 It’s Full of Antioxidants

There are lots of flavonoids in parsley and these act as antioxidants that help to protect against damage to cells.

One of these is vitamin C, which can neutralise free radicals and stop them wreaking so much havoc in the body. Free radicals are linked to lots of different diseases so you may be able to protect against some of them if you have plenty of antioxidants in your diet. And parsley is definitely one way to get the ball rolling on this!

#2 It’s Heart Healthy

When you think of heart healthy nutrients, folic acid probably isn’t the first one that springs to mind. Its ability to reduce homocysteine in in the blood protects the blood vessels.

If you have a lot of homocysteine molecules in your body, there is a big risk that your blood vessels will become damaged and if you go on to develop atherosclerosis (a condition that affects the blood vessels), this can make you a lot more likely to have a heart attack or stroke,

Foods that are rich in folic acid can reduce this risk and parsley ticks this box too.

#3 It Can Protect Against Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis may be an autoimmune condition but some studies have suggested that you could be less likely to develop it if your diet includes the right nutrients.

Vitamin C could help with this and one study found that people who didn’t get a lot of vitamin C in their diet were more likely to develop arthritis compared to those that had diets rich in vitamin C . The study focused on polyarthritis, which affects two or more joints at the same time.

You don’t need to go overboard with how much vitamin C you get though as some studies have suggested that too much can be bad for the joints.

#4 It Could Fight Cancer

Parsley contains a number of volatile oils, some of which have been shown in studies on animals to have the potential to fight cancerous tumours.

 

 

4 Ways Hypnotherapists Can Use Content Marketing to Get More Clients

4 Ways HypnotherapistsCan Use Content Marketingto Get More Clients

For most hypnotherapists, keeping a steady stream of clients coming through the door (or over the phone, if you also offer Skype and online sessions!) is likely to be one of your main stress points.

Most clients are only going to need a certain number of sessions before they’re able to overcome their issue(s) and move forwards and this can be just the one session for people looking to quit smoking, for example.

Word of mouth marketing from happy clients is one way to keep driving new business but what about reaching out to brand new clients who have no prior connection to you and may not even know that hypnotherapy can help them?

This is where content marketing can make a huge amount of difference to your business and help you to get in front of more potential clients.

If you’ve no idea where to start with this, I’ve got some tips to help you!

What is Content Marketing?

So, what exactly is content marketing?

It’s basically high quality information that will be useful and interesting for your potential clients, and it’s usually free for them to access.

This can come in quite a few different forms, including:

  • Blog posts
  • Lead magnets such as free downloads to capture subscriber emails
  • Guest posts
  • Emails (for after you’ve nabbed those all important subscriber emails!)

Why Use Content Marketing?

A lot of hypnotherapists are still relying on sites that are rather basic in terms of the information they provide and hoping that clients will reach out to them by phone or email to arrange a consultation or ask more questions.

The downside of this set up is that a lot of potential clients won’t do this, especially if they’re considering a few hypnotherapists in their area.

Most potential clients are going to want to know more about you (both as a hypnotherapist and a person), which you’ve probably got covered on your website already.

They’ll also be likely to have looked online to find out more about how hypnotherapy can help them with their particular situation. For example, maybe they’ve been looking for more details on whether they can quit smoking, lose weight or reduce anxiety through hypnotherapy.

If you’re not using content marketing, you’re relying on these clients deciding that hypnotherapy is the way to go and then looking up hypnotherapists in their area. This is fairly high risk as there’s no guarantees that they’ll ever come across your website, especially if you’re not optimising it for the kind of keywords that potential clients are using to find a hypnotherapist near them.

With content marketing, it can be a whole different ball game. If they can get this type of information on your site, there’s a lot more chance that they’ll find their way there when they start searching.

These same clients are more likely to find you and want to work with you so you can get ahead of your competitors and draw in more business.

This makes content marketing a great move for making you more visible as a hypnotherapist to the very people who are already interested in hypnotherapy as a solution to their problem(s).

Sounds good, right?

4 Examples of How Content Marketing Can Get You More Hypnotherapy Clients

Some of the ways that content marketing can help you to reach new hypnotherapy clients are:

Blog Posts

A regularly updated blog can bring more traffic to your website (some of which may then convert into more clients) and highlight your expertise as a hypnotherapist.

The key is to ensure that your blog posts are targeted at people wanting information of particular topics and writing with potential clients in mind.

If you optimise your blog posts for keywords that can help with this, potential clients are a lot more likely to find you.

Writing blog posts around topics that potential clients want information on can be a smarter move than having this same information on static pages on your website. Blogs are designed to be updated more than static pages so they’ll be crawled more often by search engines and are a great way to start ranking for keywords that can get you noticed by potential clients.

Having some information on static pages for the topics you treat a lot is still a good move as it can help you to rank for these keywords too but you can go into a lot more detail in blog posts. Google loves in depth, high quality content and it tends to rank better as a result.

Lead Magnets

Offering a free download on your website can be an easy and effective way to attract new subscribers to your email list.

For example you can do this through a free self hypnosis download or a short eBook with tips on how to choose a good hypnotherapist (to reach out to people who are looking for this kind of information).

Whatever you chose to offer, it should be genuinely useful for anyone who downloads (but not give away too much … you still want them to come and see you, obviously!).

Don’t have an email list at the moment? You’re missing a great opportunity to build trust with people who are interested in hypnotherapy but may not be ready to work with you right now. Maybe they don’t have the spare cash or just don’t feel ready to take that first step yet but they could be warmed up to the idea through your emails ready for when they decide to make contact with you.

Once you have potential clients on your email list, you can keep them updated with new blog posts that they may not see if they don’t visit your site regularly), offers and useful tips around issues you commonly treat, for example.

And if you want to take this to the next level, you can offer a range of lead magnets relating to specific issues that you treat and then arrange a series of autoresponder emails based around this. For example, you may offer a free download relating to weight loss and set up an autoresponder series that includes an offer specific to your weight loss sessions that are only available to people on your email list who have signed up through that particular download.

Videos

A short video on your homepage that features you talking about some of the main questions you get from clients can be a great way to build trust and show potential clients what they could expect if they come to you over another hypnotherapist.

This can be very powerful for hypnotherapy given that clients need to feel totally comfortable with you for hypnosis to get the best results. This video can help them to get a feel for how you speak, how you come across and whether they like the idea of working with you on a 1:1 basis.

If they’re considering more than one hypnotherapist, this could be just the push they need to reach out to you for a consultation.

Guest Posting

Guesting posting on other people’s blogs is another smart move and can help to grow your expertise/authority as a hypnotherapist, drive traffic back to your website and improve your SEO.  Ideally you’ll want to guest post on high quality sites that are read by potential clients.

Isn’t This Time Consuming?

If you’re already seeing at least a few clients, you’re probably wondering how to get time to fit content marketing into your busy schedule.

If you’re really pushed for time, you’re best to choose one tactic and do it as well as you can rather than trying to do them all and only skimming the surface.

If you just don’t have the time at all or you don’t relish the thought of doing content marketing, you can always look to outsource it to a writer who has experience in doing this for other hypnotherapists (like me!).

If you’re a hypnotherapist and have any questions about how to go about content marketing, feel free to email me and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Or if you want to know more about the services I offer to health & wellness professionals (including hypnotherapists – I’m currently working with quite a few) and what it’s like to work with me., just check out the links.

5 Ways to Overcome Negative Thinking

5 Ways to Overcome Negative Thinking

Do you regularly find yourself thinking negatively about yourself and the world around you?

Most of us have negative thoughts every now and again but if negative thinking is a chronic, long term problem, it can have a very significant effect on your mental health and wellbeing.

At its worst, negative thinking can affect your quality of life and this can be a sign that you’re suffering from depression or an anxiety disorder.

Negative thinking can have a snowball effect and tends to be very hard to control. And the more you acknowledge them, the more these thoughts feel true.

Types of Negative Thinking

Negative thoughts can fall loosely into categories such as these:

  • Predicting the future – “I’ll fail at this” or “this will be a total disaster”
  • Reading other people’s minds – “They don’t like me” or “people think I’m boring”
  • Catastrophizing and thinking the worst -Expecting things to go wrong and seeing a potential downside to every scenario

Negative thinking is often “all or nothing” and very much black and white.

Whereas someone with a more positive mindset may see shades of grey in their thinking that they can latch onto, negative thinking tends to be at the worst end of the spectrum.

You’re likely to think about all of the things that could potentially go wrong rather than focusing on the more realistic outcomes.

Overcoming Negative Thinking

One of the great things about our minds is the ability to change things up. Your thought patterns aren’t set in stone and with the right tools, it’s definitely possible to swap negative thought patterns for healthier and more positive alternatives.

  • Find the “Grey” Areas in a Situation

Negative thinking usually leads you straight to the worst possible outcomes in a given situation so you’ll need to stop your mind from thinking in such extremes. There will almost always be a number of more realistic outcomes that you can focus on instead and these “grey” areas are where your mind needs to go to instead.

One way to do this is to write down the worst case scenario that is running through your head and then list some of the outcomes that are more likely to happen. This forces your mind to think about alternative outcomes rather than focusing solely on the original negative thought.

  • Reframe Your Thinking

It’s not always that easy to put a different slant on your thinking, especially if you’re so used to being negative with your thoughts. Being able to find a more positive take on a situation can help you to see things in a very different light but this often means that you have to go against your natural tendency to think the worst and this isn’t easy.

This is where Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or hypnotherapy can help you to refocus the way that you tend to think so that you can look at things from a different angle.

  • Not Over Generalizing Situations

Negative thinking often blows situations out of all proportion so that they take on much more significance than they probably should do. For example, a date that doesn’t work out can leave you thinking that “I’ll never meet anyone” or I’ll never be happy”.

If negative thinking wasn’t controlling your mindset, you’d be much more likely to chalk it up to just not being compatible with your date rather than fearing that it sets a precedent for the future.

  • Not “Mind Reading” Situations

Another big part of negative thinking is “mind reading” a situation when you don’t actually have the evidence to back up your fears.

If someone doesn’t text you back, you may jump to the conclusion that they don’t like you, for example. In reality, it’s a lot more likely that they’re just busy and haven’t had chance to respond yet or they were in the middle of something when they got your text and have forgotten to reply.

Neither of these scenarios is any reflection of how they feel about you

  • Spending Time in the Moment

Being “in the moment” gives you the opportunity to pull back from your thoughts and focus your attention elsewhere, namely on the things around you rather than yourself.

How Blogging Can Help Your Health Business to Grow

HowBloggingCanHelpYourHealthBusinesstoGrow

You may have heard that having a regularly updated blog on your website will help to grow your business but as a health/wellness professional, you may wonder whether this applies to you and what the benefits may be for finding new clients.

Here are a few of the ways that blogging can help you to reach out to more clients:

More Clients Can Find You

Having more content on your website gives potential clients more opportunity to discover you and it opens the door to being found by people who aren’t necessarily even aware of how your services could help them.

A potential client may go online in the hope of finding some information on how they can manage a health condition and come across your blog post on how that very condition can be treated through hypnotherapy or aromatherapy, for example.

This person probably wasn’t even looking for a hypnotherapist or aromatherapist before they started searching and may not have had any idea of how you could help them before they found your blog post. Having read your post and realising that you understand their situation and are perfectly placed to support them, there’s a good chance that they’ll have a look around your site to find out more about you.

The end result? You’ve significantly increased your chances for potential clients arranging an assessment or booking an appointment with you because you recognised the importance of creating content on topics your clients are looking for information on and using targeted keywords to help these posts to show up in front of these people.

You Can Convert More Clients

The main focus for your blog posts should always be based on delivering high quality content that your readers can learn from but that doesn’t mean you can’t include a reasonably subtle call-to-action in your posts to encourage potential clients to arrange an assessment with you or book an appointment. Just be careful not to do an overly hard sell as this can put people off and makes it hard to build trust.

Your Brand Will Be Stronger

Your business is also a brand and this can be really important for encouraging potential clients to come to you for help and support. If they are in the market for working with someone in your niche, they may be looking at some of your competitors too.

To stand out over others, you need a strong brand and a regular supply of quality content can help with this. If potential clients like what they see from your blog, they’ll see you in a very positive light and can be persuaded to choose you.

You Can Build Stronger Authority

High quality content doesn’t just build trust with potential clients. It can also strengthen your authority in general, especially if your posts are linked to by other sites and gain backlinks that increase your domain authority. This can help you to rank higher in search engines and gives you more potential to get in front of potential clients.

How Long Will Results Take?

It’s unlikely that you’ll suddenly see a big surge in clients when you first start blogging and it can take a few months to start seeing results. Don’t let this put you off though!

The more you blog on topics that potential clients will be interested in, the more chance you have to get in front of them and convert them into clients, especially if you’re targeting keywords that aren’t . Once you have a steady stream of content on your blog, you can start seeing the benefits but it’s important not to give up too soon. Like all forms of content marketing, blogging is a long term strategy.

What Does It Mean to Live in the Moment?

What Does It Mean to Live in the Moment_

Being “in the moment” is a big part of mindfulness and it’s been shown in studies to be really effective in helping us to feel happier.

A big study into wellbeing found that daydreaming, thinking ahead and going off track with our thoughts in general are a lot more likely to make us feel miserable.

Participants were asked to log in and say what they were doing at that particular moment, how happy they were and whether they were thinking about that activity.  In almost half of cases, their thoughts were elsewhere and this seemed to be directly linked to their mood.

This led researchers to claim a link between not being “in the moment” and feeling unhappy, even if this tangent includes positive thoughts about something that we like or enjoy.  They believe that the distraction is what was making a lot of the study participants less happy, rather than their emotions being the cause of their wandering mind.

The Importance of Being “In the Moment”

There’s a lot to be said about the wellbeing benefits of being able to stay “in the moment” with our thinking but it’s not always that easy to actually make this happen for any great length of time.

Our minds are very good at veering off on tangents, sometimes to the past or the future. This can work against us in some cases and encourage thoughts about things that may happen further down the line (but often never do!).

Most of our negative thoughts tend to involve dwelling on things that have happened in the past or worrying about what could happen in the future. Living more “in the moment” takes this away and forces us to focus on the here and now, which is often a lot less stress inducing.

A busy, active mind is only part of the problem though. Add in the fact that most of us also have incredibly hectic lives (and increasingly blurred lines between home and work in many cases) and it’s not hard to see why few of us spend much time “in the moment”.  The end result? Our busy minds take control of us.

You can change this through mindfulness, which is all about spending time in the present. This helps to distance yourself from your thoughts and take a step back from them.

How to Be “In the Moment”

Mindfulness doesn’t involve fighting against your thoughts. The key thing is to acknowledge your thoughts and let them wash over you. You don’t need to push away any of your thoughts or even pass any judgement on them at all. You just want to observe them.

Savour the Moment

Mindfulness can be practiced in lots of different scenarios but you may want to start off with something that you enjoy to get into the habit and experience the benefits.

Next time you’re eating a food or enjoy or doing an activity you really enjoy, take the time to really focus on what you’re doing and the way it makes you feel. For food, concentrate on taste and texture, for example.

Most of the time, we rush through everyday things including eating and drinking but they’re a great opportunity to spend some time “in the moment”.

Focus on Something Else

One mistake that people often make when trying to be more mindful is to overthink things.

Focusing your attention on outside things can help to distract yourself from the ‘talk’ that is happening in your mind.

It can also be a good way to make it easier for you to avoid attaching any kind of label to thoughts that come into your mind and judging them. This way, the thought come and go in your mind without it gaining the same significance compared to non mindful thinking.

Accepting Feelings and Emotions

A lot of the time, we’re actively trying to fight against emotions, especially negatives ones such as stress, anxiety, sadness and pain. Rather than making things better, this usually only makes us feel worse.

Being “in the moment” with your emotions means accepting that they may be out of your control. You’re not admitting defeat and you still have complete control of how you manage the emotion(s). The key thing is not to let it overwhelm you or to focus your attention on it. Acknowledge it by all means but then try to turn your attention to something else.

6 Ways to Feel Calmer

 

6 Ways to Feel Calmer

When you’re stressed, it can be very hard to move away from this feeling and get yourself into a more relaxed place.

There are a few things you can do to boost your mood and reduce your stress levels so that you feel calmer and less overwhelmed.

Here are 6 tips to destress and get yourself into a calmer frame of mind!

Exercise

Exercise releases “feel good” endorphins, which are strongly linked to mood.

Even just getting out and about for a gentle walk can help you to feel calmer. This is also a great opportunity to engage in a spot of mindful thinking – another way to deal with stress.

Listen to Music

When one of your favourite songs comes on the radio, chances are it makes you smile and perhaps you even feel compelled to sing along to it?

Music can have a big effect on how we feel and you probably already know that certain songs make you feel happier, for example.

Studies have shown that listening to music encourages your brain to release feel good dopamine so no wonder it lifts your mood when you hear music that you enjoy listening to!

Having a playlist that is full of songs that are guaranteed to make you feel happier can be a great option to turn to when you’re feeling stressed.

Breathing Exercises

When you feel stressed, it will often have an effect on how you breathe. For example, it’s common to find yourself hyperventilating (taking shallow breaths) rather than deeper breaths. This can become second nature and feel totally normal if you’re stressed a lot of the time, and you may not even be aware that this is the pattern you’ve fallen into.

Focusing on your breathing can be a quick and easy way to feel calmer. Taking a few deep breaths can retrain your breathing as it helps you to become aware of hyperventilation.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive Muscle Relaxation can be a very effective way to de-stress and relieve tension in the muscles. It involves tensing different muscle groups and then relaxing them, which helps to release any stress that is being held in them.

Going Into Your “Happy Place”

Visualising a calming, relaxing place that makes you feel happy and less stressed can be instantly calming. Plus it helps to focus your mind and thoughts away from the source of your stress.

You may choose to think about a sun kissed beach and imagine the sound of the waves and the feel of the sand under your feet, for example. The images you conjure up can be literally anything as long as they have the effect of calming you and refocusing your mind.

Head to a Green Space

If you live in an urban area that has at least a few green spaces, you might want to head to one of these when you next need to de-stress.

Studies have shown that this is great for improving your mental health and well being, and that it can have a longer lasting effect than you might think.

 

What is Resilience?

What is Resilience_

You probably know at least one person that always seems to bounce back no matter what life throws at them and you may wonder what their secret is. How do they cope so well with stress and setbacks? Chances are, it’s probably to do with their inner resilience.

What is Resilience?

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from difficulties. Some people have strong reserves of inner strength that they can call on in stressful times, which helps them to deal with the situation more positively than people who don’t have this.

This isn’t because they see things in a more positive light than people who aren’t very resilient. Even if you have resilience in abundance, it doesn’t shield you from being affected by emotions such as stress, pain and grief.

Resilient people are better equipped to use skills such as positive and healthy coping mechanisms to deal with problems and challenges and to move on from them. This doesn’t mean that they experience negative emotions any less strongly than people who are less resilient; they just have more of the inner strength that helps them to stay calm and not fall apart. Sometimes, this helps them to come out of the situation even stronger than they were before.

If you’re not resilient, it’s likely that stress and problems will get on top of you and perhaps even overwhelm you. This can mean that you spend a lot of time dwelling on them.

Why Are Some People More Resilient Than Others?

If you’re not one of life’s resilient people, you’re probably what it is that gives some people this strength while others have little or none of it.

Some of it is genetic and personality also plays a big part. This makes some people naturally resilient but it is something that can be worked on too.

Some of the things that experts believe can improve resilience include:

  • Having an optimistic outlook and being able to see setbacks and difficulties as hurdles that you can negotiate rather than insurmountable obstacles, for example
  • Having positive self esteem and having a positive view of yourself and your skills and abilities
  • Finding a sense of purpose in the face of stress, adversity and difficulties e.g. getting more involved in your community, finding strength in faith/spirituality and engaging in activities that are important to you
  • Having a strong support network around you
  • Being flexible in your attitude and feeling able to embrace change as an opportunity to go in a new direction, for example
  • Looking after and nurturing yourself, especially when problems occur
  • Being able to come up with solutions to issues and problems (people who aren’t resilient can often have “tunnel vision” and feel overwhelmed by things that happen to them, rather than being naturally inclined to find ways to move through the situation)
  • Believing that for the most part, we have the power to shape our lives through the decisions we make (also known as an “internal locus of control”)

Can Hypnotherapy Really Help You to Stop Smoking?

Can Hypnotherapy Really Help You to Stop Smoking_

Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. Being a smoker can make you more likely to be affected by ill health and can even cut your life expectancy. Not to mention that it’s a habit that takes its toll on your wallet!

There are lots of good reasons to quit but unfortunately it can be extremely difficult and many people find that willpower isn’t enough. This isn’t surprising given that smoking is an addiction and like most addictions, it’s not easy to break its hold on you.

If you have already tried giving up smoking and haven’t been successful, you may be wondering if hypnotherapy can be the answer.

How Hypnotherapy Works

During hypnosis, you’re in a trance but contrary to popular opinion, you’re not asleep or unconscious. Think of it as a very relaxed state of mind and it doesn’t seem half as scary.

You’re still very aware of your surroundings and most importantly, you’re also still in control of yourself. A lot of people are worried that they can be made to do things they don’t want during hypnotherapy but this is definitely a myth.

It’s true that you’re usually much more receptive to taking on board suggestions made by your hypnotherapist when you’re in this relaxed mode but these are used as a way to treat the issues(s) that you’ve come to hypnotherapy for, rather than as any form of control or manipulation.

Can It Help to Quit Smoking?

A lot of people have used hypnotherapy to successfully stop smoking for good – sometimes in combination with Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and medication.

Hypnotherapy can help you to quit smoking in a couple of ways:

The suggestions that are offered to you by your hypnotherapist generally include forming a negative association with smoking as a way of breaking the hold that the habit has over you. For example, it could plant the seed that cigarette smoke smells like something you find really unpleasant and unappealing.

This approach can be very helpful for quitting smoking as it’s often difficult to change how you think about something when it requires a conscious effort to alter your perceptions, whereas hypnotherapy taps into your unconscious mind and makes this far easier.

Another option is to use a combination of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and hypnotherapy for techniques that are specifically designed to help you to stop smoking.

In both cases, the focus is on breaking down the negative beliefs and behaviours that are fuelling your desire to smoke so that you can find it easier to quit for good. These thought patterns and behaviours are usually the reason why you can’t successfully give up smoking.

The key thing is that you are truly committed to quitting. For example, if you’ve promised to stop smoking for someone else rather than wanting to do it for yourself, there is a good chance that hypnotherapy won’t be successful for you. If you’re desperate to quit though, you’re much more likely to take suggestions on board and break the habit for good.

 

What Really Happens During Hypnosis?

What Really Happens During Hypnosis_

A lot of people are reluctant to try hypnotherapy, often due to the myths that surround it.

Stage hypnosis tends to give the impression that hypnotherapy is all abound control but in a therapeutic setting, this is definitely not the case.

Here are some of the key things to know about hypnotherapy and how it could help you to overcome a range of issues.

Your Hypnotherapist is Not Controlling You

One of the biggest myths about hypnosis is that you are completely at the mercy of your hypnotherapist and that they can convince you to do anything they choose.

In reality, this is actually impossible. A hypnotherapist doesn’t have the power to tap into your mind like this and tell you what to do or act in a way that isn’t in your character.

They can make suggestions for you to use in the future but ultimately, your mind will decide whether to actually take them on board.

Stage hypnosis is a different animal to therapeutic hypnosis, and this is what fuels a lot of the misconceptions about hypnotherapy. During a stage show, the participants are carefully selected to make sure that they are the type of person who is likely to be receptive to the messages that they’re given by the hypnotist. Throw in the fact that the suggestions aren’t actually out of character for them and it’s easy to see why they seem as though they’re being controlled.

You Go Into Deep Concentration Mode

Another myth about hypnosis is that you’re “out of it” during a trance. A trance is simply a form of very deep focus and concentration, and it’s nothing to be afraid of. A qualified and well trained hypnotherapist can bring you out of a trance quickly and easily so there’s no chance that you’ll get stuck in a trance (as some people fear!).

You probably enter into some kind of trance everyday without even realising it, just by watching television or concentrating hard on the road ahead while driving. It’s also similar to the feeling of being half awake and half asleep as you’re nodding off.

It’s Not a Quick Fix

Some issues can be treated in just one session but for the most part, it’s likely that you’ll need quite a few sessions for hypnotherapy to be an effective therapy. It’s common too for hypnotherapy to work alongside counselling as a treatment option, rather than being a standalone solution, especially for issues that are long standing or have quite complicated factors that are causing them or exaggerating them.

 

 

Are High Heels Bad for Your Health?

Are High Heels Bad for Your Health_

You might love your heels but do you love what they do to your feet?

If you wear heels on a regular basis, you’ve probably found that they don’t feel half as good as they look.

They’re not the most comfortable footwear item to have on for any great length of time, and this can lead to pain, swelling and bunions. The problems don’t necessarily end there though as there can be more serious effects too.

Why Are High Heels Often a Bad Idea?

If you wear high heels a lot, there’s a chance that you could be storing up long term damage to your knees, according to research.

Wearing high heels forces your feet into an unnatural position, in which your body weight transfers to the balls of your feet and affects the balance of your lower body.  This is more pronounced with a thinner heel so stilettos will unbalance you more than wedge heels, for example.

It can lead to bunions (a painful swelling that can develop in the area where your big toe meets your foot) and swellings on the nerves between your toes.

It can even change your walking style, and studies have found that this carries on even when you’re not wearing heels. This means that the effects of wearing high heels can go far beyond the length of time that they’re actually on your feet.

In this study, researchers in Australia recruited two groups of women – some of whom had typically been wearing heels for at least 40 hours in the average week in the last two years and a control group who didn’t wear high heels very much at all.

Both groups were asked to move repeatedly up and down a walkway that measured the forces that they generated as they walked. The control group went barefoot, while the “heels” group went both barefoot and in their preferred heels. Even when walking barefoot, the “heels” group moved differently to the control group – with “shorter, more purposeful strides” and with their feet in a flexed position. This meant that their calf muscles were shorter and took much more of the strain as they walked, compared to the control group.

The women were in their 20s and 30s, which indicates that wearing high heels can start to have an effect earlier on in the life and that it doesn’t take decades to feel the negative repercussions.

Shorter, tighter calf muscles are common for women who regularly wear high heels as they adjust to the height of your heels and in some cases, it can cause the Achilles tendon to shorten to the extent that wearing flat shoes is almost impossible. It also pulls other muscles out of their natural alignment and this makes you more likely to suffer from pain in your knees, lower back, neck and shoulders.

Do You Need to Ditch Your Heels?

You don’t necessarily need to go cold turkey on your heels altogether but it’s a good idea to at least cut back on how often you wear them, especially if they’re your favourite choice of footwear.

The effects of high heels on your muscles and tendons can be exaggerated if the ones you wear are always round about the same height. This makes it more likely that your muscles will shorten to accommodate this particular height but if you switch things up, this is a bit less likely.

Stretching out your calf muscles regularly can also help to counteract the extent that they are likely to shorten.