Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart

Mamuna Arshad

> Winter 2009

Can the Winter Blues affect your Health?

As the nights get shorter and the temperature drops, it is all too easy too hide away and wait for spring to come to the rescue. Winter is often the season when we feel most ‘under the weather’, but can the climate really affect our health?

As the cold weather sets in, many of us will be reaching for the tissues as the germs take hold. Winter has long been associated with the catching of coughs and colds, but the cold weather itself isn’t the cause for infection. 

The cells in our noses which fight infection are caused to slow by chilly conditions which mean that we are more susceptible to viruses.

Our mental health can also be affected by the weather, with around one in 20 people suffering from seasonal affected disorder every winter. SAD is primarily caused by a lack of exposure to sunlight, so as the days become shorter, the symptoms worsen.

Asthma-Many studies have been carried out on the connection between asthma and whether attacks are triggered by changing weather conditions.

It is thought that a sudden rise or drop in temperature might cause an asthmatic episode as a result of elevated levels of air pollution due to a change in the climate. Thunderstorms are also thought to be associated with numbers of asthma attacks.Most suitable complementary Therapy for this condition is Reflexology.

Extreme weather can also have an effect on eczema sufferers- People with the condition often find their symptoms become more severe when the climate becomes very cold or extremely hot as the levels of moisture in the air play havoc with the pH balance of their skin.

Winter months often bring misery as the dry weather, especially coupled with winds, can send the number of allergy-related cases soaring. Most suitable complementary Therapy for this condition is Reflexology.

Stress and migraines- Many of us may feel stressed after a difficult day at work, but what about a walk in windy conditions? Strong winds can cause a physical reaction and kick start our “fight or flight” mechanism which causes the body to react as if it’s under attack.

This triggers our bodies to create the hormone dopamine, which can cause a rise in heart rate and blood pressure and cause us to feel stressed.

Unstable weather patterns have also been blamed for migraine attacks. Studies on this connection between severe headaches and the climate have shown that of the people affected by the weather, the most adverse reactions came from periods of high temperature and high humidity and low temperature and low humidity. Most suitable complementary Therapies for this condition are Reflexology & Indian Head Massage.

Weight gain- A lack of exercise and healthy diet are normally blamed for piling on the pounds, but the weather may also play a part in gaining weight. Miserable weather means less sunlight, a valuable ingredient in the production of Vitamin.

A lower level of this vital vitamin in the blood means that your body is in short supply of the hormone leptin, a substance which controls how hungry you feel. Most suitable complementary Therapy for this condition is Hydrotherm Reflexology, Reflexology & Aromatherapy.

Heart problems and strokes-Cold weather seems to be bad news all round: it is thought that thousands of people die from a heart attack or stroke every year as a result of a sharp drop in the temperature.

Cold temperatures are thought to cause the arteries in the body to narrow, meaning that blood and oxygen cannot reach the heart so easily.Most suitable complementary Therapy for this condition is Reflexology.

Complementary Therapies -If you are looking for a natural way of lessening the risks of the winter health ailments and conditions, Complementary Therapies provide a drug-free alternative to pain and stress relief.

The individual treatment you receive will be determined by the type of stress you are feeling & the effect it has on you. Generally speaking, All Complementary Therapies work by stimulating the body to basically “heal itself”. The stimulation releases ‘endorphins’ or ‘happy hormones’ which make you feel much calmer and more relaxed. In addition you may also be treated with an “immunity boost” which will help counteract the damage that the effects of stress can have on you.

After a single treatment you will feel much calmer, more relaxed and aware of balance being returned to your sense of well-being. However, with stress, a course of treatments has a greater effect and is recommended. The course of treatment will be determined during your consultation.

Complementary Therapies like;Aromatherapy is the perfect winter antidote! It smells great and makes us feel wonderful! Aromatherapy can help reduce nervous anxiety, uplift your spirits, and increase the defenses of your immune system -- preventing and minimising colds, flu, headaches, and other common winter problems.

Stress is implicated in most illnesses. is a natural healing technique that can if assist the body in reducing stress, increasing circulation, and re-balancing its systems.

Hydrotherm Reflexology encompasses both the elements of heat and water. Experience a wonderful feeling of total revitalisation, regeneration and harmony. Your entire treatment is carried out while you lay face up on warm Hydrotherm water filled cushions. This treatment also has the added bonus of releasing all blockages and offers to clear toxins in the body. Hydrotherm offers Reflexology within the session to prepare the body for the winter months by cleansing the digestive system and boosting the Immune system (weekend appointments only).

Indian Head Massage/Aromatherapy offers to boost your immune system this winter. This treatments treats the back, neck, face and scalp. It relieves eyes train, headaches and physical and mental fatigue. It also improves circulation and leaves you feeling calm and revitalised.

> November 2009


is a chronic and progressive disease that impacts upon almost every aspect of life.

Diabetes comprises a group of disorders with many different causes, all of which are characterised by a raised blood glucose level. This is the result of a lack of the hormone insulin and/or an inability to respond to insulin. Insulin in the blood, produced by the pancreas, is the hormone that ensures glucose (sugar) obtained from food can be used by the body.

It can affect infants, children, young people and adults of all ages and is becoming more common. Diabetes can result in premature death, ill health and disability, yet these can often be prevented or delayed by high-quality care.

Diabetes is a condition caused by a defect in the production and/or action of insulin resulting in high blood glucose. The pancreas produces insulin in order to regulate blood glucose and general metabolism.Without the efficient action of insulin people develop typical symptoms of diabetes including being thirsty, passing urine more frequently and extreme tiredness. However,confirmation of the diagnosis can only be made by a blood test.

In order to treat diabetes appropriately it is important for your doctor to differentiate between Type I and II diabetes, as well as considering whether the diabetes may be secondary to an alternative diagnosis such as some kind of inflammation or cancer of the pancreas.

Type 1 Diabetes develops most frequently in children, young people and young adults. About 15% of people with diabetes in England have Type I diabetes.

Although it is far less common than Type II diabetes, it is more immediately evident. The symptoms of Type I diabetes can develop very rapidly. These include increased thirst and urine production, weight loss despite increased appetite, tiredness and blurred vision. Type I Diabetes is usually diagnosed as a result of the presence of a combination of characteristic symptoms plus a high blood glucose level.

People with Type I Diabetes need daily injections of insulin to survive. To prevent acute complications they also need to maintain their blood glucose within certain limits, which will require adjustments in their diet and lifestyle. Failure to take insulin can result in Hyperglycaemia (very high blood sugar).

If the balance between diet, physical activity levels and insulin dosage is not maintained, this can lead to hypoglycaemia (very low blood glucose). Both conditions can lead to coma and, if untreated, death.

Type 2 Diabetes In people with Type II diabetes, the b-cells are not able to produce enough insulin for the body's needs. The majority of people with Type II diabetes also have some degree of insulin resistance, where the cells in the body are not able to respond to the insulin that is produced.

Type II Diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in adults over the age of 40, although increasingly it is appearing in young people and young adults. About 85% of people with diabetes in England have Type II diabetes, which in many cases could either have been prevented or its onset delayed.

Glucose builds up in the blood, as in people with Type I diabetes, but symptoms appear more gradually and the diabetes may not be diagnosed for some years. As the blood glucose levels rise, symptoms may develop which include tiredness, frequent urination, increased thirst, weight loss, blurred vision and frequent infections. Thus, Type II diabetes is often detected during the course of a routine examination or investigation of another problem.

People with Type II diabetes need to adjust their diet and their lifestyle. Many are overweight or obese and will be advised to lose weight. Some will also need to take tablets and/or insulin to achieve control of their blood glucose level.

Any diagnosis of diabetes should be taken seriously from the outset no matter which "Type" it is. As it is well known that achieving normal blood glucose control will reduce the risk of related problems such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.

Everyone needs some glucose in their blood but in healthy people our hormones, including insulin, control the levels of blood glucose. Untreated or poorly controlled diabetes means that blood glucose levels rise and if your blood glucose level is too high for too long, your health will be affected.

The food we eat turns into glucose in the blood, so it is important that you follow an appropriate well balanced diet at sensible times. This will help you to manage your diabetes and keep your blood glucose levels within acceptable limits whether your treatment is diet alone, diet and tablets or diet and insulin.

Everyone should eat a healthy diet, but if you have diabetes you may need to make some changes to the foods you would normally choose. There is wide range of special foods produced for people with diabetes. They can be found in supermarkets, chemists, health food stores etc. These are not recommended, as they are expensive, often high in calories and there is no health benefit in using them.

Complementary Therapies help control the condition of diabetes. Complementary Therapies are not for everyone but it is definitely an option worth considering, especially if other treatments are not having the desired effect. When considering Alternative Therapies, remember that it is not a suitable replacement for the usual diabetes treatments of diet, exercise and possible insulin injections. You should never stop taking insulin in favour of fish oil or start eating lots of sugary foods because you have started another Therapy.

Aromatherapy Massage and Reflexology- A good massage will help you relax which will help control your diabetes. A massage works your muscles and soft tissues in ways that affect your nerves and blood circulation.Massage therapy could be incorporated into relaxation therapy, but it also serves another purpose that can be particularly useful for diabetes sufferers.

By skillfully kneading the body’s tissue, massage can stimulate better blood movement around the body. Improved circulation can do wonders for diabetic neuropathy and other diabetes-related complications. Massage takes many forms, some of which may be more suitable for diabetics than others. Whilst some massages are particularly oriented towards massage, others are more specifically designed to reach different tissue areas. Once again, it is suggested that you consult with Me before using massage therapy as a diabetic, even for relaxation purposes.

Reflexology is a form of massage based on a number of bodily reflex points. Reflexology is a specific pressure technique administered with fingertips, which works on precise reflex points on the feet.

These reflex points correspond to every part of the body so stimulating these reflexes properly can help many health problems in a natural way, a type of preventative maintenance. Reflexology is a serious advance in the health field.

Reflexology releases blocked energy and toxins, stimulates the circulatory system, relieves stress and tension and improves nerve function. It strengthens the immune system and restores and maintains a healthy balance in mind and body.

Reflexology can benefit people of all ages and, depending on the length of time a condition has been present

As with most things related to diabetes, you should go see your doctor and consult with him/her about any Complementary Therapy treatment methods you may be considering.

Simply call Connect Physical Health Centre on 0161 434 6664; they will then be able to tell you what you can expect and if the proposed therapies would conflict with your existing diabetes treatment.

Whilst every intention has been made to make this article accurate and informative it is intended for general information only. Diabetes is a medical condition and this article is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your doctor or a qualified medical practitioner. If you have any concerns regarding diabetes you should seek the advice of your doctor immediately.

> October 2009


This month marks Breast Cancer Awareness. Highlighting the relationship between breast awareness, early detection and falling mortality rates. To remedy our neglect please read further .

Breast Cancer is the most common Cancer in the UK.Breast Cancer incidence rates have increased by more than 50% over the last 25 years. However, survival rates have increased too. Men can also develop Breast Cancer. Each year in the UK, around 300+ men are diagnosed.

Like most Cancer s the risk of developing Breast Cancer increases as women get older. The incidence of Breast Cancer doubles every 10 years until the Menopause, when the rate slows. 8 to 10 Breast Cancers are diagnosed in women aged 50 + and over. We can also raise money for Breast Cancer research by buying pink products, we should all also consider the message behind the ribbon.

Like a third of all British women, most of us fail to do self examinations regularly for lumps and swellings that can help identify cancerous cysts. Be thorough when checking your breasts. Check for anything that looks or feels unusual – and not just lumps. Breast cancer is the collective term for all the cancers that originate in breast tissue. Most of these begin in the glandular tissue, though the most common of all breast cancers starts in the ducts.

Changes to check for:

  • A lump? Either in the breast, upper chest or armpits. Is there a lumpy area? Or unusual thickening of the breast tissue that doesn’t go away? Is there any unusual pain? Either in part of the breast or the armpit.
  • Any change in size or shape? Look for any change in skin texture? Such as puckering or dimpling of the skin of the breast. What about the appearance or direction of the nipple? Is there any unusual discharge? Any rash or crusting? Of the nipple or surrounding area.

If you have signs or symptoms your doctor suspects may be breast cancer, you will be referred you to a designated breast cancer clinic in a local hospital within two weeks for an assessment. How breast cancer is treated depends on the type of cancer you have and other circumstances specific to you. Your doctor will discuss with you the treatments available and their potential side effects. Treatments available include Surgery,Radiotherapy, Chemotherapy, Hormone Treatment. Most people have a combination of these.

In Integrated care, Complementary and Conventional Therapists work together. This provides the best of both worlds for many people. Most Complementary Therapy Pain Management treatment methods do not use medication. Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Indian Head Massage, Hydrotherm Reflexology, Acupuncture, Music Therapy, Hypnotherapy. Here at Connect Physical Health I have worked with most of these methods with Nurses, Doctors, Physiotherapists and other Medical Therapists.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you are interested in, or are using, any complementary treatments. If you're taking herbal supplements and are on chemotherapy, bring a list of those supplements to the chemotherapy doctor to make sure that what you are taking is helpful and not harmful.

Complementary Therapies, don't use medications.Yet they have been shown to be powerful aids in reducing pain, curbing drug side effects, boosting energy level and mood, and promoting an overall improvement in quality of life. Such treatments are being incorporated more and more into mainstream medical care. You can learn to use some of these methods yourself (for example, visualisation or yoga). For others, like Reflexology, Aromatherapy, Acupuncture or Hypnosis, you need a therapist skilled in the technique. Don't be embarrassed to mention your interest in these therapies to your doctor. She or he may even be able to refer you to a practitioner.

Massage can help reduce pain, including post-mastectomy pain, and increase movement. Talk with the massage therapist about the type of pain you're having and the treatment Your GP, Nurse or Health practitioner can often give you advise on how to do self-massage, including lymphatic massage, which supports breast health. You can pick up leaflets from your Health Centres, Surgeries etc. Before your Complementary Therapist can treat you, many practitioner's first try to help figure out the cause of the pain. They need to know that it is safe to apply firm pressure to a particular part of the body. Here at Connect we always ask for a Doctors/Consultants note to confirm whether we can treat the patient concerned. Most patients are seen to when they are in remission in regards to Massage Treatments.

Exercise- It's always advisable to add physical therapy, stretching, and exercise to your recovery program. This is especially true for post-mastectomy pains. Still, this doesn't mean starting a vigorous aerobics routine the day you get home from the hospital. It's very important to find the level of activity that's comfortable for you. Once you're fully healed, regular exercise will help keep your body strong and pain free. Within the Complementary Therapy Clinic; we offer patients easy to follow exercises without over exerting themselves. These exercises are safe and are not only physical exercises but can be visual too. 

> September 2009


Lymphoedemais an abnormal accumulation of lymph in the tissues of the body, causing swelling (oedema), resulting from a compromised lymphatic system. The real danger with lymphoedema is the constant risk infection in the affected body area, as the lymphatic fluid is not taking away bacteria and other infections.

The tissues in the body are normally surrounded by a colourless watery fluid. This fluid constantly leaks out from the body cells to bathe the tissues and is eventually absorbed back into the bloodstream. This fluid is called lymph and contains white blood cells called lymphocytes which help the body fight off infection. The lymph travels around the body through a network of lymph channels which, like blood vessels, join together to form larger channels which eventually empty the fluid into the circulation.

The lymph passes into a series of lymph glands or nodes situated at various points along the channels and run in close proximity to the network of the circulation. The nodes consist of a round tough outer capsule and each contains lymphocyte, they vary in size from a microscopic to the size of a small pea. Their distribution and number varies considerably throughout the body, some areas having only a few nodes whereas in other areas such as the armpit there may be more.

The role of the lymphatic system is to collect and filter out, through the blood, any unwanted material such as bacteria and some other types of diseases. The materials are transported in the lymph channels to the lymph nodes, where the lymphocytes will break them down to be carried away in the bloodstream as body waste.

If a lymph channel becomes blocked, is removed or fails to work properly the lymph is unable to pass along the channel and so builds up behind the blockage and leaks into the surrounding tissue causing swelling. This is lymphoedema.

Symptoms include:

  • severe or extreme tiredness,
  • localised areas of heavy swelling, particularly in the limbs, head or neck;
  • Head problems - sinus, ‘fuzzy’ head, blocked ears & upper respiratory catarrh, aching eyes, ‘bags’ under the eyes, headaches unrelated to spinal misalignment, swollen face and eyes. Fluid retention – no matter how hard you diet you still can’t lose ‘weight’
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Discolouration of the skin over the Lymphoedema.

Lymphoedema can either be genetic (primary) or caused by an injury to the lymphatic vessels (secondary). Secondary lymphoedema can occur, most commonly as a result of surgery or radiation therapy during cancer treatment. Most patients do not develop the condition until months or even years after therapy has been completed. Lymphoedema can also result from accidents or certain diseases that stop the lymphatic system from functioning properly.

Treatment for lymphoedema varies,depending on the severity of the symptoms. Most people follow a daily regime of treatment recommended by a specialist. The most common treatments are a combination of direct lymphatic Massage to encourage fluid drainage, compression garments or bandaging.

Complementary Therapies that include complete decongestive therapy or manual lymph drainage are a helpful tool in managing Lymphoedema. Manual manipulation of the lymph ducts, involving gentle, rhythmic massaging of the skin, stimulate the flow of lymph and encourage its return to the blood circulation system.

Massage/Aromatherapy is a system of long strokes, kneading, friction, tapping, percussion, vibration and shaking motions that apply pressure between muscles and bones.

Reflexology is based on the principle that congestion or tension in any part of the foot mirrors congestion or tension in a corresponding part of the body. These parts, known as reflex points can also be found on the hands and other body parts, however, the most commonly treated area is the feet.

Reflexology has many beneficial and lasting effects. Some treatments are gentle in nature, aiming to restore systems for better function while others are more specific, addressing the client's particular conditions. It is a healing process that can be safely used when it is not convenient to treat other body parts. As a non-intrusive technique, it heals indirectly. Reflexology can be a relaxing therapy that works on many levels, soothing, calming, balancing and boosting the entire body.

In addition, specific Therapeutic Exercises are usually recommended, as these will aid in the elimination of excess fluid. Lymph vessels rely to a certain extent on movement and muscle activity to help them to ‘pump’ the lymph along the lymph vessels and back into the bloodstream.

> August 2009

Arthritis & Complementary Therapies

Arthritis literally meaning inflammation of the joint, arthritis has many forms. While it is most commonly affects older people, it can develop at any age. The most common type is Osteoarthritis, in which the cartilage that covers the end of the bones wears away. Without the smooth covering, movement causes friction, inflammation and pain. It can also be caused by injury and over use.

Rheumatoid Arthritis,one of the most disabling types, affects both large and small joints resulting in swelling, stiffness and pain. The condition affects around 1 % people worldwide, and is three times more common in women than men. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning that the immune system, which normally protects the body, begins to attack the body instead.

Over the counter anti inflammatories can be used to help control the pain of arthritis, and prescription medicines, such as cortisone, are often administered in more severe cases.

Specific exercises and physical treatments like Massage can also help, as can aids such as crutches, wrist and ankle supports, which take the pressure off joints. If these methods are not sufficient, surgery is sometimes the only answer. Surgical procedures include removing the damaged joint lining, realigning joints or replacing the joint entirely.

Joint replacement is one of the most common procedures in orthopaedic surgery and has an excellent success rate. The surgery involves replacing painful worn, arthritic or cancerous joints with artificial ones, known as prosthesis.

Complementary Therapies are a branch of alternative treatments concerned with many forms of injuries, ailments and conditions related to the body’s skeletal system. Therapies such as Reflexology, Aromatherapy, Indian Head Massage and Hydrotherm Reflexology address a wide range of conditions, offering a reliable treatment option for skeletal and muscular-skeletal dysfunctions.

Aromatherapy/Indian Head Massage/ Relaxation Massage are soft tissue techniques that are applied on muscles, tendons and ligaments very gently and with minimal pressure. The treatment can be performed on all ages of different conditions and symptoms. . Many conditions will find it beneficial to have regular treatments and a treatment plan can be discussed and agreed on.

Our Complementary Therapy treatments within our Connect Physical Health Centre; are highly recommended for all stress related issues resulting in Arthritic/joint aches, muscular aches and pains.

> July 2009

Spondylosis & Degenerative Disorders

The gradual deterioration of the disc between the vertebrae is referred to as Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) or Spondylosis.

Degenerative Disc Disease is very common affecting 40-50% of people over the age of 40 and becomes increasingly common as we age. It is a kind of wear and tear disease similar to osteoarthritis. Although it can occur at any spinal level, it is most common in the lumbar spine (low back). 

DDD can cause the discs to flatten, losing their normal height. When disc height is lost, the nerve pathways may become narrowed and cause nerve impingement, inflammation, and pain. As the 'discs' degenerate, they become thinner. Sometimes the vertebrae develop small, rough areas which may irritate the nearby nerves. This causes troublesome symptoms like severe neck pain and stiffness and pain down the arms and hands.

Most patients tend to get better with medication and exercises. However occasionally the spondylotic changes can lead to compression of the spinal cord or the nerve roots and this may result in pain, numbness and weakness in the upper limbs.

Spondylolisthesis is a Greek term meaning slipping of the spine. It is the abnormal forward movement of one vertebrae over the vertebrae below. Most often, this forward slip of the vertebra occurs in the lumbar area of the spine. This slippage of the disc causes pressure on the nerve roots associated with the affected vertebrae, causing pain and dysfunction.

Cervical Spondylosis is chronic degeneration of the bones of the neck (cervical spine) and the cushions between the vertebrae. Patients have reported their symptoms as being as mild occasional backaches to chronic low back pain that is severe enough to limit their activities at work and play. The pain is typically mechanical in nature. This means the pain increases as more stress or load is placed on the low back. Bending, lifting, and twisting are the types of movement that may exacerbate

DDD. Disc Prolapse (Slipped Disc) A prolapsed disc is a condition when the inner, softer part of the disc bulges out through a weakness in the outer part of the disc. This bulging disc may then press on nearby nerves which in turn causes discomfort and pain. The symptoms include - back pain, ache in the arm or leg and pinpricks felt in feet, toes and hands.

Congenital Spondylolisthesis An individual is born with the abnormality of the posterior bony arch of the spine, which causes the slippage. This is usually seen at the L5-S1 level and often associated with abnormality of the facet joints. Patients usually present with back pain during adolescent growth.

Isthmic Spondylolisthesis is caused by a defect in a part of the bone called the pars interarticularis. The pars bone connects the upper joint of one vertebrae to the lower joint. The defect is usually caused by a stress fracture in individuals with a hereditary predisposition.

Degenerative Spondylolisthesis is a forward slippage secondary to arthritis of the spine. This is due to a long standing degenerative disc leading to weak facet joints in the back of the spine. This is usually seen at L4-L5 level.There are several non-surgical treatments including anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy and exercise programs. Surgery is only considered when the patient's symptoms are debilitating; interfere with activities of daily living.

Complementary Therapies such as Reflexology , Aromatherapy, Indian Head Massage and Hydrotherm Reflexology addresses a wide range of conditions, offering a reliable treatment option for muscular-skeletal dysfunctions such as spondylosis, lumber pain, sciatica, shoulder restriction, muscular fatigue and skeletal pain in general.

Aromatherapy/Indian Head Massage/ Relaxation Massage are a soft tissue technique that is applied on muscles, tendons and ligaments very gently and with minimal pressure. The treatment can be performed on all ages of different conditions and symptoms.. Many conditions will find it beneficial to have regular treatments and a treatment plan can be discussed and agreed on.

Many forms of complementary therapy have been around a very long time, they are effective and effortless to apply and appropriate for use in most medical conditions.Complementary Therapies have become a popular accompaniment to conventional medicine .Complementary Therapies and there popularity lies in its benefits and significant worth in the overall treatments.

Aromatherapy, Indian Head Massage, Reflexology and Relaxation Massage are recommended for all stress related issues resulting in muscular aches and pains. They are used to gently manipulate the muscles and joints to enhance mobility and flexibility without any downtime!

Our Complementary Therapy Treatments within our Connect Physical Health Centre; are highly recommended for all stress related issues resulting in muscular aches and pains.

> June 2009

Irritable Bowel Syndrome(IBS)

A condition that is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed. Despite common perceptions, only 50% of cases are related to diet and the causes of the other 50% of cases are rarely examined and sufferers are unable to find suitable treatment.

True to its name, Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is an uncomfortable disorder that affects many. Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder characterised most commonly by gas, cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhoea;symptoms can vary from person to person IBS causes a great deal of discomfort and distress. Those affected by IBS often have no clear diagnosis. Unfortunately, many people suffer from IBS for a long time before seeking medical treatment.

IBS is so different for each person and because no medicines have been proven to work really well for IBS, most people try snd control their symptoms with diet; by monitoring their intake of fibre, coffee, spicy foods and other potential intestinal aggravators. For those with the added burden of lactose intolerance, dairy foods can also worsen symptoms.

Many people try Complementary Therapy Treatments to combat the symptoms. Stress Management/Relaxation, Reflexology, Aromatherapy, Indian Head Massage are amongst the most popular sought after treatments.

Stress Management- feeling mentally or emotionally tense, troubled, angry, or overwhelmed—can stimulate colon spasms in people with IBS. The colon has many nerves that connect it to the brain. Like the heart and the lungs, the colon is partly controlled by the autonomic nervous system, which responds to stress. These nerves control the normal contractions of the colon and cause abdominal discomfort at stressful times. People often experience cramps or “butterflies” when they are nervous or upset. In people with IBS, the colon can be overly responsive to even slight conflict or stress.

Stress makes the mind more aware of the sensations that arise in the colon, making the person perceive these sensations as unpleasant.

Some evidence suggests that IBS is affected by the immune system, which fights infection in the body. The immune system is affected by stress. For all these reasons, stress management is an important part of treatment for IBS.

Stress management within Complementary Therapies include:

Reflexology is known to help alleviate the abdominal bloating, pain, constipation or diarrhoea associated with irritable bowel syndrome. Regular treatments regulate the bowel and bring any overactive or underactive areas back into balance with the rest of the body. Reflexology therapeutically reduces stress and tension throughout the body’s systems, relaxing muscles, releasing built-up toxins from the body's tissues, improving circulation and lymphatic drainage and increasing oxygen supply to the cells. It is also believed to encourage the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good hormones, well documented in their ability to relieve stress.

Hydrotherm Reflexology encompasses both the elements of heat and water. Experience a wonderful feeling of total revitalisation, regeneration and harmony. Your entire treatment is carried out while you lay face up on warm Hydrotherm water filled cushions. This treatment also has the added bonus of releasing all blockages and offers to clear toxins in the body. Hydrotherm offers Reflexology within the session to prepare the body to cleanse the digestive system and boost the Immune system (weekend appointments only).

Aromatherapy Massage/Indian Head Massage is the use of essential oils (highly concentrated plant extracts) in a carrier oil, specifically blended for an individual person’s needs. It is applied to the body through massage and works on both a physical and emotional level. There are various ways that you can use essential oils, however massage is the most common. It is also the most therapeutic method as the essential oils are diluted in carrier oils and rubbed directly into the skin.

Since massage combines the senses of smell and touch it has instant physical and mental benefits. At the same time massage increases blood circulation, stimulates the immune system, relaxes muscles, relieves pain, lowers blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels. 

> May 2009

Complementary/Alternative Therapies for Menopausal Women

As women approach the menopause, it signals the end of a woman’s fertility.Sometimes the menopause is accompanied by uncomfortable symptoms. These symptoms are caused by fluctuating levels of oestrogen being produced. Periods become less frequent and more irregular, and finally stopping.

Every woman’s menopausal experience is unique. Some women may have all of the symptoms of menopause; others may have just a few. The intensity of menopausal symptoms can also range from mild to quite severe.

Some women may experience mood swings, panic attacks, sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety, changes in tolerance to heat or cold, joint and muscle pain, allergies, and headaches. As production of Oestrogen decreases, additional menopause-related changes may include night sweats, fatigue, vaginal dryness, fluctuations in sexual desire or response, forgetfulness, hot flushes, and weight fluctuations.

Whilst some women are happy to use conventional treatment such as HRT, others may wish to consider complementary/alternative therapies. Complementary Therapies complement conventional medical practices and are not usually used on their own. Exercise and stress-management strategies can also have a positive effect on mood and help reduce symptoms of menopause

Complementary therapies

These have become a popular accompaniment to conventional medicine and many women use them, they may help with the troublesome symptoms.

The choice of complementary/alternative therapies is confusing; so many different ones exist. Those that have been reported as being helpful in the menopause include Massage, Aromatherapy, Reflexology;as well as Herbalism, Homeopathy and Acupuncture. It is important that each woman finds a complementary therapy that seems right for her.

Reducing Stress to Treat Menopause Symptoms

As most women progress through menopause, they will probably find that stress is a contributing factor to their symptoms. "If you can keep your stress in check, you may be able to reduce your symptoms!". Stress-management - A person's individual coping mechanisms play a large role in stress management. Part of the reason women may be so stressed is because they play many roles in their families and lives such as caregiver, social support and bread winner. In order to cope with these varied roles it is important to learn how to manage stress. For example, people can learn how to change negative thinking patterns by reading self-help books or consulting with there therapist.

Aromatherapy/Indian Head Massage is another possible menopause treatment. Menopause symptoms are caused by changes in the endocrine system's production of hormones, and aromatherapy stimulates specific brain cells that influence the endocrine system. Essential oils extracted from plant compounds are used in aromatherapy through massage, application to key areas of the body, or via inhalation.This Therapy method of managing symptoms can be very beneficial and some studies suggest a reduction in Stress and anxiety.

Reflexology or zone therapy is an approach to health which involves a method of treatment using massage to reflex areas found most commonly in the feet and the hands which are linked to other areas and organs of the body. Reflexology works by treating reflex points on the feet which correspond to the whole body, it can help by relieving symptoms and encouraging the body's hormonal balance.

Massage therapy .Many people find the physical and emotional relaxation a good massage brings can help to reduce stress, which is often a trigger for inciting menopausal symptoms.

Exercise- An exercise program should include a combination of aerobic, weight-bearing, strengthening and flexibility exercise.

Exercise has been proven to improve mild symptoms of anxiety and depression and can improve mood, speed up the metabolism and improve sleep. Also, an exercise program that includes a combination of exercises can help prevent cardiovascular disease, have a positive impact on bone mass and can help prevent falls and conditions like arthritis. Here at Connect we offer you light exercises to strengthening muscles and joints.

> January 2010

Time for a Health MOT ?

Nearly half of us get at least one a month. Women are particularly prone, with more than half suffering at least once a fortnight.Tension headaches are characterised by a band of tightness, pressure or pain around the forehead, temples, and back of the head. Frequently, the pain or pressure in the head is accompanied by stiffness, pain or discomfort in the neck and upper back region. Migraine headaches, are a form of vascular headaches, perhaps the most severe type of headache; a throbbing intense headache, usually one side of the head. Often accompanied by nausea and vomiting, and light sensitivity.

Often, the pain begins as tightness in the neck and shoulder region and gradually progresses to a full blown headache that can be severe and disrupt every aspect of your busy day. These headaches can last anywhere from 30 minutes to several days and can dramatically decrease the quality of your life and your energy level.

We have all noticed people in stressful situations grab and squeeze the muscles of the upper shoulder near the neck when they are feeling tense and frustrated. Perhaps this is something that you do on a regular basis while sitting at your desk or computer or talking on the phone. You may even stretch your neck from side to side or sigh deeply.

With a busy and hectic lifestyle; it is very difficult to find the time to find ‘balance and harmony of the mind and body’. Complementary Therapies can help release tension and stress and enable you to boost your immune system whilst improving your energy levels and general well-being.

Indian Head Massage, Aromatherapy and Massage can relieve headaches, migraine, sinusitis, eye strain, chronic upper body tension and aid deep sleep.

Aromatherapy Massage and Indian Head Massage incorporates the use of “trigger points” or localised areas of tenderness and tightness in our neck, shoulders, and upper back that serve as red flags or reminders that we are entering into a cycle of muscle tension due to stress. Almost everyone has specific, localised areas that seem to flare up in these areas when they are tired, overworked, or experiencing negative emotions.

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils (highly concentrated plant extracts) in a carrier oil, specifically blended for an individual person’s needs. It is applied to the body through massage and works on both a physical and emotional level. Aromatherapy helps to relieve muscle tension, ease aches and pains and reduce stress. By boosting the circulation system, helping eliminate toxins and thereby nourishing all the body’s cells and boosting the immune system we can feel revived, relaxed and refreshed.

Indian Head Massage helps relieve upper body muscle tension, disperse toxins from the body, it stimulates circulation and releases neck and scalp muscles where lots of people hold tension. This helps to relax the muscle and keeps the kinks and spasms from knotting up even more. There are many other ways to keep the cycle of muscle spasm and pain from accelerating rapidly. Indian Head Massage uses essential oils, massage manipulation techniques to maximise the overall benefits to the patients needs.

Massage- Using your hands and fingers to apply pressure to tight, knotted muscles is a natural response from your innately intelligent body that can help instantly relieve pain and pressure and begin the process of relaxation. Your body gets your attention by sending signals of pain and you recognise and respond to this warning sign by applying acupressure (localised sustained pressure) to specific areas, often without even being aware that you are doing it.

Reflexology is a massage and pressure therapy applied to the feet or hands, it treats the whole person and not just the symptoms helping the body return to its natural state of ‘homeostasis’. Reflexology can improve energy levels and promote a feeling of well-being. It also helps stress related disorders such as tension headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia and feelings of anxiety/depression.

Reflexology therapeutically reduces stress and tension throughout the body’s systems, relaxing muscles, releasing built-up toxins from the body's tissues, improving circulation and lymphatic drainage and increasing oxygen supply to the cells. It is also believed to encourage the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good hormones, well documented in their ability to relieve stress.

Health Assessment OR Lifestyle Management- This is ideal if you really don’t know where to start or what kind of therapy will be most beneficial for you. Being a Specialist, I am trained in several different aspects of complementary health care .

> March 2009

Suffering from Back Pain

Some people with back pain choose to use complementary therapies alongside more conventional treatments, while others choose to use them as stand-alone treatments.

Backache is a common problem that can make life anything from uncomfortable to almost impossible.The usual route with complementary therapies is to use a combination of treatments including Aromatherapy Massage, Indian Head Massage and General Relaxation Massage. Our Complementary Therapy Clinic offers exercise, diet and lifestyle management advice to combat short-term and long-term effects of coping with backache.

The causes of backache may be multiple so you may need to seek more than one therapy in order to gain the relief you need. The most common cause tends to be bad posture leading to strain or other damage to the joints, ligaments or muscles of the spine and its surrounding areas.

Improving posture and exercise can also alleviate this problem. In mind/body therapies the association depends on the area of the back causing the problem, the neck represents the ability to see the bigger picture, so a stiff or painful neck can indicate a resistance to change, blinkered or narrow thinking patterns. Problems in the shoulders can relate to responsibility and burdens, are you carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? If the problem is lower in the back issues of vulnerability are indicted, are you feeling weak or powerless (spineless?) The pelvis represents movement, specifically moving forward in life, problems can arise at life changes, puberty, pregnancy and menopause, bereavement, job loss/change, children leaving home etc

The pressure of modern life is often carried in the muscles especially those of the neck and shoulders and as we find it increasingly difficult to relax it is not surprising that sometimes we need a little help. I am trained in a variety of techniques that can be adapted to your specific needs, starting with gentle touch to warm and soothe the skin, giving you a chance to unwind and get used to the therapist’s touch, working progressively deeper as the tension eases.

Aromatherapy Massage is recommended for all stress related issues resulting in muscular aches and pains, it is also used to enhance performance in physically demanding sports to help keep muscles healthy.

Here at the Manchester Clinic, I have extensive experience in treating all shapes and sizes of bodies and can adapt their techniques accordingly to ensure you receive the best possible Complementary Therapy Treatment.

Health Assessment OR Lifestyle Management

This is ideal if you really don’t know where to start or what kind of therapy will be most beneficial for you. Being a Specialist, I am trained in several different aspects of complementary health care an have 9 years clinical experience.

I will be able to assess your current health and wellbeing and be able to advise you on the various options available to you. Your assessment will be thorough and in depth and look at your health, diet, lifestyle, posture, fitness, happiness and coping abilities.

During the 30 minute Assessment, I will then be able to work with you to find the best possible course of action for you, working within your current abilities, often the treatment that is right for us is the one we are most reluctant to do! We can help you to overcome resistance to change and introduce you to the right therapies .

> February 2009

Give the Perfect Gift this Valentine's Day!

Give the perfect gift! We have a broad selection of Valentines Day Gifts - Valentines Day Gifts for her, Valentines Day Gifts for him.

What would make a better Valentines Day Gift than one selected from our great range of Complementary Therapy Treatments. The delight of giving one of our Complementary Therapy Treatments as a Valentines Day Gift is almost as good as the delight of receiving such a Gift.

So if you are stuck for Valentines Day Gifts look no further than a Complementary Therapy Experience. We have Valentines Day gifts to suit all tastes and all budgets.

If you don’t believe us, just take a look at our extensive range of Valentines Day Gifts.

So why not say "I love you..." , "thank you", or simply "Happy Valentine’s Day” with these wonderful Complementary Therapy Gifts.

Gift Certificates are available across the full range of Complementary Therapies on offer within Our Complementary Therapy Clinic at Connect Physical Health Centre. These can be tailor made to any occasion.The vouchers can be posted to you or direct to the recipient together with a greeting card if desired.

Give a thoughtful gift with Our Complementary Therapy Clinic in mind.

Gift Voucher to the value of £

Purchase vouchers offering £5, £10, £15 and £25 denominations, Redeemable against treatments and valid for 3 months from purchase date

Size: Single

Selection of Complementary Therapy Treatments

A gift voucher covering a range of Therapies including, Reflexology, Therapeutic Massage and Aromatherapy.

Size: Single Treatment Price: £32.00

Size: 4 Treatment Price: £128.00

Selection of Lunch Time Treats

A gift voucher for our special “Lunch-Time Treats,” covering a range of Therapies including, Reflexology, Therapeutic Massage and Aromatherapy.

Size: Single Treatment Price: £32.00

Size: 4 Treatment Price: £128.00

A Morning Massage Treatment

A gift voucher for our special "Morning Massage" deal for Aromatherapy, Shiatsu/Acupressure and therapeutic Indian Head Massage treatments from Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday before 12noon.

Size: Single Treatment Price £32.00

Size: 4 Treatment Price: £128.00

A Facial Delight

A gift voucher including a Facial and a Therapeutic Back, Neck, Head and Facial Massage with the use of aromatic essential oils.

Size: Single Treatment Price: £32.00

Size: 4 Treatment Price: £128.00

Choose your Treatment

If you would like to specify a certain treatment then please make your selection from the list. Appointment times are subject to availability.

Size: Single

Not sure what treatment is right for you? Our knowledgeable staff can assess your needs and help you choose.If you would like to book an appointment and/or purchase a GIFT VOUCHER(S) then simply call

CONNECT on 0161 434 6664

> February 2009

Give the Perfect Gift this Valentine's Day!

I hope that you had a great time during the Christmas holiday break, and trust that you have survived the celebrations reasonably intact!

What with all the Xmas shopping, cooking for hordes of relatives, doing mountains of washing up and then the bargain-hunting in the Sales - it can really take its toll on you. The chances are you need to wind down now, and a soothing yet energising boost for both mind and body would be just the thing.

New Year is the time when we all make resolutions, ranging from losing weight, stopping bad habits, or simply changing our lifestyle, promising ourselves that we will take more time on looking after ourselves, in the year to come.

For some, this may also include having a Complementary Therapy Treatments.

So to kick off the New Year why not book in for an Aromatherapy Massage and/or a Reflexology treatment within our Complementary Therapy Clinic.

For some people the dilemma of being overweight starts first in the mind: It is all psychological and once the mind is healthy, the slimmer body will automatically follow. Mentally, Aromatherapy can help you to fight stress and lift your mood.

The connection between smell and emotion are thought to be extremely close. Taking a deep breath of pleasant smells triggers positive reactions in the brain, resulting in a sense of wellbeing and goodness.

The same theory holds well when it comes to human weight; the more you feel good and healthy, the more care you will take with your physical well being. A regular Aromatherapy session can certainly help you to achieve weight loss, by increasing your sense of well being and relaxation.

However, aromatherapy cannot produce your desired weight loss without you creating your own calorie deficit regime, either by eating a calorie reduced weight loss diet, or by increasing calories burned through rigorous exercise or more ideally by a combination of diet and exercise.

Aromatherapy has proven to be very useful for this weight loss. This natural way of treating your body has no side effect at all as compared to other treatments. Essential oils used are not only sweet smelling but have also the capacity to make your digestive system good, that in turn also helps in weight reduction.

Reflexology is the Ancient Therapy Secret that helps keep you Young and Healthy and LOSE WEIGHT!

Acu-points are connected to every organ of the body, and form the basis of Reflexology which has been practiced for thousands of years. For every organ in the body there is a corresponding area on the feet. Reflexology is used to stimulate the sole of the foot, thus activating the nerves responsible for digestion, metabolism and eating habits.

Reflexology is used in Weight loss Management to:

· Increase your metabolism and help you to burn fat.

· Stimulate detoxification of your large intestine

· Increase circulation to your feet and legs.

· Create balance in bones, muscles, and joints from your feet, ankles,knees, hips, spine to your neck and improve

your posture

· Improvements in your general health

· Dramatically increase your production of vital brain chemicals related to longevity, well-being, and quality of life...

· Water retention

You will also need to control your diet during reflexology sessions.

Why YOU should DETOX - Taking time for you is even more important when we consider how little time that we now spend on ourselves. Due to increased work pressure or a hectic lifestyle that many of us live making sure that you have ’‘time out’ is even more imperative.

By taking part in a structured Complementary Therapy Program of mental and physical rejuvenation you can guarantee that the time you spend on yourself will be well spent.

Four Senses of Philosophy

By combing four key ‘ingredients’ I have designed a results orientated programme that will see you introduced to the key elements necessary to a successful Detox.

Mental– Using relaxation and breathing techniques combined with elements such as yoga and tai chi to relax the mind and spirit this may also extend into life coaching and goal setting that you can use on your return home from the program.

Physical– I encourage safe and effective exercise and activities. Exercises will focus around Complementary Therapy treatments as well as the core , functional training to strengthen and improve posture.

The Senses and Elements– Using the combined elements of heat, water, touch and smell to introduce you to new experiences.Treatments include Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Indian Head Massage,Water/Hydro/Heat therapy and Facial acupoint treatment. With the inclusion of Ayuvedic and Chinese medicinal techniques as part of the expanded holistic experience.

Healing through Treatments– At each treatment session you will experience the highest standards of treatments, both classical and modern to facilitate a centred mental and physical state and purge the body of unwanted toxic build-up.

By combining all four of these elements during your Complementary therapy program you should leave with a feeling of total relaxation and wellbeing and aligned to our overriding philosophy