Why Reflexology? From the AoR

Why Reflexology? Video by the AoR

Watch this video!!  http://ow.ly/zMAXp

Published on 23 Jul 2014

Why Reflexology? video from the Association of Reflexologists the home of Reflexology.

The Association of Reflexologists is the foremost aspirational and independent Professional Association for reflexology in the UK since 1984, providing benefits, advice and guidance to reflexologists and working with other external bodies and advisory groups to promote the highest standards in the profession.

To find more information visit our website at: www.aor.org.uk

Visit our online Sales shop www.reflexology.org

Mint – the summer’s coolest herb


With a unique aroma, refreshing flavour, cooling sensation and a host of medicinal 

qualities – from settling the stomach to lifting the spirit and soothing the skin – mint is among the most versatile plants in the herbal kingdom.

There are around 25 different species of mint, many of which cross-pollinate to produce variable hybrids. The two most popular varieties for medicinal purposes are peppermint (Mentha piperita) – which is actually a natural hybrid cross between Mentha aquatica (water mint) and Mentha spicata (spearmint).

They are relatively easy to tell apart since peppermint has greenish-purple lance-shaped leaves while the rounder leaves of spearmint are more of a greyish green colour.

The taste of both is similar – sometimes described as a cross between pepper and chlorophyll – with peppermint being a bit stronger and spearmint being a little more cool and subtle.

Peppermint in particular is widely cultivates for its oil, which is used in flavourings and to scent perfumes and toiletries.

Sweet tradition

In Greek mythology mint was originally a nymph called Minthe, who was transformed into a plant by Persephone, who was jealous of the of the way Minthe had attracted the roving eye of her husband Pluto. Pluto tried but could not reverse the spell that his wife cast. So instead gave Minthe a sweet smell, so when she was walked upon in the garden, her aroma would delight the senses.

Today it’s a delightful staple of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Indian cooking where it is used to flavour meat dishes, stuffed vegetables, rice dishes, sauces and salsas or the fresh leaves are simple brewed as a pleasant tea

Health benefits

Many of the traditional uses for mint hold true to day and peppermint is by far the most widely studied variety.

It is, amongst other things, a digestive tonic, analgesic, antiseptic , diaphoretic (promotes sweating) and a carminative (prevents or relieves flatulence). This translates into a variety of uses in treating digestive problems, heartburn, nausea, abdominal pains, headache, and coughs. As one group of researchers said it’s more than just an after dinner mint.

Digestive problems

A few randomised controlled clinical trials suggest that peppermint essential oil is effective in reducing abdominal pain, flatulence and diarrhoea in patients with “irritable bowel syndrome”.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a relatively common condition characterised by abdominal distension and pain, bloating, flatulence, and diarrhoea. Due to the success of peppermint oil in treating traditional GI tract ailments, many recent studies have been conducted to test its efficacy in treating IBS.

In 2007 a small double-blind placebo-controlled randomised trial was performed on 57 patients with IBS ranging in age from 18 to 80 years old. Both the peppermint oil and placebo were prepared in enteric-coated capsules, containing 225mg of their respective substances, two of which were given randomly to each patient twice a day for 4 weeks.

At the end of the trial, 75% of those taking the peppermint had a more than 50% reduction in symptoms, compared to just 38% of those taking the placebo.

In another small trial peppermint oil (90 mg) and caraway oil (50 mg) in an enteric-coated capsule, was studied in 45 patients with non-ulcerous dyspepsia. After four weeks both the intensity of pain and the global clinical impression were significantly improved for more than 90% of those taking the essential oil combination.

Peppermint oil may also be useful for post-operative nausea.


Peppermint oil has long been recognised as a safe and effective treatment fortension headaches.

In one randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover study, peppermint oil was pitted against Paracetamol (acetaminophen) and placebo in the treatment of headaches.

The peppermint preparation contained 10 g of peppermint oil and ethanol (90%); the placebo was a 90% ethanol solution to which traces of peppermint oil were added. Both were applied across the forehead and to the temples using a sponge. The acetaminophen dose was 500mg.

Amongst patients aged 16-45 the 10% peppermint oil solution had a comparable pain relieving effect to paracetamol and in addition is was shown to be effective in reducing emotional irritation, depression, and feeling of apathy.

Adding a trace of eucalyptus oil to the peppermint solution can enhance its effectiveness

For migraine (without aura) 10% peppermint solution can help can reduce or eliminate pain in nearly 40%of users and that the pain free effect was long lasting.

Focus and strength

Research published in 2001 in found that inhalation of peppermint lived up to its nickname of ‘breath of the gods’ by increasing athletic performance. Volunteer runners finished the 400-metre dash faster, had significant strength (determined by hand grip), and could complete more push-ups after inhaling peppermint oil.

A 2003 study found that peppermint improved productivity in office workers. Participants showed marked improvement in a card-sorting task as well as in typing accuracy and typing speed. According to the researchers, “These results suggest peppermint odour may promote a general arousal of attention, so participants stay focused on their task and increase performance.”

Skin soother

Diluted peppermint oil has cooling and toning effects on the skin and can be particularly soothing for irritated skin. Applying peppermint oil in a 20%-strength solution to skin can relieve symptoms of hives, poison ivy and poison oak.

Peppermint’s viricidal properties may make it useful in treating cold sores, even those that involve resistant strains of the herpes simplex virus.

Everyday uses

Like all the best herbs it’s easy to grow in gardens, in pots and on windowsills, and easy to use in a variety of different ways to enhance the flavour of your food andaid health and well being. Try these suggestions:

  • A cup of fresh mint tea can help to soothe your stomach and your nerves.
  • Toss cubes of cooked eggplant with chopped mint leaves, plain yoghurt, garlic and cayenne.
  • For a fresh take on fruit salad combine oranges, pomegranate seeds and mint leaves.
  • Add chopped mint leaves to gazpacho or other soups that feature tomatoes as the freshness of the mint complements the sweet acidity of tomatoes very well.

Or if you are feeling more ambitious try our wonderful recipe for a Mint & Cucumber Lemonade here.


Neals Yard News – Organic crops higher in beneficial antioxidants, lower in pesticides

Natural Health News — New research shows there are significant nutritional differences between organic and conventional crops.

The analysis – the largest of its kind to date – published in the British Journal of Nutrition – looked at fresh vegetables, fruit and cereals (as well as some pre-prepared foods such as baby food as well as wine and seed oils) in order to determine what nutritional differences, if any, there might be.

According to study the most striking differences revealed in the study are: higher concentrations of antioxidants and less frequent presence of pesticide residues in organic crops compared with non-organic.

Based on 343 peer-reviewed publications solely focusing on organic crops, fruit and vegetables, the Newcastle University scientists found that with greater nutrient and antioxidant density, every mouthful of fruit and vegetables produced organically can count for more.

On average organic produce had between 18% and 69% more antioxidant compounds.  Smaller, but still statistically significant, composition differences were also detected for a number of carotenoids and vitamins.

A switch to eating organic fruit, vegetable and cereals (and foods made from them), they say, would lead to a 20–40% (and for some compounds up to a 60%) increase in crop-based antioxidant and polyphenolic consumption without any increase in calories.

They noted that, in particular, there is increasing evidence that higher levels of manufactured chemical fertilisers, most notably the nitrogen and phosphate-based fertilisers that are prohibited or heavily restricted by organic farming standards, leads to substantially lower concentrations of antioxidants in conventional crops.

Previous research has shown that organic dairy products are higher in beneficial fats than conventional ones.http://www.nyrnaturalnews.com/food/2014/07/organic-crops-higher-in-beneficial-antioxidants-lower-in-pesticides/

Photo of organic produce


A warm AoR welcome to our first celebrity supporter: Susie Amy

We are very proud to have the actress Susie Amy as our first celebrity supporter. Susie has been in many plays, film and TV series including 71 degrees North but is probably still best known for her role as Chardonnay in Football’s wives back in 2002.

Susie came to reflexology by way of Wentworth golf course, before eventually finding one of our members for her regular sessions! She has a regular blog where she discusses all things beauty and health related at http://blusherandblogging.com/.

Here we ask her a few questions:

Susie, it’s wonderful that you’d like to become a supporter of the AoR! How did you first become interested in reflexology?
I had reflexology for the first time about ten years ago, with David Alexander who worked
at Wentworth Club. I had reiki sessions with him, too. David could change my state of
mind in an hour! Luckily, when David moved on, I met Paolo who works from Neville’s
salon. He has become a friend as well as my reflexologist. He has taught me a lot, and is a
very passionate and knowledgeable man.

How did you hear about the AoR?
I heard about the AoR from my reflexologist Paolo, who is a member of the AoR. I am
about to start studying reflexology, so he answered many of my questions. I actually
feel that I have a step up from a complete beginner as I am so well informed!

Did anyone in your family have an interest in holistic therapies when you were
growing up?
Not especially when growing up; I was the first person in my family to be especially
interested in wellbeing. My mother was a parent that fully encouraged healthy eating
and being active.

She herself has always been physically fit. An actor’s life is very stressful – how do you relax?

Treatments, reflexology, exercise, I’m very good at relaxing in a treatment. When I pick up a book at home, my mind often wanders to my ‘to-do list’ – and yet in a treatment, or often when I’m exercising – I manage to totally relax. 
It sounds like keeping fit and healthy is important to you, then! How do you do it?
I vary my exercise. I swim, run, do yoga and pilates. I’m glad that I’ve grown to love running
so much – I was touring with a play last year – and it’s something that you can do anywhere. I
do have to say, though, that I can go through phases of doing very little at all.

Tell us a bit about your blog.
I started my website blusherandblogging.com in 2011. It’s a place that I talk about beauty, health
and fitness – and often wander off of those topics too. They are very much my areas of
interest and knowledge; I often wish that I had worked somewhere within that field.

Do you have some interesting upcoming projects that you can talk about? You
mentioned that you will be starting a course in reflexology this year…
Yes – I’ve just started a course at Guildford’s Nature Care College! I started my training in
November and I am really enjoying the practical side – I find it utterly fascinating. I bought my
chair and have been practicing on all of my friends and family! Because I’m working
alongside training, it will take me a little while to qualify but I’m hoping to so by October.
In February 2014 I’m starting a brand new play called The Mummy. It’s a silly comedy – I’m
really looking forward to starting it. I’m working with Jason Durr and an old friend of mine Denis
Lill. We are rehearsing in London and Coventry and then embarking on a 3 month national tour.
I have Sundays and Mondays off which are my reflexology training days, so I can keep learning
and no doubt become very tired! I’m planning to practise on my cast mates- although they
don’t know it yet!

Wild Rose Beauty Balm

Wild Rose Beauty Balm

Celebrate the 10th Anniversary for Wild Rose Beauty Balm, our organic customer favourite, with our beautiful new Limited Edition packaging in collaboration with British Illustrator, Alice Shields.

Nurtures and revitalises ALL SKIN TYPES.

Our award-winning Wild Rose Beauty Balm  can be used as a rich cleanser, gentle exfoliant or deeply nourishing balm – to quench areas of dry or dehydrated skin. The exceptionally high levels of wild rosehip oil – a potent antioxidant proven to help repair, firm and smooth the skin – are combined with geranium, starflower, hemp and rosemary oil, to help decongest and enrich the skin, restoring its natural radiance. Includes a free organic muslin cloth.

Find out more about our Limited Edition Wild Rose Beauty Balm here 

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