Elefteria Mantzorou - Massage therapy and herbal medicine instructor
Sleep plays an important role, both in everyday life and to our health. Unfortunately, many suffer from sleep disorders (difficulty sleeping advent, alarms, etc.). It is known that sleep deficiency is associated with health problems such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity, as well as insufficient performance in all areas of life. Let's see what we can do in the context of alternative therapies to improve sleep.
Aromatherapy can help. I'll give you a few recipes with essential oils.
Oil for gentle kneading and rubbing:
Τo 50 ml of olive oil add:
Also very helpful is a hot bath before bedtime. Throw in the bath 3 drops Mandarin and 2 drops Clary Sage.
The bedroom should only be used for two things: sex and sleep. Nothing else. Here are some additional tips for creating the right atmosphere.
Herbs and supplements
Try hot infusions of chamomile, linden, and passion fruit. Add plenty of honey. These should be drunk before bedtime.
You can try melatonin. 1-3 mg a day one hour before bedtime is considered a safe dose (not during pregnancy). However, it is not effective for everyone.
I suggest you try the above for one month. If the problem persists, see a doctor (I am not a doctor, and do not have any responsibility for the application of the above). Medical care is needed for those suffering from sleep apnea, fibromyalgia or severe depression (among others). Certainly, there are conventional medicines for the treatment of insomnia, but first try alternative treatments and some simple changes - it is always a healthier choice.
Read here my post on Thai Massage and lumbar disk degeneration.
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Best wishes - Elefteria.
FLOW respects the environment:
- For lightning, we use 80% LED lamps.
- We recycle 70% of our plant residues, and 100% of paper in a compost bin.
- Maintenance of sewer is made with an organic enzymatic product that does not pollute the aquifer.
- The interiors are painted with ecological colors.
- The space is 100% free from synthetic fabrics.
- All massage oils come from small local producers.
- The herbs we use in the drinks we offer, are all grown in our garden, with organic pesticides.
- During the summer months we do not use air conditioning - the space is always cool thanks to the plants that surround it.
... And do not stop to this! We continually strive to improve.
By Elefteria Mantzorou, certified Thai therapist and instructor
Thai Foot Massage (TFM) is probably the most popular massage technique applied in Thailand. It is offered virtually everywhere – from the most luxurious spas down to the noisiest markets. This is mainly due to the fact that it is cheap and that it can be applied anywhere, without any special or expensive equipment. I have found it even in very remote areas of Thailand, like jungles etc.!
There are also many Thai foot therapists, as the required training is by far easier compared to that required for Thai Massage, because TFM is practiced on very particular areas of the body: the foot and the lower leg.
Benefits of Thai Foot Massage
- Its training lasts much less than the reflexology training (1 weekend for TFM in Thailand usually, 6 months – 2 years for reflexology training in Europe).
- Its training is much cheaper compared to the reflexology tuition fees.
- Its techniques are very effective , pertaining to its goals, which are the relief of lower leg and foot pain, stress relief and sometimes the relief from some types of headache.
- It can be applied very easily at home and actually in any space, without professional equipment.
- With the proper additions, it can be transformed in an elegant spa service.
A historical comparison
Thai Foot Massage is more ancient than reflexology (dates back to 2000 BC). Anyway, western reflexology was invented on 1913, and it is based on the belief that certain areas / points of the foot correspond to certain organs / systems of the body. Imentionthissimplyasanobjectivefact. The antiquity of a method is no assurance of its value, and of course the opposite is also true.
It should be mentioned that many TFM techniques are of Chinese origin. In fact, Thailand and China are neighboring countries, and a large part of Thailand’s population is Chinese (about 10%). On the other hand, western reflexology originated in the US.
I guess you have seen some traditional artifacts that depict feet with certain symbols drawn on them. Generally, these feet belong to deities (like Buddha, Krishna, etc.). The message is that although the feet are the humblest part of the human body (a widespread belief in Asia) , these deities are so powerful that even their feet bear auspicious symbols (like lotus flowers, certain weapons and animals, etc. ).
There are some artifacts that depict foot maps (organ symbols on feet), or even people offering foot massage (like some ancient Egyptian art). However, these “maps” do not bear the strict reflexology correspondences that connect foot points to organs, and are quite vague.
The Thai foot points
Thai Foot Massage contains some special acupressure points, but these are not necessarily identify with there reflexology correspondences. Moreover, the Thai foot points do not have strict organ correspondences. When I asked my teacher (in Chiang Mai Old Medicine Hospital) about the significance of the acupressure points on the feet , he replied “It is for health”.
Of course, I should mention that there are many maps and approaches to TFM in Thailand. Moreover, TFM may contain techniques with towels, wraps, and various wooden tools, and each massage school utilizes its own percentage of these tools in its bodywork.
Thus, reflexology and TFM have some common points, but they are not identical and do not originate from common sources.
A TFM therapist cannot claim he / she is able to treat internal disorders, as he / she will be unfamiliar with the typical reflexology protocols. Thai Foot Massage ‘s goal is the relief from stress, the general prevention of disease, the energetical balancing of the human body and the relief from local pain (e.g. like the pain that accompanies plantar fasciitis). And it is very successful in that! Of course, the experienced massage therapist, who has studied anatomy and pathology, may be able to offer some relief to a client that suffers from a myoskeletal disorder.
Elefteria Mantzorou - massage therapy and phytotherapy instructor
While some believe that chili intake can lead to weight loss, others believe that this is a myth. So what is truth and what myth? Learn about the most recent scientific discoveries.
More or less, we all have tasted a spicy dish. Others love it, others are afraid of it, others are addicted to the spicy flavor. The "fire" comes from the substance capsaicin, which is the active ingredient of peppers.
Not all peppers have the same content of capsaicin. The most hot, of course, contain the substance at a higher concentration, while the milder (eg the bell pepper) not at all. The substance is located in various parts of the chilli fruit, in varying proportions. Capsaicin was isolated in crystalline form for the first time in 1846 by LT Tresh, and was first synthesized in 1930 by E. Spath and FS Darling.
Recently, certain food supplements containing capsaicin have become quite popular , while within the circles of alternative therapies the chilli oil, obtained by cold extraction, is very widespread.
It has been shown that capsaicin intake is associated with weight loss. It appears that it reduces appetite - moreover, it reduces the hormone ghrelin, which, when secreted, increases the appetite. In this manner, it contributes to the feeling of satiety. It is well documented that capsaicin prevents recovery of excess weight.
Capsaicin also increases thermogenesis - that stimulates metabolism. Anyway, it stimulates the sympathetic nervous system.
In one study it was found that capsaicin activates brown adipose tissue in humans, while in another (published in 2009 in the journal Clinical Nutrition) that capsaicin, combined with green tea, suppresses the appetite and favors low calorie intake.
What about the chili oil?
Capsaicin is a lipophilic substance (that we have experienced very well, when we tried unsuccessfully to rinse the mouth with water after a good intake of chilli!) And therefore can be extracted in fat. Of course, the effect of chilli in body weight is observed with oral intake. Therefore, this preparation (extraction of chilli in oil) cannot have an impact in the fight against obesity. However, it may display a mild analgesic and heating effect, and that would make it an interesting massage product. The action will be mild, because in general, these natural formulations do not contain a sufficient concentration of capsaicin.
• The chili can cause microhemorrhages (similar to aspirin), and should not be taken in combination with anticoagulants.
• Other studies show that chili intake is associated with gastric ulcer, other that it prevents it, or even that it helps to its treatment. There is no consensus on this issue.
• Good to avoided by people with GERD.
If you like spicy food, you have to integrate chilli in your diet! The chili has many other health benefits, beyond the slimming effect. After all, a healthy body weight is often a sign of good health.
• Diepvens, K., K. R. Westerterp, and M. S. Westerterp-Plantenga. "Obesity and Thermogenesis Related to the Consumption of Caffeine, Ephedrine, Capsaicin, and Green Tea." AJP: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 292.1 (2006): R77-85.
• Yoneshiro, Takeshi, Sayuri Aita, Yuko Kawai, Toshihiko Iwanaga, and Mayayuki Saito. "Nonpungent Capsaicin Analogs (capsinoids) Increase Energy Expenditure through the Activation of Brown Adipose Tissue in Humans." American Society for Nutrition (2012).