DIY Reflexology for a good night sleep

DIY Reflexology for a good night sleep

Are you dreaming of a restful night sleep? Sleep is so important for our overall wellbeing. Sleep is the precious time that allows our mind and body to rest and to begin it’s own healing.

Reflexology stimulates the reflex points on our feet and subtly impacts the whole of our body, physically, mentally and emotionally. Using some simple reflexology in your bedtime routine can help you or a family member drift off to sleep.

Attending regular reflexology treatments is a fantastic way to set you up for a good night sleep. However, this may not always be possible. No matter if your a regular reflexology goer or just learning all about the wonderful benefits of Reflexology, this simple guide will have you sweet dreaming in no time. Better yet, get your partner on board and do a treatment swap.

  1. Turn off all distractions and start by a nice foot soak. Even a short rinse or wash is good.
  2. Simply being by using light, gentle pressure, massage both feet and relax each foot, one at a time. Gently pressing, squeezing, kneading.
  3. Starting on the right foot, begin on the sole of the foot, press in a vertical line up from the heel to the big toe, move one space over and press from the heel up to the next toe and continue until you finish at the baby toe.
  4. Gentle press your thumb into the solar plexus on your foot -see picture above and take a few deep belly breaths in and out.
  5. Repeat on the left foot – This simple technique will have you covering most of the reflex points.
  6. From the inside of your big toe and following the boney structure of your arch which represents the spinal reflexes, gently sweep down the palm of your head from the top to bottom, repeat 3 times. This is a very soothing and calming technique.
  7. End with using feather light strokes  – using your finger tips and barely touching your skin glide your fingertips on the soles, sides of feet and top of feet. from the bottom of your feet upwards. Gentle press on the solar reflex point again.


You can also work specific areas of concern to this simple routine. During your Reflexology treatments I will go through added reflex points that you can add in.

A simple treatment swap between you and your partner is also a nice way to connect at the end of a busy day and know that you are both benefiting from this wonderful practice.

I hope you found this article interesting and reap the benefits of adding reflexology into your night time routine.

If you would like to book a reflexology treatment with Anita at Soma Wellness, Ballydesmond, you can contact her on 087-1917907 to arrange your treatment time.






GentleBirth -helping you prepare for birth

GentleBirth -helping you prepare for birth

Preparing for birth can be pretty daunting, especially if the image you have of birth is coming from movies or T.V. shows, where the focus is on drama and captivating an audience with an edge of the seat story line or if all your hearing are the horror stories from Mary down the road. Just breath let them pass and know that you can have a positive experience. Regardless of what others may think.

We know that birth comes in all different shapes and sizes and we know that birth by it’s very nature is unpredictable. We also know that you can prepare for birth and things may not go the way you hoped for and that is ok. A positive birth doesn’t mean a natural vaginal birth with no pain medication. A positive birth is how you define it.

It would be much easier for us to prepare for birth if we knew exactly what was going to happen and when it was going to happen. But we don’t. As our famous quote from GentleBirth Workshops go, we really can only “control the controllables”.

control the controllables

What does this really mean? Have a think about what you really have control over…………. Your breath, your thoughts, your actions, your focus, your response and how you prepare for labour and birth.

Taking a GentleBirth Workshop helps you and your birth partner to prepare for birth and stack the odds in your favour of a positive birth experience. A positive birth experience is one that is defined by you not by me or GentleBirth or poor Mary down the road.

Have a think about what does a positive birth experience mean for you? It goes without saying that all moms will respond with having a healthy baby, but what else means positive for you? How you were spoken to? knowing your options? The environment? The staff? Were you consulted? Was consent given? What else can affect your experience?

You will be confident in knowing that the information provided at a GentleBirth workshop is evidence based and has a science edge to it and it’s not uncommon to hear birth partners get excited and looking forward to birth as they leave the workshop.

GentleBirth effectively uses:

  • Hypnosis for birth
  • Mindfulness – which helps to build your focus and resilience
  • Sport psychology to really get your head in the game
  • Cognative Behavioural Therapy to help challenge those thoughts and gain a greater understanding of where they are stemming from
  • Brain science – understanding that our brain pathways changes all thanks to those lovely pregnancy hormones.

During a workshop we will also go through;

  • Your labour bag and what you can use
  • Using the GentleBirth App for mom and birth partner!!
  • Acupressure points
  • Upright positions for mom during labour and birth
  • Pain relief options – medical and non medical
  • The important role of the birth partner
  • Key questions to ask your care provider
  • Breathing techniques
  • Visualisation

As a mom and a doula I will also share with you other tips and information that may be relative to the workshop.



Your birthing experience will stay with you forever, if you want to do what you can to make it a positive experience and prepare as best you can, you can book into one of my monthly workshops by following this link  P.S. ( Mary from down the road won’t be there 🙂 !!

If the dates I have scheduled don’t suit, please contact me and I would be happy to arrange a private workshop at a more suitable time.


Requesting your Hospital Birth Notes

Requesting your Hospital Birth Notes

A topic that comes up all too frequent and when I say “you do know you can get your hospital notes” it is usually met with “I never knew that, how do I get them”. So here it is, my guide on how you can request your hospital birth notes under the Freedom on Information Act AND it is free AND you don’t have to give a reason to why you want them!!!

Many women apply for their birth notes, it can be for a number of reasons; from helping them to get a timeline and understanding of events, to have as a keepsake for baby,  or you may not have been happy with your experience and would like to gain more information.

You can apply in writing to the Freedom of Information Officer at your maternity hospital. The information that you need to give them is; Your Name, Address, Contact number, your date of birth, your baby’s name and date of birth and a photocopy of your driving licence or passport. It’s also really important that you state “You are applying under the Freedom of Information Act 1997” AND you do not need to give a reason to why you are looking for your records.

AIMS IRELAND have also written further information on this topic, the link to their page is here

I requested my hospital birth notes after the birth of my first baby. For me I found it very much an important step in understanding her birth so that I could mentally prepare myself for my next birth. My notes arrived on our wedding day, just before Christmas!! and it honestly took me a few weeks to have the confidence or maybe courage to read them. from personal experience reading your hospital notes, especially if your experience was not what you had hoped for, traumatic for you or baby can bring up alot of emotions for both you and your birth partner. If this is where you are at, be gentle with yourself and don’t be afraid to seek further help or guidance. Nurture Health – Counselling Service  is worth checking out if you think you need more support.

Don’t forget that the HSE also provides a service called Your Service Your Say. I would encourage all mom’s to use it, for either feedback, praise or complaints.

I hope the information provided here will be of benefit to you. Don’t forget, if there is a topic that you would like discussed let me know and I will do my best to cover it.

Anita x

Surprisingly delicious Nettle Pesto

Surprisingly delicious Nettle Pesto

“A feast of Nettles in May keeps colds and flu’s at bay” A saying my Grandmother Hannah Mac had. This year, (after many years of procrastinating) I finally decided to try some nettles. We have had nettle pesto and nettle soup, both very tasty.




On further research into nettles I soon realised how amazing nettles are, they are jam packed with nutrition and lots of benefits to eating them. Another old saying recommends 3 feasts of nettles in May. Nettles are high in vitamins A, C, K, calcium, potassium, and iron. They may also help reduce inflammation, reduce hay fever symptoms, help with pain and osteoarthritis, used for skin conditions such as eczema. 

Nettles are possibly the most edible plant around here, but I am pretty sure very few venture into their garden and pick them, I’m guessing that is down to their reputation as a stinging nettle and no ones want a nettle sting.

When you are picking your nettles, please wear gloves and remember only the tops and newest leaves should be picked and used. You have been pre-warned that eating nettles after they flower in June can cause a laxative effect!!!


Here it is, the recipe for Nettle Pesto – Bon Appetite

  • 2-3 handfuls of nettles
  • small clove of garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 50g pine nuts (I used almond nuts as a substitute and worked well)
  • 75g parmesan cheese
  • A good glug of olive oil


  1. Place the nettles in a pot of boiling water with salt, boil for 1 minute.
  2. Drain and place into a bowl of icy cold water
  3. Drain and place on a tea towel and dry nettles – take out as much moisture as possible
  4. Fry the pine nuts for a few minutes
  5. Put the pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese, small amount of olive oil and nettles into a food processor. Blend until smooth. Add more olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Store in an air tight container

Enjoy, I have tried it on toast with cheese, in pasta and chicken. All really good.

Easy peasey, you won’t look at nettles in the same way again.

Let me know how you get on.



Can Reflexology Induce Labour?

Can Reflexology Induce Labour?

As a reflexologist I get asked this alot!!! The following scenario or something similar is not uncommon for me to experience. I receive a phone call from a stressed out and anxious mom to be who is in the final weeks of pregnancy 39/40 weeks, she has just had a hospital appointment and pressure is put on to book in for induction or to get a sweep by the medical staff to see if “we can move things along”.

expectant lady holding pen marking calendar
Photo by on

Stressed and unsure mom turns to me to see if I can help bring labour on, she heard her friend went into labour the day/night after a reflexology session, She will do anything to avoid medical induction, she heard it’s awful!!! Straight away with this scenario you can sense anxiety, fear, uncertainty, doubt. All the things that can increase mom’s fight or flight response in the body, creating high levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, which we know inhibits the feel good, oxytocin hormones (these are the hormones needed for labour to start).

So, to answer the question “Can Reflexology induce labour?”. Believe it or not Reflexology CANNOT BRING LABOUR ON!!! Sorry moma, BUT what I can offer mom at this stage is a beautifully relaxing and balancing reflexology treatment in a warm, softly lit treatment room that can encourage mom’s own body and mind to relax, let go of the stress put upon her and give her that all important time and space to just be and breath. I would encourage mom to use her GentleBirth app during a treatment and to listen to tracks like ‘fear release’ ‘birth rehearsal’ ‘confident pregnancy’ or some breathing exercises or positive affirmations, what ever feels good for her.

If the body has high levels of stress hormones, your body is essentially in fight or flight mode and saying don’t go into labour but run somewhere that is safeReflexology can be that bridging gap to help you find that calm, nurturing space to encourage the feel good oxytocin hormones to increase and quieten the stress hormones.

As your guess date approaches you may find it more beneficial to have more frequent sessions. Reflexology cannot induce labour, however, the general view is that it will help support the body to prepare for labour and birth and promote relaxation at a time when anxiety levels are often high.

field grass mom mother

What else can you do to help your body maintain a relaxed, balanced, happy state? The simplest answer is do what feels good for you, what makes you smile? laugh?

Having a baby, whether it is your first or not, will bring lots of wonderful experiences and challenges. Using reflexology  as part of your health and self care may just be what you need on this journey towards motherhood. If you are feeling in need of a boost or just some me time, contact me on 087-1917907 to book your appointment.



Anita is a registered reflexologist with the NRRI. You may be able to claim part of your treatment costs from your health insurance. Please check with them for further details.

Porridge Bread Recipe

Porridge Bread Recipe

Ask and you shall receive. Gluten free porridge bread is a staple in our house. I put some pictures up on Instagram recently of porridge bread and got a few requests on how to make it. So here it is…..



  • 1 500g tub of natural yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup
  • 300g of porridge oats (not instant or quick oats, just regular porridge oats) we use gluten free oats.
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • Optional – 2 tablespoons seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, flaxseeds, chia seeds, linseeds) whatever you like, mix and match
  • Sesame seeds or porridge oats for sprinkling on top


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees (please note temperatures may vary depending on your oven)
  2. Line a baking tin with baking paper
  3. mix yogurt, egg and honey or maple syrup in a bowl
  4. In a separate bowl mix porridge oats, salt, baking soda and seeds together
  5. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and blend together.
  6. Pour into the baking tin and even out
  7. cut a cross on the top of the mixture
  8. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or porridge oats
  9. Bake in the over for 30 minutes at 180 degrees
  10. Reduce heat to 150 degrees and bake for a further 30 minutes

This bread is so quick and simple to make. My little lady loves helping to make it (and eat it warm with butter!!!) If I have a busy week coming up I will make a double batch, cut one loaf into slices and freeze it.

You can try different flavours such as savoury try adding sundried tomatoes and basil or mixed fruits for a sweeter version. If I am doing one of these options I usually leave out the seeds.