Category Archives: Health and Wellbeing

Product News: Hygge Inspired Homewares

Hygge inspired heated throw

Alaskan Husky Faux Fur Heated Throw

Even though they experience bitterly long cold winters, the Danes are well known for being one of the happiest nations. With up to 17 hours of darkness in the depth of winter and average temperatures of around 0C, the people of Denmark spend much of their time indoors. So how do they do it?

Their secret seems to be Hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga”), which is a lifestyle encompassing a romantic feel-good cosiness. The term Hygge comes from a Norwegian word meaning “Wellbeing”. It may be lighting candles and curling up on the sofa in front of a warm fire with a good book, or enjoying a mug of warm, luxurious hot chocolate and toasting crumpets on the fire. It is all about creating an intimate atmosphere and enjoying the moment, on your own or with friends and family.

heated faux fur cushion

Alaskan Husky Faux Fur Heated Cushion

Scandinavian styled homewares are helping to export hygge to the UK and our heated throws and heated cushions can create a gorgeously perfect hygge moment, snuggled up on the sofa enveloped with beautiful warmth. They are so cheap to heat that they may help to reduce your heating bill and would be perfect for an older person, who feels the cold and spends time at home in a favourite chair or even wrapped up in bed on a cold winter’s day.

one-leg-wood-posture-stools-room-set

OneLeg Wood Posture Stool

Beautifully crafted from Oak, OneLeg Wood Posture Stool typifies the simplicity of traditional Danish design whilst being ergonomic and functional. The stool is available in two height options and can be used as a coffee table or general seating around the home and would be great for sitting on while you toast those crumpets on the fire!

OneLeg Wood stool has a unique curved foot that allows the user to tilt and rotate around, following the body’s movements.

Oak Wood Danish posture stool

OneLeg Wood Posture Stools

When you sit on a OneLeg stool it gives your spine a completely natural stretch, with no load on the back, knees and feet. Moving around on the stool loosens tension and improves the core strength of your abdominal muscles and back. You will be amazed at the improvement to your core strength and focus by using OneLeg.

You can find out more about our products here

Robots as Companions and Carers

Robots for care homes

Robots programmed to help elderly residents in care homes

The idea of robots as companions, housemates or therapists is something we imagined as children when the future seemed very distant, but 2016 is apparently the future, and here they are.

ENRICHME (ENabling Robot and assisted living environment for Independent Care and Health Monitoring of the Elderly) is an international collaboration involving the University of Lincoln in the UK. They have developed a range of robots specifically for use inside the homes of the aged community, to help them maintain health and wellbeing – both mental and physical.

The robots are being integrated to work with ‘smart home’ technology, to provide 24-7 feedback to carers and health professionals from the inside of the person’s home. The robots are currently being used mainly as a big mobile phone or mobile assistance – giving reminders to take medications, locating lost items around the house, and enabling video chat with family and friends so that members of the elderly community are able to stay in touch with people via modern communication.

Ongoing developmental research is gathering data on how effective these robots are for the elderly community, but early research shows that they are of particular benefit to people with mild cognitive impairments, such as the early symptoms of the onset of dementia, but with bodies that are still physically able and healthy.

The European Research Project ‘Robot-Era’ recently concluded the world’s largest real-life trial of robot aides for the elderly. The four year trial was funded by Apple suppliers, Robotech and the European Commission, and are said to be ready to be released for commercial sales in 2017.

One of the biggest drives behind developing robotic care for elderly communities is to reduce strain on the healthcare system and care staffing. Mario, a European company developing robotics for elderly care, funded by the European Commission, intends to commercialise cost-effective robots by 2018 that healthcare providers can integrate into the care system, which benefits both the patient and the system.

Robot lifting patient

Robot being used in healthcare to lift patients

The way to commercialise the robots and get them into healthcare facilities is to prove that they are effective at improving senior quality of life, and at the same time reduce the cost of caring. There is  a large stigma attached to the idea of robots in our home, probably spurred by science fiction films of robots taking over the human population and controlling us. The care industry and robotics industry have work to do to get people to realise that robots are not to completely remove human interactions, but rather to complement them, reduce the load on carers to the elderly, and improve quality of life, giving peace of mind to their families in case of emergency. Mario doesn’t consider robotics an answer to everything, but if it can help elderly people to stay safe and comfortable in their own homes for longer, and at a more affordable cost, isn’t that a great thing?

paro robotic seal for elderly

Paro robotic seal for elderly and dementia patients

Another smaller-scale robot that has been well-received in care homes recently is Paro, a robotic seal. In studies, Paro has traditionally been brought to nursing homes where older people (often suffering from dementia or mental decline) hold the robot and interact with it. Positive effects include a general improvement in mood and reduction in depression. And Paro is really cute!

Of course, there are many mixed feelings, including some hilarious opinionated words from the ageing community. An article in the Guardian cites robot care for the elderly as “another way of dying miserably”. Europe’s Mobiserv project has been researching a “social companion robot” called Nadine, to encourage old people to eat healthily, exercise, and let them know when they haven’t spoken to anyone in a while – as if they hadn’t noticed!

The article ends with a reference to our ingrained fear of robots taking over the world; “who cares if Nadine and her kind go haywire and get rid of us? Will the other humans even notice?”

Robotic advancements are happening, and I suppose as elderly people, children or relatives of those elderly people, all we can do is ensure that the proper level of care and a degree of compassion is  a part of these “companion” machines. But is that worse? If they have…. feelings? Will they help themselves to cups of tea and biscuits from the pantry? Will they leave the toilet seat up? Only time will tell.

Relaxed Creativity

activities, pastimes, hobbies, adult colouring

Everyone has something they do at the end of the day to relax. Some people go for a run, some watch the television, some people drink a glass of wine, some people take a nap. What do all these things have in common? They all make some attempt to turn off your brain after a long day of work. Apparently though, if your overall goal is to be happy, the best thing to do is to engage your right-side brain more. Wake it up, rather than shut it down, and you’ll find an increase in energy, and shake off any lethargy from your day.

Have you ever noticed that creativity flows more naturally when you are relaxed, open minded, and embracing your inner child? Studies show that when you engage in a creative project, your mood lifts, and your emotions and thought patterns are significantly more positive. Even if you don’t create anything overly aesthetically pleasing or useful – in fact, the less you focus on the results, the more pleasing the results will be. It’s simply the act of doing, of creating, of imagining something in your mind and then producing it with your hands. Literally, getting the thoughts out of your head and into something tangible, something you can physically manage.

Creating art or other creative pursuits allows your mind to relax, providing a break from all the usual thought patterns. The average person has over 60,000 thoughts in a day and, disturbingly, 95% of those thoughts are exactly the same, day in, day out.

When your brain is running on autopilot like this, going down the same paths each day, obviously it’s going to get lazy! That’s why it is so important to break up the routine with activities that stimulate different hemispheres of the brain, that get you out of your comfort zone, give you the satisfaction of creating something, and that provide you with a small sense of wonder at your own capabilities and the resources at your fingertips, if only you can find the inclination.

ergonomic gardening tools

Gardening for relaxation – Radius hand tools

Research shows that engaging in creative activities (nothing too crazy – we’re talking jam making, crocheting, stamp collecting, bird watching, etc) can leave the doer feeling a wonderful sense of satisfaction, calm, happiness and new energy. Cooking, baking, playing music,drawing, painting, sketching, photography, working with your hands, gardening, creative writing – basically, a lot of activities we loved to do as children, then most of us disregarded as “unnecessary” uses of our time when faced with the daily pressures of work, family, relationships, fitness, health.

 

But what if doing one of these activities actually had the potential to improve all of the above? To make your relationships more meaningful, maybe you spend an hour in the garden together, or cook a meal together. Maybe rather than spending your evenings watching television in a trance, you sit down on the floor and play a game or draw pictures with your children like you did when you were five. Maybe whilst you are sitting with your family watching TV, you can also be knitting or crocheting. Maybe you doodle in your adult colouring book while you’re on the train to work. Listen to a podcast and write down your thoughts or responses.

Creativity brings relaxation, and relaxation stimulates creativity. The right side of your brain governs creativity, holistic thinking (ie. the bigger picture), intuition, and imagination, and engaging it will lead to feeling happier and more positive on a day in, day out basis. As we age, it’s important to keep all of the pathways of our mind clear, to use our physical bodies in new ways, and interact with the world around us. Pick a creative pursuit that sticks in your mind from this article, turn off the TV, and get cracking!

Product News – Blys™ Warm Night Light for Adults

blys warm glow night light for adults and helpful with dementia

Blys Warm Nightlight for adults

As the nights are drawing in and the mornings and evenings are darker for longer, the Blys™ Warm Night Light is a handy device, which provides comfort during the dark hours. Blys™emits a soft comforting glow of light in the bedroom which, on awakening provides a focus in the room and reassurance for anyone who is elderly or who suffers from sleep anxiety, insomnia or dementia.

During the night, Blys™ softly glows with a low level light which allows uninterrupted sleep. Upon awakening, there is no need to switch on the main bedroom light as the Blys™ table top light is sufficient to allow spectacles, water glass, alarm clock and other items to be identified.

blys-controls-72dpi

Touch panel controls for dimming the night light

The night light is controlled by a simple touch panel on the side of the tray. Hand contact anywhere along the main edge of the unit switches it on or off, and the brightness can be adjusted by touching two small ‘bright’ and ‘dim’ zones. Blys™ remembers its previous light setting when it’s switched off. There is no problem with it being left on all day as it uses very low energy and the unit itself does not get hot, which is another benefit when it is being used by someone with dementia. The top surface that emits the warm glow is scratch resistant and spill proof so there is no need to worry if you spill your drink on it.

The benefits of Blys™ goes further than it just being a night light. Often the elderly prefer to sleep with the light on due to anxiety, but usual household lighting left on for sleep can promote ill -temper and poor health, which can in turn accelerate dementia.  The focussed comfort and security of Blys™ helps with spacial awareness and it can reduce falls and injury.

Winner of the UK Building Better Healthcare Award for Best Furniture Project, the Blys™ concept is derived from findings of ‘SomnIA’; a four year research programme undertaken by a consortium of universities as part of the ‘New Dynamics of Ageing’ initiative. The main research partner was the Bath Institute of Medical Engineering (now called Designability).

Blys™ is a practical, sleek looking bedroom accessory that may help those with insomnia and even young children who need the comfort of a light to settle them to sleep.

More information on the Blys™ Night Light for adults and the elderly can be found HERE

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping Fit And Active in Retirement

Petanque players

There are a number of inspirational older people in my life, who have managed to stay fit, healthy and active into their later years. Many of them simply attribute “keeping busy” as their long-living secrets, maintaining social engagements and responsibilities in a community, giving each day purpose and structure. Our physical health is directly correlated with our mental health – if we feel needed, important, and positive about things, our body is naturally happier, and works to keep up and maintain mobility. Getting together with others for physical activity can be the best way to get endorphins moving through the body, boosting physical and mental energy, increasing mood, and engaging in social interaction.

So, you want to get physical, or stay physical, as you move into later years. What are the best options for heart health, joint mobility, flexibility, strength, and getting out of your head and into your body?

 Walking /Rambling

Check with your local community organisers about local walking groups, weekend rambler gatherings, or perhaps just talk to your friends or neighbours about getting together a casual walking group a couple of times a week. Walking is wonderful for heart health, maintaining healthy weight, developing strength in the legs, promoting healthy circulation and can be a nice time to chat with your walking buddies. It’s also very invigorating for us mentally to be amongst nature, fresh air and in tune with our surroundings. Plus, if you have a dog, they will be a great advocate for this one!

Yoga

There is a vast range in styles of yoga, and one style will be great for one person, and not so great for the next. As an individual, you need to find the style that works for you. For older bodies, a slower, more restorative style may be the best option, with not too much dynamic flow.

  • Iyengar Yoga is a tradition of yoga strongly focussed on alignment, and uses props and tools to make each pose more accessible. Classes tend to move at a slower pace, working slowly into the pose using the assistance of props such as blocks, straps, cushions and the helping hand of  a teacher. This style of yoga is all about making each pose accessible to you – not trying to bend you into a certain shape.

  • Hatha Yoga is the classical foundation of yoga, based on a series of asana (poses) that focus on the breath, awareness, and moving mindfully. There are many different levels of hatha yoga, and teachers will often run 6-8 week beginners courses, moving through the practices mindfully and offering adjustments and assistance to students. This can be a great option for bodies with a lot of tightness – you don’t have to move too quickly, in fact, its better to slow down and observe the sensations.

  • Yin/ Restorative Yoga is a powerful, deeply restful style of yoga where you navigate into the pose, using bolsters, cushions, blocks and straps to find your way in, and then hold the pose for anywhere from 3-10 minutes, slowly transitioning to the next. The idea is to completely surrender into each pose, taking strain off the muscles and accessing deep physical and emotional tissue to release tightness in the body and the mind. This is a wonderful option for stiff bodies, allowing time to go deeply into a pose without placing strain on the joints or overexerting  the heart.

Swimming/ Water Aerobics

Swimming is a great low-impact option for exercise – good for improving and maintaining cardiovascular fitness without putting strain on the joints. Start slow with a few laps, and work your way up. Another good option is group exercise water fitness, such as water aerobics or aqua jogging, which involves wearing an flotation belt and walking up and down the pool, much like walking outside, but low impact, and wonderful for toning the legs and abdomen. It can also help to improve balance and prevent falls. Check with your local pool about swimming times and groups exercise schedules.

Dance/ Aerobics

Get the heart rate up, laugh at yourself and your friends, and develop a greater sense of bodily awareness and confidence in movement. An excellent cardio workout to maintain heart health, strengthening and toning for the body, and an inevitable mood lifter – try a zumba class at your local community centre. Dance and aerobics develops rhythm, and core strength which helps to maintain balance.

Boules

Throwing  or rolling big balls to hit little balls. Boules is  a wide category, including games such as lawn bowling and petanque. Beyond the concentration, skill and tactics required, boules forces all the muscles to work against resistance in order to ensure the balance and stability of the lower body. And despite a laid-back rhythm, and the preconceived idea that boules is only for the over-60s, you can burn up to 180 calories in an hour, making it a solid workout. A fun, social game, with a little heat of competition to keep you on your toes.

Bridge

A mentally challenging game involving memory, visualisation and concentration, which is discovered to be effective in preventing the onset of mental disorders such  as depression and Alzheimer’s. Much like the satisfaction of completing a cryptic crossword, bridge provides an intellectual challenge and problem-solving satisfaction, leaving the player on a mental high with a sense of achievement. Even better if it is repeated regularly on a weekly basis, providing social and intellectual stimulation.

Volunteering

Get out of the house and into the community. Volunteering is a good way to get involved in a project or cause close to your heart, develop your sense of purpose and self worth, and meet new people. Helping at an animal shelter, organising community events, or helping people in need, are just a selection of volunteer projects. Think about something you feel passionately about, and get involved in something you can call your “passion project”.

This is just a selection of ideas – check with your local community organisers and fitness centres and see what they have to offer. If all else fails, taking a regular walk in the fresh air and taking on the challenge of a crossword or sudoku in the daily newspaper  is a simple and effective way to stimulate your mental and physical body.

Beginning a Meditation Practice

Mindfulness

Meditation is another practice recently added to our never-ending list of things that we could do to improve our lives and our wellbeing, and is quite possibly the easiest, most simple of them all, but in many ways it is also the most challenging.

You would think that we would be able to find the time and the inclination to sit for as little as a couple of minutes a day and just do nothing. In fact, you would think it would be a welcome relief from the chores of everyday life.

Unfortunately over the course of our lives we have been conditioned to constantly be moving, occupying, thinking, planning, analysing, assessing, stressing and all the other “doing” words that imply the opposite of meditation, which is simply “being”.

So how do we get back to that space of “being”? That place of just settling into stillness and observation without reaction, without feeling the need to run away from our thoughts and into the welcoming arms of distraction?

Below are a selection of tips and tricks to ease yourself slowly into a regular meditation practice. Nothing too intimidating, starting small and easing yourself into a daily habit that can make you feel more peaceful and focussed, more comfortable with discomfort, more aware and more appreciative of the little things in every day life. Meditation helps you to understand yourself from the inside out; why you react to certain things in a certain way, how you make decisions, why you are the way you are. It also gives you a greater awareness of, and control over, your thoughts, and the ability to choose whether to listen to them or not.

It’s worth a try.

Start small.  Start with 2-5 minutes of just sitting in a relatively quiet, calm place with few distractions.

  • Focus on your breath. Breathe in and out through your nose, which activates your parasympathetic nervous system, activating your rest and digest hormones, which tells your body that it is safe, and it’s okay to relax. Focus on the rise and fall of your stomach, or the tickle of the air as it enters and leaves your nose.

  • Get comfortable. The first barrier for most meditation practitioners is finding comfort in the physical body. You want to set your body up then forget about it, and get to the real work in your mind, but it takes a lot of trial and error to get to that point. Find what works for you. And remember that we have spent our lives sitting in chairs, not sitting on the floor, and it will take time to build a new habit for your body. Be kind to yourself whilst finding this stable seated position. Try not to lie down, because our body tends to associate lying with sleeping. You want to relax, but not too much.. You can try sitting cross legged, propping your sit-bones onto a firm cushion to give your hips more space to breathe. You ideally want your hips higher than your knees, otherwise you’ll know about it after about 5 minutes of sitting. If cross-legged isn’t comfortable or accessible for you (which for many it isn’t), try kneeling. You can again place a cushion (or three) under your bottom, between your legs, or a folded blanket under the knees or under the ankles. If this is no good, move to a chair and simply sit calmly. Try to have your feet in contact with the ground. The most important thing in your seated position is that your spine remains upright, so that the energy in your body can move efficiently up to your head.

  • Try yoga to get into the meditative headspace.  A gentle restorative practice can slow you down at the end of the day and get you more in touch with your internal atmosphere. A vigorous vinyasa flow can make you forget the stresses of the day, release some feel-good endorphins and approach a short meditation at the end of the practice with inner calm and clarity. Yoga will also help to warm up your body in preparation for meditation, and traditionally the two go hand in hand, for very good reason.

  • Do it anywhere. Planes, trains, cars, the daily commute, in the ad break, as you walk to work. Meditation doesn’t have to always be a stationary practice. Try to bring a mindful attentiveness to little actions in your day, and instead of filling up each idle moment in your day with technology or distraction, try just noticing what is, and taking a moment to check in with yourself.

  • Body scan. Starting from the soles of your feet, work your way up your body, each little part, drawing awareness to the sensations of comfort, discomfort, warmth, coolness, tingling, contact with the earth or another part of your body, noticing how everything within you is intrinsically connected.

  • Guided meditations. There are a number of apps and guided meditation programs that help with establishing a regular practice. The Chopra Centre regularly offer free 3 week programs, and the Headspace App is an easy to use, practical approach to meditation.

  • Be kind. Go easy on yourself. Don’t expect fireworks and floating in the clouds. Go into each practice with no expectation, start small, and build it up slowly. Observe without judgement the patterns in your mind, gently inquire into yourself, then let it all float away, coming back to your breath, every time. At the end of your practice, smile and be grateful for this little space in your day to check in with yourself.

3D Screen Printing For Disability

Bespoke 3d prosthetic

Bespoke 3D Prosthetic

Nowadays, anyone can pick up a plastic 3D printer for a couple of hundred pounds and start printing their own limbs. To a certain extent.

Amazing technological advances are allowing scientists to take a 3D scan of an amputee’s arm, 3D print a custom fitted socket for the defective limb overnight, and create a bio-electrically controlled limb with sensors on its muscles which can pick up signals from the brain, so that the hand moves in response to those signals.

Scientists are able to mirror the side that exists and undergo “virtual planning” on the computer, whereby they take data from the functional side and reflect it onto the other side. This process will make prosthetic surgery much more efficient time-wise, with less risk involved and improved outcome.

There are also new materials on the prosthetics scene which complement the 3D printing technology and allow for better integration into the body, such as a honeycomb structure which allows bone to grow and merge with 3D printed scaffolding. In the future, developers hope to print and grow complete organs for our bodies, and print using human stem cells, which are the building blocks for any other cell in our body. Currently, they are able to print basic living structures such as liver cells, and this is significant in regards to drug testing, meaning they can test on 3D printed cells rather than on animals or humans.

GO-6 Layer 3D Printing Wheelchair

GO-6 Layer 3D Printing Wheelchair

There are a number of strategic industrial design agencies forging the way in intelligent technological research, improving the quality of life for people with disabilities and amputations. One of these agencies is LayerLAB and their inaugural project “GO”, a made to measure 3D printed consumer wheelchair that has been designed to fit the individual needs of a wide range of disabilities and lifestyles. The custom form of the seat and foot-bay is driven by 3D digital data derived from mapping each user’s biometric information. The resulting wheelchair accurately fits the individual’s body shape, weight and disability to reduce injury and increase comfort, flexibility, and support. The accompanying GO app allows users to participate in the design process by specifying their preferences of colour, elements and patterns.

This is a wonderful example of how we can use 3D printing to offer customisation to the individual customer, and a personalisation of products which allows the wheelchair users to have a greater sense of control around their situation, feeling that the wheelchair is made for them, rather than them having to mould to fit the wheelchair.

 

3d printed wheelchair gloves

Go Gloves Materialise 2016

From this project and the research and interviewing process around it, LayerLAB discovered that a great mental and physical stress for wheelchair users was the strain and effort involved in self-propelling. They developed the GO glove alongside the GO wheelchair, where the glove grips more efficiently to the wheelchair push rims. The user can lock into the push rims and get a greater power-to-push ratio, taking some of the strain of their arm, neck and shoulder muscles, and reducing the exhaustion and injury induced by self-propelling, which so many wheelchair users suffer from.

 

Philip the duck 3d printing

Philip the duck with his 3D printed feet

The story of Phillip the duck is another example of the far-reaching potential of 3D printing technology. Phillip lost his feet from frostbite, and was rescued by a teacher in Wisconsin, who was considering having him put down, due to his immobility. A local teacher had recently purchased a 3D printer and, with the help of his students, was able to design Phillip some new prosthetic legs from flexible plastic. The simple design allows the remnants of Phillip’s legs to slot in the top of the prosthetic legs, with flat artificial webbed feet underneath providing stability.

Now Phillip the duck is able to walk again, not quite as nimble as before, but a pretty incredible feat..

Thai Massage for the Elderly

img_geriatric_massage

 

Having recently completed a very energetic Thai Yoga Massage Certification, I find myself with the conviction that giving Thai Massage must be a young person’s game. It’s energetic, agile and requires a certain amount of flexibility. Receiving massage, however, is a pleasure that doesn’t expire no matter how advanced your years are. I personally can’t wait until I’m old enough to be solely on the receiving end of the massage train.

Depending on your physical abilities, limitations and your reasons for getting a massage, a good masseuse can tailor a sequence to your needs, so that you leave feeling refreshed, lightly pummelled and fully relaxed every time.

There are many different styles of massage that can be good for the elderly, and it’s good to do a little research before you spend the money, so you know what style is going to be most beneficial. Today we talk about Thai Massage, what to expect, and how this particular style can be particularly good for health and vitality.

Massage for elderly

What should I expect from a Thai Massage?

Thai Massage is generally a more vigorous style of massage, often likened to “passive yoga”, in that a lot of the movements replicate yoga asana (postures). The massage is done fully clothed, and can last anywhere from one hour to two and a half hours, depending on whether you want the full works, or a shorter session. The receiver simply needs to relax entirely, and the masseuse does all the work (even when the receiver is much larger than the masseuse!). It’s best to choose a masseuse with therapeutic qualifications – a certificate in Thai Massage doesn’t guarantee their knowledge of the therapeutic application of massage techniques, and you want to make sure you’re in safe hands, particularly if you have any physical conditions.

A good masseuse should ask you if you have any physical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, any injuries or chronic pain. They should then be able to adapt the massage sequence to keep the massage safe, comfortable and hopefully help with some of the issues you are dealing with.

A full body thai massage means just that – every area of your body is massaged. The masseuse will work through a sequence following the pattern of stretching out the muscle, kneading or palming the energy lines, pressing (lightly or firmly) on certain points along the energy lines to temporarily stem the blood flow, then allow it to rush back in with more strength and vitality.

The massage will usually start from the feet and work up to the head, as Thailand is a primarily Buddhist country, and in Buddhist tradition, the feet are the lowest part of the body and therefore the most unclean. It is considered rude in Buddhist tradition to point your feet towards the Buddha.

The masseuse works the energy lines on the legs, massages both legs individually then both together in two leg stretches (inversions, or going upside down, should be avoided in the case of heart disease or high blood pressure), then moves on to the stomach, chest and arms. Next is the side position, stretching the side energy lines of the legs and the arms, and for anyone with sciatica, they might spend extra time working on the gluteus and IT band, all the way from the bottom to the outer calf.

The stomach can be an incredibly sensitive and personal area to have massaged, and requires a certain amount of trust between masseuse and receiver. If the receiver has any issues with slow digestion a clockwise stomach massage with gentle circular motions can help to stimulate bowel movements and digestive fire. If digestion is relatively normal, the massage can be performed counter-clockwise with pressure applied onto certain points of the stomach. Any kind of stomach massage helps the internal and digestive organs to work more efficiently, and can help to relieve stomach pain, gas, indigestion and bloating.

From here, the masseuse will move the receiver onto their stomach in a prone position and work the back of the body, before moving into a sitting position to work the shoulders, neck and head. Then, the masseuse will lie the receiver down, go to wash their hands (to cleanse from touching the feet and body) before massaging the face, to complete the massage.

Why is it considered beneficial for the elderly?

As we age, we experience a decrease in mobility, joint flexibility and suppleness, and range of motion that we perhaps had in younger years, which can create joint pain, aches, stiffness and the weakening of muscles. Through therapeutic Thai massage specifically for older patients, we can alleviate discomfort and facilitate pain relief, relaxation and an overall feeling of well-being. The healing power of a compassionate touch is incredibly valuable, and has the ability to help us feel more connected with others and with our own bodies. This can be something more difficult to find in ageing years, as we find ourselves increasingly out of touch with our physical bodies and feel that they are separate from our minds, where we are convinced we are still 25 years old. Massage induces a feeling of well-being and a boost of endorphins, minimising the likeliness of depression and creating a more optimistic outlook on life.

Do I have to lie down to receive a Thai Massage?

Generally, Thai Massage is performed on a thin, supportive mattress on the ground, or alternatively on a massage table. However, a good masseuse should be able to adapt to the receiver’s physical requirements. Massage can be given in the comfort of your home, long-term care facility, or hospital. Depending on the condition, the person receiving the massage can be in bed, seated upright in a chair or wheelchair, or lay on a floor mat.

For clients who are bed-bound, the practitioner will administer massage right on the bed. More focus will be spent on the hands, arms, legs and feet. This will also enhance relaxation, body in-home or on-location services so the patient doesn’t need to leave their home.

An overview of the benefits:

  • helps restore balance, emotional clarity, and promote relaxation and healing
  • helps to relieve joint and muscle pain and stiffness; and improves mobility
  • improves skin condition through better circulation and relieves itchiness
  • calms the mind and body, and promotes a more restful sleep
  • relieves old age depression, stress, anxiety and the feeling of physical isolation
  • helps maintain some muscle tone and flexibility, preventing muscle atrophy
  • releases endorphins which act as a natural painkiller in the bloodstream
  • offers human contact and a compassionate and healing touch
  • helps to relieve other ailments such as arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, osteoporosis, and respiratory problems such as asthma and emphysema

To ensure that therapeutic massage can be received, it is important that the client consults a medical professional to gain approval. In some cases, Thai Massage is not recommended for the elderly in certain conditions.

Overall, Thai Massage can be incredibly beneficial for increasing vitality in the elderly, and can be a powerful treatment alongside medication and lifestyle changes for managing physical conditions, chronic pain, and creating an optimistic outlook of the years to come.

designed2enable specialise in stylish daily living products for the elderly and those needing a little extra help in life click HERE for more information

 

Author: Rosie Moreton

 

 

How To Put On Your Top & Derby Compression Socks

Medical socks for tired legs

Top & Derby Compression Socks

By the pure nature of the tight fit, compression socks can be tricky to put on but there is an easy and straight forward technique to make this process easy.

Start by putting your hand inside the sock and finding the heel pocket. Once you have found the heel, grab the material and slowly pull the sock inside-out, keeping hold of the heel material the whole time. The foot of the sock should now be on the inside of the sock and you are ready to put it on.

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Top & Derby Compression Socks

Whilst in a seated position, rest your foot on the edge of the seat and put your foot inside the compression sock. Start to feed the inside-out compression sock over your foot until you reach the end of the foot  and your heel is in the heel pocket.

Go to the top cuff of the sock and slowly stretch it apart and pull it over the foot and pull it up over the leg until the sock is in place and the cuff is just below the knee. Then go back and smooth out any wrinkles.  Adjust the heel if necessary and you are ready to go!

Wearing compression socks can help improve circulation and reduce swelling of the ankles and feet due to health conditions like diabetes, paralysis, peripheral edema etc. Foot, leg and ankle swelling can also be caused by certain medication, pregnancy, air travel, obesity and sometimes it can just be from being on your feet all day, particularly in warm weather.  While swelling in the lower extremities usually isn’t cause for concern, it can sometimes be a sign of something more serious, in which case you should talk to your doctor.

The demonstration video is also available to watch here:

More information on Top & Derby compression socks can be found on our website designed2enable.co.uk 

Product News: Treat-Eezi Pressure Sore Mattress Topper

 

Treat-Eezi Pressure Sore Mattress Overlay

Treat-Eezi Pressure Sore Mattress Overlay

Pressure ulcers or bed sores are an injury that breaks down the skin and underlying tissue. They are caused when an area of skin is placed under pressure and the circulation to that area is restricted.

People over the age of 70, are more likely to develop a pressure sore as they have restricted mobility and ageing skin. Those with type 2 diabetes, spinal injury and other health conditions are particularly vulnerable to pressure sores. Pressure ulcers can range in severity from patches of discoloured skin to open wounds that expose the underlying bone or muscle. Once they have developed, pressure sores are incredibly hard to treat and repair can take months.

Pressure ulcer mattress

Pressure ulcer mattress

Prevention of pressure sores is therefore the best approach and the new Treat-Eezi Mattress has been designed to be compact, portable and comfortable. Treat-Eezi is deceptively soft but provides the correct cushioning and pressure relieving support. The breathable fabric technology regulates the body’s temperature and wicks away moisture, reducing the problems of friction and chaffing caused by sweating.

The thousands of polyester fibres in the multiple layers of the Treat-Eezi pad combine to conform to the natural body contours in both supine and seated positions thereby offering pressure relief well below that of normal capillary blood flow hence skin breakdown and shearing, plus friction are simply diminished.

Treat-Eezi also doubles as a chair pad for additional protection whilst seated. We recommend that pad is folded and always used on a foam based chair.

Further information on Treat-Eezi Pressure Sore Mattress Topper can be found HERE