Avoid Cyberchondria | Rated Health Websites

At its best the internet can save lives by facilitating prompt diagnosis and treatment, but at its worst it can ruin them by misdirecting people to the wrong type of care, or worrying them to death by inducing “cyberchondria”.

The unfounded escalation of concerns about common syptoms based on review of search results online.

To get around this many doctors discourage the use of search engines such as Google and direct their patients to specific sites that can be trusted.

cyberchondriacs

Searching for health information has ranked as one of the most common reasons for surfing the internet since the earliest days of the worldwide web and it is a trend that shows no sign of abating. The UK’s most popular health website — NHS Choices — has had more than a billion hits since it was launched in 2007, and surveys suggest around a third of us are now “online diagnosers”, using the web to try to work out what is wrong with our own health, or that of someone we know.

The internet, though, is a double-edged sword. On the one hand it provides access in seconds to the sort of information that even doctors would have struggled to find just a decade or so ago. On the other, it is also a fertile breeding ground for quacks, charlatans and conspiracy theorists, and it can be surprisingly difficult to tell who is who in the murky ether.


nhs.uk
The NHS Choices website is vast but if you want the facts on the latest “breakthrough” then head straight for the Behind the Headlines section (nhs.uk/news) where the team takes a critical look at the health stories making the news.
www.jbs3risk.com
One in three of us will be killed by a heart attack or stroke and this site is dedicated to predicting when that is likely to be. Download the free Heart Risk app at JBS3 — it uses your data (such as blood pressure, height, weight and family history) to work out your odds of having a stroke or heart attack over the next decade. And how long you are likely to live until you run into trouble (it guesstimates that I will be 78 before I have my first stroke or heart attack).
cancerresearchuk.org
Cancer is another of the big killers and one of the first things my patients do when they have been given bad news is go online to learn more about their disease, their odds of beating it, and to ensure that they are being offered the best treatment. And there is no better place to do this than at Cancer Research UK. I particularly like their find-a-trial service at cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/trials/ which directs you to leading research into new therapies for different cancers.

healthtalk.org
This website is based on the principle that a problem shared is a problem halved. If you, or someone you care for, has recently been diagnosed with anything from mental health problems to cancers of the breast or testicle and you want to hear the first-hand experiences of others then give this excellent site a try.

5 patient.co.uk
NHS Choices may be the most popular destination for UK health surfers but for good basic information on medical conditions and treatments I prefer this site. And, if you want to see what your doctor should know about your condition, then check out the professional reference part of the website. Men may prefer the blokeish approach of the Men’s Health Forum at malehealth.co.uk.
drugs.com
This is the biggest medicines information website in the world with 22 million visitors every month. It is aimed at the American market, and some of the brand names are different, but it is the most comprehensive website of its type. It even has a pill identification wizard that can tell you what something is, based on its colour, shape and imprinted numbers or letters. The closest UK equivalent is emc.medicines.org.uk.
 talktofrank.com
While on the subject of drugs, if you would like more information about illegal drugs, including what to do if you are a parent and concerned about broaching the subject with your children, this is where to come.
margaretmccartney.com
Blogging is all the rage these days and there are some fantastic medical blogs out there. Glasgow GP and occasional Timescontributor Dr Margaret McCartney is one of the most respected UK bloggers and her musings give a refreshing insight into what doctors really think about health issues at the top of the NHS and political agenda. It will restore your faith in the profession.

Between them all these sites should cater to the needs of most people surfing the net for health information but I am always on the lookout for new ones to recommend, so please share your experiences — good or bad. Particularly if you have tried one of the burgeoning number of online consultation services where you pay to email or Skype a doctor.

Physiotherapy in Sport

Physiotherapy is one of the most common procedures undertaken by sports men and women who are looking to return to full fitness or recover from debilitating injuries. Without physiotherapists, athletes would not return to their sports after injury for a considerable amount of time, as physiotherapists look to speed up recovery rate and encourage the body to return to its usual healthy state.

People who exercise on a regular basis are likely to experience some kind of injury in the future, whether it’s a serious medical issue such as a pulled muscle, damaged ligaments or broken bones, or an injury as futile as a sore toe. However, some injuries can have a much more serious affect on an athlete’s future in their particular sport, despite the fact that it might not seem as serious as some other associated injuries.

physiotherapy

For example, goalkeepers in football require their hands, wrists and arms to be in good shape in order to complete a ninety-minute football match. Should they merely damage this particular area of the body in any way, they could be out for over a month. However, outfield players are often bandaged up and allowed to continue on the same day of a hand injury.

Physiotherapists are regularly called upon so that athletes can reach a stage where the recovery process incorporates their training programme, providing them with the opportunity to improve themselves throughout their recovery phase. Here are some of the ways physiotherapy is customised to suit a specific sport:

Tennis

Tennis players require the use of a variety of different muscles throughout their body in order to take part in the sport, whilst they also rely heavily on their speed, power and agility. Some of the most important areas of the body for any tennis player are the arm, elbow and shoulder joints, as this is where the most physical power has to be concentrated.

One of the most common injuries associated with the sport is tennis elbow, which can also come about as a result of bending the elbow repeatedly in other activities such as gardening, painting or playing the violin. Tennis elbow causes the tendons in the forearm to strain and unfortunately, tendons take quite some time to heal.

Physiotherapists will often look to address the cause of the injury and recommend that no further tennis or other racquet sports be played in the near future. They will then carry out a few manual therapy techniques, including massages to reduce stiffness and relieve some of the pain. They may also provide you with a brace should the pain be too severe upon movement.

Rugby

Physiotherapy for rugby players is essential, especially as the sport involves contact and aggression. Whilst many sports, including tennis, will have physio’s standing by to provide treatment during a match, rugby is a sport that requires physio’s to be on their toes at all times. However, this is still one of the least important jobs that a physio will have.

As is the case with any sport, physiotherapists in rugby are needed mostly to help prevent injury. Due to the fact that it can be quite difficult to identify the reasons behind an injury in the middle of a scrum, physiotherapists in rugby often have to ask the players exactly what happened and where the pain is emanating from.

As physios are required to be available during a game of Rugby, their job is hugely substantial. Once a game is over they will have to assess players who report injuries and carry out physiotherapy techniques to ensure the injury isn’t aggravated. What’s more, injuries are commonplace in the sport, meaning physios are often in high demand.

Football

Football is famous for bringing many previously unknown and complicated injuries to light. Both David Beckham and Wayne Rooney have famously damaged tendons in their foot, whilst muscle ruptures and ligament damage are regularly referred to in modern media.

Physiotherapy in football is similar to that of rugby, in that injuries are commonplace and often have to be treated instantaneously. The difference is that rugby is far more aggressive, meaning serious injuries are often less prepared for. Unlike in rugby, physios can only assess a player’s fitness once the referee decides to stop play.

Injuries in football are very common and can occur throughout the body. In most cases, muscles are overused and strained or pulled in the legs, with the hamstring, calf and quadriceps being most affected. To combat the recurrence of lower body injuries in football, physios will often focus on leg strengthening exercises; exercises that help to relax the muscles and strengthen bones and joints.

Golf

Golf is an immensely popular game with amateurs, which has resulted in many people with different fitness levels visiting physiotherapists in the hope of perfecting their swing, as well as dealing with associated muscle injuries.

Golf is a sport that requires a strong, well-drilled upper body movement in order to play professionally, so many physiotherapists look to encourage strength training in the arms, shoulders and back. However, amateurs are often affected over time by poor swing consistency, resulting in various injuries throughout their playing time.

Physiotherapists often apply muscle strengthening techniques when dealing with golfing injuries, which can range from a simple muscle sprain to back problems and spinal injuries. Once the muscles have fully recovered, a physio might introduce an alternative swing method to practice which negates the likelihood of future injuries.

Having suffered a couple sports related injuries, Mike James has personal experience of physiotherapy and writes for The Therapy Centre, a multi-practice therapy centre based in mid-Sussex and offering varied treatments and exercise programmes.

How To Keep Track Of Your Fitness

It’s important to make sure you’re tracking your progress when carrying out a fitness programme as you need to make sure you’re on the right track when it comes to achieving your fitness goals. Sounds easy enough, although there are plenty of ways you can improve you’re tracking methods to really enhance your understanding of your fitness progression. Whether you’re relying on the latest gadgets to keep you informed of your exercise strategies or a few useful fitness tools online instead, here are some of the ways you can effectively track your fitness regime.

Pinching

It’s got nothing to do with technology whatsoever and it’s probably one of the older methods of checking how your fitness regime is turning out. Pinching yourself can be a really helpful way of measuring your excess body fat. Professionals carry out similar body checks when working with their patients, so it can give you a simple and accurate assumption of how your regime is going. The best area of the body to pinch is the arms or waist as both these areas will see a gradual and consistent reduction in body fat over time.

Pinching

Heart Rate

 When you first start exercising after a long time away from any consistent physical exercise, you might notice that your heart rate is part is much faster than that of an experienced athlete. A good way to check your progression is to monitor your heart rate every week. A resting heart rate that is getting slower over time is good sign of a working fitness regime. The heart doesn’t have to work as hard during exercise if the resting heart rate is low.

Strength & Flexibility

 During exercise our muscles work harder than usual, so much so that they have to recover after an intense workout. The recovery period is essential if you want your muscles to repair themselves and come back even stronger. If your exercise regime is working, you might notice that you can carry out more demanding exercises as a result of a greater strength and flexibility. For example, touching the floor with both hands flat on the surface whilst keeping your legs straight is a tough task, but it might be easier for someone who has managed to improve their hip flexibility.

Pictures

Whilst the scales can deceive, pictures certainly can’t. If you’re about to embark on a new fitness programme that lasts for a certain amount of time, you might want to take pictures of yourself every few weeks to see how you are progressing with regards to body shape. However, it’s important not to take them too frequently as you might not realise your change in body shape due to obsessing with the prospect of change.

BMI

I know I said scales can deceive but they’re actually an incredibly useful tool most of the time. Make sure you measure your weight at the same time after a meal to be as accurate as possible, before throwing your results online. A BMI calculator can tell you whether your weight is healthy for your age, height and gender.

Mike James has a regular fitness regime he endeavours to stick to all the time. Inevitably this sometimes lapses but his eagerness to maintain a certain level of fitness means that getting back on the healthy wagon is easy to do! He also regularly plays tennis at Wickwoods Country Club where there are indoor and outdoor courts.

Myths About Whey Protein Supplements Debunked

There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about the benefits and apparent drawbacks of using whey protein supplements as part of your workout plan – so much so that it’s reasonable for even the most seasoned of bodybuilders to feel unsure about the effectiveness of the supplements they’re using in their daily routine.

whey proteinImage source

In the interests of offering some reliable insight to our customers on this topic, we’ve done some research and officially debunked six of the popular myths surrounding whey protein use.

Whey protein powder makes you fat

Adding whey protein supplements into your diet has actually been proven to help you lose weight; a study published in a 2008 edition of the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism found that female bodybuilders taking a whey protein supplement lost more fat and maintained more lean muscle mass than those on a similar diet with no whey shakes.

http://proteinpowder.com.au/images/articles/man_measuring_tape.jpg

Image source

Whey contains the BCAA (branched-chain amino acid) lucine, which, according toMcKinley Health Center, actually makes whey protein comparable with soy, milk and egg protein for its fat loss-promoting properties.

For general improvements in body composition and fat loss, McKinley Health Center suggests consuming 20-25 grams of whey protein per day is ideal.

Whey protein supplements weaken the immune system

According to a report published in theJournal of Sports Science and Medicine, whey protein actually contains antioxidant properties that help to boost your immune system, especially when combined with creatine.

The high concentrate of the amino acid cysteine found in whey protein can help to boost levels of the bacteria- and virus-battling antioxidant glutathione, thus helping to make your immune system stronger rather than weaker.

Whey protein improves muscle mass even without training

http://diyhealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/weight_lifting_image_title_njevd.jpg

Image source

It is a misconception that taking more supplements means you don’t have to put in as many hours in the gym to get the results you want.

Supplements will help to bolster your training efforts, and can even improve your health overall – but it is important to remember that these substances are not quick fix, magic solutions that will yield overnight results.

Whey protein supplements are bad for the thyroid

This myth most likely started based on the assumption that a high soy protein intake can lead to thyroid problems, or exacerbate existing thyroid-related conditions.

On the contrary, however, whey protein has actually been found to possibly be the best choice of protein for people with thyroid cancer.

The A.P. John Institute for Cancer Researchrecommends a food program for thyroid cancer patients that encourages a high whey protein intake, so that patients’ daily requirements of amino acids can be met more easily.

Whey protein powders don’t taste good

Many people are put off whey protein supplements – especially powder shakes – because they assume they will have an artificial or unpleasant taste, or will only be available in the standard Strawberry, Chocolate and Banana options. Cheap, low-quality protein powders also tend to not mix very well, which further contributes to a poor taste.

However, advancements in the supplements industry have resulted in many more diverse flavours becoming available, and a much more palatable consistency for protein shakes.

Whey protein supplements should be taken immediately after exercise

Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t actually an optimum time of day to consume whey protein. It is commonly believed that protein shakes are best drank immediately after an intensive workout; however, research suggests that “when” isn’t nearly as important as “how much” when it comes to whey protein consumption.

A study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition compared two groups of female weight lifters: one group consumed 42 grams of protein powder immediately before and after training, and the second took the supplements at times more distant from their lifting sessions.

After 10 weeks, no tangible differences were found in the strength or body composition between the two groups, suggesting that you can have your protein shakes whenever you want – and that perhaps quantity is more of a factor.

Have you come across any other questionable information about whey protein supplements that you aren’t sure are fact or fiction? Get in touch with the team at Optimus Protein and we’ll do our best to set the record straight.

 

 

Back To Basics

These days barely an hour, let alone a day, goes by without a new headline appearing warning us of the perils of some aspect of our modern lives. You could be forgiven for thinking that we will all shortly expire and the very future of humankind is on the brink of extinction. Whilst I don’t believe that the health implications of wearing body shaping underwear or the toxins in children’s clothing are going to lead to the apocalypse in the next few days, there are some important messages here that cannot be overlooked.

modern_life_work_home_play_sleep

Modern Innovations

It would certainly seem that the introduction of any modern innovation to make our lives easier or more appealing will be inevitably followed by a health scare. New materials are branded carcinogenic, synthetic textiles are toxic and our lingerie can give us a deep vein thrombosis. Throw in processed food and sedentary lifestyles and it is a miracle that there are any of us left. Life expectancy should have fallen through the floor but of course it hasn’t and we are all living longer. As we constantly invent new ways to kill ourselves the medical profession are finding better methods to save us.

Diet and Exercise

I am not overly anxious about my lingerie constricting my blood flow or my t shirt leaching toxins into my body but I am concerned about the bigger picture here. Nature doesn’t cope well with being tampered with and it might be time to consider going back to basics. There is little doubt that an unhealthy diet and a lack of exercise is affecting our well-being and so we are going to need to spend more time in the kitchen creating food from scratch and also a few hours exercising our bodies.

Killing Desire

Interestingly taking these simple steps towards a healthier life will ultimately lead to ridding ourselves of the necessity and the desire for the other things that are killing us. If you exercise and get in shape you won’t need those body shaping pants and if we all take to our road bikes for exercise, there won’t be so many cars on the streets polluting the atmosphere. Exercise gives us a natural high which should keep us away from the need to do drink and drugs to feel better. We will all be so busy that we won’t get addicted to mobile phones, Facebook and our gadgets because we will be far too busy to look at them.

Giving Ourselves Time

The modern world has brought with it every innovation that we need to do our work for us saving us an incredible amount of time and effort but sadly the lack of effort and the use of that new found time to sit in front of a screen is doing us no good at all. The valuable time that we have created for ourselves with the invention of washing machines, vacuum cleaners, motor vehicles and computers needs to be spent preparing food and getting active because otherwise our time will literally run out.

Sally Stacey is a keen writer and business owner who divides her time between writing and running her shop.

Old Ones Are The Best

Getting older doesn’t mean that you have to be down in the dumps.

Ok, so maybe you don’t look forward to those birthdays quite as much anymore and your idea of a birthday treat may no longer involve painting the town red but involve a more sedate family meal.

old-age-sayingImage: Buzzle. More at http://www.buzzle.com/articles/funny-sayings-about-old-age.html

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a laugh or two at the expense of Old Father Time.

From jokes about losing your hair to amusing quotes on using stairlifts, if you want to lighten the atmosphere at the next birthday bash, then here is our selection of 14 cracking jokes about getting older, starting with some wise words and funny quotes.

Funny Age Quotes

On the topic of getting old you can always rely on Mark Twain to have a quote:

1. “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Mark Twain.

Finding stairs a challenge? Well you’re not the only one:

2. “Two things are bad for the heart – running up stairs and running down people.” Bernard Baruch

As for what happens when you fall down the stairs, well apparently that’s the stuff of comedy:

3. “If you want to make an audience laugh, you dress a man up like an old lady and push her down the stairs. If you want to make comedy writers laugh, you push an actual old lady down the stairs.” Tina Fey

Stairs are quite a menace it seems, particularly when it comes to keeping one foot in the past:

4. “Never look backwards or you’ll fall down the stairs.” Rudyard Kipling.

5. And the last word is given to Rohan Candappa who states: “One of the benefits of getting older is that for some obscure reason there lingers around the peripheries of most societies the quasi-folkloric idea that the old can be very wise. Frankly, this is too good an opportunity to miss. That’s because it provides you with a licence to talk cobblers dressed up in profundity.”

Age Related Jokes

From wise words to jolly jokes now with a few puns to keep you chuckling away no matter how old you happen to be.

6. “I bought a new locket to keep a keep a lock of my husband’s hair in as a memento.” “But your husband is still alive!” “Yes I know, but his hair is gone.”

7. The good thing about being senile is that you can hide your own Easter eggs.

8. Just before the funeral service for her husband, the undertaker approached the widow and asked:

“How old was your husband?” She replied… “98, two years older than me”. “So you must be 96?” He replied. “Yes.” The widow responded. “Hardly worth going home is it?”

9. A 97 year old man walks into the doctor’s surgery and says;

“Doctor, I need my sex drive lowered.” “Sir,” the doctor replied, “at 97 years old surely all your sex drive is in your head?” “You’re darned right,” replied the man. “that’s why I want it lowered.”

10. The Senility Prayer:

“Lord, grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do and the eyesight to tell the difference.”

11. You know you’re getting older when it takes you longer to get over having a good time than it took to have it!

12. I’m not saying she’s getting older, but when she lit the candles on her birthday cake, five people passed out from heat exhaustion.

13. An elderly man was driving on the motorway when his mobile phone began to ring. It was his wife warning him to be careful as the news was reporting on a car driving the wrong way down the motorway. “One car?” he replied… “there’s hundreds of them!”

14. A 104 year old woman was being interviewed by a journalist who asked her what the best thing was about being 104. She replied simply; “No peer pressure.”

This post was brought to you by Anne Richardson carer and lifestyle blogger

Choosing Where To Purchase Defibrillators

In the event of sudden cardiac arrest, automated external defibrillators (or AEDs) could save lives. However, most cases of cardiac arrest happen at home or in public places. As such, often the sufferers can’t be saved because devices aren’t readily available.

defibrillator sign

The solution is for businesses, government officials and homeowners to start keeping AED equipment nearby in every possible location. If you are considering purchasing a defibrillator for your home, organization or business, here are four criteria you should use for your purchase.

1) Make Sure Each Vendor is FDA Approved & Authorized.

First and foremost in terms of importance is being able to count on your AED if it is ever needed. The best way to know that you will be getting an efficient, high-quality machine is to shop only with dealers that are authorized. Also, make sure that the tools they are selling are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Better Business Bureau members with high ratings that also meet the above criteria are probably some of your safest bets.

2) Ensure There is a Range of Products to Choose From.

Periodically, there are articles in the media about certain brands or models of AEDs malfunctioning in a time of need. If this is something that concerns you, it is best to shop with web-based stores that offer a range of products.

Some top manufacturers of these devices include Medtronic, Philips, Cardiac Science, Zoll, HeartSine and others. You may also want to choose your item based on its features, portability and design. Ease of use can vary for each individual and each device, so it’s a good idea to shop around before choosing.

3) Look for Money Back Guarantees & More.

Especially when it comes to a lifesaving device such as this one, being sure that it functions effectively is absolutely necessary. After all, you may be spending more than a thousand dollars on most models. Many products can be tested or can do self-tests daily to ensure proper function.

However, if you receive your item and it does not work the way it should, you are entitled to a 100 percent refund. Make sure that you only shop with those retailers that will give you all of your money back (or exchange your item for another that works correctly, if you prefer that).

Free shipping and discounts for buying in bulk, which may be applicable if you’re ordering for a business or large organization, are also not to be overlooked. With the variety of different vendors you can choose from online, there is no reason to have to buy from those who don’t offer these customer service perks.

4) Shop Where You Can Purchase Accessories.

Finally, you should look for merchants that also offer the accessories you may need to go along with your AED. Some things that you may require down the line include batteries, pads, wall cabinets, oxygen, signage and more.

Some examples of retailers that carry defibrillators and/or accessories for the apparatuses include AED Brands and Amazon.com.

Justin is the owner and operator of a fitness center, where he has several AEDs available in case of sudden cardiac arrest among his patrons. He has only had to use one of these devices on rare occasions, but knows they have saved lives and are entirely worth having on hand. He hopes others are encouraged to check out online retailers and purchase AEDs for their homes or businesses.

A mouse in the house

It is very common to have mice living in a home and once in residence, mice can breed with happy abandon. The trouble is, although mice look a lot sweeter than rats, they are just as dangerous. Mice carry all kinds of nasty diseases and if you have mice running amok in your kitchen, you are putting the health of you and your family at risk. So what are the primary causes of a mice infestation?

mouse_peek

A Nice Warm Home

One of the reasons why mice choose to live indoors rather than in the shed is that a house full of humans is generally a lot warmer than a gloomy shed. Like humans, mice prefer to be warm and dry. If given the opportunity, mice will happily come indoors and make a nest inside your walls, in the roof space, under the floorboards, or even in the kitchen pantry.

Dark, Messy Corners

Mice like to nest in dark places where they won’t be disturbed. They will often nest out of sight under the floor boards or inside cavity walls, but if your house is messy and less than clean, don’t be surprised if you end up with a family of mice in residence. Mice like soft materials and newspapers. If there are piles of old newspapers or clothes lying around, an opportunistic mouse will soon take advantage and chew them up into a cosy bed for their mouse babies.

Food Lying Around

Leaving accessible food lying around is a primary cause of mice infestations. Mice are more than capable of chewing through paper packets and boxes, so if you have cupboards with holes in or you leave food on worktops or the floor, the local mice population will think all their Christmases have come at once. The best way to prevent mice from snacking on cereals and leftovers is to put waste food in the bin and store food securely in sealed plastic containers and rodent proof cupboards.

Access Holes

Mice can squeeze through the tiniest of gaps. They can find their way into homes through pipe inlets and gaps under the floorboards. Check windows and doors for gaps and if there are any, fill them up to deter pesky mice interlopers.

No Cats and Dogs

Cats and dogs are a useful deterrent in the war against rodents. Having a cat, dog or both living in your home may not prevent you from suffering a mice infestation, but mice are less likely to take up residence if you have pets in the house. Most cats love to chase mice and given the opportunity will catch and kill them. However, it does depend on where your mice are living. For example, if you have mice living inside your walls or beneath the floor boards, your cat might not be able to reach them: cats 0, mice 1.

If you notice mice droppings on the floor or in cupboards, particularly in the kitchen area, or you hear scratching noises late at night, you could have a mice infestation. If so, buy some mouse control devices

The author of this article, Brian Harris, is an intern at Innovative Care of the Environment Inc., a trusted firm providing mice extermination services in Toronto. Brian loves to travel with his family and blogs in his spare time.

How Art Can Treat Depression

Art Therapy has to be one of the most creative, expressive, and fun approaches to psychotherapy out there. Since its introduction into the professional world of psychoanalysis back in the 1940s, it has provided compelling examples of the measurable health benefits of artistic creativity and expression.

heart art

What is Art Therapy?

The discipline of Art Therapy combines aspects of visual art and creative expression with counselling and psychotherapy in an attempt to treat a range of mental health issues, from anxiety to depression. It can also be used to address emotional difficulties stemming from issues like substance abuse and addiction, abuse and domestic violence, or illness and disabilities to name but a few.

Who is Art Therapy For?

Although this form of therapy is a popular choice for treating child patients, it can be employed to tackle the emotional difficulties of any age group, from young children and adolescents to adults and the elderly. Thanks to the sociable and approachable nature of art therapy, it easily lends itself to group and family application, as well as for individuals.

What Are The Benefits of Art Therapy?

It’s not difficult to guess at some of the more obvious benefits of art therapy: it’s highly ubiquitous, accessible to anyone and everyone and has a low entry barrier, meaning anyone can do it.

What’s more, such uninhibited and comprehensive self-expression and exploration provide a vivid insight into a patient’s psyche. It allows patients to express thoughts, feelings and emotions, which they may have trouble expressing verbally or via any other means of communication.

As well as being extremely cathartic, the process can also provide highly effective distractions from physical pain, making it valuable as an alternative to many physical therapies, as well as psychological ones.

The Future of Art Therapy

Because this is such a popular form of therapy, the number of people training to become qualified art therapists is ever increasing, making art therapy easily accessible to more people. Not only is art therapy offered on the NHS, but if you dared to look around, I’m sure you’d find a number of private practices in and around your area, as well as government-funded charities and projects.

What’s more, because of the universal elements involved, you can practice art therapy at home alone and still benefit from creative arts as a means of therapeutic expression, without the help and guidance of an art therapist.

Increasing at an even faster rate than the number of people training in art therapy, is the number of people who have been helped by art therapy. Reports have shown that in addition to such mental and psychological issues as depression, anxiety and bipolar, art therapy has also aided in the recovery, both physical and mental, of children suffering from leukaemia and women suffering from breast cancer.

t’s clear that the benefits of this seemingly-simple form of therapy should not and cannot be overlooked, with more and more uses and advantages of art therapy appearing every day.

Have you ever tried art therapy? Please share your thoughts and experiences below.

Lianna Thomas-Forbes, is an avid lover of art, literature and all other things creative. She recommends art therapy as an aid to any emotional ailments, large or small.

Spas You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

From waiting in traffic to meeting deadlines at work, all these seemingly insignificant events soon pile up and take their toll on our physical and psychological wellbeing. This is why spa breaks have become so popular over the past few years, as they offer a fantastic opportunity to recover from the stress of daily life.

messy massage

If you are considering treating yourself to a well-deserved spa break, you are definitely in luck, as the history of spas in the UK goes back several centuries, and today there are many fine establishments to choose from, many of which take treatments from the very first of the country’s spas during the Roman times. Below you will find a selected list of the best and most luxurious UK spas that you probably have never heard of, even as a beauty aficionado.

Cornwall Hotel and Spa, St Austell

Whereas some cities have a particular reputation for hosting cutting-edge local health and beauty services, others go unnoticed. This is the case of St Austell, a small town located in the heart of Cornwall. Luckily for those who are in search of a secret spa escape, the local health and beauty services are of outstanding quality. The Cornwall is a 4-star venue and its spa enjoys the most stunning location overlooking the woodlands of central Cornwall. The spa’s menu offers signature ritual treatments, personalised massage therapy, and a range of treatments for men.

Lakeside Park Hotel and Spa, Wootton

A trip to the Isle of Wight is a great way to leave the stress behind. The owners of Lakeside Park Hotel are well aware of this and have created one of the finest spa sanctuaries in the south of England. From the floor-to-ceiling windows of the spa, you will be able to admire the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on which this venue has been built. The views are soothing enough in their own right, and are complemented by top of the range treatments such as a la carte eye treatments, warm lavender body wraps, Thai foot massage, and Turkish Delight salt exfoliation treatments.

Rowhill Grange, Wilmington

If you live in the capital you will be pleased to know that there is a splendid venue where you can relax and pamper yourself in the outskirts of Dartford. The spa at Rowhill Grange features magnificent interiors inspired by the ancient and famed Roman baths. The lavish decoration and soothing atmosphere are only just one part of the attraction, as the spa is staffed by top professionals that are experts at making you feel like a million dollars. The spa’s menu includes bespoke treatments, yoga and body blitz classes, holistic treatments, and body infusions.

Before booking your relaxing getaway, look out for deals online. By doing so, you could be able to get some money off the original price of your spa break, making your hard-earned savings count (and possibly go towards another treatment). Remember that you don’t need to break the bank in order to treat yourself to a luxurious spa experience!

Kat Jones is a beauty obsessive from London. She writes about luxury and travel for a digital marketing company.