Friday, 30 March 2018

Healthyline heated natural gemstone therapy mats

You should all know by now that I love anything even remotely related to a heat pad! It's one of the most comforting feelings when you have any type of chronic pain and I've found it a great relief for my endometriosis and fibromyalgia pain. The good thing about heat, is that you can use it alongside any regular medication or therapy without it affecting those things.

I was contacted by Healthyline to discuss not only their heat products, but also how they incorporate Far Infrared Rays (FIR), Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy, negative ions, photon light, hot stone and magnetic therapy in to them... And to offer you a cheeky 10% discount too!

Healthyline manufacture the world's largest selection of heated natural gemstone therapy mats. Starting out in 2013 in New York (USA), Healthyline began as a collaboration between doctors, inventors, lawyers and entrepreneurs and quickly became an industry leader. They now work closely alongside doctors, acupuncturists, reiki masters, professional spas, wellness centres, holistic practitioners and more.

In addition to mats, Healthyline also offer heated knee pads, shoulder pads, pillows and energy bedding. These products not only offer infra-red technology but also have the added benefits of negative ions and PEMF therapy. You can view Healthyline's full range of products here or their (.PDF) brochure here.

Healthyline's gemstone heat therapy mats are designed to facilitate proper functioning of the heat of a traditional heating pad and utilises gemstones to channel deep penetrating natural therapies that work together to provide one comprehensive experience, stimulating advanced natural healing of the body, leading to an increase in overall general well-being.

Without the incorporation of natural gemstones, you would not receive the benefits of FIR or negative ions. Healthyline make many different models that include different variations of stones. Some consist of one stone, some a combination of two and then some use three or more. The more stones included in your model, the greater the range of benefits.

:: Amethyst is a natural conductor of FIR and negative ions. It is known to have calming and stress-reducing effects that make it ideal for meditation and calming practices. Amethyst has been known to enhance the body's ability to help with sleeping troubles, undergo detoxification and boost cell regeneration.

:: Jade is made up of two components: jadeite and nephrite. Jade is a natural conductor of FIR and negative ions and is known to amplify the effects of other stones around it. It helps the body function more efficiently by restoring your energy and emits a low heat that is good for relaxation and meditation. Jade is often used as a treatment for kidney illnesses.

:: Tourmaline is said to be a magical stone that protects those who covet its powers. It is known to help detoxify tissue and body systems. It emits FIR and produces the highest amount of negative ions out of all the gemstones Healthyline use. Tourmaline helps to revitalise the mind and body, speed up your healing functions, and aid in the regeneration of bone tissue.

:: Obsidian doesn't produce FIR or negative ions but is a healing stone. The jet black colour of the stone is believed to draw all negativity to it, both physically and mentally, protecting the user from any harm. Obsidian is a very powerful support gemstone, amplifying the effects of other stones around it.

Healthyline combine several different therapies in each of their products:

FIR (Far Infrared Rays)
FIR are invisible waves of energy that have the ability to penetrate all layers of the human body; deep in to tissues, muscles and bone. FIR are on the opposite side of the spectrum to harmful ultraviolet rays.

The sun, our bodies and our hands are always emitting FIR. In the past, this discovery lead to healing methods like palm healing. This has evolved in to what is now known as Reiki, a form of healing that utilises the heat from the palms of the hands to assist in the body's natural healing process. Science has been able to focus the healing component of FIR and utilise these rays to improve our natural healing abilities.

:: control muscle and joint pain
:: detoxify your body
:: reduce pain and stiffness
:: relieve back pain symptoms
:: help chronic fatigue
:: improve quality of life and overall well-being
:: reduce blood pressure levels
:: treat some forms of cancer
:: lower side effects of diabetes
:: improve motor functions
:: prevent sunburn
:: treat arteriovenous fistula
:: treat allergic rhinitis
Further reading:

PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy)
PEMF, also known as Low Field Magnetic Stimulation (LFMS), uses electromagnetic fields in an attempt to enhance your body's overall functioning as well as improving blood circulation, reducing chronic pain, promoting bone healing, alleviating symptoms of arthritis, treating symptoms of depression, increasing range of motion, and more.

The process of receiving PEMF involves sending energy waves towards damaged and injured areas of the body. The waves pass through the injured areas and increase the spin of the electrons within them. As a result, the cell's potential is restored and improved healing can take place.

:: relieves pain
:: improves blood circulation
:: helps with arthritis
:: relieves the symptoms of depression
:: treats migraines
:: promotes bone healing
:: decreases diabetic factors
:: induces nerve repair
:: increases range of motion

Further reading:

Negative Ions
Ions are invisible charged particles in the air - either molecules or atoms, which bear an electric charge. Some particles are positively charged and some are negatively charged. Positive ions are molecules that have lost one or more electrons, whereas negative ions are actually oxygen atoms with extra negatively charged electrons.

Negative ions are abundant in nature, especially around waterfalls, by the sea, after a storm, in mountains and forests. The highest concentration of positive ions can be found in polluted cities, crowded areas and in confined spaces such as offices, industrial areas, schools and cars.

Negative ions are beneficial for the human body and are scientifically tied to a lot of health benefits, whereas positive ions are harmful.

Further reading:

Photon Light Therapy
Different body tissues absorb energy from different wavelengths of light energy. Unlike FIR, photon light therapy has a shorter wavelength so it doesn't penetrate as deeply. Photon therapy uses visible red lights at a wavelength of 660 nanometers.

Photon light requires direct exposure to the skin in order for it's full effects to be received. When the photon light is absorbed by the body, it forms in to nitric oxide. This stimulates synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is essential for the metabolism of all cellular regeneration.

Photon light therapy assists directly with the mitochondria, the part of the cell responsible for generating proteins and collagen. The new cells are able to destroy old cells, assisting even further with detoxification.

Photon light therapy 
:: treats depression
:: improves motor function and nerve regeneration
:: promotes better wound healing
:: improves skin and acne

Hot stone therapy
Tourmaline, jade and amethyst are natural conductors of FIR and negative ions when they are activated by the heating technology. While you get all the typical healing experiences associated with hot stone therapy, these benefits are greatly amplified by the combination of these gemstones.

Magnetic Therapy

Magnetic therapy is a science focused on maintaining the body's proper electromagnetic field to promote healing.

When a magnet is placed on the body, it promotes increased blood circulation. This increased blood flow helps to deliver more nutrients to your body and flush out toxins and contaminants. The magnet also relaxes the surrounding muscles and tissues, enabling your body to heal more efficiently.

Magnets offer a natural form of pain relief that can be used as frequently as required with no side effects.

Magnetic therapy
:: is a natural pain reliever
:: reduces swelling
:: promotes healing after injury or surgery
:: reduces the symptoms of osteoarthritis
:: helps general well-being

Healthyline's products can help with the following health issues:

:: Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
FIR stimulates the circulatory system, promoting increased oxygenation throughout the body. FIR can also help create white blood cells which improve your immune system and overall wellness. You may also find a decrease in stiffness and stress.

Negative ions focus on the respiratory system and detoxification. They can help improve mood levels and generate more serotonin in the brain to facilitate sleep. Negative ions can help restore energy levels and help the body function more efficiently.

PEMF initiates cellular revitalisation and helps maintain proper healing functions throughout the body. PEMF can alleviate painful symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and increase the range of motion, reduce muscle spasms and neck pain in osteoarthritis patients.

:: Chronic fatigue syndrome
FIR can improve your sleep, reduce sleep disturbances and minimise aches and pains associated with chronic fatigue syndrome. FIR can also help create white blood cells which improve your immune system and overall wellness.

Negative ions focus on the respiratory system and detoxification. They can help improve mood levels, generate more serotonin in the brain to facilitate sleep and restore energy levels.

:: Sleep conditions
Magnetic therapy improves blood circulation. This helps to deliver more nutrients to your body and flush out toxins and contaminants. Magnetic therapy also relaxes muscles and tissue. The process stimulates melatonin in your brain, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep.

FIR and negative ions increase blood flow, promoting oxygenation that improves blood pressure and the immune system.

Negative ions will also improve your state of mind as a result of detoxification and increased serotonin levels.

:: Fibromyalgia
FIR and negative ions influence aspects of the body that are altered by fibromyalgia.

PEMF can help those with fibromyalgia recover some of their body's natural ability to manage it's pain and relieve muscle tension.

Photon light therapy aids fibromyalgia sufferers as it can relieve neuropathic pain and strengthen the immune system to help the body improve it's wellness. Fibromyalgia sufferers might notice a decrease in fibro-fog, a reduction in tense muscles, increased ability to get to sleep and a reduction in overall pain and swelling.

:: ... And many more.

If you are interested in any of Healthyline's products, then you can view their full range in their online store.

Healthyline have also, very kindly, offered a 10% discount to you all. Just visit their online store and enter the code above at checkout!

If you would like any further information, you can find Healthyline on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.


Monday, 26 March 2018

Please don’t make a joke of pregnancy this April Fools Day

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:: This column was originally posted on Endometriosis News ::

If there is one day of the year I find difficult, it’s April 1st, aka April Fools Day. And I don’t think I’m alone in feeling this way. Let me explain… 

We were blessed with a gorgeous little boy. He’s a funny, loud, energetic, loving 3-year-old now. But, one thing that doesn’t escape me, is the years of trying for him: the heartbreak every single month of finding I had once again started my period when I wished upon every star that I wouldn’t; the knowledge that my body had failed us both. 2 long years passed before we got our chance at in vitro fertilization (IVF) and fell pregnant on the first round. Our only round, since none of our other 9 eggs survived.

We have been lucky in our journey. Others, less so. The trying can continue for years to no avail. No amount of money, fertility treatments, magic potions or pills work. These women live with that hope in their hearts that one day they will hold a baby in their arms, and, for some, it doesn’t come.

There are many paths on the road of infertility, pregnancy and baby loss. It’s not always quite as clear-cut as you get your baby and everything is forgotten. And this is the reason that, still now, I get a sense of dread wash over me towards the end of March every single year.

You see, and it might seem a little unbelievable if you haven’t ever witnessed it yourself, but there are people out there who think it’s hilarious to make a joke of pregnancy on April Fools Day. Maybe I’m just being a sensitive Sally, but I can’t see myself having found this funny even if I hadn’t have been through the whole infertility thing.

I’m hoping that you haven’t seen these types of “jokes” before, but they go something like “Surprise! We’re pregnant!”... Followed quickly by a “April Fools! Got’cha!” type message. Some do it to be funny, some to shock their family and friends. I have seen them, many a time. In fact, I’ve seen some of the top Instagrammers make jokes like this. One in particular has since been on her own adoption journey and might not have found her own jokes quite so funny now. Even one of my own idols, singer Gwen Stefani, made a joke of it back in 2016 by putting up a sonogram on her Instagram with the caption “It’s a girl”.

You see, pregnancy announcements are difficult enough as it is. Knowing someone else is getting their first, second, even fifth or more chance of becoming a parent when you cannot conceive is heartbreaking to say the least. But, once we get past our bitter emotions, we will at some point find that joy for the parents to be. We don’t want to be outcasts, we want to share in this wonderful news. It’s just sometimes not quite as instantaneous as we would all like.

But it’s not just the person making the joke that’s the problem in this situation. It’s the comments that follow. Someone will point out how hurtful something like this can be, only for others to tell them to “stop making it about themselves”. Can you ever imagine how painful it must be to have lost your baby or to have never experienced pregnancy and be told to “get over it”? Well, even if you can imagine, you will never know the sheer pain we feel deep inside. Nothing can ever make you “get over it”. These fake pregnancy announcements are just a massive reminder of what we do not have.

What I’m trying to say, is please don’t be that person. Just stop for a moment and think of the emotional impact your “joke” could have on those around you. Those who face infertility, pregnancy or baby loss don’t have big stickers on their foreheads or flashing signs pointing towards them. Much like chronic illness, these situations are invisible. Often, women, and their partners alike, might feel some sort of embarrassment in their plight. Not everyone likes to make it known to the world that their bodies cannot achieve what others can. And, while some of us do speak out about it, it doesn’t make it any easier.

If you take a look on April 1st, I assure you, there will be at least one person making a joke of pregnancy… Have you ever been hurt by a statement like this or do you think we should all lighten up and get a sense of humour?

You can follow my Endometriosis News column here.


Monday, 19 March 2018

Is there a cure for endometriosis?

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:: This column was originally posted on Endometriosis News ::

Research into endometriosis is advancing and we regularly learn new things about the disease. However, a cure for endometriosis is yet to be identified and this is simply because we are yet to discover the actual cause of endometriosis.

There are many theories behind what causes endometriosis. These include oestrogen production, retrograde menstruation, genetic predisposition, lymphatic or circulatory spread, immune dysfunction, metaplasia and even, environmental causes. But none fully explain why the condition occurs. It is possible that a combination of these factors could cause endometriosis to develop.

There are also several myths floating around regarding the causes of the disease. These include abortion, wearing tampons, sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s), psychological trauma in early life, douching, diet, lack of exercise, contraceptives, the colour of your skin and/or sexual promiscuity. However, there is no evidence any of these factors cause endometriosis. One thing we do know is that there is no way of preventing the disease.

Let’s explore some of the treatment options that are commonly referred to as "cures" for endometriosis.

During pregnancy, hormones help to regulate the many changes that take place in the body to enable a baby to be born safely. In early pregnancy, a females hormones (which includes oestrogen and progesterone) elevate to help the ovaries release an egg and implant it in to the lining of the uterus. Once an egg embeds in the uterine lining, hormones tell the blood-rich tissue to stay intact to support the growing baby - therefore, the body does not expel the lining as a period.

The symptoms of endometriosis are suppressed during pregnancy but the disease is not eradicated, and symptoms will usually return at some point post child-birth.

There are also cases where some women will only experience symptoms of endometriosis after having a child.

Hormone treatments
Hormone treatments last varying amounts of time. From birth control pills that can be taken for years, to shorter courses of injections like Zolodex or Lupron. 

These drugs act in a similar way to the hormones the body naturally creates during pregnancy, with the aim to stopping periods all together. The symptoms of endometriosis are therefore only suppressed, the disease is not eradicated and symptoms will usually return at some point after the treatment ends. 

The menopause is a natural part of ageing that usually occurs in females between 45 and 55 years of age. As oestrogen levels decline, a woman stops having periods and is no longer able to get pregnant naturally.

With the body no longer having a regular menstrual cycle, it is thought that all symptoms of endometriosis should disappear. However, endometriosis can still occur past menopause.

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure where the uterus is removed from a woman’s body. It is probably the most commonly reported ‘cure’ for endometriosis, but, it isn’t one. As endometriosis isn’t limited to the uterus, removing the uterus won’t eradicate endometriosis from other areas of the body. This means endometriosis will continue to grow.

It should be noted, however, that endometrial tissue can also grow in the muscle layers of the wall of the womb, causing a condition called adenomyosis. The only way to eliminate adenomyosis is via hysterectomy.

There are a number of different techniques of laparoscopic surgery used in treating endometriosis. These include laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) ablation, electrocoagulation/diathermy, excision surgery, helica thermal coagulator and harmonic scalpel/CUSA (cavitron ultrasonic surgical aspirator).

Techniques such as laser ablation and electrical fulguration are ineffective because they don’t remove all of the endometriosis. With these surgeries, it is thought most patients symptoms return within a year. Excision surgery is seen as the gold standard of care in the treatment of endometriosis. This is because it removes the inflammatory tissue down to its roots, instead of just the tip of the disease. However, excision surgery is still not a cure for endometriosis and symptoms can return.

The phrase “cure” is often thrown around in both the medical world and by sufferers who have found a treatment that has worked for them, who have been led to believe by their doctors that this has subsequently rid them of the disease. However, if these treatments do not remove the disease from the body, and every single microscopic cell of it, the disease is simply suppressed - not eradicated.

Until a cure for endometriosis is discovered, these methods are seen as effective treatment paths in the management of endometriosis pain.

You can follow my Endometriosis News column here.


Monday, 12 March 2018

The top 10 endometriosis myths debunked!

Image courtesy of

:: This column was originally posted on Endometriosis News ::

1. Endometriosis is when endometrium is found growing outside of the uterus
False! Many resources will tell you that endometriosis is when endometrium (the mucous membrane that lines the inside of the uterus) is found growing outside of this area. This is incorrect. Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus is found growing outside of the womb, usually in the pelvis, although it can be found anywhere in the body.

2. Isn’t endometriosis just a bad period?
False! Menstruation is defined as “when blood and tissue come out of your vagina” and is a natural process that all women will experience as their bodies physically mature. Any discomfort should go after the 3-8 day period. Endometriosis is a painful, chronic, gynaecological disease that affects 1 in 10 women. The pain of endometriosis can correlate with the menstrual cycle and this is where confusion can be caused. But, it may also be experienced at other times during your cycle including during or after sex, internal examinations, ovulation and bladder/bowel movements.

3. Painful periods are normal!
False! We cannot get away from the old beliefs that period pain is “normal”, or that it’s “in our heads” or to “get on with it”, because it’s a part of “being a woman”. Period pain should never interfere with your daily life. If it does, then it isn’t normal.

4. Endometriosis can be cured!
False! There is no cure for endometriosis. Pregnancy and hormonal treatments will suppress the symptoms of endometriosis but they will not eradicate the disease and symptoms will usually return. Some women may only experience symptoms of endometriosis post childbirth. Endometriosis can even still occur past menopause. Surgery can be performed to remove endometriosis but endometriosis can still return.

Hysterectomy is most commonly reported as a cure for endometriosis, but, it isn’t. However, endometrial tissue can also grow in the muscle layers of the wall of the womb (adenomyosis), and the only way to eradicate this is via hysterectomy.

5. I tried this treatment and it worked for me so it will definitely work for you!
False! It is always worth trying every single treatment option that is suggested to you; whether that be surgery, hormonal treatments, pain relief, dietary changes, exercise, etc. But because endometriosis occurs so differently in each and every one of us, is situated in different areas, causes different symptoms, and because our bodies are all so different too, the same treatments will always have different results.

6. You’re too young to have endometriosis!
False! Teenagers and women in their 20’s are not too young to have endometriosis! Endometriosis symptoms may start to arise during the teenage years but is often set aside by medical professionals as girls not knowing their bodies yet. This then leads to a later diagnosis in their 20’s or 30’s.

7. I have stage IV (severe) endometriosis so the pain is far worse than your stage I (mild) endometriosis!
False! Endometriosis is often classified as mild, moderate or severe, or as stage I-IV.These stages provide a useful guideline, however, they also have limitations, as the amount of endometriosis does not always correspond to the amount of pain and discomfort. A small amount of endometriosis can be more painful than severe endometriosis. It depends, largely, on where the endometriosis is actually growing inside the body.

8. I have endometriosis so I will never be able to have children
False! Endometriosis does not automatically mean you are infertile, although infertility can be a symptom of endometriosis. It is estimated that 30-40% of women with endometriosis are subfertile. Infertility is not always caused by endometriosis - it can be due to many other factors.

9. You have caused endometriosis by your lifestyle choices!
False! The actual cause of endometriosis is unknown. There are many theories including oestrogen production, retrograde menstruation, genetic predisposition, lymphatic or circulatory spread, immune dysfunction, metaplasia and even, environmental causes, but none fully explain why the condition occurs. It is possible that a combination of these factors could cause endometriosis to develop.

Abortion, wearing tampons, sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s), psychological trauma in early life, douching, diet, lack of exercise, contraceptives, the colour of your skin and/or sexual promiscuity, do not cause endometriosis and there is no way of preventing the disease.

10. Endometriosis means I have cancer, right!?
False! Endometriosis is not an infection, it isn’t contagious, and it isn’t a cancer. However, every single benign tissue in our bodies has the potential to turn into cancer; therefore some argue that deposits of endometriosis could turn into cancer. This would be extremely rare though.

You can follow my Endometriosis News column here.


Monday, 5 March 2018

6 ways of raising awareness during endometriosis awareness month

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:: This column was originally posted on Endometriosis News ::

March 1st sees the start of endometriosis awareness month. A whole month where patients, charities and organisations alike, share information on the disease in order to raise much needed awareness.

But, why does endometriosis need awareness? Doesn’t every illness have plenty of awareness surrounding it already? Well, no. Awareness is desperately needed for endometriosis. So few people have heard of the disease, even though an estimated 176 million women worldwide, and 1 in 10 of us suffer with endometriosis. There is also a huge misconception surrounding endometriosis. Isn’t it just a “bad period"? Can’t you just take paracetamol for the pain? Doesn’t pregnancy or hysterectomy cure endometriosis? There are so many false facts circulating about endometriosis that even those suffering with the disease can get confused about it!

What can we all do to raise awareness and get the correct facts circulating?

1. Get talking
The simplest way to raise awareness is to talk to others about endometriosis, whether that be family, friends or co-workers. Drop it in to conversation wherever you can. You’ll be surprised to find out how many people actually want to know more!

2. Take to social media
Get online and share facts about endometriosis or your own experiences and feelings towards the disease. People might not be interested, but the important thing is that they will have seen the word “endometriosis”. This may prompt them to search for information or they might know someone who also suffers with it. My hope is that by seeing the word endometriosis, they will retain it somehow and know that it exists.

You don’t need to overshare, post every day or write a blog (although I would always encourage other women with endometriosis to do this because, as well as raising awareness, it is a great source of therapy!). Sharing something every now and then is all that’s needed and you will have done your bit then!

3. Join an event
There are lots of different events that take place all year round, but particularly throughout endometriosis awareness month. In the UK, endometriosis awareness week runs from Saturday 3rd-Sunday 11th March. There is a worldwide endometriosis march on Saturday 24th March that sees individual groups of people walking and sharing information along the way. Much like a peaceful protest and I would imagine pretty good fun! These marches are taking place in major cities across the world so have a look to see if there is one near to you. There are even virtual endometriosis marches for those who do not have one near to them or for those too ill to attend. Please check with your countries individual endometriosis charities to see if there are any events being run near you.

4. Sign and share petitions
There are hundreds of petitions in circulation across the world hoping to get endometriosis in to education or to raise awareness in the medical field to gain quicker diagnosis’ for women. Please check with your countries government websites or petition websites like Change or 38 Degrees, amongst many others. 

5. Educate
Firstly, and as I would suggest to anyone newly diagnosed, get educated! Read books, online articles and websites. Improve your own knowledge of endometriosis. In doing this, we can share correct information and help others to understand not only endometriosis, but also that painful periods are not normal. This may prompt those sharing similar experiences to seek medical advice.

6. Share your story
You can share your endometriosis story by writing a blog, contacting media outlets or through others blogs or social media accounts (Instagram is particularly good for this). This doesn't only help to raise awareness, but can prompt women (both diagnosed and not-diagnosed) to seek medical advice if they relate to your experiences. I feel sharing different women's stories and experiences is one of the key areas in raising awareness because endometriosis is different for everyone and can affect women's lives in a multitude of ways. 

There are so many ways of raising awareness - what will you be doing this month? Will it be different to any other month or do you believe awareness needs to be raised all year long?

You can follow my Endometriosis News column here.