Feature

Let’s fight Obesity….

in Health & Beauty

Obesity is a complex problem with multiple causes and considerable implications for health.

The fundamental cause of obesity and overweight is the imbalance of energy between calories consumed and calories expended. This leads to abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may result in a raised basal metabolic index (BMI), a major risk factor for noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders and several cancers.

Obesity is also associated with difficulties carrying out daily activities and many other health conditions. 

Read more: www.tinyurl.com/Giobesity01

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975; and in 2020, 39 million children under the age of 5 years were overweight or obese. Studies show that the vast majority of overweight or obese children live in developing countries, where the rate of increase has been more than 30% higher than that of developed countries

Childhood obesity is associated with a higher chance of obesity, premature death and disability in adulthood. Furthermore, obese children are more likely to experience breathing difficulties, increased risk of fractures, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and psychological issues.

The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced peoples’ lifestyles in some way or other. Many people have put on weight because of comfort eating, snacking, and more time spent at home due to restrictions. However, the pandemic has also allowed time for reflection, encouraging people to think about what really matters to them – family, friends, and health.

Public Health England’s ‘Better Health’ campaign returns in January 2022 with positive messages to motivate us to take action and improve our health.

The latest Health and Lifestyle Survey in Gibraltar showed that 82% of people eat less than five portions of fruit and veg per day. 

A balanced diet with plenty veggies and fruit (fresh, frozen or canned) all count! Consider adding these to stew, soups, smoothies, sauces etc. 

Portion sizes are directly related to our weight and health; and there is no one size fits all when it comes to portion size or food type. Taller or more active people will require larger portions; and shorter or less active people will require smaller portions.

It is also important to be mindful of food groups (for instance, an apple may count as one portion of fruit, but a handful of butter would count as several portions of fat).  

Read more www.tinyurl.com/GiPortions

Physical activity is good for your body and mind. 

A short daily activity of 20 minutes (e.g. a brisk walk/cycle/swim; gardening, dancing…) can boost your energy and lift your mood. Regardless of age, research shows that being physically active can help towards living a healthier, happier and potentially longer life.

For more information on healthy eating and physical activity visit www.healthygibraltar.org 

PHE’s Better Health Campaign prompts us to:

• take small simple steps

• work towards a healthier self

• use evidence based tools and resources online; be it to lose weight, quit smoking or increase activity levels.

Read More www.tinyurl.com/GiHealthApps

Stop Right Now!

in Features

Leave those bad habits behind you and step into 2022 with the mission to change and to adopt some new habits that are beneficial to your health and lifestyle. The New Year is a time to break bad habits and replace them with healthy ones, but we all know that is often easier said than done.

First of all, focus on what it is that you want to stop, whether that is smoking, drinking too much alcohol, biting your nails, or eating too many sugary foods. Once something has become a habit you find that you rely on it to calm yourself when you become stressed or anxious, so it is important to replace that habit with good ones. However, it is not a good idea to try and break all your bad habits at once! 

Try using the ‘SMART Goals’ system. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound and it is an excellent way for you to set goals and to have the means by which to achieve them. To successfully break a habit, identify why you want to change and write those reasons down. How will life improve if you stop that bad habit and what will happen if you continue with those same bad habits. Keep this list with you in case you need to look at it for motivation and to monitor your habit and look for patterns. Defining each of the five SMART characteristics can help to outline a pathway to reaching the goal. The more well-defined that pathway becomes, the easier it is to follow.

Establish realistic goals and maintain them by having a strategy to help in times you feel challenged. Understanding the trigger that starts you reaching for that bad habit is crucial. Maybe you find yourself having that cigarette or glass of wine when you are bored? Analyse why, when and where you mostly engage in your habit and how often you do it. It’s crucial to understand your behaviour if you want to change it. When we perform the same actions over and over again, we begin to lose awareness about them as our brain goes into autopilot. Awareness provides the foundation for change.

The key to stopping the cycle is knowing how the habit is formed and breaking that habit at the ‘reward’ phase. You need to replace a bad habit with a new habit that provides a similar benefit. Choosing a substitute for your bad habit requires planning ahead. Prepare yourself to be uncomfortable and to experience some bad cravings. Don’t forget to establish incentives and reward yourself! Use the money, time or energy you’ve saved from opting out of your bad habit to treat yourself to something nice, such as a new piece of clothing. 

The next time you reach for that extra piece of chocolate, or just one more glass of wine, ask yourself how it really makes you feel and is it worth it… and then go for a brisk walk!

Dry your January

in Health & Beauty

The Dry January – a month free of alcohol campaign started in 2013 with 4,000 people taking part. The movement has continued to grow with around 130,000
taking part in 2021. 

Many of us drink to relax, socialise or celebrate. However, before we know it, alcohol can become a part of our everyday lives in a way that it starts to harm our bodies. Drinking above the low risk level of 14 units a week is linked with more than 60 health conditions, including liver disease, high blood pressure, skin changes, weight gain, depression, several types of cancer and many more. When this habit becomes a problem, serious consequences can ensue and many others including family and friends are affected. 

According to research published in 2018, a month off alcohol lowers blood pressure and cholesterol; and reduces diabetes risk as well as the levels of cancer-related proteins in the blood. The real magic happens when Dry January is over. A study from the University of Sussex, during and after Dry January 2019, conducted three self-completed online surveys at the start of the challenge, at the end and 6 months later. Around two thirds of the participants reported generally improved health, slept better and had more energy; and over half had lost weight and could concentrate better.

Alcohol Change UK’s Try Dry app is your booze-free buddy for Dry January and beyond, helping you keep track of your units, calories and money saved and letting you earn badges along the way. The app also helps you track your drinking and set personalised goals all year round. 

For Dry January testimonials: 

https://tinyurl.com/DryJanTestimonials

Read more on alcohol and its effects: 

Remember, if you feel better on the inside, you are bound to feel better on the outside. See your skin get brighter, your wallet fuller, and your days busier. Feel your step get bouncier and your mind calmer…

Get your Wellness on Track

in Health & Beauty

100’s of ideas to keep you active!

What do your New Year resolutions look like? No doubt, one of them will be to get your wellness on track and like many others you will most probably have trouble sticking to a new healthy regime and stopping those old habits from falling back into place. 

Don’t despair. There are lots of ways out there that can help you to stick to your wellness goals, whether that is focussing on weight management, detoxing your body, boosting your immune system or becoming more active through exercise and sport. 

Weight Management 

Losing body fat can be challenging and you may have to change both your exercise routine and your diet to get the results that you are after. 

Strength training is a good way to burn fat and is designed to improve strength and endurance with repeated resistance movements, including lifting weights as well as using your body weight for squats, push ups and planks.

Adding more protein to your diet can help to keep you feeling fuller for longer, which will decrease your appetite and therefore reduce your calorie intake. Add more fat burning foods such as lean meat, seafood, eggs and dairy products to your diet or add a protein supplement. Upping your protein intake could help you reach your fitness goals faster. Protein is a ‘macronutrient’, meaning the body requires large amounts of it as part of a balanced diet. Try Precision Engineered Whey Protein Sticky Toffee shake from Holland & Barrett to assist growth of muscle mass, strength and performance.

Cutting down on sugar is another good way to assist your weight management as eating foods containing sugar increases your cravings for more sugary foods. Instead, try low calorie, naturally sweet foods such as dates, figs and pears or sugar free snacks.

Fitness

Regular exercise has also been proven to reduce your risk of developing long-term health conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers.  If you haven’t exercised before, don’t panic, it’s all about getting moving that little bit more and finding something you enjoy doing, whether that is taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking to work or getting off the bus a few stops earlier than usual, taking the dog out for extra walks or getting involved in a local walking group. 

Swimming is another great way to keep fit. Start by spacing your swimming sessions out and then make them more frequent and longer. 

Jogging and/or running may be not be for everyone but you can build up slowly. Aim to go for a 20 to 30 minute jog three to four times a week, and start on softer surfaces, such as grass, to make it easier on your joints. The same advice goes for skipping; start steadily and build up the skips. If you get really good, you may want to swap your normal rope for a weighted skipping rope.

Immune System

Immunity is the ability of an organism to defend you from foreign substances or toxins and that means our immune system is constantly on high alert for any germs or other dangerous foreign substances. Upon detecting these potential dangers, the immune system gets to work at eliminating them to keep us safe.

Certain vitamins and minerals can support the normal functioning of your immune system but your immune system cannot go above its normal working ability and your immunity cannot be increased or ‘boosted’ beyond normal expected levels.

These vitamins and minerals include:

Vitamin C can support the normal function of your natural immune system and can help restore natural immunity in people lacking in vitamin C, including older people and those taking part in severe physical exercise. Natural sources of vitamin C include red and green peppers, oranges and orange juice, Brussels sprouts, berries, melons, cauliflower, tomatoes and leafy green vegetables. 

Vitamin C Supplements such as Holland & Barrett Vitamin C can help to keep your skin healthy as well as supporting your immune system, normal psychological function and normal energy-yielding metabolism.

Vitamin D is often prescribed as one of the best immune boosting supplements. Now, while it can’t ‘boost’ anything, it has been shown to support your immune system function, as well as many other health benefits. When it comes to immunity, vitamin D plays a regulatory role – meaning that it is involved in functions that ensure your immune system is operating properly. You can get more Vitamin D in your life by spending time outside with direct sunlight on your skin – this is how your body makes vitamin D by itself, and eating the following: oily fish, eggs, meat, fortified plant milks, fortified cereals and mushrooms. You can also take Vitamin D supplements, such as Vitabiotics Ultra Vitamin D3 tablets from Holland & Barrett. 

Vitamin B6 supports nervous system function, protein and glycogen metabolism, normal red blood cell formation and our immune systems. You can get more vitamin B6 into your life by eating pork, poultry, fish and eggs. Holland & Barrett Complete Vitamin B Complex provides an excellent source of B vitamins to support normal energy yielding metabolism and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.

Healthy Lifestyle

Remember that your first line of defence to get your wellness on track and to keep your immune system working properly is to choose a healthy lifestyle and implement some healthy living strategies into your life such as stopping smoking and drinking alcohol only in moderation. 

Advisory Information:

Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking any medications or are under medical supervision, please consult a doctor or healthcare professional and always read the label before use.

Horoscope 2022

in Features

ARIES (Mar 21 – Apr 20)

2022 is going to be a period when you can make sweeping changes, Aries.  All the things you were itching to get on with in 2021 can and will be addressed and achieved!   This energy encompasses all areas of your life from career to finances, from love to health.  Remember to maintain your sense of self-worth and self-esteem at all times and do not allow your ego to overrule your instinct. Trust your inner voice and meditate for a few minutes each day on the gifts, talent and wisdom that is held in your soul. The time has come for you to share your unique gifts with the world and trust that the Universe will guide you to the correct connections. As the energy on the planet shifts over the coming year, your new path will be much in demand for the heart-based energy which is on its way.

TAURUS Apr 21 – May 21)  

You don’t tend to suffer fools gladly, Taurus, and the early part of 2022 is likely to find you having to curb your need to speak out about things that frustrate and upset you. Take care also with your thoughts and actions, making sure that they are pure, light and loving. Listening to music will help to soothe your soul giving you much needed patience and as the year moves on into the summer months you will be feeling much more in harmony with those around you and with nature in general. 2022 is the year for you to truly identify your passion and to live it. By doing this you will know that your contribution is helping the entire universe to align in perfect divine order. Do not allow your ego to tell you that your efforts are insignificant but trust, with your heart, that they are recognised and appreciated by the higher energies and by those who really count. 

GEMINI (May 22 – Jun 22) 

2022 is your year to work on your sense of self-worth and self-esteem, Gemini.  This way you can step into your inner power and really contribute to the world in ways that you have only dreamed of. You must take the time to develop yourself on a spiritual level, and remember that you do not have to prove yourself to anyone. Meditate for a few minutes each day on the gifts, talents and wisdom held in your soul and then ask your higher self for them to be made available to you for your highest good. Many people have been experiencing much confusion over this last 12 months and you have very special gifts which can help to reassure and bring calm to difficult situations.  On another note, it would be wise for you to take some later in the year to do an assessment of your financial situation. No problem, just precaution.   

CANCER (Jun 23 – Jul 22)

You may feel like you are going through an initiation during 2022, Cancer. Indeed, you probably are and while it may feel too much at times, remember that your soul chose its mission and you will learn great patience and forbearance as you complete these tests and raise your vibrations to a much higher spiritual level. As the year progresses you will find it easier to relax and keep your heart open. Use all your experiences to strengthen yourself and everything will feel worthwhile. Family relationships may become a little strained as the Christmas season approaches but your newly developed skills and understanding will pave the way to harmony. Make sure to take time this year to do some deep self -care and to give to yourself in the same way that you so selflessly give to others.  

LEO (Jul 23 – Aug 23) 

The energy of 2022 is calling upon you to work a little more on understanding others’ needs, Leo, and also improving your listening skills and personal interaction. This will help you to plant seeds of light within your immediate family and social circle.  Your professional contacts may a little more difficult as they may not be comfortable with a new, more confident you and you will simply need to be patient. When you feel the need to centre yourself, then work with your breath. Focusing on slowly releasing the outbreath is a wonderful way to centre and ground yourself. There may well be a new addition to the family in springtime and also cause for celebration around the time of your birthday which will mean a double celebration.  An opportunity for overseas travel will present itself… Much to your delight. 

VIRGO (Aug 24 – Sep 23)

You are going to be drawn to education throughout 2022, Virgo, mainly because you have a deep desire for more excitement in your life and to engage in more meaningful ways with others. This may well disrupt your natural preference for order and organisation but, in fact, this diversion from the norm will have the great benefit of helping you to see things from a different perspective and find solutions to some the things that constantly challenge you. As the year progresses you will find yourself following through with things that you have avoided till now.  Like an online course or extra professional training.  In other words, you’ll stop playing safe and allow yourself to blossom. Those of you looking for a relationship can definitely find the perfect partner but you may have to make the first move!

LIBRA (Sep 24 – Oct 23) 

You are about to be presented with some amazing opportunities this year, Libra, and you are being guided to seize them courageously.  Make no mistake, this will take all the courage you can muster but you must believe in yourself and know that you are up to the challenge. All the lessons and learnings of recent years will come together and you’ll be able to connect different threads of your life in ways that you have been unable to up till now. By mid-summer, you will be motivated and ready for action and as summer becomes autumn you will be ready for action! You will move fearlessly and tenaciously and be ready to treat setbacks and obstacles as opportunities to raise your game. Remember to always remain calm and centred no matter what and this way you will always stand in your power.  People will be drawn to your energy and will respect and honour you for your vision. 

SCORPIO (Oct 24 – Nov 22) 

ou have experienced a lot since this time last year, Scorpio, and during 2022 you will be yearning for freedom and independence. You are more in touch with your innate wisdom than before and while that may have involved dealing with rocky patches and highs and lows you are now able to see things from a higher perspective. So, this is a good period for you to look at the challenges and issues in your life from a higher perspective and, in so doing, you will naturally gravitate to helping others to do the same.  This will bring you more satisfaction and sense of self worth than you could have imagined and, as the year progresses, you will realise that you are well on track with your life purpose. As the year draws to a close you will be in a calm and confident frame of mind, feeling positive and looking forward to the next chapter.  

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 23 – Dec 21) 

It may be that you felt the need to have a strong protective shell around you and your loved over the last year, Sagittarius, and this was no bad thing. In the uncertain times we have been experiencing on our planet, it is essential to have a safe network and a place of safety.  We need this to stay balanced and keep our batteries charged. Having done this, you are now ready to relax that protective shell a little and place a protective light around yourself instead.  This way you keep negativity at bay while also allowing the good to enter your sacred space. In 2022, you are being guided to focus on abundance consciousness.  Call in love, prosperity, happiness, joy and all manner of good things.  Be sure, at the same time, to be visioning the whole planet receiving the stream of bounty also.  

CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 20) 

You will emerge for your self-imposed cocoon this year, Capricorn.  In other word you are about to go through a profound transformation. Like a butterfly though, you must not rush this.  The cocoon is where you have been kept safe and secure while learning all the very important lessons and gaining deep knowledge which is going to be so very important in the healing of the world as the transition continues. As we move into summer you will need a phase of relaxation and calm before you spread your wings. Use this period for a life review to help you decide what changes you need to make and to prepare for the process, which is inevitable. By the time summer is giving way to autumn you will be emerging as a different spiritual person. It is essential for you to have gentle exercise and a super healthy diet at this time. 

AQUARIUS (Jan 21 – Feb 19) 

Be true to yourself at all costs this year, Aquarius. It is always possible to be misunderstood even when you are acting from the best and noblest of intentions.  There are always those who want to extinguish the light in others and it can be a challenge to hold to your inner light and truth.  But we are all on a big spiritual journey at the moment and you have the learning and experience to hold that light and to keep it shining for others to follow and to find their own light in the process. This is truly powerful. Your guidance is to let no one diminish you and, when you come upon challenges, as you will around September/October, simply remain true to yourself and to your purpose. There will be some financial issues requiring your attention towards the end of the year but with the straightforward approach these will be quickly resolved. 

PISCES (Feb 20 – Mar 20) 

After a busy year of personal growth and gently working with others, you are being guided to relax this year, Pisces.  Be relaxed yet remain independent. Take time to go inside and remind yourself that everything you need to know is already inside you and by surrendering to the divine order of the Universe, you will access this innate wisdom and knowingness. As you do this and the months gently roll by you will become aware that you are raising your frequency and that of all those around you. And this is exactly what the planet needs right now. Later in the year you will be guided to go forth and gather small groups of people to share and possible even build new communities where each is recognised for the uniqueness and individuality.  Where caring and sharing is the order of the day and exclusion simply does not exist. 

Spiritual Wisdom from a Crow

in Features

Walking in the woods with my dog. It was very quiet, very still and beautiful… misty. I became aware of a crow cawing and, at first, I didn’t think anything of it. Then I realised it was continuing and we were coming closer to it. I stood still and there it was on the very top branch of a tall, tall tree. Cawing out to the world sharing its message and its song. It lasted for at least ten minutes then it flew off. A little later I heard it again from further away. I felt it had touched something very primal and very deep. 

When I got back to the car, I looked up the spiritual significance of crow and I was transfixed. The main message is about transformation, working together and embracing change in a positive way; adaptability, skill sharing and finding solutions. Crow reminds us that “This too shall pass”.

It felt like God had spoken to me as, in fact, I believe he did, through the crow

Nature is awesome and if we take time to stop and listen to the messages from nature that we are being given every day then the quality of life improves immeasurably.  I believe that all of God’s creatures are messengers just going about their business and giving us repeated opportunities to stop and listen.   What a lot we can learn when we slow down and pay attention. 

Animal spirit energy and its meaning has long been a subject of fascination and learning and is, like many esoteric practices, becoming more widely recognised for its healing qualities in helping us navigate and understand our soul journeys.  Never has this been more relevant than in the current period of uncertainty and transformation.  

Crows build their nests high up in tall trees where they have a clear overview of what is going on all around.  They are highly intelligent creatures with great problem-solving skills and the higher they are the clearer their overall vision.    Apparently, they also call out to people who are feeling isolated or misunderstood, connecting souls on the same path and helping them work together on their soul journey. 

It is said that we all have a spirit power animal or guide and it is worth looking up what yours is then building a relationship with it on an energetic level.  As you become more attuned to the world around you and you step away from the 3D requirement to always be busy and in a rush then you will notice just how often creatures cross your path or appear out of the blue.  Remember, they always have a message for you but you need to be open to noticing and receiving. 

Today I was driving along a country road and I noticed a fat cock pheasant on the road directly in my path. He was having a snack and had no intention of moving out of the way to let a car pass by.  So, I waited a little while.  Of course, he just continued and so I reversed and drove around him.  I was chuckling.  On one level I always feel that cock pheasants are a sign that my dad is with me (he died when I was a child) and it is not at all unusual for them to appear.  But this guy today was right in my path and not budging so I felt he had something important to convey to me at this time.

Sure enough he was reminding me that my shine is not as bright as usual.  That I have been feeling dull and drab inside.  So true.   My energy has been low and I have been unwell the last few days. He wanted me to know that my usually sparkling vision is rather muted and that he was returning a rainbow of beauty into my life. Reminding me to take a breather and not to focus so much on the big missions at the expense of missing the everyday miracles. He reminded me that I have gifts for a reason and that God does not grant sparkling spiritual aptitudes on everybody …..  I don’t have to fly the flag for everyone – only the right people. 

He asked me to remind you all to stay true to yourselves, show off your feathers and take a chance.   

So, stop reading now and be still.  Go within and think of a time when you have had an unexpected encounter with an animal.  Allow your mind to bring back the experience ……  what happened and how did it make you feel?  Don’t rush. Animals don’t rush so be in their time frame.  Be patient and live in the now, like they do and when one appears, pay attention, check out the spiritual symbolism and be amazed.

If you don’t keep a journal then now is a great time to start.  The start of a New Year and the energy is fresh.  The world as we knew it is never going to be the same again and it is essential that we are aligned with the 5D energy.  Animals already are and they are at our service to guide us all the way. 

As for the crow…  I sent a photo of him on his branch to a new friend and soulmate and told her what had taken place. It turned out that just before she got my message a crow had appeared to her also.  She loves crows.   A week or so later I was visiting her house and when I popped into the loo there on the wall was the most delightful child’s drawing of a happy fat cock pheasant! Say no more.   

Kate Mchardy MA(Hons) PGCE MSPH Spiritual coach, teacher and healer. katemch@gmail.com / Tel: +44 7712889534. Facebook: The University of Light Group / Readings at The University of Light (@tarotangelspiritreadings). 

To spa or not to spa

in Features

Since Grecian times, people have been harnessing the therapeutic power of water and heat, both of which were considered to be luxuries thousands of years ago as they were often hard to come by. It was the Romans who began to build thermal baths at natural mineral and hot springs and as the Roman Empire expanded into Europe, spas became a popular place to go to relax and socialise. Some say that the word spa is derived from the Latin word ‘salus per aqua’ which means health through water, whilst others attribute the word to the Belgian town of Spa where, in 1326, a Belgian ironmaster discovered a natural spring around which a health resort soon flourished. 

Nowadays, a visit to a spa offers the possibility to completely relax, both physically and mentally, as well as providing the opportunity to partake of some invigorating treatments in a tranquil atmosphere.

Hydrotherapy

Modern-day hydrotherapy treatments echo the traditions of Roman bath houses with extensive hydrotherapy circuits that include warm saunas, Jacuzzis, hot tubs, steam baths, chilling plunge pools and pressure showers, all said to help alleviate pain, calm the senses, and rejuvenate the body. 

The alternating temperatures of water offers differing benefits and moving between hot and cold water, expanding and dilating your blood vessels, works as a pump to circulate blood throughout your body, delivering all the nutrients and oxygen effectively to clear out impurities that have built up in the cells, enabling your body to release toxins faster, stimulating the immune system and increasing your liver’s and kidneys’ natural abilities to filter blood.

Heat slows down your internal organs, and is good at lessening certain types of aches and pains and also increases the production of beneficial body hormones. Taking in the warm, moist air from a sauna or Jacuzzi can help open up congested or constricted airways in your lungs, throat and sinuses. 

Cold temperatures makes blood vessels contract and can lessen inflammation in areas of injury, and help to decrease the sensitivity and pain of injured areas.

Massage

Most spas offer massage treatments and having a professional massage has been voted as the most popular treatment by spa goers, which is not surprising as it is known to help the rehabilitation process after injury, encouraging blood circulatory movement and relaxing muscles, delivering more oxygen and nutrients to soft tissues and organs which accelerates the healing rate of injured areas. However, do bear in mind that a while a spa massage may successfully relax you and temporarily relieve some stress, medical massage will more likely produce tangible results that is factored round a treatment plan based on your health needs.  

For a new experience, try the Venik Massage, particularly popular in Russia where, after being smothered in oil, you lie naked on a wooden bench in a sauna while two therapists hit your back with oak or birch leaves and branches. This apparently boosts circulation and prevents skin aging. 

Body treatments 

There are many different types of body treatments available, some slightly unusual and some weird and wonderful, including wraps, scrubs and soaks to make you feel relaxed and invigorated. A good tip is to have a sauna or steam bath before your chosen body treatment to open your pores and soothe your muscles. 

The most popular spa body treatments include a salt scrub, detoxifying body mask, hydrating body wrap and a firming anti-cellulite treatment. If you don’t like the idea of being wrapped in seaweed or algae, how about getting smothered in a chocolate and mud mixture and then wrapped in towels or foil? Cocoa, an anti-oxidant, is said to firm skin and reduce cellulite. Alternatively, take advantage of the Hay bath treatment, where you’ll be wrapped in layers of mountain grass mixed with herbs, flowers and hot water before lying down on a warm waterbed. ‘Grass napping’ is a said to be a great treatment for stiff necks, muscle contractions, muscle cramps, stiff joints, and obesity.

Facials

Having a facial is a relaxing and indulgent thing to do, and let’s face it (no pun intended!) there’s only so much you can do at home to rejuvenate your skin, so as well as pampering our faces with hot towels, essential oils and a bit of ocean wave music to help us meditate, a professional beauty therapist will have the expert knowledge to treat your skin. 

There are many different facial treatments available, ranging from a European facial – the perfect entry-level treatment – to an oxygen facial where typically a wand is used to deliver a stream of high pressurised oxygen to the skin’s surface to plump and brighten the skin, to Microdermabrasion which works to strip your skin of dead skin cells and provides deep exfoliation. Other treatments include LED light therapy, perfect for anyone who suffers from acne, an acupuncture facial if you are not averse to having needles in your face, or a vampire facial which involves having your own blood drawn, put into a vial and placed into a centrifuge to separate platelet-rich plasma which is then injected back into your skin. 

Once again, there are some unusual treatments to be found around the world. What about the ‘Fire Facial’, popular in China, where alcohol soaked clothes and a special ‘elixir’ are placed on the desired part of the face and set alight for a few seconds before being put out – meant to stimulate the skin and address dullness, sagging and wrinkles. Only to be attempted with a fire extinguisher at hand!

Spas

The spa industry has evolved over the years, with most luxury hotels and resorts offering a spa as part of their facilities to their guests, and whilst a spa was once all about being pampered and indulged, there has been a more recent shift towards wellness. Treat yourself to a spa this year and give your body, mind and spirit a significant lift.

A NOSE FOR RESCUE…

in Animals & Pets/Features

Animals in Need (AINF) is a Gibraltar based charity that has operated since 2016, helping animals in desperate need. We have had an extremely busy 2021 rescuing, treating, caring for and rehoming over 150 dogs last year alone, not to mention several cats and other small animals as well!

As we help so many animals throughout the year, it can be a bit overwhelming at times and it’s easy to lose sight of just how much we change the lives of the individual dogs that we help. So as we start a new year we thought it was worth reminding ourselves why we do this by taking a look at just some of our amazing rescue transformations from 2021.

Casper

Casper was found abandoned in a field in skeletal condition covered in rat bites and very ill from as number of diseases. He was close to death when we took him in, but now he has an amazing life with a loving family in Finland.

Mommo

Mommo was abandoned tied to a shelter gate by a busy road and was so weak and ill he could barely stand. He has thrived in foster care and is now almost unrecognisable! A little love goes a long way for a desperate dog.

Kinder

Kinder was rescued from a kill shelter the week he was scheduled to be put to sleep. He arrived in our care terrified and confused, but after some time at a Training School and a lot of love he blossomed and now is enjoying a wonderful new life in Germany where he even has walks in the snow! 

None of the miracle transformations above would have been possible without the generosity of the public as the charity relies completely on donations to operate.  We want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who so kindly supported us throughout the year – we genuinely could not do it without you.

Unfortunately the work doesn’t stop when it comes to animal rescue and even over the festive season we were still rescuing and rehoming abandoned animals. We currently have 40 dogs under our care and there are daily costs for every animal we help. 

As we look to 2022 we continue to be in desperate need of funds to be able to continue our work. We are also looking for volunteers to support our rescue work and those who might be willing to take a dog in need into their own home for a temporary foster.

We are currently trying to raise funds to cover the kennel fees and bills for Harry and Meghan, a father and daughter duo who we are currently looking after through private kennels. If you would like to  donate to this fund raiser you can do so through Just Giving: 

www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Harry-meghan. 

You can also visit us on Facebook – Animals in Need Foundation or Instagram@ainfgibraltar,  or find out more at www.ainfgib.com. If you’re starting the new year hoping to make a difference in 2022 and looking for a worthy cause to support, please consider making a difference with us and help us make more amazing transformations possible!

Spring Cleaning

in Features

The essence of Spring cleaning for many of us is the sweeping away and decluttering of our homes, our environment – even our emotional lives.

Elizabeth McPherson is a Professional Declutterer and ADHD specialist who states ‘There is no doubt about it, physical clutter is an indicator of what is going on in our head.  In order to move forward you cannot look back, unless it’s to learn from past experiences.  Many live with clutter in their lives, either emotional or physical but the two are not mutually exclusive.  Clutter is often as a result of ‘put off decisions’ and an inability to move on from the past.  Many are trauma bonded to the past and it’s hard to let go.  

In truth clutter holds us back energetically and mentally. After all, if you can’t find something, it’s easier to replace it but what a waste of money this is.  A clutter free life, is a calmer life.  Free of clutter, you can think clearly, make better decisions and, wherever you find yourself in life, a calm environment can even help with sleep, an important ‘medicine’ for a healthy life.  Many of us seek perfection in our lives and that perfection is often sought by buying ’things’ rather than by buying memories.  Each ’thing’ purchased gives a moment of pleasure until another fix is required to fill that void.  Decluttering, letting go and bringing a bit of organisation into your life is a great way to shift ‘old’ energy and make way for ’new’ positive changes. Space in your life need not be filled with things, space gives you scope and flexibility both physically and emotionally.

EMOTIONAL CLUTTER

Emotionally many of us live 99% of the time in our ‘heads’ chattering away to ourselves about what we could have done better, what they did, she did.  It is so exhausting living like this. 

We fail to live in the moment and just ‘be’. For me personally, I started with the emotional declutter and that was all about forgiveness. I turned to Louise Hay’s book  “You can Heal your Life” which showed me how to forgive those who I believed had wronged me. I realised that a lack of forgiveness had held me back from where I wanted to be. 

SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT

A great social life is one of the key pinnacles to a happy life.  Social engagement with others is important for good mental health.  However, so many of us fail to realise the importance of hanging out with the right crowd.  Of course, we come with our families but recognising who lights you up (a radiator) or who drags you down (a drain) is very important. Sometimes it is a case of decluttering a friend or two. There is no need to fall out, just simply see those who make you feel bad about yourself, a bit less.  It is quite common to attract those who are on the same energy level as you. In other words, if you are feeling bad about yourself, it is easy to attract those who feel the same. That might sound like a match made in heaven, but if you are intending to move forward and your friend is not, that is when the relationship is draining and can hold you back. Many people, women in particular, are eager to please but how many times have you found yourself hanging out with a crowd each week and kind of wishing you were somewhere else?  

LIVING ENVIRONMENT 

Quite possibly, right now, you may not be living where you would ideally like to be living. You might have downsized, or even upsized, but maybe your home still does not feel like home. 

So what can you do about it?   Here are my top tips to a decluttered, calm life:


Let in the sunlight – always make sure blinds and curtains are up and open every day 


Open the windows and let in fresh air first thing – even if it’s freezing, fresh air is vital

• Paint the walls a neutral colour that helps you feel calm

• Bring in colour to brighten up your home

• Light candles 

Less is definitely more. Only keep what you have room for. Do not resort to lock ups and storage facilities.  Let go of anything that no longer serves you and definitely do not keep things that make you sad.  If you do not have the room then accept that where you are living right now, does not have room for the things you would like to keep. Acceptance of where you are now is where you need to be.  If you are lucky enough to be upsizing, still do not be tempted to ‘hold onto’ things that you ‘might’ use in the future.  More often than not, those ’things’ get forgotten and never used.  

Put like with like and keep things neat and tidy, that way you know where everything is and won’t panic when you are running out the door trying to find those missing keys 

Throw away envelopes and flyers and anything that you do not need to keep straight away.  If something needs urgent action, keep it in a safe place and deal with it quickly.  

Be grateful for where you live and learn to love your home. It may not be where you want to be forever, but if you learn to love it for now and accept where you are in life, you are in a great place to bring in all the good stuff that is bound to come your way.’

Elizabeth McPherson‘s contact details:

beth@thelifestyleconcept.co.uk

www.thelifestyleconcept.co.uk

Helping you find Inner Harmony through Decluttering 

Notes from the road a viral boulder

in Features

‘La Mamela’ is a restaurant (currently closed) situated on Catalán Bay, Little Genoa, Gibraltar. It takes its name allegedly from a very large boulder that fell down from the top of the Rock of Gibraltar in the early 18th Century, crushing a number of houses before coming to rest in the bay, where it sits today. It was thus named by recently-arrived Catalán settlers as it resembles a woman’s breast when viewed from the shore.

This huge boulder miraculously did not kill anyone on its descent even though it crushed a number of buildings, and it has sat there on the beach shoreline, alongside The Caleta Hotel, since that moment. A testament to the power of nature, and the fragility of mankind. 

As I stared at this ‘extraordinary’ rocky feature the other day, I could not help but contemplate and compare the extraordinary circumstances we are facing today as a result of the Covid-19 global pandemic, thinking that this virus is just like this huge boulder that has descended on us from ‘on high’.  Crashing down into our lives unexpectedly and changing the landscape forever. 

Things are changing dramatically on an almost daily basis as a result of this ‘viral boulder’. Vaccinations, booster jabs, face masks, new variants, travel restrictions, PCR tests, quarantine and isolation rules – that is all we hear currently in the news. Human rights are supposedly being threatened, businesses are on the verge of bankruptcy, families have been kept apart (including my own), politicians are becoming mired in a sea of difficulties, travel has become seriously compromised and businesses are being forced to find solutions to very difficult staffing and cash flow scenarios. Where does this all leave us, and where are we heading to? What is to be the final outcome?

Perhaps the answers were staring right back at me, in the form of ‘La Mamela’? Could this giant breast-shaped boulder, resting peacefully in the shallows, be indicating an approach that pointed towards the way ahead…

When I look back in time at the global pandemics that have assailed the human race, the stories are shocking, some of them of such cataclysmic proportions that they doomed entire civilizations and brought once powerful nation states to their knees. The great plague of Cyprian (AD 250-271), The Black Death (1346-1353), The Cocoliztli Epidemic of Mexico & Central America (1545-1548), The Great Plague of London (1665-1666), The Yellow Fever Epidemic of Philadelphia (1793), The Spanish Flu (1918-1920), The Asían Flu (1957-1958), The AIDS Pandemic (1981-Present), The H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic (2009-2010) and the West African Ebola Epidemic (2014-2016). And this is just the short list.

What is particularly shocking is the total of deaths linked to some of these events, and the repercussions. For example, the Cocoliztli Epdimec of 1545 that started in Mexico and killed over 15 million inhabitants. Recent studies of the DNA of victims’ skeletons found that they had been infected with a subspecies of Salmonella known as S. paratiphi C, which caused a severe enteric fever, producing high fever, dehydration and gastrointestinal problems. With a population already weakened by extreme drought conditions, the pandemic proved catastrophic for the population. An entire civilization wiped out by a bug.

And then there is the Black Death of the Middle Ages. A monumental plague that travelled from Asia to Europe in the form of a strain of bacterium Yersinia Pestis, spread by fleas on infected rodents. Informed commentators estimate that the plague wiped out over half of the entire population of Europe. They also believe that the pandemic changed the course of human history, bringing about better working conditions for labourers and the end of Europe’s system of serfdom. 

And finally, there is the ‘Spanish Flu’ that broke out in the late 19th Century. An astonishing 500 million people are believed to have succumbed to this global pandemic, with one fifth estimated to have died. Yes, one hundred million people. The spread of this virulent influenza was enhanced by the poor conditions of soldiers and the very poor wartime nutrition that many people experienced during World War 1.

In the context of the above, where does Covid-19 and its variants sit? Clearly it is a serious viral attack on the human race, and has already had a global impact that is affecting all of us in our daily lives, at both personal and professional levels. Related deaths are allegedly high, although the actual Covid-induced deaths are difficult to quantify. Is it at the level of the Black Plague or the Spanish Flu? In my humble opinion, I think not.

And more importantly, what is the solution? The end game. Is it the series of vaccinations being advocated by our Governments ? Or the booster? And more ongoing vaccinations? And more boosters?

These are the questions I wondered about as I stared at the boulder of ‘La Mamela’ the other day, whilst on the beach at Catalán Bay, as I heard yet more depressing news from the UK of the spread of the Omicron variant and the likely self-imposed lockdown over Christmas. 

The answer could be a simple one. “Let things just be. Shit happens, so let the shit settle and then slowly vanish away, washed away by the waves and the tides”. Was this the message coming across from the boulder?

There is a view out there that medical science, in its laudable mission to save lives and defend us all from deadly viruses and disease, is creating a scenario in which the human species ultimately has no natural defences or strategies left to fight attacks. By trying to protect us, ironically we may actually find ourselves becoming weaker and more vulnerable. Are we being scared and panicked into doing the “right medical thing” through raising the fear of mortality? Are these vaccinations and boosters really saving lives, or are we being injected with untested substances that will weaken the natural immune system ultimately and possibly even bring unimaginable side effects? Stories are already coming out of blood clots, haemorrhages, impaired vision, problematic pregnancies and long term illness.

In other words, nature could be left to run more of its own course. More a case of “Physician, go heal thyself”. Perhaps there could be a high price to pay (although there is little verifiable data to support this), but in the end, the human body could be encouraged and allowed on its own to resolve the situation. Until the virus, and the fear of the virus, is conquered. The boulder fell down and crashed into the sea, causing destruction and damage. And the sea was agitated. But the waters finally calmed. And then nature took its course, and with time it became assimilated into the landscape. Back to normal.

Similarly, we could be allowed to naturally recover and settle down again into normal life…until, of course, the next virus, and the next viral boulder. But at least our bodies (and minds) will be more prepared for the next attack.

This article will be published as part of the forthcoming collection of JLR Notes, entitled: ‘Notes from Abroad, Home & The Road’, due to be published in May 2022.

To reserve a signed and dedicated copy @ £9.95, contact:
info@jlromanillos.com

Jose Luis Romanillos, Agent & Promoter. MD of the UK-based Sports, Media & Entertainment Agency, JLR, as well as Founder of the international private members club, JLR PRIVÉE, José is currently in Gibraltar for an extended visit with his wife, Jane, enjoying the weather, swimming and the restaurants. http://www.jlromanillos.com

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