Tag Archives: hysterectomy


Reiki (pronounced Ray Key) is Japanese for ‘universal life energy’, and is also a word used to describe a system of natural healing. This tradition was founded by Dr Mikao Usui in the early 20th century, but the belief that life energy flows through the body, deeply affecting our entire being, has long been embraced by many cultures around the world.

Reiki is believed to restore lost balance between mind, body and spirit. It can be effective for relaxation, pain management, reduced stress and anxiety, enhanced well-being and so much more. It is not a substitute for medical treatment but can be used alongside other conventional or complementary treatment and often helps to provide emotional support during recovery.

To receive reiki – the client remains fully clothed and the practitioner’s hands are placed on or above the body. Energy is channeled through the practitioner directly to the client, using a series of hand positions, spending several minutes holding each position.

Now, although reiki is usually a hands on treatment – because it is so powerful and effective it can also be sent over long distances.

Everyone experiences reiki differently. Some feel a slight tingling or sensations of warmth or cold, others just a deep relaxation. Some clients find themselves in a deep meditative state whilst others feel rejuvenated and energised. Some people will also find, upto 48 hours or so, following a session, that they experience a ‘clearing out’ of toxins and emotions as the body and mind rids itself of congestion.

I have been a Reiki Practitioner since 2004 and found self-treatments helped me cope mentally and emotionally with extremely painful period pains pre hysterectomy.  People have told me they find me to be a calming influence to be around, and I attribute some of this to the continuous self-practice of reiki and also reflecting on and applying in my daily life the following principles attributed to Dr Usui.

The 5 principles of Reiki by Mikao Usui

Just for today, I will give thanks for everything.

Just for today, I will not anger.

Just for today, I will not worry.

Just for today, I will live my life honestly.

Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing.

A Blueprint for Embracing your Older Body Image – Part 3

“Its a new era in fashion – there are no rules.  Its all about the individual and personal style, wearing high-end, low -end, classic labels, and up-and-coming designers all together”.  ~ Alexander McQueen

If you have been carrying out the exercises from parts 1 and 2 of my blueprint for embracing your older body image series, you really should be experiencing a shift in how you think and feel about yourself and your body.

Do you now find yourself looking through your wardrobe and assessing what you wear with new eyes?


image courtesy of winnond/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As you do your assessment, keep these points in mind:-

Back to basics

Whilst it has become trendy in some circles to wear your underwear as outerwear my advice to you, is to see your underwear as being the foundation for your outerwear.

Did you know that lingerie brand Triumph International recently conducted a survey of 10,000 women which revealed that around 76% of us are wearing the wrong bra size! The right sized bra will not only be more comfortable and supportive, but will make your clothes fit and look better.    Are you feeling guilty?  Go and get yourself professionally fitted.

It really is ok to wear comfortable high waist knickers or shapewear that helps hold in body parts that you feel have become a bit too cuddly.   But, if thongs or boy shorts are your thing, go for it!

Change is good for you

Know first who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly. ~ Epictetus

How you dressed 5 or 10 years ago may no longer suit your changed shape, current lifestyle or the woman you wish to become.  Sometimes external support might be needed.  Now, I’m not for any minute suggesting that this is a required step you need to take on your own journey to embracing your older body image but, in 2009 I embarked upon a personal stylist/image consultant course mainly because I felt that, I who had always intuitively known what suited me, had lost my way with my own personal sense of styling following a year of 2 major surgeries (including full hysterectomy, with its resultant hormonal and body shape changes) and approaching the big 50.

If you are UK based, do you remember Trinny (Woodall) and Susannah (Constantine) and watching their ‘makeover’ reality show – What Not To Wear – back in the early noughties?  The premise of the programme was that friends and family nominated someone they felt dressed rather badly and who was therefore in need of a wardrobe makeover.  With expert guidance and support from Susannah and Trinny – it was fascinating to witness the positive and transformative powers of clothing and accessories in conjunction with complimentary make up and hairstyle – that suited the age, colouring, body shape and lifestyle of the participants.  Another makeover expert, Nicky Hambleton-Jones, says that we all have the potential to look fantastic effortlessly, no matter what our size or shape.

In a later post, I will be asking expert stylist Helen Reynolds to share some of her top styling tips for looking fabulous in your 50s and beyond. In the meantime, for inspiration why not check out YouTube for past episodes of ‘What Not To Wear’, or make an appointment at your local department store to see one of their personal in-house stylists who can guide you on which clothes suit your lifestyle, colouring and body shape.

Happy Older Woman In Flowered Boots And Dress

Cultivate your own personal signature style

It is [every woman’s] right to ignore the dictates of fashion and dress in a manner that is becoming to her own character and personality. ~ Lillie Langtry

At an inch short of 5ft and weighing a couple of stones more than you would like, do be mindful of the fact that what looks good on your 23 year old 6ft tall, willowy built daughter, might not look so hot on you.  Likewise, just because your mother dressed you and your twin sister identically in frilly pink pastel dresses and matching hair bows when you were at primary school, doesn’t mean you and your sister should, at aged 52 still be dressing alike now, nor should either of you feel obliged to continue remaining loyal to everything pink for the rest of your lives.

This really is not about fashion.   As Coco Chanel said “fashion fades, only style remains the same”.   You are unique –  go find and cultivate you own style.  I know what my signature style is – classical with a bit of boho thrown in the mix.  A good place for you to start is with ‘Who do you want to be today. Be inspired to dress differently’.  Written by Trinny and Susannah and published in 2008.  They claim “whether you are 16 and needing to find your individual look, or 60 and wanting to reinvent your persona, this is the book for you”.

Daydreaming Mature Woman

Make up maketh the woman

Please don’t tell me that even though your eyelids are starting to droop a little and the skin looks a bit crepy, that you are still sporting the bright blue or lime green shimmery eyeshdadows and heavy black eyeliner look you favoured back when Saturday Night Fever was all the rage!  As we age, a more natural softer look suits us better.  Your skin tone can fade too (along with your greying and thinning hair), so some of the colours you previously wore and the techniques you used to apply your make up may make you look worn and tired and a lot older than you actually are.

Look out for a post in the coming weeks in which Mary Kay beauty consultant Jane Mott will provide you and I with some expert make up advice for looking fabulous in our 50s and beyond!

Baubles, bangles and beads

Baubles, bangles, hear how they jing, jingo-linga Baubles, bangles, all those bright, shiny beads Sparkles, spangles, your heart will sing, singa-linga Wearing’ baubles, bangles, and bead

There really is no age-limit to wearing accessories. For as long as I can remember, I have accessorised, mainly with scarves and jewellery. Depending on your style, colouring, shape and so forth, accessories can accentuate or flatter features, and even change the look of an outfit.  Although, if you do go overboard with the bling,  I hope your friends will care enough to let you know you look rather silly.

Continue the love affair

If you have mindfully committed yourself to embracing your older body image, you truly are having a love affair – with yourself. Believe that this love affair is no quick fling.  Let it endure through your fabulous 50’s and well beyond.  Let it be a full on, passionate love affair that encompasses mind, body and spirit.

If you arrived at Visualise and Bloom directly onto this page and haven’t yet read Parts 1 and 2, here are the links:

 I would love to know how you are getting on with embracing your older body image and, if there is anything I’ve touched on that you would like me to cover in more depth in a separate blog post, let me know x

Second time around

In 2009, I decided to do a freelance personal stylist/image consultant course,  in part, to add to my life coaching credentials and mainly because I felt I had lost my way with my own personal sense of styling.  2009 was also the year that I had 2 major surgical procedures.  Total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of my womb, cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries), and then, approximately 8 months later, repair of a vesicovaginal fistula.

Following hysterectomy the menopause took full effect.  And I mean full on effect!  As I acclimatised myself to coping with the myriad of hormonal changes (hot flushes, migraine, thinning weak brittle hair, aching joints, weight gain/body change, ‘foggy’ brain, slight dizzy spells, lethargy, etc, etc).   I also reached what seemed at the time, a very surreal milestone, which my brain was not ready for.  I reached the age of 50.

The next few years I mourned my past.  I had lots of moments of not feeling happy or comfortable with how I looked or how I perceived I looked to the outside world (I who before had had my own sense of style and intuitively knew what did or didn’t suit me).  I struggled with trying to identify what clothes, shoes and accessories suited me and what someone my age, now bigger bellied, larger bobbed and with much fuller upper arms etc, should be wearing or not wearing.  I wore a lot of the same things over and over again  (mainly black).

I tried to lose weight, lost a little and gained it back.  I would have periodic stints of exercising (even joined a gym, did pilates, yoga and aqua aerobics) and had even lengthier periods with no exercising, tried to grow my hair and then cried inside because it was not how it used to be, so eventually had it cut short.  I even got quite a bit slack about my grooming (I, who from my late teens upto mid/late forties would not have been seen dead with chipped nail varnish).  And oh, I felt uncomfortable having my photo taken.

As I navigated myself through this sometimes confusing and very, very foggy period of my life, my studying for the above mentioned course fell by the wayside.  Being creative (e.g. my jewellery making)  helped (as it always has done), in keeping me grounded and harmonious within.jewellery-makingBut, as I turned 53, something happened…it was as if the fog started to lift and I started to fall in love with my short gray streaked hair.  I started painting my nails more regularly and even began to like clothes shopping again.  

I’d found myself….and now, I’m living life and very much enjoying life….second time around…