Monday, September 3, 2007

Self Massage

If you are like me, you spend a lot of time in front of the computer. This can wreck havoc on the circulations and make you more susceptible to feeling the cold.

At a recent appointment with Davina Toale, a Wellness Consultant, Davinia promised me a few techniques to help me with my legs.

Here is a quick self-massage technique you can do for your legs to liven them up and also warm them up.


Sit on the floor and effleurage (stroke) over your leg from the foot up, then knead the thigh. Effleurage, then pummel front and outside of your thigh.

Massage around your knee with your fingers, using circular pressure. Finish with gentle upward strokes behind your knee.

Lastly, knead your calf muscles with both hands and finish with effleurage.


EFFLEURAGE – simple stroking movement with your fingers leading. (Think of doing breast stroke in a pool) Hands together, then moving them together – up and outwards and then back together again.

BASIC KNEADING – just like kneading dough, place both hands on the leg with the fingers pointing away. Press down with the palm of one hand, grasp and push it towards the other hand. Release the flesh and grasp it with the other hand.

PUMMELLING – Make your hands into loose relaxed fists and bounce the side of your fists lightly on the skin.

Davina Toale can be reached via

Tel: 011 452 4150

Fax: 086 697 1236

Cell: 083 315 8648

Belle Regalo also sells a range of wellness gifts like the massager shown in this article.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Get the corporate body moving

A great many years ago when I was working at Grant Andrews Office Furniture we had an industry action cricket tournament. One of our suppliers hosted it and all its clients entered teams. It is one thing to participate internally in sporting events but a whole other kettle of fish when competing against your industry competitors.
A lot could reveled about the character of people when participating in this kind of event. Operating at the high end of the market, we worked on projects such as Vodacom (in Midrand), ABSA and a number of high end clients. This coupled with our very beautiful art deco premises in the heritage belt in Parktown in Johannesburg, plus our well groomed consultants gave us a reputation for being arrogant.

My assistant Marisha and I joined the action cricket team and I have to tell you that we had both never played a single game of action cricket in our entire lives. In fact Marisha read the rules of action cricket to me on the way to the tournament. Marisha and I always had a lot of fun, we were in charge of marketing, newsletters, catering, and end of the year kid’s party’s and always came up with gags to lighten the atmosphere. In fact when we had our lucky draws for Valentine’s Day, Halloween day etc, we always dressed up. Many days we were seen with fairy outfits or Halloween costumes and Santa hats. But sports were not our strong suit at all.

The action cricket tournament meant to be fun, but at the event our competitions tore strips off us. There were a number of nasty comments thrown at us. Grant always told us to sell on our strengths and not on other’s weaknesses, but that lesson was a challenge on that evening, because actually inside I felt like punching one or two individuals. If I had been doing kick boxing at that time, I would have made quite an imposing figure at a mere 5.2ft. Aah isn’t it great to fool yourself.

After a barrage of these nasty comments, I turned to the sales director and said “You do know that we actually HAVE, to win this tournament.”

I partnered the sales director with batting. Both of us have choleric personalities and at times we would clash because of our strong personalities. But on this evening I had to take all our brilliant sales’ director’s direction as although I had never played, he had.
His advice to me was “No matter what happens, when I say run you run, whether you have hit the ball or not.” And run, I did. I ran my heart and probably bits of my lungs too. I ran despite the fact that he had hit the ball squarely on my foot. Despite our odd choleric debates at the office, we made an excellent action cricket team.
By sheer spirit, because talent was limited to a few members of the team, we actually won. The transformation was amazing. Marisha usually participated in events such as choir, bow making, painting and other crafts which she was excellent at, but on that evening she was a victor. On the way home she said “You know Kim, people who say that winning is not everything, and clearly have not won anything at all.”

Well what a spectacular evening. I still have my Gant Andrew Action Cricket t-shirt and still smile when I think of the night that our team crushed the opposition.

What a moral booster. If you have a team of runners, go cart riders, whatever, go for it. Get yourself some corporate clothing, branded t-shirts, tracksuits and go strut your stuff.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Occupational Stress

Fire and stress have much in common. Uncontolled, fire leaves devastation in its wake. Similarly, uncontrolled stress is destructive to persobal health and can also prevent you from achiveving your true potential.

Controlled stress, by contrast is a potential and creative energy which will help you to live life to the full and feel positive and enthusiastic.

Katannuta Wellness mainly works with companies to minimize occupational stress.

Occupational stress is a pattern of emotional, cognitive and behavioral psychological reactions to adverse and noxious aspects of work content, work organisation and work environment. Occupational stress is caused by a poor match between us and our work, by conflicts between our roles at work and outside it and not having a reasonable degree of control over our own work.

Simply put, occupational stress occurs when there is a conflict between workplace and a worker’s degree of control.

Uncontrolled stress can lead to strain. Strain is where your attitude becomes negative. You feel irritable, frustrated and cynical. Uncontrolled stress can lead to burn out. Burnout is a condition where you simply have no motivation to do anything and become susceptible to opportunist viruses such as flu. Should burnout not be addressed, the next stage is depression and anxiety.

Katannuta wellness works mainly with corporates. The offer a range of services such as on-site massage using mobile massage therapists who specialize in Indian Head massage and chair massage. Their on site psychologist has developed a stress and wellness questionnaire that allows them to asses the level of occupational stress of employees. Based on individual interviews Katannuta Wellness is able to offer recommendations to companies for stress reduction and managing wellness in the work place. Wellness coaching, workshops and courses, ergonomics assessments and wellness days are some of the other services that they offer. For more information contact Davina or visit or call Davina or 083-315-8648.

How Do Stress Balls Work?

Stress is an inescapable fact our lives and can manifest itself regardless of one’s age, gender, or lifestyle. It affects our rational thinking capabilities and prevents us from enjoying our natural disposition, which is to be happy.

There are many stress relieving techniques that have evolved over time; these include yoga, aerobics, and even comedy clubs. These techniques, although effective, have the drawback in that they are all time-consuming, require a schedule, and can be carried out only in certain places.

An excellent alternative to these stress relieving techniques is the stress ball (or stress relief ball). These palm-sized balls come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are recommended as stress busters by various health organizations and fitness centers. They are made from high density foam, soft rubber, or squeezable polyurethane and squeezing these balls has many therapeutic benefits. Stress balls can be filled with gel and can be given different cheerful shapes such as colorful beans and animals. Their textures can be spiny, smooth, fuzzy, or rough.

Some of the shape of stress balls that Belle Regalo sells include stress ball aeroplanes, stress ball bricks, stress ball capsules, stress ball cars, stress ball houses, stress ball light bulbs, stress ball penguins, stress ball pigs, stress ball tablets, stress ball thumbs up, stress ball trucks, stress balls soccer balls.

Since all materials used in the manufacture of stress balls are non-toxic, the stress balls are safe for use. Patients suffering from arthritis and nerve disorders can also benefit from stress balls. A few quick squeezes of a stress ball helps in improving blood circulation to the hands and are a great way of rejuvenating tired hands.

Stress balls, if used at the end of a hard day’s work, have a calming effect, foster relaxation, and help in regaining energy lost during the course of a hectic day. A great plus with stress balls is that they have absolutely no side effects and can be used by individuals in any age group. Consistent use of this simple therapy can prevent stress related ailments from getting aggravated. Keeping this fact in mind, several health centers are incorporating stress balls in their stress treatment routines. It is not uncommon for stress balls to be distributed during meetings and seminars. Corporates are recognizing the value stress balls as effective stress-management tools.

Stress balls are easily customizable; they can be manufactured according to different size specifications and can be imprinted with the user’s name. These attributes have contributed to the popularity of stress balls. Stress balls are also ideal gifts to be given during corporate seminars.

Extracts from:

For more health gifts, sports gifts, 2010 gifts and corporate gifts visit our on-line catalogue on

Managing blood pressure not only saves lives but improves productivity.

High blood pressure and high cholesterol, with their associated complications, are direct contributors to one of this country’s leading causes of death. They are also two of the most treatable conditions. New medications combined with a healthy diet and exercise can stop disease progression and prevent future complications.

For employers, there are several reasons to be concerned about the growing prevalence of chronic high blood pressure (hypertension) and chronic high cholesterol (hyperlipidemia) among the workforce. First and foremost is lost productivity.

High blood pressure and high cholesterol are conditions that can occur as isolated risk factors or in combination with other higher risk conditions such as ischemic heart disease (IHD). In fact, a full 39% of workers with IHD also have hypertension and 37% of workers with IHD have hyperlipidemia.

On average, employees with hypertension miss 67% more workdays per year than their non-hypertensive counterparts, or eight days versus five days. Also, the behavioral risk factors for both hypertension and hyperlipidemia (e.g., smoking, sedentary lifestyle, obesity) indicate a general lower level of health status, which contributes to a high rate of absenteeism.

However, the most compelling reason for employers to be concerned is that left untreated, chronic hypertension and chronic hyperlipidemia will inevitably lead to more severe and costly chronic conditions such as atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease or congestive heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, or vascular disease. The cost of effectively managing high blood pressure and high cholesterol is high.

Simply put, high blood pressure and high cholesterol primary prevention is about improving employee health, reducing absenteeism, increasing productivity and building on an overall “culture of health” in the workplace.

Belle Regalo offers a range of blood pressure measures, which are a very useful health gift as part of a corporate wellnesshealth gifts and other sports gifts and corporate gifts, visit the Belle Regalo on-line catalogue on programme. For more