All posts by orlafoley

EMDR Testimonial

Delighted with my new testimonial highlighted EMDR thanks.

Pippa Wrote :  It took me ages to keep the appointment with one thing and another, and I so nearly cancelled the day I did finally go. I’m glad I didn’t. I felt low, tearful, sick and unmotivated that afternoon and I wasn’t in the mood for anything. After routine questions and explanations of how it worked, we found a method that suited me. It made me dizzy switching eyes constantly so a clicking pen was preferred. I chose my memory, and the feeling that went with it. And then it just sort of began…. I had no idea what it was about other than that it was to do with eye movement. I thought maybe since it’s considered well suited to trauma victims etc, that it would be sort of talking therapy where the therapist analyses the eye movements and gauges their patient’s emotional status that way. Or something. What it actually involved was, I think, a way of switching hemispheres of the brain from right to left, and helping adjust the thinking that way, turning a weak and “bad” memory that affects person badly, into a shadow and into something which doesn’t affect the person on such a deep level. I think this is amazingly clever, because the patient essentially does all the work. The therapist clicked, clicked, over and back, left and right, without saying a word or promoting the person’s thinking in any shape or form. Apart from reminding me once or twice of my “safe place”. I walked away elated. Lifted, like a weight had floated off, a weight I hadn’t realised was there so heavily. And I felt strongly empowered, knowing that it was really me who had turned those thoughts around, and chosen, myself, to feel good, elated and empowered. A short meditation while feeling grounded, at the end, reduced me to tears because I was moved by the words. Happy tears, emotional release tears that left me feeling even better after they had shed. I would highly recommend this form of therapy. To certain people. People willing to heal, and wanting to heal themselves, ready to accept help. It was like a boost of energy for me, and almost like a pick me up. I had no idea of the time or how much, how little, had passed. I found it interesting to keep returning to certain places, it further highlighted what issues I need to address. And showed me a way to work through those thoughts in a positive way. I’d love to do this again. Thank you orla. Your healing powers astound me. It’s a gift, as is your way with words. Beautiful.

Pippa, Co. Tipperary #wellness #healing #emdr

Healthy Kick Start and Yoga Timetable

Hope you had a lovely summer and basked in the sunshine and warmth while it lasted. The change of the season are quickly on us again and I pray for an Indian summer in autumn. One of my plans from this autumn is to revisit an old habit of clean living (no wheat, sugar, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, meat) for the first few weeks of sept (starting the 4th of September) combined with good sleep hygiene (bed by same time every night, limit tv and electrical devices as blue light interferes with sleep, no electrical devices in bedroom, phone in airplane mode etc), moderate exercise and daily yoga. Then toward the end of September I will begin using herbs and supplements to assist a deeper cleanse of intestines, and finish with a liver cleanse.

The intention had been to begin this program in January 2017 after having a year of 40th birthday celebrations with my friends and eating more cake than I had in previous 10 years. My main reason for this was to navigate the 40s as effortlessly as possible with the knowledge that sugar, caffeine, gluten, processed food, meat and alcohol are all endocrine (hormone) disruptors. Yet following the sudden dear of my beloved brother Anthony in October 2016 I struggled to do my normal healthy eating as I burnt more dishes, threw out more food than I did in a whole life time and surrendered to just consuming the easiest healthiest options available to me. Thus January became September and I invite you to consider looking at your own lifestyle and making the changes necessary to reboot your own system. It is recommended to do this with the help of the appropriate health professionals and I highly recommend a good naturopathic nutritionist, sign up for a yoga class and know that you cannot make the changes necessary in a weekend, or a week you body requires a minimum of 4 weeks clean living to make an impact. How long will I clean live? That is yet to be seen yet the minimum 4 weeks is my aim and I have previously enjoyed 18 weeks and never wanted to go back. Why did I go back? convenience and social reason really as the amount of clean foods available in 2011 out socially was limited yet now I’m impressed with the new Ireland many healthy clean living options are available thank god. I’ve enjoyed my holiday from clean living also yet I look forward to returning to unboundless energy, bouncing out of the bed in the morning full of the joys of life, the radiant skin, eating as much as I want and a deep sense of peach and calm again.

Yoga classes begin again in September the schedule is as follows:

Wednesday 5th Sept UL Arena 8:00pm (pay as you go UL rates 55 mins) 7wks

Friday 7th Sept Kincora Therapy             Aerial Yoga 9:30 6 weeks €105 (class full)

Friday                       Aerial Yoga 10:30 6 weeks €105

Hatha Yoga Beginners&improvers 11:30 or 10:30

Monday 11th Sept Kincora Hatha(beginners&improvers)Yoga 6:30 6 weeks €75

Monday 11th Aerial Yoga 8pm 6 weeks €105

Classes run subject to a minimum number of attendees (2 for aerial 4 for Hatha)

I would like to thank you for your continued support and custom. Please like Kincora therapy on twitter and facebook.


Looking forward to being of service to you in the future again,



Kind regards Orla Foley



Craniosacral for Infants Video


Take time to soak the last Vitamin D

Its important to take every chance you can this autumn to soak up some Vitamin D, take a trip to the beach or walk a mountain or just sit outside drinking a nice fresh lemon, ginger and turmeric tea (naturally anti-inflammatory.)

IMG_0894Between showers take the opportunity go get out and enjoy the wonderful colours of autumn.

It’s a good time to get back into routine, renew your stretches and healthy routines like yoga (aerial and hatha classes start back this September) and maybe try your hand at a new language or musical instrument.  Book in for a relaxing treatment or treat a niggle that has begun to ache with the damp weather.  What ever you do look after you and be kind and gentle to yourself.

Please enjoy and feel free to share this new video we did no Craniosacral and Bowen technique for infants.

Wishing you a happy autumn and harvest all your energy now.

best wishes,


Orla xo


Allergies and Sensitivities

Food Sensitivities and Allergies

Thankfully true allergies are rare enough and most of what people think as allergies are food sensitivities and over time with persistence one may be able to de-sensitise the reactions. This can even be done with true allergies under the proper guidance of a medical doctor trained to do so. The incidence of true food allergies in adults is estimated to be 1.4% and in children where the prevalence of IgE mediated food allergies is 5-7% 1.

The author of the Basics of Food Allergy, 2, J.C. Breneman, M.D, (1978) attributes many health conditions to allergy:

  1. Acne: Anecdotal evidence
  2. Arthritis, Rheumatoid: Studies show symptoms are worsened by eating. Foods sufferers are allergic or sensitive to and this improves by avoiding same foods. Researchers suggest that up to a third of RA sufferers could control their condition completely by eliminating allergens.
  3. Asthma: Unrecognised food allergies have been confirmed by double blind research to be contributing factors. Nuts, peanuts, dairy, eggs and soya were most common causes.
  4. Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD, ADD): In a study of 20 children their behavioral problems and inability to concentrate, disappear when allergens were removed from their diet. Other studies also showed eliminating food additives also helps.
  5. Bed Wetting: If no medical cause presents, allergies can be a cause.
  6. Urinary Tract Infection
  7. Yeast Infections: Recurring yeast vaginitis has been reported to be a cause and when avoiding same allergens the chronic yeast infections can resolve.
  8. Canker sores: Sensitivities or allergies can make mouth ulcers worse, yet in double blind study found to only play a minor role. (can this be reworded)
  9. Colic: 38 bottle fed babies and 77 breast fed babies with colic were studied in a double blink radomised placebo controlled trial and it was found that distress was reduced by 25-39% on a diet free of milk, wheat and nuts.
  10. Constipation: In a double blind trial of infants with chronic constipation an intolerance to cow’s milk was found in 2/3 of infants studied. Eliminating the cow’s milk saw the symptoms disappear in most of the infants.
  11. Crohn’s Disease: Can be exacerbated by food sensitivities and one study found that sufferers are most likely to react to cereals, dairy and yeast.
  12. Depression: Several studies have shown that allergies may trigger mental symptoms including depression.
  13. Diarrhea
  14. Ear Infections: More than ½ children studied with recurring ear infections have food allergies. 86% of children improved once the offending foods were removed from their diet.
  15. Eczema may be triggered by an allergy
  16. Food sensitivities may exacerbate gallbladder attacks in people who have gallstones. Foodstuff such as eggs, pork, and onion are most common offenders
  17. Gastrointestinal Symptoms
  18. Allergies can be exacerbated yet don’t cause glaucoma
  19. Hay fever may be connected to allergies.
  20. High Blood Pressure may be a contributing factor.
  21. Hives
  22. Hypoglycemia
  23. IBS
  24. Migraines appear to be triggered by allergies.
  25. Musculoskeletal Pain (including Back Pain)
  26. Nephrotic Syndrome: Several studies have found a link between allergies and this kidney disease.
  27. Obesity
  28. Psoriasis: One study showed eliminating gluten, improved symptoms.
  29. Rhinitis
  30. Ulcer
  31. Upper Respiratory Infections


True allergies can be life threatening and cause anaphylactic shock and where an individual has experienced this it is advisable to always carry an epi-pen and have a medical id bracelet or necklace. People with sensitivities would be advised to always carry anti-histamine in the form of zirtex or piriton.

Thankfully I have discovered the power of natural vitamin C as an antihistamine so this is my first go to, yet I have a tablet form of an antihistamine in my pocket just in case. A simple fresh mango and orange juice has served me well when I reacted last summer to fumes of traffic as they passed the bus I was travelling on. I had not reacted like this since the summer of 2007.

How did I move from regular reactions to foods consumed and environmental fumes? – well quite simply I used lifestyle changes which included dietary changes, less processed food, more natural and where possible organic foodstuffs (pesticides are linked to reactions), limit dairy consumption and mainly have spelt products and oatcake and rice products. I reduced my alcohol intake as it damages the lining of the gut and can cause reactions. Bowen Technique is very effective for reducing allergies and in fact the British Asthmatic Association recommend Bowen Technique as in a study it was found to resolve asthmatic symptoms for 60% of study participants. Craniosacral has also greatly helped normalise a reactive sensitive system like mine and I regularly have Craniosacral Therapy and Bowen Technique, which I offer here at Kincora Therapy Centre.

What I wish I knew when I started out on this journey was firstly where to go for help. Dr. Joe Fitzgibbon (Tel: 091720155) is one of the countries leading allergy consultants and works out the Galway Clinic. He uses the skin scratch test (a very gentle effective method) for over 30 known allergens for digestive and skin reactions. He inspired the author The Extra Virgin Cookbook (sugar free and wheat free recipes). Annemarie Tobin, Dermatologist (Tel: 0872758380)who works out of Tallaght hospital and checks for over 150 known allergens with her skin scratch test helping identify causes of eczema and other skin conditions. I highly recommend that my clients attend a specialist nutritionist like Collette McMahon (Tel: 0868903710) and Andrea Cullen (0872472092). I am qualified in nutrition with my masters yet the difference between normal nutrition qualifications and a naturopath nutritionist is they are highly trained in using food as a medicine and attending someone who specialises in nutrition is optimum for fast effective results. Hippocrates said “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”.

Adverse reactions to foods may be classified as either a true food allergy or a non-allergic food intolerance (sensitivity). Food aversion is where symptoms are non-specific and unconfirmed by double blind placebo controlled food challenge.

Types of Reactions to Foods:

  • IgE mediated mechanism
  • Not involving IgE, other immunological mechanisms are causative.
  • Non-allergic food intolerance (pharmalogical, metabolic, toxic reactions to foods).
  • Food aversion (symptoms are often non-specific).

When ingestion of a small amount of food elicitis an abnormal immulogically mediated clinical response is referred specific true food allergy. The classic type 1, IgE Mediated mechanisms is the most studied and most dangerous in view of life threatening reactions. Mounting evidence is increasing on the importance of delayed reactions (Type IV Mediated reactions). In this incidence a childs eczema may be aggravated by milk ingestion or in a small proportion of adults with severe contact dermatitis caused by nickel which may have adverse reactions to nickel in their diet.

In their article, Emcy. et al 3 (2010) refer to one of the possible reasons a baby of 6 weeks old is progressively vomiting after each feed may be due to milk intolerance of gastro-oesophageal reflux. They also suggest that thriving babies who vomit after each feed may be simply overfed. Acute vomiting may be a serious illness such as sepsis. Large volumes of projectile vomit within 30 minutes of feeds indicate pyloric stenosis. Effortless vomiting might indicate possetts. The colour of the vomit can also be indicated for example bilious (green bile not yellow or blood stained) vomit might indicate bowel obstruction.

Allergies are based on immune system responses that may occur:

  • Immediate reactions
  • Sometimes after a time-lapse
  • Sometimes life threatening (anaphylactic reactions)

Intolerances are:

  • Gradual
  • Less serious and limited to digestive problems


  • Elimination diets
  • Medication


  • Watery, itchy, red eyes
  • Asthma
  • Throat swelling
  • Non-seasonal runny nose, congestions
  • Eczema
  • Hives
  • Swelling of mouth, eye lids, lip
  • Itching
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Stomach aches
  • Flatulence (passing wind)
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability/aggression
  • Anxiety or hyperactivity
  • Exhaustion
  • Dark circles under eyes
  • Excessive sweating or slight fever
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Muscles aches.


  1. Food allergy BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 25 April 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1299
  2. Breneman, J.C. M.D, Basics of food allergy, Springfield, IL: Charles C Tomas 1978, pg 45-53
  3. Emcy, Naina et al 2010 “My Baby Keeps Bring up his Feeds !”BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 30 April 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2189
  4. 4.(Holford, Patrick., 2010, The Optimum Nutirition Bible, The Wonderful World Withing, Chapter 27, pg 238-239, )




Sleep – how many hours do children require

For the first time ever the Americian Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has issued recommendations, published in the the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine June 13, 2016, for the appropriate amount of sleep for children and teenagers helping them to avoid health risks associated with insufficient sleep.

“Sleep is essential for a healthy life, and it is important to promote healthy sleep habits in early childhood. It is especially important as childrend reach adolescence to continue to ensure that teens are able to get sufficient sleep,” said Dr. Shaline Paruthi, MD, the moderator of the expert panel who formulated the reccomendation also stated the following in a statement.

“To promote optimal health, the recommendations advise the following amount of sleep (per 24 hours) on a regular basis:

  • Infants 4 to 12 months: 12 to 16 hours of sleep(including naps);
  • Children 1 to 2 years of age: 11 to 14 hours (including naps);
  • Children 3 to 5 years of age: 10 to 13 hours (including naps);
  • Children 6 to 12 years of age: 9 to 12 hours; and
  • Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age: 8 to 10 hours.

The panels found that when children sleep the recommended hours on a regular basis overall better health prevails, they exhibit improved attention, behaviour, learning, memory, emotional health, quality of life and mental and physical health.

Highlighting the benefits of good quality to sleep according to Dr Paruthi “That is, when they do sleep more and within the recommended ranges, they will perform better. We that kids are consuming energy drinks, but really the best enchancer of performance is sleep whether its in the classroom or out on the field”.

The negative findings of insufficients sleep is increased risk of self harm, suicidal thoughts and suicide attemps. Sleep more than the regular recommended amount also has risk to health such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity and mental health problems.

Parents need to be roles models too and get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep . Sleep needs to be prioritized.

Good sleep hygiene practices like not using electronic devices after 8pm and turning off tv 30-40 minute before sleep and having a bed time routine. Read gentle easy reading material prior to bed and hygiene routine is ideal for older children and adults. Ideally young children should not be exposed to electronic devices and have a bath and a bedtime story prior to bed. All would benefit from no electronic devices in the bedroom.

Craniosacral Therapy and Bowen technique are great therapies to help regulate sleep cycles in adults and children. Over the years many children and adults have reported better sleep and improved dreams. When I appeared on RTE Baby on Board in 2007 episode 7 as their expert CranioSacral Therapist, the toddler I work with went from 1.5 hrs sleep at a time to sleeping straight through 12-13 hours sleep.

Bunions – Not just for your Granny!

Bunions (Hallux Abducto Valgus) – Not just for your granny!  

You will be surprised to learn many people in there 20s and 30s have the infliction of “Ugly” toes or “deformed feet” as one of my friends call hers.  In truth there a partial dislocation of the big toe, as a result of improper biomechanics (how you use your body), use of shoes, or an injury the base of  big toe moves medially (towards midline) and the top of the toe moves laterally (away from midline) in its joint, and subsequently a bursa develops (which may occasionally become red and inflamed) bony deposits are laid down to compensate for this and the deformity begins. In a lot of cases the big toe may deviate so much that it overlaps the 2nd toe like crossing one knee over another (which by the way you should also avoid as it creates structural imbalances).

Valgus diagram Bunion

Figure 1: Hallux Valgus


Researching for this blog I found an article highlighting the numerous celebrities, Amal Cooney, Catherine Zeta Jones, Imran Khan, Paris Hilton, Jennifer Lopez, Katie Holmes, and Naomi Campbell that are afflicted with this condition, under my search for Posh Spices Bunions, which I was shocked to see the biggest bunions I had ever seen one day watching her on an entertainment show.    Yet I suppose it explains why she does not smile her bunions must have been excruciating. I’ve taking excerpts from the article from daily mail ( and shared here:


Bunion Blog Diagram

   Figure 3: Diagram of Hallux valgus


‘First of all the synovial fluid becomes inflamed, and that’s why you get the initial red lump on the side of your foot,’ says Dr Khan.

‘Next the muscles and ligaments running up and down the big toe, which work to keep the toe straight, start to pull the joint away from the inside of the foot outwards.

‘As the joint becomes increasingly traumatised, and having lost the cushioning of the fluid layer, arthritis begins to form as bones rub against each other.’

The final stage, which is rare, is where the joint detaches altogether. ‘This is known as a windswept bunion,’ says Emma Supple.

According to Dr. Khan ‘It takes six weeks for bone to heal,’ she says. ‘You’ll spend two weeks in a surgical boot and the next four weeks pottering around in an oversized trainer — your foot is still swollen and bandaged. After three months you ought to be back in normal shoes.  Plus can take up to 3-4 months before you can drive again.


‘That means whatever feels comfortable (and with your surgeon’s advice). If you’re able to wear stilettos again, then do. It’s unlikely that the bunions will come back — only very occasionally is this a complication.’


‘A podiatrist will examine the joint and get an idea of how low your arches may be,’ says Dr Khan. ‘They may suggest exercises, over-the-counter remedies such as gels, bunions pads, anti-inflammatory medication or splints to hold the toe in place.’


Anyone with the slightest indication of bunions should try the following exercises, recommended by Dr Khan.

  • Sit with your feet out in front of you with a rubber band held between your

two big toes. Pull feet away from each other so toes are straight. Do for two minutes twice a day.

  • Stand on tissue paper and gather it up with your big toe. This exercises all the muscles in the foot and helps to redevelop the muscles in the arch of the foot.
  • Stand facing a wall. Rise onto your tiptoes and hold for two minutes. This stretch works the deep muscle in the back of the leg, which runs all the way from behind the knee to the ball of the foot’s and helps to keep the toe supple.


In the UK in 2013 there were 3,781 recorded hospital admissions for bunion surgery for men and a staggering 29, 258 admissions for women.  According to the NHS Statistics surgery improves 85% of symptoms in cases.  I’m surprised at this statistic as in nearly 20 years of clinical experience I have yet to see one successful long lasting bunion surgery.  Yes I’ve seen short-term reduction of symptoms yet in all cases the bunions had returned and presented to Kincora Therapy Centre for help. If anyone reading this has had successful bunion surgery that has long lasting results please contact me I’d love to hear from you. In August 2014 I had the pleasure of meeting socially an American orthopedic surgeon and asked him “Tell me honestly does bunion surgery work in the long term?”  “No, only short term solution the bunions grow back”.  My reasoning for this is, as I believe bunions to be a biomechanical dysfunction the only long-term solution is changing biomechanics.  Anecdotally most people who present for treatment to me also have low back in particular sacroiliac (SI) dysfunction.  A holistic approach to helping bunions is to rebalance body, change biomechanics breakdown the body calcification over time.  There is no instant cure just a little bit of self care and making changes structurally with the aid of treatment initially once a week for four week and then follow on for once a month for three to four months for diligent clients who do their home care daily. For more advanced deformities the timeline may be longer.


What’s involved with treatment?  Initially some deep tissue massage around the feet and big toe in particular focusing on breaking down the body build up.  Then follow The Bowen Technique protocols for bunion care, which involved daily use of an ointment from the ECBS (European College of Bowen Studies) that we stock at Kincora Therapy and homecare advice. Subsequent programs can include more exercises to prevent reoccurrence on dysfunction such as postural exercises and activation of postural muscles. I also highly recommend the use of toe separator socks whilst walking around at home, shoes like Vibram’s, which are like a glove and in the past people have had great success using MBT to help retrain their muscles and arches.


Call Kincora Therapy Centre now and talk to me Orla Foley about taking the next step in the right direction and helping relieve foot pain and normalize your feet.



Physical Examination of the Spine & Extremities by Stanley Hoppenfeld