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Friday, May 28, 2010







WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING How you share the bed reveals the truth about your relationship: 8,9,10

Illustration: Amelia Bauer





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A new study shows fathers feel depressed when baby arrives. Arlene Harris finds out what action they should take Kate O’Reilly WHAT’S ON CANCER WALK: The Kerry Way Cancer Research Walk is a 70km three-day fundraising event that has raised nearly F300,000 for cancer research in the past four years. The 2009 event raised F91,000 for cancer research programmes at Cork Cancer Research Centre and online registration is now open on for this year’s event which takes place from Friday, July 23 to Sunday, July 25. The guided walks will start and finish each day in Kenmare and will incorporate some of the Kerry Way and Beara Way trails. Entries will close on Friday, July 2. If you have any queries contact the Development Office at Cork Cancer Research Centre on 021-490 1437. HEALTH DAY: There will be a free seminar on body awareness at the Bio-Force Wellness Clinic, 117 Rock St, Tralee, tomorrow from noon. As well as information on exercise, nutrition, etc., you can try out 15-minute body-shaping treatments from 2.30 to 5pm for a donation of F5 which goes to Kerry Cancer Support Group. To find out more call 066-7180787 or visit ALLERGY FAIR: The first Irish Allergy Fair will take place in the RDS Main Hall from today to Sunday. This new event will deal with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of allergies and food intolerances, including asthma, eczema, anaphylaxis and gluten intolerance. There will be seminars from dieticians, nutritionists and other allergy specialists, cooking demonstrations, and tips on how to keep your home allergen free. Opening times are noon to 7pm today and 11am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is F10. See for further information about the event. HEART CLINIC: The Irish Heart Foundation will hold a free blood pressure and cholesterol testing clinic at their Cork office, 42 Penrose Wharf, from 10am to noon on Tuesday next and in Midleton at the Family Resource Centre on Wednesday next from 2.30 to 4pm. Call 021 4505822, or if you have questions about stroke or heart disease contact the helpline 1890-432787 MINDING THE MIND: Due to public demand the first lecture in the St John of God Hospital free public lecture series, Sleep: What is it? How do I get it?” will be repeated on Monday next. Dr Simon Mitchell will give a talk on the role of sleep in physical and mental health, and the difficulties experienced by many people when their sleep is either lacking or of poor quality. The lecture begins at 8pm in the hospital campus on the Stillorgan Road, Dublin. Visit or contact the hospital on 01-2771400 for more information. ■ Items for inclusion in this column can be sent to




Dads get the blues


ECOMING a parent is a life changing experience. But while it is undoubtedly exhausting, most people would say that the positive aspects far outweigh the negative. However, more than 10% of women suffer from post-natal depression (PND) and last week a new report claimed that many new dads are also suffering from baby blues. The study, led by the Eastern Virginia Medical School, showed that one in 10 first-time fathers experienced depression shortly after the birth of their baby, and by the time the child has reached 12 weeks this figure will have risen to one in four. The findings, based on almost 30,000 people, showed that the disquiet felt by dads was not based on hormonal change but was more likely to be attributed to the change in circumstance and the weight of added dependency. Colin Fowler of the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland agrees with the findings and says that many new fathers are overwhelmed by the pressure of their new role. “When women suffer from PND, it is down to a chemical imbalance, whereas men are suffering because of the enormity of their responsibility and the exhaustion related to having a new baby in the house,” he says. Fowler also says that fathers can feel left out of the process and this can cause feel-

ings of depression and isolation. “Becoming a parent is a huge life change, with everything targeted towards the new mother — and, during pregnancy, the dad is an unnecessary periphery who is only good for rubbing feet and appearing with a camera. “Then when the baby is born, he is often excluded from the bonding process between mother and infant, and this can make him feel very left out and may cause him to become depressed and withdrawn.” Madge Fogarty, spokesperson for Post Natal Depression (PND) Ireland, agrees. “We have found that most women with PND will have a partner with some sort of depression,” she says. “Living with negativity all the time is bound to rub off on them, and many men feel overwhelmed with the extra responsibility of a newborn and the worry of looking out for the new mum. “The most important advice I would give to anyone suffering from the baby blues is to seek advice and support as soon as possible. Visit your GP or give us a ring. “Don’t bottle it up inside. Sometimes you just need to verbalise it and you could find that it’s not as bad as it seems.”

HELPING OUT: First time fathers can also feel post natal blues with change in circumstance and the weight of added dependency. Picture: iStock

■ For more information visit or call 021 492 3162. ■ For advice on male health issues visit

HEALTH NOTES AN ESTIMATED 80% of Irish adults do not understand the difference between irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and the more debilitating condition inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The research, carried out on behalf of Abbot, also found that awareness of conditions such as ulcerative colitis was a low 37%. IBD is a blanket term for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both are lifelong chronic auto-immune illnesses and affect an estimated 15,000 Irish people. The outlook is bleak for those with Crohn’s disease — which mostly affects teenagers and young adults — as there is no medical cure for it. About 10,000 people are affected by ulcerative colitis which causes painful inflammation in the lining of the colon and rectum. World Digestive Health Day is tomorrow and to mark it Abbot Ireland is launching an updated website offering the latest information on IBD and IBS: A lecture on IBD will be held at the UCC Brookfield Health Science Building, College Road, Cork on Monday, June 14 from 7.30pm to 9pm. David Rampton, professor of clinical gastroenterology, The London School of Medicine, will talk on ways to improve quality of life with IBD, while Dr Paud O’Regan, consultant physician/gastroenterologist, South Tipperary General Hospital, will discuss the care of IBD. ■ Further details on

ON MESSAGE: Coronation Street actress Kym Marsh who was in Dublin for the launch of a new education programme for people living with type 2 diabetes. Picture: Shane O’Neill/Fennells

Good news for coeliac foodies: researchers at Teagasc Food Research Ashtown have come up with delicious, nutritious gluten-free breads. Gluten-free foods have a reputation for being low in taste and in nutrition. However, Teagasc has leapfrogged this problem by using high-quality grains — amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat — to replace wheat. According to Dr Eimear Gallagher of Teagasc: “Nutritional studies revealed that gluten-free breads containing pseudocereals had significantly higher levels of protein and dietary fibre in comparison with the gluten-free control.” ■ For more details log onto:

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Coronation Street’s Kym Marsh — whose aunt and uncle have diabetes — was in Dublin recently to launch www.itsmyinsulin, a new website for people with type 2 diabetes. More than 200,000 Irish people are living with diabetes, with researchers forecasting a 62% increase in the next ten years. The need for a website was highlighted following a series of research groups conducted among people with diabetes who said they were fearful of being prescribed insulin. is an initiative of the Diabetes Federation of Ireland and sanofi-aventis Ireland Ltd.

Editorial: 021 4802 292

Irene Feighan

Advertising: 021 4802 215




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Ruth Scott

Best foot forward


RESENTER of the 2FM Weekend Breakfast Show, Ruth Scott, has signed up for the Flora Women’s Mini-Marathon on Bank Holiday Monday, June 7. Part of Team Flora — a group of Irish personalities who are training together to become heart healthy — Ruth’s been doing the mini-marathon for five years and has met some impressive participants along the way. “There was a lady who had a pacemaker put in her 40s. She still did the mini-marathon very shortly after. Another lady did it just a day after her dad passed away. These stories are pretty spectacular. You’re just blown away by them.” This year, the Flora Heart Hero award recognises the inspirational women who take part annually in the event. All women participating in the mini-marathon are invited to vote on the most inspirational stories submitted by fellow participants (visit The overall Flora Heart Hero will receive an additional F1,000 for their charity on race day. Two runners-up will receive race begins on June 7. Ruth, who’s single, filled in on the Gerry Ryan show the week after the presenter passed away. “It was difficult. The hardest part was getting the tone right. I didn’t know Gerry well but when any young man is taken away from his family, it’s very traumatic.” How’s your mini-marathon training going? I damaged the back of my knee doing too many squats and lunges. I’ve kind of wrecked it temporarily. For a while it was painful to walk more than a mile but I’ve

I love savoury foods. Having a loaf of white bread in the house would be like a drug


been getting lots of physio and I’ve been training one-to-one with a fitness trainer, so they’ve managed in clever ways to help me keep up my fitness levels. What are your healthiest eating habits? I’m a saint in the morning. I have a bowl of porridge, made with water. I’m big into salads too but that’s it as far as healthy eating goes. F500 each in a special presentation to be made before the What’s your guiltiest pleasure? I love savoury foods. I’m much happier pigging out on cheese sandwiches than pigging out on chocolate. Having a loaf of white bread in the house would be like a drug.

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What would keep you awake at night? I find starting a new work project means I won’t get much sleep the night before. It’s performance anxiety, I suppose, and that’s a good thing. How do you relax? I love watching TV, going for a cycle or going to the cinema and turning off my phone. Getting out of Dublin and home to Roscommon is really relaxing. Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? Colin Farrell for starters, Aidan Quinn as well, Howard Stern — who could be a bit crazy for the night — and John F Kennedy, who’d have great stories. When did you last cry? Over that weekend after Gerry Ryan died. It hit us all in 2FM at some point that weekend — that we’d lost a colleague. We watched the funeral on a webcam feed — it was highly emotive when the work bunch was all together. His children were so strong and we were all reduced to blubbering wrecks. What’s your favourite smell? I like the smell of freshly cut grass. I love the smells I get walking in country roads down in Roscommon. What would you change about your appearance? I’ve got horrible feet. I’d like to change them. What trait do you least like in others? Indecisiveness — maybe because I’m a bit indecisive myself, so when I spot it in others it annoys me. Any other trait you don’t like in yourself? Related to the indecisiveness, I’m a terrible procrastinator. Do you pray? I don’t. What would cheer up your day? Getting a brand new iPhone cheered me up recently. Hanging out with my mates always cheers me up.

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ON HER MARK: DJ Ruth Scott gets into running mode for the Flora Women’s Mini-Marathon.


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Helen O’Callaghan learns about the healing power of the spiritual world

Where angels tread


ETTY COSGRAVE has been seeing spirits since she was a child growing up in Co Wicklow, and Aidan Storey has felt the presence of angels ever since they visited him as a child in the back-garden of his suburban Dublin home. Neither Cosgrave nor Storey believes this gives them a hotline to heaven. Storey, who recently published his autobiography, Angels Of Divine Light (with a foreword by Patricia Scanlan), had a happy childhood until he was sexually abused by two teachers at his primary school. Storey says his angels helped him to heal. “Some people write off my abuse — they say ‘you had your angels’. But I still had to do all the counselling, all the healing and all the forgiving. By forgiving, I was setting myself free, not allowing the abuse have any power over me, but forgiveness isn’t an easy thing. I had to do it over and over again,” he says. While Storey had to do the work of healing (“life is a learning process and the angels won’t deny you that,” he says), the angels put the right counsellors and healers in place for him. Through his work as an angelic healer and spiritual therapist, Storey met a five-year-old girl who had been abused. “She was very sad, but she couldn’t talk to her mum, because she felt it made her sad. I brought in the angels, as well as Merlin, the energy of love, fun


and laughter, a great energy to use with children. That child was the same age as I was when I suffered the abuse. Meeting her made me see my innocence for the first time — that, truly, I wasn’t to blame for the abuse that had been done to me. Meeting that beautiful girl helped me find perfect peace — I think God sent me that pure and perfect soul,” he says. The angels are about simplicity, says Storey — about making things simple for people. “They give words of comfort, support and easy ways to do things. They put the right people in place for you, but only if you ask them. But there are times of crisis and mourning, when they will put things in place without being asked, because they know you’re not in a place to ask right then,” says Storey, who is also a Reiki practitioner. Cosgrave is a life coach, who creates time in her business life to “facilitate the transition of souls, who are finding it difficult to pass over.” On the morning she spoke to Feelgood, she had been to a funeral. Believing that souls “float between this world and the next” for a period of three days before they “go through the light,” Cosgrave had seen the soul of the man who had died. “He was there, overseeing, giving an energy — the mourners would have sensed him there. His wasn’t a sudden death. He’d had a chance to heal wounds, so the passing of his soul was very gentle,” she says. Cosgrave recently published The Whispering Soul. Launched by newsreader Anne Doyle, it’s a combination of case histories, autobiog-

TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL: Betty Cosgrave, above, works with spirits, while, Aidan Storey, below, has documented his relationship with angels in his book, Angels Of Divine Light. raphy and self-help. The author has never been frightened by her ability to “see” spirits. “Working with spirits, I find great security and gentleness — and a great knowledge that, no matter what you’re going through in life, it’s part of the journey,” she says. Sometimes she meets stressed souls. “Some, who die suddenly, may have unfinished business. In the current financial upheaval, a lot of men have committed suicide. I absolutely have met those souls. I work with them, to help soften their passing,” she says. The 58-year-old says we have to promote our own healing. Cosgrave got little affection as a child. She recalls seeing her mum returning to their home, in Bray. “There were children in the street calling her ‘Nanny Davis’, chatting to her, shouting and playing around her. And she was showing them a softness and affection that we rarely saw. My grandmother was the same — she didn’t show us that kindness, but I knew other kids on the estate were spoken to in that gentle way. It was in the DNA — they weren’t able to show love to their own children,” she says. When Cosgrave gave birth to her son, Fran, she decided to break

FRIDAY, MAY 28, 2010

the pattern. “I needed to learn how to show love to my own child. I sat in a play group and watched children play. Play wasn’t something I’d grown up with, so I’d never learned how to do it. Now, I watch how hands-on Fran is with his own children — and the gratitude I feel for having learned how to show love overwhelms me,” she says. Cosgrave’s and Storey’s autobiographies are not the only ‘angel’ books on the market — there’s a plethora of them. A Whisper From An Angel, How I Became a Bridge Between Heaven and Earth, by Christine Holohan with Vera McHugh, is Holohan’s story of her encounter with the ghost of young London woman, Jacqui Poole, who was murdered after opening the door of her flat to an unwelcome visitor. Through the encounter, Holohan identified Poole’s killer 20 years before it was confirmed by DNA testing. Francesca Brown’s My Whispering Angel tells of how her angels helped her recover from debilitating ME. (Her story was recently featured in Feelgood.) Why so many books about angels? “Angels are making themselves known, because it’s time to start doing things in a new way. We’ve been too inclined to look at everything in terms of profit and gain. We need to look at life more spiritually again,” says Storey. ■ Angels Of Divine Light, by Aidan Storey costs F12.99. The Whispering Soul, by Betty Cosgrave, costs F14.40.




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Deirdre Reynolds suggests five quick ways to get your bum in bikini shape

The bottom line W

ITH bikini season looming, men are bracing themselves for the dreaded double-edged question: ‘Does my bum look big in this?’ Whether too big, too small, too flat, too saggy or too wide, few women would boast that theirs is the Goldilocks of rear ends — just right. Exploding on the pop scene in a certain pair of gold hot pants, Kylie Minogue set a new benchmark for bums in 2000. Ten years later, she is back with a new hit single — All the Lovers — and a steamy video which shows off her perfect, pert bum, despite her 41 years. Meanwhile, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez and Jessica Biel are just as famous for their bootylicious behinds as their photogenic faces. Good genes help — but you don’t get a perfect bum, by sitting down all day. “I’m constantly working on my butt,” admits Eva Longoria. Wonderful if you have the time and commitment to spend all day, every day in the gym. Here are five way to get a perfect posterior —fast. EXERCISE: Surely anything that involves getting up off it must be good for your backside, right? “Wrong,” says personal trainer Pat Henry. “High-resistance exercises such as spinning actually make the bum bigger. To get that nice J Lo curve, do squats with your foot raised off the ground (put the Yellow Pages under your heel). Walking is also great for the bum. “We added oomph to our workout with Fitflops, a shape-up sandal for summer designed to target wobbly thighs and bums. “Walk heel-to-toe as if rolling on your feet and change your stride every fifteen minutes,” adds Pat. Cost: FitFlop Walkstar sandal F49.99. The Bottom Line: It’s not an instant fix-it, but our bum is definitely perkier — and the gym-on-the-go shoes are way trendier than their predecessors. ■ Contact Henry Wellness Centre on 01-6616195, for Fitflop stockists see DIET: It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to get to the bottom of this one, but fruit, veg, salad, lean meats and nuts are the most tush-friendly foods to feast on. Dodge refined carbs and sweets and remember to guzzle plenty of water, says Nadia Rodman of Curves Weight Management Programme, designed to budge the hip and bum blubber that’s the bane of women’s lives. And the dietician reveals her spicy secret for a red-hot rear: “Capsaicin, which puts the pep in chilli peppers, cranks up the metabolism. Try adding fresh peppers to salads, pasta sauces and other dishes.” Cost: Just up the amount of fruit and veg — particularly chilli peppers — in your weekly shopping basket. The Bottom Line: A minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips: unfortunately, there’s


Beyonce Knowles. Picture: Yui Mok

Ten years after Kylie Minogue set a new benchmark for bums she is back with a new steamy video which shows off her perfect, pert bum, despite her 41 years Picture:AFP

Jennifer Lopez

Picture:Ian West/PA Wire

no quick fix for sweet treats that make a beeline for the butt. So next time you’re tempted to raid the biscuit tin, think about that skimpy bikini. ■ To find your nearest Curves Club, look up or call 1800-932800.

well, smooth as a baby’s bum. Get in shape on a budget by taking the products home instead. ■ Call La Spa Therapie, Dublin Road, Drogheda on (041)9803000, to find your nearest Mama Mio stockist call 01-4610645

sion-killing shapewear of yesteryear. Cost: Huit ‘Just a Kiss’ Padded Shorty UK£30 (approx F35) from The Bottom Line: We like big butts and we cannot lie — these babies are a must-have for every girl’s bottom drawer.

BEAUTY TREATMENT: If all that dieting and exercise sounds suspiciously like hard work, why not let someone else pummel your rump into shape for you? At La Spa Therapie in Drogheda, therapist Laura sets to work on our sorry seat. A beauty brand for both yummy mummies and child-free fashionistas, Mama Mio’s Bootcamp for Butts promises “a butt-lift in an hour”. Drill sergeant Laura begins by declaring war on cellulite with some circulation-boosting reflexology. Next, she shows those lumps who’s boss with exfoliation, a fruit acid peel and moisturising deep tissue massage to lift, tone and tighten the tush. For rear of the year, she recommends a course of six treatments. Sir, yes sir! Cost: Mama Mio Bootcamp for Butts, F70 for one hour or F350 for six. The Bottom Line: One glance in our rear view mirror afterwards reveals a butt that’s,

THE KNICKERS: For years, girl have been cheating the system with smalls that strategically suck and tuck. But Spanx are, like, so 2008. Now there’s a knicker that gives your booty the Kim Kardashian treatment — embracing the shape of your body rather than squeezing it into Lycra-like sausage meat. Curve-conscious gals are clamouring to get their hands on the latest sensation in shapewear — a foam-padded pant creating curves so dangerous they should have their own speed limit. We nabbed a pair of the undie world’s answer to Macrolane implants — and were doubly tickled to find the cute shorts look nothing like the pas-

THE JEANS: Forget genes, the perfect bottom is all in the jeans. From tactical back pockets to slimming cuts, denims are the big-bottomed girl’s best friend. And this summer, stylistas everywhere will have a new BFF in their wardrobe. Dubbed “a miracle in natural cosmetics”, Spanish brand Salsa Jeans has just hit shelves here. With four posterior panels scaffolding your best asset, there’s no fear of builder’s butt in these genius jeans. A Wonderbra for bums, they similarly help your derriere defy gravity. Available in a variety of washes and styles — but our favourite is ‘The Wonder’. Cost: Salsa Jeans start from F90, available from BT2 Dublin & Brown Thomas Cork, Limerick and Galway. The Bottom Line: Upgrade your trusty bootlegs to a pair of these inspired jeans and you’ll never look back — others might though.

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Michelle McDonagh finds out how Special Olympics changed one man’s life

A sporting chance


ARGARET CRERAND had never heard of the Special Olympics until she and her family moved from Britain to Donegal over 10 years ago. Little did she realise back then the impact the organisation would have on her life and the life of her intellectually disabled son, Patrick. As well as providing Patrick, now 25, with a social outlet and enhancing his general health and well-being, being part of the North West Special Olympics Club has had a hugely positive impact on the rest of his family. As his mother points out, this is much more than just a club — everybody looks out for each other just like a family would. “If we had stayed in London, our lives, especially Patrick’s, would have been very different. He gets to meet other young people his own age socially on a regular basis as well as participating in sport and I have definitely got more out of it than I’ve put in as a volunteer. I have made great friendships over the years with other parents of children with special needs who are in the same situation as us,” says Margaret, 51. Patrick was born with a neurodevelopmental disorder called microcephaly which means his head and brain are smaller than average, causing intellectual developmental delay. Although he is six foot tall and built like a rugby player, his mother explains he has the intellect of a four or five year old. He is also unable to bend his legs very well so he cannot run — however this has not stopped him from participating in sports such as swimming, basketball and athletics. Margaret and her then husband, Paddy, who is originally from Letterkenny, decided to move back to Donegal 10 years ago with their daughter Christina (now 30) and Patrick in search of a better quality of life. She says: “We lived in the borough of Ealing in London and we were not allowed to send our child to a school of our choice, we had to take what was on offer in Ealing. Through lack of funds, there was nothing like sports clubs, and as he was getting older, there were less facilities available. “We came over to Donegal on a fact-finding holiday before we moved here and got Patrick sorted out straight away with a choice of schools and a guarantee of sheltered employment or some form of training after school. We’ve never looked back. It’s been wonderful for him. Once he started school, we were introduced to the Special Olympics. His speech has improved and he has friends and a quality of life he would never have had in London.” These days, Patrick goes to a training centre every day where he learns computer, literacy and lifestyle skills as well as cookery and art. He trains with the North West Special Olympics Club a few times a week and won a gold medal in basketball at the recent Special Olympics Ulster regional games. Margaret has been chairwoman of the club since 2002 and it’s been a new lease of life for her. When she moved to Letterkenny, she knew nobody outside her husband’s family, and she found the club a great way of making new friends.

There are now 60 athletes in the club from the age of 15 up to 48. It is run by a team of 20 volunteers, some of whom travel considerable distances to be there, and offers an array of sports to athletes in the area including five-aside soccer, gymnastics, equestrian, kayaking, swimming, basketball and athletics. Every Saturday, the volunteers give up the day to organise sports training and activities for the athletes. Two buses set off early in the morning to pick up athletes who live in remote areas of Donegal and Strabane. As Margaret points out, these athletes do not have access to public transport and without the service provided through Special Olympics, they would lead very isolated lives. Plans are now well under way for the next Special Olympics Ireland Games which take place in Limerick next month. It’s a major logistical operation in terms of getting training, venues, kits, medical forms and accommodation organised but it’s a huge event in the lives of the athletes, some of whom will go on to compete in the World Games. Margaret explains: “Each athlete going to Limerick has to raise F450, which is not that easy in the current economic times. We find that it’s the small communities and towns where the athletes live that provide great support and we are asking

Although Patrick is six foot tall and built like a rugby player, his mother explains that he has the intellect of a four or five year old them to come on board again this year and help organise fundraising events for us.” Stephanie McDermott, volunteer manager with Special Olympics Ireland says the response to the call-out for people to be part of Team 2010 — the volunteer team running the Special Olympics Ireland Games being held in Limerick and Clare from June 9-13 — has been unprecedented. The volunteers are currently undergoing training in the build-up to the big event which takes place in less than a month. “This is an experience that people will never forget. They will get to meet new people, be part of the biggest sporting event ever to take place in Limerick and experience the joy, pride and determination of 1,900 Special Olympics athletes,” she promises. ■ The Special Olympics 2010 opening ceremony will take place in Thomond Park on Wednesday, June 9, with live performances from The Cranberries, The Supermodel Twins and the Daghdha/Garvey Initiative. There are still a limited number of tickets available for this alcohol-free event from or by phone on 0818-719300 as well as usual agents nationwide. ■ For further information about the opening ceremony or about the 2010 Special Olympics Ireland Games, visit

● Pictures of Margaret and Patrick: DECLAN DOHERTY


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Acknowledging the power of the troubled person and their actions is the first step to recovery


Creative healing Tony Humphreys


T the moment individuals who experience major problems in living and who attend what I believe are the misnamed ‘mental health’ services, are likely to encounter one of four different models of recovery: ■ ■ ■ ■

The The The The

biomedical model of mental illness and recovery. rehabilitation model of mental illness and recovery. empowerment model of recovery. psychological model of recovery.

The first two models view people’s problems as ‘mental illness’ and are based on a deficiency approach to human problems. Indeed, these two models assume that individuals with ‘mental illnesses’ will experience a progressive deterioration of mental and social functioning and that this would be carried forward from one affected generation to the next one. The good news is that this biological view of ‘mental illness’ as a disease stemming from brain malfunctioning has not been supported empirically, despite the magnitude of research carried out. There is also increasing evidence that individuals diagnosed with a ‘severe and enduring mental illness’ can recover and thrive in society. Some evidence also shows that anti-depressants are not clinically effective and that recovery can happen with or without medication. Furthermore, adherents to these two deficiency models can in fact create obstacles to reawakening hope and responsibility for one’s own life. The bad news is the belief that ‘mental illness’ is an incurable genetic disease that continues to persist among the general public and mental health professionals despite the growing evidence that individuals labelled schizophrenic or bi-polar depressed can recover and contribute to society. However, more and more consumers of these two recovery models are rejecting these models’ unsubstantiated claims. The current community rehabilitation model of recovery is underpinned by the biomedical concept of ‘mental illness’ with its reliance on psychopharmacology. The model does not include a concept of personal growth beyond the disability of ‘mental illness’. The aim is to provide individuals with some basic living skills for either supervised or non-supervised residential settings. The empowerment and potentiality model of recovery holds that ‘mental illness’ does not have biological origins but is a sign of emotional distress resulting from overwhelming stressors. This model believes that ‘mental illness’ was invented as a means of social control over individuals whose behaviour did not fit into the subjective standards of normality. However, adherents to this model, in their vociferous rejection of the notion of mental illness, have lost sight of the fact that individuals who were deeply distressed often required professional help beyond civil rights, optimism, empowerment and peer support. The model of psychological recovery refers to the development of a fulfilling, meaningful life and a positive sense


ANOTHER WAY: Some evidence shows anti-depressants are not clinically effective and recovery can happen with or without medication. Picture: Getty Images of identity based on hopefulness and self-determination. A major drawback with the model is that it is ‘silent’ on the causation, intention or even presence of ‘mental illness’. Somehow, it fails to bite the bullet on the nature of human distress. Nevertheless, it views recovery as an ongoing process of healing mind, body and spirit in a holistic way (without focusing on mental illness as a main aspect of life). Supportive and trusting relationships with others are also seen as critical for recovery. While this potentiality model is an improvement on the first three models, its failure to appreciate that people’s troubled and troubling behaviours are creative and meaningful, militates against its recovery aspirations. An approach I would like to propose is a co-creational one, whereby the distressing behaviours presented are viewed with the person who is deeply troubled as creative responses to perceived and experienced threats. In exploring the story of the person who is emotionally overwhelmed, the professional helper acknowledges the power that the person has shown and the absolute necessity of the defensive behaviours manifested. In this way, that person is empowered from the beginning and a cocreational space is developed so that both the service consumer and the professional helper can move towards resolution of the conscious and unconscious fears that are calling for attention. The relationship with the person who is troubled needs to be of an unconditional nature and considerable patience is required of the professional helper to wait for the person to become present to his or her individual life. The emphasis is on creating the emotional, social, intellectual, creative, physical, sexual and behavioural safety for the service consumer to allow to come to consciousness what has necessarily lain hidden and to move towards new choices and actions. The depth of relationship, compassion and expressed appreciation of how the person has managed to creatively survive the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune are critical aspects of the co-creational relationship. ■ Dr Tony Humphreys is a clinical psychologist and is author of several books on practical psychology including The Compassionate Intentions of Illness which is co-authored with Helen Ruddle.

FRIDAY, MAY 28, 2010

A DIFFERENT VIEW ON LIFESTYLE Your guide to fitness, health, happiness and lifestyle. Great writers and mentors. Where you come first. Phone: NIAMH KELLY Tel. 021-4802215 Fax 021-4273846

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Are you Cliffhanger, Zipper or Classic Spoon? One woman’s study of sleeping couples can help you unlock the hidden depths of your relationship, says Irene Feighan



DRENALINE is the narcotic of choice for lovers in the early stages of love. The shared mantra — touch me, hold me, love me — fills their every waking moment, while sleep slides down the list of priorities. High on love, getting by on dozing in each other’s arms is all the rest that’s needed. But all too soon, the adrenaline rush gives way to the pressing need for a good night’s kip, and even the most love-addicted couples will be forced to negotiate how to share that most political of places: the bed. The ensuing tug-o-duvet war gives power-sharing a whole new meaning beyond the halls of parliament. And so starts a physical dialogue that will mirror the ebb and flow of your relationship through the years. Whether it’s a Cliffhanger, Zipper or Classic Spoon, the position you take while asleep reveals the hidden depths of your relationship. So says Evany Thomas, author of The Secret Language of Sleep. Classifying 39 sleeping positions under the quadrants sun (desire to please), sea (removed but loyal), wind (amiable, spontaneous ) and wood (adventurous, creative), Evany comes up with fascinating insights into what our sleeping positions say about us. It all started innocently. “I had a brunch date with some girlfriends. At the time we were all actively dating and comparing notes,” says Evany on the phone from San Francisco. “One friend complained bitterly: ‘He always wants to hold me’. I was appalled. I have always been a full-contact person, always falling in love and wanting to be cuddled up all night.” Intrigued, Evany decided to find out more, using some unusual research tactics. “I invited close friends over and asked them to demonstrate how they slept. For a record, I put a camera in the ceiling with a remote-control trigger. (These pictures were later used by talented illustrator Ameila Bauer.) “It was therapeutic and fun at the same time,” she says of the touchy-feely cuddle party. Though Evany freely admits the book is not scientifically based, she believes her observations, formed by the “deep knowledge of people” in her life, offer value insights for couples who want to understand and work on their relationships. “It’s fascinating to see how people connect when lying down. And because it’s such a literal opportunity for couples to thoughtfully connect, properly achieved poses can have uplifting ramifications in all aspects of their lives.” A good indicator of a happy marriage is an agreed sleeping position, says Evany. But what if it’s a constant battle over sheets, duvet and square footage which can leave even the most committed of couples on edge with each other? “I recommend a sleep diary for those who have not found their pose. It can help


● The springloader

Often taking turns between load and spring, they have a flexible approach to their roles.

● The classic spoon This simple, romantic pose points to a warmth and contentment within the relationship. to pull together data and keep track, and over time patterns will emerge. It’s important to know what your partner wants and to ask for what you want. We spend a third of our lives sleeping and it’s an important place in the relationship to work out.” Evany also recommends taking a “reverse engineering” approach. Here couples

adopt sleeping poses that promote the kind of relationship they are longing for — Softserve Swirl, Perfumed Forest and Conjoined Twins are but three examples of blissful, shared sleep. And if things are staring to get a tad boring then it’s possible to spice things up by experimenting with the many poses outlined in the book. Once you hit the right position, the

● The stairway

Good for boosting endorphins, it’s the favourite position of long-distance couples.

benefits reach far beyond the bedroom. “Watch for new job offers, fewer arguments and finding life on a day-to-day basis is getting easier. These are all good signs that you have found the right pose,” says Evany. The Secret Language of Sleep has been a very personal book for the author.” I was writing it as I was falling in love — it’s an

● The turnstile

In most cases this pose suggests dark clouds gathering on the horizon.

● Paper dolls

● Patient Doctor

This couple thrives on 24-hour connectivity, even in bed they can’t get enough of eachother.

● The zipper Zippers have sharp minds capable of arriving at unexpected conculsions.

● Conjoined Twins ● The cliffhanger

Their wellbeing is linked to staying connected to each other through touch.

The pose of intelligent busy thinkers with shy, quiet ways.

For couples who like to keep their needs separated from their wants.

interesting document of trying to find the right pose.” But then life has it’s own way of interrupting. Evany and her partner Marco are now parents to a bouncing baby boy, Desi Thomas, born last July. “We used to eat at different times of the day and roll in anytime between 8.30pm and 10pm. But we soon found that you don’t change a baby’s routine. After initial-

ly sharing their bed with the baby — adopting the child-friendly Ticketpuncher pose — he’s now in his own room. “It’s a breakthrough,” says Evany, with obvious relief. “With a baby it’s harder to get along as you are hanging out more than ever together. It’s important to find a way to sleep that makes sure you are both happy. We all

want to sleep in a restful way and feel cared for and loved.”

FRIDAY, MAY 28, 2010

■ The Secret Language of Sleep, a couple’s guide to the 39 positions, by Evany Thomas, Illustrations by Amelia Bauer. Published by McSweeney, F17.15. ■

● The scissors

Pose chosen by couples who are deeply independent and protect their privacy.

● Starfish & conch

The preferred position of couples who fight well together, from verbal jousting to teasing.

● PAGE 10, PILLOW TALK: Tossing and turning with some Irish celebs




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Irish celebs reveal what really happens in their beds at night to Arlene Harris

Pillow talk

● Lorraine Keane, broadcaster Are you a good sleeper? I was a great sleeper before I had children and I needed very little to get by — five or six hours would be perfect. But since becoming a parent, sleep has become a very precious thing because we never seem to get enough. Nobody can explain to you what sleep deprivation is like, you have to experience it yourself. What is your preferred sleeping position? I usually settle down to sleep either snuggled up to Peter or curled in a foetal position, but will always wake up lying flat on my back with one arm thrown over my head and the other on top of the duvet. Who do you share the bed with? Peter and I sleep in a large double bed. We start the night on our own, but invariably will wake up in the morning with one or two little bodies squeezed in between us. Roma is our tiny terror and she definitely prefers our bed, so tends to arrive in every night and I know we shouldn’t give in, but it’s so hard to refuse. What would be your sleeping utopia? Anywhere that I could get a good night’s kip — I’m really not fussy at this stage.


OME people say it’s restorative, others say it’s natures way of keeping us out of harm as darkness falls, but whatever the reason, sleeping is something we all have in common. Whether you crash out in an instant, stay awake for hours staring at the ceiling or count sheep until oblivion comes —

sleep will come to us all eventually. But although falling asleep is inevitable, what makes us comfortable and how we position ourselves in the bed can differ greatly. Following the publication of The Secret Language of Sleep, by Evany Thomas, we ask some well-known Irish personalities the secrets behind their own night-time rituals under the covers.

● Claudia Carroll, author and actress Are you a good sleeper? No, I’m the worst sleeper ever. A chronic insomniac since I was a child, in fact. The only thing that works for me is if I completely exhaust myself during the day with exercise, then collapse into a stupor. But I’m also inherently lazy when it comes to any form of exercise. It’s a catch 22. I have tried sleeping pills, but the hangover you get from them is worse than knocking back an entire bottle of wine. What is your preferred sleeping position? My preferred sleeping position, if I’m lucky enough to get to sleep, is flat on my back. Not unlike a corpse, in fact. Who do you share the bed with? I sleep on my own, but still have no difficulty in taking over the entire bed. And I’m one of those people who is permanently freezing, even in winter, so the electric blanket tends to stay on all night. Terrible and dangerous, I know. What would be your sleeping utopia? Are you having a laugh? I’d settle for being on of those lucky people who can sleep on planes, trains and automobiles.

● Kevin Dundon, chef Are you a good sleeper? Yes, I would say that I am good sleeper and never have a problem falling asleep at night. What is your preferred sleeping position? I always sleep flat on my back with my feet outside the duvet. Who do you share the bed with? I sleep with my wife, Catherine, and usually the kids Tom and Sophie will make their way in around 5.30-6am. I hate to be tucked in as I feel trapped. Catherine is the opposite completely. What would be your sleeping utopia? We have a duck down topper on our mattress, which makes for really comfortable sleep, even when combined with a firm mattress, and we have duck down pillows which are the ultimate in comfort. When you think that you spend more time in your bed than anywhere else you can really splash out on your bedding. No excuses are necessary — you just can’t beat a good night’s sleep. I’m away from home a lot and I love to get back to my own bed. It’s my favourite place to sleep. By the way, the worst thing I ever slept on was a water bed — I actually felt sea sick.

● Ronan Collins, broadcaster Are you a good sleeper? Overall, I’ve no problem sleeping at night, but I do fall asleep watching television as well — no matter what’s on. What is your preferred sleeping position? I like to fall asleep on my back, but will invariably end up on my side at some point throughout the night.


FRIDAY, MAY 28, 2010

Who do you share the bed with? I sleep with my wife and we both sleep at the edges of the bed — in a cliffhanger position. Neither one of us hogs the duvet. What would be your sleeping utopia? I tried a hammock once on holidays in the sunshine — it was one of the best sleeps I ever had and it lasted more than two hours. Bliss.



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Staying match fit


Go easy on the popcorn and crisps for World Cup season

Roz Crowley


E WARNED, the World Cup is on its way and with it, endless hours of slumping in front of the television. With over 40 matches to watch, avid fans could end up with dangerous paunches. Follow the tips below and turn the series into a training opportunity for good eating habits. South Africa, where the games will be played, has a great tradition of healthy food, with lots of fruit and vegetables mixed with meat. They add dried fruit to stews and pies, which is a good idea to help digest the meat. But it’s not all healthy eating: they enjoy chewing biltong — salty dried meat strips — which, with a high level of salt, is not recommended. To enjoy the World Cup, keep far way from the the high-carb diet of the players. They may carbo-pack with pasta and rice to enable them to cope with the bursts of energy they need during their 80-minute performance, but for the couch potatoes watching them, moderation is needed. By the end of the World Cup you don’t want to be a stone heavier and a step closer to Type 2 diabetes, heart attack and stroke, not to mention a thicker waistline. ■ 1. Have a proper meal before the match to avoid snacking. ■ 2. Get out of the habit of eating while watching television. You don’t know how much you are eating when concentrating on the match. Instead have a jug of water to hand to replace fluids lost in the fever of excitement. Flavour it with a squeeze of lime or lemon juice to burn up fat. ■ 3. If you must drink beer, have a glass of water in between each can. Remember that a 12oz can of beer has on average about 120 calories. Light beers don’t have a lot less calories. Light refers to its strength, not calorific content, so don’t fool yourself. ■ 4. Use half-time to do some exercise. Get onto the floor and do some press-ups, put on some music and dance for the full length of the break. It’s a great way to burn calories and shake off match stress. ■ 5. Have fresh fruit to hand to enjoy as snacks. There are delicious strawberries and blueberries in supermarkets. If you don’t


Picture: Getty Images

feel like exercising at half-time, make a smoothie for a thirst-quenching and vitamin-rich drink which keeps hunger away. ■ 6. Remember that a 35g packet of crisps eaten at each match could generate a total of 8,000 calories by the end of the season. That’s the equivalent of four days’ eating. Don’t be fooled by low-fat versions. They may have lower fat, but the calorie count is still high. Watch for bags that have 50% extra in them. That means 50% extra calories too and of course you will finish the bag in one sitting. We all do.

ly calorific. Watch quantities and limit yourself to a cupful and go easy on the salt. Of course do not add melted butter or anything sugary such as a caramel sauce. ■ 8. If you do get hungry after the match, make a sandwich from brown bread. A hardboiled egg, a piece of chicken or cheese all amount to less calories than most pizzas which when mass produced have far too much fat, salt and sugar for good health. Concentrate on eating it so you enjoy it to the full. Try not to eat while watching television as you will chew less and not digest properly.

■ 7. Popcorn is better as a wholegrain food, but it is also high-

Manuka magic MADE by bees that feed off the manuka bush, manuka honey comes from New Zealand and it’s believed to have effective medicinal properties, even more than regular honey. A good all-round honey, I also find it useful for external healing, for fighting infections and reducing inflammation. Always comforting and warming in hot water with a slice of lemon or ginger, it’s a perfect pick-me-up, anytime of year. Try Aldi’s Kilcrea Gold Manuka Honey Active 10+, 250g F4.49.

FRIDAY, MAY 28, 2010

■ 9. Plan ahead for the matches, buying

in fresh tomatoes, cheese and salad ingredients. If you are short of time, beans on toast is one of the most nutritious easy meals. Top it with a fried or poached egg and you get an even better range of nutrients. With a salad on the side, it’s quite perfect. ■ 10. Chew, chew, chew. Most of us chew far too little and our digestive systems take longer than they should to process our food. The better we chew it, the more nutrients that are extracted from what we eat. The less time it spends fermenting in the stomach, doing the work we should have done while chewing, the better. Get into the habit of chewing each mouthful 20 times. It’s not a lot, but is a winner when it comes to digestive health.

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Dr Niamh Houston



Dr Niamh Houston is a GP with a special interest in integrative medicine. If you have a question about your child’s health email it to or send a letter to Feelgood Irish Examiner City Quarter Lapps Quay Cork

WHAT can you give children for mouth ulcers? My seven-year-old daughter suffers from them frequently.

iron in your blood with two tests — transferrin saturation and ferritin level. Both are needed to help diagnose haemochromatosis as ferritin levels can also be elevated due to other causes such as an infection or inflammatory disease. A. Children often get Having too little iron can also cause mouth ulcers as part of a viral infecfatigue. This is why diagnosing tion, but recurrent ones can be more haemochromatosis can be delayed in it’s difficult to diagnose, treat and prevent. early stages as some of the signs and Trauma or damage to the mouth can symptoms can also occur in other condioccur from constantly biting the cheek, tions. People with haemochromatosis a sharp tooth/filling, or by even using can complain of arthritis, chronic faa toothbrush incorrectly. If this was the tigue, abdominal pain, impotence, and cause you would expect the ulcers to also can have abnormal thyroid, liver keep coming back in the same area. function tests, high blood sugar levels as Sometimes recurrent mouth ulcers well as skin colour changes such as percan be part of a systemic disorder such manent “sun-tan” appearance. With as vitamin deficiencies, for example, time, excess stored iron can damage iron, folate, vitamin B12 or zinc defimany of the organs. In later stages of ciency. Inflammatory bowel disease this disease you can be at risk of develsuch as Crohn’s disease is a condition oping serious chronic diseases such as which causes inflammation of the gut cirrhosis, diabetes, heart failure and aband can cause ulcers in the stomach normal heart rhythms. and mouth. Similarly frequent mouth Haemochromatosis is a genetic disorulcers can be a sign of coeliac disease der, so if you have a close relative — a — an intolerance to gluten found in parent or sibling with this condition, wheat, rye and barley. Periodic fever you are more likely to develop it. The syndrome is a condition in which chilgene that controls the amount of iron dren are unwell every two to eight you absorb is known as HFE. (This has weeks with episodes of fever, mouth two common mutations — C282Y and ulcers, pharyngitis and inflamed glands H63D. Inheriting just one gene with a in the neck. C282Y mutation means you are a carriTry to see if there is a specific trigger er — you aren’t likely to develop the for your child’s mouth ulcers. Keep a disease yourself, although you may absymptom diary to record when she sorb more iron than normal. About one gets her ulcers, and any foods or med- SORE SPOT: Certain foods, including chocolate, can in 10 Irish people are carriers for ications taken before. Certain foods increase the risk of mouth ulcers. Picture:iStock haemochromatosis.) Your biggest risk have been identified as increasing the factor is having two copies of the murisk of ulcers — chocolate, coffee, tated HFE gene. A simple blood test can peanuts, strawberries, tomatoes, and wheat plied directly to the ulcers and help relieve find whether you are at risk. But this test flour. any pain. Salt water gargles may also help. can only identify a genetic risk for Your child’s GP may want to determine Try acidophilus in a capsule or live yohaemochromatosis, not the condition itself. whether her mouth ulcers have any underghurt in the mouth. Homeopathic remedies Even if you have one or more defective lying condition and may refer her for a seused to treat mouth ulcers are Arsenicum, HFE gene, you may never get sick. ries of blood tests. In particular, if a mouth Borax, Mercurius, and Nitric Ac. Take the If you are found to have this condition it ulcer remains for more than three weeks, a remedy that fits the symptoms in 6C poten- is treated safely and effectively by removing review with a specialist would be needed. cy four times a day for up to five days. It is blood from your body regularly — just as if Most mouth ulcers will heal naturally and best to see a homeopath for a constitutional you’re donating blood. In the beginning rarely cause any complications. To prevent remedy. about a pint of blood is taken once or twice them, try to avoid your child becoming run a week, usually in a hospital. Once your down by making sure that she eats a balQ. I went for a blood test at my dociron levels have returned to normal, you anced diet, has a full night’s sleep and gets tor’s as I was feeling so tired. I was told may only need blood drawn a few times a regular exercise. Make sure her teeth are in my iron levels were very high. I would year. good order by regularly visiting the dentist. have expected too little iron to be the Avoid iron supplements and multivitamins Use a softer toothbrush, it also may be help- cause. Is having too much iron in your containing iron, but continue with a ful to use SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate) free body harmful? well-balanced diet. Also avoid vitamin C toothpastes. supplements especially with food as these inThere a number of over-the-counter A. It depends on how high your iron levels crease the absorption of iron. It’s okay to gels/pastes and mouth washes that are used were and what the other blood test results drink vitamin C-rich juices such as orange to treat the inflammation and pain. Some showed. There is an inherited condition juice between meals, and whole fruits and medicines such as triamcinolone are availcalled haemochromatosis that is common in vegetables containing vitamin C are fine. able as a paste and contain a low dose of the Irish and Celtic population. This causes Keep alcohol to no more than one to two corticosteroid. There are antimicrobial your body to absorb too much iron from drinks a day. If you have liver disease, avoid mouth washes and gels containing chlorhex- your diet. The excess iron is then stored in alcohol altogether. idine gluconate which help kill any bacteria your organs, mainly the liver, heart and panor viruses that may cause a mouth infection. creas. Doctors can diagnose high levels of ■ See Preparations with Lidocaine 2% can be ap-

NOTE: The information contained in Dr Houston’s column is not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult a doctor first


Catherine Shanahan MUM’S WORLD Feelgood

HERE are certain scenarios none of us willingly contemplates: dying alone in an unfurnished room, no one to lament our passing; losing a loved one with no chance to say goodbye; powerlessness in the face of danger towards our children. For the sake of sanity, we seldom dwell on the fine line between comfort and calamity, but occasionally, the fragility of it all comes home to roost. A recent occurrence in our house highlighted how much at the mercy of luck most of us are. On the night in question, when all but the young, the bad or the restless had taken to bed, a couple of youths slid back the porch door at the entrance to our home as Lughaidh, Dearbhail and I slept upstairs. In search of a missile with which to smash their way in, they grabbed a heavy ornament from the porch. Fortunately for us,

unfortunately for them, Lughaidh’s Dad had not yet gone to bed. Having heard a strange sound, he ventured to the hall to reassure himself that nothing was amiss. Through the frosted glass that fills the frame of our hall door, he saw the outline of a man with raised fist. Instinctively, he roared, a blood-curling roar, the kind to cause your heart to skip a beat, and like a raging bull he charged towards the front door, with no thought for the menace he might meet. The intruders fired their missile straight at the hall door and glass sprayed like water from a hose. But nothing would have stopped him with his children in their beds and in fury, he threw open the front door. The bravado of the hoodlums died an instant death when they registered the rage that charged them down. And so they did what all good cowards do

FRIDAY, MAY 28, 2010

when the going gets too tough — they bottled it, turned on their heels and ran. I had woken to the roars and the shattering of glass and, heart thumping, ran out to the stairs. Debris from the door littered the whole hallway and Lughaidh’s Dad was nowhere to be seen. I tried to process what had happened but was completely at a loss to make any sense of the crazy scene. Lughaidh’s Dad had given chase but to no avail and the gardaí said there was little they could do. They took some notes and left and we faced into the mess, that kept us going ’til dawn had broken through. The bottom line is no one died, the only damage was to property and our greatest treasures slept safe in their beds. But more than glass was shattered with that single violent act — our peace of mind will not be the same again.



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Chelsea stars’ secret weapon C

HELSEA had one secret weapon in their armoury this season that saw them win the double — the Premier League and FA Cup. It wasn’t a star player, a diet or a special pair of football boots, but a Mind Room. Not surprisingly, they are reluctant to discuss the details of this cuttingedge room, a specially constructed space which can accommodate up to six players at a time where players are hooked up to a device that measures seven physiological signs, from their brain waves and muscle tension to their breathing and heart rate. However, Dr Tammy Verlaan-Ross, who works in the branch of science called biofeedback and uses the similar technology at the Life and Balance Centre in Dublin, says the aim of this room is to train the Chelsea players to reach a meditative state in which they can watch themselves make a mistake such as a missed chance, a goal con-

NEW METHOD: Carlo Ancelotti has introduced the Mind Room for his Chelsea players. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire.

Deirdre O'Flynn MOSTLY MEN

ceded or a mistimed tackle without their bodies getting more stressed. “If the Chelsea players have a particular problem — like missing a penalty kick or getting yellow carded — the Mind Room will train them to relax mentally,” says Dr Verlaan-Ross. Players are shown videos of their flawed performance and this technology can record how their body responds. Naturally, players will respond with a stress response such as tensed muscles and increased heart rate. However, training with this technology will help their minds and their bodies to relax again. The idea is that when they go out

Dialling 999 can reduce Concern over waiting harm from stroke list for colonoscopy LESS than 50% of Irish adults would ring 999 if they thought they were having a stroke. That’s according to a recent Irish Heart Foundation survey which was revealed to coincide with the launch of its FAST campaign to reduce death and disability from stroke. F.A.S.T. highlights the key symptoms of a stroke: Face — has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile? Arms — can they raise both


arms and keep them there? Speech — is their speech slurred? Time — time to call 999 if you see any one of these signs. “The average stroke destroys two million brain cells every minute,” says Angie Brown, medical director of the Irish Heart Foundation. “The sooner a person receives emergency treatment, the more of their brain can be saved.” The death toll from stroke could be greatly reduced if more people knew how to identify them, and then dialled 999.


SUN SAFETY: The idea of it not being possible to burn on a cloudy day in Ireland is a myth which needs to be dispelled, says Boots Suncare Scientific Adviser Mike Brown “A large amount of burning ultraviolet light passes straight through the cloud cover, and even though it doesn’t feel particularly hot, we still get burnt,” adds Brown. New for 2010 in the Boots’s Soltan suncare range is Invisible Protection Spray SPF40, F20, a clear spray that can be sprayed in any direction. It absorbs quickly, is water and sweat resistant, and won’t leave any white marks as it dries.


THERE are now 951 people waiting more than three months for a colonoscopy, according to the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF), which manages public hospital waiting lists. A colonoscopy is regarded as the most effective procedure for diagnosing bowel cancer, one of the top five cancers affecting men. “We warmly welcomed Minister Harney’s announcement on bowel cancer

with Kate O’Reilly


MIDGE SPRAY: Neem oil is traditionally burnt in India to protect people and crops from mosquitoes and research has confirmed its power to repel midges and other insects. A.Vogel Herbal Insect Repellent, which contains an extract of Neem Oil and the essential oils bergamot, rosemary and eucalyptus, is suitable for all the family. This natural repellent should be applied to exposed skin every three hours or as required. It is available in two sizes, 50ml F6.75 and 100ml F10.20 from health stores. For more details see


screening which will involve the use of selected hospitals to deliver screening colonoscopies, to begin in 2012,” says Kathleen O’Meara of the Irish Cancer Society, left. “However, unless the problem of waiting lists is tackled in advance of screening being delivered, we are not sure we can have full confidence in the ability of our hospital system to deliver screening while not impacting symptomatic services at the same time.”

on the pitch and have to score the penalty kick, they’ll be so focused and mentally prepared, they won’t miss. They’ll also be able to relax their physiology such as heart rate and muscles activity and conserve energy. The aim of this technology is to get the players doing it without even thinking. This is the first year the Chelsea players have had access to the Mind Room after it was introduced by new coach Carlo Ancelotti who had a similar room at his former club, AC Milan. ■ For more information, contact Life and Balance Centre on 01-2079881 or visit

DId you know...

Early or late puberty in teen boys — relative to their peers — can trigger chemicals related to aggressive behaviour (SOURCE: Penn State, US)

Summer essentials


MOTION SICKNESS: Nelsons Travella, F7.95, is a natural homeopathic remedy for travel sickness. Lisa O’Gorman of Nelsons Homeopathic Dispensary in Dublin says: “It is a safe and side-effect free treatment suitable for all the family. Travella does not cause drowsiness. It’s also a good alternative to medications used for motion sickness which may have unwanted side-effects, such as drowsiness and a dry mouth. We have customers who not only use it themselves but even give it to their pets with great success.” Travella is available from pharmacies and health stores nationwide. For more information or to mail order contact Nelsons Homeopathic Dispensary, 15 Duke Street, Dublin 2 on 01-6790451.

FRIDAY, MAY 28, 2010


HEAVY LEGS: Suffering from heavy legs due to the warmer weather or travelling? Wonder Legs is a new natural supplement from New Nordic which contains French maritime pine bark with red vine leaf extract, to help support circulation and relieve the sensation of tired and swollen legs. Naturalife say that Wonder Legs is also suitable for use during pregnancy. A pack of 30 costs F21.99 from health stores and pharmacies, or directly from Naturalife. For more information call 0404-62444 or visit




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Nail it down

The news on ... BOOTS No7’s BIRTHDAY COSMETIC brand No7 has been around for 75 years. To mark its birthday, No7’s creative director and make-up artist, Lisa Eldridge, have developed the limited-edition No7 Decades Collection. Celebrating an impressive seven decades of strong sexy make-up, Eldridge has created timeless looks which hit the big trends from each era and are still being worn today — from the super-hot 1940s red pout, to the disco-peacock colour explosion of the ‘80s. No7 is also re-releasing the most iconic nail colours of the last seven decades from Starlet Stockings to Pink Slip, F9.45 each. It’s a limited edition, so don’t hang about.


Scrub up and put your best foot forward this summer


HERE’S a delicious freedom to summer. From little tea dresses to jersey playsuits, T-shirts and vests, it’s a joy to be released from the shackles of multi-layered clothing. Mind you, it does mean a lot more work. Short shorts may be super-hot right now, but have you defuzzed your legs or tackled your cellulite? Equally, it’s wonderfully liberating to kick off your shoes and frolic around the park or beach, but if your feet look like something that should be in an episode of Steptoe and Son, then is it really fair to foist them on the public at large? Foot care is a little irritating, largely because feet aren’t the most beautiful of things, so spending time and money on them is a bit of a bore. But consider how much time you spend in sandals throughout the summer — last year, despite the fact that I risked trench foot on a daily basis due to the rain, I was determinedly be-sandled at every opportunity. Thankfully, it’s not too difficult to get your feet looking halfway presentable. The first thing to start with is dead skin — it looks foul on feet, although not quite as foul as when the skin has bits of orangey fake tan clinging to it. Start off by giving your feet a relaxing foot

Emily O’Sullivan soak for about 15 or 20 minutes. This is a great thing to do regularly, especially if you’re someone who works on their feet — there’s nothing more relaxing than immersing your poor old tootsies into warm water enriched with aromatherapy oils or salts. A pumice stone or a foot file is all you need to get rid of the dead skin on your feet after soaking (it’s also a good time to tackle corns and callouses), although it’s not a good idea to use one if you have cracks, sores or any other problems with your feet. Give the skin a gentle rub with the pumice stone and watch the skin slough away. If your feet don’t appear instantly transformed, don’t worry. This isn’t something that happens after just one go, it takes time to reap the rewards of dedicated pumice work.

Massaging your feet after soaking and sloughing really feels luxurious and there are some cracking foot moisturisers on the market now to help get your feet into shape. I love using an oil because it feels like it deeply penetrates the skin and has a silky luxurious texture, although it can take quite a while to sink in. Keeping a pair of fresh cotton socks on hand nearby is a good idea, especially if you have a wooden floor and don’t fancy Torvill and Deaning it across the house. Toenails are a lot easier to cut and shape than fingernails, and people won’t be inspecting them as closely as the might your fingers. If they’re not all perfectly even, don’t panic. The main thing is that they look healthy and cared for — and that you’re not putting yourself at risk of ingrown toenails. File the nail straight across with a good crystal nail file. Finish with a slick of nail polish and you’ve got presentable feet in an instant. If the DIY approach won’t quite do the trick then, it’s a good idea to consider going to a salon. Mini pedicures cost around F20 and under, but it’s a real treat getting someone to do all the work for you. If things are looking a little more serious, then you might need to consider a chiropodist (podiatrist). Log onto www. for more information.

Feel like being refreshed? If you’re working in an office with no aircon, or you get hot and bothered on the drive into work, then keeping a cooling face spray on hand is a great way to revive your skin instantly. Vichy Thermal Spa Water, F10. This is a simple but effective spray that keeps skin cool and refreshed. It’s just like splashing your face with water, without the mess. A fine mist lands on the skin and is rich in mineral salts to soothe sensitive skin. Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray Thirsty Skin Relief, F27.50. It doesn’t have quite the same fineness as the Vichy spray, but this spray is packed with moisturising ingredients such as glycerine and aloe water, as well as caffeine, chamomile and vitamin E. It definitely feels hydrating on the skin, without being greasy and gives a good boost used throughout the day. Trilogy Hydrating Instantly Revitalising Moisture Mist, F19.95. The pump spray on this one isn’t very fine either, which does mean your face gets a little bit of a soaking, but on the plus side the distilled extracts of rose, geranium and lavender soothe and give a great scent to this mist. You can use it as a toner, or throughout the day to keep skin comfortable and hydrated.

STUFF WE LIKE L’Occitane Shea Butter Foot Cream, F22.95. L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Hand Cream is a bestseller, and this footie one is a close second. Rich in shea butter, it’s got a lavish texture that sinks into the skin and feels immediately comforting. Bliss Foot Patrol, from F23.36. Peppermint-scented foot products are definitely my favourite, especially for tired weary feet that have been pounding the pavements all day. This lovely silky foot moisturiser exfoliates gently as well as moisturises and is good for dry heels and toes. Perfect for flip-flop-weathered feet.


Scholl Hard Skin Range, from F6.96. This new range is just what I’m after to get my feet into ship-shape for summer. There’s a Hard Skin Softening Cream, it reduces hard skin and calluses in seven days, an Instant Hard Skin Remover, which gives visible improvement, and a Hard Skin Softening Pen, which is in a slim handy applicator and is idea for travelling. The Sanctuary Spa Covent Garden Foot Soak, F8.95. You can make your own simple soak by adding a few drops of essential oils to a warm tub of water, but if you want to treat yourself then this is a great option. There’s olive fruit oil to soften, tea tree as an antibacterial, lavender oil to com-

fort, and vitamin B3 and pro-vitamin B5 to help strengthen nails. Boots Intensive Softening Foot Cream, Deep Penetrating Formula, F7.29. There’s no point messing around with fancy products if your feet need good care — this is a no-nonsense cream that is best used twice a day. Pop on cotton socks straight after application to make sure it sinks in well. The Body Shop File-a-Foot, F7.65. An essential for getting rid of the tough stuff, it’s got a coarse side for stubborn dead skin and a finer, gentler exfoliator for giving skin a smoother effect all around.

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The Body Shop Intensive Foot Rescue, F15.95. Lovely and refreshing, peppermint intensive cream is a good one to help prevent dry cracked heels that come as a result of wearing flip flips and sandals. It’s got peppermint oil, cocoa butter and grape acids to soften things up. La Roche Posay LIPIKAR Podologics, F12.50. Created with a high-tolerance formula, this non-sticky cream has a micro-exfoliating agent as well as deep moisturising ingredients, shea butter and glycerine. Clinical results after four weeks showed a 40% reduction in dryness.




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I suffer from hayfever and am having a terrible time at present. I know there are many natural remedies which claim to work, but can you please shed some light on which ones are actually effective?

Megan Sheppard Do you have a question for Megan Sheppard? Email it to or send a letter to Feelgood Irish Examiner City Quarter Lapps Quay Cork

A.When it comes to hayfever, I believe the one remedy which is top of the list is Oralmat. It is made from rye grass extract, and has been clinically proven to treat a number of respiratory conditions, including hayfever, and skin allergies. Oralmat drops cost around F25.80 from health stores or Local honey is another tried and true traditional remedy. By taking incremental doses of this, you introduce minute amounts of the pollens into your system, which then strengthens your tolerance to the local flora causing your symptoms. While it is best to begin taking honey before you have any symptoms, it will still be effective during bouts of hayfever, provided you are one of the individuals who respond well to this method (it doesn’t appear to have the same results with everybody). Make sure the honey you choose is raw and unprocessed for optimal results. Blackcurrant is another favourite for hayfever. It has a natural affinity with the respiratory system and also helps to balance the immune system response. Often hayfever sufferers are found to have overactive immune systems, which is why balance and regulation are far more effective than boosting a system where over-activity is the cause of the problem. Blackcurrants are incredibly high in FEVER FACTOR: Rye grass extract has been clinically antioxidants — with three times the proven to treat hayfever. Picture: Getty Images level of blueberries — and are also rich in bioflavanoids, carotenoids and vitamin C. Blackcurrant oil contains significant amounts of gamma linoleic acid eats a healthy balanced diet. (GLA), one of the essential fatty acids which helps to regulate the inflammatory A. There is a supplement which will help response in allergy sufferers. You can add to increase the growth and quality of your blackcurrant oil to smoothies, cereal and daughter’s hair. MSM (methyl sulphonyl salad dressings to help reduce hayfever methane) is organic sulphur, and is an imsymptoms. Evening primrose, borage portant factor in the development of muscle, (starflower), and flaxseed oils are also good bones, hair, skin and nails. It is necessary for sources of GLA. the production of collagen and keratin, so is often recommended for musculoskeletal conQ. My daughter has such fine hair her ditions as well as improving the condition of scalp is actually visible. She is seven years hair, skin and nails. old and is otherwise healthy. She is someWhile organic sulphur is present to a cerwhat smaller than other girls her age, but

Megan puts the spotlight on:


HETHER you are a regular gym-junkie, a casual attendee, or someone who incorporates a fitness routine into their everyday life, it makes sense to assess the fitness of your eating habits to see if they support all you good efforts. It is not only what you eat, but also when you eat and how you eat that can have a massive impact on your physical performance while exercising. Here are a few tips to ensure that your dietary habits are on par with your commitment to fitness: 1. Eat regularly Limiting yourself to three square meals not only has the effect of reducing your energy levels, it can also lead to a loss of muscle and increase in body fat. You need to


tain extent in many foods, supplementation is the best way to get enough of this mineral to make a noticeable difference. It is also quite fragile, and is easily destroyed by heat, which is why I recommend purchasing the crystals rather than relying on diet alone. Pure MSM powder (crystals) is available for purchase from most naturopaths. Your daughter will need to take around half a teaspoon daily for a few days, then increase to one teaspoon. Maintain this amount for a month, and if you are not seeing any difference in your daughter’s hair, then increase by half-teaspoon increments up to a maximum of two teaspoons daily. MSM is slightly bitter in taste, so it’s best mixed into a large glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. It is also worth considering that her gut health may need investigating since it does sound as if she may not be absorbing nutrients effectively from her diet.

eat a small meal at least every few hours to maintain a good metabolic rate and keep your appetite for snacking in check. 2. Include leafy greens with every meal Leafy greens help to kickstart the digestive process and optimise the absorption of nutrients in your meal. Begin every meal with a handful of leafy greens or a salad to ensure you get the most from your food. 3. Simple fluids for hydration Herbal teas and pure water are definitely your best choices for keeping well hydrated. If you use distilled water for tea

Q. I want to give my three-year-old son fish oils to help with brain development, but all of the supplements I have seen have instructions not to give them to children under the age of four. Is there a safe fish oil supplement for toddlers, or should I wait until he is old enough? A. Since 60% of the human brain is made up of fatty acids, it is understandable that a deficiency in omega-3 fats has a significant impact on behaviour and cognitive function. However, because the body doesn’t generate enough DHA, it needs to be sourced from the diet. DHA in particular has been identified as a key factor in intelligence, behaviour, food sensitivities, eyesight, skin conditions, and even helps to prevent eating disorders later on in life. Good sources of DHA include tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout, sea vegetables (seaweeds) and algae. Scientists have also established a link between behavioural disorders such as ADHD (attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder) and essential fatty acid deficiency. Fish oil supports brain and eyesight development and performance, boosting concentration, mood and co-ordination. The good news for your son is that there is one local manufacturer who makes a fish oil supplement specifically for young children. Healthy & Essential’s MorDHA-Mini (; F19.95 for 60 capsules) is a small capsule with natural strawberry flavour that is suitable for infants aged six months and upwards.

Nutrition for fitness making then you will get the full benefits from the herbs since distilled water is a ‘hungry’ water and will pull nutrients into it. Steer clear of diet beverages, energy drinks and brightly coloured soft drinks. 4. Stick to wholefoods The closer a food is to its natural state the more nutritious it is likely to be. Unpackaged and unprocessed foods are not only better for your body, they are better for the planet. 5. Organisation is key Prepare some healthy snacks if you find yourself having to grab food on the run between commitments. Make your own convenient snack packs of cut vegetables and keep small Tupperware containers of healthy homemade foods. A durable cloth pencil case

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makes the perfect carry bag for dried fruit and nuts, and eliminates the need for plastic bags. Finally, remember that nobody is perfect. It is what you do most of the time that counts in the long run — there is no point in focussing on the occasional slip up. If you aim for making the best choice nine out of 10 times, then you will have the freedom to live a healthy lifestyle without fear of failure.




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Feelgood 28-05-2010  

Feelgood is a health and wellbeing supplement published by the Irish Examiner every Friday.

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