How to stay well-heeled
Fact: we all know that flat shoes are better for us than tottering heels. But when it comes to glamming up, we are unlikely to give up our LK Bennetts or Louboutins. So how do we tend our feet while extending our legs? Here are some tips from Dr Tariq Khan, consultant podiatrist at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine, who acts as an adviser to Carnation Footcare:
• Wear a variety of heels to help your calf muscles adapt to change.
• Carry a shoe bag with you so you can change from flats into party heels.
• Try slightly lower heels, such as kittens, rather than the five-inch towers which can cause you to ‘do a Naomi’ and crash down on to the dancefloor.
• Give your feet lots of TLC before the party season: see a podiatrist, apply foot cream every night (Dr Khan recommends a urea-based product such as Carnation Cracked Heel Cream, £3.05), and buff hard skin every week.
• Carry an anti-blister stick and/or plasters with you (try Carnation Anti-Blister Stick, £4.08, and Carnation Blistercare Assorted Plasters, £5.10).
• After a night in heels, soak your feet in warm, salty water for ten minutes and, if possible, lie flat with your legs up against a wall for a few minutes.
For Carnation products, visit www.firstaidfast.co.uk.
WEBSITE OF THE WEEK: www.giftsforangels.co.uk
Michelle Rice’s little daughter Lola died of a brain tumour in 2006. The sadness of visiting her grave was compounded by the lack of grave ornaments that were ‘bright, beautiful and fun – like Lola’, as well as durable and inexpensive, so Michelle started this website to give her family and others ‘a little piece of comfort’. Find funky cherubs (£21.99), coloured stone vases (£16.99) and handmade seed cards (£4.50) in this small, sweet range.
Q. Do you know of any natural remedies for an overactive bladder which can be used in addition to specific exercises?
A. The Cystitis and Overactive Bladder (COB ) Foundation offers information on this common condition, where people feel the need to pass urine frequently and/or urgently and may experience incontinence (for more details go to cobfoundation.org, or phone its advice line: 01217 020820). The COB Foundation reports that the following measures have helped people with an overactive bladder:
Acupuncture Find local practitioners via www.acupuncture.org.uk.
Herbalism Cleavers is recommended for incontinence, as is saw palmetto (but not for women who are pregnant, on the pill or having HRT ); please consult a qualified medical herbalist first (www.nimh.org.uk).
Sagapro The medicinal herb angelica archangelica (right) is used in this supplement (£26.99 for 40 tablets, from sagamedica.com). The following supplements, available nationwide and from www.victoriahealth.com, may also help:
Magnesium Taken at night, this can help control bladder spasms (Dyno-Mins Magnesium, £14.95 for 90 tablets).
Quercetin and Bromelain These are good for general bladder health (both are found in BioCare Quercetin Plus, £22.96 for 90 capsules).
Sadly, it is often only when someone gets injured that you realise how useful it is to know basic first aid. Finding time to do a course may be tricky, but with qualified nurse and trainer Emma Hammett’s multimedia sessions, you learn when it suits you (find out more at onlinefirstaid.com). With the holiday season nearly upon us, I asked Emma to recommend a kit: she says Boots Pharmaceuticals St John Ambulance Complete First Aid Kit (£19.99, from stores or www.boots.com) is a good option. Details for putting together your own kit are also on Emma’s website. She recommends including two strong, multi-purpose calico triangular bandages (I could have done with these recently when I tended an injured rider and a horse that was bleeding). Emma also advises planning for Christmas, when surgeries and chemists are shut. Stock up on cold remedies, including echinacea (try A Vogel Echinaforce tincture, £9.15, from www.victoriahealth.com), and digestive soothers (such as peppermint tea) and check that you have enough prescription drugs. Locate your nearest A&E department, too – for information visit www.nhs.uk or call 111.