Tag Archives: health

Naipo Shiatsu Neck and Shoulder Massager review and giveaway

Christmas has come early here as Naipo have sent me one of their Shiatsu 3D Rotating Neck and Shoulder Massagers free to review. Regular readers of my blog may have seen this product on my Christmas wish list last month.

Naipo neck and shoulder massager

I was really looking forward to trying this out as I get a lot of tightness, tension and aches in my body, particularly the neck, shoulders and back.

It has a heat feature which you can choose to turn off, if you don’t wish for heat. I tried both settings and liked it best with heat, although the heat seems very minimal. It glows red when the heat is on. You can also switch the direction of the rotation of the massaging. It is designed so you can use it on yourself. You don’t need a second person, but of course you can ask someone else to use it on you, if you prefer. You would certainly feel more pampered that way as you could relax your arms.

Naipo neck and shoulder massager

Although it is called a Neck and Shoulder Massager, when I read the instructions, I found it also showed how it could be used for back, waist, abdomen, thigh and foot too. Naturally I gave these all a try and found it particularly nice on my feet which are always sore due to bunions, callouses and blisters.

Naipo neck and shoulder massager

It also comes with a dust guard cloth, but as this is only big enough to cover the node area of the massager, I found it rather superfluous.

This massager is available on Amazon currently retailing at £39.99. Great value for an excellent product in my opinion.

Plus I have a couple of special offers to share with my readers. 15% off a Naipo Shiatsu Neck and Shoulder Massager when you use the code 4ITL89V5 at checkout.
And 20% off a Naipo Back Massager Pillow when you use the code P28WJ9Z at checkout. Codes expires 31/12/17.

You can take a look at the full product range on Naipo website here: https://www.naipocare.com/

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a Naipo Shiatsu Neck and Shoulder Massager to one lucky winner. Please note that this prize is an ex-demonstration model and not brand-new.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need another massage.

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Disclosure. This post is a review of a product I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.

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My Naipo Christmas wishlist

I dream of being able to indulge in a regular weekly massage at a spa, but such treats are few and far between. More like once a year than once a week. So I often notice the tightness, tension and aches in my body, particularly the neck, shoulders and back. Also many years ago I had a whiplash injury from a car accident, which has always resulted in extra tightness and tension in my left shoulder. Therefore it is great to come across massage products you can use yourself at home. I’ve been browsing the product range from Naipo on Amazon and come up with the following wishlist.

Three Shiatsu massage products to focus on back, neck, shoulders and feet – my most achy areas. Plus a couple of cushions, one for everyday use targeting the lumbar region whilst sitting using my laptop and the other for travel.

My Naipo Wishlist

 

 

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Disclosure. I will shortly be receiving a free product from this company to review. All opinions are my own.

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Keeping the bugs away plus giveaway

At this time of year, I find that I can be plagued by mosquitos and other biting insects whether walking through the woods, having a picnic near a lake or just in my own garden, so I was pleased to be offered a selection of natural insect repellent or relief products free to review.

Whilst waiting for them to arrive, I heard that familiar whirring buzz of a mosquito whilst trying to go to sleep. Luckily it didn’t bite, but it brought back memories of tropical holidays pre-kids with citronella candles and sleeping under mosquito nets.

Bug fighting essentials

I received the following four products, although I had been expecting Mosquitan patches rather than spray.

Bug Balm
Zap-It
Vie Mosquito Repellent
Mosquitan Spray

So obviously the first ones to try out were the repellents to ward off the bugs before they got in biting distance. I started with the Vie spray. It is all natural, DEET-free and suitable for all ages including babies. Easy to apply and does the job as no bites. This is available in 100 ml size currently at £7.95 from Vie healthcare.

Bug fighting essentials - Vie anti mosquito spray

Then the next day I tried the Mosquitan spray. This was a very similar product to the Vie spray and equally effective at keeping the bugs away. Also simple to apply. Again it is a natural DEET-free product suitable for all the family. This is available in 100 ml size currently at £8.95 also from Vie healthcare.

Bug fighting essentials - Mosquitan

The Zap-It wasn’t required until I was actually bitten, so I had to take a pause from applying the repellents in order to reluctantly get a bite. This is a small handheld device which you press against a bite, then squeeze the button, which causes it to emit a safe electrical discharge. I found about 2-3 clicks were needed. The idea behind this product is that this inhibits histamine release, which means less itching and swelling.  But I found that you therefore do need to use it asap after being bitten to improve how effective it will be. It is available in several different colours from selected health stores, pharmacies, garden centres, Asda, Lloyds Pharmacy, Superdrug and Amazon, and currently retails from £5.95. One Zap-It is sufficient for up to 1000 bites, based on 5 clicks per bite.

Bug fighting essentials - Zap-It

I didn’t need to try the bug balm until I unfortunately succumbed to another bite, which I didn’t then zap in time. The balm  was easy to apply and soothing for the itchiness, which is great as it is important to try to avoid scratching bites. I did need to reapply over the next couple of days until the swelling disappeared. This product came in a small 30g tin, so a nice size for keeping in your bag and it currently retails at £7.95 from Skinshop. And it is 100% natural, containing a concentrated extract of liquorice root. Suitable for adults and children.

Bug Balm

So in summary, I was very happy with all these products, although I would have liked the opportunity to also try the patches, as I don’t need two sprays. They are definitely all travel essentials with peak holiday season upon us. Also I’m glad that my review is now complete, so that I don’t have to deliberately wait to get bitten. I hadn’t realised quite how dedicated I was to my blog! But at least now I’m ready, if I get bitten again.

Zap It mosquito bite relief

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a Zap-It to one lucky winner.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear your top tips for avoiding or dealing with insect bites.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of products I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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Cheesy Cinnamon Sausage Hotpot plus giveaway

I recently received 7 free cans of Cinnamora, a cinnamon soft drink to review, 6 sparkling and 1 still. I love cinnamon toast, so was very interested in the idea of trying a cinnamon drink. And although there are no established health claims related to cinnamon, there are many studies supporting its beneficial effects on diabetes and cholesterol.

Cinnamora cinnamon soft drink

I was slightly dismayed to see that they arrived in one of those Royal Mail “damaged in transit” wrappers. A few cans were slightly dented, but otherwise okay. I would recommend that they pack them in a box for better protection.

Cinnamora cinnamon soft drink

So onto the taste test. I’m not personally a huge fan of fizzy drinks, so as expected I preferred the still variant. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I would rate the flavour as okay, so not quite as tasty as I was hoping. However on the plus side, there is no sugar, artificial flavouring or colours in these drinks. And it was very refreshing. The rest of the family also tried the sparkling variant. My other half liked it but the kids weren’t that keen.

Cinnamora cinnamon soft drink

Now as regular readers know, I enjoy cooking, so I decided to try it out in a dish. I decided on making a hotpot with it.

Cheesy Cinnamon Sausage Hotpot

Cheesy Cinnamon Sausage Hotpot

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 375g pack of 12 good quality sausages
1 250ml can of Cinnamora sparkling cinnamon soft drink
1 medium onion
1 420g can of baked beans
500g potatoes
50g cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degree C.
Choose a lidded casserole dish which is suitable for both oven and hob.
Peel and finely chop the onion.
Add the olive oil to the casserole dish and heat gently on hob.
Add onion and cook for a couple of minutes until softened.
Prick the sausages and add to the dish.
Continue to cook for a further few minutes.
Meanwhile peel and slice the potatoes.
Pour the Cinnamora over the sausages.
Stir in the baked beans.
Cover with the sliced potatoes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Grate the cheese and sprinkle over the top.
Cover with lid and cook in oven for 40 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
Remove lid and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Serve and enjoy.

Cheesy Cinnamon Sausage Hotpot

This time, I got a resounding thumbs up from all the family. So it would be great to see Cinnamora develop a section of recipes on their website.

Cinnamora currently retails at £1 for a 250ml can and is available to purchase online or at selected retailers in London.

Cinnamon cinnamon soft drink

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway 7 cans of Cinnamora to one lucky winner.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear your favourite drinks or your idea for a recipe using Cinnamora.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of products I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Combogesic pain relief

I recently received a free £5 Boots gift card to purchase Combogesic, a new type of pain relief product. These tablets are a little different to your usual painkiller, in that they contain both paracetamol and ibuprofen. Unfortunately I am currently not supposed to take ibuprofen, following discovery of duodenal ulcers last year, so this review is mainly based on my other half’s opinions of Combogesic.

I have to mention that the packet was very clear in mentioning that the product should not be taken with my recent duodenal ulcer history.

Combogesic pain relief

The combined dose in one tablet is so much simpler than interspersing separate doses of paracetamol and ibuprofen, which could involve taking medication every 2 hours resulting in a lot of tablets. In comparison you may take 1-2 Combogesic tablets every 6 hours, upto a maximum of 6 tablets in a day, which equates to 30% more pain relief.

My other half first took one tablet on a day he was suffering from both a headache and bad pain in his foot. He said that just the one pill cleared the headache. It did also ease his foot pain somewhat, but did not cure it. The foot pain is still ongoing, so he has continued to take one or two Combogesic tablets each day. He would happily buy this product in the future.

Each tablet contains 500mg paracetamol and 150mg ibuprofen.

The current price for a packet of 16 Combogesic tablets is £3.99 and it is available at Boots, Rowlands or Lloyds Pharmacy. No prescription necessary. Not recommended for children.

Always remember to read the packet fully before taking any medication.

I’d be interested to hear your top tips for pain relief.

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Disclosure. This post includes a review of a product I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.

VicksTricks for coughs and colds

Britmums have challenged bloggers to take part in the #VicksTricks Campaign. I received a free goody pack comprising a bedtime book, finger puppets, magic tricks videos and Vicks First Defence nasal spray.

#VicksTricks goody pack

Regular readers of my blog will know that son1 was diagnosed with leukaemia back in 2013 and was on chemotherapy for over 3 years which he completed last summer. During this period, the chemotherapy drugs suppressed his immune system, so he was much more prone to catching the bugs going round school. We had to follow a protocol of checking his temperature several times every day and if it spiked above 38 degrees, he was admitted to hospital for a course of intravenous antibiotics for at least 48 hours. He was always confined to an individual cubicle and not permitted to leave it for risk of catching infections from other children, so he never got to see the fantastic playroom in the ward.

in hospital

Instead my number one tip distraction was down to Mum and Dad. Short bursts of tv, games, WiiU, iPad, reading to keep him entertained but not overtire him between resting.

Secondly regular trips by Mum or Dad to Costa to fetch him smoothies and a panini, as needless to say, he didn’t like the hospital food.

Favourite cuddly toys must be there.

And finally making sure I didn’t succumb to any bugs myself. In particular, I remember son1 getting admitted to hospital on Boxing Day 2015. I was the only member of the household who avoided the vomitting bug, which I put down to zealous hand washing. And I’ve always been a big fan of Vicks First Defence even before son1 got cancer, using it whenever I feel the slightest tickle in my throat.

#VicksTricks finger puppets

Nobody is ill at the moment, but we’ve been having fun, reading the book, playing with the puppets and watching the magic tricks videos. Son1 has a magic set which he enjoys. And as a child myself, I went through a phase of telling everyone that I was going to be a magician when I grew up. Never materialised along with other equally bizarre planned occupations of farmer or spy. I used to put on magic shows for the babysitter, poor lady.

I’ve attempted the sliced banana trick, but I need to practise it more, as I hadn’t sliced it that well.

Here are the key findings from Vicks consumer research:

  • Over half (52%) of parents said that rest was the most important thing for making children feel better
  • This was followed by ‘medicine’, which 40% of parents rely on
  • More than a third of parents (36%) believe in the power of TLC

And when it comes to keeping children entertained:

  • Three out of four (75%) British parents put on the TV or a DVD
  • Over a quarter (27%) read to their children
  • 1 in 10 parents get really creative; either telling jokes (8%) or even do magic tricks (2%)

I’d love to hear what tricks you have up your sleeve, to make your children feel better when they are unwell.

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Disclosure. This post is an entry for the #VicksTricks campaign.  This post mentions products I received for free. All opinions are my own.

Reflecting on 3+ years of chemotherapy plus giveaway

As I finally begin to count down the very last week of son1’s chemotherapy, I’ve been reflecting back over all the necessary medical nasties that he has had to endure over the last 3+ years. The most traumatic for him was the psychological impact of repeated failures on cannula insertion. Poor boy was like a pin cushion and he still had to go through this occasionally after his port implant, if multiple drugs needed to be administered intravenously at the same time. He developed a phobia against everyone who worked at the hospital, be they doctor, nurse or even cleaner, as he associated them all with wanting to hurt him.

My cheeky chap now

My cheeky chap now sporting the latest fashion trend – wear a cushion on your head!

Whilst at the hospital on Monday, we went to collect his latest Beads of Courage from the play specialist. But as usual he refused to go in the playroom. I had to get them for him. Although a fantastic room for the children, it has too many negative associations of being attached to a drip when there as an in-patient for him.

He will shortly be going on a waiting list to have his port removed, probably in the autumn. And although this is a huge bonus in terms of less risk of possible infection, plus he will be able to start participating in contact sports, I do worry how he will cope with needles in the future, especially as I know that all his vaccinations since babyhood need to be repeated next year.

And he does amazingly well with swallowing pills. I know I couldn’t swallow a pill at his age, but he soon worked out that the liquid medication was much worse.  On average he now takes about 40 pills a week and he is so looking forward to that reducing to 4 pills in a week’s time once chemotherapy finishes.

When he needed his first blood transfusion, we discovered that he is allergic to platelets, so the poor poppet was itching away whilst waiting for anti-histamine to take effect.

Brotherly cuddles

Brotherly cuddles back in August 2013 when son1 was just starting to lose his hair

Also there are all the side effects he has to cope with. Hair loss is the one that everyone else saw. When he was hairless, strangers would stop me in the street and ask how he was doing. Thank you so much for your concern. It was very touching. He hates having his hair cut now, again psychological. But as a mum, I’ve seen all the other side effects – pain, sickness, constipation, loss of appetite, over-eating, mood swings and lack of concentration. Of course we were offered more medication like strong painkillers, anti-sickness pills and a vile tasting Movicol laxative drink.

Life will certainly be simpler once I can buy over-the-counter remedies for him without having to consult with the hospital as to what is suitable or not for everyday ailments like hayfever and veruccas. The same applies to some foods. If it is a bio yogurt, back on the supermarket shelf it currently goes.


The first thing to throw out will be the big box of Movicol sachets. I’m sure when next needed we can find something more pleasant, if tummy massage doesn’t do the trick.

Perhaps Docusol Paediatric Solution which is indicated for the effective and gentle relief of constipation in children and babies over six months.  It is a strawberry flavoured liquid oral solution containing docusate sodium.  Docusate sodium acts as a dual action constipation treatment that helps to makes stools softer and easier to pass by increasing absorption of water and fats and also acts as a gentle stimulant.

I did giggle when I watched the Docusol ‘Make a Nappy Happy’ campaign. Take a look at their fun video.

Docusol Paediatric Solution is available in 125ml bottles, currently retailing at £7.99 from pharmacies. It is reputed to get to work within one to three days.
Win Docusol Travel Changing Mat

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a baby travel changing mat courtesy of Docusol to 2 lucky winners.comper friendly badge

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

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Disclosure.  Although I am hosting this giveaway, I have not received any products.  All opinions are my own.

Gadgets for a healthy lifestyle

Want some ideas of what to buy for Christmas for the person in your life who is into following a healthy lifestyle? Then read on to find out about two gadgets, I received free from Ozeri to review.

Firstly the pedometer. Currently retailing on Amazon for £39.99 direct from Ozeri or cheaper deals from alternative stockists and available in black or yellow.

Ozeri pedometer

I’m well acquainted with wearing a pedometer as every two years we take part in the GCC at work for 100 days. It is a fun challenge aiming at a daily target of 10,000 steps and you track your steps across the world. This year I was our team captain.

However I’ve only had basic pedometers previously. This one had a lot more functionality. Firstly I had to program it with my weight and stride. I had no idea regarding my stride length, but the instructions gave a top tip of measuring the distance over 10 steps. From this I estimated my stride to be about 70 cm. You also program it with the date and time, since it has the memory to retain the last 7 days data. And to choose between measuring in km or miles.

For the 7 days of historical data, you can view the following options:- steps, kcal, distance, time spent walking and average speed. I found this very interesting.

There is also a split mode, but I didn’t make use of this functionality. However the instructions indicate that this can be used to count the steps for an event or the number of steps between 2 points, by resetting the interval.

The pedometer also has a back light if you wish to view your steps in the dark.

The one thing it didn’t have that I would have liked was a belt clip. However the instructions did indicate that it would still accurately measure your steps from in a bag or pocket. It was provided with a lanyard but I found this too fiddly to attach.

However all said, I love this pedometer. So much better than the basic ones that I’ve used previously.

Ozeri pedometer

Ozeri pedometer

Secondly the blood pressure monitor. Currently available on Amazon for £24.95, reduced from £69.99.

Ozeri Blood Pressure Monitor

I was thinking this would be great for all the family but the instructions advise it is only suitable for adults. It is important to read all the guidelines in the instruction booklet before use. So just like when your blood pressure is taken at the doctor’s, it has a cuff to wear, but this one goes round your wrist. Once you’re wearing it, press the power button to switch on, ensure your arm is in the correct relaxed position, then press the start button.

The cuff then automatically inflates and on completion your blood pressure will be displayed on a colour coded screen. As you can see mine is green, indicating normal blood pressure. The results are stored in memory and you can scan back through upto 1197 previous measurements. These can be shared between upto 3 different users. It is also able to detect an irregular heartbeat.

It has a convenient storage box and is battery powered. The unit comes with a 5 year warranty.

A nifty little gadget in my opinion.

Ozeri Blood Pressure Monitor

Ozeri Blood Pressure Monitor

Ozeri Blood Pressure Monitor

I’d love to hear what gadgets are on your Christmas wish list.

Family Fever

 

Disclosure.  This post is a review of products I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.