For all things golden

Posts tagged ‘Wellbeing’

Oxytocin – for good relationships

This post could also have been be entitled “Oxytocin – for feeling good generally”. Because this is a brain chemical – a neuropeptide – which creates a great feel-good response in the mind/body; it also does so in relation to other humans – you could say it’s sort of socially contagious, in a good way. Some researchers are even dubbing it as “Social Viagra”! Oxytocin is isolated and captured as an actual substance, which is prescribed in nasal spray form, for individuals struggling with social phobia. But it is also naturally produced in the body in any case, under various conditions. In an automatic, practical way, it is produced during the physical processes of sexual climax, childbirth and expression of breast milk. In a more everyday, going-about-your-business kind of way, release of this hormone can be triggered through simply being nice to someone else. This behaviour makes you feel good and may also elicit a pleasant response from the other person which, in turn, adds to your own feel-good factor, through the feedback loop of the positive social interaction. In other words, it’s a lot like the knock on effect of tuning into certain states of mind (moods or modes of feeling and being) which then generate more of themselves through the law of attraction – as shown in the movie What the Bleep Do We Know.

There are some good reports around on Oxytocin. You can also get the lowdown in a really straightforward way from author Dr David Hamilton, who has thoroughly researched this area, in his book Why Kindness Is Good For You. Bringing the feel-good factor into your relationship sphere means working more on simple acts and attitudes of kindness and tolerance. It takes practice, of course – and it does not include placing yourself in danger or turning a blind eye to unreasonable behaviour. But it can have a knock on effect so that you are happier, your relationship is on a more even keel, there is less anxiety and less chance of depression striking – you see the potential positive pattern here, no doubt. So, if you want to raise your happiness level and encourage relationship harmony, think kindly and let the Oxytocin peptide flow!


Qu-Chi Acupressure Band for Hayfever & Rhinitis Symptoms

Hayfever affects nearly 40% of children and peaks in adolescence, frequently during exam times, when students are trying to perform at their best. Researchers conducting a study in June 2007 concluded that those students who suffer with hay fever on the day of their exam are 40% more likely to drop a grade between their mock and final GCSE’s than students who don’t suffer with hayfever – rising to 70% if they are taking a sedating antihistamine treatment. [1]

I certainly wish that something like the Qu-Chi acupressure band had been around when I was sitting exams at school, as having a bout of hayfever all through my Maths O-Level definitely affected my performance and my results!

The Qu-Chi band has been developed by acupuncturist Andrew Broch and is a simple but effective device for tackling the symptoms associated with hayfever and related allergies such as rhinitis. In a nutshell, histamine reactions that show up around the facial area can be tackled and indeed prevented with this band. This is what Airtight International, the manufacturers, say, in more detail:

“The band works by utilising the “Qu-Chi” acupuncture pressure point, which is a specific focus-point on the body, linked to the front of the face and the sinuses. This point is used to pull heat away from the face and reduces the affect associated with symptoms and has been shown to reduce the affective effects of histamine type reactions in the body.”

The way that Andrew Broch, its inventor, explains it is: ‘If you imagine your body as an onion, it has many layers. Acupuncturists believe that if the body’s energy is in the superficial level of the body, it will be more sensitive to whatever the body comes into contact with such as pollen, perfume, dust, paint, animal hair, etc and thus produces histamine to help defend against attack. So I came up with a proto-type band to see how effective it would be if the qu-chi point was isolated with an acupressure marble. When stimulated, the Qu-chi point moves this superficial energy inwards towards the centre of the body, so the body is not as sensitive and does not react when coming into contact with pollen.’

Here is the lowdown on the Qu-Chi band in use, by a long-term sufferer of hayfever and rhinitis symptoms.

What it is: a small black, plastic button set within two attached, elasticated fabric, bracelet-style bands, which are large enough to go around the arm at the sides of the elbow.

How to use it: one band goes one side of the elbow, the other band goes the other side, with the black button on the acupressure point in the crease of the elbow. Instructions in the pack explain where this spot is and how to be sure you have found it, ie it feels slightly tender when pressed.

Times of Usage: The band can be used both day and night. Although it is not completely clear from the pack information how long it is to be used for at each usage, I found that it worked best to keep it on for quite a while, ie several hours at a time. For a few hours I found it to be painless to wear; when I wore it all day long I did feel at some point that I wanted to take it off. Maybe it was just an indication that the band had done its job!

Care: The Qu-Chi band is machine washable and claims to be hard wearing; I hope it will live up to this claim as some of the stitching came a little loose on the band I was trialling. However, so far it has remained intact just through general usage.

How it works: the black plastic button presses on the Qu-Chi acupressure point, which moves sensations in the facial areas to further within the body. The idea here is that any exterior irritants are not registered as irritations at the surface level, so the usual histamine reaction associated with an allergic response to incoming toxins or irritants does not occur.

Results: Does it actually work in practice? For me the answer was an unequivocal yes! I should add that, these days, my main symptoms tend to occur around the eye area and occasionally I also experience an itchy throat. Mostly, I get itchy eyes and, if I can’t resist the urge to itch, will often end up with eye infections such as red eye and conjunctivitis, which can be difficult to clear. At best my eyes will become sore from rubbing them and the itching is an annoying distraction. My usual mode of both preventative and curative action is to use eye drops. But since trying the Qu-Chi band I am impressed at finding it to be as effective as drops, in the early stages of irritation. Where it is perhaps less effective is in coping with an infection state once that has set in, which is not something that it claims to do in any case. If used at the initial moment of irritation, or soon after, it does seem to relieve the itching – both with eyes and throat.

Advantages: The Qu-Chi acupressure band is “unisex”, suitable for both men and women, boys and girls. In the pack picture the band appears in a shade of beige. The one I received was pink and toned in reasonably well with my particular skin tone. Some people might argue that pink is more of an advantage for girls, but with such items as surfer bracelets and festival fabric jewellery around these days, it does look cool and fun in pink! Thinking of holiday and sports use, as the band can go into water, I imagine that it could happily be worn when swimming, or in the shower. What is not entirely clear is whether the band being wet affects the tautness of the fabric, which keeps the acupressure button or “marble” in place; but possibly not as the elastic quality would still remain. Cost wise, at £9.95, the band is quite economical compared with ongoing supplies of orthodox hayfever applications, given that it can be used again and again. It should be added that it can, however, be used with other medications if need be. The band is also lightweight to carry around and can be easily kept in a handbag when not needed. The Qu-Chi band claims to be fast-acting and to not cause drowsiness. I found that my symptoms reduced within ten minutes of wearing it, which, to me, seemed to be quite quick. I also did not feel especially drowsy having applied the band, so I do feel that it lives up to these claims. The symptoms it alleviates include the following: runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, tiredness, headache and lack of concentration. You can put the band on either before symptoms appear, or as soon as you notice them.

Disadvantages: After longer use (3 hours or more) I did wish I could take the band off as it felt slightly taut on my arm. The adult size is “one size” and my arms are probably average size. I wonder if it will be comfortable enough for an adult with much wider arm circumference. The maker’s say it is suitable for people of all ages, although there is no specific mention of babies and I imagine there may be a risk of baby pulling the band off and swallowing it. However, the instructions make clear that it is not to be used by pregnant women, as this acupressure point can induce labour. Additionally, as part of the effect of the band drawing energy away from the face and towards the internal organs, I noticed that my taste buds were slightly impaired when eating and, later, that there was a degree of abdominal pain and extra activity in the organs. This occurred on two separate occasions when the band was worn for several hours at a time and reminded me of the side effects from taking antihistamine medication for rhinitis. However, from the point of view of the Chinese medicine, of which acupressure is a part, maybe this would be viewed as a positive outcome, with the body undergoing a process of detoxification and rebalancing within the organs. I also experienced a ‘flu virus not long after using the band, which suggested to me that this mode of help for an allergy might be tapping into an underlying cause and bringing it to the surface.

Conclusion: The basic idea behind this band is brilliant and the band works similarly to “water bands” aimed at helping people who suffer with sea sickness. In fact, for me it worked better than those do, or at least I found it more effective for relieving hayfever symptoms than I found water bands to be for relieving sea-sickness. So even if you have tried water bands and they did not help, the Qu-Chi band is still worth a try for helping with symptoms relating to hayfever and allergic rhinitis. I very much liked that the band is easily portable, simple to use and effective. It is nice to have another method for tackling symptoms of itchiness in the eyes, especially when in a situation where it is difficult to apply eye drops. There is no mess involved in using the band. I was surprised at how effective it was for my symptoms, including stalling an itchy throat, which, for me, can often be the precursor to a sudden bout of sneezing and watery eyes. I also occasionally experience facial itchiness relating to eczema and think that I will be reaching for the Qu-Chi band to help with that situation, too! For anyone who has ever suffered the debilitating effects of a day of relentless hayfever or rhinitis, this has to be a handy product to keep on hand.

Availability: Retailing at £9.95, the Qu-Chi band is available from and, as well as Amazon, Manor Pharmacies and many independent chemists and pharmacies nationwide. You can also order direct from the ‘Qu-Chi’ mail order hotline on 0113 350 5432. Qu-Chi also has distributors in Spain, Denmark, Japan and Slovenia

Note: [1] Findings from a Hayfever and exam performance Study commissioned by the charity Education for Health, in June 2007. For more information see Donald MacLeod’s in depth article in the Guardian Education section dated 13th June 2007:

Review/Article Text Copyright Diana McMahon-Collis 2011

Creative Commons Licence
Qu-Chi Acupressure Band Review Article by Diana McMahon-Collis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

A new approach to home beauty

A Review by: Diana McMahon-Collis of:


A new book by Author: Paul Peacock

Published by: The Good Life Press Ltd

RRP: £7.95

Within the Precycle! ethos there’s an emphasis on frugality and plain old money saving – with the idea that you can make what you see on the shop shelves “for a fraction of the cost” – which includes concocting your own deodorant, shampoo and furniture polish.  Will the personal hygiene items compete with all those high profile beauty products in glossy advertisements?  Maybe, maybe not.  But they could well accord with the “home spa” and organics approaches to hair and skin care.

There are a few less easily available ingredients mentioned; I would not readily know where to find rennet, glycerine or lanolin. for example – fortunately the author gives advice of suppliers in the Resources section at the back of the book.  I draw the line, though, at wondering how to find 1kg rosehips, for a recipe for a tonic high in vitamin C, in the “Vitamins and Supplements” section.

This is a sweet little section of a generally interesting book on living more of the “Good Life”, nonetheless, wit maybe more of a wave in the direction of Culpeper’s Herbal than a fully fledged red carpet trip.  It is a nice idea, just the same – and you have to admire the author for making some potentially quaint ideas more appealing to a more modern audience.  Be assured that the author isn’t just serving up some wild claim or suggestion that, for example, garlic is good for you.  There’s an example given from “real life” where soldiers in the Great War were given garlic paste on field dressings to act as an antiseptic for their wounds – and the government, apparently, supplied this through purchasing the garlic bulbs from the farmers.

Informative, practical, useful and inspiring – those are the words I would use to sum up this book.  It could save you some money too, somewhere along the line and the idea of using more time and less money seems to fit for where many people find themselves in the current economic climate.

Hello world!

Welcome to the  GoldenCup.

We will be offering reviews and information about all sorts of goodies that can help to make your life and world that little bit better.   Our focus is on wholesome stuff that’s good for you, contributing to inner and outer radiance.  Ideally, whatever we focus on will also be good for the planet!

Why a “Golden Cup” you may wonder?  The qualities of gold mean that it is pure, natural, radiant and strong – and of course highly valued.   Gold has a wholeness, richness and lasting quality that makes it highly prized.  We want to share products and information that may help you to connect with these qualities within yourself.  The Golden Cup is a symbol of the “elixir of life”.  This may mean many things but, to us, in essence, it stands for fulfillment.  We are all looking for happiness and satisfaction.  Anything that helps us to feel  content, complete, productive or purposeful may be found in the Golden Cup.

Health, wealth, wisdom, whatever it is you seek, we trust you will find a taste of it somewhere in the Golden Cup! We will be featuring valuable information of different kinds.   Some of it will relate to understandings and insights about life and living.  Some of it will relate to specific items that have been carefully sampled and studied – including health supplements such as vitamins, minerals and herbal extracts; skin care, toiletries and cosmetics for face and body; perfumery and bath products; fragrances, incense, candles, books, tarot card decks, angel art and products, beautiful and practical stationery items and art, photography and craft items, china ware, kitchen gadgets and estoeric products.

To all of our valued readers, if you like what we share here then we hope you will contribute your thoughts, views and responses.

Manufacturers, producers, publishers, writers and artists are welcome to contact us regarding items that could be suitable for review.  If you are producing or marketing items that are genuinely of beauty, value or goodness for humans and for this world of ours then we want to hear from you.

We look forward to bringing benefits to everyone here at the Golden Cup!

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