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Karen J. Gerrard Blog

Behind the SEAMS  

Holding Hands Is The Strongest Form Of Touch

Touch is the one sense that we can never turn off, a newborn baby will grasp a mothers hand at the first touch, and research shows that depriving children of touch can cause a condition called skin hunger or touch deprivation, resulting in emotional problems and late development. Touch Talks - We have more sensory nerves in our hands than any other part of the body, through our hands we can transmit emotions. Holding hands causes brain waves to synchronise affecting the part of our brain that is associated with empathy, pain and interpretation, and triggers the release of oxytocin Aka 'the love hormone' releasing feelings of trust and compassion  - speaking without words. Touch Soothes - Our natural response when a person is in distress is to hold their hand, to give reassurance. Pressure receptors are stimulated sending messages to the brain which are capable of bringing heart rate and blood pressure down. Touch Helps Us Sleep - Massaging hands stimulates the part of our nervous system that calms body and mind, and the pressure on sensory receptors during exercise will release serotonin which helps you get into a deeper sleep. Touch Connects - What is life without touch, but with all our technology we have never been so connected yet disconnected! Take time to nurture your skin, moisturised skin is not only soft and supple but also enhances our sense of touch. The bottom layer of skin called the dermis is filled with tiny nerve endings that send information to our brain where feeling is registered, if skin is soft it is more sensitive to contact. SEAMS Hand Cream absorbs instantly and is non-greasy and a must for dry, rough distressed hands. Widely recognised for it's mending, softening and moisturising properties. With a biomimetic lipid complex which penetrates the skins epidermal layer to help lock in moisture and leave skin feeling exceptionally soft, supple and smooth. Give your hardworking hands the SEAMS touch Karen J.

The History Of Shea Butter

Shea Butter was one of the many beauty secrets kept by Cleopatra, in ancient Egypt she had it sent especially from Africa. One of Cleopatras most famous beauty tips was to have Shea Butter massaged into her face and body after a milk and honey bath. She would also use Shea Butter to hold her hair in place, and when travelling through the dry desserts Cleopatra would get her servants to pack Shea Butter into clay jars, so that she could use it to protect her skin. Shea Butter has been used to moisturise and heal skin for centuries, and was also known to be used by The Queen Of Sheba and Nefertiti. Shea Butter is an ivory coloured natural fat from the seed of the Karite Nut tree, also called the Mangifolia tree found in the savannahs of West and Central Africa. Africans originally used Shea Butter to protect their skin from the hot sun and drying winds over the African desserts. Shea Butter is one of the richest natural sources of fatty acids and Vitamin E, which is why it has the unique properties of moisturising and healing, and can also help reduce wrinkles, stretch marks and scars, heal insect bites, clear sinuses, moisturise dry scalp, and is gentle enough to use on a baby's skin. Shea butter is one of the safest and effective natural moisturisers that you can trust to keep skin soft, it has incredible properties which is why I chose Shea Butter to be one of the main ingredients in SEAMS Hand Cream. Karen J.    

What To Do With Your Hands When Giving A Speech

Whether you are making a speech at a conference, giving a presentation or speaking at a party the question always arises what to with your hands whilst you are talking! Some people say don't use your hands too much so people can focus on your words, keep them still and hold onto a podium or table, but gripping too tightly shows a sign of nerves, hiding your hands behind your back can look intimidating, holding your hands tightly clasped in front of you can draw attention to the wrong places, and if  holding a pen or paper you may start to fidget by clicking the pen and this can be distracting to the listener. Research shows that's it's effective for a presenters hands to do plenty of talking, and can increase the value of your message by 60% they just have to be saying the right thing! When charismatic people use the correct hand gestures audiences will be happy, as they get two explanations in one! So it is important that your words and actions work on the same page, avoid giving out mixed messages which can be very confusing and eventually lead to loosing your audiences attention and they could walk out! But do not dismay there is a way to come back from this, open your hands out to the the audience, ask if there are any questions they would like to ask, get your audience interacting with you possibly invite someone up to the stage, shake their hands, make your audience an active part of the presentation. For most of us speaking in public can be daunting. It is a gifted person who can stand up and speak with confidence and ability, so having to think about what your hands are doing can add another pressure. To minimise stress read my tips on what to do with your hands whilst you are talking, practice a couple of times either in front of someone, or film yourself on your phone and watch it back, so that by the time you stand up and speak it will come naturally to you. Think of hand gestures as the bold print or highlighter to what you are saying. 1. Keep Your Hands In The Box Although its good to always think outside of the box, hands should stay inside of the box, the area from your shoulder to the top part of your hips. Going too far or wide out of this zone can be distracting, try not to repeat the same hand movements too many times, new movements as with new words keeps the conversation engaging. Holding your hand outstretched high up in the box shows "Its a pretty big deal" but lower down toward your waist that its just a small issue. Hold one hand out to the side when describing the benefits of an issue, and the other to describe the downsides. When You Don't Know What To Do Keep Your Hands By Your Side This is your go to position if you don't know what to do with your hands, try not to leave them there for too long. Big & Small Issues If you are talking about a small issue pinch your finger and thumb together, to reinforce an important topic have your hands opened wide in front of you. Separating Subjects, This & That When talking about two different subjects or opinions you can use your hands to symbolically represent them,  always put the same hand out each time, e.g your right hand for 'we' and your left hand for 'they' its a great way to define distance between two things, and people often are looking at their phones or look away whilst listening when they look back up again they can see at a glance what you are referring to. Talking In Numbers If talking in numbers up to five show these with your hand, it helps us believe the word, a bit like a non-verbal underliner. Fist Shaking This shows you are determined, but use it with care and with a soft voice otherwise it can come off as anger. Hand On Heart This shows you are sincere about what you are saying. Ive got my stuff together A steeple with your fingertips is seen as a wise gesture. Open Palms To Build Trust Showing open palms means I've got nothing to hide and installs trust. So from the handshake to the hands up movements make sure your hands are facing you audience palms open. Come Together When you bring both of your hands together, it is a great way of showing two forces coming together and thinking as one, folding your hands together shows completeness. We This is the most powerful, when speaking to a group or team opening your arms as if you are about to wrap them in a hug, gives a feeling of welcoming them into your inner circle. Its  a lovely come together gesture when used correctly. Listening Always end your speech by throwing questions out to the audience, let them give their opinions on the topic, hand on chin has a number of meanings, but it can show that you are listening and thinking about what that person is saying. Groom Your Hands The Night Before To keep your hand gestures fluid and natural, massage your hands the night before with SEAMS. If your hands are dry they will appear stiff and uncomfortable, moisturised hands increase elasticity in the skin, a massage the night before you go to sleep with SEAMS Hand Cream will ensure you wake up with soft hands. If you are wearing nail varnish make sure its not chipped, and take the colour with you in your bag in case they get chipped on the way. Pick your nail colour carefully nothing too bright to take away attention from your face. If you don't wear nail polish shine your nails with a buffer. Moisturise with SEAMS again in the morning. People often want to shake your hand after the speech and there is nothing worse than shaking a dry hand. Before you make your speech, with your thumb press the pressure point between the thumb and forefinger this will help release any tension. Remember its not just about what you are saying, its your actions that will make the difference. All eyes will be on you whilst you are talking just saying..! Karen J.    

Be Kind – Kindness Matters

Spread a little happiness - the saying "Do Unto Others As You Would Yourself" holds many secrets, kindness has many benefits to others and it can also enhance your own life, reduce stress and keep your body healthy. Experts say that helping others can lower blood pressure, give greater self esteem and make for a happier life. Ever wondered why you feel so high when doing a good deed? It's a real feeling, called 'the helpers high', we have a kindness chemical in our bodies called endogenous opioids that elevate the levels of dopamine in the brain that create a natural high and the oxytocin we produce when socially bonding can reduce inflammation in our cardiovascular system, slow down ageing and strengthening our hearts. Here are 5 ways to add kindness into your day - 1. Smile Smiles are contagious, we all rush around with heads down barely looking at others, but if you smile at someone on the street they will smile back, smile until it becomes natural think of something happy and you will feel happy. 2. Be Kind To Yourself We are usually tougher on ourselves than others, but its ok to take time for yourself, and do something that makes you happy, going on a holiday, a hobby, reading a book, relaxing. We only have one life - one body look after it! 3. Be Kind To Others Be kind to strangers you never know what's really going on in their lives. Opening a door for someone, taking a minute to ask how a friend is, giving help when needed can have a big impact on others. We often take for granted the people that are closest to us, not listening and communicating properly, be thoughtful, understanding and responsive, what you give out you get back in return. Always give some coins to a homeless person on the street no matter how they got there, or what they use the money for, they are in need of help. 4. Be Appreciative Be appreciative for everything you have we are all blessed in one way or another. If someone does even the smallest thing for you don't say "you shouldn't have" instead say thank-you and tell that person how much their help has meant to you, even better say thank-you with a hand written note. 5. Be Kind To Your Hands Our hands are the tools for everything we do, we can create amazing things and make a difference in the world, as the saying goes "we have two hands one to help ourselves and one to help others". Our hands are the most hardworking part of our bodies, and take a bashing every day, they show the first signs of ageing, you can tell a persons real age by looking at their hands. Give your hands the care they deserve, use SEAMS Hand Cream Morning, Noon and Night to keep hands moisturised, soft, soothed and looking younger in whatever you are doing. The Shea Butter in SEAMS deeply moisturises, whilst Macadamia and Rosehip Oils soften skin, Beta- Glucan slows down the signs of ageing, Vitamin E helps heal paper cuts and pin-pricks and Pro-Vitamin B5 protects,  all in a fast absorbing - non-greasy formula. SEAMS puts kindness into your hands Karen J.

How To Keep Your Hands Flexible

At SEAMS we have always worked with flexible hours, I believe in a balanced life, everyone should have time for work, family and pursuing individual goals and passions, however with the fast pace of business it's important that team members keep everyone in the loop with regular updates. Now more than ever our hands are working on the keyboards of computers, tablets and phones. Research shows that the average person spends over five hours a day typing, so keeping hands flexible is a must! Have you ever noticed in the past that your hands have felt strained or painful? This was probably caused by repetitive movements, moving forwards here are three easy ways to help keep your hands and wrists flexible for optimum comfort and performance whilst working on a keyboard or writing - 1. Positioning  When you are working on a computer your elbows should be at a comfortable open angle. If your elbows are angled upwards more than 90 degrees you run the risk of fatigue in your tendons and muscles. Use a light touch - slamming the keys with too much pressure over time can cause fatigue and strain. 2. Finger & Wrist Stretch To strengthen wrists - with the palms of your hands and elbows pressed together slowly spread your elbows apart keeping your palms pressed together. Do this 3 times. Sitting with palms together facing upwards and elbows out, slowly rotate palms down until the stretch is felt, hold for 10 seconds and release. Do this 3 times. To strengthen fingers - hold your hand in a fist and then release slowly. Do this 3 times. 3. Keep Your Hands Warm Cold hands feel uncomfortable and are prone to injury, and so it is particularly important to keep your hands warm in the winter. Wearing wrist warmers are an ideal solution as they keep the blood flowing into your hands at a warm temperature. Also taking a minute to massage with SEAMS Hand Cream will help with the blood circulation, moisturise dry skin and leave hands feeling soft & soothed. SEAMS absorbs instantly and will not leave grease on your keyboard, so you can carry on working and following your passions, as long as you like. Karen J. x    

What Does Your Heart Line Say About You? – Palmistry

Bring your hands together and see what your heart line could show about you. I've been intrigued recently about the art of Palmistry - reading the lines on your hands. There are gifted people who have the ability to read the lines on our hands and tell us what the past, present and future hold for us and what our personality is like, but do the lines on your hands really mean what they say? This ancient Chinese art has the philosophy that our lives are predetermined before we are born and that the energy is in the written in the palm of our hands. Here's what my research has shown - Apparently the most popular thing people want to know about when having their palms read is about their relationships. Research shows that if you are interested to learn how you will fare in friendships or romance you can do this fun exercise by looking at your heart line, combine your left hand and your right hand by holding both palms together as in the image above. 1. If the line on your left hand is higher than the right it could mean you are independent, you may not search for a partner to complete your life but can become a fighter for relationships. You take up every challenge and never let a good opportunity pass you by. You transform your strong nature into being passionate and fiery in romance. 2. If the line on the right hand is higher than the left it could mean that you are a good lover and an old soul. Old souls are said to be very comfortable having relationships with older people, they tend not to confirm to traditional thinking, and often try to push the boundaries beyond what others consider normal. You choose to see people in their genuine self and not how they present themselves to you. Honesty and trust is what you are about, and you speak truth in a direct manner. 3. If  both lines are perfectly aligned, showing a perfect curve this can mean you are calmer and have a pure heart. Pure at heart means you are gentle with yourself and kind to others, and only have others best interests at heart. Your sensitivity means you have empathy towards people, and want to offer them comfort. Once you let someone in that person can be safe in the knowledge that they will be offered passion, trust and loyalty. Changes in life can make you uncomfortable but despite everything you are able to manage your way and always end up better than before. Whatever the lines on your hands show, keep them moisturised and soothed with SEAMS Hand Cream. They are our biggest tools for everything we do. What does the heart line on your hands say about you? Karen J.        

Turning Up The Heat

  Winter is now officially here in the UK and the change of season doesn't just mean we reach for sweaters and coats, but in our homes and offices most of us will be switching on our radiators and turning up the heat sometime during the next couple of weeks! But feeling warm inside can also have an affect on how our hands look and feel. Heated air inside causes low humidity, which leads to water evaporating from our skin, this can cause skin to become dry, cracked, itchy and to look dull especially on our hands which are one of the most exposed parts of our body. So just as you change your clothes for the new season, you should also have a good plan for your skincare routine. Its important now more than ever to massage SEAMS Hand Cream regularly into your hands to keep skin soft, supple and protected through the winter months, prevention is easier than cure! How High Is Your Heat? Surveys show that the average thermosat is turned up to 23 degrees which is warmer than a summer day, and one in twenty of us have it at a tropical 30 degrees! How Hot Is Your Office? How hot you have your office can have a significant affect on productivity as well as your skin, too hot or too cold can affect concentration. It is thought that warm environments are better for creative thinking, whilst cooler temperatures are better for mathematics. A study at The University of Technology discovered that productivity peaks in an office at around 22 degrees whilst Mark Zuckerberg of FaceBook likes to keep office temperatures at a cooler 15 degree C to keep his employees minds alert. Dry, sore hands slow down simple things like working on a computer, excessively dry hands also increase the risk of a static electric shock when touching a door or filing cabinet, so always moisturise hands before going outside, and keep a tube of SEAMS Hand Cream on your desk. Problems of a Drying Atmosphere Being in the dry atmosphere can also cause problems in the sinuses and nasal passages, if the mucus in the nose gets too dry it can cause discomfort in the sinuses eventually leading to sinusitis and headaches. Eyes too can feel uncomfortable and gritty, the eyes are made of mucus, water and oil, the oil floats to the top of the eyes to stop the water evaporating but a dry atmosphere from central heating dries out the oil anyway. Keeping a bowl of water in a room will help moisturise the air. Why Do Women Feel The Cold More Than Men? Although male and female body temperatures are similar, women have a higher core body temperature so when the air gets cold women can be more sensitive to the drop in temperature. Another theory is that most of our temperature sensation comes from the skin, and women's hands are usually a few degrees colder than a mans so we feel the cold sooner, which could be why we secretly turn up the heating in a room. Why do your hands feel the Cold first? When your body is confronted with cold air your blood vessels constrict to conserve heat, usually in the fingers and toes which have poor circulation. When the hands are warmed too quickly blood can leak from these vessels into the surrounding tissue and cause chilblains. So as tempting as it may be don't put hands directly on the radiator, instead gradually warm them up by rubbing them together or holding your hands over the radiator to warm gently and get the blood flowing at a steady pace. 4 Tips to keep your skin hydrated  Moisturise - Always keep SEAMS Hand Cream on your desk, in your handbag next to the bed, use before you go out, and reapply after washing your hands and last thing at night before you go to sleep. SEAMS absorbs quickly the non-greasy formula means there will be no transfer of grease onto fabrics. The Fragonia oil and Vitamin E in SEAMS will help soothe sore skin, Shea butter will deeply moisturise, Macadamia Oil will soften whilst Beta Glucan will help keep skin looking younger. Drink Plenty Of Water - a combination of drinking water and moisturising will help keep the natural balance of moisture in your skin. Humidify - Keep a bowl of water, humidifier or even a plant in a room to help moisturise the air and keep your skin hydrated. Use Your Timer - To help limit damage to your skin it is best to keep your home at a constant temperature, the best way is to make use of your timer or if you have a smart thermostat use the app on your phone to plan ahead from wherever you are, and always feel comfortable. Keep warm this winter, and always take care of your hands. Karen J.      

The Space To Sew

More and more of us are picking up a needle and thread and taking our passion for sewing into creating a bespoke wardrobe. With such a massive selection of wonderful fabrics available, its easy to create something unique that matches our own individual personalities and tastes that just couldn't be purchased in a shop. Not only that but sewing can be therapeutic - Sewing Can Be Calming - Even basic tasks like sewing on buttons have their own rhythm and allow your mind to wander. Sewing Teaches Patience - Every sewer knows that cutting corners always backfires! Impatience and sewing do not work together I've recently come to understand that slowing down and paying attention and taking care ensures that no mistakes are made, and makes sewing an even more pleasurable experience it also stands us in good stead in other aspects of our life. There's Always More to Learn - Sewing is such a broad craft that there are many new areas to put your hand to from couture tailoring, embroidery, quilting or appliqué. Socialising  - Depending on how you are feeling or what's happening in your daily life may reflect on how you want to work, there are times when you will want to socialise and work within a sewing group, and there are other times when you just need to be alone and sew quietly in your own home, collect thoughts and recharge from the daily stress. Or at times you may just want to sew with a sewing buddy and work on a specific item together. A sewer can get so passionate about a piece they are working on that they may cancel a social arrangement at the last minute to finish their work. Being a partner or friend of a sewer requires an easy going nature. Whichever way you choose to work, if you give passion, understanding and fun into your stitches the outcome will always be something beautiful. Get To Visit New Places - Nowadays there are a vast choice of venues to sew and socialise, there have been cafes such as the Sew Cafe springing up across the UK where you can sew, chat sip coffee and eat cake, more recently pubs have started sewing and knitting sessions to boost much needed revenue and be able to keep their doors open. Or there are some great sewing classes with experts such as The Thrifty Stitcher from beginners to seasoned sewers - there's always something new to learn. The Effects Of Different Fabrics On your Hands - The reason SEAMS was originally created was to look after seamstresses hands, I was at the London College Of Fashion at a millinery course working with fabrics such as felt, straw and fosshape which together with washing my hands and using hot irons mean't my hands got cut, burn't sore and dry. We needed a hand cream to help heal and moisturise whilst not being greasy, I couldn't find one so created SEAMS. Working with different fabrics can have different effects on the hands, for example hand sewing tough coarse fabrics such as denim or calico takes a strong aggressive hand, and hands can become painful whereas when creating with a fine fabric such as silk or jersey you will be able to release the pressure and make it a fun relaxed experience. Sewing With Challenging Fabrics - If you spent time and are used to working with heavy fabrics such as denim, you will know how challenging they can be and the simple tasks of folding and cutting can be difficult and require a forceful grip with strong tension, any hand sewing or embroidery will require long periods of pressure that can cause pain in the nerves of your hand, when making the transition onto working with a finer luxurious fabric, it may take a little understanding to get used to being able to relax the tension and pressure in your hands. Sewing With A Luxurious Fabric - We all look forward to working with a fine fabric such as silk or jersey which will be a pleasure to work with and much kinder on the hands. It's always good to ask for advice on the way to treat a fabric that you haven't worked with before, so that you can understand the fabric and how it like to be handled for the best results. There are sewing forums and groups online where you can get instructions from people with hands on experience on the way each type of fabric works. Once you have learned the best way to care for the new fabric and work with it, the results will be endless. Looking After Your Hands Taking a minute whilst sewing to massage SEAMS into your hands will help keep the elasticity in your skin and calm sore areas. SEAMS will help heal pin-pricks, keep them moisturised and soothed whilst absorbing quickly and not leaving a trace of grease on anything you are working with Give your hands and fabrics care and create something beautiful How do you like to sew, what are your hand concerns? Let us know and we can help Karen J.

Sun Dried Hands…

Sun dried hands it's a thing... the summer flies by so fast, wether you take a break for 7 days or 7 weeks the lazy days of summer of having time to read books and catch up on sleep is never long enough. Whilst you come back body and mind relaxed, your hands can feel extremely dry. We usually associate dry hands during the winter months, but actually hands get just as dry during the summer, it's just not so noticeable! In the heat our hands feel moist due to the humidity, but its actually the opposite to what you think as your skin is dehydrating from the inside, and if you don't drink enough water then your skin will start to feel dry and peel. On top of that the sun, salt from the sea and sand dries the skin from the outside, and the air conditioning dries out natural oils from the skin. So it's as the temperature drops when you are back home that the skin on your hands starts to feel dry especially around the knuckles and cuticles, a small crack in the cuticle will allow water into the nail bed causing nails to weaken and the skin to become itchy, this then causes the skin to crack even further and in extreme cases can lead to eczema. Applying SEAMS Hand Cream throughout the day will help to mend, moisturise soften and soothe sore skin, prevent age-spots, and protect your hands ready to face the winter months. Karen J.  

The sense of touch

The hand must deal with all kinds of challenges every day, the fingers on one hand will be flexed about 25 million times over the course of one lifetime. The hand is also very sensitive, there are a total of 17,000 touch receptors and free nerve endings in the palm for passing on sensations of pressure, movement and vibration, so its with good reason that the sense of touch is associated so strongly with the hand. The skin on your fingertips is especially sensitive as we have about five thousand touch receptors in each of our fingertips, thats more than in any other part of our body, so there is a larger brain area devoted to receiving their signals and meaning, Whenever you touch something the brain sends a special message (an electric impulse) that travels through the nerves, which connects to the fingertips. That electric signal connects the feeling of what we touch to many parts of the brain our thinking, feeling, trust, sensory and motor system are effected as well as the parts of the brain involved in learning new movements. Studies show that we can identify thoughts and emotions through the power of touch just as well as through speech. When we see another person being hurt, we really can feel their pain, which is why we will often turn our heads away when we see a person being hurt in a movie, it also means we instinctively know how to help another person when they are in pain. A paper cut or pinprick will be more painful in our hands than in any other part of our body, when a sewer repeats the same action time and time again they will end up with a painful cut in exactly the same place, but a simple change of positioning the way you touch something, or which type of instrument you hold, will help heal the skin. Even though both our hands can feel the same thing, there are some slight differences, sensitivity can vary from your right to your left, studies show for example that when a group of right handed people put both hands into ice cold water, most people took their left hand out of the water first that being the most sensitive as the right hand is stronger from being used more of the time. The right hand can trust what the left hand is doing. The hands are the most important tool for everything we do, they take a bashing over the years Let SEAMS give them the tender care they deserve, and be in safe hands Karen J. SEAMS Hand Cream #HandsOn! #HandCare