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Karen J. Gerrard Blog

Behind the SEAMS  

Ease hand pain with these quick stretches at your desk

Spending a lot of time at the computer can cause repetitive strain injury to your hands, or at the very least you can get aches and pains after long hours of work. Without knowing it we hold so much tension in our hands especially when stressed we tend to clench our hands subconsciously. A few simple exercises throughout the day will help to ease tension and keep your hands and wrists supple. For a quick fix open your hands and stretch your fingers backwards hold for 6 seconds then relax, do this three times. Here are 7 simple hand exercises that I would recommend, have a go at them all and see what works best for you. Keep doing them at regular intervals throughout the day after a few days you will be exercising your hands without thinking! FINGER PRESS - Touch the thumb and forefinger together gently at the fingertips then release, then do the same on each finger, you will feel the tension release. THE FIST - Make a gentle fist wrapping your thumb across your fingers hold for ten seconds, release and spread your fingers wide. Repeat 6 times this will help strengthen hand muscles. CLOCK - With hands flat rotate your thumbs in small clockwise circles 6 times then change direction. Keeping the other fingers together or however feels more comfortable. PALM PLANK - Bring your hands together in prayer position with palms and fingers flat against each other, press the palms tighter together to stretch your wrist as well. LACEY - Lace your fingers together, extend your arms out in front of you and hold for 6 seconds. CATS CLAW - Hold your hand out in front of you and bend your fingertips to touch the soft part at the base of each finger, your hand will look a little like a claw, hold for 10 seconds and release. Repeat 6 times. PIANO STRETCH - Place your hand flat palm down on your desk, lift each finger one at a time as far back as it will comfortably go then back down again. Repeat 6 times. SEAMS SIGNATURE - Add a small amount of SEAMS Hand Cream into the palm of your hand, with the thumb on the other hand massage the palm in a circular motion, working into the pressure points below the finger joints, then into the centre of the palm. Do the same for the other hand, then add a drop more of SEAMS and massage into both hands. SEAMS light scent with Fragonia oil will also help to relax your mind at the same time. Give yourself a helping hand Karen J

Making a connection – can robots ever replace the human hand?

There's a 50-50 chance that one-day we will be replaced by robots. a recent study by Oxford University researchers found that 47% of the labor market in the US alone is at risk of being merchandised out of existence. Some say there are human jobs technology can never replace - CREATIVE ARTS - Even with all the technology to paint and design online, art is an expression of human creativity, imagination, improvisation and individuality, something computers will never have. SPORTS - Are addictive because of the human narrative, more than the sport we are drawn to the players, rivalries, fitness and stakes a robot will never be able to replace that. Imagine robots playing football at Wembley! MEDICAL - Although some aspects of medicine are based entirely on medical data and technical expertise a bot would never be capable of handling bedside manner, making decisions, compassion and intuition. Legal issues alone will ensure a bot doctor will never replace a human. TEACHING - Online courses are increasing in popularity, but would a computer be able to understand objectives? Nature and math's are not just based on knowledge. What about music, art and literature very doubtful let alone teach it with feeling. Computers will never be able to personalise on a student - teacher connection, for that a human hand will always be needed. 'A teacher takes a hand opens a mind and touches a heart' Then again there are times that connecting with a robotic hand could change the course of our lives - CREATIVITY - We could work with a bot whereby they bring space awareness and solve problems on how to implement our creativity for example in architecture. SPORTS - A robot could become a teammate learning the preferences, timing and body language of their human team members. MEDICAL - Perhaps in a hospital nurses could have robots helping them where they are short staffed. So at night there could be two nurses with 6 robots assisting them. TEACHING - Just as the personal computer has become acceptable in school perhaps robots may become the teachers' assistant. A teacher with a robot assistant could be more successful than a teacher facing a class of 30 kids alone! 'Two pairs of hands are better than one!' MANUFACTURING - Leaps in machine intelligence could create space for people to specialise in more emotive occupations - a world of artists, therapists and educators, maybe a robots helping hand will actually give us more time to get in touch with each other. We know that robots struggle with the essence of I, but robots working on the factory floor doing the heavy lifting may save injuries. There are definitely places where bots and the human hand can work together giving precision. In the injured body, robotic hands are now being designed to work with the human body to lift weights, one day they could have a mind of their own to anticipate the wearers needs say researchers. If a robot did the cooking at home we would have more time to spend with our families, and not having to clean up is definitely a plus! FOOD PREPARATION - There's now even a robotic burger flipper and pizza maker, a robot can now slice, grind and fry! Bots may soon be fitted with smell-o-meter sensors that can detect food going bad. FEELING - Feelings can now be perceived through electrodes which means the robotic hand in 5 years time could be near natural. When you touch something you are doing more than feeling it, your hand emits heat and you are changing the surface, which means you are also feeling its reaction to your touch. With the development of SynTouch a robots hand can now be programmed to emulate this by radiating heat to know if the surface is rough, smooth, coarse, soft or hard. One thing is sure the touch of a human hand-to-hand can never be replaced Look after your hands with SEAMS Hand Cream Karen J    

Are your hands ageing too quickly?

As the years go by the skin on the hands thins and veins become more prominent. While make up can camouflage tell-tale signs of ageing on the face, its more difficult with hands which is why its is often said that hands are the best indicator of age. In almost all daily tasks it makes sense that we take good care of our hands and avoid  exposing them to unnecessary damage, although sometimes that is virtually impossible we use our hands without thinking to implement whatever we need to do. With each touch we loose moisture our hands are continually exposed to the environment and take more daily strain than any other part of the body, yet the skin is at its thinnest on our hands, each hand has 48 nerves which also make them the most sensitive part of the body. That is why a paper cut can be so painful! So we should look after our hands as well as we do our face, we all use  cocktail of products on our faces but what about your hands? Don't forget them they are equally on show,  in constant use and need looking after too! Thats one of the reasons why I developed SEAMS a non-greasy instantly hydrating hand cream. You can never moisturise your hands too much, SEAMS sinks in instantly letting you carry on knowing that the natural active ingredients are working deep into the layers of the skin. Love your hands Karen J

Change Of Season

Gandhi famously said 'Be the change you wish to see in the world', meaning it is no use raging against the way the world is, we all have to make changes in ourselves to make the world better. As much as we may feel we hate change, we do change all the time, with the seasons, with age, in our relationships, and change can be the only way forward when we feel stuck or don't know what to do next. As the nights draw closer and the heating starts to come on, we naturally make little changes to be comfortable. Wrapping ourselves in woolly jumpers, blankets on our knees, we leave behind the salads of the summer and start to eat soups and stews. There is something about the winter months that makes us take extra care of ourselves and perhaps take stock of our lives. Whatever changes you maybe going through, be it a new job, new home, a divorce, through those tumultuous times we can make positive changes to. As they say, 'nothing changes if nothing changes'. Taking care of our hands, our skin, our hair and moving more gently we can show ourselves a little love and help us to cope with situations. The way we hold ourselves can have a huge impact on how we face challenges in life, and our hands say more than any other part of our body. When we are angry or tense, we tend to clasp or wring our hands, we show the backs of our hands when we tell the world we are closed to them. When we are happy or excited we wave our hands openly. Everyone knows  in job interviews  you should sit confidently, project calm and openness, showing our palms and upturned faces. Our hands are extraordinarily powerful at conveying emotion. a simple touch of a hand can be like a jolt of electricity. We show our support to others with a kind hand by taking someones hand. When we take someones hand in love, in support to help guide someone it is more than just a physical gesture, touch can make a person feel loved and looked after. It is a scientific fact that holding hands comforts and calms. 'Hands are the landscape of the heart' start watching peoples hands in a day and see how peoples hand gestures make you think or feel. We give away so much of ourselves by our hand gestures, if we are nervous we may not know what to do with our hands a prime example of this is when we are having our photograph taken. Standing calmly with your hands relaxed at your side conveys confidence and calm to others. SEAMS Hand Cream is full of natural ingredients to help keep your hands and mind calm and provide moments of peace in your day. There is no limit to how many times in a day or night you can apply hand cream. Lightly scented with SEAMS calming signature scent which helps to balance emotions, and enriched with moisturising and protecting Shea Butter, SEAMS melts into skin within 60 seconds, mending, moisturising and deeply soothing, leaving hands silky-smooth, beautiful and feeling better from the first use. Let SEAMS calm your skin as well as your mind Let SEAMS be your constant in a world that is ever changing Karen J x  

The Human Touch

We have never been more connected yet disconnected in our digital world of communication, through the touch of a keyboard we can access information and connect to friends and strangers which is fantastic but can that compinsate for the human touch? We live in a busy world but its so easy for some of us to go weeks without being touched. Nothing beats sitting face to face, talking, and watching a persons hand gestures can bring the understanding to build a relationship in a way emails cannot. Touch is also important for our physical and emotional wellbeing. Research tells us that a newborn monkey not touched has a lower chance of survival. Touching reduces anxiety simply touching another person can make us feel grounded and safe. Touch can lower a person's blood pressure, slow the heart rate and even stroking a pet has beneficial effects. Holding hands conveys love in a way words could never do. Research shows that more people than ever suffer from 'Skin Hunger' people who are deprived of touch are more likely to suffer depression and stress, and to have Alexithymia a condition that impairs their ability to express and interpret emotions. Affectionate contact is necessary for a healthy life. But nothing is worse than being touched by a dry calloused hand, just a few minutes care with SEAMS Hand Cream throughout the day will give your hands the soft silky touch. All various kinds of touch from butterfly kisses to massage send our brains the physical messages to make sense of the world. So make sure you take the time to explore different textures and touch sensations, such as letting cool sand run through your fingers. On Miami beach this summer watching people gradually 'un plug' being in the sea with new friends laughing, and building sand holes I was reminded how much connecting in real life is as important as in virtual. Kindles are great for holidays but for me nothing replaces the feeling of holding a book and turning the pages. Whichever way you choose to read both still dry out the skin on our hands! The heat from a kindle and the porous effects of paper prove that SEAMS Hand Cream is an absolute must in your handbag, on the coffee table, next to your bed. Our hands need to be looked after more now than ever before with the increased hand-washing, drying effects of anti-bacterial soaps. natural elements and the heat from our digital devices know that when your mobile phone gets hot it is literally burning and drying out your skin! Whichever way you choose to interact it still always goes back to the human hand that starts the action look after yours with SEAMS Hand Cream Karen J x  

If I Could Turn Back The Hands Of Time

Summer holidays make us all feel like we are turning back time. memories of beach holidays from our childhood, family time, relaxing having fun and enjoying the sun makes us all feel younger and more carefree. Ive been spending the summer out in Miami and just not having to look at the clock takes time away. But the reality is just by being in the sun we are speeding up the ageing of our skin especially on our hands! Why do our hands suffer so badly? Well the first obvious one is that we are using our hands all the time, the the skin on our hands is thinner than any other part of our body and just gets thinner with age. Our hands age faster than our face! Water inside our bodies keep us dehydrated but water outside our bodies make our skin dry and add that to the salt from the sea and the dry sand, well what hope do our hands have! You may feel like when you are smoothing sun cream over your body that your hands are protected but the sunscreen on our hands comes off almost immediately touching the towel, in the sand and water, just by holding an iced drink the evaporated water on the outside of the glass can  wash off the protection on our hands Excess sun exposure and then air conditioning leaves our hands feeling drier than ever in the evening, and know that wrinkling, age spots and dry skin will happen fast if you don't look after your hands. Just a small amount of collagen or elastin fibre breakdown will make a noticeable ageing difference on the hands. But you don't have to throw your hands in the air without a fight, regular use of SEAMS Hand Cream gives an immediate improvement to the feel and look of your hands and will help to prevent further ageing. You must apply SEAMS Hand Cream especially in these summer months where the warm weather dehydrates our skin. Although we cant "Turn back time" as Cher sung in the summer of 1989, we can make difference to how our hands feel now and how they will look in 10 years time. The more you apply SEAMS the better your hands will look with a silky soft feel. Pay half the attention to your hands as you do your face and you will give yourself a natural 'hand lift' turning back the hands of time in a way you hadn't thought about before. Moisturising regularly with SEAMS stimulates the health of skin cells as the softening and restoring Macadamia Rose Hip oils and moisturising and protecting Shea Butter sink instantly into the layers of your skin, I say its especially important to use in the evening as many times as you like during the summer months. Whilst walking around the Design District in Miami looking at the wonderful art I stopped to think and sit down on the hand of the amazing statue of Le Corbusier the Swiss-French architect, designer, painter and writer born in 1987 he is still influential today with people turning back in time to take inspiration from his work. I thought hands really do draw the link between thought and creating. Even just a touch can say so much it conveys a feeling in a way speech can never do, holding hands in the summer strolling along the beach you need to keep your hands soft! So this summer drink when you don't feel thirsty and apply SEAMS Hand Cream even before your hands feel dry. Enjoy the rest of your summer Karen J Gerrard        

Practical Beauty

William Morris one of the most prominent names in the British Arts and Crafts movement once said "Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" In these days of disposable consumerism it is actually a very wise mantra to live by. In this age of media and must have so often we waste money on material thing that we do not need, take a look around your home! There is nothing like a good clear-out to lift the soul, if you know you will not use something or don't like it then take it to the charity shop making space in your home can be very therapeutic. But the best of products and those which stand the test of time are those which are useful and beautiful. The new electric cars have no emissions are cost effective yet look good and are very comfortable. George Carwardine invented a spring in 1932, which he used to solve the problem of how to design a lamp that would remain in position after being moved in every conceivable direction. The Anglepoise lamp was born, an incredibly practical thing, but its also really gorgeous and nothing beats it to this day. The wedge shoe is a sensible option, can be worn on grass without sinking and is far gentler on our feet than a traditional heel, yet they are still elegant and stylish. When Steve Jobs designed the Apple Mac, he knew it had to be technically superior to anything Microsoft could offer. But a big part of what has made Apple products the success they are today was the uncompromising certainty he had that they should be beautifully designed. The Eames Chair, the Kitchen Maid, the Dyson; all practical products performing the mundane tasks of providing somewhere to sit down, help us bake, clear up our messes. They are elevated in status, much acclaimed and imitated because they look good. Beauty does not have to cost a fortune, take a look at mother nature Flowers perform the very basic function of allowing procreation; the continuing of the species; The most beautiful of flowers remain underground throughout the winter yet a minute looking at their beauty or breathing in their scent can give us a sense of wellbeing. On the average day your hands might chop, cook, clean, write, type, gesture, comfort, soothe, show affection, aid communications, lift, carry, make, mend and sew amongst any number of other practical things. Nothing works harder. SEAMS Hand Cream  making the practical beautiful - Affordable Luxury Look after your hands Karen J Gerrard    

With The Click Of A Finger

The saying is "The world is my oyster" and now "the world is the click of a finger away". Just 35 years ago all of our learning came from text books and libraries. We learnt the hard way, mastering reading and writing, processing complex information and forming independent opinions was something we developed over a life-time. With the click of a finger we can access a wealth of information and experts have noticed with this resource comes the ability to rationalise information and adopt informed views quicker and from a much earlier age. Young people are now now so used to processing information from a multitude of sources and use this skill naturally in everyday life. They are now more capable of rationalising emotions ad complex situations earlier, and can drill down to the route of a situation and find a suitable solution far quicker than previous generations would have been able to do so. Their brains have been trained from using the multitude of information sources available to them on their habitual digital channels. The result is a younger, more informed and free-thinking people and our fingers are the gateway to all this learning. We have instant contact at our fingertips, wherever we are. It will be interesting to follow what the long-term effects of these developments will be too. It is widely believed that the reason we as a race have triumphed is because of our opposable thumbs. Could it be that all these years we have just been growing and evolving so one day we could text each other with one hand? It is fun to think of how we might evolve now everything we do is so intensively digit-powered. Our hands might become phone shaped cups with two very highly developed and muscular thumbs for faster typing speeds. we might change our shape from all the sitting and typing. Our necks could bend over, eyes become bigger and our fingers more powerful. How frightening to think the film Wall-e with its sinister foretelling of a spineless, boneless race could ring true! Have YOU got smartphone pinky? People are noticing changes in the shape of their little fingers, take a look at your little finger on the hand you use to hold your phone and compare it to the other, you may find an indentation on the place where it contacts with your phone! One thing for sure is we must do all we can to look after our busy fingers and take care of them, not just cosmetically but gently, deeply and often look after the flexibility of your hands and skin. Give them a rest from all that furious activity and regularly through the day massage your palms and fingers to ease tension and avoid repetitive strain injury. Take a moment to smooth a layer of SEAMS Hand Cream into the skin in a circular motion using the thumb from the opposite hand. Working into the pressure points from wrist, palm and down to the fingertips. Gently massage SEAMS into one finger at a time, making circular motions over all three joints on each finger and gently pill each fingertip away from the hand. Turn your palm over and use your opposite thumb to massage in deep circular movements. Breath in the lovely calming scent of SEAMS then carry on with energised, soft hands. Click your fingers and buy SEAMS today Karen J    

Let Handwriting Have The last Word

When is the last time you wrote someone a proper handwritten letter? Do you even have writing paper in your house? Many of us can go a whole week without lifting a pen! The handwritten note has been out of fashion for a long time, eclipsed by the modern channels of texting and tweeting, emails and emoticons. The art of handwriting however is not entirely dead... The working world is so more efficient since the advent of the keyboard. Authors can finish a book faster than their fingers could ever write. Predictive text helps us all to spell and those whose handwriting is illegible are delighted to hide behind uniform fonts. We can keep up with all our friends on Facebook wishing happy birthday without the hassle of sending a card, and can share special thoughts and emotions at the click of a finger. But there is so much more power in the handwritten word and all the more for its paucity in modern life. It isn't so much what a letter or card says necessarily, but the time and thought taken to write it. If someone receives a beautifully written note they will remember how it made them feel in the way an email could never match. Companies are beginning to harness this power in the business world, sending a thoughtful note with a customer order, a handwritten thank you for someones time in a meeting, can make them feel valued. Taking the time to write conveys there is someone who is accountable and cares about their customers. The art of handwriting is coming back in style and it can make all the difference in standing out from the competition. There have always been examples of where only handwriting will do... a signature on a contract cannot be broken, and the right signature on a painting can make it priceless. The Queen's menus, handwritten in French every day, could not be any other way and the tradition of writing the very best moments of the fox hunt in red ink to indicate (red-letter) day, should never be lost. How about the bitter sweetness of finding that last shakily written birthday card your grandmother wrote to you? The tender feelings that familiar trembling hand evokes. The art of handwriting itself stimulates the brain more than typing because the cognitive skills required are more complex. When we were young we notice people's handwriting and compare it to our own. The way we write is thought to speak reams about us. Graphologists, (handwriting analysts), believe the way we space or connect our letters, or sign our names can reveal our energy levels, state of health and weather we are outgoing or reserved. Celebrities are thought to have a tendency towards large handwriting which says you are fun and like to be the centre of a party, rounded letters says you are creative and artistic. Narrow spacing says you can't bear to be alone whilst wide spacing shows you enjoy your freedom. Slanting to the right says you are thought to be friendly and sociable, whilst slanting to the left indicates a self-centredness, or no slant at all is thought to mean a more balanced demeanour. Burt Baguette America's #1 handwriting expert has written books on how to find a fulfilling & loving relationship through handwriting analysis. Or is our writing just to do with the shapes of our fingers and hands? Handwriting could be brain writing how wired you feel could come out through your writing instrument! Handwriting is something increasingly examined as part of the business recruitment process and used to determine wether a person will fit in with the company culture. The thought process is that a CV can be embellished but after a few lines of writing it is very hard for a person to keep up a pretence about themselves, particularly if they are writing about something they feel passionately about, so you can begin to build a picture of a person behind the application. Wether you loop you 'I''s or cross your 'T's' high or low is all said to speak volumes about you. but in this time of texts, emails and busy schedules, perhaps the most important thing about your handwriting is that you keep using it. Surprise someone, cut through all the usual communications with some handwritten love and let handwriting have the last word. Love your handwriting, love your hands Karen J Gerrard SEAMS x      

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle is The Hand That Rules The World

Our hands are what make us human. No other creature has hands that can do what ours can, and this is what has ensured our long survival. Our hands are so important to us that they have become embedded in our speech, sometimes in the funniest ways. There are literally handfuls of well-known phrases and sayings that use our hands in a symbolic way. 'The Hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world' sounds terrifying but is actually in praise of motherhood as a power that can change the world. The saying comes from a poem written by William Ross Wallace in 1865, 'What rules the world', and has become globally used, albeit in a slightly threatening, 'don't mess with mothers kind of way. Anyone who has seen the psychological thriller staring Rebecca de Mornay named after this will shudder every time they hear it remembering the horror of the murderous nanny and how she nearly destroys a happy home. Other rather sinister idioms include 'the devil finds work for idle hands', meaning not having enough to do can lead a person into trouble and 'an iron fist in a velvet glove', which conjures up beautiful imagery and is used to describe someone whose gentle appearance belies a steely, determined soul. 'To be caught red-handed' means to be caught in the act of doing something wrong. This originates from an old English law that ordered any person to be punished for butchering an animal that wasn't his/her own. The only way the person could be convicted is if they were caught with the animals blood still on their hands! 'A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush' an old favourite which can be traced back to Near Eastern origin as far back as the 6th century. It has a similar meaning to 'the grass is always greener', another much-loved idiom, implying that it is better to make the most of what you have than what may never come about. That one leaves a lot to think about. 'Don't bite the hand that feeds you' has a powerful message about showing gratitude to those who have helped you and is a warning that people are quick to turn and change allegiance when it suits them. 'Cold hands, warm heart' suggests that people with a cool exterior conceal a warm heart and we shouldn't judge others by their appearance, but scientists at Yale have proven the opposite of this to be true. Just holding a warm mug of tea in your hands makes you feel kinder and more compassionate to others. Scientists believe this could be attributed to the connection between warmth and feeling good we learn as children, when a mother's warm hands make us feel better about ourselves and others. Such is the power of our hands. Knowing how important our hands are in every aspect of our lives and even in the peculiar things we say, is all the mor reason to take care of them. If you have never used hand cream, let now be the time you start. With SEAMS you are literally in safe hands. Karen J Gerrard