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Substance Abuse, Addiction or Habit?

Substance Abuse by Tricia Woolfrey

Have you ever wondered whether you, or someone close to you is addicted to a substance, or if it’s just a bad habit?  Or perhaps that they abuse substances?  There is a lot of confusion between these terms which I would like to clarify in this article.

A habit is simply an automatic action, without any dependency.  It is something you do without thinking.  Like always having a biscuit with your tea, or brushing your teeth as soon as you get out of bed in the morning.  You do them automatically.

Addiction refers to being unable to stop a particular behaviour, despite repeated attempts to do so.  It is more a psychological dependency which can build a tolerance requiring more and more to get the same effect.  It is no longer about pleasure, it is about need as though the person can’t function without it.  The tolerance build up can fool the person into thinking they don’t have a problem, such as the heavy drinker who doesn’t get drunk.  This actually means that he has built up a tolerance which can hide the dangerous consequences for his health.  An addict will experience withdrawal symptoms – both psychological and physical which can be extremely unpleasant.

An addict will also be unable to stop, will exceed self-imposed limits (I’ll only have one), the behaviour will cut into the time they would usually spend doing other things and they will use despite the negative effect it has on their health.

An addiction can involve substances such as drugs (prescription or recreational), stimulants, cigarettes and alcohol. It can also include compulsive behaviours such as internet use, sex, gambling, shopping, or work.

Substance abuse, by contrast, involves getting into recurrent trouble as a consequence of the behaviour.  It is defined as one or more of the following over a 12 month period: reckless behaviour such as driving under the influence; the behaviour affecting work or school; continued use despite the impact on personal relationships; legal and/or financial problems as a result of the behaviour such as being charged with disorderly conduct, or going into debt to fund the behaviour.

A habit can easily lead to an addiction and addicts can kid themselves that it’s only a habit.  So, good questions to ask yourself are “is this habit positive and balanced?  Or is it negative and out of balance?”  “Can I stop now?” If it has become out of balance and you are unable to stop – it has become an addiction.  Addictions can also build up as a means of distracting from what else is happening in your life.  Distracting yourself is not a healthy way of coping so it’s important to build up your internal resources so that you are able to deal with life’s stressors without the need to resort to distractions.

It’s also important to beware that, in stopping one addiction, you don’t start a dependency on another addiction, for example moving from a dependency on alcohol to over-spending.  This becomes the doorway to start drinking again.  It’s always helpful to see a professional to deal with these complex issues.

If you would like to find out more about any of this, contact Tricia Woolfrey www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2012

Tricia Woolfrey is an integrative therapist, an advanced clinical hypnotherapist, master practitioner in NLP, nutritionist, and author and utilises bioenergetics to help you be the best you can be.  She has practices in Surrey and Harley Street, London.  She can be reached on 0845 130 0854 www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk.

Food Intolerance and Food Allergies

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE A FOOD INTOLERANCE OR A FOOD ALLERGY?

Food Intolerances by Tricia Woolfrey

There is a lot of confusion about what a food intolerance is as opposed to a food allergy.

A food intolerance is a reaction in the digestive system, producing such symptoms as:

fatigue, bloating, energy dips, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, indigestion, water retention, difficulty losing weight, lack of concentration, poor memory, poor motivation, lack of clarity, depression, flatulence, belching, runny nose, catarrh, excessive mucus in the throat and sinus area, hay fever, eczema, asthma, chest infections, cravings, thrush, nail infections, verrucas, warts, skin rashes, PMT, moods, headaches, hyperactivity, palpitations, panic, raised blood pressure, insomnia, nausea

A food allergy, on the other hand, is caused by the immune system, rather than the digestive system and can lead to anaphylactic shock.  It can also be caused by bee stings and medication.  The reaction can be immediate, severe, and life threatening.  Common symptoms can be hives, swollen tongue or lips and/or fainting.   Even a trace amount can have this affect.  Common allergens are shellfish, eggs, milk and peanuts.  If you have a food allergy, it is likely that your doctor will prescribe an Exipen for emergency self-treatment.

Other than that, both conditions are usually treated in a similar manner – cutting out the offending item.  With a food intolerance, it may be possible to have small amounts of the offending food but, in developing a protocol for you, it would first of all be important to strengthen your digestive system so that you can tolerate a wide variety of foods in moderation.  I believe that the reason we have a lot of wheat intolerances is because it is all too-easy to have wheat as a main component of every meal and we are simply overloading our systems.

The cause of food intolerances can be varied from poor enzyme function, affecting your ability to digest food effectively, Celiac Disease (where a person is unable to digest gluten), food additives such as dyes, or sulfites in wine and canned goods, and stress.

If you think you may have a food intolerance, why not book a test.  With the Asyra Pro we can not only check which foods you are intolerant to but also check out your gastro-intestinal system to see if there are any weaknesses which need to be dealt with.  To book an appointment call 0845 130 0854.  For more information visit www.yourhealthuk.com or www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk.   Remote food intolerance tests can also be conducted.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2012

About Tricia Woolfrey

Tricia Woolfrey is an integrative therapist, an advanced clinical hypnotherapist, master practitioner in NLP, nutritionist, practitioner of food intolerance and allergy testing and author.  She has practices in Surrey and Harley Street, London.  She can be reached on 0845 130 0854 www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk.

The Bowen Technique

Bowen Technique with Diana Menzies Smith

 

Have you considered The Bowen Technique?

Back pain? Sports injury? Mobility problems?
Frozen shoulder? Something else? Is this you?


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What is the Bowen Technique?

The Bowen Technique is a complementary therapy that works over muscles, fascia, ligaments, tendons, nerves and the skeleton to accelerate healing, realign and balance the body.  It has an excellent track record in helping relieve many symptoms.  Results can be remarkable, even from the first session.

How does it work?

Gentle, powerful moves send messages deep into the body, penetrating to a cellular level to realign and balance the body.  Pauses allow the body time to respond to the work, begin the healing process and re-orient to a previously healthy state.  Bowen moves treat the body as a whole or can target a specific problem.  A Bowen treatment will enhance and complement other medical treatments, and conditions other than those being treated are often resolved, whether structural, physiological or emotional.

What’s it like?

Each Bowen therapy session varies according to the particular problems of the client.  By focusing on the lower and mid back and legs, the upper back, shoulders and the neck, a sense of wellbeing can be achieved, helping relaxation, aiding sleep – helping to remove everyday stress and anxiety that can make us feel under-par or prevent us functioning at our optimum. The Bowen moves are light and very precise.  Its effects go on working for days following treatment and can be long lasting.  For this reason it is better to wait a week either side of having other manual therapy.  The moves may be given through light clothing or on the skin and can assist recovery from many conditions from traumatic injury to chronic illness, depending on each individual’s capacity to heal.  It is considered suitable for everyone from pregnant women to new-born babies, the frail and the elderly.  People are amazed at the sensations and results.

Diana Menzies-Smith BTAA BTAUK IIHHT RSA VTCT is an Advanced Practitioner of The Bowen Therapeutic Technique, registered with the Bowen Association UK, Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council.

If you would like a treatment with Diana Menzies-Smith’s private clinic in Weybridge:
Call:  01932 843269
Email: diana@track2health.com
www.track2health.com

To find a therapist local to your area visit: www.bowen-technique.co.uk

Hypnotherapy for a Change

Hypnotherapy by Tricia Woolfrey

Creating change in your life can be difficult – habits can be ingrained for many years and it can seem easier to stay stuck than move forward.

In the hands of a skilled professional, hypnotherapy is great at overcoming those blocks to achieving change, making change easier.  However, it’s success depends on your motivation, which a good hypnotherapist will assess in your first session.  Hypnotherapy can’t force change on you but facilitate the change through you, so that you regain control over your life.  It doesn’t take away your free-will in any way.

Would it surprise you to know that hypnosis has been around for thousands of years?  It was also accepted by the British Medical Association in 1958.  Hypnotherapy, is a process not an event and the number of sessions you need will depend on the complexity of the problem and the degree to which you are reliant on the problem as a coping mechanism for other things.

Your choice of hypnotherapist is very important – find someone who is well trained and who has a lot of experience.   Finding someone who really understands psychology is a must too, as there can often be subtle nuances to behaviour which will affect the approach taken.  Don’t be afraid to ask for their qualifications and what continuous professional development they do – it’s important to have someone with a strong level of skill who is motivated to keep their skills up to date.  You also want to find someone who you feel comfortable with.

So, what IS hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis allows communication with your unconscious mind – that part of you which is constantly influencing your thoughts and behaviour –  to help you achieve your goals and overcome any obstacles and unconscious blocks.

It is an altered state of awareness called trance, and is something we experience naturally every day – like when you drive from A to B and don’t recall the journey, because your conscious mind has been thinking about other things, or when you are out for a whole evening and feel that you have only been out for short while, or even when you cry at a sad film.  All of these are natural hypnotic states.  During hypnosis, you are in control throughout..  It is not sleep.  It is not even relaxation, though most people feel relaxed when they are hypnotised.

Hypnotherapy  is creating this naturally occurring phenomena for therapeutic effect – that which is good for your emotional and physical wellbeing.

Whilst hypnotherapy is not a magic bullet, it does need your active collaboration. It is a very powerful tool to help you on your journey.

You are in control throughout

Hypnotherapy helps you achieve what you want for yourself.  You can’t be forced to do anything you don’t want to do or say anything you don’t want to say – you are in control throughout.

Almost everyone can be hypnotised

Anyone from the age of around 5 with at least a normal level of intelligence can be hypnotised – if you want to be.  You cannot be hypnotised against your will so feeling comfortable with your hypnotherapist is very, very important.  I like to give the first half hour of my session free of charge and no obligation – so that my client can be 100% sure – and this really helps their progress.

What does it feel like?

Everyone experiences it differently, but most people simply feel as though they have their eyes shut, and able to hear everything that goes on around them.  Nothing more than that.  Others feel a tremendous sense of relaxation, yet others feel tingly or numb, heavy or light.    Or all of the above.  Or none of them.  The secret is not to expect a particular experience, not to try to relax, simply allow it to happen in whichever way is right for you.

How is it different to stage hypnosis?

People often think that hypnotherapy will be a magic cure where someone can make them do anything without any effort on their part – just like the stage shows.  And sometimes it is.  However, the only similarity with a stage show is that they both use the state of hypnosis.  A stage show uses this state for entertainment.  All individuals who participate do so because they want to.  The engagement is momentary.  There is no emotional agenda involved – just fun.  With hypnotherapy, this can involve working on problems which have often existed for years, through layers of self-awareness, vulnerability, denial, and even resistance.  If there was no resistance, you would have resolved the problem on your own.  Working with your subconscious mind with hypnotherapy, it is easier to overcome these, developing new ways of being so that you can live the life you want.

What people say about hypnotherapy

Here are some typical comments people make to show you the different ways people respond:

  • “I got immediate results – I was very impressed!”
  • “I didn’t notice anything until friends and family started to say how much happier and calmer I seemed – then I realised I was!”
  • “I’m still not sure if I was hypnotised but I do know that I have achieved what I wanted to – so I guess I must have been”

If you are looking to make changes in your life, do try hypnotherapy.  It just makes change easier.  It helps you deal with stress, self-esteem, anxiety, depression and insomnia.  It’s also great for weight loss, smoking cessation and IBS.  If you have anything which stress makes worse, hypnotherapy can usually make better.

My clients regularly tell me that they gained far more than they came for as often other problems are resolved at the same time.  Hypnotherapy could be the best investment you ever make in yourself.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2012

Tricia Woolfrey is an integrative therapist, an advanced clinical hypnotherapist, master practitioner in NLP, nutritionist, and author and utilises bioenergetics to help you be the best you can be.  She has practices in Surrey and Harley Street, London.  She can be reached on 0845 130 0854 www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk.

10 Steps to Boosting Your Seratonin Naturally

Seratonin and Depression by Tricia Woolfrey
Feeling good is your birthright.  But it isn’t always easy when there is so much doom and gloom in the media, so many demands placed upon you and with little time to think about your wellbeing.  We can all feel a little low sometimes, but if you are feeling low more than seems natural, you may be low in serotonin.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter – a chemical messenger in the body communicating signals between neurons and cells – and is good for:

  • Mood stability
  • Self-esteem
  • Impulse-control
  • Anxiety reduction
  • Promoting restful sleep
  • Pain control
  • Overcoming negativity
  • Feelings of wellbeing

There are numerous things you can do to boost serotonin.  Some people do this synthetically through anti-depressants but these don’t always work and you can become addicted to them.  Or you can do this naturally with the following healthy tips:

  1. Eat protein with each meal
  2. Have a small jacket potato (with the skin) before you go to bed – it’s OK to have a little butter with it too. (Read Potatoes, Not Prozac for more information on this).
  3. Reduce serotonin leaches such as wheat and rye bread.
  4. Enjoy some sunlight every day (even if it is a grey day, you can benefit from the sun’s rays).
  5. Practice positive thinking.  It’s good to start your day with a positive focus too – what you are looking forward to in your day for example.  Read Think Positive, Feel Good for excellent help in this area.
  6. Moderate aerobic exercise (too much can have the opposite effect).  Exercise such as aerobics, running and cycling are particularly good.  If you aren’t in the mood for exercise, it could be a sign of low serotonin.
  7. Regular massages feel good and promote positive serotonin.
  8. Manage your stress levels.  EFT is an excellent way of doing this.  See www.self-help-resources EFT Demo.
  9. Look at a supplement regime with a qualified nutritionist – preferably using the Asyra Pro which, in itself, can boost your serotonin levels.  
  10. Eat the following serotonin-boosting foods: 

     

    Vegetables

    Spirulina seaweed
    Spinach
    Soybeans
    Parsley
    Asparagus
    Mung Beans
    Greens
    Bamboo shoots
    Mushrooms (white or portabello)
    Red leaf lettuce
    Soy Sauce
    Tofu
    Nigari

    *****

    Fish and Seafoods

    Prawns
    Lobster
    Crab
    Crayfish
    Cod
    Tuna
    Dover Sole
    Mussels
    Snapper
    Salmon

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    Fruit

    Plantain
    Pineapple
    Banana
    Kiwi
    Plums

     

    Meat

    Pork
    Game
    Lamb
    Beef
    Veal
    Duck
    Turkey
    Chicken

    *
       

    Seeds

    Sesame seeds
    Sunflower seeds

     

    Dairy

    Fat free cottage cheese
    Mozarella cheese from skimmed milk
    Low fat cheddar cheese
    Skimmed milk

     

If you follow this 10-step plan, you should find that you enjoy a more positive mood, better sleep a greater sense of wellbeing without the negative side effects of anti-depressants.  You know it makes sense.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2012

Tricia Woolfrey
tricia@pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk
www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk
0845 130 0854

About Tricia Woolfrey

Tricia Woolfrey is a hypnotherapist, coach and wellness practitioner with practices in Byfleet Village, Surrey and Harley Street London.

Self-Treatment Using Shiatsu Principles

 The  principles of Shiatsu by Liz Kendall

Shiatsu for Stress

Relaxation is often shoehorned into people’s schedules. Health and wellbeing treatments may be limited to an hour between meetings and chores, but we can ensure that their effects radiate through our lives. I find that the principles and pressure points I use when giving Shiatsu are a wonderful foundation for self-treatment.

The experience of Shiatsu is one of deep relaxation. The treatment has the benefits of Acupuncture (without the needles) and Yoga (without the effort). Shiatsu means “finger-pressure” in Japanese and it originated in China over four thousand years ago. Shiatsu uses pressure points and energy meridians with gentle movement and stretches to bring balance to the body and mind. The benefits of regular Shiatsu include reduced pain, increased flexibility, less stress and better sleep.

The touch connection in Shiatsu is a gentle yet powerful catalyst for change. The receiver remains fully clothed while pressure and movement release tense muscles and stiff joints. The nurturing touch soothes the nervous system; reducing stress hormones, promoting the release of endorphins and chemicals that encourage the body to rest and repair. Shiatsu is an antidote to the adrenalin-fuelled rush of modern life.

However life goes on between treatments, bringing challenges that can leave us physically and emotionally out of balance. This is where self-treatment comes in, enabling us to enjoy the benefits of Shiatsu in the spaces between treatments. Here’s an introduction to using pressure points, wherever you happen to be.

 

 S elf-Treatment Steps

Make yourself comfortable. Allow your breath to flow easily, fully, so that your abdomen rises and falls gently. Try smiling. Now, how do you feel? Where do your hands want to go?

There is evidence that touching the site of pain reduces the discomfort, and it is usually a natural reflex. Think of someone with a headache pressing their temples for relief, or rubbing a banged knee. Learn to trust your instincts.

Using the top of your thumb or finger (avoiding long nails), explore an area that needs attention or is the location of a pressure point. You are aiming for a feeling of connection, so adjust the angle of your thumb and the depth of pressure until you feel you’re in the right spot. When you find a point, start gently and build up to deeper pressure. There is no need to shock your body; this is a chance to be kind to yourself. Stay for a few seconds and notice the sensations.

A point that felt deep or empty at first may start to feel “filled up” as your connection draws the energy to it. Other points may feel very busy or tender, and you might press swiftly with the intention of dispersing the excess energy to where it’s needed. If any of your symptoms are severe or persistent then do seek medical advice.

 

Some helpful pressure points

Symptom: Nausea (including morning sickness and seasickness)

Treatment: (Heart Protector or Pericardium 6) Rest your hand on your wrist with your fourth finger along the wrist crease. The pressure point is around the level of your index finger, in the middle of the wrist and between the tendons. Please note: This point is known to reduce nausea, but if your body really needs to get rid of something it may speed up the process.

Symptom: Headache

Treatment: (Gall Bladder 14) This point is above the middle of each eyebrow (your thumb’s width above it). Try exploring around the temples and eyes. Also helpful is Kidney 1 on the foot (see below).

  

Symptom: Low energy, tiredness

Treatment: (Kidney 1) Curl your toes under. The point is at the deepest part of the foot, almost at the centre of the sole, beneath the ball of the foot and between the big and second toe joints. It’s also good for headaches.

 

Symptom: Digestive problems (constipation, diarrhoea)

Treatment: (Stomach 25) Three fingers’ width either side of, and in line with, your navel. You can often press quite deeply here. This point is also helpful for menstrual cramps.

  

Symptom: Muscular cramp

Treatment: (Liver 3) Follow the space between the big toe and second toe up onto the top of the foot. The point is between the metatarsal bones, about a third of the way from the roots of the toes to the front of the ankle.

 

Symptom: Lower back pain

Treatment: (Bladder meridian) Put your hands on your waist then allow your thumbs to lead the way to your spine. If this isn’t comfortable, ask a friend. There are points just under two fingers’ width from your spine on either side, outside the lower border of the vertebrae. Work downwards with your thumbs all the way to your sacrum.

 

Symptom: Neck pain

Treatment: (Bladder and Gall Bladder meridians) Use your thumbs to explore under the occipital bone at the back of your head; there are several points here. Travel down your neck and finish with a massage under the collar-bones and around the armpits, working towards the heart to encourage the elimination of toxins through the lymphatic system.

  

About Liz Kendall

I trained at the Zen School of Shiatsu in London and am registered with the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council. My practice is based in Cobham and Ewell in Surrey. I also give visiting treatments in offices to promote wellbeing in the workplace. If you would like a free consultation or have any question have any questions about Shiatsu please feel free to contact me on 07944 872332, e-mail liz@surrey-shiatsu.co.uk or visit my website www.surrey-shiatsu.co.uk.

 

The Art of Conscious Breathing

The Art of Conscious BreathingThe single most important thing any of us will ever do is to breathe. Yet how often do we think of our breathing? Most people take shallow little breaths that only reach the top part of our lungs, while our lungs reach from just below the shoulder bone to the bottom of the rib cage – and we have two of them!

Our breath is fundamental to life: all our bodily processes are powered by it. If we don’t breathe fully, our food is not digested properly and nutrients from our diet or supplements are not fully utilised. We are not able to eliminate our bodily waste and our cells are not oxygenated well enough. If we limit our breathing, we limit the amount of energy we put into our bodies, we limit our life force.

The diaphragm muscle is also known as the ‘spiritual’ muscle. Yogis believe that if we are not engaging the diaphragm when we breathe we are not getting the prana from the air and are cutting our connection to the Universal life force, or the morphogenetic field, as Rupert Sheldrake puts it.

Babies breathe beautifully. Their lungs look like little bellows going up and down and in, they almost appear being breathed. If we start off like this, why on earth do we end up taking shallow little breaths? The answer is: Life Happens – to us all! As a natural defence mechanism, when we experience something upsetting we hold our breath. This action puts a part or all of what we are experiencing (depending on the degree of shock) into our unconscious. When we start to breathe again our breathing pattern is disrupted. By the time we reach adulthood, or sometimes long before, we’ve had so many of these upsets or shocks that our breathing pattern is limited to just the top of our lungs. This happens so gradually that we don’t notice it. It is extremely unhealthy. As the saying goes, ‘Shallow breathing leads to a shallow reflection of self’.

What can we do about this? Take some deep breaths for a start, make sure that the air goes deep into the lungs. It is very important that we use our diaphragm muscle, to ensure that the oxygen will get to the very bottom of our lungs. OK then, easy – there you go – sorted!

If you open up your breathing pattern you will also open up your life in a way that is both subtle and profound. This does take a level of commitment as our defence mechanisms are very strong and we tend to hold on to what we know in order to feel safe, even if it no longer serves us.

It might not be easy to keep this up to begin with. After all, it is about changing the pattern of a lifetime. This is where I can support you with Conscious Connected Breathing sessions. The technique is thousands of years old – it is a fundamental part of Kriya Yoga and also mentioned in The Tao.

About Judith Davis

Judith Davis is a Breathwork Practitioner based in Woking, Surrey. She has been practicing for 6 years after a 3 year diploma training course in 2005. In July she co-ran a 5 Day Breathwork Retreat in Glastonbury and is now creating a Workshop for Women, along with a Nutritionist and a Lifestyle Coach, in Woking on 12 November called “EAT BREATHE LOVE".

Her mission initially was to “Get Surrey Breathing” but it moved on to “Get Britain Breathing” and now encompasses “The World”.

She is married with three children and two grandchildren.

Judith’s website: www.spinalbreath.com

Contact: judith@spinalbreath.com 

Tel. 01483 82849 Mob. 07887 477107