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National Parks Week

National Parks Week

This is National Parks Week – such a great way to spend your spare time out in nature.  National parks are protected countryside for everyone to visit.  And you can enjoy them in many different ways from walks, to camping, cycling, photography and other activities and events.  To find out where your nearest park is and what events they have on, visit www.nationalparks.gov.uk/visiting/2013nationalparksweek

 

 

 

 

© Tricia Woolfrey 2013

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 08540845 130 0854 www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk.

Self-Help for Weight Loss – 10 Tips to Lose Weight

self help for weight loss

Are you constantly yo-yo dieting?  Do you lose weight and then put it all back on again, plus some?  Or have you reached a plateau.  Losing weight can be a challenge because, unlike stopping smoking where you just don’t smoke again, you still have to eat. Not only that but there is temptation everywhere.  What can you do to help yourself?
 
1.       Realistic goals
The first thing to do is set yourself a target with milestones along the way.  Unless you are the kind of person who loves big bold goals, smaller goals might be more achieveable for you.
 
2.       Have a big enough ‘why’
Motivation is much stronger than willpower, so make yourself a really long list of all the reasons you want to lose weight.  What are the benefits to you?  If you are losing weight for someone else it will not be nearly so effective.  This is a journey you take for your own benefit.
 
3.       Keep hydrated
A lot of people confuse thirst with hunger.  Make sure you keep hydrated throughout the day and, if you do get hungry, drink a glass of water and wait 10 minutes before deciding if you realy want to eat.
 
4.       Variety is the spice of life
Sometimes our bodies just crave nutrients rather than any old food.  So do make sure that you keep your food intake varied so that you are getting all the nutrition you need and to avoid boredom.  Who wants to live on beige food every day?
 
5.       Be wary of the saboteurs
It is strange that as soon as you say you are on a diet, people seem to want to feed you cakes and biscuits like never before.  “Just one” is a constant refrain.  Manage these by saying you are full and couldn’t eat another thing.  Or, if they buy you chocolates, just say that they don’t agree with you.  It makes life a lot easier and your weight loss goal more achievable.
 
6.       No more waste on waist
Eating leftovers, snacking and huge portions are not going to save anyone starving in Africa but they will cause your waistline to expand.  Make it a rule that you are no longer going to treat your body like a rubbish bin.  Remember that you only need to eat 500 calories a day more than your body needs to put on 1lb a week.  That’s 3.5 stones a year! 
 
7.       Staying regular
It is important that your bowels function efficiently so do be sure to eat plenty of fibre and drink lots of water.  Avoid laxatives though as they can make your bowels lazy and can compound the problem.  If you still have problems, do contact Tricia Woolfrey on  0845 130 0854 for a consultation.  Regular bowel movements are important for your weight and your health.  For more information on fibre-rich food, the Meal Planner will help you.
 
8.       Manage your energy
When your blood sugar is low you will be very tired and crave the wrong foods.  So, to keep your blood sugar stable eat little and often and ALWAYS eat breakfast so that your metabolism gets a boost.  Reduce sugar, white bread, pastries, white pasta and cakes.  If you have to have sugar do eat it with a healthy meal as it helps to stabilise your energy.
 
9.       Manage your emotions
Most people eat too much because they are eating in response to their emotions.  If you find that you crave a specific food it is likely that this is emotional hunger rather than physical hunger.  Learning how to understand your emotions and respond to them appropriately is essential.  The Food Diary will help you to understand your eating, while Ultimate Weight Loss CD will help you overcome emotional eating habits.  Food only distracts you from your problems it is no solution to them.
 
10.    Eliminate food intolerances
Sometimes people find it hard to lose weight because they are eating foods they are intolerant to.  Having a food intolerance test can help you understand what foods your body is struggling with.  Click here to find out more.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2014

About the Author
Tricia Woolfrey is an advanced clinical hypnotherapist, coach and wellness practitioner.  She is also a master practitioner in obesity issues and eating disorders.  Author of self-help books, CDs and MP3s she has practices in Byfleet Village, Surrey and Harley Street, London.  www.yourempoweredself.co.uk.
 

Is Snoring Affecting Your Sleep?

Snoring Help by Tricia Woolfrey

Snoring can sound comical, but it isn’t funny being kept awake night after night and it can put a strain on your health and your relationship.  It is very difficult to feel loving towards someone who keeps you awake all night while they are enjoying blissful sleep.

There are two aspects to how snoring can affect sleep:  one is from the perspective of  the snorer and one is their unlucky bed companion.  Sometimes the snorer will wake themselves up, or suffer from sore throats.  Often, however, the snorer is completely unaware of the problem.  Not-so their partner.

Snoring can be defined as a coarse sound made by vibrations of the soft palate and other tissue in the mouth, nose & throat (upper airway). It is caused by turbulence inside the airway as you breathe.

If you are the snorer, there can be a number of physical reasons which are causing your snoring.  Often it is exacerbated by alcohol, weight, smoking or medication.  Other physical causes of snoring can vary from mispositioned jaw, blocked sinuses, allergies, deviated septum, polyps, the size or position of the tongue, or narrow airways. 

It is useful to have a wellness check to see if there are any underlying issues which are causing it and this can be arranged by calling 0845 130 0854 or visit the Self Help Resources website to find out more about Health Screening and Food Intolerance Testing or Asyra Pro.

Often, just changing your sleep position and/or losing weight will help to resolve the problem. Other remedies include stopping smoking, reducing your alcohol intake and treating allergies. Occasionally the problem can be rectified, with either a mouth guard, or through surgery, depending on the cause of the snoring.

If your partner snores and you find yourself staring at the ceiling night after night thinking murderous thoughts, the issue is more around your focus.  I remember living under a flight path for several years. Planes, including Concorde, would fly over every 3 minutes and we thought we would go crazy.  In time, we learned how to tune out and pause before resuming our conversation like nothing had happened.  You have also probably had the experience where you have a headache or a toothache, but some good news or a funny program on the TV, makes you forget all about it. These are all examples of changing focus.

So, instead of waiting for the snoring to start – which makes you hyper-sensitive to it – focus your attention on something else.  Self-hypnosis is a terrific way of doing this.  Self-hypnosis can be used simply to relax, or to get you to focus on something else – a change you want to make perhaps.  You might also want to think about having hypnotherapy with a professional who can help you to not notice the snoring so that you can enjoy a restful and restorative sleep. My book "An Inside Job" teaches you how to do this for yourself simply and effectively and even has a CD to guide your self-hypnosis practice.  Another option is to listen to a hypnosis recording such as Sleep Well which will ease you into relaxing sleep.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2014

Tricia Woolfrey is a hypnotherapist, coach, wellness practitioner and author based in Byfleet Village and Harley Street. www.yourempoweredself.co.uk. 0845 130 0854.

Homeopathy

Homeopathy for Health

Homeopathy has been in the press a lot lately with claims that homeopathic medicines are only a placebo and that any improvement in health resulting from homeopathic treatment is due to the placebo effect. What this kind of opinion ignores is that homeopathy can treat animals as successfully as it treats human (see some of the articles from “Homeopathy at Wellie Level”  (http://www.hawl.co.uk/homoeopathic-articles/) and farm animals in a herd are not known to respond to the placebo effect.

Why homeopathy can be the target of such claims is the fact that the starting point of any homeopathic treatment is a pill and pills are associated with conventional remedies. There is a huge difference however between the pills from the pharmaceutical companies which are laced with chemicals, and homeopathic pills which are sugar pills coated with a natural substance. This substance carries a healing energy which, as soon as it touches the mucous membrane of the mouth, triggers a reaction in the patient. It is this reaction that will bring about a cure or an improvement.

The benefit for us homeopaths is that our treatment comes in the simple form of a pill and members of the general public consulting a homeopath for treatment feel comfortable taking a pill as it is very much like taking a prescription medicine from their GP. They do not need to know that homeopathy is an energy medicine and they will get better just the same.

The drawback of this form of healing, however, is that it is open to sceptics trying to discredit it by likening homeopathic treatment to placebo because the homeopathic pills have no discernable chemical compounds in them… A bit like a chemist analysing a CD and deciding it is just a bit of plastic but missing out completely that in the right circumstances, this CD can play wonderful music.

The best way to observe homeopathy's effectiveness is to use homeopathic remedies to treat minor ailments.  Children in particular, because of their strong vitality, can respond extremely well and fast to homeopathic treatment. Anyone can self treat using homeopathic pills. Anyone should take an Arnica pill after a fall or an accident, Nux Vomica to prevent hangover or indigestion after a heavy meal, Ignatia when grieving the loss of someone dear.

Vinciane Ollington (www.completehomeopathy.co.uk) has been a Professional Homeopath since 2002. She practices from Ripley and is married with 3 children. In addition to seeing patients, she teaches how to self-prescribe homeopathic remedies for acute ailments. She also runs regular seminars for those interested in homeopathy and who want to know more about certain conditions and their treatments.

Can You Prevent Cancer?

Cancer Care By Tricia Woolfrey

 

Today is World Cancer Day.  With cancer causing one in four of all deaths in the UK and one in three people likely to contract cancer in their lifetime, it makes sense to take preventative action to ensure that you don’t become a statistic yourself.

There are more than 200 types of cancer and causes range from lifestyle, genetics and environment.  Whilst nothing is guaranteed, there is a lot you can do to help safeguard yourself against this disease:

  • Eat organic food whenever possible – especially meat
  • Eat plenty of fibre
  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • Cancer feeds off sugar so keep your sugar intake to a minimum
  • Have a supplement program to make sure that your body is in tip-top condition
  • Enjoy regular exercise
  • Reduce your exposure to toxins such as pesticides found in non-organic food and parabens found in cosmetics and toiletries
  • With smoking causing almost 20% of all cancers, make sure you aren’t exposed to tobacco smoke
  • Keep your weight within a healthy range
  • Reduce your exposure to the sun and especially sunbeds
  • Keep your alcohol intake moderate
  • Manage stress – self hypnosis, effective problem solving techniques and EFT are great ways of doing this
  • Express your emotions constructively –bottling up emotions is toxic
  • Let go of negative emotions such as unforgiveness and anger
  • Practice meditation
  • Nurture loving and supportive relationships
  • Practice positive thinking
  • Have regular Asyra Pro assessments

It makes sense to take responsibility for your body and your health have an assessment to make sure you are in tip-top condition.  To celebrate World Cancer Day, I am offering a 25% discount if you book before the end of the week.  Call 0845 130 0854.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2012

Tricia Woolfrey is a hypnotherapist, coach, wellness practitioner and author based in Byfleet Village and Harley Street. www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk. 0845 130 0854.

Reflexology – so much more than just a lovely foot rub

If you’ve not had a course of reflexology treatments you’d be forgiven for thinking that it is simply a relaxing foot massage.  Of course it is a relaxing foot massage, but it is also much, much more than that.   It is a therapy which can have a profound influence on your health and well-being, both physical and emotional.

Reflexology is based on a system of reflex points, or areas, on the feet which correspond with the organs and systems in your body.  These reflex points are a map, if you like, to the rest of your body.  A trained reflexologist will work over each of these reflex areas using different techniques – thumb walking, pinpointing, flexing, massaging – to stimulate the area.  Their sensitive fingers will pick up subtle differences in the reflex areas and they may linger over a spot where they detect an imbalance.  And all of this is done whilst you just sit back and relax, enjoying the sensations.

After a single session, some customers will feel deeply relaxed, will probably sleep better and feel calmer for a few days.  Some will feel energised and raring to go, as if their batteries have been recharged.

But it’s with the regular sessions that I have seen real improvements in the well-being of people.  My customers find that it helps them in many ways:

  • Managing and easing the pain of their arthritis*
  • To reduce feelings of anxiety and has helped rebuild confidence
  • They are less troubled by insomnia
  • As a nurturing, supportive, calming therapy, it is helping a customer who is grieving after their spouse passed away
  • Feelings of stress were lowered and my customer become pregnant when she had previously found it difficult to conceive
  • Feel calmer and healthier
  • One customer is eating more healthily, her periods are starting to return and she is hopeful that she will be pregnant soon
  • Stress-related digestive problems disappeared when she was having regular sessions
  • A busy business women found she did her most creative during treatments, enabling her to grow her business
     

However, you don’t need to have a particular condition to enjoy the benefits of reflexology.  Regular treatments will help you relax, improve mood, help sleep, relieve tension and improve a sense of well-being.  Reflexology is a gentle, deeply relaxing and non-invasive therapy and is suitable for people of all ages.  And it is important that we look after ourselves – if we don’t then how can we look after others?

Please note that reflexology cannot cure or diagnose anything, and it should not be used instead of conventional health care – always consult your GP or health professional for medical attention or advice.

*Reflexology is not suitable if you have arthritis in your feet or ankles.

About Julia McPherson

Julia is a complementary therapist, specialising in reflexology to help people find balance and wellbeing.  She offers a home visiting service for people in and around Sunbury on Thames, Walton on Thames, Hersham, Weybridge and Cobham.

Julia McPherson
Harmony Treatments
Email: Julia@harmonytreatments.com
Website: www.harmonytreatments.com
Phone: 07831 611261

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.

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.

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.