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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.

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