AcupunctureAcupuncture is part of the traditional Chinese system of medicine, a holistic system that attempts to restore the whole body to health rather than removing particular symptoms. Maintaining a harmonious interaction between mind and body is seen as vital if genuine good health is to be achieved. Body systems and organs are seen as interdependent, with an imbalance in one part of the system affecting other parts elsewhere.
A central feature of Chinese philosophy is to take personal responsibility for well being, to prevent illness from developing. To do this one has to live according to the rules of the Tao which refers to the primal force of the universe, an expression of the harmony of opposites, of yin and yang.
In the ancient Chinese healing art of acupuncture, all the body's organs and systems are believed to be connected by channels or meridians which loop around the body. It is through these channels that the vital energy or qi flows. If the qi is disrupted or is deficient, symptoms of ill health follow. Qi maintains harmony between the opposite but complementary forces of yin and yang. Yin refers to qualities of cold, damp, tranquility, earth and darkness, and are reflective and inward looking. Yang qualities are heat, fire, light, restlessness and dryness, and is outgoing and extrovert.
The acupuncturist will ascertain the patient's unique 'pattern of disharmony'. The tongue may be examined and possibly the ears and abdomen. A case history will be taken and questions may be asked regarding food preferences, reactions to heat and cold, and emotional reactions under different circumstances.
The acupuncturist will build up a picture of where the imbalances and disruptions to harmony are, and what systems in the body are affected. When this is completed, various very fine, solid needles will be inserted into the acupuncture points reflecting the meridians that need to be influenced. The needles may be inserted for anything up to half an hour.
Moxibustion: If an additional stimulus is needed, moxa (dried leaves) may be burned in a cone above a needle at a specific acupuncture point. The penetrating heat can enter the channels to influence qi and blood flow. It is warming, soothing and extremely relaxing. It is very effective for releasing tightness in the muscles, relaxing tension and invigorating the flow of qi.
Cupping: Cupping is a technique especially useful in the treatment of problems of local qi, or blood stagnation in the channels. Flame-warmed, oxygen-depleted cups are placed over the selected area and when placed open side down, a vacuum is created, which anchors the cup to the skin and pulls the skin upward on the inside of the glass. The resulting pressure encourages the flow of qi and blood in the area beneath the cup, and the local stagnation begins to clear.
Other massage and stretching techniques may also be employed.
A series of treatments will be necessary before harmony can be restored.
Oriental medicine was brought to Japan from China in the 6th Century. Since then, Japanese physicians have refined and created techniques and ideas that differed from the Chinese. Needling techniques generally involve thinner or smaller needles and employ shallower insertions. Non-insertive techniques are also used. There are many feedback mechanisms, enabling both patient and practitioner to evaluate changes during the treatment session. Tight and tender points on the abdomen, as part of the diagnosis, can be released instantaneously. Improvements to symptoms are often experienced during the treatment.
Japanese acupuncture for children: Shonishin, is a type of acupuncture specifically designed for the treatment of children. It can be used to treat many chronic and acute conditions commonly found in children: Earaches, headaches, fevers, allergies and asthma; digestive problems in newborns including colic, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain; musculo-skeletal pain and trauma; nightmares and sleep problems, and bedwetting.
Shonishin is painless. Special needles designed specifically for children are used. These needles are not inserted, but instead may be either held carefully over the acupuncture point, or brushed gently along the acupuncture pathways over the body using Pressing, Rolling, and Tapping techniques. Paediatric Acupuncture is a very gentle and relaxing experience for the child and for the parent.
Parents can participate in their child's healing process. Certain simple techniques can be taught which the parent can carry out at home.
Conditions treated through acupuncture: acid indigestion, acne, after effects of stroke, allergic rhinitis, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, back pain, bronchitis, constipation, cystitis, depression, eczema, facial paralysis, headache and migraine, menstrual problems, neuralgia, psoriasis, reduced libido, sciatica, shingles, sinus headaches, sleep disorders, tendinitis, tennis elbow, vertigo.
The Alexander TechniqueFrederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955) was an Australian actor who developed this technique to overcome his throat hoarseness. He discovered the problem was his poor postural habits. After curing these he went on to benefit others and eventually set up a practice to educate clients in the proper use of their body. In 1939, a group of doctors suggested it be incorporated into medical students’ training but this never happened. The 1973 Nobel Prize Winner for Medicine praised the Technique which is taught in many schools of music and acting to reduce repetitive strain injuries and be more relaxed during performances.
The Technique does not claim to treat or diagnose any specific problem. People are made aware of how their body moves and to relearn the posture and freedom of movement they had in their childhood. In particular to restore the correct relationship between the head, neck and spine; to lengthen neck muscles and straighten the spinal column. This allows for better breathing, can give more freedom of movement, improved co-ordination and balance, increased energy, better relaxation, and improved mental outlook. Lessens with a practitioner are normally one-to-one but can be in groups. These can last up to an hour and two sessions a week for 3 months is often recommended.
It is a preventitive technique which can help people move and carry themselves with less strain and effort, correcting poor posture and musculoskeletal problems. But it can also help with a number of conditions as follows.
Conditions that may respond to alexander technique: addictions, angina, anxiety, asthma, back problems, depression, eating disorders, headache, menstrual problems, migraine, postural problems in pregnancy, peptic ulcer, repetitive strain injury, sciatica, stress.
Aromatherapy MassageThe term aromatherapy was first coined in 1937 by the French scientist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse who conducted research into the healing qualities of essential oils. However, aromatic essences were used for their mood-enhancing and health-giving properties back in ancient times. By the 1950's essential oils were diluted in a carrier oil and used in combination with massage. For the first time people were prescribed oils according to their physical and emotional requirements. Aromatherapy had come into its own as a holistic therapy.
The oils come from petals, leaves, roots, resin, bark, seeds and the rind of citrus fruit. They are chemically very complex and have a broad range of actions. Fragrances can be enhaled or absorbed through the skin.
In a consultation the aromatherapist will take a case history and use her (or his) skill in choosing an oil or blend of oils to meet the client's physical, emotional and psychological needs. Oils will be applied using massage or may be inhaled.
Conditions that may respond to aromatherapy: anxiety, arthritis, asthma, back pain, constipation, depression, fluid retention, headaches, high blood pressure, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, menopausal problems, menstrual problems, muscle strain, poor circulation, stress-related disorders.
Astrology/Astrological CounsellingPlanetary forces are believed to be behind our life experience.
The map of the planets at the time of birth indicates how these forces are working in your nature. They reveal your inclinations, preferences, the way you like to do things, and various subconscious influences on your actions and personality.
The kind of work you do, the partner you choose, your interests etc. are all influenced by the planetary map (horoscope) at the time of your birth.
The proper application of astrology can help you make choices that are best suited to you; choosing the right partner, subjects to study, career to adopt, business decisions, courses of action and so on. Not only does it help to make better choices but also whether the time is right to make these choices or whether they should be put off to a more appropriate time.
Astrology can be used for helping to solve family, personal or business problems. The astrologer, by studying your personal horoscope can look at problems from a different perspective, to assess the influences upon you and the underlying or hidden forces in your character and nature.
Your situation can be reassessed and examined in the light of this knowledge. Appropriate advice and guidance can then be given for your situation.
Bach Flower RemediesAccording to Dr. Bach, the true cause of illness and disease in human beings lies in the mental and emotional patterns through which we view ourselves, and the world we live in.
To treat these patterns he developed 38 flower remedies. Each remedy is a correcting vibration for a state of mind or emotion that needs to be gently rebalanced. Transforming negative vibrations into positive vibrations allows the body to respond naturally with better health.
Bach Flower Remedies can be taken by anyone, safely and without fear of side effects, overdosing or addiction. Animals and plants will also benefit greatly. They can be used for both acute and chronic conditions.
Although no harm can come from taking the wrong remedy, a skilled practitioner will be able - after a consultation with the patient about their health, emotional problems and lifestyle - to choose the right remedy or combination of remedies for their particular needs at that moment. As the patient progresses, the remedies may be altered to meet the changing circumstances. In the months ahead a very definite shift in perception will be noticed.
Bio-Electric TherapyThis therapy works with the electromagnetic and biological field of a person called the Aura, an egg-shaped force field that surrounds the physical body. This membrane not only records our internal physical, emotional, mental and nervous states but also provides a ‘shield’ from external radiations and influences which any person whose ‘space’ has felt invaded, appreciates.
Shock, hurt (psychological, emotional, mental), pain, disease, being in crowded places etc. can all cause the aura to become weak. This is because the very fine membrane is quite easily damaged, particularly if a person’s physical and electrical resistance is low or impaired. As a result of this a person may get unexplained headaches, migraines, say things they don’t mean or even have dreams - all because they may process events and circumstances through their aura that are transmitted from somebody or something else.
An integral part of Bio-Electric healing is detecting imbalance or disruption or disease at any level in the aura before physical symptoms become evident. it should therefore be as common as showering that you should have your aura ‘wiped clean’ from time to time, say once a month, or whenever you sense that your may have become under par.
No tools or machines are utilised during a session and 90% of the work is carried out without ever touching the client.
Blood Analysis (live & dry)People have been looking at blood to give clues to health ever since the microscope was invented.
Live blood microscopy allows the patient to look at their own blood (only a single drop is required) on a television screen monitor.
The blood can give a great deal of information about what is taking place inside the body at a cellular level.
Normal, healthy, red blood cells are round in shape and relatively even in size. Immune cells can be seen moving around, cleaning the blood. The plasma is clear and clean, not full of debris.
If the red cells are not separate, but stuck together, this can indicate poor oxygen circulation which may lead to fatigue. If the cells are too large, this could indicate a deficiency of vitamin B12. If the cell walls are misshapen this may indicate a deficiency of essential fatty acids.
There are very many possibilities which the trained practitioner can interpret, not just in terms of nutrition, but for example, the presence of yeasts such as candida, or parasites, the condition of the digestive system, the liver, other organ systems etc.
Blood analysis is not diagnostic. It requires an experienced naturopathic practitioner to interpret the information and to make the required recommendations. These may involve dietary, herbal, homoeopathic or other supplements or lifestyle changes.
The beauty of this technique is that the patient can return to see how the condition of their blood has improved as a result of carrying out the therapist’s recommendations. Usually, a video record is taken, so ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures can be studied. As the blood picture improves, this should be reflected in the condition of the patient’s health.
Bowen Technique & TherapyThomas A. Bowen (1916-1982), an Australian, became interested in ways to alleviate human suffering and noticed that certain moves on the body had particular effects. He developed a particular type of gentle manipulative technique and ran a very successful clinic in the 1970’s. His work was developed and taught worldwide by the 1990’s.
Bowen moves involve light, gentle but precise soft tissue manipulation on the skin or through light clothing. It is quite different from massage or any other manipulative technique. The therapist makes a rolling move with thumbs or fingers on the relevant areas of the body.
The Bowen moves connect with energy already in the system to free blockages, improve communication between nerves, relax muscles, open energetic pathways and stimulate blood and lymph circulation. It embraces the physical, chemical, emotional and mental aspects of each person receiving the treatment. Harmony is created within the body, which makes its own adjustments and cures itself.
The practitioner will ask about symptoms and medical history, and the sessions usually take 30 minutes to an hour. During this time the practitioner will take breaks in the treatment and may even leave the room. This is to allow the body to begin the healing process after moves are made. The practitioner will then note changes in the tension of the muscles and any comments from the patient. This is taken into account in the moves that follow.
After treatment has finished there is often a deep sense of relaxation and well-being. Occasionally there are instant and dramatic improvements in back pain or shoulder mobility, but more frequently benefits are noted over the days that follow.
Being a holistic therapy, penetrating to a deep cellular level, improvements can occur in many other health conditions. It is valuable for athletes to reduce vulnerability to injury; to those suffering back pain due to muscular damage or stress-related tension; it can help realign the jaw and hips; help women with reproductive problems and men with prostate problems. It is an ideal treatment for any stress-related disorder.
Buteyko Breathing TechniqueOver half a century ago, a Russian doctor, Konstantin Buteyko was the first scientist to uncover a method of improving the health of people with a number of chronic conditions, particularly asthma. The answer lies in our pattern of breathing. Most of us breathe too deeply, and all asthmatics have incorrect breathing patterns. Buteyko’s observations suggest that a higher proportion of carbon dioxide, traditionally regarded as a waste product of breathing, is essential if the body is to function properly. The brain has to be retrained to allow for shallower breathing patterns to become established.
In a clinical trial carried out in Australia, asthma sufferers who tried Buteyko’s method of breathing reconditioning reported a 90% reduction in their dependence on medication.
Dr Gerald Spence, a general practitioner in Glasgow, uses the technique on some of his asthma patients. He has found that it "makes people much more responsive to conventional therapy," and says that using the technique saves his practice about £10000 annually because of the decreased need for medication.
The method consists of a simple programme of exercises that anyone can learn with a trained instructor.
ChiropracticChiropractic is concerned with optimising the alignment of the skeletal system. It was developed by D.D.Palmer in 1895 who restored a patient's 17 year loss of hearing by manipulation and spinal adjustments. He believed that abnormal movements in specific joints (subluxations) interrupted the flow of nervous impulses and these were responsible for many health problems. By restoring the alignment of the spine, health problems could be overcome even if they were in other parts of the body, away from the spine.
In most cases spinal problems come about when the joints are put under excessive strain. This may have come about through accidents, traumas or injuries. Poor posture may be a contributing factor. This in turn may affect other joints, muscles, organs or tissues. Some health problems may not be caused by subluxations, but these may aggravate an existing condition.
The chiropractor will take a full case history and ask about relevant lifestyle factors. An X-ray may be taken. If appropriate to your condition, the spine will be manipulated with short, thrusting movements while you lie on a couch. Soft tissues may also be manipulated.
Conditions that may respond to chiropractic: back pain, chest pain, digestive problems, general neurological disorders, headaches, limb pain, localised rheumatic pain, lumbago, migraines, neck pain, neuralgia, numbness, osteoarthritis, pins and needles, sciatica, spondylitis, sports injuries, strains, tennis elbow, whiplash injury.
CounsellingThis is a general term covering a wide number of approaches from the simple giving of advice on a practical problem to advice over the telephone from The Samaritans to something indistinguishable from psychotherapy. Counselling is often used to resolve a specific problem such as sexual behaviour, financial difficulties, family crisis or trauma.
Cranio-Sacral Therapy/Cranial OsteopathyDeveloped by osteopath William Sutherland at the end of the 19th century, he discovered that intrinsic movements of the bones in the skull are inextricably linked with physical, mental and emotional health. These movements are rhythmic tidal motions which can be felt as palpitations in the cerebro-spinal fluid of the skull and pelvic areas. The cranial osteopath or cranio-sacral therapist feels for these slight expansions and contractions which gives information on the patient’s health. Following manipulation by the therapist, changes in pressure lead to beneficial changes in the body.
It is an exceptionally gentle form of therapy using light touch. This influences deeply held patterns of disease which accumulate throughout life as a result of injury and illness, and become held into the body tissues. It has the potential to transform patterns of restriction and resistance at a very fundamental level, thereby eliminating disease and restoring health.
It is so gentle it can be used for babies and young children as well as the elderly.
Conditions that may respond to cranio-sacral therapy according to the Cranialsacral Therapy Association of the UK: arthritis, asthma, autism, back pain, birth trauma, bronchitis, cancer, cerebral palsy, colic, depression, digestive problems, drug withdrawal, dyslexia, exhaustion, frozen shoulder, hormonal imbalances, hyperactivity, immune system disorders, insomnia, lethargy, menstrual pain, PMS, migraine, problems during and after pregnancy, reintegration after accidents, fall or injury, sciatica, sinusitis, spinal curvitures, sports injuries, stress related injuries, tinnitus and middle ear problems, TMJ (jaw) disorders, visual disturbances and whiplash injuries.
Ear Candles (Hopi)Ear candles have been used as a natural therapy by many cultures including the Hopi Indians who live in northeast Arizona.
The candles are made of beeswax, honey extract and traditional herbs.
One end is placed in the ear while the other end is lit. This creates suction, causing a massage-like effect on the eardrum. They burn for 10-12 minutes.
The effect is one of a pleasant warmth with a balancing of pressure in the ears, forehead and sinuses.
Ear candling is beneficial for earache, headache, ear noise, anxiety and stress. People often describe a soothing, pressure and pain relieving sensation around the ear and head area directly after the treatment.
Emotional Freedom TechniqueThe Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT, is a psychological acupressure technique to optimize emotional health.
EFT is very easy to learn, and will help you to remove negative emotions, reduce food cravings, reduce or eliminate pain and implement positive life goals
It is based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture but without the invasiveness of needles. Instead, simple tapping with the fingertips is used to input kinetic energy onto specific meridians on the head and chest while you think about your specific problem - whether it is a traumatic event, an addiction, pain, etc. - and voice positive affirmations.
This combination of tapping the energy meridians and voicing positive affirmation works to clear the "short-circuit" - the emotional block - from your body's bioenergy system, thus restoring your mind and body's balance, which is essential for optimal health and the healing of physical disease.
Feng ShuiAccording to the Feng Shui Society UK: "Feng Shui is the practice of analysing and influencing the interaction between people, buildings and the environment in order to enhance quality of life. Originating in Ancient China, its basis is chi, which is vital energy present in everything."
Feng Shui practice seeks simply to align us with our environment so that it works in our favour instead of against us. This places us in a position of strength with which to act and take greater responsibility for our health, wealth and happiness.
The Feng Shui of a home is believed to influence the nature of health that is enjoyed by those living in it. A home that has favourable Feng Shui vibrations and good flow of Chi will endow the residents with good health.
Many people with varying health problems seek the advice of a Feng Shui practitioner as the accumulated effect of living in an unbalanced place impacts on health, especially the health of more vulnerable people such as the very young, the convalescing or the elderly.
Furthermore, sick earth energy underneath the house can also be detrimental to health and can more often than not be remedied or alleviated by a combination of feng shui, space clearing and earth acupuncture.
Gaia HealingGaia healing involves the channeling of high vibrational energy for our physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. The Gaia energy, which is channeled through the practitioners hands, releases trapped negative emotions and restrictive thought patterns
The client lies on the healing couch, fully clothed, with their eyes closed. The practitioner places their hands along the body, on or above strategic 'energy doors' known as chakras. Gaia works to clear any energetic blockages from the chakras and helps to rebalance and clear the internal organs of the physical body. Gaia practitioners act as channels for the universal healing energy, to accelerate healing within the individual and to bring the whole body back into its natural balance; physically, mentally and emotionally.
Gaia encourages the body's own natural ability to heal itself. Disease and illness are distortions in energy frequency and Gaia healing is a way to treat or rebalance this distortion.
Gaia works especially well in helping to clear deeply held energetic blockages within the physical body and is also able to help release shock or traumatic events that have been held there from events experienced in the past.
There are many different responses that one may have during a healing session. Most common is a wonderful sense of deep relaxation, peace and revitalised energy as the body, mind and spirit are brought back into balance. Some may experience old emotions surfacing as blockages are released.
Herbal Medicine (western)The history of using plants as medicines goes back to ancient times. And before drug-based medicine was developed, herbal therapy was the accepted form of medical treament in the Western world. When scientists began to isolate the most active ingredients in plants to make drugs, and as the new and different philosophy of allpoathy (drug-based) medicine got established, they abandoned herbal remedies. Today, around a quarter of prescribed medicines still have their origin in plants. However, the tradition of herbal therapy lived on and has continued to be developed over the last few centuries. And indeed it remains the most widely practiced form of medicine worldwide.
Herbal therapists or medical herbalists believe it is important to use the whole plant and not just an isolated fraction. The whole plant is seen as more than the sum of its individual parts. Although this may make it less potent, and take longer to take effect, the various compounds in the plant have a synergistic and balancing effect to improve the healing potential. In this way, deep-seated nutritional and biochemical imbalances can be stablised.
Herbal therapy is similar to other holistic approaches in that herbalists believe in a vital force or energy within human beings that can get into disharmony to bring about symptoms and illness. With the appropriate stimulus the body will respond by healing itself. The herbalist, although trained in the same diagnostic skills as orthodox doctors, aims to uncover the underlying cause of illness, and then restore harmony to the whole body, not just suppress symptoms.
The first consultation will probablytake an hour. A medical history will be taken and questions may be asked about diet , lifestyle, stress levels etc. Pulse, blood pressure, urine and blood tests may be required. Herbs will be prescribed as necessary. They may be in the form of tinctures, capsules, tablets, teas, creams, oils or ointments.
Conditions that may respond to Western herbal therapy according to the National Institute of Medical Herbalists: "Common complaints seen by herbalists included skin problems such a psoriasis, acne and eczema; digestive disorders such as peptic ulcers, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and indigestion. Problems involving the heart and circulation like angina, high blood pressure, varicose veins, varicose ulcers etc., can also be treated successfully as can gynaecological disorders like premenstrual syndrome and menopausal problems, also conditions such as arthritis, insomnia, stress, migraine and headaches, tonsillitis, influenza and allergic responses like hayfever and asthma."
Homoeopathy Medicine (classical)Homeopathy aims to stimulate the self-healing mechanisms of the body by using gentle medication. The remedy chosen would produce the same symptoms the patient is experiencing, if given repeatedly to a healthy person. This is the 'like cures like' principle.
There are a range of doses used in homeopathy but they only contain a minute amount of the active substance. This is continually diluted to the dose required. At each stage of dilution the remedy is vigorously shaken (succussed) to fully energise (potentise) it. The more it is diluted the more powerful it seems to become.
Homeopathy was developed by German physician Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843). He believed illness resulted when the body's own intelligence or 'vital force' met a stressor it could not resist. How susceptible people are to illness will be different for each person. Symptoms presented will give important clues as to the individuality of each patient.
An initial consultation with a homeopath will usually last 60-90 minutes. A detailed account of the problem is required as well as a full picture of the patient's physical, emotional and psychological health. Only then can an appropriate remedy be chosen. Follow up appointments will be required to assess progress.
Conditions that may respond to homeopathy: It can be used for a wide range of health problems. Those that may respond well include: allergies, anxiety, asthma, cystitis, depression, digestive problems, eczema, menopausal problems, menstrual problems, osteoarthritis, recurrent infections, rheumatoid arthritis, strains and sprains, tension headaches and migraines, thrush.
HypnotherapyAlthough some form of hypnotism probably goes back to ancient times, as a form of therapy it is usually traced back to the 18th century Austrian doctor Franz Mesmer who performed many seemingly miraculous cures of a multitude of illnesses. However the medical profession were hostile because he claimed the cures were the result of and occult force which he called “animal magnetism”. The modern form of hypnotherapy was developed by the American psychotherapist, Milton Erickson in the 1950’s.
The mind has various levels. You are reading this with your conscious mind. Your subconscious mind is the store-room for all the memories that can be easily recalled. Your unconscious mind carries everything that has ever happened to you, memories that are buried so deep you cannot recall them. It is this part of the mind that can be the root of many problems.
Under hypnosis the different levels of the mind disassociate from each other allowing the hypnotherapist to focus on the unconscious part.
Hypnotherapy is usually conducted as weekly sessions lasting an hour. The hypnotherapist will help the patient to relax by staring at a pendulum or by some other method. After a while the patient will be in a light trance, though conscious of events around them. Even at this stage positive suggestions of self-confidence and self-esteem can be accepted. Giving up smoking may be achievable in a light trance in just one session. However, a deeper, medium trance is needed for most problems when the mind becomes more receptive to suggestions. Here, repressed feelings of anxiety or anger can be replaced. Sometimes a deep trance is required when the subject can be taken back to childhood or even the moment of birth.
Hypnotherapy is used for psychological problems or those that may have a mental component such as sexual problems It is used for reducing pain and can be helpful in the following conditions.
Conditions that may respond to hypnotherapy: addictions, allergies, anxiety, asthma, depression, eating disorders, eczema and dermatitis, fear of the dentist, high blood pressure, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, labour pains, menstrual problems, migraine, nausea and vomiting, obesity, obsessions, phobias, psoriasis, stress.
Indian Head MassageHead massage has been practised in India for over a thousand years. It is a gentle, yet firm massage of the upper back, shoulders, neck, scalp and face. It is carried out while fully clothed and comfortably seated. Oils, moisturisers or flower remedies may also be used if required, but this is optional. It may be used with simple meditative techniques, to provide a simple yet effective way to relax.
The treatment, also called champissage, involves massage, shiatsu and acupressure techniques to relax tense areas, and rebalance energy. The practitioner will also have been taught a technique which withdraws their mind from their senses, enabling them to focus inwards, to be sensitive and aware.
The massage typically lasts around 20 minutes and should leave the client with feelings of calmness, peace and well-being.
Benefits are reputed to be as follows: Reduces muscular and nervous tension. Improves circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid. Disperses toxins from tense, knotted muscles. Stretches and mobilizes the tissues of the neck and shoulders, improving joint mobility. Stimulates and improves scalp circulation and hair growth. Stimulates the skin and nerve endings. Relaxes the scalp and tones up muscles, thus helping to relieve headaches, eyestrain and focus concentration and alertness. Leaves you with a feeling of peace, tranquillity and well-being.
Conditions that may respond to Indian Head Massage:Tension headaches, eye strain, tinnitus and other ear problems, insomnia, neck and shoulder stiffness, sinusitis and congestion hair loss/thinning, scalp tension, mental tiredness/anxiety/stress.
IridologyPhillipus Meyens wrote the first published analysis of the iris back in 1670, explaining how the eye contained valuable information about the body. However the development of iridiology is credited to Dr. Ignatz Von Peczley, a Hungarian physician who wrote a study and guide to diagnosis from the eye in 1881.
According to the story, when the doctor was a small child he attempted to free a trapped owl but accidentally broke its leg. Then he noticed the appearance of a small dark mark in the owl’s eye. As the leg healed the mark became white.
In the 1950’s the late Dr Bernard Jensen pioneered iridology in the USA. He developed a comprehensive iris chart showing the location of the organs as reflected in the eye.
A study of the eye, through nerve endings linked to all parts of the body, can indicate problems in glands and organs; weaknesses, deficiencies and over-activity; where toxins and inflammation could be, and tendencies towards particular health problems. The cell structure in the eye changes as the cell structure in any organ in the body changes, reflecting the health of that organ.
A study of the iris can reveal abnormal tissue activity at each stage: acute, sub-acute, chronic and degenerative, because as the condition worsens the indication in the eye gets darker. As healing takes place, this reverses, with it becoming gradually lighter. Changes in people’s living habits corresponds to changes in the eye.
The iris can reveal hereditary conditions, immune defects, and much else. Many conditions may be picked up at a pre-clinical stage before symptoms appear.
You will be asked about your health, medical history, lifestyle etc. Your eye will be examined with an iriscope (a magnifying glass with light). An iridocamera may be used to take a picture of your eye. This image may be transferred to a computer. With each consultation the eye can be re-examined and compared to the original image to see what changes have taken place. You may also be given a written report.
KinesiologyKinesiology uses muscle testing on the arm to communicate directly with the body. It can assess a person's response to any stimulus. It draws on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine and can evaluate body function through the muscle/meridian relationship. It can also establish connections between imbalances, put them in order of priority and determine the most effective treatment.
Kinesiology applies a wide range of gentle yet powerful techniques. These restore balance and create and sustain health, well-being and more effective functioning.
Kinesiology also draws on and integrates other therapies and healing modalities and can be used as an adjunct to any therapy.
Kinesiology is renowned for being able to uncover and help the underlying causes of health problems that are difficult to find by any other means.
Who Can Benefit From Kinesiology?
Everyone can benefit, from babies to the elderly. If someone can't be muscle tested because they are too young, too infirm, disabled or injured, communication with their body can still be made using a "surrogate", another person.
Health Benefits of Kinesiology
According to the Kinesiology Foundation, "Kinesiology restores the whole system to balance thus facilitating the self healing process. It can increase energy and vitality, prevent illness, improve posture, relieve physical pain and tension, release and help people to manage emotions and stress, enhance brain function and co-ordination, discover individual nutritional needs and sensitivities."
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You are your own search engine - your coach is a trained professional who can help you find the keywords to be entered via a secure system.
Benefits from working with a coach: You can benefit in any area of your life that you want to...Identify key areas; accomplish more in less time; minimise problems; improve relationships; get more from your job; make a career change; establish organisation in your life; add variety to your life; create space for yourself; improve your self image, health and well being; reduce stress; examine what’s important to you; overcome obstacles and feel great about yourself; improve your skills; improve your self esteem; learn to say “no” when you need to; run your own business or simply bring some fun and happiness into your life...the list is endless.
These changes are possible provided you are willing to commit to taking action. Just as a personal trainer coaches your body to fitness, a Life Coach helps the mind, emotions and actions get into shape.
Manual Lymphatic DrainageDuring the early 1930's Dr. Emil Vodder created a unique range of movements which brought relief from chronic conditions such as sinus congestion and catarrh. Since Vodder's pioneering work, MLD has spread worldwide and has become a popular treatment in many European hospitals and clinics.
It is now beginning to gain acceptance in the UK as a component in the treatment and control of lymphoedema.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is an advanced therapy in which the practitioner uses a range of specialised and gentle rhythmic pumping techniques to move the skin in the direction of the lymph flow. This stimulates the lymphatic vessels which carry substances vital to the defence of the body and removes waste products.
The first visit will include a consultation during which the therapist will recommend the number and frequency of future sessions. Each session will last approximately one hour. Where appropriate the therapist will work in conjunction with your medical practitioner.
What are the benefits?
According to MLDUK, the professional association for MLD practitioners, MLD is both preventative and remedial and can enhance your well being. Furthermore, MLD:
*is deeply relaxing
*promotes the healing of fractures, torn ligaments, sprains and lessens pain.
*can improve many chronic conditions: sinusitus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, acne and other skin conditions.
*may strengthen the immune system.
*relieves fluid congestion: swollen ankles, tired puffy eyes and swollen legs due to pregnancy.
*is an effective component of the treatment and control of lymphoedema and assists in conditions arising from venous insufficiency.
*promotes healing of wounds and burns and improves the appearance of old scars.
*minimises or reduces stretch marks.
MassageMassage is very valuable for combating stress, relieving tension and releasing energy locked up in tense muscles.
It is one of the oldest therapies, referred to in a Chinese text that is 4000 years old. Its benefits are widely recognised and is especially useful when combined with other systems of healing.
It helps relieve stress by its affect on the autonomic nervous system, and through this can stimulate many of the body's systems and glands; it stimulates nerve endings to promote relaxation and improved breathing, it helps blood and lymph circulation and it reduces muscular tension.
There are many different kinds of massage techniques used by practitioners. Some rely on these techniques (kneading, rubbing, pummeling, circling), and different kinds of massage strokes, while others are more intuitive, being guided by the way the client's body feels, using techniques that are appropriate to where tension is felt.
The practitioner uses fingertips, thumbs or the whole hand using oils such as almond or grapeseed, to move smoothly over the skin.
If the client has a preference for soothing or more vigorous massage, this should be discussed with the therapist, who will try to be responsive to the needs of the client.
Age is no barrier to massage therapy and is suitable to both babies and the elderly.
The therapist will take details of your medical history since massage may be inapppropriate for such conditions as advanced osteoporosis, feverishness, open wounds, phlebitis, thrombosis, varicose veins and varicose ulcers.
It is advisable to seek medical advice before having massage therapy if you suffer from circulatory problems, depression, and high blood pressure.
Conditions that respond to massage therapy:
Anxiety, back pain, digestive problems, fatigue, stress and tension problems, headaches, menstrual pain, muscle strains, neck and shoulder pain, postnatal problems, repetitive motion disorders, sciatica, sinus congestion, sleep problems.
MeditationMeditation is a technique of relaxation. To some it is also a spiritual path, and to others it simply breaks that cycle of daily grind and gives them their lives back. With a deeper understanding of themselves and others the stage is set for wonderment and change.
Meditation itself is not about concentration, effort, or endurance. It is effortless, refreshing and renewing. It is opening oneself to the infinite possibilities that a person can achieve or just simply being.
As simple as it might sound, by just being or truly being ourselves seems to be one of the most elusive things. Too often, we seem to have lost ourselves in what we think, say or do. Somehow the innocence has gone and along with it — the playfulness and enjoyment of life. Well, it is still there! Maybe forgotten, maybe buried under years of emotional/psychological conditioning, but it is still there.
Many experience dramatic life changes and wonderful personal experiences, initially, but the true rewards lie in regular practice and adopting it as a way of life.
MesotherapyMesotherapy involves microinjections of conventional or homeopathic medicines and/or vitamins into the mesoderm or middle layer of skin to deliver healing or corrective treatment to a specific area of the body.
Simply put, injections are performed in specific areas to reduce the appearance of cellulite and fat and to improve the appearance of the skin.
Mesotherapy is considered an alternative to liposuction and is a non-surgical procedure. Not only does it not require anaesthesia or carry surgical risk, there is no recovery time associated with mesotherapy.
Mesotherapy generally requires no preparation and the procedure lasts around 30 minutes. The most common side effect is bruising, which will usually fade within 1 week. Most patients find that the procedure is relatively painless. For those who have a lower threshold for pain, topical anesthetics can be used to ease discomfort.
Metabolic TypingA diet or nutrient that works well for one person, may have no effect on a second person, and may make a third person worse. More technically, any food or nutrient can have virtually opposite biochemical influences in different people. This is the concept that lies at the heart of metabolic typing.
In the last century it was discovered that the involuntary or autonomic nervous system plays a pivotal role in determining metabolic individuality and in influencing health and disease. This is divided into two branches, the sympathetic and the parasympathetic, which control different bodily processes. Many people inherit an imbalance within this system which, if it becomes too pronounced, can lead to health problems. Once this imbalance is determined, a dietary and nutritional regime can be used to bring it into balance.
Another primary determinant of what kind of food a person needs to remain healthy pertains to the rate at which their cells convert food to energy, or the rate of cellular oxidation. The oxidative rate, which is also largely determined by heredity, needs to be kept in balance for optimum health. Yet many people are found on testing to be out of balance and need particular types of foods and nutrients to move it into balance.
There is an inter-relationship between these systems and metabolic typing uses the information gathered from them as well as other lesser systems, to devise nutritional programmes to balance the body and thus resolve health problems.
NaturopathyNaturopathy seeks to increase the body’s ability to maintain its equilibrium; to stay healthy and fight off disease by bringing the body, mind and emotions into an optimum balance. Treatment may involve diet, fasting, exercise, massage, osteopathy, hydrotherapy and relaxation/stress management; whatever is required to build up the body’s natural healing ability.
The guidelines of this approach were laid down thousands of years ago by the Greek physician Hippocrates, but it wasn’t until the 19th century that it became fully developed when people would visit spas, and hydrotherapy clinics opened. Naturopathy has strong parallels with Eastern systems of medicine which employ a range of techniques to support the body.
This is an important aspect of naturopathy. Advice may be given which includes controlled fasting with water, juices or restricted foods. Consumption of fresh, raw foods both to provide nourishment and to cleanse and detoxify the body will be recommended. This cleansing process is important as naturopaths regard much illness as having arisen through the accumulation of toxicity.
Massage and osteopathic techniques may be given to improve spinal alignment and muscle condition.
Hydrotherapy in the form of sitz baths (shallow baths of alternating hot and cold water) to improve circulation and muscle tone. Circulation may also be stimulated and nerve function balanced by compresses, packs, wraps, sprays or douches. Even seaweed body wraps and bathing in mineral-rich mud may be recommended.
Naturopathy appreciates the holistic nature of human beings and if relevant, may use counselling, relaxation techniques and stress management.
The Consultation Process
Naturopaths use different methods of testing and treatment. However, the initial consultation will probably last an hour or so. Patients will be asked about their medical history, diet, quality of sleep and digestion, relationships, energy levels and working environment. A range of routine tests may be carried out to assess body reflexes. Blood and urine samples are sometimes taken. The iris may be examined or blood/hair samples may be taken to check for toxic metal accumulation and mineral imbalances.
Advice will be given about positive changes that need to be taken, and treatments involving homoeopathy, acupuncture, herbalism, osteopathy and more may be recommended.
Treatment takes time if the full benefit of naturopathy is to be experienced, with steady improvements, possibly interrupted with healing crises as the body cleanses itself.
One need not wait for illness to strike before consulting a naturopath since it can be used as a preventative treatment by keeping the body in optimum condition.
Conditions that may respond to naturopathy: allergies, asthma, bronchitis, constipation, cystitis, diverticulitis, eczema, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, menstrual problems, migraine, osteoarthritis, post-viral syndrome and ME, psoriasis, recurrent colds, rheumatiod arthritis, thrush.
Nutritional TherapyThousands of years ago Hippocrates was credited with saying ‘let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.’ And a popular saying is: ‘you are what you eat.’ There is no doubt there is a strong relationship between our diets and our health. Even conventional medicine accepts that around a third of cancers are caused by diet.
Our 21st Century diets are radically different from what they were over a century ago. Problems like coronary heart disease, rheumatic disease, constipation and many others were rare before 1900, but are commonplace today. And many believe the consumption of refined, processed, overcooked foods, whose consumption has soared over the last century, has much to do with our present day health crisis.
During the second half of the twentieth century, a great deal of research has been carried out into nutrition, and many nutrients have been studied in depth. Although many conventional doctors still believe you can get all the nutrients you need from a well balanced diet, this has been challenged by others who hold the view that modern diets do not meet our nutritional requirements.
The concept of optimum nutrition is coming to the fore. This rejects the notion that vitamins are only needed in small amounts to stave off deficiency diseases. They are needed to the extent that they optimise the functioning of enzymes that depend on them. Only optimum nutrition will give us optimum health.
The scope of nutritional therapy is very wide. It encompasses the food that is eaten, its preparation, improving digestion, absorption, assimilation and excretion. The metabolism of the individual is also considered. Diets may be recommended for different stages of life, levels of activity, stress or occupation.
Consideration is also given to exposure to antinutrients such as pollutants, heavy metal exposure, antibiotics, alcohol, tobacco etc., fluid levels, gut flora status and food sensitivities.
Nutritional therapy comes into its own when dealing with chronic health conditions where dietary manipulation combined with specific nutritional supplements are used to overcome these problems. Patients are treated as individuals so people labelled with the same health problem may receive different advice based on their particular constitution, metabolism and make-up.
The initial consultation will last an hour or more. A detailed case history will be taken. A health questionnaire may be required to be completed before the consultation. Laboratory tests may be ordered such as urine or hair/mineral analysis, food allergy tests etc.
Dietary changes will be recommended along with appropriate supplements and possibly lifestyle changes.
Conditions that may respond to nutritional therapy: Since nutrition is so fundamental to our health, nutritional therapy can be used in any chronic condition.
OsteopathyThis was established during the 19th century by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still as a way of stimulating the body's own self-healing mechanisms. Osteopathy is a holistic system of medicine which sees the mind and all body systems as interdependent and mutually supporting. Problems in the musculo-skeletal system may cause or reflect problems in other parts of the body.
The primary focus is on joint and soft tissue manipulation, since these are seen as vital to the functioning of the body as a whole. However they may also give advice on diet, exercise, posture and lifestyle. Each patient is treated as an individual to restore total body health. It is not restricted to treating symptoms alone.
Osteopathy achieved official recognition with the passing of the Osteopathy Act (1993). All osteopaths must register with the General Osteopathic Council.
In a consultation a full medical history will be taken and details of the current problem as well as a physical examination. The osteopath may use a range of techniques to manipulate soft tissues and joints while the patient lies on a couch. Some osteopaths use cranial (head and neck area) manipulation.
Conditions that may respond to osteopathy:
Work Strain: muscle and tendon injuries, slipped disc, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, tenosynovitis, peritendenitis, epicondylitis, tennis elbow, mouse wrist, lower back pain, neck and shoulder pain, computer hump, repetitive strain injury
Sports Injuries: lower back pain, muscle and ligament injuries, knee pain, shoulder, elbow and wrist injuries, foot and ankle complaints, reduced joint flexibility, mechanical limitations, tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, jumpers knee, tenosynovitis and tendonitis
Pregnancy: aches, back pain, heartburn, indigestion, constipation, sciatica, morning sickness
Arthritis: neck pain, lower back pain, hip pain, early morning stiffness, pain, swelling, lack of mobility in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
Babies: crying and irritability especially when lying down, feeding difficulties, sickness, colic, wind, sleep disturbances
Children: musculo-skeletal problems, susceptibility to infections and a depleted immune system, ear infections and glue ear, sinus and dental problems with a constantly blocked or runny nose, behavioural problems and learning difficulties, poor concentration, fidgeting, difficulty in sitting still and hyperactivity, headaches, other aches and pains, asthma and vulnerability ot chest infections, help with cerebral palsy and Down's Syndrome.
Cranial osteopaths may be able to help with sinusitis, dizziness, giddiness, disorders in infants and children that can be traced back to birth trauma or injury.
Partner\Couple Therapy, Relationship CounsellingApplicable to all intimate relationships whether married or unmarried, heterosexual or gay, regardless of age or race. Partners are seen together so both sides of any conflict can best be understood. However it may be that one partner does not want to be involved, or the person seeking therapy does not want their partner involved initially. In these cases they can be seen alone. Their partner can get involved at a later stage or not at all.
The therapy may explore a number of different areas depending on what the problems are, sexual relations, honesty, money, commitment etc. If couples have difficulty in communicating, the therapist can help them express their feelings without blaming each other. If it is a specific problem, this will be focused on. If one partner has personal issues that need exploration, they may need to be treated individually. Sometimes practical solutions can be sought, where for instance one partner needs to find a means of self expression outside the relationship.
If partners find they do not wish to stay together, the therapist can help them to separate in a way that is satisfactory in emotional terms.
PilatesThe core fundamentals of pilates are based upon a thorough understanding of the anatomy of the human body. The pilates instructor uses this information to create a comprehensive exercise programme for each client with the aim of restoring a greater sense of balance. It is this holistic approach that sets it apart from many other forms of exercise. It is also one of the safest forms of exercise.
It is beneficial for general fitness and body awareness, pregnancy: pre and post natal injury prevention, remedial and rehabilitation work, improvement of technique for athletes and dancers, the elderly, for children from 12 years-old.
Pilates helps to Increase and create a balance between strength and flexibility, create an awareness of and strengthen dynamic stability, improve coordination, release stress, improve posture.
PsychotherapyPsychotherapy is a general term dealing with the various methods of handling emotional problems. These methods can vary considerably but all aim to help the client change in a positive way, by a better understanding of his or her feelings and relationships with others.
This may involve re-enacting conflicts so that they are dealt with in a fresh way, enabling the conflict to be resolved. Most approaches allow clients to continue their own analysis after the therapy is discontinued.
The many approaches to psychotherapy as follows:
Our thoughts and feelings depend upon forces and processes we are not aware of – the ‘unconscious’.
The analytical psychologist (also known as a Jungian analyst) tries to understand these unconscious elements in what the patient says and the dreams they report.
Particular attention is given to how the patient regards the analyst and vice versa. It can be beneficial for a patient to understand how this ‘transference’ mirrors the early family situation, enabling them to take conscious control.
Jungian analysts believe that we are all highly capable of healing ourselves and taking charge of our lives.
Analytical psychologists treat people with emotional disorders or relationship problems with but also help people discontented with themselves or have lost a sense of direction in their lives.
Behavioural and Cognitive
Clients and therapists work together to identify and understand problems in terms of the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
The approach usually focuses on difficulties in the here and now, and relies on the therapist and client developing a shared view of the individual’s problem.
This then leads to the identification of personalised, time-limited therapy goals and strategies which are continually monitored and evaluated.
Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapists work with individuals, families and groups. The approaches can be used to help anyone irrespective of ability, culture, race, gender or sexual preference.
Individual therapists may call themselves Cognitive Psychotherapists, Behavioural Psychotherapists, Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapists or Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapists.
These different titles often reflect the preference and training of individual therapists for specific techniques which address problematic thoughts, assumptions and beliefs directly (Cognitive Psychotherapists), address behaviour directly (Behavioural Psychotherapists) or a combination of techniques aimed at addressing thoughts and behaviour (Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapists, Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapists).
Whatever title they use, the approach is commonly referred to as CBT. Most importantly, all therapists aim to help clients achieve desired change in the way they think, feel and behave.
Experiential & Constructivist
These therapies are based on the assumption that we construct our individual picture of the world from our own experiences. Then, what we do, what we believe, what we feel is largely dictated by this picture, or model.
The first task in therapy is to help the client clarify the models they use, consciously or not, to represent the world to themselves. They will need to explore and try out different ways of constructing their model and living within it, with no suggestion that any particular model is the ‘correct’ one. Changes may come in a small way in different behaviour or more extensively in revision of values, beliefs and identity.
These therapies often have a specific focus and expect to effect positive changes in the short term, as well as dealing with the underlying issues, which may require longer term therapy.
The setting may be one-to-one or in a group. A wide range of methods is used, imaginatively tailored to the individual, who is involved at every stage. The process, depending on mutual respect between therapist and client, is designed to enable to client to take better charge of their life.
Family, Couple, Sexual and Systemic
The members within this group of organisations share an assumption that individual’s problems cannot adequately be understood without considering the wider relevance of the families and groups which form each individuals’ past and present wider context. Information about this wider system may be elicited within therapy sessions with individuals, couples or family groups. Some systemic psychotherapists also consult to organisational and business systems.
Therapy aims to identify and explore the patterns of belief and behaviours in roles and relationships (including sexual relationships) which seem to have become set over time, and to enable people to decide where change would be desirable and to facilitate the process of establishing new and more fulfilling patterns.
Systemic psychotherapists, whilst often actively intervening in client systems, strive to maintain a non-blaming and neutral position, respecting differences of culture, race, gender, sexual orientation etc. Therapists may work in teams, using live consultation or as sole practitioners using retrospective consultation in order to draw upon other perspectives to their practice. Therapy is often relatively short-term.
Humanistic and Integrative
This Section includes different psychotherapies which approach the individual as a whole person including body, feelings, mind and spirit.
Members welcome interdisciplinary dialogue and an exploration of different psychological processes with particular emphasis on integration within the Section. Organisation in this Section practice approaches compatible with the following:
Humanistic psychotherapy is an approach which tries to do justice to the whole person including mind, body and spirit. It represents a broad range of therapeutic methods. Each method recognises the self-healing capacities of the client. The humanistic psychotherapist works towards an authentic meeting of equals in the therapy relationship.
Existential psychotherapy aims at enabling clients to find constructive ways of coming to terms with the challenges of everyday living. The focus is on the client’s concrete, individual experience of anxiety and distress leading to an exploration of their personal beliefs and value system, in order to clarify and understand these in relation to the specific physical, psychological and socio-cultural context. The experience and influences of the past, present and future are given equal emphasis. The questioning of assumptions and facing up to the possibilities and limitations of living is an important part of this interactive, dynamic and direct approach.
Transpersonal/Psychospiritual psychotherapy can be defined by its orientation which includes the spiritual dimension rather than the content of therapy. It views the human psyche as having a central core Self or Soul as the centre of identity as well as a personal ego. Psychotherapists draw on a wide range of therapeutic methods towards the uncovering of past psychological material within a context of the individuals potential based on spiritual insight and experience. Within this perspective there is both a movement of the personal centre to the Self and a movement of the Self to manifest its nature through and in the personal centre. Thus therapy includes both repair and individuation.
Integrative therapy can be distinguished from eclecticism by its determination to show there are significant connections between different therapies, which may be unrecognised by their exclusive proponents. While remaining respectful to each approach, integrative psychotherapy draws from many sources in the belief that no one approach has all the truth. The therapeutic relationship is the vehicle for experience, growth and change. It aims to hold together the dual forces of disintegration and integration, as presented by the psychologically distressed and disabled. The integrative therapeutic experience leads towards a greater tolerance of life’s experiences and an increase of creativity and service.
Hypnosis describes a range of naturally occurring states of altered awareness which may vary from momentary distractions and 'absences' through much enhanced states of relaxation to very deep states of inward focus and awareness.
The mental processes which can occur in any of these states, appropriately utilised, are generally far more flexible and potentially far more powerful in effecting change than those we can achieve in most everyday states of active conscious awareness.
These states may be induced quite formally or quite naturalistically, in an almost unnoticeable way, depending on the requirement of the problem, the capability of the practitioner and the needs of the client.
As well as alleviating a range of disadvantageous habits and many physical ailments, Hypno-Psychotherapy also deals in deep-seated problems involving themes and procedures in many ways similar to those addressed by many other branches of Psychotherapy.
A variety of approaches are represented. At one end of the spectrum Hypno-Psychotherapists base their diagnostic work and therapeutic strategies in modern information processing models whilst others have emphases in other orientations (e.g. Cognitive, Cognitive Analytic, Psychodynamic or Counselling modes).
In all cases, practice differs from other forms of psychotherapy in the deliberate (direct and indirect) use of altered mental states and supporting therapeutic structures as the principal medium for effecting change.
It should be emphasized that the methods and strategies used in Hypno-Psychotherapy, though powerful and often speedy in effect, also respect and are attuned to the qualities and characteristics of the individual client involved.
They seek to utilize and enhance the resources and capabilities that reside in all people, and do not by any means require the client to respond to any standardized technique or to fit into any standardized pattern.
While flexibility is paramount, the working relationship in Hypno-Psychotherapy strives for equality between client and therapist, in providing a safe and supportive environment, where the client can explore and clarify relevant personal matters.
In encouraging agreed modification of the client's beliefs, emotional responses and behaviour, the problem may require the therapist to assume a more active or directive role. In shorter term engagements, it can be used to inculcate skills and overcome limiting habits or personal and social inhibitions.
During longer-term therapy, the working relationship may present a dynamic context for the client to examine and work through important self-protection issues, including the reframing and resolution of challenging early experiences and liberation from previous blocks to personal development.
Hypno-Psychotherapy may be valuable to anyone seeking to resolve specific problems, or for personal development.
Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic
These therapies are based on psychoanalytic theory and practice. They may take place one-to-one or in a group. They may be of long or short duration. The central principle is that much distress has been caused by events in early life which we are no longer aware of. The therapy offers a reliable setting for the patient to explore free associations, memories, fantasies, feelings and dreams, to do with past and present. Particular attention is given to the interaction with the therapist, through which the patient may relive situations from their early life, the ‘transference’. In these ways the patient may achieve a new and better resolution of longstanding conflicts.
QigongQiGong is part of traditional Chinese medicine, a holistic system that attempts to restore the whole body to health rather than removing particular symptoms. Maintaining a harmonious interaction between mind and body is seen as vital if genuine good health is to be achieved. Body systems and organs are seen as interdependent, with an imbalance in one part of the system affecting other parts elsewhere.
A central feature of Chinese philosophy is to take personal responsibility for well being, to prevent illness from developing. To do this one has to live according to the rules of the Tao which refers to the primal force of the universe, an expression of the harmony of opposites, of yin and yang.
Qigong is an essential practice of Tao, a type of meditation in movement. Through its practice one becomes aware of the vital energy or qi that pervades everything, gives us life and connects us to the universe. By its practice one is able to achieve inner peace and harmony, by cultivating and conserving this vital energy.
The exercises practised in Qigong, which bring physical and mental awareness, are designed to stimulate a balanced flow of energy throughout the body, which has a similar balancing effect on the systems and organs of the body.
Research carried out in China suggests the practice of Qigong can slow down and strengthen the heartbeat, improve circulation, lower elevated blood pressure, and increase the assimilation of oxygen.
Those who learn to practise Qigong can improve their health by easing stress related disorders, tension headaches, migraines, joint disorders and digestive problems.
(In fact it's good for everything! - In China it is widely used in hospitals even for the treatment of cancer.)
ReflexologyAlthough it can be traced to ancient times, reflexology was developed by an American, Dr. William Fitzgerald, around a century ago. By applying pressure to one part of the body, he found pain could be relieved in another part. He believed they were linked by a flow of energy. He called this "zone therapy". It was further developed by American physiotherapist Eunice Ingham (1889-1974). The foot was mapped out into areas corresponding to the various glands, organs and systems of the body. The whole body therefore is represented in the feet. The right foot corresponds to the right side of the body, and the left foot to the left side. Any organ can be stimulated by applying pressure to the parts of the foot (reflexes) representing that organ.
Reflexology is a holistic therapy because massaging the feet is said to relieve stress and tension, promote a sense of well being, improve nerve function and blood supply, increase energy and vitality and encourage the body's self-healing mechanisms.
In a consultation the reflexologist will ask questions about the client's state of health, medical background and current problems. The bare feet will then be examined. Treatment involves moving the thumb and fingers over the foot in small, precise movements. Locating the tender and sensitive areas will suggest imbalances in the corresponding organs. Applying pressure is believed to break up crystal-like deposits, which in turn helps cells to eliminate toxins, unblock nerve impulses, and improve blood supply.
Conditions that may respond to reflexology: asthma, chronic pain, circulatory disorders, constipation, headaches, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine, painful periods, recovery from surgery, sinus problems, stress related problems, urinary problems.
Reiki HealingAlthough based on ancient philosophy, it was founded by 19th century Japanese theologian Dr. Mikao Usui. Reiki means universal (rei) life force (ki). When ki is strong and free, the body and mind stays healthy. But if ki is blocked or is weak then the body may become physically ill, emotionally unbalanced or spiritually barren. The reiki practitioner must open their own healing channel to connect the universal life force with the receiver.
Reiki is a spiritual healing art using guided life-force energy. During a reiki session, the client stays fully clothed while reclining on a massage table or seated in a chair. The practitioner transmits healing energy through the hands. He or she will place their hands on or just above the client’s body. There are 12 basic positions, 4 on the head, 4 on the back and 4 on the abdomen. Ki passes out of the practitioners hand and into the client’s body, refreshing and cleansing their own ki.
The reiki practitioner must follow guidelines of ethics and behaviour in their life and can pass through different levels of attainment. Practitioners usually attain “second degree” status before offering treatments.
Reiki sessions usually last an hour or so. It makes no claim to cure any specific condition. It is not a form of treatment. Clients should play a positive part in their own treatment by being open to the help reiki can provide.
Reiki can be used to maintain physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Reiki sessions can help relieve tension and stress and promote a more positive approach to life.
Conditions that may respond to reiki healing: stress-related problems, anxiety, depression, headaches, migraine.
Shiatsu MassageShi (finger)atsu (pressure) has traditions going back many centuries in the Far East, but it wasn't until the 20th century when the Japanese Tokujiro Namikoshi developed it into a comprehensive therapy.
Philosophically it is similar to acupuncture in that it aims to stimulate an optimum flow of vital energy or qi flowing along the pathways or meridians which cover the surface of the body. In this way the body's ability to self-heal is enhanced to improve physical, emotional and psychological health. It does this by the application of special massage, pressure and stretching techniques.
The practitioner will take a detailed case history and ask about symptoms. Traditional Chinese methods of diagnosis may be employed. The client is usually asked to lie on a padded mat, fully clothed. Various techniques may be used to improve the flow of qi using the practitioner's thumbs, fingers, palms, elbows and feet as deemed necessary. From gentle holding and pressing to more dynamic rotations and stretches. Sessions may last up to an hour.
Conditions that may respond to shiatsu massage: back pain, constipation, convalescence from illness, depression, diarrhoea, general digestive problems, general symptoms of stress and tension, headaches, insomnia, menstrual problems, migraines, pain related to postural problems, sluggish immune system reaction leading to recurrent or persistent infections.
Tai Chi ChuanTai Chi Chuan means the 'Supreme Ultimate Force' which is often associated with the Chinese concept of yin-yang, the dynamic duality (male/female, active/passive, dark/light, forceful/yielding, etc.) in all things. 'Force' is the way of achieving this ying-yang, or 'supreme-ultimate' discipline.
Tai Chi, is a kind of moving form of yoga and meditation combined. There are a number of forms or 'sets' which consist of a sequence of movements. Many of these movements are originally derived from the martial arts although they are performed slowly, softly and gracefully with smooth and even transitions between them.
For most the focus in doing them is as a meditative exercise for the body.
In Chinese philosophy and medicine there exists the concept of 'chi', a vital force that animates the body. One of the aims of Tai Chi is to cultivate the circulation of this 'chi' within the body, the belief being that by doing so the health and vitality of the person are enhanced. This 'chi' circulates in patterns that are closely related to the nervous and vascular system. This is associated with the practice of acupuncture and other oriental healing arts.
Tai Chi also aims to promote a calm and tranquil mind, focused on the precise execution of these exercises. Learning to do them correctly provides a practical avenue for learning about such things as balance, alignment, motor control, rhythm of movement etc. This can contribute to being able to stand, walk, move, run better.
Many practitioners notice benefits in terms of correcting poor postural, alignment or movement patterns which can contribute to tension or injury. Furthermore the meditative nature of the exercises is calming and relaxing in and of itself.
“According to Dr Robert Willix tai chi is “the most rejuvenating for your physical and mental health. It lowers blood pressure, heals achy joints, stimulates circulation, builds muscle, and mobilizes the immune system....all without stress or strain.”
Traditional Chinese MedicineThe theory and practice of Chinese medicine has been preserved and developed over the last 2500 years where imbalances in the patient’s physical system or environment are countered by herbs, acupuncture, massage, exercise or lifestyle changes.
Chinese medicine is profoundly holistic, with each part of the body seen as related and dependent upon other parts for balanced and healthy functioning. And each human being is seen as part of a greater whole, being affected by social relationships and environmental factors.
The two concepts of yin and yang relate to the balance between opposing forces which create perfect harmony. Yin relates to cold, dampness, tranquillity, earth and darkness, and are reflective and inward looking. Yang relates to heat, fire, light, restlessness and dryness, and is outgoing and extrovert.
In illness either yin or yang is likely to be dominant. Health may be affected by internal or external factors which result in body fluids becoming excessive, diminished, stagnant, chilled or heated.
Balance and harmony is central. Harmony with nature and our environment, harmony of internal body organs, and mental/emotional/spiritual harmony.
5 substances are the elements that make up a human being: Shen relates to mental and spiritual. Qi is the vital energy. Jing concerns our inherited constitutional experience of health and energy. Body fluids, and Blood. Disturbances within each element give rise to particular symptoms.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the 5 substances are manufactured, distributed and stored by the heart, which stores shen. The lungs, which regulate qi. The liver, which regulates the flow of qi and stores the Blood. The spleen, which transforms food into qi, and the kidneys, which are related to Jing. All organs depend on the kidneys for their yin or yang energy.
The external influences on health are wind, cold, damp, fire/heat, dryness.
The TCM practitioner will gather a wealth of information about the patient both by careful observation and subtle questioning which relates to the 5 substances, organs and external influences.
The patient will be asked about duration, location, intensity and persistence of the problem; about what makes it better or worse, whether there is a pattern to its onset. What may have triggered the problem will be explored as well as lifestyle, diet, activity and rest. Questions may relate to digestive system functioning, patterns of thirst, food preferences and aversions, regularity of bowel movement and amount of urine passed. Sleep quality, reactivity to heat and cold, tendencies to infections may be explored.
Pulse and tongue will be examined. A great deal can be gleaned from these, since the pulse has 28 qualities relating to health, and different areas of the tongue relate to different parts of the body.
The practitioner can also learn much by colour and texture of skin, body odour, from the eyes and voice.
Once a diagnosis has been reached the patient may be prescribed Chinese herbs, which may come in various forms, fruits, minerals or other forms of treatment such as acupuncture, qi gong, and tui na massage.
Conditions that may respond to Chinese Herbal Medicine: acne, anxiety, asthma and bronchitis, coughs and colds, cystitis, digestive disorders, high blood pressure, insomnia, irregular periods, menopausal symptoms, painful periods, poor circulation, post-viral syndrome or ME, PMS, psoriasis, stress-related symptoms.
Transcendental MeditationTranscendental Meditation is a simple natural technique practised for 15-20 minutes twice each day sitting comfortably with the eyes closed.
It gives deep rest to mind and body, releases mental and physical stress, and allows you to use more of your potential.
Anyone can practise Transcendental Meditation. The technique allows the activity of the mind to settle down in a natural way until it is left quiet, but still wide awake.
The long-term benefits of regular meditation are cumulative, but new meditators often notice that they look and feel better almost immediately.
The practice does not conflict with any existing beliefs, religious or otherwise; yet at the same time people often find that regular meditation gives clarity and perspective to their highest aspirations.
When you meditate you sit comfortably with your eyes closed, in silence. To the onlooker it will appear as though you are dozing.
Other systems generally involve either concentration (which means effort) or contemplation (thinking about something), both of which tend to keep the mind lively and active. Transcendental Meditation is a completely natural, effortless practice.
Tui Na MassageTui Na Massage is a branch of Chinese Medicine along with Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine and Qi Gong.
It is performed through clothing, using various massage techniques: lifting, stretching, stroking, pushing and grasping. It can be quite vigorous. These are accompanied by acupressure and joint manipulation.
Tui Na does not simply work on the muscles, bones, and joints. It works with the energy of the body at a deeper level. As the practitioner senses the client's body with their hands, they are able to assess the distribution of energy and affect its flow.
Massaging the meridians and stimulating specific Qi points, Tui-Na uses the same theory in its treatments as acupuncture. Often they are used together to remove blockages along the meridians of the body and stimulate the flow of qi and blood to promote healing.
Voice Movement TherapyVoice Movement Therapy uses sound, movement and imagery in order to access the inner world of the self.
In sound and movement often resides our essential self. By working with the healing capacities of the self through imagination, starting to give voice to all the different aspects of our selves and entering into the realm to the many peopled world inside of us, Voice Movement Therapy provides the opportunity to bring out into the world what is inside, putting feelings into song, letting our soul sing.
Song is for everyone and , throughout time, has been a way of holding onto oneself, retaining dignity in the face of overwhelming odds, of remaining real, of reminding ourselves that indeed we exist and we matter. Do you want to hear the cry of your heart, the lullaby of your soul, the battle cry of your warrior, and the ballads of your life? Do you want to sing more freely?
Voice Movement Therapy is an exploration of the self through the use of voice. It combines psychotherapeutic principles with breathwork and an exploration of the components which make up the human voice with movement, imagery and song.
Voice Movement Therapy was founded and developed by Paul Newham. Inspired by the therapeutic voice work of Alfred Wolfsohn and the vocal theatre work of Roy Hart, Newham created a multi-dimentional expressive therapy of the voice.
Voice Movement Therapy is for anyone who feels their voice has been affected by physical or psychological trauma. For anyone who wants to sing but feels they cannot, for those who desire to express themselves, for those experiencing emotional distress or those who feel they have had their voices taken from them and are now wishing to reclaim them. It is for those wishing to more fully express themselves in this world. It is for singers looking to expand their range and for those seeking to locate their creativity. Voice Movement Therapy can be used by anyone who has a voice.
Vortex HealingThis healing system was rediscovered and developed by Ric Weinman (USA) in 1994. The history of Vortex Healing began with an avatar (a direct incarnation of the divine) named Mehindra, who lived in India about 5600 years ago. After his death he organised 7 other divine beings into a special healing realm and used his own being and divine energy to form a link to it from our universe - the Vortex.
The transmission that the Vortex Healing practitioner receives links them to this specific "healing realm". This allows them to utilise this connection to work with a body's divine and vital webbing - the energy lines that permeate the body. Using various techniques specific to this system, the practitioner is able to manifest energetic structures to support weak organs or chakras, repair broken divine or vital lines, release the deep karmic issues that we hold, & clear the physical, mental and emotionally held charges from the body.
Vortex Healing is therefore a very new, unique and powerful healing tool able to deal with any condition.
YogaA philosophical as well as physical way of life emphasizing harmony of body and mind.
The philosophy of yoga is based in Eastern Metaphysical beliefs. The goal of the philosophy is to help a person become balanced in mind and body and attain self-enlightenment. Yoga, apart from its metaphysical teachings, is beneficial to the body.
Yoga means "union" in Sanskrit, the language of ancient India where yoga originated. We can think of the union occurring between mind, body and spirit.
The Sanskrit word asana refers to the practice of physical postures or poses. Asana is only one of the eight so-called "limbs" or types of yoga, the majority of which are more concerned with mental and spiritual well being than physical activity.
Yoga is about creating balance in the body through developing both strength and flexibility. This is done through the performance of poses, each of which has specific physical benefits. The poses can be done quickly in succession, creating heat in the body through movement or more slowly to increase stamina and perfect the alignment of the pose.
Yoga teachers will often refer to "your practice," which means your individual experience with yoga as it develops over time. It is always evolving and changing. Although the poses themselves do not change, your relationship to them will.
One of the most difficult, but ultimately most liberating things about yoga is letting go of the ego and accepting that no one is better than anyone else. Everyone is just doing their best on any given day.
In addition to practicing the poses, yoga classes may also include instruction on breathing, call and response chanting, meditation, or an inspirational reading by the teacher. The variety and amount of this will depend on the individual teacher and the tradition in which they have trained.
Typically, a yoga class at a gym will be more focused on the purely physical benefits of yoga, while one at a yoga centre may delve more into the spiritual side. Some people find that the physical practice of yoga becomes a gateway into a spiritual exploration while others just enjoy a wonderful low-impact workout that makes them feel great.
This is the form of yoga most familiar in the west. It is the mainstay of the majority of yoga classes. The word Hatha is made up of "ha" meaning Sun and "tha" meaning Moon representing the positive and negative energy flows in the body. Hatha yoga regulates and balances these energy flows.
Hatha Yoga involves the physical posture work, the breath control (Pranayam) and prepares the body for meditation.
Raja yoga means Royal yoga and is associated with the yoga of Patanjali who promulgated the Yoga Sutras, here he lists the eightfold path or the eight limbs of yoga. These are :-
Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi.
Yama (Abstentions) are:-
Non Violence, Truthfulness, Non Stealing, Purity, Avoidance of Greed.
Niyama (Observances) are :-
Cleanliness, Contentment, Austerity, Study or Wisdom, Devotion to the Divine.
The physical posture work familiar in most yoga classes.
Pranayama (Breath Control):-
Control of breath and direction of Prana (Life Force Energy) within the body.
Pratyahara (sense withdrawal):-
Detaching the mind from the 5 senses
Holding the mind on a particular object or thought, Single pointed awareness.
Prolonged concentration to the point where it becomes effortless.
Samadhi Contemplation, Union, Bliss:-
This has to be experienced to be understood, it is beyond words.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga
This is a strong sequence of postures currently made popular by Madonna involving breath control and bandhas that generates a lot of heat in the body during its practice. It is this heat that assists in attaining some of the more strenuous or challenging stages of the practice.
The practice is based on the popular "Salute to the Sun" sequence but this is extended to produce a flow, or vinyasa, incorporating virtually all of the classical postures.
Iyengar Yoga specialises in strong and precise posture work using belts, blocks and other aids in order to help the student attain the final posture.