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- 9 Healthy Reasons To Make A Massage Appointment Today (the benefits of massage)
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- How to choose the right therapist for you-My Top Tips
I recently came across this poem in my Sussex Healers Association Magazine. The poem’s author is anonymous but it is believed to have come from a gentleman who died in a geriatric ward of a nursing home in North Platte, Nebraska.
Read it, I urge you!
CRABBY OLD MAN
What do you see nurses?………………What do you see?
What are you thinking when you are looking at me?
A crabby old man, not very wise, uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food, and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice….”I do wish you’d try!”
Who seems not to notice the things that you do
And forever is losing a sock or a shoe?
Who, resisting or not lets you do as you will,
with bathing and feeding …The long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking? ……. Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes nurse …………….you’re not looking at me!
I’ll tell you who I am, as I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of Ten, with a father and mother, brothers & sisters who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now a lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty, my heart gives a leap.
Remembering the vows that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five now, I have young of my own
Who need me to guide, and a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty, my young now grown fast,
Bound to each other with ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons have grown and are gone,
But my woman’s beside me to see I don’t mourn.
At Fifty, once more, babies play around my knee,
Again, we know children, my loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me, my wife is now dead.
I look at the future, I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing young of their own.
And I think of the years and the love that I’ve known.
I’m now an old man and nature is cruel ’tis jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles, grace & vigour depart,
There is now a stone where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass a young guy still dwells,
And now and again, my battered heart swells
I remember the joys, I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living life over again.
I think of the years, all too few, gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.
So open you eyes people, open and see.
Not a crabby old man – LOOK CLOSER AND SEE………………………ME!!
We have always know that long-term stress is bad for you – the constant and prolonged release of the stress hormone cortisol is associated with a number of serious effects including high blood pressure, suppressed immunity, decreased bone density, impaired cognitive performance and many others. However, have you noticed the amount of recent research on exactly how bad it is for you there has been lately?
A recent study for the Lancet by Prof Andrew Steptoe indicates work related stress causes a 23% increase in the risk of heart attacks
Researchers in the US have now analysed the brain tissue from depressed & stressed individuals and discovered a brain shrinkage. It is believed the stress blocks the formation of new nerve connections disrupting the circuits associated with mental and emotional function, how stress and depression shrink the brain
More recently, Professor Sarah Berga of Emory University of Atlanta has released her research on the link between stress and infertility
SO - WHAT CAN YOU DO?
You have got to work. You can’t give your teenagers away (nice thought maybe) and the house/garden etc is not going to do itself. (Roll on the invention of the self-cleaning house we say!)
It is all about finding something you can do , for yourself, to reduce your personal stress levels and increase your levels of relaxation. What you do is going to be down to personal choice, but you have to find it, schedule it in and commit to it. After all, how hard would it really be to schedule in a weekly massage take a 20min walk in the park/ practice meditation? ANSWER – Not very hard, unless your stress levels are already becoming chronic and impacting on your mental well-being – then what? We would always recommend you visit your GP to get a correct diagnosis and then, any good GP will recommend a talking/counselling therapy. Again, who you choose should be a personal choice but we would recommend an ‘off the record’ chat with any potental therapist before committing. We always provide a free consultation either in person or by telephone before we would even allow a client to make an appointment for our hypnotherapy or NLP. You really need to feel you could trust and feel comfortable with your therapist to ge the best results.
We believe prolonged and/or chronic stress is a silent killer of our age. Do not ignore it. Have a look at some of the symptoms listed below:
- Difficulty with sleeping
- Constant tiredness
- Aching/tense muscles
- Deminished Libido
- Weight gain or loss (not due to dieting)
- Increased alcohol or drug intake
Do more than one of these apply to you?
Yes? GET SOME HELP
With everyone glued to the splendour of the Olympics and those amazing athletes, we can only wonder at what it has taken in training, sacrifice and determination to get them there. We strongly suspect that whatever admiration and awe we are watching with now will only increase with the start of the Para Olympics.
We have been lucky enough to look after a number of marathon runners this year at Ananda Healing. We have seen first hand what it takes to drive yourself forward through rain, pain and mental torment – when every fibre of your being is telling you to stop. Athletes seem to be built from stronger stuff than us mere mortals, but are they? Could it just be they have a stronger why? It seems to us that the only thing that separates us is their reason why. Could it be that if you dug deep and found a reason to do something that became so strong it would elevate you to a different league in your chosen area?
Some of you may also be wondering where Ananda Healing fitted into the sports training programme. Well, mainly with massage but also with meditation, hypnotherapy and NLP. Research is now proving the benefits of massage to athletes, with improved cell repair rate, in particular. Meditation – we you know that is our pet subject and everyone should do it! Duncan is also finding a number of sports people in particular are benefiting from the mind training techniques of Hypnotherapy & NLP which is invaluable to them to improve their game – the mind needing as much training as the body!
So you are not a top athlete or even aspiring to be one – how can you benefit from therapies?
Everyone can benefit from massage in particular as it lowers blood pressure, reduces pain (even in chronic conditions such as arthritis), releases “happy” hormones to improve your feelings of mental health and well-being. . As for meditation – again, don’t even get us started – we have a recent client who has just finished her meditation course who says she cannot believe the impact it has had on her life; she feels centred and peaceful for the first time in years! And finally, the hypnotherapy & NLP – maybe your first step to improved health is to give up smoking? Perhaps you don’t want to run a marathon but would just like to get through the day without that fear, phobia or habit controlling you?
If you’re having difficulty in getting your why clear and bright enough to drive you, speak to us about our Vision Boarding & Goal Setting workshop!
We made a promise to ourselves when we started this practice – we would be here to serve and to do what we could to improve life for you. That drive started us out four years ago and it drives us today – THAT IS OUR WHY!
Amanda and I often will always recommend that people learn to meditate, and you always have that option at Ananda Healing. But, what if you don’t want to learn to meditate? What if you don’t have the time right now? How can you quickly and easily gain the benefits of meditation (more about those in a bit) without having to go through the process of learning the skills? Guided meditations are an easy way to gain some of the benefits of meditation, the easy path if you like. You get the deep relaxation and the health benefits that brings whilst listening to a Cd (or even an mp3 on your phone, or mp3 player). Now, I’m not suggesting that this is instead of learning to meditate with Amanda (which is a brilliant course, and worth every single penny), but simply that you can get some benefits immediately.
What are the benefits of meditation?
The benefits of meditation are many-fold, such as:
- Reduced Stress and anxiety by an opportunity to spend time by ourselves, without feeling at the beck and call of others.
- Reduced probability of heart disease. There is a growing awareness of the link between our state of mind and physical health. Quite often physical ailments are symptoms of inner turmoil.
- Happiness and Peace of Mind. Is there anybody who does not, in some way, seek after happiness? Meditation takes us to the source of happiness, which is to be found in our own peace of mind.
- Reduced pain for existing injuries and illnesses (I know a great deal about this one, and can definitely vouch for the power of meditation to ease pain).
- Control of your own thoughts. Increased positivity. Have a look at the Happiness Revolution for example.
- Detachment. It’s easy to get caught up by the rush of today’s world and it’s demands on us, detachment helps us to gain perspective.
- Concentration which is essential to fulfill our potential. When we have concentration we can do more in less time.
- Spontaneity and Creativity. Your creativity comes from your unconscious mind, and meditation helps us to access this part of the mind, allowing our creative side to come to the fore.
- Discovering the Purpose of your life. If you feel perfect contentment and happiness then, at the moment, meditation is not necessary, if not then meditation can be of great help. In meditation we gain a new perspective of life, uncoloured by our own egoistic perspective.
Why Guided Meditation rather than a Meditation Course?
Meditation takes time and perseverance, which is where a course comes in. You can’t expect to gain all the above benefits in the first few attempts and without some form of guidance. It takes time and effort to tame the mind. This is where a guided meditation comes in. During guided meditation you will be directed on a journey to deep relaxation, a place of wonderful peace. So you can gain a number of the above benefits without the need for meditation courses or tuition.
Also guided meditation helps to remove external distractions. The use of background music and noise help to block out external noises that otherwise may distract your meditation. In addition it provides a “story” to follow which will engage the mind and draw it gently to the meditative state.
Above all guided meditation allows you to start meditating immediately and helps to remove distractions.
So what’s so special about the Guided Meditations from Ananda Healing?
Each of our meditation tracks:
- is written and recorded by experienced professionals, mainly Amanda, so you receive the benefits of targeted language.
- uses soothing soft background noise to mask external and internal interferences.
- utilises bilateral sounds across all soundtracks to facilitate brain hemisphere synchronisation.
- adds Brainwave Entrainment techniques. Binaural/monaural beats and isochronic tones.
What we have done is to combine ancient meditation techniques with the modern science and the best technology available to deeply relax the mind which will help you to relax easily and effortlessly, and get the most out of your meditation time!
Amanda and I will be organising meditation groups soon, and we hope to see you there!
A great number of people have misconceptions about what hypnotherapy is, what it isn’t, what it can achieve, and what it can’t. Today I’d like to clear that up with you by telling you what hypnotherapy is all about, and tell you how it can help you!
For a start hypnotherapy isn’t about the stage shows, which is stage hypnosis, and shortly I’ll explain why a hypnotherapist simply cannot make you squawk like a chicken or generally act like an idiot without your agreement.
So what is stage hypnosis all about, and why can they make people do weird things?
Well, if you imagine that in the audience for a stage hypnosis show and there’s 1000 people there, and say 90% of them actually want to be there and are up for a show, so that’s 900 left in the pot of potential candidates. Before the show the hypnotherapist will ask who is willing to come up on stage and make a fool out of themselves. Say for instance that 50% of them agree, so we’re left with 450. The hypnotist will then go through a series of susceptibility tests to see who will make the best volunteers and will select, say 50. Then those people will go through another series of hypnotic tests to see who really is “up for it” to determine the most susceptible, outgoing characters in the group. The rest will be sent back to the audience, and those on stage will be “primed” ready for the show. So a stage hypnotist will load the tables before the group even start acting like chickens or whatever they are asked to do. About 60 years ago governments experimented with hypnosis as a means of interrogation for captured enemy soldiers. After many studies they discovered that enemy soldiers could not be hypnotised to give up secrets! What this proved was that the person being hypnotised is still always in control at some level and cannot be made to do something that goes against their core beliefs. So now you know that we can’t make you squawk like a chicken, without your agreement, what can we do with hypnotherapy?
What can we do with hypnotherapy?
Now this is the exciting part, and get ready for a long winded answer……. anything you can imagine! Now I do have to say there are physical limitations. For instance if you’re wheelchair bound and you come to me saying “Can hypnosis help me win the 100 metres mens final at the Olympic Games?”, you’re going to have to expect a “No”! But, if you come to me and say “I’ve had this phobia of heights for 20 years, but I really, really want to climb a mountain, can you help?”. In that case the answer is a resounding “YES”. If you have a problem and you want a solution then hypnotherapy can help you massively!
How does hypnotherapy work?
So how does it work then Duncan? I’m glad you asked that. We use an hypnotic induction to get you into a state of deep relaxation, very similar to a state of deep meditation. Once there the concious mind is pretty much switched into a standby mode (just like your TV) and the unconcious mind is ready to listen deeply and openly to my suggestions. We then use a series of hypnotherapy techniques (like embedded commands, illusionary choice, and metaphors) to speak directly to your unconcious mind and change the belief programming that has been causing you problems. Now the great thing is here that you are always in control, and your unconcious mind will accept the new programming deeply and allow it to take effect immediately. I’m going to go into more depth about the unconcious mind, habits and how the brain learns in another blog, which will be coming your way very soon! The simple fact is that when I have experienced hypnotherapy as a client and when my clients have experienced hypnotherapy with me they sometimes don’t even know why they’ve changed. The question I’d like to ask you now is “Do you need to know why exactly you’ve changed?”, I mean “Do you need to know exactly how the electricity gets to your house to be able to switch on the lights?”, or “do you need to know how the TV signal gets beamed through the air in order to be able to watch your favourite soap opera?”.
We deal with phobias, fears, unwanted negative emotions, performance coaching, weight loss, stopping smoking, the list goes on and on!
So whatever your problem come and see us, or give us a call on 01342 842 098 or 07917 879 052, to discuss or send us an email to ask how we can help. We don’t charge for email advice, or telephone consultations because at the end of the day our focus is getting YOU to YOUR solution! What have you got to lose, apart from those old unwanted habits and fears?
Did you know, according to recent research from Sweden, couples where one partner commutes are 40% more likely to divorce?
Other research has shown commuters have increased risk of obesity, insomnia, stress and muscle aches.
What exactly does this research tell you then? Well no more that we already suspected and that is -
COMMUTING REALLY IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU AND IT CERTAINLY ISNT ANY FUN
So what can you do to improve your lot as a commuter?
The first and most obvious thing is to move house or change your job but if that were possible you would have done it already right? So could there be answers elsewhere?
Well, as a therapist I would say “Yes”
The immediate issue to address is the stress. Long term stress has an impact on the mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. In fact, it is argued that the obesity, insomnia and muscle discomfort and even the divorce rate, are all the effects of the stress.
How do we relieve this stress?
This is down to personal choice – it may be joing the gym, jogging, taking up a new hobby. As long as it is healthy it will help – The key word here is healthy. Many a stressed individual has sought relaxation in the form of drugs or alcohol but the answer is not found here, only more problems.
I would certainly recommend regular relaxation treats such as massage to improve your wellbeing. However, by far, the single most significant and achievable change you can make for the benefit of your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing is LEARN TO MEDITATE
It is simple, easy to learn and may well change your life – it will certainly change your health
Simply it is a collage you make using photos, magazine cutouts, anything you like that gives you a clear image of what you want from your life, whatever you desire. In other words, it should depict a clear visual focus for where you want your life to be. Once done it should be placed somewhere prominent so that it gives you a constant prompt of the direction you want to travel.
Without focus, it is the human condition, for most of us anyway, to meander though life reacting to what ever happens to us on a daily basis. We may have a vague idea of the job or business we want, the partner we would like, the children, the holiday, the house etc. but without any real, clear vision. A vision board is a fun way to give you that clarity to discover exactly what you want! Brilliant!
What you need and how?
Materials – a board, glue or pins, magazines, photos etc
It is a good idea to set time aside and come to settle before you start. Just sit quietly and focus on your breath for a few moments and then just ask yourself “What do I really want?” and then go for it! Start looking through the magazines and photos to find the ones that best depict your goals and dreams.
If you are getting stuck with how to Vision Board we have recommended a couple of products available at Amazon
We are also currently putting together a Vision Boarding and Goal Setting workshop which will be held soon in our brand new treatment and training room. This will be a great, hands on workshop and you’ll get plenty of chance and guidance on exactly how to discover what you really want, create your vision of the future on the board and how to maintain the focus to actually achieve your goals. As we do at Ananda Healing we’re merging traditional meditation and relaxation techniques with the science and art of neuro linguistic programming, NLP, to give you the very best tools to get to where you want, and deserve, to be! It will be fantastic fun, whilst being a great challenge.
Drop us an email or call us on, 01342 842 098 / 07917 730 944, if you would like to pre-register your interest.
Can I do this with friends?
Yes! Why not through a vision boarding party! Invite some friends, get the cakes out and spend a few hours together. The more enjoyable you make it, the more effective it will be for you. Also simply by sharing your vision of your own future with your friends you’ll make it more real and achievable.
Once you have collect the works and pictures you feel best capture the image of your future you can start arranging them on your board. You may want to discard some at this point. REMEMBER – they need to capture your dream in one. Just keep your intent and focus and ask yourself with each cutting “Is this really what I want?”
BE CLEAR, BE HONEST, HAVE FUN!
That was a question, not a statement by the way.
I saw a report in the news “JUST 12 per cent of Wigan’s smokers using the NHS Stop Smoking Service actually kicked the habit latest figures show“.
So why is it that these figures are so low? Well, here are some of my thoughts on the subject.
I found these words on the NHS Stop Smoking Service website
What to expect
When you join we’ll get you working with a trained adviser; either in a group or one-to-one. The sessions usually start a couple of weeks before you quit.
Why it helps
Your adviser will be able to tell you about nicotine replacement products and other stop smoking medicines, and recommend which product or combination of products could work for you.
We use a carbon monoxide monitor to measure your levels of carbon monoxide. This is a great motivational tool because it helps you to see the benefits of giving up smoking.
Many people find that sharing the experience with others is really helpful in itself.
The above addresses the problem of stopping smoking and offers to tell you about nicotine replacement products and medicines, but doesn’t ever address the problem of the habit itself. I wrote a blog on habits, the habit virus, some time ago which tells you what habits are, how they’re formed and, more importantly, how they can be changed into better habits for you!
The biggest part of quitting smoking is dealing with the habit itself, the part of you that tells you it’s time for a cigarette, the part of you that already has a cigarette in your mouth and lit up before you even think conciously about it! If you don’t deal with that then your struggle to quit smoking is just that much harder. Now don’t get me wrong people have quit simply by willpower alone, and deciding truly to quit. What I do is to make it easier for the people who do find they struggle with it. And before you ask yes I did used to smoke, so I know how difficult it can be to quit.
The great thing about hypnotherapy, neuro linguistic programming (NLP), and time based techniques is that we talk directly to the unconcious mind, the part of your brain that deals with your habits and literally help you to reprogam it so that you create a new, better habit of not smoking. This also helps with the anger a lot of people find they suffer from when they’re quitting. Imagine if you will two people pulling in different directions, nothing is achieved. If you decide conciously to quit, but your unconcious habit pulls you back to smoking, where will you end up?
If you truly want to quit smoking and want a guaranteed solution, then simply contact Ananda Healing on 01342 842098 or 07917 730944 to book a free consultation or an appointment.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up the very large and empty mayonniase jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.
He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. the students responded with a unanimous “Yes”
The professor then produced two glasses of wine from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed. “Now” said the profess, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognise that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things; your family, your childeren, your health, your friends and your favourite passions; things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full”.
“The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.”
“The sand is everything else; the small stuff. If your put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.”
“The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.”
“Pay attention the the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to meditate. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18holes. Go for one more run down the ski slope. There will always be time to clean the house. Take care of the golf balls first; the things that really matter.”
“Set your priorities. The rest is just sand..”
One of the students raised her hand and enquired “What does the wine represent?”. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there is always room for a couple of glasses of wine with friends!”
What a lovely story. It leads on nicely from our Happiness Revolution where you focus on the important things that you have in your life, rather than all the rubbish. It also fits beautifully with the meditation that we teach at Ananda Healing.
Recently, on the way to work, I watched a fantastic short video clip from Shawn Achor about how we seem to strive for happiness, and yet manage to put it just out of reach. I often hear people saying things like, “When I’ve reached the next level [in work, sport, pastimes], then I’ll be happy”, or “If I could just change [fill in the blank], then I’ll be happy” If this sounds like you, or you’ve said this kind of thing in the past, then read on…..
The great thing about the video is that it doesn’t focus on the problem of putting happiness out of reach, it focuses on the solution, how to be happy and in that happiness achieve far more than you have before! It discusses something we, at Ananda Healing, already know. When you are happy your brain releases dopamine, which not only makes you happier, it also activates the learning centres of the brain. Therefore the happier we are, the more productive, creative, resilient we are and we tend to suffer far less from burnout. This is important not only for our personal lives, but also for our business lives, so for those of you with staff members suffering out there this can really help.
What has been advocated is setting aside 2-5 minutes each day for 21 days for positivity, whether that be gratitude, meditation, keeping a journal and others. For those of you that know Amanda and I, we advise so many of our clients to do just that. But, and this is a big but (not a big butt though), do we lead by example or do we just talk the talk? I know that Amanda is a daily meditator, so that’s her covered, but what about me? Do I spend enough time each day looking at the positive? It’s easy to say yes, but how do you know that I’m actually leading by example? Well now is the time to address that!
So, who’s with me?
Firstly, I guess I should tell you what I’m going to do on this journey. I’m starting a new group, The Happiness Revolution, and I will be spending time each day meditating, doing my gratitude and writing a positive letter. Added to that I will be keeping you guys, the ones who choose to follow me on this journey, going with motivation, reminders and sharing my journal. Now, I’m not saying this is going to be easy, I have more time restrictions than most, but let’s face it that’s just an excuse! My priorities for the next 21 days are to meditate, do my gratitude, and write a letter on a daily basis. I will then share that journey with you who chose to accompany me. I’m only going to ask you to do one of these. Chose what you’re going to commit to, and spend just 2-5 minutes each day doing it! It’s as simple as that. Now, I don’t want you to just tell me each day that you’ve done it while you sit around moping about how bad your life is, I want you to commit to your own positive future! This isn’t an exercise for me in being positive, I can do that at any time I chose, it’s an opportunity for you to take a positive, and active role in your own life. I know that if you truly commit to this process, and follow through you will see the benefits within the next 3 weeks!
So what I want from you is to:
- Yes, I’m going to take a positive, and active role in my life
- No, I’m fine the way I am thank you
If you chose Yes above, then decide
- I’m going to do my gratitude each day for 21 days. I will spend 2 – 5 minutes per day reminding myself of everything I have in my life to be grateful for
- I’m going to write a positive letter. I will spend 2-5 minutes each day writing it and reading it through. The letter can be addressed to anyone and can address any particular issues you’ve been mulling over. If you’ve had an argument with someone, apologise for your part in it. This is a great release if you’ve been holding anger towards someone or something. The letter doesn’t necessarily need to be sent, just written. But, you can send it if you wish.
- I’m going to meditate for 2-5 minutes (at least) each day. I will make sure that I put aside a quiet time for myself with no external distractions and use this time to meditate. If you have difficulty with this option then contact Amanda to discuss your meditation needs
Sign up, at the bottom of the post, with your decision to join, and tell me what your preferred route is; Gratitude, Letter or Meditation.
I will be joining you on this journey, no matter which option you select because I’m going to do all three! I’m also going to be available to you all for help, advice, someone to share your successes with or anything else you feel the need to share (keep it clean though)!
Let’s start the revolution, dare to be different, and be happy!
I’ll speak to all of you that decide to join me tomorrow by email. Don’t worry if you miss the first day, I’m going to make the 21 days rolling for other people to join us. Maybe this can be seen as a pebble in the still water, I’ll be watching the ripples grow, spread and overlap!