Under Pressure

What is the most common reason Canberrans visit the doctor? If you guessed high blood pressure you are right! Remarkably one in three adults have high blood pressure and up to one in ten are on high blood pressure medication.

High blood pressure or hypertension describes a condition where there is extra strain on your circulatory system including the heart, blood vessels and kidneys which can lead to calamitous health crises like stroke, heart disease and kidney failure. 

What causes hypertension?

If you are overweight, have high cholesterol, are a smoker or have a family history of hypertension then you’re more likely to develop high blood pressure, however 95% of people are said to have ‘essential’ hypertension meaning there is no known cause or the cause is vaguely described as lifestyle factors. 

Thankfully, if you’d prefer to treat hypertension without resorting to medication, it typically responds very well to natural medicine. Whilst there are many factors that cause high blood pressure, the overwhelming theme of clients who we see with high blood pressure have a lifestyle with high levels of stress and an inability to unwind and switch off which means their nervous systems, just like their circulatory systems are always under the pump.

 

How to heal hypertension

Herbal medicine is remarkably effective at treating hypertension. Herbs are selected to improve liver function, balance the nervous system and support the heart and blood vessel to build resilience. 

Acupuncture is exceptionally good at tackling stress and restoring optimal organ function and with stress under control hypertension is history. 

Naturopathy tackles hypertension from a number of angles via nutrition, lifestyle changes as well as herbs.

Kinesiology helps you break through old patterns of thinking and responding to life so you can treat the causes of your stress. 

Meditation restores your ability to switch off and unwind and is deeply restorative to your nervous system.  

If you suffer from hypertension and would like some support we are always here to explain how natural therapies can help and guide you through the process of treating hypertension naturally.

Are the foods you’re eating making you sick?

Have you ever noticed you feel bloated, heavy, tired or irritable after eating? If you have then there is a very good chance your body is reacting badly to some of the foods you are eating. 

Whilst it might seem obvious that if you suffer from digestive complaints like irritable bowel syndrome, re-flux, constipation or diarrhoea that food allergy or intolerance may be involved, these symptoms are just the tip of the iceberg.

Food intolerances are also often responsible for:
•    headaches;
•    tiredness;
•    skin rashes;
•    aches and pains;
•    stiff joints;
•    insomnia;
•    poor memory and concentration;
•    anxiety; and
•    depression, just to name a few.

If you have suspicions that food intolerance is contributing to less than optimal health then it’s a good idea to get them checked out. 

To help solve the mystery of whether you have food intolerances and which foods are the culprits, our kinesiology practitioner is offering 15 minute food intolerance consultations for just $30. Kinesiology works by getting feedback direct from the source: your body and it is the fastest, most accurate way I know to test for food intolerance.

 

Allergy or intolerance?

Allergies are typically more sudden and severe, think of the anaphylactic response many children have to peanuts. Intolerances on the other hand are slower to appear and can be more difficult to pin point.

Allergies and intolerances are caused by the immune system flagging something you ingest as threatening to the body’s equilibrium. It’s important to understand that the immune system has to make thousands of decisions a day and it is not always at the top of it’s game, with stress being the main reason it will falter.  

Of course it’s not always the immune system’s fault. Too often the foods we eat are highly processed which means the immune system is being asked more complex questions compared to if we were to eat food in its more unrefined and natural state. So much of the benefit of eating whole food based diet is that your body and in particular your immune system and digestion find so much easier to process real food.

The most common allergies we come across at Live Well are to wheat (and other sources of gluten) and to dairy products. The way to treat allergies is to remove the offending foods for a period of 1 to 3 months and at the same time tackle the underlying drivers of intolerance, usually stress. 

Given time, digestive organs that have been irritated and inflamed by the continual presence of a food that you have been intolerant to can recover and regain their resilience. 

After a period of abstinence there many be some foods that you can reintroduce without any side effects and there may be others that even a small amount of will trigger symptoms. You body will soon tell you just as long as you’re listening.

So don’t suffer any longer, book a 15 minute food intolerance consultations for just $30. These session will fill up fast so don’t miss out!

The Magic Of Balance

When I write about natural therapies it’s impossible to avoid talking about balance and that is because it is at the heart of what natural therapies do and why they work.

 

How do you stay in balance?

In theory, staying in balance is easy. You follow an active busy day with a restful nights sleep, you follow strenuous physical exercise or mental concentration with times of relaxation and fun, you counter hot spicy foods with a cooing drink, after experiencing anger you need to let go and relax.   

The reality is that staying in balance can be challenging. When you find yourself out of balanced for a sustained period you can expect to develop unwanted symptoms. Too many stressful days without rest and you might develop tension headaches or insomnia or anxiety, it’s your body’s way of letting you know you've slipped out of balance.

 

How Natural Therapies work

If you accept that symptoms are the body’s way of letting you know that something is out of balance then the next step is to uncover where the problem lies. The art of natural therapies is in reading the body to uncover its truth. For example, a symptom like tension headaches may tell us that your nervous system and liver function are under stress. If however, you support these body systems to return to balance using herbs or acupuncture for example, your unwanted symptoms will cease. 

 

Don’t ignore the warnings

If a warning light comes on in your car you don’t ignore it because you know it’s telling you something needs to be fixed and if you don’t pay attention to it you’d expect your car to eventually break down. What can start as an easily fixed and inexpensive issue can quickly become a big problem but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Fortunately, your body has an amazing ability to heal itself, especially when given the right support to get you back in balance and your health back on track.

Resolution Revolution

Why do we make New Years resolutions? It boils down to an acknowledgement that we want to feel different. For example ‘I’m going to give up eating junk food’ or ‘I’m going to start running/walking 3 times a week’, probably translates as ‘I don’t want to feel tired, overweight and slightly depressed anymore’.

 

Be Positive

Take a closer look at what you want to change. Instead of focusing on how you don’t want to feel, shift your focus on to the feelings you really want in your life. So if you were contemplating giving up junk food or starting regular exercise it’s quite possible you want to feel more energised and happier.

 

Boost Your Motivation

Positive feeling goals like wanting to feel more energised and happier are much more motivating than giving up something that you like such as junk food or lying on the couch! The thought of not being able to do the thing you like sets up an association of pain with your new goal and is likely to make you stop. On the other hand when your goal is focused on the positive feeling it sets up an association of pleasure and gives you much more chance of staying on track.

 

Get Creative

The other great thing about positive, feeling based goals is that you can unleash your creativity. If you focus is on being energised and happier you can probably think of lots of ways you can support your goal other than the original junk food/exercise intention. What else makes you feel energised? What places, books, art, people make you come alive?  Also consider what saps your energy and joy? What creative ways can you lessen these activities or build resilience? If you stay focused on the feelings you want and find lots of ways to support them you are much more likely to succeed.

So take some time to reflect on how you’d like to feel this year, make these feelings your ‘theme of the year’ and watch them sprout, grow and blossom as you nurture them with your loving intention for change.

Rest Up!

To my regular clients I must sound like a broken record, banging on about the need to access quality rest and relaxation, but there’s a good reason. So many people I see are tired and just managing to drag themselves through the day by sheer force of will. Whilst this stoicism is admirable in one sense it’s also a path of diminishing returns. Let me explain. 

 

The Tiredness Myth

If you’re tired all the time then your body is simply telling you that you’re not getting enough quality rest. Hello, Captain Obvious speaking! However you’d be surprised at how often this basic message from the body gets misinterpreted or overlooked. In our culture we laud those that push through and keep going, not those that are good at taking a well-judged nap!

 

Are You Wired but Tired?

The more tired you are, the more you have to wind yourself up through will power and stimulants such as caffeinated drinks or sugary snacks. When you’ve spent the whole day over-riding your body’s signal to rest, it’s no wonder that when your head hits the pillow that night you’re not going to instantly fall into a deep and peaceful sleep. Instead, you’ll take a long time to wind down or when you do finally get to sleep you toss and turn. Either way, when you alarm goes off you wake up tired. Then the cycle starts again, you override your body’s pleading for more rest and you start to wind your nervous system up again. Meanwhile you are digging yourself a bigger hole of weariness from which it gets harder to climb out. Sound familiar?

 

Stop! I Want to Get Off!

What’s the solution? Well let me first say there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a dynamic and hectic life that is full of stimulation and busyness, just as long as you become very skilled at switching off and relaxing and you put time aside each day to unwind. If you’re chronically tired, I guarantee that you are really good at winding up and terrible at winding down. The solution is to learn how to relax again.

Free gift – Guided Relaxation Practice Click here to download – Just like training wheels on a bike a guided relaxation practice re-trains your mind and body to relax. Do it every day for one month and you’ll feel noticeably different.

Top 3 Merry Stress Busters to get you Centred and Acting Authentically this Silly Season

December is my favourite month of the year but getting caught up in the silly season can be a fast track to crazy-making if you let your monkey-mind take over and forget what's at the essence, not only of the celebrations at this time of year, but within yourself.  So to give you a little Yogic helping hand to staying merrily stress-free here’s my top 3 stress busters to help you stay centred and acting authentically this silly season:

 

1. Remember to BREATHE! 

Three (3) deep breaths can change your life! They definitely change your ability to stay present, rather than reactive in the face of stress or pressure. Deep, controlled, steady breathing actually changes your body and brain chemistry. This gets you out of the 'fight or flight' response and back into 'Yes and Bless' (also known as 'rest and digest'! Fight or flight can be thought of as the Blame and Shame system when it comes to our emotions!). The physical chain reaction that 3 deep breaths give you acts like a circuit breaker - rather than react primarily to a trigger, you gain a little space and can then CHOOSE your actions mindfully.

So when you're driving around on Xmas eve looking for last minute gifts because work has been mental and someone cuts you off in the car park, instead of flipping the bird, STOP, breathe in to your belly and fill your lungs as deeply as you can. Exhale for at least the count of six, ten is even better. Do this three times, then smile, say YES, you're welcome to have the right of way, send them your blessings for a safe and happy Xmas and go merrily and less stressfully along your way. 

Same applies if your Aunt tells you that 'you're looking bigger this year darling' or if you accidentally burn the Xmas tofurkey (yep, it's an actual thing, not a typo) -Breathe, smile, send your blessings and let it go... Often a little circuit breaker like 3 deep breaths lets you let go of the drama, or your 'story' about how things 'should' be and gives you the chance to see the humour in the situation or find some compassion for the other person.

 

2.Remember the answer is always LOVE

It might sound corny but asking yourself the question "What would love do?" when someone or something is pushing your buttons can help you gain a little perspective, and again a little space, before you react to a trigger. It works REALLY well when coupled with #1! 

This applies equally to your interactions with others as to your relationship with yourself. Often we find ourselves the hardest person to love, accept and treat with respect and this sees us making decisions that don't honour our best selves. This includes our actions such as food choices, the company we keep, and the way we interact with others and our thoughts such as negative self talk, guilt and shame. The perfect seasonal example is drinking too much at the work Xmas Party, taking actions you wouldn't be proud of if you were sober and then guilting on yourself about it all afterwards - sound familiar? 

The trick to preventing this chain of avoidable events is taking the time to consider your options (remember that 3 breath thing above at #1?!) and then asking "What would love do?" and listening in for the answer. If you really, truly loved yourself, what would your honest answer be? There's a trick to listening for the answer to this question too - it won't come from your head, so if you're thinking about it, you won't get an honest answer. 

The real answer will come from your heart, as a feeling, or a sense of knowing and it probably won't be easy to recognise at first, but intuition is like a muscle, the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. Another hot tip is: it probably won't be the easy/popular/people pleasing choice. It might involve saying no in the face of peer pressure, or missing out on something. Yup, FOMO usually keeps you stuck in your same-old behaviour patterns, where it's safe and easy but probably not really what serves your highest good.

 

3. Remember to practice Yoga DAILY

Yoga is not always about physical asana or learning how to control your breath. Yoga is a myriad of personal and interpersonal practices that you can use to learn to love and manage yourself, and to harmonise your interactions with others. 

Your daily yoga practice may take many forms; physical movement, meditative stillness, intentional breath, devoting time to truly listen to another person or a random act of kindness. It may look like something else entirely. That's the beauty of Yoga - it is personal to you. 

You can practice Yoga anytime you want, wherever you happen to be. Like on the golden sand of your favourite beach or in the seat of your car as you drive cross-country. You could practice in your place in the queue for photos with Santa. Where ever it is, the point is that you have the opportunity to give yourself the gift of presence - being mindful of where you are, who you're with and how you choose to direct your thoughts and energy (remember #2: What would love do?) towards them and yourself. 

Each time you practice it's like a deposit in your spiritual bank account, your energy grows and enables you to invest a little more each time you come back to practice again.

So when you're cruising the shopping centre car park after your yoga class on Xmas eve and cut off that person you could clearly see was waiting before you, maybe if you just took 3 deep breaths and asked yourself 'What would love do?', you might find it within yourself to practice a bit of Yoga right now too? Like the butterfly effect, you'd be surprised how far reaching your simple practice of breath, mindfulness and love  - your yoga in action - can be. 

The Wellbeing Capital

Canberra is in danger of loosing its best-kept secret status after the OECD scored it as the top ranking region world wide for wellbeing based on criteria such as security, environment, health and education. This follows hot on the heels of being talked up by the New York Times who lauded Canberra’s big-sky beauty, breezy civic pride and…decidedly hipster underbelly.” Canberra you are so hot right now!

I like to think I know a bit about wellbeing myself, I find the idea of living in the #1 region for wellbeing rather charming. It got me thinking about what constitutes the wellbeing of a city. I work with enough Canberrans to know that despite our #1 status we’re not all in a state of perpetual blissed out conviviality.

What makes us well? To me, it is the luxury of pursuing elements of life that create joy, purpose and contentment. 

What the OECD report points out is that us Canberrans have our basic needs for safety and security are being pretty well met. Compared to other places on the planet, we are able to put a meal on the table and a roof over our heads. If we get sick we can be attended to, if we want to learn we can access quality resources.

Just as health is more than the absence of disease, wellbeing is more than having our basic needs met, although that is a pretty good foundation on which to build.

If we accept that (compared to many others) we have it pretty good we then have the luxury and challenge asking ourselves a bigger question. What does it take for you to be really content, what brings you joy? Do you feel like you are connected to and living your life’s purpose? For me having just recently become a dad, contentment, joy and purpose just got all rolled into one thing: being able to spend time with my family. I also love my work and being able to help others feel healthier and happier gives me a kick.

What about you? To quote Mary Oliver, “What are you going to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Men's Health: Helping to Save & Improve the Lives of Men

This year I’ve joined the ranks of the bros with the mos and have been doing my bit to support the wonderful work that Movember does in helping to save and improve the lives of men affected by prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems.

We know mental health issues in this country are significant, close to one in eight Australian men will suffer from depression, one in five anxiety and sadly suicide is the leading cause of death for men aged 15 to 44.

Whilst there is some great work being done in breaking down the stigma that has too long been associated with mental health issues we can and need to do better.

I think boys still grow up with the idea that to be a man is to be tough and stoic but perhaps we can create more room for men to also be real and honest about their emotions. It’s up to all of us to check in with our brothers, fathers, husbands and boyfriends and mates.

Not everyone is a talker, although some people may surprise you when you make the effort and show a heartfelt interest. Many years ago I consciously made an effort to build a better connection with my Dad. To my delight it was much easier than I thought, it turns out he’s actually quite chatty, and both our lives are the richer for it.

Some bros just need your hugs. Some men don’t want to talk or be hugged but will still delight in your presence, silently sharing a task, a hobby or an adventure.

Bros and sistas also have the task of encouraging your men to see their doctor and allied health professionals when there’s something wrong. Some men will need to be nagged into regular health checks. Stoicism can mean attempting to put up with lingering pain, persistent cough, or a strange lump or bump for too long with sometimes devastating consequences.

Perhaps someone will pop into your mind as you read this today, someone that might need your support - it’s time to give them a call.

The Secret to To Giving Your Face a Fresh and Luminous Glow

Ok I’ll come right out with it- cleansing! You know cleansing your face is an important task and that makeup and dirt left on your skin can clog your pores and dull your skin’s natural radiance. Yet despite your best intentions sometimes you let you daily cleansing routine slide.

Never fear you are not alone and I’m here to help get your daily cleansing routine back on track and restore your skin’s natural glow.

 

Not sure what you should actually be doing?

Well read on for a run down on general cleansing info, useful tips and product recommendations that you can easily put into your daily skin routine.

 

Your Cleanser Could be the problem

Before we begin, what type of cleanser are you using at the moment? Do you look for that squeaky clean feel from your cleanser?? This feeling is typically achieved through use of foaming style cleansers. Foaming cleansers require a type of surfactant for the ‘foaming’ effect. These strip away your precious skin preserving oils. Removing these oils, will trigger your skin to produce an unhealthy production of oils.

Essentially the moisture is evaporated from your skin. Lack of water in the skin can cause an increased accumulation of dead and dying skin cells. When the over production of oil occurs the skin will try and expel it to the surface through the opening of the skins pore. However, the added skin cell build up will obstruct this oil flow, resulting in blockages and congestion.

Regular soap and shower gel should also be avoided on the face. Such products are too strong and will destroy the skin’s protective hydrolipic barrier, causing excessive dryness.

Makeup removal: Eye Makeup removal can be done separately to the whole face as it is a fragile area and can be prone to damage and requires special care. For a conditioning Eye make-up remover I use Skin Juice’s SMUDGE BUDGE. Unlike other eye make-up removers no solvents are used in this product. It is created with organic plant butters to melt and erase even the most stubborn makeup without irritating, stressing or drying the skin. To use this product I warm in fingertips before massaging around the around the eyes and gently remove.
Cleansing: Cleansing your face removes excess build-up that can occur throughout the day like environmental pollutants, oils, makeup and debris. Stuck on how to cleanse your face?

Here are some tips and tricks:

  • If you have a habit of forgetting to cleanse, pop your cleansing products somewhere in your bathroom that catches your eye i.e. right next to your toothbrush.
  • Use lukewarm water to open pores, water that is too hot or too cold may irritate the skin.
  • Use a separate towel for your face from your everyday bath towel/hand towel. You don’t want to risk transferring bacteria onto your fresh clean face.
  • Try dedicating the proper time to your morning or night cleanse, taking the time to massage the cleanser in well, using circular motions. Don’t forget the hairline and to bring the cleanser down the neck where make up is also blended to.
  • Make sure to rinse the cleanser completely from your skin. Giving one extra rinse will help to further remove any remaining debris. After cleansing pat, don’t rub your skin dry. Patting is gentler to your delicate facial skin.

If you find face washers too abrasive or just need a helping hand in the cleansing process let me introduce you to the legendary SPUD SPONGE! Spudy is a beautiful soft gelatinous cleansing sponge made out of 100% Konjac fibre, yes he is part of the potato family! The Sponge is naturally alkaline in nature which assists in the removal of make-up and skin debris.

It can be used on its own but works amazingly alongside a cleanser!

Skin Juice have a beautiful nourishing cleanser called DRENCH Dermal Repair Cleansing Oil. This is for any skin type. Now I know that all you people with oily skin are probably throwing your hands up in despair, but Drench actually helps balance the skins natural oil flow. The pure plant oils deeply cleanse, adhering to impurities and makeup without drying or stripping precious moisture. This is a hard working cleanser when it comes to makeup removal I definitely recommend it!

Exfoliate: Your body is producing new skins cells all day, every day. And while your body naturally sheds dead skin cells, some of them do not shed as completely as they should, which can lead to skin irritation and clogged pores. Generally speaking, exfoliating once or twice per week should leave your skin feeling softer and healthier. However, if you find that your skin is irritated by exfoliation, consider decreasing frequency. I would recommend Skin Juice’s REVIVAL Face Scrub. It gives a boost to rough dull skin. It contains a combo of fruit acids, jojoba, vanilla and bamboo beads which gently exfoliate and help renew your skin’s natural radiance.

Happy cleansing everybody!
Tegan Napoli

Tegan is Live Well's resident beauty and skin care expert. She is available by appointment on Saturday's for consultations to help with your skin care concerns. Or pop into Live Well for further advice or skin care recommendations.

Let Thy Food Be Thy Medicine

It has long been a tenet in natural medicine that you can prevent and cure disease by changing your diet. What’s fascinating is that modern medical research is belatedly arriving at the same conclusion.

It’s the emerging scientific understanding of the crucial role that bacteria plays in our digestion which is set to revolutionise the way we treat disease and promote wellbeing.

To cut a long story short; if you eat well you cultivate healthy gut bacteria. If you eat a poor diet with lots of refined foods then the impact on your gut bacteria is calamitous and that has big consequences that can take years off your life and leave you vulnerable to a host of conditions ranging from heart disease, to cancer, asthma, allergies, arthritis, autism, depression, multiple sclerosis and diabetes.

The crux of this story comes down to link between the bacteria in your gut and the functioning of your immune system. Basically it is in your gut where your immune system gets schooled on what is benign and what needs to be attacked. If you’re lucky enough to be born vaginally then this education starts at birth where, as you pass through your mother’s birth canal, you are populated with lots of healthy bacteria that caesarian babies miss out on. Similarly if you’re breastfed, you ingest the perfect nutrients to support development of healthy bacteria.

Of course the other common factor in the decimation of healthy gut bacteria is the exposure to antibiotics. Clearly each medical intervention has its place but they also all have their consequences.

Even having the best possible start doesn’t count for much if you feed your gut bacteria the wrong kinds of foods. Prolonged exposure to a typical modern Western diet, which is overly reliant on processed foods and significantly lacking in fiber is enough to send your healthy bacteria packing and importantly, develops a tendency towards systemic inflammation. Now inflammation may not sound too scary but it is code for a malfunctioning immune system and is the same mechanism that drives autoimmune disease and a whole lot of nasty disease processes, so take heed!

Oh and the other evidence emerging from the latest research is that vinegar can help restore the healthy gut bacteria. That’s what naturopaths have been saying for centuries. It’s good to be getting everyone on the same page at last, Hippocrates would surely be smiling in his grave.

 

Ka Huna Now at Live Well!

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If you're yet to pamper yourself with a Ka Huna massage, then you're missing out! Ka Huna bodywork originated in the South Pacific and was used during Rites of Passage as a transformational massage and healing system. It is also known as Hawaiian Temple Style Massage and Lomi Lomi.

This beautiful form of bodywork provides a holistic approach to healing by balancing the body-mind in its physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions.

Ka Huna bodywork is unique in a number of respects. I use my hands, forearms and elbows, and move around the table (using flowing Hula and Tai Chi style movements). I work with energy to apply soft and deep tissue massage. Music is played and I attune the flow of the massage to harmonise the various rhythms within the your body, mind and soul. If you have some music that you would like to listen to, please feel to bring it in on your phone!

Every time you have a Ka Huna you will experience something different. Sometimes it's physical healing and relaxation, sometimes you unlock stuck emotions such as crying, laughing or smiling. Another time you might see colours, experience energy shifts, release past memories, connect to your soul more or receive spiritual healing.

Ka Huna body work:

  • Instills a calming sense of peace and deep relaxation;
  • Releases deep-seated neuromuscular tension and allows energy to flow more freely;
  • Treats the lymphatic, immune, circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems to promote improved health and fitness;
  • Physically re-energising and rejuvenating;
  • Improves flexibility;
  • Helps to release fear, anger, grief and guilt as well as negative beliefs, self-criticism and traumatic memories;
  • Brings clarity and confidence, joy, open heartedness and trust;
  • Offers opportunity for self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-love;
  • Generates an over-all sense of well-being, vitality and empowerment;
  • Healing of injuries faster and more completely;
  • More love in life;
  • More happiness;
  • More balance; and
  • More peace.

Sounds good, right? For those who come to me for Kinesiology, this is a wonderful addition to the work we are doing together as it really helps shift things. There's an element of breath work involved and I tie in some aspects of Kinesiology – it's very unique. Call the Live Well Spa & Wellness Centre on (02) 6295 0400 to book in or treat someone you care about with a gift voucher.

Thai Yoga Massage

Is a blissfully relaxing treatment that combines massage techniques and Yoga movements to leave your body and mind feeling balanced, calm and deeply relaxed.

If you have never experienced the magic of Thai Yoga massage, November is the best time to try it as Live Well’s resident Yoga teacher and resident Thai Yoga massage guru Ramone Bisset is are offering 90 minute treatments for the 60 minute price (Wednesday mornings only).

During a Thai Yoga Massage treatment, Ramone will move you through a sequence of gentle yoga stretches whilst using her hand and body pressure along your meridians and pressure points. This unique combination of movement, stretching and massage really opens up the body and allows for a deep release of tension and stress.

Thai Yoga massage’s development began thousands of years ago in the Buddhist temples of Thailand. It is an ancient form of therapeutic healing that has roots in Indian Ayurvedic medicine. It thrived as a means for spiritual people to share the benefits of meditation and compassion in a physical form. It is a respected form of healing practiced today in hospitals and temples throughout Thailand.


The benefits of this massage are numerous and include:

Physical Benefits

  • Leaves you feeling relaxed, balanced and free of tension
  • Detoxes your body and boosts your immune system
  • Increases your blood circulation and can lower your blood pressure
  • Releases muscle tension and pain
  • Increases flexibility in your muscles
  • Improves breathing
  • Improves posture, balance, corrects body alignments and dissolves energy blockages
  • Improves athletic performance
  • Helps arthritis and back pain,
  • Helps tone the body, strengthen joints
  • Slows the aging process
     

Mental Benefits

  • Improve your outlook towards life;
  • Help with concentration and creativity
  • Clear and calm your mind
     

Psychological effects of Thai Massage

  • Boosts your mood and your resilience
  • Reduces and relieve stress and anxiety
  • Builds your confidence
  • Boosts your inner vitality

Thai Yoga Massage is performed on a mat on the floor, with both the practitioner and client wearing comfortable clothing that allows ease of movement and flexibility.

Here at Live Well we are lucky enough to have our own Thai Yoga Massage expert, Ramone Bisset. Ramone is an experienced and gifted therapist. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge of the body's movement patterns from years spent teaching outdoor education and participating in adventure sports. Combining this with her understanding of the body's energetics from her work as an experienced Yoga teacher and Reiki practitioner makes Ramone exceptionally aware of, and in-tune with, the human body.

Living with Hayfever

With "the fluff" otherwise known as the prolific flowers of the Populous alba tree flying though Canberra’s air, students minds might turn to university exams and hay fever sufferers minds turn to sneezing, watering eyes and fatigue.
 

Why Do You Get Hayfever?

If your hay fever is seasonal, then it is caused by your immune systems over-enthusiastic response to what are normally benign substances like pollens, grasses and flowers. In spring, prolific quantities of these minute particles float though the air and into the delicate mucous membranes of your sinuses where they meet the defenses of your immune system.
One of the basic defenses of your immune system is to flush out offending substances with tears and mucous, the bigger the immune reaction, the more copious the streaming eyes and mucous discharge.

 

Why Doesn’t Everyone React The Same Way?

If you don’t get hay fever then it just means your immune system is not over-reacting to environmental triggers…lucky you!

 

How Do You Switch Off The Hayfever Response?

Many people choose to mask the symptoms of hay fever with drugs which work by suppressing the immune systems response, drying up secretions and masking pain signals.

 

However, for a more holistic solution that doesn’t just mask the symptoms you need to do two simple things:

De-stress

Stress is the difference between your immune system reacting calmly or over-reacting to triggers in the environment. Hay fever is usually a good indicator that your stress levels are too high and need some attention.

Try leaving work on-time, go to a regular Yoga or gym class, learn to meditate or take up a hobby. If you know your stress levels are really high then seek professional support.

 

Detox

The other area of your body calling out for support when you have hay fever is your liver. Hay fever essentially alerts you that your liver is over-burdened.

Simple ways to support your liver include to cutting out alcohol and processed foods. Try eating a more whole food based diet including lots of veges, whole grains and legumes and reduce meat and dairy.

If you address hay fever in a holistic way, the chances are you’ll beat the symptoms and feel more energized, sleep better and enjoy life more.

A Fertile Life Part I: Why Mind-Body Medicine is Essential for Fertility

In this two part series, I will be exploring how mind-body medicine supports women in creating the family and life they've always wanted. Mind-body medicine treats the whole person: your mind, body, spirit and energy system. This is essential, as the answer to fertility difficulties sometimes  lies beyond the physical body.

Part I Why Mind-Body Medicine is Essential for Fertility discusses the role emotions, thoughts and hormones play in fertility. Part II will explore the broader concept of a fertile life and how in turn this promotes fertility.

Imagine yourself as an intricate pattern of connecting lines, such as a web. Each silk thread is a different aspect – your thoughts, emotions, hormones, nutrients, neurons, organs, glands – the list goes on. Your energy system flows though each of these threads. Energy flows where intention goes so if there is stress or dis-harmony in one connection, then it affects the whole system. The web becomes weak. It is crucial then, to look at the whole person and not just the physical body!

Does it sometimes feel like you've tried everything to get pregnant? Or are you at the beginning of your fertility journey and wondering if all is in place for a healthy pregnancy? Perhaps you're pregnant and wanting to prepare for the birth and life after your baby arrives?
When planning for a baby, most women take into consideration key factors in their lifestyle such as: what they're eating, how much they're exercising and if they need to quit smoking or reduce their alcohol consumption. These areas are widely recognised as crucial to a healthy pregnancy and baby. However, the role of emotional and mental health in promoting fertility is often overlooked. Below are some examples of other aspects affecting fertility for your consideration:

Stress hormones are your fertility enemy. In 2009, researchers at the University of California discovered several damaging interactions between stress hormones and fertility hormones. When you are stressed, anxious or depressed, hormones are released into your body that disturb your ovulation, sperm count and desire for sex.

The yogic-Chakra system penetrates through your endocrine (hormonal) system. By checking in with each of the chakras you are able to gain insight into what areas of your life you need to pay attention to.

The Crown Chakra penetrates through your hypothalamus which is at the top of the chain of messages within the brain down to your endocrine glands. It is the spiritual aspect of your life and whether you and on your unique path.

Second in line is the pituitary gland which amongst others secretes oxytocin (intimacy and childbirth) and prolactin (breastfeeding) and penetrates through the Brow Chakra. What is your perception of your inner and outer worlds?

Within your energy system, a balanced Sacral Chakra is key to the successful making of a baby. The Sacral Chakra penetrates through the ovaries and gonads. Surprise, surprise – the Sacral Chakra is all about your emotional self. Questions to ask yourself and your partner are: Am I expressing my emotions? Am I accepting my emotions? Am I a victim to my emotions? Do I need to let go?

And remember, it takes two to make a baby, so successful fertility is both the responsibility of the female and the male!

Returning to the web metaphor; imagine being able to create well-being through healing your energy system. Your meridians and chakras hold the keys to your fertility. Mind-body medicine teaches you a lot about yourself and gives you the power to heal and create the life that's waiting for you.

Book in with Kate Pamphilon, our resident Kinesiologist, for help with any aspect of fertility, pregnancy, labour and birth.

Nourish Yourself to a Stress-Free Life

The number one cause of all problems, whether they be physical, mental or emotional is stress. Recent research has increasingly confirmed the important role of stress in cardiovascular disease, cancer, gastrointestinal issues, skin problems, emotional disorders and lowered immune systems. In fact 75-90% of all visits to your doctor are for stress related complaints. I don’t know about you but that is a massive statistic and one that can be reversed with the proper support and guidance.

Nourishing ourselves is not only beneficial for our wellbeing, but also crucial if we are to live our lives optimally and fully. When most of us talk about nourishing ourselves, we think diet. However, I believe it is important to view nourishment in a more holistic sense. If we just focus on our physical bodies through diet and exercise, we could possibly neglect our mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing as well. So, for me nourishment refers to what nourishes our mental, emotional, spiritual and physical bodies with a holistic and complete focus.  This article is divided into four sections addressing how to sustain and nurture all four of our body systems in order to live a stress-free life.

 

Physical Nourishment

Physical nourishment begins with what you put into your body. All of us have probably heard the saying “you are what you eat.” Yes, it may be a cliché it is also true. I for one can vouch for the benefits of changing to a clean diet. Growing up I used to eat lots of junk food; chocolate, chips, processed and refined biscuits, pastries and bread. I had low energy levels and my digestive system was struggling. Five years ago I started cleaning up my diet; I became a vegetarian, reduced and eliminated dairy, processed and refined sugar and gluten. I’m not saying eliminating meat, dairy and gluten are best for everyone. However, reducing at the very least processed and refined foods such as sugar and white flour will set you on the path to greater health. Incorporating and increasing vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds and ethically sourced meat (if you’re a meat eater) are the cornerstone of what experts deem as a healthy diet. Focusing on when we are hungry and full - instead of emotional eating, eating until our plates are empty or boredom - will ensure that you are eating for all the right reasons. 

Exercise is equally as important not only to your physical body, but the other three bodies as well. It has been reported that exercise not only makes you physically fit, but can also reduce anxiety, depression and stress. There is no right or wrong way to exercise, what works for one person might not work for another. For example I don’t like running. However, I love walking, swimming and yoga. Different people resonate with different types of exercise more than others. The most important thing is to do something you LOVE. Exercising at least three times a week, for about 30-60 minutes is the agreed upon average by professionals. For me personally, I practice yoga for 30 minutes as soon as I wake up every morning, and I go for a 30-minute walk with my toddler every day. I can tell you right now I didn’t used to exercise this much before having a baby and I can definitely feel the positive effects it has on all aspects of my life. I have more energy so I can chase my little man around all day; I am living in the present and have more clarity of mind to focus on my studies. 

 

Mental Nourishment

Nourishing our mental bodies is probably the least likely talked about. However, it is fun, challenging and gratifying. Just like our physical body we also need to tone and workout our mind.

Many people, me included have what the Tao terms “the monkey mind.” Our minds are running rampant, controlling our lives, and playing scenarios in our heads about possible futures or regretful pasts and torturing our actions. How many of you lie awake at night thinking about your grocery list, the things you need to do tomorrow or what you should have said to your co-worker when they mocked you today at lunch? This used to be my mind all the time, and can still be some of the time when I am not focused on the present moment.

Research has shown that we have between 45,000 and 51,000 thoughts a day. That’s about 150 to 300 thoughts a minute. Research has also shown that for most people 80% of those thoughts are negative. All of these repetitive thoughts are poured into creating your reality. When you start making conscious positive thoughts, you actually become more aware of the negative thoughts that are always threatening to take over.

So how can we wrangle our little monkeys so they are tame and living in the present; not the past or future? The first is meditation. Like exercise there is no right or wrong way to meditate. I know when I first started (and even still occasionally now) my mind wonders. When this happens just gently and lovingly bring your attention back to your breathing. Your breathing is always in the present so it will always bring you back and away from persistent thoughts and worries. There are many different types of meditation and the fastest way to discover them is with Google. However, for now the easiest form of meditation is focusing on your breathing. The cool air coming into your nostrils, and the warm air exiting as you exhale; the feel of your stomach rising and falling with each breath in and out.

Other activities you can practice to work out your mind is reading, learning a new skill, studying, being aware of your internal mind chatter and bringing yourself back to the present, resting your mind, having positive outlooks and goals, reflecting and having a healthy self-esteem. This list is by no means an extensive list of what your mental body can accomplish but it is a starting point.

Much Gratitude,
Steph

Steph Fleeton is Live Well’s Wellbeing Coach and Holistic Therapist. She specialises in successfully treating Stress, Depression & Anxiety, as well as Parenting & Children. Through these coaching sessions you will be able to release the emotional charge fueling your problems such as Stress, and be empowered and inspired to take control of your life, to be happy

Give you whole body a lift for the start of Summer!

With the change of seasons we can find our skin feeling dry, scaly and itchy and of course those yummy winter foods that we indulge in that may have left us feeling a little sluggish, bloated and low on energy.

As the biggest living organ our skin can be impacted by internal and external factors so it is essential that we continue to support it by helping with the decongestion and stimulating new cell reproduction.

So why not try our treatments – these include a technique of dry brushing the skin, this has many benefits such as:

  • Removing dead layers of skin and other outer impurities
  • Stimulates and increases blood circulation
  • Helps release fatty deposits under your skin’s surface
  • Boosts the Lymphatic system
  • Rejuvenates your cells
  • Strengthens your immune system
  • Increases muscle tone and improves skin texture

This is then followed by an hour massage to continue with stimulation of the circulatory and lymphatic system as well as:

  • Reducing muscle tension
  • Reduction of stress hormones
  • Increasing joint mobility and flexibility
  • Heightened mental alertness
  • Reducing anxiety and depression

With the many benefits encompassed in this treatment you will be left feeling relaxed and your skin silky smooth and rebalanced to continue to support your body in eliminating toxins and boosting your immune system.

The Bliss treatment also includes a 30 minute reflexology. So why not give your body and skin the boost it needs today, contact Tegan a call on 62 95 0400 to make an appointment.

Please note: There are some contra-indications in relation to this treatment, such as pregnancy, untreated heart, liver or kidney conditions.

3 Easy Peasy Mindfulness Exercises To Start…Today!

Do you get easily side-tracked from what you’re doing and then not get things done?

Can you get stuck in thoughts and find them hard to shake?

Does your mind often wander rather than “staying present” in the “here and now”?

I’m sure we could all say yes to these at different times, however if you’re noticing they are occurring for you more often lately, here’s three simple mindfulness exercises to help you “zone in” to being present and help “unhook” you from negative thought patterns.

In the current mindfulness training program at Live Well (“Managing the Madness”) participants are now easily integrating these exercises into their daily lives. You might like to try them too.

  1. Mindful Breathing – if you’ve only got 6 seconds to spare, that’s OK!
  2. Noticing 5 Things You Can See, Hear and Feel … right now
  3. Adopting the Three C’s – Curiosity, Concentration and Compassion

For those who may be unfamiliar with mindfulness, a good definition from mindfulness guru Jon Kabat Zinn is “paying attention, in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally”.

In our mindfulness training course, we are cultivating the skill of noticing and observing our experiences and responses from moment to moment, mostly using our breath as an anchor, which  helps us to manage stress, stay calm, centred and present…rather than reacting automatically, doing the same old thing or things we later regret, potentially getting stuck.

Remaining non-judgemental is a challenge for most of us. Not only are our brains wired to constantly observe, analyse, prioritise and make judgements in order to survive, work and function but many of us also have a pretty active “inner critic” to contend with, constantly commentating in the background. Mindfulness training helps us to notice these judgements as an “observing witness” – rather than switching the mind off (which is impossible) these exercises help us to consciously notice the noise and choose to turn down the volume.

 

1. Mindful Breathing

Don’t worry, I’m not talking about breathing for long hours sitting at the top of a mountain or on retreat (although if you have time to do this, that’s great). This is about being aware of your breath as much as possible wherever you are, throughout your day.

So…when you notice that your mind has wandered off, or that you’re getting fused to thoughts that aren’t helpful, or anytime at all, try taking 5 x 6 Second Mindful Breaths as a circuit breaker.

So that’s six lovely big breaths, simply breathing IN-2-3 and then OUT-2-3.

With each breath, noticing the rise and fall of your belly….the expansion and falling away of your chest…the coolness of the air as you’re breathing into your nostrils and the warmth of the air as you breathing out. Try it now! It’s free!!

And if you take 5 Mindful breaths in this way now and again – you’ve successfully completed a 30 second meditation practice. Hey Presto. Who says you’re too busy to meditate?

 

2. Five Things You Can See, Hear & Feel Right Now

This mindfulness exercise helps to ground us by observing what is present in the current moment. If we’re getting too tied up in knots this can introduce a sense of “what else” is in the picture which is a helpful to “unhook” or defuse from the challenging thoughts.

We can do this one any time, whether you are sitting calmly and quietly on your own, in a meeting with other people, in a busy environment – even driving your car. Obviously keeping our eyes open!

So to start – look around your environment and take extra special notice of 5 different things you can see right now. You can name the objects by speaking out loud or just internally but it’s important to notice each object individually.

Then, taking extra special notice of 5 different things you can hear right now. This may be challenging if you’re inside but see if you can notice even very subtle sounds…so it might be something like…1. the humming of the air conditioning 2. The sound of muffled voices 3. The buzzing of the computer 4. The tapping sounds of the keyboard and 5. The sound of your own breath, breathing in and out.

Finally, now noticing 5 different things you can feel right now. Whether they are internal feelings (fluttering tummy, tightness in chest) or external sensations (clothes on your skin, bottom in the chair, feet on the ground, pen in my hand), whatever you are feeling is OK….we are simply noticing and observing what’s present, then moving on to the next thing. Don’t stay too long with each one to the point of analysing it. Notice, observe, move on.

If you want to, you could then return to the beginning of the exercise and then notice 4 Things You can See, Hear and Feel right now….then 3 Things…then 2 Things and finally then just 1 Thing you can See, Hear and Feel.

Chances are you will feel a lot calmer and more centred after doing this exercise. I’ve done it myself in meetings or during stressful events (like when I accidentally backed into someone’s car last year and the driver was screaming at me…my instinct was fight or flight…I felt quite anxious and scared, but still managed to stay calm by noticing 5 things like…she was wearing a green cardigan, she had red shoes, she has a tight lipped expression, she had curly hair and was shaking her fist).

 

3. Three C’s of Mindfulness – Curiosity, Concentration, Compassion

Let’s take something we all have to do from time to time – like washing up - and consider how it might be a different and potentially even more pleasant experience, if we adopt the 3 C’s….of Curiosity, Concentration and Compassion (or bring to mind another example)

So, as you are next washing up, see if you can bring some Curiosity to the task, which means washing up as though you have never done it before. Notice the warmth of the water, the smell of the detergent, the bubbles and suds, the tinkling sounds of the crockery and swishing of the water etc.

Try to stay with this exercise for a few minutes by Concentrating on just the washing up. One thing at a time. So often we are multi-tasking and not totally taking in our experience of just one thing. So concentrate, and keep focused. While you are doing the washing up…you are ONLY doing the washing up. It can be more challenging than we think!

Finally, whatever we are doing, try bringing a sense of Compassion into your experience also. Sending some loving kindness to your hands, softening your heart and being open to the experience rather than just “getting it done”.

Consider how adopting the 3 C’s could bring a more mindful and calming perspective to a whole range of daily activities and experience in your day. Here’s some that the current participants in Managing the Madness have found the Three C’s to be helpful in staying present and mindful in their lives:

  • Eating breakfast without reading the paper and checking emails all at once
  • Driving to work without the radio on and giving myself some quiet time
  • Conversing with café staff while waiting for my coffee instead of checking Facebook
  • Playing with the kids at the park and not taking the phone

Turning off the TV during dinner time, focusing on my family and their conversations. You might find similar opportunities present themselves to you and I hope these simple exercises may be helpful for you in the weeks ahead. Practice is the key. I’d love to hear your feedback, so feel free to let us know what worked well for you and how.

EFT Meridian Tapping: Part Two

What kinds of things you can use it for, and how it can help you

The beauty of EFT is that it can be used for so many different things. But definitely, being able to “teach an old dog, new tricks” is right up there for me.

What do I mean by that?? Well, EFT is such a gentle, non-intrusive and profound technique -literally at your fingertips(!), which can actually modify and help rewire the old brain, our nervous system, and physiology in general (e.g. stress, hormones, pain, sleep, emotional “wellbeing"); including being able to affect both the conscious and subconscious mind; and even, yes, even (and especially) the amygdala or fight/flight centre of the brain. Which means EFT has the capacity to correct imbalances at such a fundamental level (one in which we generally do not have much “control” over). 

I’d encourage you to think about it for a second… How would you feel, and what might you do, if you could “tap” a magic wand (or simply use your fingers to tap on particular meridian points!) and change an emotional response/thought/belief you’ve been harbouring, and remove an old thorn from your side? Or if you were able to gain a valuable new insight or perspective that allowed you to then cut loose and move forward in your life; or to simply short-circuit the stress and craziness of life to find peace, equanimity, clear-mindedness???

Now that’s what I’m talking about!

We are human. And it’s a part of the human condition that sometimes, despite our best intentions, knowledge, intelligence, and logical mind, we can wind up being led astray and even “hijacked” by our emotions, thoughts and unconscious goings on.This is another way we can use EFT, as it is also a wonderful tool for helping to clear and/or neutralise negative thoughts, emotions and beliefs that may be contributing to poor health, wellbeing and quality of life. 

EFT can also help us to identify, understand, and clear things that may be holding us back or undermining our good efforts; for example, to create desired changes or really go for gold in our lives. Or perhaps, it’s more of a lingering sense of just not feeling good or deserving “enough” that’s holding you up; or a dreaded sense (or fear!) of “failure" casting its cold shadow over things?

Another way we can understood it, is that there are usually themes we’ll find ourselves in a familiar struggle with, that can generally be traced back to a (misleading) belief. A belief being, the seed of an idea that we then set in stone to believe as true. We then proceed to find evidence for our beliefs, in the way we interpret events and information, to in essence, affirm what we “know” to be fact or true (a process also known as confirmation bias). This “knowing” or backing-up of information that supports of beliefs is then reinforced by our natural physiological and limbic responses to our thoughts/ideas/the way we see the world.

Our thoughts, beliefs, and the way we perceive things create an emotional (limbic) response, which in turn, produces a chemical response in body, thus validating what we “think” we “know”. 

We then put the data + the thoughts we have generated in response to that information + the limbic/emotional imprint + the physiological/chemical feedback, all together to collate the “evidence”.

With EFT we can impact all of these aspects, by “tapping” on the beliefs, thoughts, emotions and stress responses that have been created in our mind/body.  

When we can bring up a thought/feeling/event/conversation/belief without feeling an emotional charge, or feeling as though it is still true, we can then plant the seeds of positive change.

Beliefs that we’ve been (consciously or sub-consciously) holding onto, act kind of like a lens that we see our lives through, colouring a great deal of our experiences. EFT is something we can use to address any unresolved stress/events/beliefs, along with emotional and subconscious influences, as likely contributing factors of dis-ease and dysfunction (on various levels), in order to help us open new pathways for health, growth, and healing.

What’s more is that there is no need to “open up old wounds”, dissect or overanalyse stuff to experience wonderful results… By applying the tapping sequences on the meridian points and bringing to mind the thing we wish to work on in a guided manner, we can shift veritable mountains.

In short, the techniques used in EFT meridian tapping can help us to address various aspects of our lives, thoughts, emotions and behaviours that we may have previously struggled to resolve. That’s because we can go straight for the “wiring” (limbic/chemical/physiological response system), to correct and restore balance, clearing blockages and/or stresses in our energetic system (similar to the way Acupuncture and Kinesiology work).

This approach is definitely much more helpful (and user-friendly!) than trying to tackle our challenges stresses with sheer will and determination. And is a wonderful self-care tool that we can use to balance, support ourselves, and help us grow.

It’s also a technique you can learn and take home to continue using for yourself, as well! The biggest thing being, that we need to practice and actually use it to get the benefits!

Examples of what EFT meridian tapping can work on include:

  • Stress, anxiety, anger and other “unwanted” emotions such as guilt, jealousy, resentment, feelings of defeat…
  • Processing events (past or future); 
  • Negative thought patterns, and issues we’re ruminating on but getting nowhere fast!
  • Self-sabotage (e.g procrastination, perfectionism, eating habits, late nights…)
  • Addictions, cravings and detoxification (on all levels)
  • Self-esteem; body image; weight loss/management; disordered eating patterns e.g. emotional/comfort eating, bingeing/restricting.
  • Fears & phobias e.g. fear of failure/success; phobia of flying or spiders…
  • Increase confidence, personal empowerment, create change, enhance relationships
  • Harmonise conflict between our conscious and subconscious 
  • Boost performance levels and achieve goals
  • And the list goes on…  

So if you’re not sure where to start, just have a little think on what it is that may have been a bit of a thorn in your side? Or, is there anything you may have been trying to overcome, but for whatever reason (despite being an intelligent, clued-in, self-aware and capable person!) have been in struggle-town with? Or perhaps just something “niggling” at you that you’d like to nip in the bud?

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Meridian Tapping - Part 1:

In this two-part series, Live Well’s Shanna Choudhary (Naturopath and EFT practitioner) will take you through exactly what EFT Meridian tapping is, and how you can use it to overcome stubborn obstacles, de-stress, restore internal balance and more!

 

What’s the buzz about EFT meridian Tapping?

Ahh, I’m really excited to be sharing this with you, because EFT meridian tapping, which was once (not all that long ago!) a more obscure and much lesser-known healing modality; it has recently started to come to the surface, popping up in the “mainstream”. And it’s exciting because it’s now hitting more and more peoples’ radar, which means that more people are giving it a try and experiencing the multitude of wonderful benefits this modality has to offer!

 

So, what exactly IS EFT meridian tapping, you might be asking…? 

Well, EFT meridian tapping is a technique that draws upon the ancient (over five thousand years old) and scientifically validated principles of acupuncture and the study and application of kinesiology.  

Using the ancient wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the meridian & energy system/channels throughout the body, we apply "tapping" sequences at various points, which stimulate specific 'acupoints' of the body's meridian/energy system. Just like in Acupuncture, but without the needles.

The other thing that really sets EFT meridian tapping apart (well, at least, in my books!), is that it not only works at the level of tapping into (pun intended!) the meridian points to move and clear stagnant or disrupted Qi (pronounced “chi”); it also takes it a step further, by integrating a cognitive element, which utilises the power of our mind/thoughts and language, to essentially access a greater healing range, that other modalities simply may not.

And it’s by employing these specific sequences and techniques (which can be as simple as using a word that summarises and evokes the energy and power of the issue you wish to work on, for example), that we can experience both the therapeutic effects of working on the meridian acupoints themselves, and also from the addition of the cognitive/emotional element of the process, promoting greater ease and wellbeing on many levels (mental, emotional, physical, energetic and spiritual). 

Stay tuned for next week’s blog, when I’ll explain a little more on how EFT tapping can be applied, what kinds of things you can use it for.

Shanna Choudhary is Live Well’s Womens’ Health, hormones and Natural Fertility Naturopath. Shanna is passionate about offering holistic (mind-body-spirit centred) treatment to her clients, and uses a blend of evidence-based, scientific knowledge; with Traditional wisdom, Eastern/Western & Metaphysical philosophies and approaches. Shanna employs food as medicine and nutritional therapy, herbal medicine, EFT meridian tapping, and lifestyle practises as the core foundations of her approach to restoring wellness.

Breathe Easy

Breathing, you’re doing it right now but have you ever stopped to notice your breath? Is it smooth and deep or shallow and fast or something different? Of course it changes throughout the day depending on what you’re doing.

Your breathing is usually governed by your autonomic nervous system, meaning its on auto pilot, so that when you go for a run you don’t have to think: I must breath faster now, it just happens. You also have conscious control, so you can deliberately slow or deepen the breath just by thinking about it. 

What’s fascinating is how your breathing changes when you are stressed. Cue simplified biology lesson. Stress triggers a brain and hormone response, which amongst other things makes your breath faster – lets call this the stressed breath. This is an excellent thing for running away from sabre tooth tigers, which was what it was designed for, but a terrible long-term strategy for thriving in chronically stressful situations like juggling a busy day at work or at home. 

Under ongoing stressful conditions – otherwise known as modern life, your breath, when left to its own devices, will be sustained in faster and more shallow pattern. 

That’s because without intervention your physiology easily gets stuck in an unhelpful feedback loop. Your brain ‘listens to’ your breath and if your breathing is shallow and fast then it registers ‘danger’ and it perpetuates the hormone signals to continue the stressed breath. Along with the stressed breath comes chronic muscular tension, elevated blood pressure, depressed immune system function, impaired thinking capacity, digestive system shut down and chronic nervous system exhaustion. If that list sounds familiar that’s because these are the most common health issues of our time!

Thankfully spending a few minutes a day consciously applying simple breathing techniques can profoundly change your wellbeing. 

Try this simple exercise. Breathe in normally and count one, two, three and so on until the end of your natural easy inhalation. Then as you breathe out extend your exhalation by one count. So if you breathed in for a count of four breathe out for five. Continue this for 10 to 12 breaths and notice the difference even a few conscious breaths can have on the way you feel.

To download a free guided breathing exercise please click here