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Guided Relaxation for Stress Relief

An easy to follow guided relaxation practice that will have you feeling less stresed and more zen in no time!

Click here to download

What Others Say About Live Well

"From the time you walk into the establishment you are treated in a warm, caring and professional way and the treatment works, thank you!" John Taylor 

"Your treatments removed problems that drugs, physios, GP's, osteopaths and everything under the sun I tried didn't." Tristran Gordon

"My practitioner was very competent and professional. Friendly and helpful receptionists. Nice atmosphere. Genuine commitment to wellbeing of self and clients." Michele Mack

"I love the effect on my body, the difference I feel afterwards and the relaxation." Natasha Robb

Located in Canberra at: 35 Murray Cres MANUKA ACT 2603, the LIVE WELL, Spa and Wellness Centre, brings a range of natural therapies together including MassageAcupuncture and Herbal Medicine. Our centre has a particular focus on providing natural fertility support, solutions for all kinds of pain relief including some of Canberra's best massage therapists as well as  health education including wellness programs and seminars.

Wednesday
Dec172014

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.

Wednesday
Dec102014

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. 

Wednesday
Dec032014

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?”

Wednesday
Nov262014

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.

Wednesday
Nov192014

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.