Post archive

Do you know what I do?

Unless you're a marketing nerd, one of the most frustrating things about running your own business is ... the marketing.  Sure, people expect to be sold to to a certain degree, but that certain degree was passed a long time ago, and nowadays everyone's inbox and feed is so full of clutter that its a wonder anything ever gets read.  So, what to do?

A recent case study:  I saw an Fb post from an old client of mine saying she'd had persistent pain for several months and was reluctantly taking painkillers so she could work and sleep.  She'd managed to see a private physio several times, but when that didn't stop the pain, they talked of a CT scan. When I saw her post, I offered to give her my opinion and she hot-footed it up here as quickly as she could. Within 10 minutes, the source of the problem was identified and a short while later, she left with a trace of her former pain and a great deal of relief and gratitude.  

Many of my clients are not local but feel that travelling to see me is obviously worth it in terms of thoroughness and results obtained.  I've worked successfully on many  difficult conditions - frozen shoulder, Bells' palsy, lymphedema, cellulitis prevention, restless legs, projectile vomiting, sprains, strains and lymphatic congestion - not to mention numerous dancers' injuries.  And I also help people to relax in a way their body had forgotten by releasing very deep tension thats been held in for decades and uses vast amounts of energy; it's all part of the healing process.

The physical side of my work is officially called Remedial Massage and Deep Lymphatic Therapy, but I prefer to group it under the term 'Bodywork'.  Most people reading those labels will simply remember the word "Massage" - either because they assume all massage is the same, or because they don't know/need to know the details about types of massage, so my skill sets like mine can lose significance under that very broad umbrella. 

Twenty six years ago I trained with some very skilled and respected teachers and was taught to assess and treat clients in a very methodical manner.  The approach was always clinical and professional and you really had to know your anatomy to pass.  The images in my text books stuck in my mind and to this day recall is swift, enabling speedy addressing of causal factors - frequently in the first session (sadly, this means that people go away and forget they were ever in pain so never tell anyone how effective their treatment was!).  Over the years when I have been desperate for a good massage, I have had to be content with stroking and soothing so feel disappointed 90% of the time as few therapists actually reach the places that bring lasting relief or the ability to relax fully. When the doors of acceptability were flung open to this profession some years ago, a whole host of people rushed through purporting to do massage with no guarantee of a measurable outcome for the recipient and the good ones were given extra hoops to jump through if they wished to be accepted as clinical therapists; there was no middle ground for a good therapist to stay practicing without constant proof, yet the common 'soother and smoother' could carry on as they wished and Jo/sephine Public was none the wiser.

Loads of people advertise that they do massage these days - some say they can address muscular aches and pains yet ya pays ya money only to find their working knowledge of the human body is minimal.  Some are heavy-handed and think that brute force will save the day.  I guess these kind of experiences don't do the "massage" label much of a favour when it comes to promoting specialist knowledge and good results but in reality, not everyone is skilled at massage, and the price isn't always a clue.

Well, I'm proud of my skill set and use it with passion and wisdom, always to get the best possible results. I love the fact that I am able to successfully resolve many problems in the physical form and it gives me a great deal of satisfaction.  So if you or someone you know could benefit from my work, then please share this post or email me at   Thanks



The Great Silencer

 It could be said that disappointment is like the plunger in a caffetiere ~ where the coffee grounds can be likened to the internal spring of joy that bubbles within each of us, and the plunger is the suppressor to that joy, so life is lived through a silencer and the voice is buffered from the source of the passion that enables one to be heard easily; others may see ones’ mouth move, but unless they try, they can’t hear what’s being said.

 The connection between the sacral centre (gut feeling) and the throat (centre of manifestation and expression) is important here.  The sacral centre (chakra) is about pleasure, enjoyment and creativity.  When there is suppression of disappointment for a protracted time, one can feel cynical about life, adopt a glass-half-empty view or frequently dive into emotions such as shame or guilt.  When others subconsciously pick up on these things, it colours the way they treat one, and can be the initiator of victim behaviour. 

 The natural movement of energy from sacral to throat becomes difficult, and there is a build-up of energy in the sacral centre that seems hard to release.  Some of this energy can shoot off elsewhere in the body, creating erratic symptoms that may or may not manifest physically; there may be random emotional outbursts that bear little relation to their apparent triggers; there may be addictive sexual behaviour because of a need to release the pent up pressure. 

The pressure that occurs from such emotional suppression creates behavioral and physical traits that go unnoticed in the bigger picture until a life crisis occurs and one digs to the heart of the matter, for such a cycle can be very wearing to uphold. 

 Some respond to disappointment with anger and denial, perhaps becoming passive aggressive; others just become passive and cease to be vigilant about their own boundaries.  Disappointment is a universal gag that comes from a lack of hope – the silent “why?”  It’s the question with no answer, and all too often becomes the seed of the victim.  It becomes something that instead of growing up and out grows down and inwards, attracting the kind of attention that only creates more of the same.

 When the sacral centre is healthy, the internal spring of joy is allowed to bubble up and there is upliftment.  Many things rebalance naturally and the improved energy flow will bring noticeable improvements in communication, creativity and wellbeing.  How is your sacral centre doing?


A most interesting case study ..

Kurt (not his real name) has been coming to see me as a client for over 10 years whenever he feels his body needs some assistance.  During the first consultation, I ascertained that he had been a forceps delivery. Now Kurt is a highly intelligent chap who never forgets a thing, and he'd noticed over the years that his lymphatic system was getting sluggish, so he'd come to me having noticed that I do lymphatic massage.

Kurt's first treatment went well - so well in fact that he reported much passage of water from his body over the following 24 hours.  This signalled to him that parts of his lymphatic system had indeed been unblocked, also verified by an increase in his energy levels. All well and good it seemed.  However, in the ensuing years, we never achieved that same dramatic result again and as time went by, Kurt's weight gradually increased, despite being most careful with his diet.  In fact such was the enigma of Kurt's situation that I actually told him at one point that I wasn't sure I could do anything further to improve his situation. 

To my delight, it was a beaming Kurt that recently attended an appointment with me because of a stiff neck, assuring me that the mystery was solved and his reduced waistline was living proof!  So what could his secret be?
Well, earlier in the year he'd been diagnosed as suffering from sleep apnoea for a prolonged time, but the NHS solutions were not deemed by Kurt to be truly effective.  Being a northerner who doesn't believe in letting the grass grow under his feet, Kurt sourced a metal gadget called a Somnowell which prevents the lower jaw dropping back and thus the soft tissue/tongue blocking the airway.  The effect of his nocturnal wearing of this gadget had increased his oxygen intake which had in turn increased his metabolism, energy levels and thus weight loss in an ongoing basis.

My primary aim at Kurts recent appointment was to free up the lymphatics of the neck (remember the mention of a forceps delivery) and head and soften off the tight muscles of the jaw and neck.  This was no easy feat - we spent an hour and a half on head, neck and shoulders, but the effects were well worth it.  Kurt reported more toilet trotting (his words), a renewed ability to turn the head without pain and a looser jaw in the following days, and his metabolism continues to improve on a weekly basis.  I am expecting him to be quite svelt at this next appointment!

And why am I relating this tale?  To illustrate that there is so much that can be improved when willing client and practitioner join together to tackle a reluctant problem of the mysterious kind.  Perhaps a challenge is good for the soul  ;-)

Float like a boat ..

 Following a couple of long tango sessions over the weekend where my feet and legs had given their best, I was really looking forward to my Monday morning trip to a recently opened salon in Watford – – to experience a float in their purpose-built room. 

 I left the balmy late summer morning to step into the well-fitted interior where Jo gave me a very warm welcome and explained the benefits of cutting off external stimuli to facilitate speedy relaxation.  The use of earplugs (the float room is sound-proofed and soft music is played at the start and end of your float), turning off the lights, and being horizontal means your central nervous system has the chance to have the best rest it can, allowing the brain to go into a theta wave state (as someone who is prone to wandering through very dark woods with only my senses as a guide, I can appreciate this).  Another significant benefit of a float is the absorption of magnesium sulphate through the skin – a mineral not easily absorbed orally – which improves muscular relaxation and is key to a myriad of other bodily processes.

 The flotation space has a shower for use before and after, as it’s important to remove all product traces before entering, although each session is concluded by the fluid being circulated through filters and UV light ready for the next client.

 Having been in flotation tanks before, I assumed the experience would be similar but with a little more head room.  I was right in that respect, but the conditions in this space were obviously more controlled, the air and liquid temperature being the same.  Although I don’t usually consider myself to be claustrophobic, the very warm humid air triggered some distant memory in me that made me want to panic, feeling in danger of not being able to breathe, but it was distant enough for me to consciously override and reconsider later.

 Although there are tiny lights in the ceiling, I just went straight for total darkness, and settled back into the support of the dense magnesium solution to support my weight.  For me, it’s easy to relax the physical form, but having been doing lots of computer work of late, not so easy to switch off the brain – why, as soon as I lay down, I was writing this article!  Soon though, I began to settle into observing my breath and trying not to think about the beads of sweat that were tickling my face (previous experience reminded me not to touch my eyes and spoil the experience with stinging eyes, although this salon thoughtfully provides a flannel for such moments).

 On this occasion, I only briefly achieved the state of relaxation I know is possible for me, and being morning, I certainly didn’t fall asleep, so I will make a return visit – perhaps at a different time of day – and try to hone my ability to relax, for that is an art in itself. 

 I have to say this salon gave the impression of having a more practical approach to health, beauty and wellbeing than most places I’ve visited, and I found that refreshing.  They have a progressive attitude in terms of what they offer and I feel it’s a place where the customer really can find what they want.  As for floating - it's the most divine experience to feel totally weightless, and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys time with themselves.

Let's be honest shall we?

Intrinsic knowledge of a thing or event is one thing - conjecture is another.  Is what you see real or merely a perception of your own mental constructs?  When you see something that surprises you, not just by the visuals, but by what you subsequently feel, you make a judgement based on that feeling;  it is possible to then turn that judgement into 'fact' in your own mind.  The facts as you see them are simply your interpretation of what you saw - they may not be a true reflection of reality.

When the heart is open and we become the observer, there is no need for judgement, for the very act of watching events unfold is a visual explanation, but when out of context, it can only ever be a snapshot.

Go forward to a parallel situation with other players.  Would you make the same judgement or was that first judgement based upon your own attachments, insecurities, jealousy and paranoia? 
Just remember, the emotions of that judgement can run away with you, taking on a life of their own, until you cannot find a way back to the truth.  It takes a strong mind to resist the temptation to lash out from our own perspective without first finding out the whole truth, by which time it may already be too late.  

The maturity of hindsight can be a great leveller in life, but in no way compensates for the loss of all you once hoped for and what you placed your hopes in.  

Much pain and heartache has been caused by such rash thinking on your part.  It is now time to acknowledge your part in recent events and accept what must now be, allowing all parties to move forward once more. To learn from this lesson is essential if it can be possible to let go of the perpetual struggle that exists within.  The world is not 'out to get you', good can and does happen every day, and love does exist all around you, but to find it without, we must first find it within.  Until your gaze is turned in to care for and truly value the self, you will only continue to attract more of what you embody - that is the law of nature - like attracts like.

The river of emotion that is now in flood may seem deep and turbulent, but she can wash through and over you to heal the agony of what you feel.  Submit to her depth and know that you will not drown, for she will leave your emptied form upon her banks to rest and recover when you are cleansed.  But if you resist diving into her depths and insist on repressing the intensity of what you feel, you can never find resolution as your thrashing emotions will continue to replay, blame, hurt, lash out, cry and want for as long as you have breath in your body. There is only one way to find peace, and that is to have the courage and strength to let go.

Channeled by AGD 5/9/15

What is love anyway?

I awoke recently with the Howard Jones song “What is love” running through my head.

“I love you whether or not you love me.
I love you even if you think that I don't.
Sometimes I find you doubt my love for you, but I don't mind -
Why should I mind, why should I mind?

What is Love anyway, does anybody love anybody anyway?
What is Love anyway, does anybody love anybody anyway?

Can anybody love anyone so much that they will never fear,
Never worry, never be sad?
The answer is they cannot love this much - nobody can.
This is why I don't mind you doubting …

And maybe love is letting people be just what they want to be.
The door always must be left unlocked
To love, when circumstance may lead someone away from you
And not to spend the time just doubting.”

The concept of love is a topic that many have pondered over the centuries.
My own conclusion is that the word ‘love’ is used by many to describe the very best feeling they’veever experienced … thus far.  There’s no way to know if that’s real love, or indeed what real love is. Personally, I feel that the word ‘love’ is greatly overused.  Perhaps ‘love’ can be attributed to the feeling of bliss that is our natural birthright, but that many never truly experience.  If you’ve had a glimpse of, or come to know this kind of bliss, you’ll know what I mean.

There are many who, through no fault of their own, suffer low self-esteem that is rooted in their childhood and who generate an elevated sense of self to move them away from their feeling of low self esteem.  During this kind of self-generated euphoria, attachments can be made to a person or thing and termed ‘love’ within their frame of reference, especially if that thing/person seems to have a purpose in their life.  Of course, relationships founded in such a situation can be extremely hard to release because they’ve come to be relied upon.

Love can be many things to many people, but perhaps it is only ever a measure of one’s own awareness or perception, and how far that has extended.  Is it any wonder that we as a species become so attached to the concept of love when it holds the promise of anything we want it to be, yet is such a tall order to fulfill?

Swimming against the tide

Supposing we spend our days responding to all the flotsam and jetsam that floats into our perspective and believe is important - fire-fighting. By the time we've done that, how much time is left to be constructive, to create or build something that will move you forward? Could it be that we spend so much time responding because the lens of our outlook on life is so wide, our sense of self importance so great, that it takes in too much and we spread ourselves too thin because we lack focus? The solution would appear to be simple - adjust the lens so there is less to focus on, and give more energy to those tasks which are a necessity and create something we want in our lives.  

But what about priorities?  What is important enough to reflect the value you place upon yourself? Do these priorities affect what you spend time doing during the day? Finding the balance that does this requires time to get to know yourself and the self discipline to invest it in what you know is important to you as a person now.  It takes courage to be honest about who really are, to not pay into the illusion that was constructed way back when, but sooner or later, we all come to the understanding that continuing to pursue that which does not contribute to who we are is such a waste of energy.

Appreciating and investing in our own unique gifts, both the ones we've been using and those we've yet to develop, is a way of showing love to ourselves, which ultimately affects our priorities in life.  We get to feel naturally abundant.  Developing the foresight to pay into the Bank of Who We Are brings a natural flow of happiness, a feel-good factor that means we don't need to try so hard to be something that doesn't reflect our true nature. When we do this, others naturally reflect back our increased self worth and everyone benefits.  All of this happens without confrontation or coercion, like taking in a deep breathe. 

Take a moment to breathe and consider whether you're swimming against the tide or setting sail towards your chosen horizon. Be selective about what you get involved in and notice how your energy levels respond accordingly - there is less struggle and more productivity. The change begins within you.

Conditioned for pain

Consider for a moment how we are all conditioned by our nearest and dearest from the moment we are born.  Up to around the age of six, all of this conditioning becomes our hard wiring, our control mechanism, the fixed filter through which we view our world - the filter that shapes, contorts or elucidates that which we perceive.  Think about what perceptions this conditioning creates, what feelings arise.  In the beginning it might be happiness or fear, fleeting or lasting, until time helps us to learn to place extra filters over the fixed one in order to control what or how much we experience.  Depending upon our individual sensitivity, we create opinions and judgments that help us to feel separate from that which we're unsure of, for we learn early on that it is painful to welcome in everything all of the time.  If we learn well how to conform, we can feel safe within our belief structure but these beliefs also create resistance.

Through the many layers of conditioning we receive, early life experiences set the tone for how much we allow in later.  When the season of age changes us and the certainty of youth grows strong, incoming conditioning is shut off as we question some of the belief systems that we've inherited and begin to replace them with ones we form ourselves.  However, the deepest conditioning remains unaltered as part of our hard-wiring, only coming up for air much later if some personal crisis brings about a conscious decision to seek it.  So this conditioning becomes what we transmit to those around us, constantly being mirrored back should we only realise it.  It is who we are for as long as we choose to carry it.  As like attracts like, what we transmit is what we receive more of until we decide to make some changes.

On top of the layer of conditioning is a layer of feelings ~ you know, those things we’re taught to deny the existence of?  If our upbringing has given rise to insecurity, we may feel the need to hide in shared belief systems so we don't stand out from the crowd - wearing the consensus beliefs of the masses like an invisibility cloak.   Fear, judgment, disappointment and anger threaten our security if we dare have them on show, giving rise to intense feelings of discomfort, so we try to manipulate life in order to avoid rejection and create the environment we feel safest in, where those feelings can stay safely hidden.  This manipulation can take many forms and be of the subtlest nature, but make no mistake, the effect of such manipulation is to cling ever tighter to that which we fear losing and place even more energy into the task of suppression.

The words above give some insight into how and why we develop as we do, barely giving a moments thought to the effect life is having upon us ~ after all, it's ingrained in us all from an early age that everything we need to know is 'out there' - right?  Wrong!  The answer to any question about ourselves and what's happening to us is always on the inside.  The con that we're taught otherwise is just a control mechanism.  Sadly, that control mechanism is taught to us from such an early age that most never question it, never learning how to look within - perhaps never wanting to.  Someone who develops in this way finds it second nature to suppress emotions that they have been taught are bad, so will undoubtedly develop ailments that mirror their situation (see the work of Louise Hay for more on this). However, if the problem is realised, the road to realisation can be trod and the work of releasing the ingrained behaviour and belief system can begin, although large doses of humility and the help of a good friend can help. 

This is just one aspect of how conditioning and learned behaviour can pave the way to the kind of tension that develops into chronic or even acute pain later in life, with many forms of therapy and treatment failing to achieve relief and the individual concerned having the potential of their life restricted.  It's up to us all to teach and learn with those around us by opening our eyes to what we're seeing in others and not being afraid to reflect that, or indeed to listen when they reflect back to us.  So hold up the mirror and hold out the hand …

Body work and somatic releasing can work wonders in peeling away the layers of tension that have accrued in those who are ready to do the work upon themselves.  The effects can be anything from relaxing to profound ~ it's all a matter of where you're at and what you're ready to let go of.  Giving to the self is a sign of respect and when others see you taking care of yourself, they understand by your example what they can do for themselves.  


Post xmas sleep disorder?

Hands up who's finding getting back into the work routine difficult after the holidays?  It's no fun when the benefit of the rest you thought would make life easier seems to run out on the first day, and by mid afternoon you find yourself flagging.  Perhaps you feel that stepping out of your routine and indulging in too many late nights is to blame, but is that really the case?

The term 'over-indulgence' could be key here if you're finding it hard to get to sleep at night and you've been assuming it's just a broken routine.  The truth could be that the feasting and festing is the real problem in that its had the effect of over-loading the liver.  When the liver runs out of processing space, no matter how tired you are when you go to bed, you'll not spend much time in the Land of Nod until the pressure has eased in the liver.  The high phase of the liver is 1-3am, so it's likely that you'll not sleep until about 3.30 when some of the pressure has eased.  
Liver congestion can affect any age group, so don't assume young adults are exempt - the gym addicts who take various body building formulas then go out drinking beer are typically affected. It's just that not many young people want to own up to not sleeping well.

There are many indications that liver is the issue, from dry cracked lips, gritty eyes, itchy/greasy scalp, bad breath, poor digestion, irritability, bags under the eyes, etc. so its important that some attention is given to a more long term clearing. There are simple liver cleanses detailed on the internet that take about a week to go through, then there is a more gentle approach of using herbs or chinese bitters, or even acupuncture to get the energy moving through the liver again. For instance, bupleurum is an excellent bitter for the early stages of liver stagnation and, when taken with the evening meal, certainly deals quickly with the inability to get to sleep.  Its also worth looking into using milk thistle, turmeric (not together) or burdock root on a more long term basis. 

Of course, there's a more natural way to detox by temporarily reducing fat, protein and grain intake and doing morning exercise until there's a noticeable difference in the way you feel. Step up consumption of fresh fruit and veg from good sources and drink enough water. Anything concentrated, sugary or alcoholic will give the liver more work to do, so just spend a moment to consider what you pop into your mouth until you feel revitalised.  The well being of the liver is key to balancing blood sugar, digestion, the endocrine and cardiac systems, so why waste time on the sticking plaster approach of treating odd symptoms when you could be working on the foundations?  Steady that rocking boat and calm seas will prevail.

Flinging out the old, winging in the new ...

At last, we have left behind 2013 - a year which was challenging for most, to say the least. The collective sigh of relief has faded and we carefully tend our flames of hope and desire, now tempered by the caution of experience.  A quiet sense of strength has become evident in some, whilst others feel like buckling under the omnipresent feeling of struggle that seems to prevail these days.  No, this is not a depressing dialogue, merely one that encourages you to stand still for a moment and take stock of where we are as individuals - what we need to pay attention to in order to create momentum, and what loose ends we need to tend to release us from that which holds us back.

Life is made up of events that carry each of us in the direction of fulfilling our highest potential; the journey is defined by our choices, and therefore we choose the lessons that move us towards that potential.  None of the events en route are accidents - we are all players in joint experiences in a common refining process that will ultimately lead to mutation.

On a physical level, these changes - or shall we say adaptations - may manifest as new aches and pains that we haven't previously experienced - seemingly coming 'out of the blue', as deep emotional issues that were locked into the body begin to loosen their hold.  Pains appear out of nowhere as the body shouts its' need for freedom from limiting beliefs and constricting emotions.  For those who have become receptive to its prompting, the 'voice within' can be apt to shock by it's strength - it is certainly not going to be ignored any longer.  

So, be prepared to ponder what might be happening as your body expresses its needs; be prepared to experiment with different practices or healing modalities in order to attend to these needs, but above all, be prepared to listen.  Your body speaks very literally - it can achieve nothing by being cryptic - so a simple willingness to observe, listen and learn is all that is required.  Become one with your body, rather than allowing the controlling mind to govern all action towards the body; give your body the nourishment, exercise, light and rest that it needs to flourish - not just to survive.  It is time to acknowledge that it is the body that shows us the way - the mind merely helps with navigation.

Why am I tired and aching so often?

In these days of tightened belts, most people only seek the help of a therapist when they are in desperate need, and for the rest of the time muddle along as best they can with trying to tweek their own health in order to get the most out of their lives.  It's only when things are beyond their ability that they seek help.  

So, ever had the feeling that your gut is frequently in turmoil, you've developed strange back or joint pain that, no matter who you see for treatment, still persists; do you finding yourself waking in the early hours of the morning - around 2am - for no apparent reason, grind your teeth, have digestive problems, seem constantly tired, no matter what you do, have pain in the back, thighs and shoulders, are lethargic, have numb hands, have rashes or weeping eczema, suffer with restlessness and anxiety, develop food sensitivities or allergic-like reactions that you didn't have previously? These are just a few of the symptoms of something many of us don't wish to consider - parasites.

There are thousands of parasitic organisms that we can be subjected to that will happily feed off their human host for as long as we allow.  We can pick them up via pets or directly from the food chain via meat or manure spread onto crops.  Fish are no exception, being subject to water-borne organisms.

The point of this article is to alert readers that 
a) it is extremely common to be a host to parasites - research shows up to 85% of the population are so, and 
b) the range of symptoms that develop as a direct result of the toxins produced by the parasites.  

The symptoms of parasitic toxicity mentioned above are but a few - there are many more, including many food-related allergies.  It does no harm to remind people that they need to employ regular cleansing routines to tackle what has always been a challenge to our internal eco-balance if we are to stay strong and healthy enough to cope well with life.  Worming your pets and keeping a clean house are obvious steps that can and should be taken.  Just because it is common for our pets to play host to worms doesn't mean we need to share our love for them by sharing their parasites!

Whilst over the counter preparations are available for a few types of parasites, a far better solution would be Natural Cleanse, which is an entirely herbal formulation that gently but persistently purges parasites and fungus from the body without disrupting the delicate gut flora and without introducing other toxins into the body.  Taken for several months to counter the life cycles of many parasites, a gradual improvement in general health can be clearly seen.  If you're interested in learning more about Natural Cleanse, please contact me, but do also consider some of your own investigations - after all, a little wisdom can go a long way when it comes to taking care of you and yours.


Flying the flag or waving it ...

It's been a while since my last post and this is but a passing message - just to let you know I'm still around!

Pressure has been building for all these past few months and it would seem none are exempt.  The main thing is to keep the emotional state afloat, rather than be drowned by it.  The best way to keep the equilibrium steady is to maintain momentum - keep the energy moving through the body by staying active.  We can of course do this in a multitude of ways, but the very best way for anyone is to make sure it is something enjoyable.  For me it is dance; for you it may be a sport or even walking in the countryside.  Whatever it is, make sure it is regular, without any attachment  - you just do it because … well, because it helps to release pent up tension and keep your energy moving.  Momentum equals change and yes, the unknown, but what choice do we have?  I guess one could stand still, but is that really an option?

It is my belief that there is only forward in these strange times - going back holds no allure.  The unknown beckons, in whatever guise it holds for each of us, so let's make sure we can cope with it and it is at least enjoyable.

Onwards and upwards!

Angela ;-)

And so to bed ...

And so to bed

As sleep performs her magic spell,
Her endless charms, that would disarm
The busy mind from all that was todays alarm.

There are times in our busy lives when sleep, for whatever reason, takes on the form of opponent - the ambivalent adversary we have to engage during the hours of darkness, if we are to recharge enough to plough through the commitments of the day ahead.  Then, there are the unfortunate ones who feel powerless against biochemical imbalances which they know make sleep like catching the slipperiest of fish with your bare hands.  Yes, for many, sleep becomes something we have to do but has ceased to be either natural or enjoyable. 

Its easy to get caught up in doing and being busy so that sleep is shoe-horned into the remaining space in one's life.  Effects of worry aside, perhaps you are unfortunate enough to be the subject of a biochemical disruption caused by faulty diet or medication, unwittingly driving a wedge of wakefulness into the rest you had planned and yearn for.

Whatever the cause of your diminished sleep, I do know that whenever people have received a good massage, it's like pressing the RESET button.  Without fail, a good nights' sleep ensues and it becomes much easier to return to a realistic sleeping pattern.  The niggles and agitation that have subconsciously built up are released and the whole body can relax fully - a case of reconnecting to a state we'd inadvertently moved away from and remembering how 'relaxed' actually feels.

A few pointers that help you get a good nights' rest:
  • Eat your evening meal 3-4 hours before bed time.
  • Don't go to bed hungry - snack if necessary.
  • If your mind is full of thoughts, write them down before bed, so your mind doesn't have to remember them.
  • Don't overdo the alcohol.
  • Stay still if you want to meet sleep - movement makes the brain think you're still active.
  • Avoid using up all  your energy before bed - some is needed for the repairs that occur when you sleep.
  • Sleep comes in 90 minute cycles, so avoid setting your alarm in the middle of a cycle, or you'll feel groggy all day.
Because massage can address many issues that give feelings of unease and goes a long way to calming and balancing the nervous systems of the body, it is the tool of choice in terms of prevention.  Consider incorporating regular massage into your life if you want to shrug off the frown of tiredness.


... and breathe

Winter is often a time of introspection, consolidation and a desire to hibernate - all good for a time, but not things you want to uphold for too long - it gets boring!  So, with the absence of a defined lurch into spring this year, and the drawn out wet weather, many people are feeling pressured and worn by the lack of upliftment that we expect at this time of year.  

With spring, we expect feelings of awakening, upliftment, forward movement.  This year, a hiatus seemed apparent - things were somehow different. We found ourselves having to stop and think more about what we want, what we're doing and why - in other words, questioning what we've taken for granted.  Indeed, these are times of change, so having a questioning mind would certainly be the order of the day if we are to consider the road ahead.  

A renewed outlook highlights how we easily become complacent within a society that is built upon expectations of what we feel we should have access to and what should be provided for us.  We see the uselessness of things we once held dear and how the need for some things we thought we needed is now no longer apparent.  It becomes evident that being more responsible for ourselves and what we attract into our lives is essential if we want to build a more suitable foundation for our own future.   

When you choose to wake up from the dumbed-down slumbers of the have-it-all society and have a more mindful approach to living, its easier to accept the power that being responsible for yourself brings.  Making up your own mind about anything and everything that comes your way makes the weapons of guilt and blame useless against you because your own truth makes you stronger than you ever imagined.  The trick is to drop the notion some would have you believe that life is about struggle - it's not.  As my uncle once told me - "there are only two things you need to remember about life ... Acceptance and Humility".  

Why not start each day by taking a long, slow breathe and letting the river of life take you where it will, knowing that all will unfold perfectly for your highest good.

From my truth to yours ...

Spanner in the works

There will be times when, despite what you thought were your best efforts, your body no longer behaves in the way you thought it would, ‘should’, or how it used to.  There could be any number of reasons creating change within your body, but the main thing is to notice that a change has indeed occurred.  If you back track a little, you may recall when something in your daily life changed, how you responded and hopefully gain some insight into the effects within you.

The above can be applied to most scenarios and can serve to help you join up the dots of your own experiences, thus enabling you to tune into the relationship of cause and effect in your body.  When you’ve become used to questioning the situations or choices you make and their effects, the natural outcome is that you become far more conscious of the processes of change, even as they occur.  In time, you are able to develop your own maintenance monitor to run permanently in the background of your daily life, providing the information you need to streamline your existence.  We all do this naturally to some extent, but usually forget that it needs updating once in a while.

So, realizing you are no longer a well-balanced, functioning being is one thing, but it has become common practice to look around for a methodology or system that we can use to resume balance – a system that’s been written by A.N. Other as an expert in their field.   The problem with this approach is that we are all slightly different from each other, so at best, we can only achieve a degree of improvement.  Now, as we all possess the innate ability to heal ourselves, why not try to write your own program to follow?  If one of the main reasons to follow someone else’s model is purely one of a lack of time to research and experiment, then making a habit of being more mindful about what works for you and what doesn’t will highlight just how much you already know about yourself.  (Keeping a notebook with you to jot things down throughout the day is useful here).

Perhaps we decide to try out someone else’s diet – do we only use that model because in our subconscious we already know that there are aspects of that diet that will not work for us, but we sidestep responsibility and blame the diet for not achieving the desired results?  If we take responsibility for ourselves and make a conscious choice about what we want to achieve, there is no reason at all why we cannot make that happen, because in our bodies, we already have the instinct, the innate wisdom, that tells us what we need to be healthy.  Whether we choose to notice and take action upon this information is up to us.

The use of other peoples’ models can suffice to provide us with an alternative angle, but if we utilize the mindset that helps piece together our own strategy, making our own model can be an ongoing work that fits more closely with our ever-changing lives and give us the confidence to make necessary adjustments a natural part of daily life.

Not over yet

This has been a tough year, one way or another - not because of anything dramatic, but because of the internal adjustments that have been needed to clear a path to the future. 

My analogy of how this year has felt to me has been like an almost-empty tube of toothpaste, where the very last dregs have been squeezed up to the neck, awaiting their ultimate release into the wider world. The squeeze has been present, in one way or another, for many people in order to look back to the past and check for anything that has been overlooked, swept under the carpet or otherwise ignored.  So as well as emotional shifts, we may have been physically clearing our own spaces to get rid of everything that no longer fits.  We may have spent weeks feeling 'spaced out' as we've been re-tuned to a different frequency (now there's a thought!).  

If we are to begin the change that our world needs, then everything needs to be cleared out before we can move forward into our personal and collective futures.  The Ghandi saying 'Be the change you want to see' applies now more than ever before.  

So remember - even when life makes you squirm, you're on the right path.  Keep letting go of the internal struggle before it becomes external, and take small but confident steps towards what you know in your heart to be right, knowing that by the end of the year, the spade work will be done.

Awesome mechanism

Everytime my body catches me out with some mechanism I'd forgotten about, I feel both amazed and delighted.

Recently, I picked up an innocuous cold virus from my grandson, not realising it would knock me out of circulation for a few days with its' severity.  The first day it started, I was rather taken aback at the speed, from morning to evening, at which it developed into a fully fledged cold.  That night, I didn't sleep well, feeling achy and restless, and the next day, I continued to get worse.  My head and just below the base of the neck were marked by blotchy fever marks where most of the virus seemed to be active.  The rest of my body felt freezing cold - probably because all hands were on deck with the inflammation.  By evening, I had to go to bed.  I was so cold that I piled on my winter quilt and had a hot water bottle between my thighs (quickest way to get warm).  

I soon went to sleep, despite feeling nauseous, and woke 2.5 hours later really cooking! The fever had broken and I had already begun to feel a release.  My head started to clear and breathing became easier once more. This was a natural, medication-free process.

The point of this tale is that the body has the innate wisdom to seize an opportunity to clean house whenever there is sufficient energy to generate such a response (this is good sign).  Those who perhaps don't eat the foods necessary to generate this kind of response may take much longer to get rid of toxins or infections from their body (viruses can lay dormant around the spine and sacrum for many a while, just waiting for the system to be depleted enough for them to multiply).

Stop and think before you take any off-the-peg medications to thwart a cold.  Know that it is a clearing process and should be allowed to run its course, if the body is to be given the chance to do what it does best.  Sometimes, we just get in the way ;-)

Please do your own research and work on trusting your instinct more.

Dowsing foods

As the world at large lurches from one economic crisis to the next, petrol and therefore food prices continue to escalate, we all feel the squeeze.  So, when I talk to people about buying organic foods and avoiding anything processed, the first thing they think about is the cost.  Understandable, but is that what's best for you or I?

Over the years, with much experimentation on my family, I have found that everyone is happier and satisfied for longer on smaller portions of organic food than large meals of highly processed mass-produced foods.  Think about it. Logic tells you that if food is grown/fed upon ground that is cared for with a mind towards it's nutrient levels and long term yields, against the rape and chemical feed ethos of large conglomerates - well, you can work out which will be the richer in nutrients.  Remember, the higher the nutrient levels, the more quickly your body is satisfied, therefore the less you need to eat.

I could go on and on about mass-produced versus organic but you can find all that out for yourself.  What I really want to suggest is that in order to start being able to find your own truth about exactly what is good for you, you might give the ancient art of dowsing a try.  There are plenty of sites online that tell you how to get started with a pendulum but I'm suggesting you get practising (it can take a while to be a trustworthy device because you have to train your mind) so that you can use it to check out which foods are best for you to eat.  You will, of course, find plenty of disparaging remarks about dowsing, but with persistence and detachment, you can train yourself  to obtain an accurate response for yourself.  This is a good exercise in taking back the responsibility for your own health and improving your instinct.

We're all different from each other and our biochemistry is prone to changes on a daily basis.  You can get used to checking what foods are best for you at different meals whilst you're at home to retrain the instinct you were born with.  Then, if you adopt the mindset of consuming only nutrient rich foods for the bulk of the time, you'll be setting yourself up to be much healthier and happier.

Experiment and enjoy bringing back the responsibility for yourself.

Changing gear

The long winter days are slowly retreating but much greyness yet remains.  Our bodies echo the heaviness of hearts that long for sunshine and it takes more effort than usual to remain cheerful.  So what can we do to see us through to the brighter days of spring and smooth the transition into summer?

To begin, we can choose foods that naturally help cleanse the liver, making us feel more calm and brightening up those thinking processes (cleaning liver and gall bladder also helps get rid of bags under the eyes).  Eat lots of beetroot, in whatever form you like, but if you choose to juice your beets, no more than a small glass at a time or you may feel nauseous.  A much more pleasant way to eat your beets is a raw beet salad - this is mine:

Peel and roughly chop 3-4 beets into the blender.  Add half that quantity of peeled & chopped swede, salt, black pepper, a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a handful of fresh coriander.  Blend all together for about 30 seconds until the big chunks have been broken down, then turn into a serving dish and enjoy, either alone or with a protein source of your choice.

Another great liver cleanser is something most of us can lay our hands on - dandelion leaves.  The young ones are best as they are not so bitter (best ones grow in partial shade).  Wash thoroughly before use.  Tip:  If you're ever away from home and suffer from an upset tummy, grab a few dandelion leaves and chew well.

Ease up on the consumption of grain foods as these tend to slow down food transit through the gut, and it is preferable to have good transit time, especially during a time of cleansing.  Instead, step up consumption of raw foods - raw (organic) carrots eaten 1 hour before meals are superb for clearing endotoxins from the gut and ensure you're drinking enough water.

Just one more thing, we may be getting twitchy about the onset of spring but it's still important to get enough sleep.  Aim to get to bed before midnight and get 7.5 hrs sleep (better than 8 which I'll tell you about another time). 

Remember, you're still feeding the roots that support our emergence into summer so treat them nicely and you'll look and feel your vibrant best when you want to!

Nourish and nurture - always

Make the leap - you can grow wings on the way down

These times of quickening energies increase our sense of urgency to finish those things we know we've swept under the carpet some time ago.  But there's also a fear of the speed at which events are occurring (or perhaps you're feeling so stuck in fear that you're energy is literally constipated!) which is manifesting in a lot of arm/shoulder and gut issues now.  As the ego battles hard to hold sway and we may unwittingly be clinging to outmoded ideas that no longer serve us, the harder we resist, the more turbulence will be felt - there is only one path now.  The challenge then is to submit - totally.  Scary?  Possibly, but when we do, it's a dizzying experience of pure delight, and all the pain of resistance has the opportunity to fall away.

Go with what you know to be the truth in your heart of hearts - your truth.  Rub that arm/shoulder/gut with the care it deserves (or come and see me to do it for you!). Acknowledge that your infinite spirit has a portion of its existence in this physical form - right here, right now.  This does not mean that we need to be weighted down by the physical form in any way - for when we let go, our spirit is free to soar to great heights and laugh at our self-imposed misery.  Be happy - life was never meant to be a struggle :-D

Top tips to beat the cold

The speedy arrival of deepest winter has doubtless caught a few people off guard and some of you may be finding it hard to shake off that feeling of being chilled to your bones.  Well, here are a few tips I use to keep warm without breaking the bank.

  1. Eat enough good quality protein and fat - your body needs more of these to stay warm.  Every meal should contain protein, fat and carbs (not necessarily from grains) in the quantities that suit you individually.  Best fats are butter, olive oil and coconoil.
  2. Drink enough water - it's a conductor.
  3. Breathe properly - if we're cold, it's common to shallow breath because we tense up.  Breathing more deeply and making an effort to relax gets your circulation going better. 
  4. Make time for a brisk walk every day to really get your heart and circulation pumping - you'll stay warm for hours!
  5. If you do find yourself chilled to the bone, quickest way to get warm is a hot water bottle between the thighs - there's a rich supply of blood vessels there and you'll be warm in around 2 minutes.
  6. Wear extra layers on the legs - thighs lose lots of heat.  Other places where we lose a lot of heat from are neck, wrists and head.
  7. Be mentally prepared - resistance is futile!! 
Enjoy the beauty of this season - spring will be here before you know it  :-)

The routine that pays off

Although regular body maintenance is no stranger to me, my arms are not quite long enough to apply pressure to the soft tissues of the back in a way that another person could, so I have been getting by for too long on the flannel work that I advocate to one and all.  It therefore came as a sharp reminder when I recently received a very thorough back massage from a friend and was so wiped out the following day that I actually fell asleep 3 times!

What this means is that numerous toxins and possibly viruses which had doubtless been enjoying a long holiday around the bones of my skeleton were suddenly disturbed (by the massage) and left to flow, unfettered, through my body, increasing my toxic load to the extent that my system had gone into overdrive to cope with them!  Fortunately, I knew what was going on.

The moral of this story is that we can all benefit from regular (at least every couple of months) massage and that we should all get some form of regular treatment to clean out and stimulate the soft tissues of the body.  Failing to do so only leads to increasing lethargy and toxic load and greater propensity for chronic health problems . 

We can all stay in great shape by investing in ourselves and getting a regular massage, lots of fresh air and enough of water.  If you want continual good health from your body, you have to be prepared to invest time and effort.  This same advice goes for getting over the indulgences of the festive season ... good luck with that one  :-)

"Life acquires meaning when we face the conflict between our desires and reality"

.. says the Tao.  To me, this phrase is often displayed in the bodies of the clients I see - manifest as painful symptoms of long term tension and the effect of much inward struggle. 

I recently had occasion to work with a group of fairly enlightened people and was struck by the inconsistency of what some people subscribe to outwardly, yet have not assimilated into their inner reality.  Instead, they seem happy (?) to put up with long term pain, gut problems, food intolerances - the list is endless - because they cannot bring themselves to trust enough to let go of the hidden fears that cause the physical problem.  It is so easy to put the blame onto a condition that is accepted as a given, all the time pushing aside the wisdom that all we ever need to know is right inside of each of us.  The real truth is that we create everything that occurs to us, and therefore, have the power to choose not to have something in our lives.

However, the struggle any of us carry for whatever reason is always tempering if we take the time to look at the issue and learn what the body is trying to convey ...

Lymph problems tend to be a warning that the mind needs to be recentered on the essentials of life - love and joy.  Those who carry too much weight tend to be oversensitive; fat often represents fear and shows a need for protection (fear may be a cover for hidden anger and a resistance to forgive).  Weight apportioned to specific parts of the body can have it's own significance - i.e. in the thighs, it equates to packed childhood anger - often rage at the father. Belly fat can be the effect of being denied nourishment - either physical or emotional.

During a massage treatment, clients are frequently surprised by how much emotion is stored in their body.  The client feels this emotion initially as a pain but then as I connect to the source of the pain, their subconscious is able to choose to release it, usually because the control mechanisms and perception of pain by the brain are bypassed.  These kind of emotional releases go a long way to helping clients understand that they cannot be in control all the time and that daring to feel ultimately plays a much bigger part in their well being than they previously thought. 

A regular amount of time spent alone and free from distractions is a simple way to give to yourself and listen to what your inner voice and body are ready to tell you.  Make that time a regular part of your life and open up to becoming more.

Do you really know how to relax?

Today I was clearing out my bedroom when I came across something I'd jotted down some years earlier ... I want to share this short piece with anyone who finds it difficult to relax.

"The surest way to become Tense, Awkward and Confused is to develop a mind that tries too hard - one that thinks too much!" - Benjamin Hoff, the Tao of Pooh.

The universe will help us, but we need to do a part as well.  Here's an acronym - My Part - to help you remember what it means to do that:


Too often, we tell ourselves the only way to get from point A to point B - or Z - is to tense up, obsess a little (or a lot!), and live in fear and anxiety until what we want takes place.   That isn't the path to success - it's the path to fear and anxiety.

Accept, Relax, Breathe - let go.  Trust yourself, God, and the universe to manifest the best possible destiny when the time is right for you.

Try this this affirmation whenever you feel anxious or fearful:  "God (or Higher Self if you prefer), help me make the journey from fear and control to letting go and stepping into my true power".

From my heart to yours  - Angela.

Thirst for more life ...

Picture yourself for a moment - at what speed are you rushing through life, working your way through the endless list of things to do, bringing balance and enjoyment by adding suitable distractions..? 

The speed at which we operate on any given day will be dictated by how much rest we give ourselves and the food we eat but we also realise early on that we can falsely affect that speed with the use of stimulants to speed us up or alcohol to slow us down.  Unfortunately, both of these have a direct effect upon the hydration of our body and, when you consider that this process can begin around the end of our teenage era, that's quite a lot of dehydration over the years.

So how do the degrees of dehydration manifest?  Well, the body has to ensure that the brain is always sufficiently hydrated or our thinking processes and running of the bodily systems are affected.  There's a pecking order of importance in the hydration needs of the body so, in order to ensure the brain has it's prerequisite, fluids may be taken from other systems of the body, thus creating malfunction there - so there may be inefficient digestion, constipation within the gastrointestinal system.  Think more long term - a drying out of the synovial membranes which cushion the joints .... arthritis?  A build up of proteins/ debris in soft tissue ... lymphatic stagnation/cellulitis...?  Dryness within the lungs ... athsma..? 

Obviously, these suggestions are very simplified and are presented only to give you the gist of what may occur.  Suffice to say the ramifications of insufficient fluid in the body are far greater than most would perceive but the ramifications are huge.  The operating system for adaptation to dehydration is the same as for stress.  Dehydration is the number one stressor of the human body!

So ... minimise consumption of caffeine and alcohol, drink around 4 fluid oz of water per hour (4 gulps) and take a few grains of salt now and then.  If you do this and keep notes over a week of changes you have noticed, you may be pleasantly surprised at what you observe.

Blessings to you all 

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