Healing approaches

The power of EFT and matrix reimprinting: Working with your ECHO

Man enjoying freedom

By Gemma Kennedy, transformational coach

I spent five intense, incredible days in Brighton recently completing a number of practitioner courses with Karl Dawson, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Master and founder of the ‘matrix reimprinting’ approach, which builds on it. Here is an overview of some of the things I learned:

What is EFT?

EFT, which is also known as tapping, was first introduced to the public by Gary Craig in 1995. Craig found that tapping on the body’s meridian points with your fingertips released trauma and improved both mental and physical symptoms.

After sharing his knowledge, often for free, at large conferences and recorded training sessions, EFT spread around the world and is becoming increasingly popular as a tool in the rapidly-growing field of ‘energy psychology’. This term is used to describe the coming together of ancient Eastern wisdom with modern-day psychology and neurology. Often described as acupuncture without the needles, EFT can be useful for all kinds of issues, including anxiety, depression, phobias, and addictions.

Moreover, with scientists such as Bruce Lipton giving such ideas more credibility by demonstrating the link between emotional disharmony and physical dis-ease, EFT is now being used to deal with chronic illness more and more – and often with fascinating results. The publication of more than 55 peer-reviewed studies demonstrating the efficacy of tapping and other energy psychology approaches also means that its use is only expected to grow.

Dawson says: “In essence, with tapping, we verbally and energetically tune in to an issue – emotional, physical, mental or spiritual – and tap on several different acupoints on the body whilst repeating a reminder phrase about the issue. This then reduces the fight or flight signal from the brain and results in emotional and cognitive shifts.”

The beauty of EFT is that it can achieve powerful results in a shorter timeframe than many conventional talking therapies. What clients might spend months or even years talking about may be solved in a limited number of EFT sessions. Some issues take longer as a result of deep trauma or the persistent nature of core beliefs, but this is where ‘matrix reimprinting’ really comes into its own.

Inner child

How matrix reimprinting builds on EFT

While EFT can bring down the intensity of feeling surrounding particular issues, matrix reimprinting goes further by helping to create a harmonious picture around an event. Doing so raises an individual’s vibration and, according to Dawson, “floods your system with positive energy and beliefs every time you pull it up”.

These events could be either small or large traumas. But the idea is that, whether you experienced a natural disaster or were on the receiving end of a seemingly insignificant comment as a child, you will have formed a belief about yourself or the world that will continue to affect you until you find a resolution. Matrix enables you to do so without being re-traumatised, which can happen with some other therapeutic approaches.

Using EFT as the cornerstone, matrix reimprinting enables clients to work with their younger selves or ECHOs (Energetic Conscious Holograms). In other modalities, the ECHO is referred to as the inner child.

Many believe that, in the case of trauma, part of us splits off to protect ourself, while another part relives the event repeatedly as though it had never ended. It is this reliving of trauma that matrix can bring to an end, both because we stay separate from our younger selves during the session and because the memory is completed, allowing us to move forward.

To demonstrate how this approach works, I will share an example. For as long as Olivia could remember, she had experienced low self-worth and a negative body image. As a result, she had tried various therapies to little avail.

During a session, her therapist used EFT to tune into her body’s discomfort and asked her subconscious to take her back to a time when she had previously experienced the same feeling. A memory came up of when she was 20 and had been stood up on a date.

When asked for an earlier experience of the feeling, she was able to connect with a memory of when she was 13 and had been bullied during a physical education class because her classmates considered her “overweight”. She was next taken back to the age of six when one of her parents had shouted at her, telling her not to eat another biscuit or she would be “as big as a bus.”

lost little girl

Working with your ECHO

By going back to that earliest memory and working with her ECHO, she was able to calm her younger self down and query what beliefs she had formed about herself that day. The ECHO told her that she felt unloveable and unattractive. Looking at the other memories in the same stream, she noticed how her later experiences had further compounded these beliefs.

Having identified the beliefs that little Olivia had formed, she was then invited to bring in anyone, or anything, who had helped support her. She talked about her granny, who reminded her that she was enough just the way she was, and her pet hamster who she felt loved her unconditionally.

She also told her ECHO that the way her parent had reacted that day was linked to their own issues rather than to Olivia herself. Once this picture was as positive as she could make it, Olivia was guided through the reimprinting process and asked to revisit the memory daily over the coming weeks to assist in re-wiring her brain. The aim was to cement her new beliefs of being loveable and of her body being good enough just as it was.

While these are likely to be deeply ingrained beliefs that would require more than one session in order to work through other reinforcing memories, the resolution and shift in perspective afforded to Olivia were still invaluable.

Hopefully it is clear that this approach is not about pretending a memory never happened. Instead it is simply about changing the meaning that is attributed to it, allowing us to change how we engage with the world moving forward.

I, for one, was certainly struck by the transformation experienced by both myself and my peers in only 30 to 60 minutes, a situation that makes the possibilities of matrix reimprinting potentially truly endless.

If you would like to find out more about the approach, Dawson has written a book entitled ‘Transform your Beliefs, Transform your Life’, which is available from both Hay House and Amazon.

Gemma Kennedy

Gem Kennedy is a Body Positive activist and transformational coach. Having started her first diet aged 10 and spent many years promising herself that this would be the year to lose weight and start living, a switch flicked in 2017 when she discovered the Body Positive and Fat Activist communities. After training as a transformational coach, she now specialises in coaching and mentoring clients both individually and in groups to help them shed the burden of today’s diet culture and feel confident enough to be in the world exactly as they are, right now.

OTHER ARTICLES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU

Learning how to grieve, heal and grow

Transformational coaching: Creating space for new possibilities

Cultivating mindfulness to support transformational change

Healing approaches

Men’s mental health: Talking about the issues that matter

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

By Helen Preston, counsellor

Over the last few years, there has been a lot of campaigning to highlight issues around men’s mental health. High-profile males from the world of sport, the music and entertainment business as well as the royal family have all been open and honest about their personal struggles with mental wellbeing.

But although such candidness has paved the way for a more honest discussion of male vulnerability, many of my male clients’ report feeling exposed and weak if they share with their family and friends that they are struggling to cope with painful emotional challenges.

Maybe there was a time when ‘man up’ meant ‘shut up’, but I have been pleasantly surprised at how many men actually take the step of coming for counselling – although some do admit to being ‘sent’ by their wives, partners or mothers.

In this instance, they often show initial reluctance to explore their feelings and have little aim other than to appease their loved ones (who are frequently much more aware of the struggle going on within them than they think). But they come along anyway and, with rare exceptions, continue to come.

More recently though, it has been noticeable how many men are referring themselves. Some say that because male mental health issues are spoken about more publicly these days, they feel more confident to seek help.

For example, a recent episode of ITV drama Cold Feet raised the issue of men in counselling and portrayed the process quite positively. Adam, a happy-go-lucky, Jack the Lad character is shown to have unresolved emotional ‘stuff’ going on too.

As a counsellor working with men, it is heartening to see – especially as 75% of people who commit suicide are males, with men between the ages of 45 and 49 the most likely group to take their own life. Nonetheless, figures from the Samaritans show that the male suicide rate in the UK is currently at its lowest in more than 30 years – and those are statistics worth talking about.

During counselling sessions, men are offered a safe and confidential space to discuss their fears and concerns. Many judge themselves harshly as being weak for having negative feelings and angry or fearful emotions. They believe they are the only ones feeling this way and that there is something wrong with them. But counselling helps them recognise that they are not on their own.

Compounding the problem

Unfortunately though, it appears that modern social influences are compounding the problem and making men more fearful. While throughout history, some men have done terrible things, it is certainly not all of them. But feminism, while empowering for women, can feel to men as if it is just about male-bashing.

This situation may account for the popularity of Canadian psychologist, Professor Jordan Peterson. His book ‘12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos’ has been topping best-seller lists for some time, and his YouTube videos are hugely popular with young men. In these works, he explores what is going on for males and why so many of the young ones in particular are so disillusioned.  

One of the key issues here is that, with all of the social change that has taken place over the last 40 years, men are now unsure of how to behave. Is holding open a door for a woman polite or an insult? Is paying for dinner still a ‘requirement’ or out of step with ideals of sexual equality? Is it OK to approach a woman in a bar and complement her on how she looks (when she has obviously taken the time to look good) or is that too intrusive?

The most surprising thing for me as a female on becoming a counsellor was just how much boys and young men have to deal with. Almost all the teenagers I have worked with suffer from anxiety and depression. There is a general lack of self-confidence and self-belief.

Fear of failure is also a big issue, even with young men who are bright and achieving well academically. But the biggest revelation of all was the levels of shame they experience. Shame is a big one for everyone to deal with, but social media seems to make it almost unbearable. There was a time when mistakes could be made in private and lessons learned quietly, but not any more.

The young men I work with tell me that they find relationships a minefield. They fear being publicly humiliated and shamed by girls they have dated or have chatted with online. Boys have feelings too, and some girls can be incredibly hurtful.

Then there is the beauty industry. Having saturated the female market, it has now moved onto males, resulting in boys being exposed, and conditioned to conform, to the same unreal images. As a result, boys are more insecure than ever about how they look, with eating disorders, self-harming, anxiety and depression all becoming more common.

Strength

Sharing emotional struggles

However, talking therapies give men an opportunity to know and understand themselves better, to explore what is real, to find solutions and to make positive changes. It is about reframing past negative experiences.

Most importantly, they can also spend time in a space where there is no judgment – and in a world where they feel constantly judged, that can feel very liberating. It is possible to explore what is going on for them in a safe environment in order to understand what is bringing about their mental struggles, which often manifests itself in physical pain.

Key questions include: what does being a man mean to them? Where did they learn about what being a man is and are there ways of doing things that feel more authentic for them? In terms of role models, some of my older male clients are still doing what they were taught when they were brought up, even though it does not bring them, or those around them, either satisfaction or happiness.

Indeed, too many experience loneliness, even if they are in long-term relationships. Key challenges include family pressures; being the main provider; supporting a spouse while still trying to focus on work; fear of losing their job or of re-entering the workplace following time out after redundancy or illness, and anxiety that if they confide in their partner about how they feel they will be seen as weak and not manly enough.

In general, women find it easier to share their emotional struggles with each other. But men often don’t. Some, for various reasons, lose the group of friends they once had and find it hard to make new ones – which is why counselling can be such an important avenue towards supporting their metal wellbeing.

So let’s keep on talking about these issues. Let’s make it more acceptable for men to talk to a counsellor in non-judgemental confidence about their particular struggles. Let’s help them understand that there are ways to move beyond what may seem like impossible obstacles, and that talking about it out loud can help.

With this in mind, if you know a man who is struggling, take a moment to ask him if he’s really OK. Just encourage him to talk because it really can make a world of difference.

Helen Preston

Helen Preston is a counsellor, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) expert and reiki practitioner. Her approach to therapy acknowledges the crucial inter-relationship of mind, body and spirit. Helen is a member of the National Counselling Society and has an Advanced Diploma in psychotherapy and counselling, a Diploma in Hypnotherapy and an EFT Master Practitioner certificate. 

OTHER ARTICLES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU

Counselling: Embarking on a journey of self-discovery

Counselling: Answers to frequently-asked questions

Transformational coaching: Finding the answers within

Healing approaches

Learning how to grieve, heal and grow

Loss and grief

By Helen Preston, counsellor

Grief manifests itself in many ways but is not necessarily a very easy thing to describe. According to the dictionary definition, it consists of:

“Intense sorrow, especially caused by someone’s death. ‘She was overcome with grief.’ Sorrow, misery, sadness, anguish, pain, distress, agony, torment, affliction, suffering, heartache, heartbreak, broken-heartedness, heaviness of heart, woe, desolation, despondency, dejection, despair, angst, mortification.”

Grief can also express itself in a number of ways. It can take the form of an emotional, physical, behavioural or cognitive response. For example, at an emotional level, a grieving person may feel shock, yearning, helplessness, relief or guilt.

Common physical sensations include a hollowness in the stomach, tightness in the throat, breathlessness or lack of energy. In behavioural terms, grief may manifest itself in the form of disturbed sleep, crying, absent-mindedness, a feeling of searching or reliance on drugs or alcohol. Cognitive responses could include feelings of disbelief, confusion, general preoccupation and even hallucinations.

But it is worth bearing in mind that death is not the only cause of grief. Other situations that also spark this emotion include divorce, the ending of important relationships, losing a job, moving away from the place you grew up, leaving a school in which you were happy, becoming disabled or losing your home.

Most people are able to process their grief naturally and, while they may experience intense bouts of sadness, they can still feel hope and will eventually find happiness again. That said, there is no right way to grieve. Even though rifts are created in some families because members make judgements over others on what grieving should look like, in reality, each individual has to find their own path and what works best for them.

It is common to hear of the five stages of grief first identified by Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler Ross in her ground-breaking book, ‘On Death and Dying’, which was published in 1969. These stages consist of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Author and expert David Kessler also discussed the possibility of a sixth stage – that of ‘meaning’. But it is important to recognise that not everyone will experience all of these stages, and they can appear in no particular order, maybe more than once.

Strength

How counselling can help

Experiencing grief can be a confusing and emotional time. It often feels isolating and scary, but speaking to someone else about how you feel can help you process your emotions. It can also help to reassure you that what you are going through is ‘normal’ and you are not you going mad.

In particular, if you continue to experience grief over a long period of time, you might benefit from support to help you process the emotion in a healthier way. Maybe you did not have the time or opportunity to process it when your loss took place, but it may still be affecting you in some way. You may feel depressed or stuck.

Immediately following a loss, there are generally lots of distractions and plenty of support. But then the dust settles, people go back to their busy lives and presume you are fine. You do not want to ‘burden’ your friends with your sad feelings and so say you feel OK when you do not.

It is here that counselling comes in. Counsellors are trained to listen without judgment, to empathise rather than sympathise. Moreover, speaking your feelings out loud may help you to make sense of them.

There are many instances when a grieving person may need support to find a way through the dark times and discover meaning in life again – and grief related to suicide is one of those. There are so many additional emotions and complications that are linked to this situation, not least the social judgments that are all too often made.

It can be hard for friends to support this type of grief and to realise that the grieving person needs a voice rather than to feel silenced by the discomfort of others. In Western culture, we find talking about death tricky at the best of times. But when someone choses to end their own life, we tend to draw conclusions that only serve to perpetuate the myths, while failing to help the sufferer get any closer to the often unanswerable question of ‘why’?

Other circumstances that can have a particular impact on grievers include losing a child or young person or suffering a sudden and unexpected loss or death.

Life coaching motivation and self realization concept in blue

Learning to heal and grow

To sum up, here are some apt but poignant words that have been adapted by a member of Compassionate Friends USA:

If you think you are going mad – that’s normal

If all you do is cry – that’s normal

If you have trouble with most minor decisions – that’s normal

If you can’t taste your food or have no appetite – that’s normal

If you feel rage, denial, depression – that’s normal

If you find yourself enjoying a funny moment and then feel guilty – that’s normal

If you feel angry when someone says “it was God’s will” – that’s normal

If you can’t talk about it but can smash dishes and kick the dustbin – that’s normal

If you can share your story with an understanding listener – that’s a beginning

If you can get a glimpse of the person’s life rather than their death – that’s wonderful

If you can remember with a smile – that’s healing

If you find your mirrors have become windows and you can reach out to another bereaved person – that’s growing.

image1 (1)

Helen Preston is a counsellor, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) expert and reiki practitioner. Her approach to therapy acknowledges the crucial inter-relationship of mind, body and spirit. Helen is a member of the National Counselling Society and has an Advanced Diploma in psychotherapy and counselling, a Diploma in Hypnotherapy and an EFT Master Practitioner certificate.

OTHER ARTICLES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU

Transformational coaching: Creating space for new possibilities

Counselling: Embarking on a journey of self-discovery

The transformational power of personal yoga practice

 

 

 

 

Healing approaches

Transitioning to autumn: Top tips to promote your health and wellbeing

holiday dark decoration halloween
Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

The Spirit of East Anglia community held its inaugural workshop last week based on the theme of ‘transition’.

The topic seemed an appropriate one as the event was held during the ancient fire festival of Samhain, which traditionally ushered in the Celtic New Year and took place over three days from 31 October until 2 November. A time of transition and letting go, it was, and still is, a time of change from a sunlit, outdoorsy life to a period of dark nights and time spent indoors in the warmth.

The idea is that, as we move from one phase of the season’s wheel to the next, it is an opportune moment to get rid of clutter, to throw out what is no longer useful for us and, as we increasingly move within, to open ourselves up to new possibilities.

So with this in mind, here are our practitioners’ top tips for health and wellbeing based on the presentations and exercises they shared with attendees at the workshop:

  1. Sarah Stollery, kundalini yoga and meditation teacher

Email: info@luminouswell.co.uk

Tips to improve your wellbeing:

  1. Wake up 15 minutes earlier than usual: I know it is hard – especially as the days are getting shorter – but if you can start your day with a few minutes of deep breathing or meditation, you will ensure you enter it more consciously and with greater focus on what is truly important. This could be everything from working towards a goal or tackling a challenging project or perhaps just being more heart-centred in your interaction with others;
  2. Long, deep breathing: Many of us have adopted the unconscious habit of breathing incorrectly. But when we take in a deep breath, we suck our abdomens in, forcing our chest and shoulders to rise. In fact, when we breathe correctly, our abdomens should relax outwards slightly as the diaphragm moves down and the lungs fill with air. If you can take a few minutes everyday to ensure you breath correctly, you will feel more alert, energised and at peace. For more information on the ‘how to’s’ and benefits of long, deep breathing, go to https://www.3ho.org/long-deep-breathing;
  3. Stretch and move: We are all well aware of the benefits of exercise, but the difficulty is finding the time and space to do a little bit everyday. But that is key. Little and often is better than seldom for longer. When my yoga students ask me how to start a practice at home, I always encourage them to choose one exercise or stretch they love and one they find challenging and to do both for three minutes each. If you would like a few simple yoga practices to try, check out my warm-up video;
  4. Sing: Singing promotes the natural release of endorphins, improves lung capacity, clears the throat energy centre and can even help with sleep. Singing or chanting a mantra, as we did in the workshop together, is a powerful tool to help create wellbeing. Kundalini yoga teaches us that chanting or singing a mantra employs the technology of naad, or totally balanced universal sound, to produce a state of shuniya, orzero-point consciousness, in the practitioner. If you would like to sing along to the mantra we sang on Thursday, this is a link to the track https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BSKPele2Vo, and here is a link to the practice: https://www.3ho.org/kundalini-yoga/mantra/meditation-protection-and-projection-heart;
  5. Tune in to your “heart-brain”: If you do only one thing for yourself every day, make it this. The road to becoming a more heart-centred species has been, and will continue to be, a bumpy one, but we can help effect change by transforming our own consciousness. When each of us takes the time to connect into our heart, we help to re-calibrate the collective operating system of humanity from one of fear and separation to one of love. Here is another lovely meditation for dropping into the heart space at https://www.3ho.org/kundalini-yoga/pranayam/pranayam-techniques/meditation-calm-heart.

 

  1. Juliette Bryant, nutritional consultant, superfood chef and author

Email: juliettew27@gmail.com

Tips for boosting your immune system:

  1. Heal the gut: Kill the bad guys using aged garlic and support the good guys by taking water kefir, sauerkraut and probiotics. Also heal the holes with turmeric latte. Join me on my new, four-week online course, which is starting on Monday 12 November, to learn more;
  2. Take vitamin C: Plant-based vitamin C is easily absorbed by the body and is key to supporting a healthy immune system. I have a great food supplement on my website;
  3. Take vitamin D: More than 900 bodily functions require vitamin D, but it is especially helpful in ensuring a healthy immune system. My favourite is vitamin D3 with K2, which again you can find on my website;
  4. Use CBD oil: Cannabis oil supports the endocannabanoid system, which underpins the whole immune system.

 

  1. Helen Preston, counsellor and holistic therapist

Email: helenpreston22@btinternet.com

Tips to improve your mental health:

  1. Do not go it alone: Sharing is often the first step to healing;
  2. Be kind to yourself: Learn to be your own best friend instead of your own worst enemy;
  3. Depression is not about weakness: It has many causes and is often about being too strong for too long;
  4. Grief and loss are part of life: There is no ‘right’ way to grieve but talking can help you make peace with it;
  5. It is often not about making big life-changing choices: It is about consistently making small – almost insignificant – but positive choices for yourself on a daily basis.

Wheel of Life mandala
Wheel of Life mandala

  1. Gemma Kennedy, transformational coach

Email: gem@gemkennedy.com

Wheel of Life exercise to help you assess where your life is at:

It can be really useful to take some time each month, or each season, to review where your life is at and where you might like to head towards.

All you need for the Wheel of Life exercise is a pen, paper and a quiet moment to reflect.

Draw a circle and divide it into eight sections, labelling each one with one of the below headings, or others if they feel more appropriate:

Spiritual

Social

Personal Growth

Relationships

Professional

Physical Environment

Health / Physical Body

Financial

In your own time, evaluate each of the headings, scoring them on a scale of one to 10 (with one being very dissatisfied and 10 being very satisfied).

Afterwards, take a look at your answers and see what you notice. Some questions you might like to ask yourself are:

– Why did you give each category the score you did? Why is it not higher/lower?

– What would your ideal score be for each category?

– What score would you like to achieve over the next month/three months /six months/year?

– Which categories do you feel are most important to improve upon or balance?

You might like to keep hold of these scores so that you can check back in with them in future. I find they can be incredibly useful as a reminder of your progress when you feel that not much has changed.

 

  1. Lisa Glydon, homeopath and natural health advisor

Email: ljglydon@yahoo.co.uk

Tips to ensure a healthy immune system:

  1. Boost your oxygen levels: If a cell or organ has plenty of oxygen, it can heal, mend and rejuvenate itself. Lack of oxygen (hypoxia) leads to an acid state, which in turn leads to a toxic state, which in turn leads to dis–ease.
  • So no matter what the weather this winter, ensure you move and walk around to move the lymph around your body, so it can carry away toxins;
  • Massage or rub different parts of your body to get the oxygen flowing around it;
  • Breathe deeply from your abdomen, which will not only help to oxygenate your blood, but also help to relax you by massaging your abdomen – which is the seat of your emotions.
  1. Increase your water levels: Water is essential to life but we often forget to drink it during the winter months. Every cell in your body depends on water. Without it, your blood thickens and your heart and immune system need to work harder.
  • Drink 1½ – two litres of freshly filtered, rather than tap, water daily to hydrate you throughout the winter. Treat yourself to a filter jug if you do not have one and preferably use glass rather than plastic to drink it out of due to the synthetic hormones in plastic;
  • Add lemon, lime, honey, molasses, green powders or any other natural foods to flavour your water, or coconut oil if using hot water.
  1. Get more sleep

Sleep is vital for health as it helps to renew, repair and rejuvenate the body while you sleep. Lack of sleep lowers your immune system and can lead to chronic disease. In fact, sleep deprivation is a form of torture.

  • Apps are a great source for finding online relaxation techniques;
  • Herbs such as Avena Sativa/Valariana/Passiflora help you to relax and fall asleep but also keep you asleep;
  • Take magnesium before bedtime as it aids relaxation;
  • I have a sleep tonic with added homeopathic remedies to aid sleep too.
  1. Ensure your diet is balanced but supplement it with superfoods and supplements

Boost your immune defences by aiding your digestive health as it will help you fight off bacteria, viruses and pathogens. Remember it is not bugs that need to be feared – it is your immune defences that need to be strong.

Foods such as garlic, ginger, lemons, limes, apples, all green vegetables, turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, all seeds, molasses, organic cider vinegar, olive and coconut oils, nettle and dandelion teas, baking soda are just a few good foods that will help.

In terms of supplements, vitamin C, B, D, zinc, magnesium, Omega 3 oil and probiotics are my favourites.

  1. Invest in a homeopathic kit

Although homeopathic kits are available from Helios or Ainsworth’s Homeopathic Pharmacies, they no longer send them to UK addresses due to new European Union rules. But I normally stock a few, so you can treat yourself and your family naturally this winter. Homeopathic remedies stimulate your immune system and self-healing mechanisms rather than suppress them, helping to keep your thoughts happy and healthy at the same time.

Woman Standing By Waterfall With Her Hands Raised
Health and wellbeing

  1. Anita Ramsden, kinesiologist

Email: anita.ramsden@gmail.com

Tips to keep your energy levels high:

  1. Wake your self up and switch on your energy: Put one hand on your naval and, with your other hand, rub under your nose and under your bottom lip at the same time. Switch hands and repeat the process.

Put one hand on your navel and, with the other hand, rub just under your              collarbone in the two little dips you can feel there about an inch either side of breast      bone. Switch hands and repeat.

Put your hand on your naval and with the other hand, rub your coccyx (tailbone). Switch hands and repeat;

  1. Ground yourself: Grab a stainless steel spoon and rub the bottoms of your feet. This connects you to the earth, which helps reduces inflammation and helps you feel more grounded;
  2. Release stress and tension using an emotional stress release technique: Hold your forehead with one hand, and the back of your head where it joins your neck with the other. Think about anything that is causing you stress or you are finding difficult to work out/find a solution to. This technique can be used for both a present and future situation such as a forthcoming job interview, difficult conversation, presentation and the like. Simply hold the points mentioned and take yourself through the situation. Imagine it in as much detail as you can and visualise the best possible outcome. You can also use this technique to defuse stress in the body when thinking of a past issue;
  3.  Drink plenty of water: Drink at least two litres a day, but build up to it gradually if you currently do not drink much. Your body consists of 75% water, but you loose a litre a day simply by breathing. So drinking water will make you feel less fatigued and more alert. You will have fewer aches and pains, your skin will look plump and younger and your joints and spine will thank you. In the cold weather, try hot water with lemon, or thyme, or fresh mint instead. Take a glass of water up to bed and drink it when you wake to ensure the first thing you do each morning is let your body know you are nourishing it.
  4. Be kind to yourself and others: Doing so boosts your immune system and is good for every cell in your body.

 

7. Debbie Walmsley, reiki practitioner, master hypnotherapist and Three Principles facilitator

Email: debbie653@hotmail.com

Top five reiki principles to help heal your mind, body, and spirit:

Principle 1 – Just for today, I will not worry

Worry causes stress and anxiety, which leads to imbalances in the mind, body and spirit. So alleviate your stress by trying to view each obstacle in life as an opportunity to learn and grow. Aim to keep both the obstacle and its solution in perspective – and focus the energy you have available on the solution rather than the problem.

Principle 2 – Just for today, I will not be angry

Because we are raised to believe that anger is wrong, dangerous, and unacceptable, from an early age we learn to suppress it, disguising our true feelings in order to survive, gain favour and/or avoid punishment. But if this repressed anger continues into adulthood, as it nearly always does, it can lead to chronic illness and disease.

Our thoughts trigger emotions that show up as physical symptoms in every part of our body. We can lie to others, and we can even lie to ourselves, but our bodies never lie. So just for today, try not to get angry.

Principle 3 – Just for today, I will do my work honestly

Approach your work with the intention of performing it to the best of your ability and with the goal of sharing all your talents with those you interact with. Do not hold anything back because to do so would be to cheat others. It is also cheating yourself to deny that you possess these gifts.

Principle 4 – Just for today, I will be grateful

Pause for a moment on a regular basis to acknowledge and appreciate the many blessings in your life. If you take the time to keep a list of your many blessings, you will be amazed at how many wonderful things there are to give thanks for. Do not just count the fleeting materialistic things. Focus on the things that money cannot buy.

Principle 5 – Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing

In some ways, this is the hardest principle to live by. Yes, it is easy to be kind to people you like and who like you, and it is easy to be kind when it does not cost us anything. The test comes when we are asked to be kind to people we do not care for or who make us feel angry, frightened, threatened and insecure.

But we are not asked to like, love, or condone the actions of others. All we are asked to do is to be kind to all living things when the opportunity presents itself. The greatest barrier to kindness is judging everyone from the standpoint of our own values and beliefs.

Reflecting upon these principles and striving to live within their framework is certain to effect positive change to all areas of your life. And if you fall short, that is fine. Simply try again tomorrow.

 

OTHER ARTICLES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU

The transformational power of personal yoga practice

Water: The essence of life

The hidden scourge of nutritional deficiency

 

Inspiring lifestyles

How ‘intuitive eating’ can help us reconnect to our bodies

Diet culture

By Gemma Kennedy, transformational coach.

So you have made the decision that there is more to life than dieting. But the mixed messages emanating from today’s diet culture are likely to have left you in a quandary over which foods you should actually eat.

For years, you have been told to avoid entire food groups, not to eat after 6pm, or to fast for two days a week. It is impossible to remember a time when your supermarket trolley was not piled high with zero-calorie noodles, meal-replacement bars or cottage cheese.

But what do you really want to eat? What makes your body feel good? By this, I do not mean what makes your body slim. Or what satisfies your hunger with the minimum possible amount of calories.

No, what I am asking about is what food would you like to eat right here and right now if there were no limits. If no foods were designated as either good or bad, what would you choose?

Writing this, I find myself fancying a wild mushroom and parmesan risotto with crunchy garlic bread, a crisp side salad and, seeing as the weather is now feeling suitably autumnal, a delicious plum crumble with custard to follow. Be patient though as there is a point to all of this – it is about exploring the antithesis of dieting.

You may remember a time as a child that involved eating when you were hungry and stopping when you were full. While you may not have been in charge of the food that was available at that point, you may have had a strong understanding of what your body enjoyed – and at times, certain foods may have seemed more appealing than others.

If you are anything like the millions of dieters around the world, it is likely you will have become disconnected from this profoundly important way of nourishing your body. It may have been a result of encouragement from others to finish everything on your plate when you were a child or to have a drink to fill you up when you felt hungry. But whatever the source, such suggestions inevitably lead us to question our body’s instinctive knowledge.

As a result, many in the anti-diet movement are now support a return to eating mindfully or what Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch call ‘intuitive eating’.

The key principles of intuitive eating are to honour your body’s hunger and fullness, being sure to eat foods that bring you enjoyment while at the same time leaving the negative messages behind. Intuitive eaters might consider whether their bodies are in need of something salty or sweet, crunchy or soft, warm or cold, spicy or mild.

Of course, it is not always possible to eat exactly what we want as there are often time, financial or other constraints. But by returning to this way of eating, you do feel an immense sense of freedom from dieting.

Happy eating

Permission to eat

One of the concerns that people often raise about this approach is the safety of giving ourselves permission to eat whatever we fancy. “Wouldn’t we just live on pizza or ice cream?” they ask.

Founders of the Health at Every Size (HAES) movement, Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramore discuss just this subject in their book ‘Body Respect: What Conventional Health Books Get Wrong, Leave Out and Just Plain Fail to Understand about Weight’. They say: “The idea that you can stop watching your calories and eat what you want, when you want, is so contrary to current ideas that it evokes tremendous fear.”

But one of their studies confirmed that: “Once participants realized they could eat whatever they wanted and were supported in choosing foods they fancied, and in letting food serve many roles, food stopped holding as much power over them.”

Think about it: If you truly knew that you would be able to eat more of a particular food whenever you felt like it, without guilt or judgment, would you still spend so much time thinking about whether to eat it or not?

But it is worth noting that many people experience what anti-diet registered dietician and certified intuitive eating counsellor Christy Harrison calls the “honeymoon phase”. At this stage, they often feel “out of control” or as though they “can’t get enough” of food.

Moreover, exploring their new-found, unconditional permission to eat can last for months or years, particularly for those who have been dieting for a long time. It may feel like a pendulum swinging between eating a great deal and restricting your input again, but this situation will settle down in time, as I have experienced myself.

With regard to the issue of physical health, I do not tend to discuss it much in my work as I believe every body is worthy of respect, regardless of their state of health. But a recent HAES study showed clearly that after two years, those who lived by HAES principles, which include intuitive eating and movement, were markedly healthier, both mentally and physically, than those who continued to diet.

The report stated: “The HAES group sustained improvements in blood pressure, total cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoprotein), and depression, among many other health parameters. The typical-diet group, on the other hand, showed initial improvements in all of those parameters (and weight loss), but returned to their starting point within a year. The HAES group improved their self-esteem and reported feeling much better about themselves at the program’s end, whilst the dieters’ self-esteem plummeted.”

Due to its considerable benefits, intuitive eating is unsurprisingly becoming better known as the body- and fat-positive communities spread the word. I really hope it is only a matter of time before more people begin to question the compounded misery that dieting brings, which includes everything from food restriction to binging and the inevitable process of weight cycling (gaining and losing the same weight many times).

The fact that someone felt the need to coin the phrase ‘intuitive eating’ makes it clear just how disconnected many of us have become from our own bodies. But only when we stop relying on diet companies and the media to tell us what to eat and start listening to our own bodies instead will we truly experience life beyond dieting.

Gemma Kennedy

Gem Kennedy is a Body Positive activist and transformational coach. Having started her first diet aged 10 and spent many years promising herself that this would be the year to lose weight and start living, a switch flicked in 2017 when she discovered the Body Positive and Fat Activist communities. After training as a transformational coach, she now specialises in coaching and mentoring clients both individually and in groups to help them shed the burden of today’s diet culture and feel confident enough to be in the world exactly as they are, right now.

OTHER ARTICLES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU

Undoing the damage done by diet culture

Transformational coaching: Finding the answers within

The hidden scourge of nutritional deficiency