Mind/Body Connections

Reflexology vs Insomnia

Reflexology vs InsomniaDo you suffer from insomnia? Then you may be interested to know that one of the most common texts I get from clients the day after their first Reflexology treatment is one telling me how incredibly well they slept!

Disordered sleep patterns are something that we all struggle with at one time or another, affecting our daytime energy levels, our mental alertness, our memory, our pain levels, our moods, our relationships and our wider health.

With a myriad of possible causes, sleep disorders present a real problem to the medical community, with over 10 million prescriptions for sleeping pills given each year in England. But despite the very real temptation of a quick fix pill, medication only offers short-term relief.

So, what is Reflexology? And why does it help us sleep?

Reflexology focuses on stimulating or sedating reflex points on the foot, which relate to the whole body. So a relaxing foot massage becomes a treatment for the whole body and mind.

The practitioner is able to focus the treatment on reflexes that will help the individual. In a client with insomnia she might concentrate on the reflexes of the endocrine system to mediate the effects of stress and promote better hormonal balance. Or she may focus on reflexes to release deep tension in the muscles, and to calm a busy or anxious mind. For each person, the focus will be a little different, addressing their specific needs.

A Reflexologist sees your whole body reflected in the reflexes of your feet and works those reflexes to create an effect across the entire body – and mind.

Reflexology ExeterIf you’ve never had Reflexology before, it can be hard to explain just how deeply relaxing and restorative the treatment can be. It can feel as though someone has pulled a plug and all of the collected stress and tension in your body has drained away. And not just the obvious tension like tense shoulders or a furrowed brow. Tension that you didn’t even know you had, until it was gone!

I would liken the restorative effects of Reflexology to pressing the ‘restore factory functions’ button on your phone! Or the ‘switch it off and switch it back on again’ theory of computer care! The effect to the body is quite renewing.

As our stress drains away we experience a raft of physiological and psychological changes. The heart rate decreases, breathing becomes slower and deeper, raised blood pressure is lowered, digestion improves, and the ever busy, anxious or racing mind feels calmer at last. The body is no longer in survival mode, instead it is able to rest, repair, heal and find it’s own balance, just as nature intended.

“The ability of the body to maintain its health and overcome illness is, in fact, among nature’s most remarkable feats.” ~ Donna Eden

A release of stress, a relaxed body, a quiet mind; the perfect set up for us to enter human’s inbuilt ‘rest and repair’ mode – sleep. As a Reflexologist, I have often worked with clients to break the cycle of insomnia and I know that Reflexology has so much to offer in this area. And I still love getting those texts the next day!

If you suffer from insomnia or disordered sleep, I offer Reflexology treatments by appointment in central Exeter, and home visits throughout Mid Devon, including Crediton, Tiverton, Silverton, Cheriton Fitzpaine, Witheridge, Cowley, Tedburn, Bow  – and everywhere in between!

 

My Top 5 Flower Remedies for Mums

Flower remedies are such a powerful way to work with our emotions. I often see my Kinesiology clients make big emotional shifts when they find the right remedy. I use them myself lots too. Which got me thinking…There are certain remedies which lend themselves very nicely to the challenges of parenthood! I thought I’d share my top 5 flower remedies for Mums!

Flower remedies help us when we get ‘stuck’ in an emotional rut. As a vibrational remedy, they cause stuck energy to shift, and emotions to transform. 

Impatiens: This is a Bach remedy and it’s great for those days when patience completely escapes you! You feel easily irritated and totally frustrated with the kids and others around you – especially if they are not doing what you say or being very slow. You feel distinctly fidgety and restless, wanting everything done NOW! Your temper may flare too, although it quickly subsides.

I think my experience of motherhood should be sponsored by this remedy! It is great for slowing you down a little. As you feel yourself relaxing your perspective shifts; it feels very much like ‘zooming out’ on your scenario. You regain your ability to see the big picture and are able to reconnect with your calm, diplomatic and good humoured self. A very calming remedy.

Oak: This is another Bach remedy and it’s for those times when fatigue overwhelms you and your strength wanes. You keep struggling on, feeling that you have no alternative. After all, you are the one who has to stay strong, the one that everyone is relying on – and ordinarily you are very capable, strong and reliable. So you keep plodding on, probably feeling quite stressed, and as your energy dips, perhaps a bit depressed too.

I think any parent will recognise this scenario and that feeling that there is no solution because you just have to keep going. I feel that Oak helps to break that cycle in two ways. Firstly it helps to restore that core of energy inside you, which has a very grounding affect. Secondly, and perhaps as a result of feeling stronger and more grounded, it brings about a feeling that it would be OK to stop, and take a break once in a while. A very grounding and restorative remedy.

Five Corners: This is a Bush remedy and it is great for tackling self esteem issues. The way we perceive ourselves can be such a fluid thing, and most women will recognise that feeling of sinking into a spell of low self esteem. It feels as though our outgoing colourful selves do an about turn and retreat into hiding. That pervading feeling that we are just ‘not attractive’ takes control. We choose drab clothes, darker colours, and we hide within.

This lovely remedy comes from a vibrant, sparky shrub that very confidently shows its beauty! It helps us get back in touch with that very strong centre inside ourselves. From here rises a powerful, confident energy, and our life force flows again. We recognise our own innate beauty and it shines in our spirit, our eyes, our posture, and our energy. A very empowering essence.

Hornbeam: This is a Bach remedy and I call it the ‘Monday morning remedy’! It is great for that ‘groundhog day’ feeling that you sometimes get when there are small children around, and endless routines overwhelm your usual sense of energy and joy for the day. It’s a feeling that can grind you to a halt, creating inertia and procrastination and maybe even causing you to doubt your ability to face the daily tasks – even though you always do.

This remedy has a wonderful ability to break through that very dense, heavy energy and bring about instead a wonderful vibrant, lively and joyous feeling. Handy for a day of childcare! It also seems to bring a clarity and purpose to our thoughts and actions. A very energising and uplifting remedy.

Red Chestnut: This Bach remedy is for those times when our natural anxiety for our little ones becomes overwhelming. It may even cause natural worries to appear magnified. Most mums will recognise this feeling – it is an intense worry, maybe even a fear for their wellbeing, that takes you over and often you just can’t shake it off. You know it’s not helping, and worry that your children will pick up on your anxiety.

Red Chestnut frees us from the overwhelm of these feelings. Of course we may have concerns for our children, but our natural concern is balanced, and comes from a place of calm. Our children pick up on our confidence and we are able to calmly support them and provide the security they need to handle their own troubles. 

Some tips for using flower remedies

Finding the right remedy: Basically, you’ll know when you find the right one. You’ll recognise the description perfectly! And yet, another day you’ll read the very same description and it will mean nothing to you! (recommended book for beginners)  If you have a friendly local Kinesiologist 😉 you can get them to help you find a remedy using intuitive choice or muscle testing. This is a great way of getting feedback from your body/unconscious mind and can be very insightful.

How to take the remedy: Pop a few drops of your chosen remedy in a cup of water and sip it throughout the day. The flower remedies will work their magic while you get on with your day. I often feel that the key with flower remedies is little and often. It’s a vibrational remedy. So immerse yourself in the vibration!

xxx

Explore Flower Remedies through Kinesiology. Appointments available in central Exeter, Devon.

Photo credit: Foter / CC BY

Meridian Affirmations

This lovely series of Meridian Affirmations, by Dr John Diamond, are a series of positive statements, each one designed to wash a certain ‘flavour’ of positive energy over you, and to enhance your wellbeing on every level. I always have them close at hand during a kinesiology treatment. And they are firm favourites in our family too!

The completeness of this set of affirmations is it’s great strength, as each statement relates to one aspect of your body energy – a meridian. The 14 meridians are major energy pathways within our bodies and each pathway has particular physical, emotional & spiritual functions. Working with these meridian affirmation statements allows us to nourish each of our meridians in turn and enhance our wellbeing on every level.

The Meridian Affirmations work well as a meditative mantra. Take a deep, comfortable breath and with a long slow exhale state each affirmation, allowing the feeling associated with the words to wash over you with a cleansing and energising effect.

Using affirmations

I am often asked whether you need to ‘believe’ an affirmation in order for it to work. This is a really good question. Firstly, if you believed it, felt it and embodied it with all your heart and soul you would probably not need to say it! It would be like repeating, “My name is (insert name) and I have (insert colour) eyes.” over and over again. Pointless. You already know it.

So no, you don’t need to believe it wholeheartedly.

On the other hand, if I ask you to state something positive about yourself, repeatedly, that you really do not believe, feel or even suspect to be true on any level, then it will only serve to remind you of your doubts about yourself, and sink you into despair.

So yes, you do need to believe it a little, on some level!

Affirmations are much more likely to be statements that intelectually you know are true, but emotionally you are not quite feeling. When you state an affirmation forget any apprehension and immerse yourself in its core vibration, its feeling. If you state “I have peace”, allow a feeling of peace to wash over your body. Imagining, just for a moment, what it would be like to ‘have peace’. Allow that vibration to nourish you.

“In order to ensure the effectiveness of the affirmations, they have to be repeated with attention, conviction, interest and desire.”  Remez Sassoon

When affirmations don’t feel right.

When you hit on an affirmation (a positive statement about yourself) that makes your energy dip, makes you feel unhappy, or leaves you cold, we can say that the statement causes a psychological conflict. On the one hand you probably know the affirmation is based on a truth. On the other hand you cannot believe it is true. Affirmations that commonly cause psychological conflicts are things like…

“I am beautiful, just the way I am.”  or   “I am good enough.”

If you find an affirmation (a positive statement about yourself) that you simply cannot believe, on any level, it can be well worth exploring this further with a third party (your friendly, local PKP Kinesiologist for example!). A PKP Kinesiology session places a great deal of importance on clearing these psychological conflicts & reversals – simply because we see people make such enormous changes in their lives when they do.

Thanks for reading.

Find affirmations to energise and support you. Kinesiology appointments available in central Exeter, Devon.

Image courtesy of Federico Stevanin FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Muscles with Memories!

If muscles hold memories, what is your body storing? What is that pain in your shoulder? That niggle in your hips?

As a first year student of PKP Kinesiology I was daunted to find that one of my first clients was a very experienced Chiropractor with back problems! I was so intimidated! Thankfully she was wonderful lady. Each week she came, with a smile and an open mind and patiently worked through each of the new pain release techniques that I was learning in class.

As the weeks went by I was relieved to see that the pain, which she had suffered since a nasty car accident more than a year previously, was decreasing, she was less stressed and she had more energy. But something was missing… And then, one Monday in class, we learned about Postural Stress Release!

The PSR technique embraces the concept that muscles can ‘store’ memories. It explores the idea that an intensely emotional experience (frightening, traumatic, painful etc) can become locked into our muscular system, potentially affecting our posture long after the event and perhaps creating pain, weakness, or even restricted movement.

Postural Stress Release was the turning point for my client – and a fascinating experience for us both. In the safety of my clinic room, we recreated the accident scenario. Chairs and couches were moved around to represent the cars involved. My client took up her place at the steering wheel and, in (very) slow motion, we gently took her through the postures that her body had held during those few frightening seconds. As we moved, we used muscle testing, and reflex points to help us explore and release the intense emotions that arose from that time. It was a powerful experience.

Thankfully for my client (who had endured a year of very draining discomfort) it appeared that involving the ‘muscle memories’ was the key to releasing this problem for good. When we finished, the pain was simply gone, and what is more her posture had very visibly realigned. An amazing experience for us both!

It was such a dramatic change that it gave me the confidence to take a leap of faith and fully embrace the idea that our emotions really can directly affect our physical wellbeing. It is fascinating to see that long after the event, intense emotion can be recalled by not just the mind, but also the body, and associated with posture, pain or weakness.

Some of my colleagues have used this PSR technique to work with women who experienced Birth Trauma. As well as with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I’m sure its applications are endless. But what it showed me, and what I will always remember, is that the body and mind contain so many very subtle and intricate connections and that sometimes, healing means getting creative!

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What is PKP Kinesiology? It’s a very holistic therapeutic process which allows us to explore health and wellbeing at a very subtle level. As you can see from the example above it takes into account the whole persons experience; the conscious response and the unconscious response, on both physical and emotional levels.

Our mind and body present a tangled web of unseen connections! PKP Kinesiology considers the body and mind inseparable and uses techniques that have a wonderful way of making these connections become visible so that we can rewire, reprogram and free ourselves of both problems and pains.

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