All posts by Holistics

Online Qigong courses – Connecting Heaven and Earth

Sanbao Taiji & Qigong have created the second of a series of online Qigong courses and have hosted them at Udemy.  There are previews available for each of the online Qigong courses, allowing you to get a better idea of what each course has to offer.  Occasionally, we will be providing discount codes for our courses and these will be found at the bottom of each course description.

Save £10.00 on each course by using the coupon codes!

 

Online Qigong courses

Connecting Heaven and Earth Qigong

A Five Elements, stand-alone Qigong exercise.

Coupon code (£10.00 discount – expires 31/3/2017) CHAE.50_FEB717

What Will I Learn?

  • Attain Wuji posture, create a quiet body/mind.
  • The six movements of the Connecting Heaven and Earth Qigong.

Requirements

  • No prior knowledge of Qigong required. This course is for all levels.

View Curriculum

DescriptionOnline qigong courses - connecting heaven and earth qigong

This course is for people who are serious about Qigong, no matter what their current level of experience is. It is for people who want to practice true Qigong, to work Internally, rather than practicing slowed down aerobics.

Qigong is an Internal skill with the function of enhancing the practitioner’s Qi (energy) and the flow of Qi within the meridian system and energy body.

The movements and postures that Qigong uses are NOT Qigong in its entirety. They are one of the tools used to guide the Qi………………. just ONE of the tools.

In this course you will learn

  • To create a quiet body/mind through the use of Wuji stance. Poor posture creates distraction, noise, that interferes with the focus needed to guide the Qi.
  • To make use of the subtleties within the movements and postures to accurately guide the Qi.
  • To use the breath to guide the Qi and to help change the brainwave pattern from Beta wave to Alpha wave.
  • To use listening jing in order to gain tangible awareness of the Qi and the changes produced during Qigong. If you do not know what it is that you are meant to be guiding how can you guide it?
  • To become passionate about Qigong.

You can preview this course at Udemy

Cost: £60.00
Coupon code (£10.00 discount – expires 31/3/2017) CHAE.50_FEB717

Online Qigong course – the 8 Exceptional Vessels

Sanbao Taij & Qigong  have created their first online Qigong course and have hosted them at Udemy.  There are previews available for each of the online Qigong course, allowing you to get a better idea of what each course has to offer.  Occasionally, we will be providing discount codes for our courses and these will be found at the bottom of each course description.

Save £10.00 on each course by using the coupon codes!

The Eight Exceptional Vessels Qigong

Working with the Qi of the Extraordinary Meridians

Coupon code (£10.00 discount – expires 31/3/2017) 09MMH45_7_G2

What Will I Learn?

  • Create a quiet body/mind by using Wuji stance.
  • Practice three Qigong exercises that work specifically with the Extraordinary Meridians, the Exceptional Vessels.

Requirements

  • No previous knowledge of Qigong required. This course is suitable for all levels.

View Curriculum

DescriptionOnline qigong course - eight exceptional vessels qigong

These Qigong exercises work with the Qi that is stored in the Eight Exceptional Vessels (aka the Extraordinary Meridians). These vessels are often likened to reservoirs that store Qi and blood while the Meridians can be likened to rivers that carry the Qi.

As well as using the Yi (that is the brain), the eyes and the breath to guide the Qi, these exercises also make use of the Master Points and the Coupled Points.

The quality, essence, of the Qi of the Exceptional Vessels is tangibly different to that of the Twelve Meridians. These exercises will open out an opportunity for you to experience this for yourself.

You can preview the course at Udemy

Cost: £60.00
Coupon code (£10.00 discount – expires 31/3/2017) 09MMH45_7_G2

Can Crystal Healing Help

Can Crystal Healing Help?

crystal healing - crystals

Crystal healing is the placement of crystals over the chakras and subtle energy centres of the body. During treatment, the practitioner will choose what crystals they deem best suited for the client utilising its energy healing qualities for their specific needs. Crystal healing has the ability to clear and remove energy blocks within the aura that cause physical and emotional distress, helping to deal with past trauma, phobias, addictions, etc.

According to practitioners of Crystal Therapy, each Crystal has its own healing qualities and although they can be used individually it is more common for a combination of crystals to be used. Some examples of the healing qualities are: –

Carnelian: 2nd chakra. Helps asthma, and blood pressure. And affects the circulatory system, kidneys, stimulate appetite, emotions, sexuality, physical energy, celebration, reproductive system, menstrual cramps, arthritis, kidneys, gall bladder, pancreas. Confidence, assertiveness, drive, Balance creativity and mental processes.

Emerald: 4th to 7th chakra. Lifts depression and relieves insomnia. Has a tranquillising effect on the heart (emotions). Respiratory system, heart, lymph nodes, blood, thymus, balance blood sugar, childbirth, eyesight. Strengthen heart chakra for growth, peace, harmony, patience, love, and honesty.

Sourced from
Pro-Holistic.co.uk

 

Therapist info

Crystal healing - crystals

I you wish your website to be included on this page please see our Resources Page for details.

 

 

 

Crystal Healing Scotland

Crystal Paths

 

Resources

Further information on Crystal Therapy including case studies, etc.

If you wish to add further resource information about Crystal Therapy please contact us with the details.

 

Please note that Holistic-Pages.com makes no guarantee regarding the validity, efficacy, or safety of any therapy and we advise that medical advice should be sought from a qualified medical practitioner regarding any illness.
Holistic-Pages.com is not responsible for the credentials, qualifications and insurance status of any of the therapists who have links from this site and we advise that these should be checked before any treatment is undertaken.

 

 

Feldenkrais Method – Moshé Feldenkrais (1904–1984)

Feldenkrais Method

Feldenkrais method at work

Developed by Moshé Feldenkrais, DSc (1904–1984), the Feldenkrais Method is a somatic educational system that aims to improve the range of movement, aiming to expand and refine the use of the self through awareness (propreoception), in order to reduce any limitations in movement (including any resultant pain), promoting general well-being. Usually regarded as a complementary medicine practice, although in Sweden it is practised within the general healthcare system.

Moshe Feldenkrais was a distinguished scientist and engineer whose career included work at the Curie Institute in Paris in the 1930’s. He believed that good health is founded on good function and asserted that his method of body/mind exploration improved health by making individuals more aware of their minds and bodies: “What I am after is more flexible minds, not just more flexible bodies”.

This is a method that employs self-awareness, experiential self-education and movement…………. Self-movement rather than movement through manipulation. His background as a physicist and engineer was augmented by his love of the martial
arts (Judo & Ju Jitsu) went a long way towards his pioneering work.

There have been several scientific studies carried out to investigate the effect of Feldenkrais treatments. One of these, in 1999, used a randomized controlled trial to investigate whether Feldenkrais or physiotherapy would reduce complaints from neck pain, shoulder pain and disability. There were three groups and the participants were randomly assigned to 1) the Feldenkrais program, 2) physiotherapy treatment, or 3) a control group. The Feldenkrais and physiotherapy groups were given over 16 weeks of paid work. The Feldenkrais group showed a significant decrease in complaints from neck and shoulders and in disability during leisure time. The Physiotherapy group showed no change in complaints and the Control group showed a worsening.

Benefits:

  • Greater relaxation and well-being.
  • Relief from tension and muscular pain.
  • Easier and fuller breathing.
  • Increased vitality.
  • Improved performance.
  • Greater ease in everyday activities.

therapist info

Feldenkrais method - aligning posture
If you wish your website to be included on this page please see our Resources Page for details.

 

 

Scott Clark, London

Jackie Adkins, Forres

 

 

Resources

Further information on Feldenkrais including case studies, etc.

If you wish to add further resource information about Feldenkrais please contact us with the details.

 

Please note that Holistic-Pages.com makes no guarantee regarding the validity, efficacy, or safety of any therapy and we advise that medical advice should be sought from a qualified medical practitioner regarding any illness.
Holistic-Pages.com is not responsible for the credentials, qualifications and insurance status of any of the therapists who have links from this site and we advise that these should be checked before any treatment is undertaken.

 

 

Shiatsu of Namikoshi and Masunaga

Shiatsu

Shiatsu being applied to the Yu points.

Shiatsu (pronounced shee-at-soo, from shi, meaning finger, and atsu, meaning pressure), originated in Japan and was recognised, by the Japanese Government, as a separate and distinct therapy. The first known reference to shiatsu is thought to have been in the 1915 book, by Tenpaku Tamai, Shiatsu Ryoho.

According to the Japanese medical department of the Ministry of Welfare –  “Shiatsu technique refers to the use of fingers and palm of one’s hand to apply pressure to particular sections on the surface of the body for the purpose of correcting the imbalances of the body, and for maintaining and promoting health. It is also a method contributing to the healing of specific illnesses.” — December, 1957.

 

There are two main schools of Shiatsu: Namikoshi style and Masunaga (Zen) style.

 

Namikoshi Style

In 1940, Tokujiro Namikoshi founded the Japan Shiatsu College and systematised a form of shiatsu therapy based on Western anatomy and physiology. Namikoshi’s system of shiatsu is defined by the application of pressure using the fingers, palms the thumbs on points that are related to the central and autonomic nervous systems with the aim of preventing and curing illness by stimulating the body’s natural powers of recuperation and promoting general good health.

Diagnosis and treatment are combined with the hands and fingers of the therapists being sensitive enough to detect abnormalities in the skin or muscles, or body heat on contact, being able to pinpoint these irregularities and determine a treatment plan.

Holistic in nature, Namikoshi Shiatsu treats the whole body as well as focusing on any localised areas that require additional attention.

 

Masunaga, or Zen, Style

Zen Shiatsu was developed by Shizuto Masunaga (1925 – 1981) who was born into a family of Shiatsu practitioners. After graduating in Psychology from Kyoto University, he went on to graduate from the Japan Shiatsu College (1959) and went on to teach Psychology at there. Masunaga studied traditional shiatsu methods alongside the classic oriental medical texts, integrating these with western psychology. Masunaga went on to open his own Shiatsu school in Tokyo, the Iokai Shiatsu Centre. He integrated the traditional methods with western physiology, and went on to develop the extension of the classical meridians to cover the whole body along with a coherent theory to back his approach.

Masanuga, recognized extensions of the acupuncture channels in the arms and legs (known as the supplementary meridians). He thought that shiatsu should be holistic and involve the whole body. Zen Shiatsu requires the practitioner to be focused and sensitive to the Ki, and use both hands during treatment, the “mother” hand providing support and connection while the other hand treats by applying pressure to the tsubos (points).

In both styles the essence of shiatsu is that diagnosis and Treatment are combined.

Shiatsu was one of the eight disciplines named in the Collins Report adopted by the European Parliament in 1997 (European Parliament 1997) which called for steps to regulate complementary therapy practice.

 

Some of the conditions that respond well to Shiatsu:

  • Headaches
  • Migraine
  • Back Ache
  • Stiffness
  • Neck & Shoulder Pain
  • Panic Attacks
  • Palpitations
  • Stress
  • Digestive Disorders

Shiatsu is done at floor level on a futon mat. The recipient remains fully clothed and loose, comfortable, clothing preferably should be worn.

 

Therapist info

Shiatsu neck stretch technique.

If you wish your website to be included on this page please see our Resources Page for details.

 

 

 

Lifelines, Dingwall

Jane Harper, Cornwall

Pro Holistic Shiatsu, Lanarkshire Pro Holistic provide Shatsu, Sports Injury treatment, Stress Management & Qigong form their clinic in East Kilbride.

 

 

Resources

Further information on Shiatsu including case studies, etc.

If you wish to add further resource information about Shiatsu please contact us with the details.

 

Please note that Holistic-Pages.com makes no guarantee regarding the validity, efficacy, or safety of any therapy and we advise that medical advice should be sought from a qualified medical practitioner regarding any illness.
Holistic-Pages.com is not responsible for the credentials, qualifications and insurance status of any of the therapists who have links from this site and we advise that these should be checked before any treatment is undertaken.

Incoming search terms:

  • shiatsu namikoshi

Rolfing, developed by Dr. Ida P. Rolf

Rolfing

Rolfing - Ida P. Rolf, Ph.D

The name “Rolfing” was derived from the founder of the therapy Dr. Ida P. Rolf (1896-1979) of New York. Dr. Rolf had a Ph.D in biological chemistry and, while still young, she became an Associate at the Rockefeller Institute, studying mathematics and atomic physics in Zurich, and homeopathic medicine in Geneva.

 

Fundamentally, Rolfing consists of some basic concepts about human structure:

  • Most human beings are significantly out of alignment with gravity.
  • People function better when they are lined up with the gravitational field of the earth.
  • The human body is so plastic that its alignment can be brought into harmony with gravity at practically any time of life.

Structural Integration is the key to Rolfing as it breaks down a build up of unwanted tissue/facia that is developed by the body to compensate for posture that is out of the natural line of gravity, creating support for the resulting unnatural posture. In time, the neuromuscular system recognises this un-natural position as normal and natural. The aim of Rolfing is to re-educate the body in order for it to regain its natural/proper alignment in relation to gravity, in other words regaining its structural integration.

 

What Structural Integration does:

  • Releases the body from lifelong patterns of tension.
  • Relieves chronic strain and allows the muscles to be more efficient.
  • Relieves back, neck and joint pain.
  • Realigns and balances the body in gravity.
  • Improves posture.
  • Increasea vitality.

As a result of Rolfing, the thickened and toughened tissues become soft, re-hydrated and more pliable. This enables structural integration, changes the body’s patterns, organising the imbalances in the tissue and shifts the weight and balance of the body more evenly. This gives the muscles the ability to relax and loosen, creating a more upright and balanced posture with greater flexibility, range of motion and ease in movement.

Dr. Rolf developed many different techniques to release immobilized joints increasing mobility and stability. Rolfing works with the deep myofascial structures. These structures are loose connective strong tissue that often contain fat and covers all muscles. Rolfing use gentle hands-on techniques but often, due to the build up of different types of fascia, some people may experience some discomfort during the treatment.

The aim of Rolfing is to educate each patient about their body, making them aware of their responsibility to maintain optimal function. The key to optimal function is alignment and once the patient starts to understand the structural integrity of the human body and experience the health benefits that result it is harder to return to old habits.

 

Therapist info

Rolfing method being applied.

If you wish your website to be included on this page please see our Resources Page for details.

 

 

Ian Edwards, Stonehaven, Scotland

The Rolfing Space, London & Brighton

 

Resources

Further information on Rolfing including case studies, etc.

If you wish to add further resource information about Rolfing please contact us with the details.

 

Please note that Holistic-Pages.com makes no guarantee regarding the validity, efficacy, or safety of any therapy and we advise that medical advice should be sought from a qualified medical practitioner regarding any illness.
Holistic-Pages.com is not responsible for the credentials, qualifications and insurance status of any of the therapists who have links from this site and we advise that these should be checked before any treatment is undertaken.

 

 

Herbal Healing the Natural Way

Herbal Healing
herbal healing - medieval herbal tome

Herbal healing, as a medicine, uses plants and plant extracts in various forms to boost our body systems, addressing any imbalances and ailments.

The use of plants for medicines around the world still vastly exceeds the use of modern synthetic medicines and, even in our modern world, nearly three quarters of all medicine taken will be herbal in origin. Many plants contain substances that have therapeutic properties, including many of the herbs and spices we eat in our food.

Herbal Medicine, Herbal Healing, or Herbalism has its roots in the traditional medicinal or folk medicine practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts and written records have the Chinese and Greeks using herbs for medicinal purposes 3000 years ago. The Herbal Medicine we see today traces its origins back to 1864 when the National Institute of Medical Herbalists was formed.

Herbs are used in a variety of ways: –

  • Herbal extracts.
  • Infusion (steeping the dried herb in boiling water) and this is drunk as a tea.
  • Used topically (on the skin), when it is added to a neutral base such as lanolin, vegetable oil or aqueous cream.

Many of the modern pharmacological medicines owe a lot to the active ingredient of traditional herbs that have been extracted or synthesized. However, Herbal Medicine is at variance with this, as the art of prescribing herbs will often include a mediating action within the herbs to prevent the body over reacting. In 2001, researchers identified 122 compounds used in mainstream medicine that were derived from “ethnomedical” plant sources; 80% of these compounds were used in the same or related manner as the traditional use.

An example of this is, the now taken for granted aspirin…………

  • 400 BC – The Greek physician Hippocrates discovers that the bark and leaves of the willow tree (rich in a substance called salicin) can be used to relieve pain and fever.
  • 1826 – The German chemist, Johann Andreas Buchner experiments with salicin and creates salicylic acid (SA).
  • 1897 – Chemist, Felix Hoffmann, at Bayer in Germany, chemically synthesizes a stable form of ASA. The compound later becomes the active ingredient in aspirin named – “a” from acetyl, “spir” from the spirea plant (which yields salicin) and “in,” a common suffix for medications.
  • 1899 – Bayer distributes aspirin powder to physicians to give to their patients. Aspirin is soon the number one drug worldwide.

 

Therapist info

herbal healing - herbs are not just for food

 

If you wish your website to be included on this page please see our Resources Page for details.

 

 

Archway Herbal Clinic

Bendle, Sheffield

 

Resources

Further information on Herbal Medicine including case studies, etc.

 

Please note that Holistic-Pages.com makes no guarantee regarding the validity, efficacy, or safety of any therapy and we advise that medical advice should be sought from a qualified medical practitioner regarding any illness.
Holistic-Pages.com is not responsible for the credentials, qualifications and insurance status of any of the therapists who have links from this site and we advise that these should be checked before any treatment is undertaken.

 

 

Optimal Health Look after yourself

Look after yourself

To look after yourself and maintain optimal health and well-being you have to take some responsibility for your own health. You might like to consider some of the following.  These techniques cost very little in terms of money or time.

Water

Most people will improve their general health simply by drinking more water.  Good hydration encourages good drainage of the lymph system, and enables the body to excrete waste products and toxins out of the body cells more effectively; it enables nutrients to be more easily absorbed into the cells.

All the health and beauty magazines advise you to drink water.  Ideally a person should drink 25 ml per kilogram of body weight per day (so a 60 kg person should drink 60 x 25 ml = 1500ml or 1.5 litres per day).  This would increase the more physically active you are or depending on your work environment.  Bottled water is best.  Tap water is OK, but is full of chlorine, metals, antibiotics and hormones etc., and will become unpalatable once you are used to the real thing! Tea, coffee and fizzy drinks etc. are not utilised by the body in the same way.  Many of these drinks contain additives, preservatives, sweeteners or sugar that upset normal metabolism.

Yoga Exercises – for flexibility of body and mind.

By stretching the muscles and tissues of the body, energy flows more freely.  Ten or fifteen minutes of stretching in the morning is a great way to start the day, and the more often you do it, the better you’ll feel.

Always move gently from one position to the next and don’t over-stretch.  None of these exercises should cause pain or discomfort.

Salute to the sun

  1. Stand relaxed, feet together, hands together as if praying.
  2. Breathe in.  Stretch arms high above head, bending gently backwards.
  3. Breathe out.  Bend forwards, starting with the head bent, then the neck, upper back and lower back.  Arms hang loosely downwards towards the feet.  Feel each of the vertebrae stretching as you bend forwards.  Bend knees, if necessary, until your hands touch the floor.
  4. Breathe in.  Left leg moves back, right knee bends at right angles as if on the starting blocks for a race.  Head raised.
  5. Breathe out.  Hands on the floor, feet on the floor, lift bottom into the air making a right-angle at the waist.  Head drops down relaxed.
  6. Breathe in.  Lying flat on the floor, hands level with shoulders, push up so that your shoulders are off the floor while your hips are still touching the floor.  Head up.
  7. Breathe out.  Position (e), – bottom in the air.
  8. Breathe in.  Bring right leg forwards and go into Position (d) – starting blocks.
  9. Breathe out.  Position (c) – standing, bent over, hands hanging towards the floor.
  10. Breathe in.  Slowly stand up straight.  Stretch arms high above head, bending gently backwards – position (b).
  11. Breathe out and return to starting position, feet together, hands together as if praying.

Spine rotations and stretches

  1. Feet fixed firmly on the ground, legs shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent.  Keeping knees and hips facing forwards, rotate body first to the right, then to the left.  Allow relaxed arms to windmill around the body.  Turn the head and neck fully in direction of rotation. Repeat 15-30 times.  This helps to loosen up the spine.
  2. Feet apart, knees slightly bent.  Fold arms.  Bend forward, slowly flexing the neck, upper spine then lower spine.  Head down and dip gently in the middle 5 – 10 times.  Move your arms and body and dip to the left 5 – 10 times, to the right 5 – 10 times.  Finish off with 5 – 10 dips in the middle.  Notice how much further you can now bend.
  3. Stand with arms at sides.  Breathe in and lift arms forward and up above your head.  Breathe out and bring your arms backwards behind you and back to your sides.  Repeat 5 – 10 times.
  4. Keeping torso vertical, arms out to the sides, put one leg straight out behind you and bend the other knee in front of you.  Dip in the middle towards the ground 5 – 10 times.

Nutrition

We are what we eat.  Like the computer – garbage in = garbage out, i.e. no energy and no productivity.

Processed and refined foods are a poor source of nutrition.  If possible food should be freshly cooked.  Include plenty of fruit and vegetables and whole-wheat products rather than refined alternatives – (at least 50% of the diet should be raw foods).

Consider eating organic foods – we already have, on average, 500+ different pesticides in our bodies impairing our health!

Food combining is another option for some – by not mixing protein and carbohydrate at the same meal, some people feel more energetic.

Supplements such as antioxidants and fish oil are highly recommended to make up for the deficiencies in our diet today.

Your blood group may affect your ability to metabolise certain foods.  Type O tends to be intolerant of wheat and cow’s milk;  type A tends to be intolerant of red meats.

Meditation / Relaxation

There are many different meditation and relaxation techniques which you can use, e.g. the Silva technique, visualisation exercises, etc.  Do two 15 minute meditation or relaxation sessions a day to calm you down and replenish your energy.

Exercise with attitude

Don’t give yourself a hard time!  Whatever you do, enjoy it e.g. if you go running, don’t always make it a time trial.  Enjoy the fresh air.

Treat yourself well at bath and shower time.

Use aromatherapy oils in the bath.  In the shower, stand tall and be aware of your aura growing as you breathe in.  When you breathe out, let your stresses and worries go down the plughole.

Massage the tension out of your muscles and smooth out the worry lines in your face.

Language and self-talk

The way we talk to ourselves determines how we feel about ourselves.  Use positive language – “good”, “clever”, rather than negative language – “bad”, “stupid”.  If you make a mistake, rather than saying “I was stupid”, acknowledge it by saying, “that wasn’t very clever”.  Next time someone asks you how you feel, rather than saying, “not bad”,

try saying, “Pretty good thank you”.  If your not feeling good you can always say, “Could be better”.  See how different you feel using different expressions.  Use positive language with other people, especially your loved ones – they will feel better, and you will feel better.

Goals

It is important to have goals – to know what you really want for yourself.  You will feel more fulfilled if you know that you are doing what is right for you.  Your goal may be to be a nurse, it may be to work with children, it may be to start a charity for refugees, or to be a show-jumper, or to create beautiful gardens or it may be to be a mother (or father).  If you are on the path towards fulfilling your goal, life becomes a whole lot easier.

Complementary therapies

If you think you are getting really out of balance, e.g. feeling over-stressed and anxious, treat yourself to a massage, or Reiki, kinesiology, reflexology, aromatherapy etc. – they really help.

Your GP

See your GP if it is appropriate – if you have a sudden illness or unexplained pain.  Be good to yourself – if you are unwell, get treatment.

Shiatsu Bodywork

Shiatsu Bodywork

Shiatsu has its roots in the Chinese healing systems. It was later adopted and developed by the Japanese after the introduction of Chen (Zen) Buddhism, aspects of Chinese philosophy and culture, and Chinese medicine into Japan in the Sixth Century.  It incorporates a meditative approach to the healing process where the practitioner, through experience and with the proper training cultivates sensitivity to the movement of Ki by increasing his/her listening skill.

Zen Shiatsu bodywork is used to treat chronic ailments as well as promoting health, wellbeing and the ability to fight off illness.  Treatment consists of two main tools, sedation and tonification of the meridians and points. With sedation the object is to prepare the Ki for movement, and this is done through a series of joint rotations, stretches, rubbing and palming. tonification is the attraction of the mobilised Ki by using pressure on the meridians and points (tsubos), with this pressure being applied using the thumbs, fingers, elbows and the knees.  Shiatsu therapy is usually given at floor level on a futon. Unlike some other forms of body therapy, Shiatsu is carried out with the client fully clothed and without the application of oils, etc.

Using Imagery

Using Imagery

When using imagery the images we form in our mind are, if we did but know it, one of our greatest inner resources.  In nursing practice in recent years there has been a growing appreciation of the integration of body, mind and spirit and that if we adopt therapeutic practices which address each of these aspects, we have access to additional healing resources and come some way to treating the whole person.  Practitioners who use imagery will have discovered its usefulness and versatility in this integration process and found the images are an interface – a means for two-way communication – between body, mind and soul.  The conscious and creative use of images gives us a way, through visualisation, guided imagery, or interactive imagework, to influence the course of our day positively or negatively, to support healing or even give us access to our unconscious mind.

Our thought, memories, beliefs, moods, feelings and sensations are, without our knowing it, translated into images, and together they form the basis of how we experience ourselves in our daily life.  Mostly we believe them to be unchangeable.  However through any simple relaxation and visualisation exercise (for example imagining ourselves lying on a beach, hearing the gentle lapping water, feeling warm, relaxed, happy in the company of those we love) we can experience changes in thought or mood.  We can experience psychological changes by simply imagining ourselves taking a bite out of a big juicy lemon and notice how we salivate, or by visualising a plate of our favourite food and notice how our tummy rumbles.  These very simple examples show how the imagination influences and is so integrated into our experience and demonstrates the great untapped potential of the mind if were able to utilise it.

The study of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) has done much to validate the therapeutic use of imagery.  Research shows how the use of imagery can increase immunity, change unhealthy psychological patterns and positively influence healing.  (Pert 1997) This is borne out anecdotally, and has been recounted in books by patients who have decided to adopt such self-help practices to support their healing.  For example, it was a revelation to Vernon Templemore when using imagery, to discover: “Your body does not have a mind of its own, it has your mind and it is your mind which tells it what to do” (Templemore 1991).

Imagery has a tremendous range, from simple visualisations described above, to very specific use – to stimulate bone or wound healing for example – right through to interactive imagery, where a dialogue between body and mind, or the conscious and the unconscious self, or the personal and the transpersonal, is possible.  Imagework, the most developed form of interactive imagery, is a self-help tool which enables us to feel and be more fully ourselves and gain insight into the source or meaning of illness, or in another context they can underpin the emotional and psychological care of patients, and even more importantly, it can be a means for personal development for us all, restoring the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual balance – health promotion in its truest sense.