Tag Archives: anxiety

Reflexology, the Ingham Method

Reflexology

Reflexology in action.

Reflexology is a form of therapy that involves applying pressure to specific reflex areas in the feet and hands which correspond to all of the glands, organs and parts of the body as well as the using massage techniques (effleurage) on the feet. Reflexology is based on the feet being a reflection of the body and, as a whole, corresponding with it. So, it is possible to find out which areas of the body are out of balance by working the feet. Treatment can also be given, via the feet, to stimulate the body’s own healing mechanism. The hands and ears also have similar reflex areas and can be used.

Reflexology traces its origin reaches back to 2330BC. In 1899 the Tomb of Ankhmahor, situated on the northern side of Teti’s pyramid at Saqqara, was excavated and some of the reliefs, on the walls, show that the ancient Egyptian physicians used a form
of reflexology. The tomb is more commonly known as the Physicain’s Tomb.

Modern Reflexology was pioneered, researched and developed in the 1930’s by Eunice Ingham. The Ingham Method is the leading method of Reflexology used throughout the world.

By stimulating the reflex points correctly, Reflexology can help many health problems in a natural way and can be used for preventative maintenance as well as reacting to any existing issues. However, the primary benefit of Reflexology is that the client can achieve a deep state of relaxation (the alpha state, where the brainwave pattern has slowed down).

 

Benefits of Reflexology:

  • Relieves stress and tension.
  • Improves circulation.
  • Increased relaxation.
  • Improve your energy
  • Reduces pain.
  • Reduces anxiety.
  • Improved sleep patterns.

 

A Reflexology session usually lasts about an hour. There is no need to get undressed as it is only the shoes and socks that are required to be removed. After a session, the client may become aware of the changes taking place as toxins are released, processed and eliminated from congested systems.

Therapist info

Reflexology chart.

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Gill Wah, Ross & Cromarty

Leeds Reflexology

Sonia Campos, Brighton

 

 

Resources

Further information on Reflexology including case studies, etc.

If you wish to add further resource information about Reflexology 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 Therapy

Shiatsu Therapy

SHIATSU (meaning “finger pressure”) – is a Japanese therapy whose roots can be traced back to Chinese medical traditions and the Japanese massage know as Amna. Shiatsu combines Western knowledge of anatomy and physiology with the wisdom of, ancient, Eastern philosophy, employing techniques of manual pressure (using  the fingers, thumbs & elbows) while also employing stretching to release muscular tension and stress.
There are a number of conditions that Shiatsu can benefit.  These include: arthritic pain, menstrual irregularities, insomnia, muscular tension, muscular pain, digestive problems, anxiety, stress, and headaches.

By using sensitive, yet deep, pressure, applied to the tsubos (acupuncture points) along the meridians (the body’s energy pathways) Shiatsu induces a state of deep relaxation that allows the body’s natural healing mechanisms function more efficiently.  It is well documented that stress & tension are detrimental to health and the operation of the immune system.
Shiatsu is, traditionally, given at floor level, on a futon.  However, there are new techniques that allow for treatment to be carried out on a therapy chair or couch.  The client is normally fully clothed during treatment and no oils, etc. are used.
Shiatsu can be used to treat people with specific ailments but the real beauty of this healing system is that it is most efficacious when received on a regular to keep the receiver in a good state of health and wellbeing.
Shiatsu can help with:

  • Stiff neck and shoulders
  • Headaches
  • Digestion
  • Anxiety
  • Migraines
  • Sciatica
  • Menstrual/menopausal imbalances
  • Insomnia
  • Back pain
  • Post traumatic stress
  • Fatigue
  • Poor circulation

“This is the kind of massage I have always dreamed of and now I know it has a name, Shiatsu!” Billie Piper

Hypnotherapy – What it is really about?

Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis is widely used in the private health sector and to an increasing degree in the NHS. It is an effective, non-invasive treatment with few risks or side effects and is wholly holistic in its approach. Yet it is still very much misunderstood.

Although it is a natural state and can occur unprompted (daydreaming is a level of hypnosis), hypnosis, in the therapeutic setting, is best defined as an altered state of awareness usually induced in one person by another, where an individual remains responsive to suggestion.

Although hypnosis is said to resemble sleep the two states are in fact different. The two main distinguishing features can be shown using an EEG (electro encephalograph). Stage 1 sleep and hypnosis are difficult to distinguish, however stage 2, 3 and 4 of sleep are quite different in that there is an absence of delta waves in the hypnotic state which are present in stage 4 sleep. Secondly, the pattern given when a client experiences dreaming in an hypnotic sleep is the same as that of a client in the waking state however in sleep, the pattern in the dreaming state is quite different.

Hypnotherapy is a treatment procedure which utilises appropriate techniques with specific therapeutic goals. There are two essential components required for the successful induction of hypnosis.

  • Rapport between therapist and client.
  • Client motivation.

With both of these present about 90% of the population can be guided into the hypnotic state and contrary to popular belief, no one can be hypnotised against his or her will.

It is generally accepted that there are four levels of hypnosis with the number of people able to achieve each level lessening as the hypnotic state deepens.

The four levels of hypnosis are:

  1.  Hypnoidal – where relaxation can be experienced.
  2. Light hypnosis – limb catalepsy, diminished anxiety and sensory alteration are experienced.
  3. Medium depth hypnosis – here some analgesia can be experienced and there  is acceptance of post hypnotic suggestion.
  4. Deep hypnosis  or somnambulism – here, a  considerable analgesic effect can be experienced and there is profound acceptance of post hypnotic suggestions.

During hypnosis the conscious mind, which thinks and acts in the present, is least dominant while the subconscious mind is the most dominant and receptive part of the mind function.  The subconscious mind can undertake most of the functions of the conscious mind but it cannot take on the ability to criticise and as the dominant mind, the subconscious mind is much more open to, and accepting of suggestions given. It is important to understand however, that the client has total control over the session and will not accept suggestions against his/her will, moral code etc. Suggestions accepted in this state are accepted much more readily and acted upon much more powerfully because the ability to be critical and analytical is switched off.

This makes hypnosis a powerful therapeutic tool in the management of many health challenges. But for it’s therapeutic value, hypnosis would be no different from for example mediation or relaxation.

There are two principle methods of employing hypnosis therapeutically; symptom removal by suggestion and hypno-analysis. Symptom removal by suggestion is limited because it deals with effect rather than cause and is best applied when there is no psychological impact on the presenting problem. It can however be an effective tool in the management of pain control, the treatment of insomnia, aiding application to study and so on. Hypno-analysis on the other-hand delves deeper. It combines hypnosis with psychoanalysis and endeavours to pursue and find the cause of the problem. It is easier to bring this about when the subconscious mind is in control and the conscious, analytical mind is put to the side. With so many problems, if the cause is not reconciled, then the symptoms are likely to resurface. A comparison of the two techniques can be seen in the case of phobia. Suggestion therapy may help a client manage the fear through for example behavioural desensitisation or perhaps suggestions of relaxation. However, hypno-analysis would seek out the hidden triggering factor and deal with that, making it a more effective therapy for the client. Symptom removal by suggestion therefore has limitations. With hypno-analysis on the other-hand, in dealing with the originating source, there is likely to be a much longer lasting therapeutic effect.

Hypnotherapy is considered appropriate where: 

  • It is known to be effective in the management of the presenting problem.
  • The client is responsive to hypnotic induction.
  • There is rapport between therapist and client.
  • The client is motivated to resolve the presenting challenge.
  • The use of hypnotherapy would not have a detrimental effect on the client.

 

The format of a session is directed by the needs of the client, taking into account the character of the client and the presenting condition. It will generally consists of:

  • A holistic clinical assessment.
  • The hypnosis itself which consist generally of induction, deepening, visualisation, ego boosting, the application of appropriate techniques to provide the desired therapeutic effect, further ego boosting and or positive reinforcements and termination.
  • Post hypnotic discussion to answer any questions the client may have and the discussion regarding any follow-up treatments/care.

The number of sessions required varies from case to case and is determined by the needs and progress of the client in attaining the desired therapeutic goals.

Like many of the therapies labelled ‘complementary’ or alternative’, hypnotherapy has no formal regulation. It is up to individual practitioners to assess and evaluate the various training schools and the methods they employ, which associations they are affiliated to and what that body provides to both therapist and client. For example; Is there a code of conduct, including disciplinary procedures, What post graduate training is available, Is there a code of ethics, Does the body insist on or provide appropriate insurance for practice etc.?

Perhaps when the issues of streamlining training and setting up a regulated professional body have been resolved many of the myths surrounding hypnotherapy will be overcome, allowing more people to experience the benefits of the application of hypnotherapy as a treatment strategy.

Stress at work

stress at workStress at work

Among the most common types of stress is good old-fashioned job stress, stress at work, and it is easy to understand why. With the economic slow-down of the last few years, employers are trying to squeeze more and more work out of their employees in order to keep the profits. Unfortunately, this is all too often the case with workers and people need to learn how to manage work stress. Otherwise, you will simply drown yourself in worry and drive yourself batty with concern over your workload and your job security.

The first thing to remember about job stress is that it really does not help you get work done. In fact, too much stress can actually prevent you from getting through your projects. Though every worker can point to a time when the chips were down and they rose to challenge, the fact is that long-term stress does not help people focus. Yes, short-term bursts of stress can heighten your ability to focus, but any period of stress that lasts longer than a day or even a few hours deteriorates your ability to focus. This is because the very hormones that heighten focus over a short period of time eventually degrade concentration and make you unable to keep your mind on the task at hand. Needless to say, this does not help you in the workplace.

One of the best ways to manage workplace stress is to take a break every so often. This means that you should give yourself a short break about every fifteen minutes or so and avail yourself of a break of a few minutes about every hour.
If you have the self-awareness to notice that you are not able to focus completely, you should give your eyes a break and take a quick stretch break in your chair. These breaks should be taken about every fifteen minutes, as they will allow your brain to recover a little bit of energy and allow you to return to the task at hand.

Additionally, every hour, stand up and walk away from your desk. This break should consist of some task not related to work or your desk and it is vital for maintaining concentration and reducing job stress. Go get a soft drink, take a restroom break, or simply walk the halls for about 3-5 minutes. This will not only give your body a break, it will provide your mind with an opportunity to relax. It is the simple act of doing something mindless that helps your mind. Just like muscles, the brain needs a rest and recovery period in order to get its strength back. Remember, you cannot remain completely focused forever, just like you cannot sprint forever.

If you do not take a break, your mind will start taking its own breaks. This is otherwise known as “having your mind wander.” This is a tremendously frustrating phenomenon and it can create severe job stress. You cannot focus, so you cannot get your work done, so you try to focus, which is causing your mind to wander simply because it has been focusing for so long. Thus, you become more frustrated with yourself and your stress increases. This is an endless spiral and, if you do not deliberately escape it, job stress will consume you until the only thing you can think about is your inability to think about anything other than your inability to get work done.
For those who are in the throes of job stress already and there does not seem to be any way to get out of it, it is time to give yourself a complete break. The best break is, of course, to go home and leave your work behind. However, this is not always feasible and, instead, you need some way to give yourself a break while not leaving your desk.

The best method for relieving job stress at your desk is to close your eyes and take deep breaths. The key to this is to avoid thinking about work while you are doing this breathing exercise. In fact, you should simply concentrate on your breathing. In essence, this is a form of meditation and it is a very good way to refresh your brainpower. This is because, when you are thinking about your breathing, you are thinking about almost nothing at all. After all, you breathe all the time and it comes pretty naturally. Thus, by concentrating on a process that is generally automatic, your mind will give itself a much-needed rest. In fact, some people are so effective at this form of meditation that they receive something akin to concentrated sleep. Though it takes a great deal of practice to achieve this much relaxation from meditation, even simple meditation can help you recover from job stress.

The most important thing to remember about job stress is to simply not worry about job stress. In fact, worrying about job stress will actually create a certain about of stress all its own. Thus, if you simply concentrate on your work, give yourself a break every so often, and give yourself a complete break when you need it, job stress does not need to be a concern.

Insomnia – pandemic and little understood

Insomnia

insomnia is debilitatingInsomnia is the inability to fall asleep and/or the ability to remain asleep for an adequate length of time to achieve quality rest. The results of insomnia are tiredness and fatigue that can negatively affect daily life. The condition may be transient, acute, or chronic.

 

Who Is Affected?

It affects both sexes and all age groups. Approximately 30-40% of the people are affected by disturbed sleep patterns, and in the region of 10% suffer from chronic insomnia. Although it is more common in women (especially on onset of menopause) and older adults.

Illness, psychiatric disorders, and working night or rotating shifts, all represent significant risks. About 40% of insomniacs also suffer from an associated psychiatric disorder, notably depression and insomnia is considered a diagnostic symptom for depressive and anxiety disorders.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Difficulty falling asleep.
  • Disturbed, fragmented sleep.
  • Daytime fatigue and drowsiness.
  • Irritability.
  • Difficulty coping.

 

What can you do?

  • Cut down on caffeine (coffee, tea, cola, etc.).
  • Warm (not too hot) bath in subdued light……….. candle light does the trick.
  • Essential oil, such as lavender oil, in the bath water.
  • Set a regular pattern for bed time during the working week.

Treatment for Anxiety

Treatment for Anxiety

There are a number of holistic, natural, treatments available for Anxiety. Here are some of them:

Complementary Treatment Options

Shiatsu

Shiatsu creates a feeling of wellbeing and comfort.  It can improve vitality and stamina……….. both physical and emotional.  During a Shiatsu treatment, the receiver becomes more relaxed and achieves that “feelgood factor” as the stimulation of the acupuncture points helps release endorphins (natural pain relievers, released by the body, that can induce a natural high).  During a course of treatment, this feelgood factor becomes cumulative and can extend further into daily life.

It can be difficult to take that first step away from anxiety, not knowing what direction to step.  With Shiatsu you can, once again, recognise what relaxation and wellbeing feels like.  Through this recognition you have taken the first step and your direction is set.

Nutritional

  • Taking calcium (1,000 mg a day) and magnesium (500 mg a day) as a supplement to
    your diet.
  • B complex (50 to 100 mg a day, best in the morning) to decrease stress effects.
  • Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, sugar, processed foods and alcohol.
  • Increase consumption of fresh vegetables and whole grains.
  • St. John’s Wort helps with both depression and anxiety.

 

Allopathic Treatment Options

A number of medications that were originally developed for treating depression have been found to be effective for anxiety disorders. Some of the newest of these antidepressants are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Other anti-anxiety medications include groups of drugs called benzodiazepines and beta-blockers.

Two clinically-proven effective forms of psychotherapy used to treat anxiety disorders are behavioural therapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy. In behavioural therapy, the focus is on changing specific actions and uses several techniques to stop unwanted behaviours. In addition to the behavioural therapy techniques, cognitive-behavioural therapy teaches patients to understand and change their thinking patterns so they
can react differently to any of the situations that trigger anxiety.