December newsletter 2010

Can I help?

– or –

Call me: 07753957371

I do not add VAT to my services so the VAT increase will not affect therapy fees, which have remained the same for the last eight years and will continue to remain the same well into next year.

January 2011 may be a good time to think about getting rid of old unwanted habits and beliefs and making some positive lifestyle changes and choices. I cover many issues within my practice, with compassion and empathy, and I also offer a free initial telephone consultation. My services at park Lane in Macclesfield will be extending, and I continue to offer evening and weekend appointments at my Chinley practice, Sett Valley medical practice, and The Regency Hospital in Macclesfield.

Also, look out for my workshops in the New Year. Dates and venues will be posted on my Facebook page, on my website, and in my monthly newsletters.

I am very pleased to announce that I am now CNHC registered. This is the register for the complimentary and natural healthcare council

“What is the CNHC Register?

The CNHC Register is provided by Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). CNHC is the national voluntary regulator for complementary healthcare practitioners in the UK. Our key function is to enhance public protection, by setting standards for registration with CNHC. We anticipate that obtaining the CNHC “quality mark” will swiftly be recognised as the hallmark of quality for the sector. Over time, the general public and those who commission the services of complementary healthcare practitioners will be able to choose with confidence, by looking for the CNHC quality mark.”

Sleeping well course

The sleeping well course will comprise of a series of four monthly sessions with homework in between and will run at Sett Valley Medical practice from 6.30pm until 7.30pm and all are welcome. The dates are now available to put in your diary: January 26, February 23, March 23, and the final workshop on April 20. Bookings are being taken now. Please book your place with Corrine at Sett Valley on Telephone 01663 743483 is essential as places are limited to 8 per course. The cost is just £40 per person payable in full before the first session to reserve your place.  The course will begin January 26 2011. If you would like further information you can send me an email or give me a call. Places are limited so do get in touch if you would like a place.

I will also be offering one off one hour sleeping well workshops.

Tips

Each issue I will include a ‘tips’ section on varying topics.

In this, the last issue for 2010, I will be focusing on tips to help you enjoy the festive season.

Tops tips for Christmas harmony and health!

I have shared these tips before but I am bringing them together for this issue and hope you find them useful:

As the cold weather sets in and stress levels rise, it is a time to heal, acknowledge what we have – loved ones and friendships-

I have personally been touched by human kindness and sharing this year. I know whatever you believe, the power of intention and human love in unity is unrivalled.

So, I would like to share with you a story that a lady shared in relaxation class last year and the message remains true and I believe powerful as we move out of this year and into the next. My recount of the story may not be exact, but the message is clear and I hope it takes you into the new decade with a positive thought to hold on to.

A young Cherokee boy asked his father about the two wolves. His father told him, we each have two wolves within us, and they battle. They are the good wolf, and the bad wolf. The good wolf carries our hopes and dreams, our love and compassion, all our strengths, and all that is good about us. The bad wolf carries fear, jealousy, greed, and all negativity within us. The little boy asked his father, “which is the strongest?” and his father replied, “The one we feed”.

This simple but profound and enlightening message is there for all of us to take on board, to listen to, and to work with.

In positive psychology it is all about focusing on what you want- not what you don’t want, to achieve.

So let’s all really focus on feeding the good wolf within us, our true human nature when fed, the true spirit of Christmas, which is love, and let’s carry this love in unity into the next decade.

Festive tips:

Traditionally, Christmas marks the end of one year and prepares us for the next. This year we can mark the end of a decade and reflect on what Christmas means to each of us, without that overwhelming feeling of stress, created by the desire for perfection.

Let’s slow things down for a moment and think about what we want to achieve, and what we have already achieved in this year.

Focus only on the positive – you will have achieved much more than you think when you start to reflect.

  • Pace yourself with the Christmas drink. Traditionally, people do generally drink to excess at this time of year. However, by drinking less, you will enjoy more, with less physical and emotional suffering. Space out alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic ones. Swap carbonated mixers such as tonic, which increases alcohol absorption for vitamin enriched fruit juices.
  • Take the opportunity of the spirit of Christmas to heal rifts and let go of old grudges. Write letters to old friends.
  • Delegate where you can –share out the Christmas jobs.
  • Reflect on all that you have achieved over the past twelve months- really focus on the positives.
  • Streamline the late night partying. A good night’s sleep reduces symptoms of stress.
  • Focus on positive nutrition to balance out excesses and indulgences. Antioxidants help relieve the physical effects of stress. These can be found in Satsumas, nuts, fresh fruit and vegetables, all available at Christmas. And of course, a little bit of chocolate. Go for 70% cocoa solids so you have the benefits with less fat and sugar. Drink less caffeine- it dehydrates and increases stress.
  • Forget about piling on the pounds. Enjoy your food more: Eat slowly, chewing well, and really tasting your food, savouring every mouthful. You will soon find you are eating much less, and may actually lose some unwanted weight this year.
  • Take a deep breath, hold to the count of 4, and breathe slowly out, and imagine the word, Calm-letting go of all tension.

Follow the “read more” link to read the full article, followed by ‘Ask Annette’ and the rest of this month’s exciting newsletter!

  • Consider getting rid of all old unwanted habits such as smoking, excess alcohol intake, and thinking about what is important and valuable…you!
  • Plan your festive time to reduce the pressure-write your lists and stick to them; set a monetary budget per person on gifts.
  • Communicate- let people know you have a budget, particularly children. This helps to reduce expectations, moving away from the material towards sharing- your love and affection for those around you, and extra time with friends and family.
  • Communicate-take time to get in touch with old friends, you may be wonderfully surprised at how they can enrich your life now.
  • Get enough sleep- this gives you more energy and boosts the immune system at this busy time. If you have difficulty sleeping – wind down an hour earlier than normal; give yourself permission to let go of all thoughts of things that need to be done – you will achieve more the following day.
  • Plan in some relaxation time- perhaps a warm aromatherapy bath at the end of the day – Lavender and Chamomile are particularly relaxing.
  • Balance assertiveness with compassion- Say no gently to any unrealistic demands of those around and delegate your Christmas workload.
  • Plan in some de-cluttering time- physically and emotionally to make room for new ideas, New Year goals, and of course Christmas gifts!
  • Begin letting go of old unwanted habits now by changing energy wasting negative thoughts such as “I cant…”to “ I can –enjoy health and well-being, I can cope well as I can plan well” “ I will achieve”
  • Take things slowly and avoid excess- eating and drinking in moderation is always important, and doing it slowly allows the body to absorb nutrients and flush out toxins much more efficiently- thus reducing the intake of extra calories and the stress of putting extra pounds on
  • Be kind to yourself and others

I would also include on the list

  • Mindfulness- when you are walking- this is a good time to practice mindful awareness- being in touch with and being fully aware, in the present moment, of all you can see, hear, and feel on  your walk. Mindfulness enables you to switch off from the busy and demanding days and all the joys and challenges they bring- giving you time to acknowledge the space and peace around you. There is much evidence to show that mindfulness helps lift mood and increases overall well being.

Each Wednesday at Blythe House hospice Dave Oldham runs a mindfulness meditation group- if you are local to Chapel en le frith, this class is well worth attending and all proceeds go to the hospice. For further information, contact the hospice on 01298 815388. Otherwise if you live farther afield then I would suggest looking out for mindfulness meditation classes and learning the practice- it is simple, safe , and most importantly- effective.

And also, a little help from friends I would like to share for this Christmas special.

I would like to share a helpful practice that William Bloom shared in his e- newsletter recently. This will be particularly useful in the winter months

“SUN-SOAKING

As we move deeper into the winter months some of you may begin to miss the sunlight and even go into that form of melancholy and low energy, known as SAD — Seasonal Affective Disorder. There is a natural remedy for this, which might work for you — it works for me — and which also teaches some useful lessons for other areas of our lives, personal and spiritual.

I am sure that many of you will be familiar with these strategies, but this is what I do.   It does not matter what else is going on in my life, if the sun is out, I make sure that I go and sit in the sunlight for fifteen minutes every day, my face directly towards it. I wrap up warmly, plonk myself in a garden chair and absorb the rays. I learned this years ago from a young Norwegian friend who told me that this was the way that he survived the long Scandinavian winters. I do it first thing in the morning or during work-breaks.

When I write ‘absorb the rays’, that is exactly what I do. Using my imagination and visualisation, I work with my body’s subtle sensations so that I imagine and feel that my flesh, muscles and bones are absorbing the sunlight. I breathe it in. In particular, I feel it coming into my eyes and travelling down the optic nerve and into my brain. I absorb the sunlight into my brain cells and then visualise it going down my spinal cord and into the rest of my nervous system.

This is not simple sun-bathing. It is sun-soaking.

Even when it is hidden by cloud or during the night, the sun is always there. This is a bit like a pantomime when the audience shouts, ‘It’s behind you!’ Whether you can see the sun or not, we are always part of the solar system and the great golden disc, the solar deity, is ever present.”

For more information about William’s work and newsletters visit: www.williambloom.com.

Dr Janet Winter my esteemed colleague and friend has some useful information to share for the winter months.

How to stop a coughing fit

Lots of us will be catching coughs and colds at this time of year. Excess coughing can be unpleasant, tiring and embarrassing, but it can also alter your breathing pattern for the worse and bring on an asthma attack.
Coughing Tip 1.
Breathe through your nose all the time; this will keep your lungs and mucus from drying up.
Coughing Tip 2.
a. Sit on a dining room chair
b. When you have a small gap in your Coughing Fit, breathe out through your nose and as you are breathing out through your nose let your head gently fall to your knees
c. This will help empty your lungs of air
d. Once you have very little air left in your lungs hold your breath for 3 to 5 seconds
e. Then start to breathe in through your nose very very slowly (slower the better) while breathing in very very slowly start to raise your head at the same rate as you are breathing in very very slowly.
f. When you have finished breathing in and you are sitting very up right, relax your shoulders and breathe continuously through your nose, let your posture regulate your breathing pattern (posture, sitting very up right on a dining room chair).
g. Be aware of how you are feeling, if you are feeling anything abnormal DO NOT REPEAT the exercise
Coughing Tip 3.
Stop drinking cow’s milk and reduce your intake of dairy products until your coughing is under control.
More information at the following link.
http://www.buteykoscotland.co.uk/healthtips1.htm

For further information you can contact Janet directly on 01663 743055, email info@BreathingRemedies.co.uk, or visit the website www.BreathingRemedies.co.uk

‘Ask Annette’

A lot of you have asked about ‘how to address sensitive issues with family or friends’ so I Hope in answer to this question, you find my answer helpful.

Whenever you have an issue about something or with someone and if you want to be able to remain in control emotionally and achieve the best possible outcome, then:

  • Take a step back from the situation or issue you want to address, so that you can look at key points that are relevant now and can be addressed now, rather than focusing on all past experiences that cannot be changed.
  • Think carefully about the positive outcome you would like
  • Think about the desired response you are looking for
  • Then, with compassion- compassion and respect– write down all the points you wish to address- the issue will not seem as daunting when it is written down as you have taken the emotion out it by putting those points on paper, distancing yourself from the physical feelings created.
  • Plan a quiet time when you can sit down together to talk through your ideas. If this feels too uncomfortable then perhaps writing a letter may be a good first step forward.
  • Imagine yourself as the other person. This will help to attain a more balanced approach and challenge any negative thoughts that may persist- look at the evidence.
  • Acknowledge that how you feel about a situation does not necessarily mean that this is how it actually is, so prepare to listen compassionately to another point of view and suggestions offered. You may be pleasantly surprised, but also pleased that you have taken control of your emotions, which enabled you to communicate more effectively.

Relaxation classes and workshops

Monday morning classes continue to prove popular and run from 10-11.00am in the community centre with a warm and friendly group.

The relaxation class is a really good way of boosting your energy reserves, and is a great way of boosting your immune system. It is a useful practice to do every day but this can sometimes be difficult so the classes help to give you some time each week for this beneficial practice. It is also a chance to share tips / ask questions about any concerns you may have around areas such as sleep and stress management.

Please note: The class has finished for the winter and will begin in the first week of March 2011

CDs

My CDs are available to buy at my classes or from my practice by arrangement.  Alternatively I can send them to you by post but there will be a £2.00 P&P delivery cost- for first class recorded delivery and safe packing. Each CD is £10.00

There are five CDs titles in all:

Sleeping Well; Weight Management; Relaxation: Tranquil beach; Relaxation: Tranquil forest

Relaxation: Tranquil garden

Also, I can now offer a new CD – Positive self esteem.

Recommended reading:

Pain relief without drugs: by Jan Sadler of ‘pain support’ (www.painsupport.co.uk) – apologies for the typing error last month!

Just the one new book this month!

This book is also recommended by Anxiety UK   in the winter issue of their magazine.

“Overcoming perfectionism” – a self help guide using cognitive behavioral techniques. By Roz Shafran, Sarah Egan and Tracey Wade.

Learn how to break the cycle of ‘never good enough’.  ISBN: 978-1-84529-742-8

Please note my tips and shared information are not a replacement for medical advice. They are intended for personal growth and development and to enable you to think about new ways of addressing and overcoming emotional challenges. Always speak to your doctor before making any changes if you are under medical care, this includes medication regimes.