Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Post-surgery pain and tenderness

The trauma of surgery greatly affects the energy flow in and around the body. My patient came to me for help with pain and tenderness following elective surgery.

The Patient

Female, early 40’s, recent breast enlargement and liposuction on abdomen.  Following post-surgery lymphatic drainage work (elsewhere), the client has remaining breast tenderness; abdominal lumps and tenderness, together with general muscle tightness in back, buttock and legs from the trauma of the surgery.

The Treatment

Due to the breast tenderness, the client is unable to lie on her front, so we have been using my on-site massage chair to do full back, neck, head and shoulder massage.  The positioning on the chair allows the client to be moved around more than is possible when lying on the massage couch which increases flexibility.
 
Following the back massage, we then transfer onto the massage couch to do abdominal, leg and front of body massage.
 
Results
 
The trauma of surgery greatly affects the energy flow in and around the body and we have been working with Reiki/energy work and Reflexology to improve this.
 
We have been working weekly and twice weekly to work towards getting the client back to work, which has now happened.
 
By Douglas Caird - Reiki Practitioner, Holistic and Therapeutic Massage, Hypnotherapy, Reflexology.


How I Work
I offer  individual sessions of each Therapy (Reflexology, Intuitive Therapeutic  Massage, Reiki and Holistic Hypnotherapy) and also encourage, where  appropriate, integrated and intuitive sessions where a combination of  techniques may be adopted and/ or a programme of sessions advised.   My strengths lie in facilitating a state of relaxed awareness where  you can feel safe to recognise and let go of tension and constrictions, and BE YOURSELF.

To book an appointment with Douglas, please call the Centre for Holistic Health on 0131 556 8440.
 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

EFT & Dreams

I have always been a good listener and have a talent for problem solving. I then discovered EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and realized that by using this technique, I could help people on a much deeper emotional level.

I decided to specialize in Counselling and become an Emotional Freedom Technique Practitioner, specializing in helping people overcome the effects of stress and depression.

Over the past 8 years as a counsellor, I have helped numerous people achieve emotional freedom from depression and other emotional problems and regain happiness in their lives.

Click here for more information on EFT or contact Mo on 0131 556 8440.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

The Evils of Sugar

No doubt you’ve come across the evil effects of sugar in the media lately. Sugar is a hotly debated topic at the moment, in particular added sugars which refer to sugars added during the food industry process (not naturally occurring sugars).
Historically, the worries about excessive sugar consumption have revolved mostly around obesity and dental caries. However, more recently there is mounting evidence that added sugar is much more dangerous than we thought. Now scientists are warning us that excessive sugar intake is a risk factor not only for obesity but also cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, dementia, cirrhosis of the liver, depression, cancer and other inflammatory illnesses.
We now have insight that eating too much sugar not only makes us fat, but also ages us prematurely and leads to chronic illness.
A recent study found that dietary sugars have significant influence on blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels even if body weight was not a concern.  Researchers themselves were surprised to find the relationship between sugars and cardio-metabolic risk factors.
More worrying, another recent study has shown that the risk for death from cardiovascular disease rises exponentially for individuals who consume high levels of sugar.
Sugar is highly addictive (even more so than cocaine) and the habit can be very difficult to break.  The best strategy is to avoid sugar completely.  Initially, cravings will be intense but after 5-6 days the cravings will begin to dramatically reduce. Even small amounts of sugar will feed the sugar cravings so it is important to cut out sugar completely (apart from fresh fruit).
By naturally boosting the level of dopamine in the body (the neurohormone that is involved in the brain’s pleasure pathways) one can also help reduce the cravings for sugar.  To do this, I recommend a combination of 5-HTP, glutamine and chromium as well as vitamin B6 and vitamin C.
Giving up sugar is tough, but it is well worth the health benefits that you will gain.

By Charmaine Shepherd  B.Sc. Biomed., N.dip. Ac, MBAcC
Charmaine Shepherd is an Acupuncturist, Director of the Centre for Holistic Health and Author of Is it all in your mind? 10 Steps to Resolving the Underlying Causes of Anxiety and Depression. Available on Kindle!

Charmaine has a sensitive and holistic approach to health-care. She is dedicated to helping individuals take control of their own health. "I believe in supporting the innate healing ability of the body through the use of natural remedies, nutrition and lifestyle,” Charmaine Shepherd.


 

Thursday, 26 June 2014

How to stay healthy during times of stress

 

We all know the saying “I am worried sick” but how does stress impact on our health? We all have been in situations where we felt that a situation was making us ill, for instance, working with a bullying boss or worrying about the health of a loved one.
Many illnesses are directly linked to be caused or exacerbated by stress, naming only a few:
 
·         Cardiovascular disease
·         Inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, eczema, skin problems, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
·         Digestive disorders
·         Headaches and migraines
·         Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
·         Fibromyalgia
·         Cancer
·         Immune system dysfunction
·         Diabetes
·         Hypertension

How can stress or our emotions contribute to the development and maintenance of these conditions? We have known for a long time that certain illnesses are linked to stress, such as experienced in a strained marriage, losing a job, financial worries, being unhappy in your job, caring for someone who is chronically ill or working for a difficult boss. Often there is no easy solution to the problem and we may feel powerless to change the situation.

Exciting new research has helped us understand how unmanaged stress can alter our genetic expression and thereby give us the tools to help prevent illness during times of mental and emotional strain.

Researchers have found that chronic stress changed the activation of genes in immune cells allowing for higher levels of inflammation. In both humans and animals, immune cells are released from the bone marrow every day. Stress produces more inflammatory cells which is meant to protect the body from threats such as viruses, but when the inflammation continues for long periods of time, it increases the person’s risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity to name just a few. In fact, researchers from the Ohio project found nearly 3000 genes were altered in mice that were placed in stressful situations.

In human studies about 400 genes have shown to be altered in individuals experiencing a low-grade sense of uncertainty or threat over a long period of time leading to significant effects on the body.
Worrying about stress isn’t necessary though, there are very simple techniques that you can use to alter the stress response and immediately halt the damage to the body. In fact, a little stress is good for the body, it can drive us to achieve our goals.  It is only when our emotional responses to stress becomes negative and the body becomes overwhelmed by stress, that our physiology changes to have a negative impact. For instance, the studies showed that situations that we feel we have no control over tend to have the biggest impact.
 
Often there is nothing that we can do to change external circumstances but we can alter our emotional response. One very simple but powerful technique helps to release distress and bring more coherence to heart rhythms and as a result quickly neutralizes the effects of stress. The Quick Coherence technique, developed by the Institute of Heartmath, takes only one minute to do once you’ve learned the technique.  If practiced frequently, it can have a huge impact on how the body responds to stress.
 
The Quick Coherence Technique
 
Step 1: Focus your attention in the area of your heart or the centre of your chest. You may place your hand over your heart to keep your focus there.  If your mind wanders, just keep shifting your attention back to the area of your heart while you do steps 2 and 3.
 
Step 2: Heart Breathing – as you focus on the area of your heart, imagine that your breath flows in and out of that area.  This helps keep your mind focused on the area of the heart allowing your heart and breathing rates to synchronise.  Breathe slowly and gently in through your heart (to a count of five or six) and slowly out through the heart (count five or six). Do not force the breath, just allow the breathing to be smooth and easy.  Continue to breathe until you find a rhythm that feels natural.
 
Step 3: Heart Feeling – as you continue to breathe through the area of your heart, recall a positive feeling.  Imagine a time when you felt good inside and try to re-experience it.  This may be a feeling of appreciation or care for a special person or pet, a place you enjoyed or an event. Allow yourself to feel this good feeling of appreciation or care.  If you cannot feel anything positive, don’t worry – just try to find the attitude of appreciation or care.  Try and sustain this feeling by continuing the Heart Focus, Heart Breathing and Heart Feeling.
 
The technique may feel a little uncomfortable at first, building coherence is a process and takes practice.  Just keep a genuine intention of creating a heart feeling.
 
Start by practicing the technique several times a day.  Make some notes about what commonly triggers feelings of anxiety, anger or stress.  With practice you can reset your system into increasing coherence.
 
By Charmaine Shepherd  B.Sc. Biomed., N.dip. Ac, MBAcC
Charmaine Shepherd is an acupuncturist and Coherence Coach, Director of the Centre for Holistic Health and Author of Is it all in your mind? 10 Steps to Resolving the Underlying Causes of Anxiety and Depression. Available on Kindle! helping people regain their health with the use of natural treatments.
 

 

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Edinburgh Acupuncture Community Clinic Celebrates Its 7th Birthday!

Centre for Holistic Health, 5A York Pl. Edinburgh EH1 3EB
For 7 years now, the community acupuncture clinic has made acupuncture available at affordable prices.

The Centre for Holistic Health, an Edinburgh based acupuncture and alternative therapies centre, runs the popular community clinic offering affordable acupuncture making this treatment more accessible. The multi-bed clinic runs at 5a York Place Edinburgh on Thursday mornings and costs £15 for a 15 minute session after an initial consultation.
 
Often, the people who need acupuncture treatment the most are unable to work and can’t afford it. The 15 minute treatments will cost £15 as opposed to the usual £35, making it available to many who had no access to this alternative therapy before.
 
The no-frills treatment means that more patients can be seen at one time, reducing the cost considerably. 
 
The treatments are provided by Charmaine Shepherd who is a member of the British Acupuncture Council. She believes that healthcare should be more accessible to all that need it regardless of their financial situation commenting, “we will try to accommodate as many patients as we can regardless of their situation.”
 
Multi-bed clinics have grown in popularity whereby patients have less privacy but greater access to treatment.  It may not be suitable to everyone, especially if the condition is complex and needs dedicated time.  However, most people enjoy the more social environment and connection with others.
 
Acupuncture is a component of traditional Chinese Medicine which uses specific points on the body to affect its physiological processes. It has evolved over more than 5000 years into a comprehensive system of healing that restores and maintains health on many levels. Acupuncture is rapidly gaining popularity in the west as an increasing number of scientific studies show evidence of the effectiveness of this treatment in a variety of conditions.
 
Although acupuncture is more commonly known for its effectiveness in pain management, it can effectively treat many ailments. Acupuncture has been surprisingly successful in treating hormonal imbalances, skin diseases, digestive disorders, stress-related conditions and has even been show to support cancer treatments.  
 
Patients must call into the clinic for an initial assessment of their condition. Not all conditions are treatable with acupuncture and if the case is complex, individualized care may be needed rendering the multi-bed system unsuitable.  Once an appointment is scheduled for a consultation, the acupuncturist will decide on the best treatment strategy for the condition.
 
For acupuncture relief in just 15 minutes for £15, call 0131 556 8440 for a consultation and come to the Acupuncture Community Clinic on Thursday Mornings at the Centre for Holistic Health, 5aYork Place Edinburgh.
 
Notes to Editors: The Centre for Holistic Health also offers: acupuncture, biofeedback, herbalism, EFT (emotional freedom technique), osteopathy, bodywork, reflexology, homeopathy, massage, reiki and Bach flowers. Available at our Centre located at 5a York Place, Edinburgh.
 
Contact details: Heather Blenkinsop, Centre for Holistic Health, 5AYork Place,Edinburgh,EH1 3EB Tel: 0131 556 8440 Email: info@centre4holistichealth.co.uk Web: http://centre4holistichealth.co.uk Photos available.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Worried Sick? How stress makes you ill by altering your genes (and what you can do about it)

worried sick?

We all know the saying “I am worried sick” but how does stress impact on our health? We all have been in situations where we felt that a situation was making us ill, for instance, working with a bullying boss or worrying about the health of a loved one.

Many illnesses are directly linked to be caused or exacerbated by stress, naming only a few:
 
·         Cardiovascular disease
·         Inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, eczema, skin problems, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
·         Digestive disorders
·         Headaches and migraines
·         Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
·         Fibromyalgia
·         Cancer
·         Immune system dysfunction
·         Diabetes
·         Hypertension

How can stress or our emotions contribute to the development and maintenance of these conditions? We have known for a long time that certain illnesses are linked to stress, such as experienced in a strained marriage, losing a job, financial worries, being unhappy in your job, caring for someone who is chronically ill or working for a difficult boss. Often there is no easy solution to the problem and we may feel powerless to change the situation.

Exciting new research has helped us understand how unmanaged stress can alter our genetic expression and thereby give us the tools to help prevent illness during times of mental and emotional strain.

Researchers have found that chronic stress changed the activation of genes in immune cells allowing for higher levels of inflammation. In both humans and animals, immune cells are released from the bone marrow every day. Stress produces more inflammatory cells which is meant to protect the body from threats such as viruses, but when the inflammation continues for long periods of time, it increases the person’s risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity to name just a few. In fact, researchers from the Ohio project found nearly 3000 genes were altered in mice that were placed in stressful situations.

In human studies about 400 genes have shown to be altered in individuals experiencing a low-grade sense of uncertainty or threat over a long period of time leading to significant effects on the body.
Worrying about stress isn’t necessary though, there are very simple techniques that you can use to alter the stress response and immediately halt the damage to the body. In fact, a little stress is good for the body, it can drive us to achieve our goals.  It is only when our emotional responses to stress becomes negative and the body becomes overwhelmed by stress, that our physiology changes to have a negative impact. For instance, the studies showed that situations that we feel we have no control over tend to have the biggest impact.
 
Often there is nothing that we can do to change external circumstances but we can alter our emotional response. One very simple but powerful technique helps to release distress and bring more coherence to heart rhythms and as a result quickly neutralizes the effects of stress. The Quick Coherence technique, developed by the Institute of Heartmath, takes only one minute to do once you’ve learned the technique.  If practiced frequently, it can have a huge impact on how the body responds to stress.
 
The Quick Coherence Technique
 
Step 1: Focus your attention in the area of your heart or the centre of your chest. You may place your hand over your heart to keep your focus there.  If your mind wanders, just keep shifting your attention back to the area of your heart while you do steps 2 and 3.
 
Step 2: Heart Breathing – as you focus on the area of your heart, imagine that your breath flows in and out of that area.  This helps keep your mind focused on the area of the heart allowing your heart and breathing rates to synchronise.  Breathe slowly and gently in through your heart (to a count of five or six) and slowly out through the heart (count five or six). Do not force the breath, just allow the breathing to be smooth and easy.  Continue to breathe until you find a rhythm that feels natural.
 
Step 3: Heart Feeling – as you continue to breathe through the area of your heart, recall a positive feeling.  Imagine a time when you felt good inside and try to re-experience it.  This may be a feeling of appreciation or care for a special person or pet, a place you enjoyed or an event. Allow yourself to feel this good feeling of appreciation or care.  If you cannot feel anything positive, don’t worry – just try to find the attitude of appreciation or care.  Try and sustain this feeling by continuing the Heart Focus, Heart Breathing and Heart Feeling.
 
The technique may feel a little uncomfortable at first, building coherence is a process and takes practice.  Just keep a genuine intention of creating a heart feeling.
 
Start by practicing the technique several times a day.  Make some notes about what commonly triggers feelings of anxiety, anger or stress.  With practice you can reset your system into increasing coherence.
 
By Charmaine Shepherd  B.Sc. Biomed., N.dip. Ac, MBAcC
Charmaine Shepherd is an acupuncturist and Coherence Coach, Director of the Centre for Holistic Health and Author of Is it all in your mind? 10 Steps to Resolving the Underlying Causes of Anxiety and Depression. Available on Kindle! helping people regain their health with the use of natural treatments.
 

 

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Counselling & Psychotherapy with Bodywork

I was reminded today about how helpful bodywork can be when you are processing something in your life i.e. working through some kind of change, working though grief or maybe your body is having issues with i.e. an old injury resurfacing, sports induced injury. 
 
I have just come home after a session of bodywork with Sue.  I have had a few sessions before and last time I began to be aware of the area just below my shoulder blades and was aware of a feeling that they needed opening.  I remember saying to Sue “it feels as if my wings are trapped” and something needed to let them open.  She responded in my language although I can’t remember her exact words, but I knew then that Sue was the right person for me as she was able to accommodate my way of processing, emotionally and physically. 
 
Today, I realised how refreshing it was for me to be able to express what was coming up for me in my thoughts and awareness whilst having my shoulders worked on.  I had felt before the session that there was something stuck behind my shoulder blade that I needed removing.  I had been experiencing pain there for some time and running was aggravating it.  Whilst Sue was trying to open the area up a little I felt how unstable it was and it didn’t really want to let go of whatever it was protecting. 
 
I am going through a period of change and trying to move away from employed work to full time self-employment.  I am trying to create space to spend writing and dedicating more time to developing my future pathways.  In these periods in my life I need more time and space to be able to be more aware of my self in lots of ways, taking time to just be still, writing my thoughts and feelings, taking care of my body as well as observing myself in this time more fully.
 
We all need reminding that a little help from others at these times of change and transformation, are so important, more now, than at any other time.  I often suggest to my own clients to try some form of bodywork to help them with the therapeutic process as it adds another layer to your awareness and can help shift emotional affect in the body.  So I need to remind myself as well, as I work with attention to body in my work it is important that I look after my own body too.
 
My shoulder feels a little tender now but after the session, I have to remember now to give it a little compassion for whatever it is trying to release and have a little faith that it will happen in its own time, when my body is ready to release it.

For more information on Bodywork, click here.

By Kate Fletcher MCouns Pg Dip, Counsellor, Member of the BACP. Kate has experience working with all ages, including young people, in all areas of counselling. She is available for daytime and evening appointments. You can contact Kate on 0131 556 8440 or by email info@centre4holistichlealth.co.uk. To find out more about Kate's approach, visit: http://centre4holistichealth.co.uk/about-us/kate-fletcher/