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Issue 2 - March 2016
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Improving Life, Improving Experience                                 Issue 2, March 2016
Hove StressBustersFor over four years,  the community wellbeing programme Hove StressBusters has continued to attract a diverse group of practitioners and members of the community, not just from Brighton and Hove but from all over Sussex too. We were introduced to a number of fascinating approaches to physical and emotional wellbeing, and learned many useful tools for combating stress. Have a look at our past events and all the different approaches to stress reduction and wellbeing that we discussed and tried out. We are very excited to have finally branched out into Brighton and set up the community programme at the wonderful Hanover Centre. We look forward to sharing many exciting stress-busting tools and techniques with you in the coming months! :)

Visit our website for the calendar of upcoming talk & demonstration evenings, classes, workshops and courses, the StressBusters Directory, wellbeing-related articles and more...
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Brighton StressBusters Talks & Demos

     We had another great evening at the Hanover Centre! Big thanks to our speakers for sharing their professional passion and introducing two fascinating wellbeing approaches - Jin Shin Jyutsu and Tension Release Exercise (TRE). These two approaches stem from completely different traditions, yet once again a common theme seemed to emerge: both methods are ways of releasing the body's innate ability to self-regulate.
     Of course, thanks to everyone who was there last Friday, contributing to the discussions and making this another Brighton StressBusters evening to remember. And once again it was lovely to continue stress-busting at the pub after the event (that lovely pub with the open fire and purple wall

Jin Shin Jyutsu
     Carmen Dolz is the only therapist in Brighton and Hove practising
Jin Shin Jyutsu, the ancient Japanese healing art that was re-discovered in the early 20th century. She started her talk by demonstrating one basic hold (hands crossed across the chest and tucked under our armpits) and while we were all sitting comfortably in this position, she began to introduce us to this fascinating approach.
Jin Shin Jyutsu with Carmen Dolz      T
his 'Art of Creator through the compassionate man' (the literal translation of Jin Shin Jyutsu from Japanese) is similar to acupuncture in that it is based on the concept of energy channels (meridians) which, when blocked, result in the stagnation of energy. The stagnation in one or more channels produces small disruptions and eventually the harmony of the energy flow in the entire body is disrupted, resulting in dis-ease. However, the approach to releasing these energy blockages is quite different from acupuncture.
    By placing their hands at different points on a client's body, a Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner stimulates energy channels helping release the blockades and shift the stagnant energy. This enables the body to recover and regain mental, physical and spiritual balance. The therapist is actually not a healer - he or she only facilitates the flow of universal energy using their hands as 'human jumper cables' to jump start our 'engine'.
     But, as we had a chance to find out for ourselves during this session, having treatments with a
Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner is only half of the story. The wonderful thing about this approach is that it is also a self-healing art - we can use specific hand holds ourselves on a daily basis and such regular practice brings about many short- and long-term benefits. Carmen taught us to hold different fingers on our hands, each one corresponding to a particular emotion and organs. This is something we can do anytime and anywhere - sitting on a bus or in a meeting, watching TV, reading... There are no limits and the more we do it, the greater the cumulative effect.
     See Carmen's handout for the list of holds we practised during the session.
     Read more about Jin Shin Jyutsu

Stress & Trauma Release with TRE
     TRE, known by various names including Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercise, Stress Release Exercises, etc., is rapidly becoming one of the hottest topics in the world of wellbeing. Deborah Brown, a craniosacral therapist and one of just few qualified TRE practitioners in the UK, was the first person to bring this technique to Brighton & Hove in 2015.
     TRE is based on the fact that, as humans, we have lost the ability to regulate stress effectively. In response to any stressful circumstance - be it a lion chasing us, a car accident or an argument with our boss - our body undergoes the 'fight-or-flight' response: the blood flow to our muscles increases (we need it to run away or fight!) while all other functions that are not important for immediate survival - our digestive and reproductive systems - shut down. (This pretty much explains why chronic stress produces such a wide range of health issues, including irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, indigestion and infertility, just to mention a few.)
     There is, however, another phase that occurs at the end of this fight-or-flight response, and which is thought to enable the body to achieve its homeostasis (return to balance): once the stressor is over, the body starts shaking. This is a rare video footage of a polar bear displaying this response (please note that although it's a bit disturbing to see the animal being chased, it wasn't harmed by the researchers in any way). Occasionally humans display these so-called neurogenic tremors too, especially in response to traumatic events, but most of the time we only ever experience the fight-or-flight response.
     It's not exactly clear why we have lost this ability to rapidly restore homeostasis after stress - perhaps it's because our cortex (the 'thinking' part of the brain) is much more developed than in other animals and this thinking interferes with the more basic regulatory mechanisms. Or perhaps it's because the minor daily stressors that chronically activate our stress 'axis' (the neuroendocrine circuit responsible for the release of stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol), disrupt its effectiveness. Whatever the cause, researchers have suggested that by inducing these instinctual tremors, humans, like animals, can release chronic tension and overcome trauma.

Tension & Trauma Release Exercise (TRE) with Deborah Brown      TRE is a set of 7 simple yoga-like exercises which consist of slow movements and calm breathing. The exercises activate the main muslces involved in the fight-or-flight response and by doing so trigger neurogenic tremors that travel through different parts of the body. Debbie demonstrated this with the help of a volunteer. It all looked far too simple and gentle, yet the end result was fascinating: when the volunteer completed the exercises and lay down on the floor, her body started shaking... gently at first and then more vigorously. This lasted for many minutes and ended with complete relaxation.
     It was interesting to hear about the effects of TRE practice, both from the volunteer and from Debbie. The main benefits seem to be a general sense of calmness, greater resilience to everyday stressors, and improved physical wellbeing.

     Read more about TRE
Because of the technical difficulties with the AV equipment, Debbie couldn't show us this video of very complex self-activated myofascial release but, as promised, she sent us a link to include in this newsletter:
Special Offers
Jin Shin Jyutsu
£10 OFF one-on-one treatments
50-75 minute long sessions;
Standard price: £40
Offer price: £30
Please contact Carmen directly for more information and booking:*
Discounted TRE® &
Craniosacral Therapy
One-on-one sessions
for £40
TRE® usually 90 minutes for £50
Craniosacral usually 60 minutes for £45
Please contact Debbie directly for more information and booking:*
* To qualify for the discounts, one-on-one sessions need to be paid for in advance by 31st March.
These offers cannot be used in conjunction with the StressBusters Card discount.
Stress-Busting Library
Stress & SleepSTRESS & SLEEP
Stress and sleep problems go hand in hand... Stressful situations, whether they are major problems/losses or minor daily hassle, often keep us awake at night as we constantly ruminate over them. Conversely, lack of sleep or an irregular sleep pattern (e.g. having a baby or working night shifts) can make us stressed and more prone to negative mood during the day. Very often, having a chronic sleep problem works as a self-fulfilling prophecy: people go to bed stressing about the night ahead and, not surprisingly... the problem recurs!... READ MORE
Next Talk & Demonstration Evening

Thai Yoga Massage with Irina Blosse
Laughter Yoga
with Emma Hiwaizi

Friday 15th April @ 7.15pm - 9.30pm
The Hanover Centre, Brighton


Keep spreading the word: the more people get involved in our community programme, the more diverse and interactive our events are going to be!
Stress-Busting Tip of the Month
by Em Burnett
Tai Chi, Qigong & Neigong Instructor)

Tiger stretch STRETCH LIKE A TIGER Just as when we relax into a big yawn, a spontaneous stretch naturally releases tension where we need it the most. Our bodies thrive on movement - smooth, slow circular is the Qigong way as this soothes and releases our nerves, calming and centering our mind while bathing our joints, organs and cells in nourishing fluid for optimum health with a vibrant immune response. The old adage 'a stitch in time saves nine' applies here - try short bursts of de-stress awareness and movement.
Often, our nervous system may feel overloaded - feeling stuck, low, weighed down, spaced out or below par - and we may interpret this as tiredness and so chose static or passive rest. Sitting in a fixed position with our attention on the task in hand, breathing and body awareness can diminish as eyes and brain take priority - a feedback loop which reduces our effectiveness the longer we sit.

I recommend mini screen breaks to stretch and gently shake out arms and legs (you can steady yourself on a wall etc), as if shaking droplets of water - this relieves the stress response in your nerves and refresh your attention. Whenever working at a computer, explore and increase the moments where you circle your elbows, one at a time, in each direction, and curl and uncurl your fingers... toes love this too!
Hove StressBusters Card

Introducing the StressBusters Card
The card is available for purchase at our monthly talk & demonstration evenings. The card costs £15 and is valid for 6 months from the day of purchase, during which time the card holder will be entitled to:
- 4 FREE talk & demonstration evenings
- 10% off all StressBusters events (talk & demo evenings, classes, workshops)
10% off therapy sessions, classes, workshops with any of the
   practitioners listed in the StressBusters Directory
StressBusters Event Calendar
Hove StressBusters talks & demonstrations
Body Stress Release & Kinesiology

Wednesday 6th April 7pm - 9.30pm @ Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove
More info

Family Constellations (workshop) - NEW SLOT
Monday 11th April 6.15pm - 9.15pm @ Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove
More info & booking

Stress Support Group: Tackling stress with the Mindful Coaching technique
Monday 18th April 7pm - 8.30pm @ Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove
More info & booking

Full Moon Qigong / Yuan Gong workshop
Saturday 23rd April 10am - 1pm @ Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove
More info & booking

Stress & Trauma Release with TRE (workshop)
Monday 25th April 7.15pm - 9.15pm @ Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove
SOLD OUT - now taking bookings for 23rd May
More info & booking

Qigong to Self-Heal - weekly classes with Em Burnett
Tuesdays 8.15-9.15pm @ Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove
*** First class is always FREE to newcomers; suitable for all levels ***

No class on 29th March & 5th April
More info

Wishing you all a stress-free Bank Holiday weekend and look forward to seeing you at the next event!

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