Improving Life, Improving Experience Issue 20, June 2013
Welcome to all new members of our stress-busting community!
With so many different approaches to health & wellbeing out there, it is often difficult to choose the right one for you. In fact, some things work for some people and you won't know what works for you until you try. Unfortunately, lack of information or cost of treatments prevents us from trying out everything that's on offer, which is why we may be missing out on something that would be of great benefit to us. As those of you who already had a chance to attend our events know, we are a community group dedicated to giving people an opportunity to experience many different approaches so that they can find the ones that suit them best.
Check out our calendar of upcoming events and join us for some more stress busting!
HOVE STRESSBUSTERS IN THE PARK:
The St. Ann's Wells Festival Special
We had a lovely day at St Ann's Wells Gardens last month - the weather wasn't nearly as wonderful as last year, but what was lacking in sunshine we more than made up for with the positive vibes. It was great seeing so many people at our stall and being able to raise awareness of several different approaches to health and wellbeing.
A big thank you to all the practitioners who were there to promote our group and provide free stress-busting consultations and tasters throughout the day: Deborah Brown (Craniosacral Therapy), Em Burnett (Tai Chi & Qigong), Dr Jelena Nesic Goranovic (Experimental Psychologist & Hove StressBusters Programme Director), John Blosse (EFT & the Healing Codes), John Martin Moore (Integral Eye Movement Therapy & Hypnotherapy), Katalin Swann (Empowerment Life Coaching), Linda Belcher (Kinesiology), Liz Sleeper (Family Constellations), Mark Claireaux (Alexander Technique), Maya Zack (Sedona Method), Nikola Goranovic (NLP & Wingwave Coaching) and Penelope Zikic (Yoga). Looking forward to seeing many new faces at our upcoming events!
Hove StressBusters Talks & Demonstrations
Healing Codes and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction may be poles apart in terms of the theory behind them, but at our event last week we discovered many parallels between them, emotional release through acceptance being the common denominator. Once again, Hove StressBusters succeeded in bridging the ideological chasm between the mainstream and alternative approaches, the cognitive and the energetic, showing that they all really talk about the same things, just using different languages or conceptual frameworks. Thank you to our speakers for introducing us to two very powerful stress busting approaches and thanks to everyone else who was there last week for making this another evening to remember.
EFT & the Healing Codes
John Blosse, an EFT Master practitioner, Matrix Reimprinting practitioner and EmoTrance (Emotional Transformation) therapist started by giving a brief overview of the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), an effective stress reducing method which has recently been supported by several controlled clinical studies. He then went on to introduce the group to the Healing Codes, the technique which he has recently become passionate about as he found it to be a perfect complement to the techniques he's been practising so far. In his own words, this is 'the bit that was missing'.
Stress is the main cause of illness and disease. The Healing Codes eliminate the stress in our bodies that has accumulated over our lifetime as well as the ancestral stress mainly passed on by our parents at birth. When the main stress is gone, the symptoms of the issue that we want to resolve simply collapse. The Healing Codes is a three part process: we find and grade the stress from the problem we want to work on, we pray to the universe for healing, and we focus our intention on giving and receiving love while holding in turn four positions around the face. EFT works well with The Healing Codes as the EFT tapping points allow us to find the initial stress of the issue that bothers us and again eliminate the remaining stress.
After John demonstrated the process on one volunteer, we all did a few rounds of it ourselves and the effect was absolutely stunning. While the phrase 'power of love' may not sit very well with the cynics, and the theory behind this approach may not necessarily appeal to the more scientifically-minded, this session very powerfully demonstrated that just by visualising a person we love the most and focusing on sending love and receiving it in return, we could induce an altered emotional as well as physical state which is the complete opposite of stress. By the end of the session, we were all completely loved up, almost like being high on ecstasy! Well... just as ecstasy has been researched as a potentially useful adjunct to psychotherapy, the Healing Codes could most certainly take its place in any therapeutic context: for one it is not illegal and there are also no potential adverse effects.
With over 5000 scientific publications evaluating the effectiveness of mindfulness-based approaches to stress reduction and therapy, this practice which originated in Eastern traditions is rapidly becoming embraced by the Western psychological and medical communities. Dr Trudi Edginton, a Senior Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience at Westminster University and a University of Bangor-accredited Mindfulness Instructor introduced the group to this ground-breaking yet simple approach.
The concept of Mindfulness is very simple: it is the practice of becoming fully aware of the present moment and what you are doing now non-judgementally and completely, rather than dwelling in the past or worrying about the future. Easier said than done though as our mind is very prone to constant inner chatter - this is something which, on one hand, causes additional stress (especially if we are ruminating about negative experiences) and, on the other hand, prevents us from fully appreciating the present moment. The bottom line is very clear and supported by many experimental studies: individuals who practise mindfulness are better able to cope with the stressors of daily life and to alleviate some of the acute physical symptoms of stress (the 'fight or flight' reaction) by focusing their attention on the place of inner calm.
Mindfulness practice consists not only of different types of meditations, such as the body scan meditation we had a chance to experience at Trudi's Mindfulness workshop back in May, but also of a mindful approach to performing our daily rituals: brushing our teeth, walking, eating etc. During Trudi's talk last week we all partook in the sensory exploration of an unusual edible object. It was without doubt a very strange yet interesting experience and it really highlighted a somewhat sad fact that, as we grow up and start developing language and label each new object we encounter, we stop being aware of what those objects we see are really like, we only see them (or, very often, don't notice them at all) as the thing they are supposed to represent - they lose their individuality, their uniqueness and we are robbed of the richness of the sensory experience. This efficient automatic processing that our brain is capable of is essential for maximizing the use of our limited cognitive resources so that they are free to engage in other attention-demanding tasks which are deemed to be important (e.g. talking, learning, planning, etc.), but the downside is that we end up being so absorbed in those other thoughts that we lose the ability to simply be. This is one of the core issues that undermine our ability to regulate stress effectively and is also at the root cause of many psychological problems.
During the talk, we also had the opportunity to find out more about the effectiveness of mindfulness practice and the neurocognitive mechanisms that underlie it, both from Trudi's own research work as well as many other published studies. Not only have studies shown that people who practise mindfulness meditation are better able to relax and have more control over their emotions, but participating in an 8-week mindfulness meditation program was found to produce measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. Meditation has also been found to lower the levels of our stress hormone cortisol and to increase production of serotonin, the brain chemical which helps balance our mood and behaviour.
Hove StressBusters' Special Offers
*** Discounted EFT & Healing Codes sessions until 30th June ***
Four 1:1 EFT/Healing Codes sessions for £135
Regular price: £150 for four 60-minute sessions
2 FREE Healing Codes sessions in return for a video or written testimonial
(each session lasts up to 1 hour)
Please contact John directly for more information about these limited time offers:
Don't forget to mention Hove StressBusters when booking the sessions
***EARLY BIRD price for Mindfulness Course booked by 20th July***
8 week Mindfulness Course for £145
The course starts on 20th September and will take place on 8 consecutive Fridays @6.00-8.00pm
Standard course price: £175 (includes guided meditation CDs and course handbook)
Payment plan available upon request.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to book a place on this course.
You will be asked to complete a brief questionnaire and telephone interview with Trudi before commencing the course to ensure that the course and timing is right for you.
Common Stress-Related Problems
GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER (GAD)
A person suffering from GAD (also known as the 'free floating' anxiety) may be experiencing a variety of symptoms, including constant worrying, irritability, fear of madness/impending death, sleep problems, inability to concentrate, stomach discomfort, indigestion and diarrhoea, dizziness, headaches, racing heart, chest pain or tightness, etc. Very often GAD runs in families (it is genetically transmitted) and develops gradually over a number of years although negative life events and stress also play a major part in the development and maintenance of symptoms.
As the cause of GAD seems to be mainly biological, the first choice of treatment are usually anti-anxiety medications (the benzodiazepines, such as valium, lorazepam etc.). ... Read more
TALK & DEMONSTRATION EVENING
Kinesiology with Linda Belcher
Integral Eye Movement Therapy with John Martin Moore
Wednesday, 3rd July @ 7.00 - 9.30pm
Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove
Keep spreading the word: the more people get involved in our community group, the more diverse and interactive our events are going to be!
Aromatherapy Tips of the Month
GRAPEFRUIT Refreshing and rejuvenating, grapefruit oil has an uplifting effect on mood and helps with stress and depression. It is used with great success to combat muscle fatigue and stiffness while stimulating the lymphatic system and thereby clearing the body of toxins. It is also good for flatulence, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), poor appetite and sluggish digestion. This oil needs to be diluted (a 50:50 dilution) and then it can be inhaled directly from the bottle or applied to pulse points for an instant energy boost. Otherwise, use as directed below.
How to use essential oils:
BATH Put 4-6 drops of essential oil into a teaspoon of oil. Add to the bath once the water has finished running
MASSAGE Mix a maximum of 5 drops of the essential oil into 10ml of carrier oil such as sweet almond oil or vegetable oil. Rub into arms, neck and temples.
VAPORISER Add 3-6 drops to water to fragrance a room.
Hove StressBusters Classes & Workshops
@ Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove
Scaravelli-inspired Hatha Yoga classes with
Drop-in, £6 per session (suitable for all levels)
Introduction to Self-Hypnosis with Maya Zack
Saturday, 5th October @ 10.00am-5.00pm
@ Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove
Ditch Your Limiting Beliefs! with Maya Zack
Saturday, 2nd November @ 10.00am-5.00pm
@ Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove
Business Education for therapists & practitioners
The Empowered Holistic Entrepreneur
with Katalin Swann
Thursdays @ 6.30pm-8.30pm
19th September - 10th October
@ venue TBC, Brighton & Hove
Wishing you all a stress-free month and looking forward to seeing you at our next event!