Improving Life, Improving Experience Issue 18, April 2013
The spring is finally (well, HOPEFULLY) upon us! We've got many new exciting events lined up in the coming months and look forward to sharing our stress-busting skills with even more members of our local community. It was great to see many new as well as quite a few familiar faces at our talk & demonstration evening last week...
With yet another successful event behind us, it is time to step up our activities in the continuing commitment to helping reduce stress and improve wellbeing in our community. This is why we are starting a series of drop-in Mindfulness workshops and 8 week courses. These sessions, run by Dr Trudi Edginton, a Senior Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience and a qualified Mindfulness instructor, are suitable for beginners as well as for anyone who wishes to practice and extend their existing mindfulness skills. All sessions will take place at Cornestone Community Centre, Church Road, Hove. CONTACT US for more information & to book a place.
Hove StressBusters Talks & Demonstrations
A big thanks to Debbie Brown and Maya Zack for last week's talks about Craniosacral Therapy and the Sedona Method - as always, it was great to learn new tools that we can use when we're feeling stressed or anxious. Being introduced to two such diverse approaches really underlined what a complex phenomenon stress is and how it can be tackled from completely different angles to achieve a similar result: a sense of physical and emotional release.
Deborah Brown, a biodynamic craniosacral therapist, presented the theory behind this effective healing system. Based on whacky experiments conducted at the beginning of the 20th century, Dr Sutherland, an osteopath, revealed that our cranial (skull) bones move all the time (poor Mrs Sutherland though, for having to put up with a husband who kept wearing a ridiculous skull cap!). Based on these observations, as well as on the serendipitous finding by Dr Upledger in the 1970s that cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid which surrounds our brain and spinal cord) has its’ own regular pulse, craniosacral therapy has evolved into a very complex art of healing. This therapeutic approach encompasses several different therapies, yet all of them are based around the idea of enabling the body to realign to its natural health, restoring motion and vitality. Like with many such empirically-based techniques, it is as yet not clear what the true mechanism of its’ effectiveness is, but many client reports as well as a few clinical outcome studies conducted until now confirm its benefits (visit www.craniosacral.co.uk/research for an overview of research studies).
In addition to explaining the origins of craniosacral therapy and its relevance to stress reduction, Debbie demonstrated to the group what a typical session might look like. Unfortunately, with this therapeutic approach, there is very little that can actually be observed by an outsider so gaining first-hand experience is absolutely essential. While giving individual tasters to the whole group may not have been feasible (only one of us was lucky enough to get onto Debbie’s couch last Wednesday!), we were able to appreciate the introspective aspect of this approach by experiencing a guided meditation which is commonly used during the craniosacral sessions and which in itself proved to be a great stress buster.
The Sedona Method
Maya Zack, a hypnotherapist and one of the few Sedona Method practitioners in the UK, gave a very informative talk introducing this powerful self-development method and the ideas behind it. The basic concept is really rather simple: by saying things such as “I am unhappy” or “I am anxious”, we identify ourselves with these emotions which makes it impossible to separate ourselves from them. In contrast, if we say “I am feeling unhappy” or “I am feeling anxious”, it becomes clear that we are talking about emotions that we are currently experiencing and, as such, we can look upon them as objects that we can either keep or throw away – it is entirely our choice what we do with them. Sedona Method, therefore, applies this approach of objectifying our emotions and uses a set of questions to challenge our determination to hold on to these ‘emotional bubbles’.
Maya demonstrated the technique to the group - it seemed really simple and easy to learn, a set of questions that we need to ask ourselves in order to experience a profound change in our attachment to negative emotions and the limiting beliefs that are holding us back in life. We worked on several emotions that everyone could identify with (fear, anger, etc.) and, after going through a set of questions with Maya, these emotions were minimized and several people reported an almost physical sensation of empty space in their chest and stomach which was previously occupied with unpleasant tension related to the negative emotion. Some questions even made people laugh – it does feel really ridiculous when you realize that you are holding on to something which is rather unpleasant and yet, for no logical reason at all, you stubbornly keep holding on to it... If you would like to receive the list of the Sedona Method questions we practised last week, you can contact Maya directly (firstname.lastname@example.org), mentioning Hove StressBusters.
Hove StressBusters' Special Offers
*** Discounted Craniosacral Therapy sessions until 30th of April ***
£10 OFF your first appointment
6 sessions for the price of 5
Regular price: £45 per session.
Please contact Deborah directly for more information about these limited time offers:
*** Discounted Sedona Method programme until 30th April ***
15% OFF the 5-session programme
Offer valid for one-on-one and group programmes. Regular price: £185 for group programme or £285 for one-on-one programme.
Please contact Maya directly for more information about this limited time offer:
Don't forget to mention Hove StressBusters when booking the sessions
Common Stress-Related Problems
STRESS & ANXIETY: WHEN OUR SURVIVAL MECHANISM BACKFIRES
The emotional experience of fear and the physiological stress reaction (the 'fight or flight' response: increased heart rate, faster breathing, sweating etc.) are very useful responses to dangerous situations or objects: our ancestors had it, apes and mice have it, even reptiles do. If it wasn't for this unconditioned response to danger, most species - humans included - would not have survived the natural selection. Apart from enabling us to fight, freeze or flee in the face of danger, the physiological stress reaction also enables us to learn to avoid the same dangerous situation or object in future. But what happens when this useful survival mechanism backfires on us as it inevitably does now that we live in an environment where there are very few real dangers to our survival? ... Read more
Hove StressBusters Classes & Workshops
@ Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove
Scaravelli-inspired Hatha Yoga classes with
Drop-in, £6 per session (suitable for all levels)
with Dr Trudi Edginton
(Senior Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience & Mindfulness Instructor)
Wednesday, 8th May, 7.00-9.30pm
@ Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove
Drop-in, £10 (beginner to intermediate level)
Aromatherapy Tips of the Month
MARJORAM can be traced back to the ancient Greeks who used it in medicines and in perfumes. This herbal plant was also treated as a token of good luck and joy and was often gifted to couples on their wedding day. Marjoram oil is good for people who can’t switch off and who have lots of mental chatter. It is a sedative and is good for grief and insomnia. Helpful for digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), indigestion and colic. Marjoram also has pain relieving properties and can be helpful for headaches and aching muscles. Soothing, fortifying and warming...
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.
(Based on Aromatherapy for Managing Stress by Mala Nathan)
TALK & DEMONSTRATION EVENING
Family Constellations with Liz Sleeper
Energy Arts: Tai Chi & Qigong with Em Burnett
Wednesday, 1st May @ 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!
Wishing you all a stress-free month and looking forward to seeing you at our next event!