The Art of Relaxation

A simple process to help relaxation response become active, homeostasis to return and create a sense of well-being.

  • Lie with legs bent or sit
  • Notice how your body feels, get really curious for your body holds much wisdom
  • Notice your breathing, is it fast, slow, steady, erratic, etc
  • Focus on your exhale
  • Gradually increase the length of the exhale while maintaining a comfortable inhale remains (up to twice the length of the inhale)
  • It is natural for the mind to wander, when you notice this use loving awareness to return your focus to the exhale
  • Avoid judgement, criticism or blaming a trigger person or event
  • Check in with your body regularly inviting any tense areas to relax
  • Make regular time in your schedule for this practice and take mini 3 breath practices as often as possible during the day.

 

Free Breathing Practice

Here is a gift for you.  A free 5 minute breathing practice.  Well 5 minutes and 22 seconds to be precise.  Click here or copy and paste the following url into your web browser.  https://www.dropbox.com/s/1pa4bg76lk15l4c/Breathing%20Practice%201.MP3?dl=0

Why?
Focused breathing is powerfully transformative.  It allows the nervous system to settle, the mind and body to calm and harmony to be restored.

When?
Start with just 5 minutes. If possible daily, (there are 1440 minutes in a day).  If you don’t manage daily do as often as possible.  In an emergency take 3 conscious deep breaths wherever you are.

Who says this works?

Here are a few of the testimonials I have received.

“Dear Suzan   Just to say many thanks for the breathing programme.  My blood pressure readings are down, so no visits to the doctor for 3 months and no increase in medication.  I also feel a lot calmer and don’t get those feelings of panic which were very unpleasant.
yours with many thanks”. Betty E

“I was progressing with my Scuba diver training last weekend was struggling to maintain a level easy breath and as a result using far too much air. So 40 feet below the surface the following day I was thinking about concentrating on my yoga breath whilst trying to master the skills of diving, it worked!” Guy K

“I wanted to let you know I enjoyed the classes and used the breathing techniques throughout the pregnancy and during labour which was a huge help, so thank you” Clare P

If you would like to work deeper with breath and movement I have a range of yoga groups in Aylesbury and am also available for 1-2-1 sessions to support your specific needs and availability.  Click on the link to email me.

So whatever is going on in your life, whether you are super busy, stressed, feeling the winter blues or at a time of change give it a go.  Give yourself the gift of 5 minutes a day for a month and let me know the results.  I would love to hear from you.

Please email me  with any feedback or questions.

lungs-breathe

In an emergency just 3 conscious breaths will change the way you feel.

Five Ways To Reduce Stress

When you are under permanent stress, the fight or flight response which is designed for short term emergencies is constantly in operation and the symptoms of stress become an accepted part of your life. This can cause many health problems including disrupted sleep, raised blood pressure, obesity, suppressed immune system, and increased risk of heart attack, stroke, anxiety and depression.

Here are 5 simple ways to reduce stress:

lungs-breathe

Focus on your breath – as few as 3 conscious breaths can completely change the way you feel.

fresh-air

Connect with nature.  Open a window, go for a walk, have plants in your work space and home.

lady-side-stretch-pink

Yoga helps reduce stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol and stimulates the production of endorphins, the feel good chemicals in the brain.

meditation

Let meditation wipe away the day’s stress, just 5 minutes can bring inner peace.

its-ok-not-to-be-ok

We think the causes of stress are outside our control.  What if we decide that it’s okay not to be okay?  This leaves us free to focus on making positive changes.

 

The Benefits of Therapeutic Yoga

The appropriate practice of yoga unifies all aspects of the system.  It works on many levels and can be adapted to suit a wide range of needs.  The key is REGULAR practice – The more regularly you practice the sooner you will see results

Physical – improves:

• Posture
• Breath length which helps with lung function
• Balance – helps prevent falls
• Improve or maintain mobility
• Improve or maintain strength and flexibility
• Improve or maintain bone density
• Rehabilitation, can reduce pain including chronic pain, especially effective for reducing low back pain
• Energy levels
• Sense of well-being
• Digestion/elimination

Reduces:
• Heart rate
• Muscle tension
• Flight/flight syndrome
• Blood pressure
• Stillness and pain

Cognitive – improves:

• Concentration
• Focus
• Mental clarity
• Memory
• Staying present
• Dexterity
• Co-ordination
• Reaction times

Emotional – improves

• Mood
• Resilience
• Awareness
• Anger control
• Mind-body connection

Reduces:
• Stress
• Anxiety
• Trauma
• Fear

Social

• Reduces sense of isolation
• Group support
• Make new friends
• Improves confidence

The Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council states that “Yoga can help with a wide range of disorders and stress related problems. Including back and joint issues; breathing disorders; issues during PMS, pregnancy and menopause; emotional issues such as anxiety, depression; injuries, surgery and illness. It may also enhance the quality of life for patients with chronic diseases”.

I am currently working with clients experiencing fibromyalgia, MS, ME, cancer, arthritis, back/neck pain, stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, IBS, osteoarthritis, & crohns disease

Yoga therapy can be used alongside conventional medicine and other complementary therapies.

back pain forward bend semi suppine chair twist

Yoga Therapy

Yoga Therapy – Viniyoga approach

Yoga therapy is a holistic therapy to optimise our health and well being on a physical, energetic, mental/emotional and spiritual level.   Often when thinking of yoga it is the physical aspect and perhaps breathing that comes to mind, however, yoga incorporates a wide variety of tools, as well as postures and breathing these include: diet & life style advice, meditation, relaxation, affirmations and visualisation; personal ritual, mantra, chanting and study of yoga texts which date back thousands of years.

 Yoga postures are adapted to suit individual needs rather than forcing the body into various positions.  This can help develop strength, flexibility, ease and balance in the body; reduce weakness and structural pain according to need.  Moving in time with the breath helps spinal movement; it can ease spinal compression and lengthen the spine increasing range of movement and comfort.  This emphasis on the spine has a positive effect on the nervous system, it helps calm the mind and reduce anxiety which is further developed with seated breathing practices, meditation, chanting etc

What is involved?

Yoga therapy involves taking an active part in your own healing process.  The therapist devises a practice, taking into account physical, energetic, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs interests, lifestyle and living arrangements.  To gain maximum benefit, you are encouraged to practice at home on a regular basis.  It does not need to be as long as a group class, just 20-30 minutes 3 or 4 times a week will be very beneficial.  In acute cases you may be given a shorter practice to do twice daily.

How quickly does it work?

Positive results are often seen within a few weeks, sometimes within days, the key is regular practice. The more regularly you practice the sooner you will see results.

What conditions can Yoga therapy help?

The Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council states that “Yoga can help with a wide range of disorders and stress related problems.  Including back and joint issues; breathing disorders; issues during PMS, pregnancy and menopause; emotional issues such as anxiety, depression; injuries, surgery and illness.  It may also enhance the quality of life for patients with chronic diseases”.

I am currently working with fibromyalgia, MS, ME, COPT. scoliosis, PTSD, cancer, arthritis, back/neck pain, stress, & anxiety.

Yoga therapy can be used along with conventional medicine and other complementary therapies.

Further information

https://www.suzanjoywells.co.uk/2014/01/the-benefits-of-therapeutic-yoga/

 

https://www.suzanjoywells.co.uk/2014/01/yoga-therapy-sessions/

http://www.pranamaya.com/blog/special-features/qa-gary-kraftsow-on-yoga-therapy-and-your-mood/http://www.cnhc.org.uk/

http://www.viniyoga.com/about/what-is-viniyoga

http://www.viniyoga.com/about/what-is-yoga-therapy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwK7AAo7VxI

http://www.viniyoga.com/_blog/American_Viniyoga_Institute_-_Blog/post/Viniyoga_for_Low_Back_Pain_New_Study_Results_Released/

How Healthy is Your Heart ?

Latest news and research about the heart, click on each link for more information

  1. Is it a HEART ATTACK or CARDIAC ARREST?
  2. Coronary heart disease is the UK’s single biggest killer
  3. Most deaths from heart disease are caused by a heart attack
  4. Heart disease kills more women than breast Cancer
  5. An under active thyroid, can raise blood pressure and so be an issue for heart health
  6. Men who don’t have breakfast are 27 per cent more likely to suffer heart attacks or heart disease
  7. ’Broken heart’ syndrome usually occurs in women, and can be triggered by stresses such as bereavement
  8. The UK spends nearly £2 billion each year on the healthcare costs of treating coronary heart disease
  9. heart in bodyCarbohydrates/Sugar, is the Root of Heart Disease
  10. Saturated Fat Does NOT Promote Heart Disease
  11. Taking exercise, eating a healthy diet and being aware of dangers such as smoking, drinking, high blood pressure, and stress are all important for your long term heart health, whether you currently have heart disease or not.

 

7 Ways to Keep that Summer Feeling

A beautiful summer lifts our spirits. Here are 7 ways to bring the summer feeling of energy and wellbeing into your daily life:-

Field of Summer Flowers

Field of Summer Flowers

 

  • Nature: Spend time in nature, just 10 minutes a day is beneficial.  A plant on your desk will bring nature into your workplace.
  • Food: Eat as healthily as possible.  Reduce processed items and increase fresh produce.  Make time for breakfast.
  • Exercise:  Daily gentle yoga stretches or qigong will keep the body and energy moving.
  • Sleep:  Aim for 8 hours a day.  If you have problems going to sleep or wake during the night start a calming routine before bed including some long deep breaths focussing on relaxing as you exhale.
  • Meditate:  A few minutes in reflective stillness during the day will help calm, relax and focus the system.  Make sure you are comfortable, its fine to sit on a chair, just check that the back is upright.
  • Gratitude:  Express thanks for the wonderful summer and for the coming joys of autumn and winter.  A positive outlook makes a great difference.
  • Laughter: Look for the humour in difficult situations, spend time with happy friends and smile and laugh often.

Yoga & MS

Why yoga?

Yoga has many benefits that can help improve health. It is something positive we can do for ourselves allowing us to maximise healing and move towards wellness.

Exercise can be very tiring for many people with MS whereas yoga normally increases energy and helps us deal with symptoms.  It calms the mind and emotions, relieves stress and restores the natural breathing process essential for good health.  It also maintains or increases strength and flexibility, improves bladder and bowel function and keeps the body moving whatever the level of disability.  More information can be found on the Yoga for Health and Education Trust website, www.yoga-health-education.org.uk under ‘Remedial/Therapeutic Yoga’.

Why is a remedial/therapeutic yoga class recommended?

People with MS often find a general yoga class too tiring and therefore counter-productive.  In remedial classes postures can be adjusted to suit individual needs for all kinds of problems and chronic fatigue ensuring that we get maximum benefit from our yoga practice to help improve our condition and well-being.

Remedial/therapeutic Yoga Teachers

Suzan is trained as a remedial/therapeutic yoga teacher with the Yoga for Health Foundation now the Yoga for Health and Education Trust

Is yoga helpful for people with MS?

Yoga is recognised as being valuable in the management of MS by the MS Society.

More than 5,000 people with MS took part in yoga courses specifically designed for them at the Yoga for Health Foundation in Bedfordshire, many of them returning repeatedly as they found it so valuable.  Unfortunately, after 28 years, the Foundation closed in March 2006 when the lease expired and the property was sold.  The Yoga for Health and Education Trust is continuing and developing this valuable work and hopes one day to have a centre.  Visit www.yoga-health-eduction.org.uk for more information.

Taken from Multiple Sclerosis Q / A  June A Skeggs www.yoga-health-eduction.org.uk updated Oct. 2011

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Other articles on MS

Symptoms

Resources

Nutritional Support

MS Resources

Websites

www.mssociety.org.uk  MS Society

www.mstrust.org.uk  MS Trust

www.ms-selfhelp.org   MS Therapy Centres

www.msrc.co.uk   MS Resource Centre (MSRC )

Magazine with positive contributions from people with MS. Previous magazines can be read on their website

www.b12d.org                   Information on Vitamin B12 deficiency

www.swankmsdiet.org         Information on the Swank diet

www.yoga-health-eduction.org.uk The Yoga for Health and Education Trust

www.yoga4pwms.co.uk Yoga for People with MS

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/groups/245983115508190/?fref=ts

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MSSociety?fref=ts

Books 

The China Study,   T Colin Campbell, Benbella

Reversing Heart Disease,  Dr Dean Ornish,  Ivy Books,

Optimum Nutrition, Patrick Holford, Piatkus

Molecules of Emotion,  Dr Candace B Pert Ph.D.,  Pocket Books

MS – the Facts,  Bryan Matthews, Oxford University Press

MS – self-help guide, Judy Graham, Thorsons

Optimum Nutrition Bible, Patrick Holford,  Piatkus

Vitamin D3 and Solar Power for Optimal Health,  Marc Sorenson

Multiple Sclerosis Diet Book,  Roy Laver Swank & Barbara Brewer Dougan

The MS Society                         Free information booklets

MSRC Pathways Magazine                  Nov/Dec 2002 page10 – Hughes Syndrome

Yoga is recognised as being valuable in the management of MS by the MS Society.

‘Yoga for MS’ CD, containing two 30 minute sessions, is available from experienced remedial yoga teacher, Joy Frame who was the senior yoga teacher at YFHF for many years.  Cost £5 including postage & packing.  Email [email protected].

Taken from Multiple Sclerosis Q / A  June A Skeggs www.yoga-health-eduction.org.uk updated Oct. 2011

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MS & Nutritional Support

Are Omega 6 & Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids (E.F.A) Important?

E.F.A’s are essential and present in every cell in the body. The body cannot make them so they come from the food we eat. Research has shown that white matter in the brains of people with MS are deficient in E.F.A’s. Other studies show E.F.A.’s are low in the myelin sheath around the nerves, red and white blood cells, platelets and blood plasma.

E.F.A’s go through several stages of conversion before they can be utilized by different parts of the body. It is believed that for people with MS something has gone wrong in this process at the stage where linoleic acid converts to gamma-linoleic acid. Research at the Nuffield Laboratories in London showed that gamma-linoleic acid given as evening primrose oil capsules was capable of altering abnormal cell membranes, including those in myelin returning them to normal.

The recommended dose is 6x 500mg capsules per day either 2 three times a day or 3 twice a day.  

Why is Vitamin D considered important?

Vitamin D helps prevent cells from becoming diseased. Incidences of MS are higher in countries with increasing latitude where there is less sunlight.  The sun’s ultraviolet rays on the skin make Vitamin D – a few hours exposure a week is sufficient.  This is stored in our liver and body fat for 20 days or more.  When needed it is converted into ‘supercharged Vitamin D’ (1,25D).  This is 1,000 times more active than stored Vitamin D and lasts for only 6-8 hours, hence the need for continual replacement.  Limited exposure to sunlight means that Vitamin D blood levels could be low. ‘Supercharged vitamin D’ levels are reduced by animal protein that increases blood acidity interfering with the production of 1,25D.  Animal protein and too much calcium reduce blood levels of 1,25D.

Vitamin D is also available in some foods, e.g. oily fish, and often as an additive in breakfast cereals and fortified milk. Some supplements contain Vitamin D but it is not absorbed so well. Supercharged Vitamin D is too powerful and too dangerous to make as a supplement.  Dr Campbell advises that if Vitamin D is needed the lowest possible dose should be taken.

It is worth having your Vitamin D levels checked.  The best test is a blood test called 25(OH)D.  Marc Sorenson and Dr William Grant consider a level of 33-100 ng/ml sufficient. Practitioners at ‘The Sanctuary’ in Blackburn, England have found that a minimum of 100ng/ml is required for people with MS.

Why could Vitamin B12 be important?

B12 is needed for the formation of haemoglobin that carries oxygen through the body.  It is important in energy production, healthy cell metabolism and is essential for the brain and nervous system.  It is mostly found in animal products and in micro-organisms in the soil.  Deficiency may be due to a vegetarian/vegan diet or an inability to absorb it properly which can be hereditary.  Sterile soil and over-clean vegetables do not help.

Some Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms resemble those of MS e.g. fatigue, dizziness, tingling and numbness.  It is worth getting your B12 levels checked as some people with MS have had considerable improvement in energy and a variety of symptoms, including walking, when having regular B12 injections.

Taken from Multiple Sclerosis Q / A  June A Skeggs www.yoga-health-eduction.org.uk updated Oct. 2011

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