Riverside well being logo Therapy for the Mind and Body

What we do

This page gives a short introduction to the therapies and support offered at Riverside Wellbeing.

If you know what you are looking for, you can find out more by clicking on it below. Each description includes the practitioners offering that service, clicking on their name will take you to their contact details. Otherwise please scroll down to browse through the various therapies available.

Alexander Technique, Art Therapy, Cupping, Life Coaching, Career Discovery Coaching, Sleep Well Coaching, Stress Management Coaching, Counselling & Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Crystology, Dramatherapy, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Hypnotherapy (including Hypnoslimmer and Smoking Cessation), Sport Massage and Soft Tissue Therapy, Singing Bowl massage, Chinese medicinal massage(Tui Na), Mindfulness, NLP, Nutritional Therapy, Pilates, Reflexology, and Reiki.

Various groups and courses are also delivered from Riverside Wellbeing. More information about the 8-week Mindfulness course, the Sleep Well course, Reiki Training and the regular Mindfulness practice groups and Mindfulness Retreat Days can be found here.

If you are looking for a particular therapy which we don't currently offer, please let us know so we can inform you when the situation changes. 

The Alexander Technique:
Giving you tools to help yourself with stress, anxiety and chronic pain

Offered by Jenny Fox Eades

The Alexander Technique is a self-help method that teaches you to move, sit, stand and breathe with less effort and more enjoyment. During lessons, (which are usually 1:1 but it is possible to learn in a group), you learn to be more aware of your body and how you usually move, sit and stand. Once you are aware of this, you can choose to make changes to your habits and your teacher will help you to do this.
It is a powerful tool for self-development, self-awareness, mindfulness and for learning new skills.
It can lead to:

  • Less overall stiffness
  • Reductions in back and neck pain
  • Reduced pain in knee osteoarthritis
  • Less stress and anxiety

Lessons last between 30 minutes and 45 minutes. It is not regulated so check that your teacher is a member of one of the professional bodies. The oldest and largest is STAT, www.stat.org.uk and to join STAT a teacher will have completed 3 years of full-time training.
Actors, public speakers, singers and musicians find the technique helpful for improving performance and dealing with nerves.
It can be used by people of all ages.

Children and young people who have lessons report:

  • improvements in their overall learning and skills
  • improved quality of attention
  • better co-ordination and balance
  • enhanced self-confidence and emotional buoyancy
  • improved ability to recognise their habits and control impulses
  • relaxation and calmness
  • reduced pain and discomfort
  • the ability to think in activity
  • more curiosity

Good books on the technique:

Product Details 

Freeman, C. G. (2004), Autism and Alexander Technique: Using the Alexander Technique to Help People on the Autism Spectrum

Product Details 

Vineyard, M. (2007) How You Stand, How You Move, How You Live: Learning the Alexander Technique to Explore Your Mind-Body Connection and Achieve Self-Mastery 




(with thanks to Jenny Fox Eades for this information)

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Art Therapy

Offered by Catherine Pamplin

Art therapy is form of psychotherapy that, together with the option of talking, uses art materials and art-making to explore, express and communicate feelings, thoughts, issues and concerns. The ‘art’ in art therapy can help us ‘hold’ and cope with things that are otherwise difficult to bear and can bring unexpected and healing insights. Sessions focus on the things that are most meaningful, important and concerning to you.

Art therapy can benefit people of any age, background or ability, including those with complex needs, disabilities or life-limiting conditions. Art Therapy is used in many settings, including hospitals, schools, care homes, hospices, prisons, mental health services and community well-being initiatives. No experience of art or therapy is necessary and those who find talking difficult or impossible, or who simply crave a creative outlet, may find art therapy especially beneficial.

For more information visit the British Association of Art Therapists: www.baat.org

(with thanks to Catherine Pamplin for this information)

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offered by Ela Pekalska

Cupping has been used for centuries all over the world. It applies suction to the skin and the tissue beneath to draw out pathogenic factors, remove stagnation and improve both blood and lymph flow. Cupping massage, when a cup slides over a larger ares of the body, will also invigorate muscle and connective tissues. It can often reach far deeper than the massaging hands are capable.

Various cups can be used such as bamboo, ceramic, glass, silicone and plastic. In China, the most common are glass and bamboo cups. In Europe, the most common are glass, silicone and plastic cups.

Typically the large soft tissue areas are cupped such as the back, neck and shoulders, or arms and legs. Sliding cupping or cupping massage is more appropriate for smaller or more sensitive areas such as tummy area or face. Indeed, light cupping massage can be used for beauty treatments on face and neck, simply to invigorate the skin and remove the black shadows under the eyes.

Depending on the goal and strength of the cupping treatment, the underlying tissue is drawn up into the cup
and may make the local area purpled so that it may look bruised. These “bruising” marks are not dangerous and disappear in 3-10 days, depending on how efficient the lymphatic system is of a person. They may be tender during the first 1-2 days after cupping. Warm/hot baths with Epsom salts will help the skin to return to normal faster.

Benefits of cupping

By creating a vacuum within a cup, the underlying tissue is drawn into the cup, up to 2-4 inches within the body, depending on the need. The goal of cupping is to remove muscle tension and blockages in the local area, deep tissue massage, skin rejuvenation, increase lymph flow, activation of whole body circulation, boosting of immune system or to remove “old” blood.

Cupping techniques

The various approaches that I use are:

  • Light cupping  – weak or very weak suction is used in the cup. This is suitable for children, elderly or very weak people (in convalescence).
  • Medium or strong cupping – suction is from medium to strong, depending on the need.
  • Sliding cupping or cupping massage – a method that requires rubbing oil to the skin and moving the cup on the treated area using light to medium suction. This is a great technique to relax tight muscles and “unglue” layers within connective tissues.  It is also the most useful approach to cellulite or the one which  encourages fat burning.

Conditions treated

Cupping can help with a variety of muscle-skeletal and other conditions. This includes:

  • Upper / low back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Fatigued/weak legs
  • Arthritis and Gout
  • Stress and Fatigue
  • Digestive disorders
  • Fertility
  • Muscle tone
  • Sport injuries
  • Weak immunity
  • Sore scar tissues
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Cold or flu
  • Cough with mucus
  • Menstrual pain or other chronic pain
  • Eczema
  • Fibromyalgia
and much more.

With thanks to Ela Pekalska for this information

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Offered by Sandie Norbron-Shaw and Frances Taylor

Coaching is a training or development process in which you are supported while achieving a specific personal or professional competence result or goal. It differs from mentoring by focusing upon competence specifics, as opposed to general overall development. It involves helping you to identify the skills and capabilities within yourself and enabling you to use them to the best of your ability.
Some coaches use a style in which they ask questions and offer opportunities that will challenge you to find answers from within. This facilitates you in discovering answers and new ways of being based on your values, preferences and unique perspectives.
Coaches will use a range of communication skills (such as targeted restatements, listening, questioning, clarifying etc.) to help you shift your perspectives and thereby discover different solutions to achieve your goals. Coaching can apply to supporting clients in any human endeavour, including concerns in personal, professional, sport, social, family, political, spiritual dimensions.

What is Life Coaching?
Life Coaching is the practice of supporting you to create and start living a more fulfilling life. By helping you to achieve specific goals, the aim is to put you back in control of your life and assist you to achieve clarity, certainty and positive outcomes whilst we work through whatever issues are holding you back.
Life Coaching takes in to account all aspects of your life, often covering topics such as Career, Relationships, Health, Hobbies, Finances, Friends, Family and Fun. Life Coaching is often referred to as ‘whole person coaching’ as Life Coaches are concerned with their clients’ ‘whole life experience’.
The term ‘Coaching’ literally means to transport someone from one place to another. In life coaching, the mode of transport is a meaningful conversation between the coach and the client, which will gently challenge the client in order to create new ways of thinking.

What does a Life Coach do?
A life coach will use a wide variety of coaching tools and interventions which help clients to move forward. You will be helped to identify and achieve your goals, building your confidence and self-esteem along the way and ensuring you move forward towards greater life satisfaction and personal success.
In practice, coaching is a two-way confidential and non-judgemental conversation entirely focused on you and your life. It is through dialogue – gentle, probing questions and your thoughtful analysis.

Career Discovery Coaching
(offered by Sandie Norbron-Shaw)
Career discovery coaching focuses on aligning a client's passions, values and skills with their work. The workplace has changed significantly over the years and these days it's not uncommon for a person to change jobs as often as ten times over a lifetime - sometimes swapping one unsatisfactory job for another. Often people find that their work does not tap into their passions and dose not utilise the key strengths they most enjoy using. People become bored, demotivated and frustrated as they don't value nor enjoy what they are doing. Just because you are good at something, doesn't mean it's going to make you happy. Career discovery coaching helps clients to discover more about themselves including their values, strengths, skills and pleasures. It offers the opportunity to discover how they do want to contribute to the workforce and helps them to align their job, career path or retirement for a more fulfilling life. 

(With thanks to Sandie Norbron-Shaw for this information)

Sleep Well Coaching
(Facilitated by Frances Taylor, Wellbeing Coach specialising in Stress and Sleep)

Click here to read Frances' article about why sleep is so important to our health and wellbeing

If you suffer from insomnia,   then as a Wellbeing Coach specialising in Stress and Sleep, Frances can show you how to sleep well again. You can either join her Sleep Well group course or book individual appointments.  Click on the link for more information on the Sleep Well programme

In this video, Frances explores more aspects to sleep and how the Sleep Well course can help you achieve a solid seven hours sleep a night

If you are not sure that the Programme is for you, then Frances offers an introductory one-off session – just contact her on 07967968821 to arrange this.

(With thanks to Frances Taylor for this information)

Stress Management Coaching

We are all leading increasingly busy and challenging lives both at home and professionally; learning how to reduce and manage the impact on our health is becoming an essential life skill. Yet too many people try to ignore the fact that they are over-stressed or feel that somehow it is a weakness to admit it. 
By tackling your stress now, you not only avoid the risk of burnout but you will also learn valuable strategies and techniques that you can use whenever you need to in the future.  And you’ll get your life back!

In this video, Frances will explore the impact that stress can have in our lives and how coaching can be helpful in managing those symptoms

Stress Management Coaching with Frances is focussed, highly practical and effective.  As a Fellow of the International Stress Management Association (UK), she has a high degree of professional expertise and has worked with many individuals and companies.
With Frances you will:

  • explore the underlying causes of your stress
  • learn strategies to respond to stressful work and home situations
  • learn techniques to relax and sleep well
  • improve your work performance with improved clarity, judgment and focus
  • re-build your confidence in your own abilities
  • feel good again about yourself and what you are doing.

Just contact Frances for more information on 07967968821

(With thanks to Frances Taylor for this information)

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Counselling and Psychotherapy

Offered by Stephanie Johnson, Sarah Talbot, Karen Butler, Ann Curley, Tania Leigh, Helen Madden, Sarah McConnell and Holly Taylor

The aim of this information is to explain what counselling and psychotherapy are and what you can expect in terms of the difference between talking to a therapist and a family member or friend. The term ‘therapy’ includes ‘counselling’ and ‘psychotherapy’, and ‘therapist’ includes ‘counsellor’ and ‘psychotherapist’. There is very little difference between the two terms, some people consider that counselling applies to short-term work about a clear, single difficulty whereas psychotherapy tends to be longer term exploring more complex and deep-seated issues.
It is important to consider carefully your expectations of therapy and of your therapist. This information aims to help you to decide which type of therapy would be most helpful for you, and also what you would look for in therapy so that you can feel at ease discussing your personal and emotional issues.

Why people choose to have therapy
Usually individuals choose to have therapy because they are experiencing difficulties and distress in their lives. Sometimes people can be isolated but at other times, even where an individual has the most supportive family and friends, they can find it difficult if not impossible to explain why, for example, they may be feeling anxious and or depressed. Sometimes, it may be easier to talk about personal, family, or relationship issues with a person who is independent of friends and family. Other life issues and events which can be very difficult to deal with include bereavement, divorce, redundancy, health issues, bullying and so on.
However, you do not have to be in crisis or on the verge of one, before choosing to have therapy. You may be experiencing underlying feelings of dissatisfaction with life in general, or be seeking balance in your life and spirituality. All of these reasons and more will bring individuals to therapy.

What is therapy?
Therapy is time set aside by you and the therapist to explore what has brought you to therapy. Individual sessions will occur at an agreed time and date at an agreed place, which provides a ‘safe’ space - private, undisturbed where you cannot be overheard or interrupted. The counsellor will reach an agreement with you about confidentiality.
Therapy may include talking about life events, (past and present), feelings, emotions, relationships, ways of thinking and patterns of behaviour. The therapist will do their best to help you to explore your issues, so that you can identify the right course of action for you, either to help you resolve your difficulties or help you find ways of managing the situation.

(Adapted from BACP’s Information Sheet “What is counselling and psychotherapy”)

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

Offered by Holly Taylor

CBT focuses on 3 main areas, thoughts (cognitions), feelings and behaviours. CBT enables you to see how feelings, thoughts and behaviours are interconnected, how what you think can affect your behaviour and feelings and how your behaviour can affect how you feel and think. “ How we are feeling can often be overwhelming and we can feel lost in a whirlwind of emotions that can feel unmanageable and can affect all areas of our lives. CBT can help change this by working through these emotions to find thoughts and behaviours that can be changed and modified, therefore making the whirlwind of emotions settle and become more manageable”.

(with thanks to Holly Taylor for this information)


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Offered by Anne Hulme

Crystal therapy is an ancient healing system concerned with treating patients holistically through the precise placement of crystals on the body and the surrounding room.
The patient is viewed as a whole – with as much attention paid to his or her spiritual and emotional well-being as to their physical health, in contrast to Western healthcare (which tends to focus on treating one symptom/ailment at a time).
Practitioners select the colours of stones and place them on parts of the body. Stones are placed at the feet or held in the hands. Practitioners sometimes use crystal wands, which are placed near the receiver's body. Colour selection and placement of stones are done according to concepts of grounding, chakras or energy grids.
There is very little scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of crystal healing on a medical level. However, crystals have been used, revered and enjoyed for many thousands of years - both for their aesthetic beauty and for the peace, relaxation and harmony they seem to invoke.
Many crystal therapists train and practice right here in the UK, bringing a refreshing new way of thinking to people dissatisfied with conventional medical treatment.
Crystal therapy is a non-invasive, relaxing, natural and enjoyable process. Whether you believe in the physical healing properties of crystals or not, the therapy itself will offer you a chance to lie back, relax and get in touch with your body's energies so you can leave feeling refreshed, restored and de-stressed - a perfect platform for improved physical health.

(Adapted from http://www.therapy-directory.org.uk/articles/crystal-therapy.html)

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Offered by Charlie Moritz

Dramatherapy offers safely distanced ways of engaging with difficulties that you may feel are too hot to handle. Using creative action and playful methods, it offers opportunities to express and release feelings and to rehearse changes you want to make in your life. Through dramatherapy you can become more spontaneous, build helpful new awareness, contact inner wisdom and resolve problems. No prior experience of drama is required, simply a willingness to explore.

From the British Association of Dramatherapists http://badth.org.uk/dtherapy, accessed on 03/03/2015

Dramatherapy is a form of psychological therapy in which all of the performance arts are utilised within the therapeutic relationship. It can be offered as either individual or group therapy.

Dramatherapists are both artists and clinicians and draw on their trainings in theatre and therapy to create methods to engage clients in effecting psychological, emotional and social changes. They are trained to enable clients to address and resolve, or make troubling issues more bearable. Clients do not need to have previous experience or skill in acting, theatre or drama.

The therapy gives equal validity to body and mind within the dramatic context; stories, myths, texts, puppetry, masks and improvisation are examples of the range of artistic interventions that may be employed. These will enable the client to explore difficult and painful life experiences through an indirect approach.

They work in a wide variety of settings:

  • in schools
  • in mental health
  • in general health social care settings
  • in prisons
  • in the voluntary sector

The clients they work with will have differing needs; from children on the autistic spectrum to older people with dementia; adolescents who self-harm, people with histories of sexual and/or physical abuse, those suffering from a mental illness and women with post-natal depression.

 (Adapted from information from Charlie Moritz and the British Association of Dramatherapists http://badth.org.uk/dtherapy)

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Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

Offered by Lauren Ross

Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT is a relatively new discovery based on 5,000 year old ancient healing principles

The Eastern healing arts of acupuncture, acupressure, shiatsu massage and reflexology, amongst others, were derived from the energy maps established by these early healers.

The EFT process also draws important influence, especially for deep emotional and psychological issues, from the many people who have contributed over the ages to the understanding of human psychology.

It was in the early ‘90s that Gary Craig simplified the process and made it universally applicable for all. EFT stimulates the body’s energy meridian points (similar to accupuncture points) by tapping on them with ones fingertips. Mental, emotional and physical issues can create debris, causing blocks in these meridians. Tapping can clear these blocks resulting in improved wellbeing.

The following video clip from the BBC shows how EFT, or tapping as it often called, can be helpful - in this case to someone with ME


Many case histories show large improvements from:

  • Negative Emotions
  • Food Cravings
  • Pain
  • Cigarette Addiction
  • Drug addiction
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Allergies
  • Anxiety and Panic Attacks
  • Anger
  • Compulsions and Obsessions
  • Concentration
  • Depression and Sadness
  • Dyslexia
  • Fears and Phobias
  • Grief and Loss
  • Guilt
  • Insomnia
  • Jealousy
  • Negative Memories
  • Nightmares
  • PTSD
  • Self Image
  • Sexual Abuse Issues
  • Shyness
  • Traumatic Memories

EFT is usually rapid, long lasting and gentle and can be easily learned by anyone so can be self-applied allowing people to respond independantly to life's challenges


(Adapted from www.efttrainingcourses.net)

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Offered by Paul Needham

Hypnotic or suggestive therapy is one of the oldest healing techniques documented. From the sleep temples of Egypt through to the ancient civilisations of Greece and Rome, some form of hypnosis was an intimate part of these cultures.
In the early part of the 20th Century hypnosis was used almost exclusively by stage hypnotists and unfortunately gave a hopelessly distorted view of this very powerful therapeutic tool. However, in 1955 the British Medical Association endorsed the practice of hypnosis in Medical School education, since when it has become a very valuable addition to conventional medical treatment.

What is hypnosis?
The actual experience of hypnosis is very difficult to describe. Contrary to popular belief, hypnosis is not a state of deep sleep. It does involve the induction of a trance-like condition, but when in it, the client is actually in an enhanced state of awareness, concentrating entirely on the hypnotist's voice. The therapist is able to suggest positive ideas, concepts and lifestyle adaptations to the client, the seeds of which become firmly planted.
There is little difference between hypnosis and daydreaming, or becoming involved in a good book or television programme. It is an altered state of awareness which everyone experiences naturally. It's that lovely feeling that one experiences just before going to sleep at night, or as you come out of sleep in the morning.
Generally you will be aware of what is going on around you and of what the therapist is saying to you, you will remember a lot of what has happened in your session, and throughout, you are always in control. It is really important to understand that nobody can be hypnotised against their will and even when hypnotised, people can reject any suggestions that do not fit in with their own set of personal belief systems and their own personal integrity.

What is hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy means the use of hypnosis for the treatment and relief of a variety of psychological symptoms including: stress, anxiety, panic, phobias, unwanted habits and addictions (e.g. smoking, overeating and alcoholism), lack of confidence, fear of examinations and public speaking, allergies and skin disorders, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and many more. Additionally, it has proved of value within surgery, where normal anaesthetics have not been practical, in the wider sphere of pain management and in the areas of both sporting and artistic performance enhancement. Paul is a registered Hypnoslimmer consultant and a Smoking Cessation specialist. The following video clip describes the HypnoSlimmer virtual gastric band featured on the Lorraine television programme.

It can bring relief to existing conditions or to change areas where there are issues. With hypnotherapy it is possible to work with and transform the thoughts that lead to self-limiting beliefs. This is mainly achieved through using complete mental and physical relaxation and visualization techniques.
Our thoughts and memories have a pattern to them. When we change a pattern or structure, our experience will automatically change. Hypnotherapy can neutralise unpleasant memories and enrich positive memories. Have you ever wondered why some people are better than others at some things or why some people don't share your fears or phobias? Why are you different? Well the answer is simple everybody has had different life experiences and these are reflected in our view of the world around us and how we feel and act.
Our mental images, sensations and feelings are the basic building blocks of all our mental and physical resources. We can use them to build any thoughts, feelings or skills we want and place them in our lives where we want and need them most, to bring about positive long lasting changes.
Hypnotherapy is completely natural and safe and there are no harmful side effects. Benefits are long lasting and often permanent. It is often successful when other, more conventional methods of treatment have failed.

(With thanks to Paul Needham for this information)

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Sport Massage and Soft Tissue Therapy

Offered by Bruna Tamai

Sport Massage and Soft Tissue Therapy focuses on releasing muscles and connective tissues from tension and tightness often caused by postural habits, repetitive movements, injuries and traumas.

Moreover it works in a holistic way by assessing, treating and managing (through prescriptive exercises) areas of pain and tightness. It aims to investigate the root cause of a problem rather than just treating it and looks at the entire body rather than only at the area of pain/tightness.

An initial treatment will generally include an assessment of posture, strength, range of motion and biomechanics. Once the initial consultation has been completed a treatment is then designed to specifically target your body and the outcome which you are working towards. The treatment will be based on remedial, sport and deep tissue massage, as well as specific massage techniques such as soft tissue release, pressure point, muscle energy technique, followed by a continuous screening of the muscles and their ability to work properly. This is also supported by a programme of exercises specific for each person and aimed at strengthening and lengthening muscles.

(With thanks to Bruna Tamai for this information)

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Singing Bowl massage

offered by Ela Pekalska

Sound therapy and voice therapy along with the vibration of singing bowls is still little known in Europe, but it has been practised for thousands of years in other cultures. Suitable tones and the frequency oscillation make the sound reach into every cell of the body giving a feeling of harmony, relaxation and joy. It is a treatment effective for everyone, whether with an active lifestyle or resigned, burned-out, depressed or stressed-out.

singing bowl


Stress and singing bowls

Stress is a disease of our times. We live in the overwhelm of problems to solve, tasks, responsibilities and obligations to fit in a day, pressure to perform and the lack of time for quality rest.

It is necessary to stop in order to regenerate.

Dilemmas and a build-up of issues leads to anxiety, isolation from neurosis and eventually depression. The treatments which use singing bowls have a beneficial effect on the nervous system, relieve tension, eliminate energy blockages, hence facilitate the free flow of energy. You can find a solution to your problems, once you liberate the accumulated emotions and quiet your mind. In the point of stillness, a solution will reveal to you, effortlessly, once you allow it to happen.

Time to change

A healthy body houses a healthy mind. Stop for a moment and ask yourself: Am I in a good physical and mental condition? If you come to the conclusion that it is time to change something and take care of the health of your soul and body, why not trust in treatments based on the wisdom of centuries ago. Sound therapy offers a gentle introduction.

Benefits of singing bowl massage

The sound from singing bowls penetrates the cells deeply and encourages their coherence and communication. The benefits of using singing bowls include:

  • Relaxation
  • Regeneration
  • Increased energy flow
  • Improved metabolism
  • Strengthened immune system

Conditions treated

Singing bowl massage offers a unique and gentle treatment. It can assist in a number of conditions, or act as an aid toward improvement:

  • Rehabilitation, convalescence after surgeries and injuries, strokes or heart attacks
  • Gentle removal of toxins from the body, diminishing size of stones and cysts
  • Supportive treatment for rheumatism or joint degeneration
  • Ease of chronic pain, migraines, traumas, or menstrual pain
  • Supportive for the treatment of heart diseases
  • Regulating the functioning of internal organs
  • Supportive for the treatment of eating disorders and digestive issues
  • Supportive for the treatment of neuroses, anxiety and depression
  • Helping to improve memory and concentration
  • Supporting children with autism, hyperactivity, anxiety or learning difficulty

With thanks to Ela Pekalska for this information

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Tui Na massage

offered by Ela Pekalska

Tui Na, (pronounced “twey na”) is a Chinese medicinal massage, which relies on deep tissue massage, acupressure, assisted stretching and careful joint manipulations. It is one of the foundations of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), along with Acupuncture, Cupping, Herbal and Food Medicine, Tai Chi and Qi Gong. Tui Na can successfully address a big deal of health issues. It is used in many hospitals in China.

Inflammation and dis-ease cause blockages in the body. The cells may get swollen and produce little energy from food because of poor breathing, hormonal imbalance, stress, injury or otherwise impaired metabolism. There may be a physical or emotional blockage that impairs nerve conduction, or the free flow of blood and lymph in the body.

Firstly, Tui Na uses a plethora of techniques to deal with the physical aspects such as pressing, hand sliding, rolling fist, kneading, chopping, or vibrating palm, in order to release tension in the muscles. Secondly, it uses acupressure and finger work, as well as assisted manipulations (similar to the ones in physiotherapy and osteopathy) to remove blockages along the so-called channels (sheaths of connective tissues).

This makes Tui Na a complete healing system, because it combines the strengths of complementary approaches. Not only works this medicinal massage on the physical body helping to remove stagnation and encourage blood flow to the area, just like the western massages do, but it also works on restoring the balance of Qi, as employed in the Eastern techniques, allowing one to become an integrated Self. Qi can be roughly translated as the universal life energy, or perhaps conscious awareness. When Qi is strong and flowing freely, then the person is healthy, or quickly recovers when ill or injured.

Who can benefit from Tui Na?

Tui Na can be safely applied to babies, children and most adults in all walks of life. There are both very gentle and vigorous variations possible within the treatment (as well as any variant in between) that make Tui Na totally versatile to nearly all conditions and health issues.

The benefits of Tui Na

Tui Na is gentle when applied to babies and small children. It can help with majority of childhood aliments, such as colic, constipation, weak immunity,  tantrums, restlessness, lack of internal strength or learning difficulty. Children respond greatly to Tui Na, but they require the loving touch of their parents as well. My goal is to teach the parents a few techniques that can be followed at home, alongside the treatment.

Conditions treated

Tui Na can help with the majority of health concerns, both acute or chronic. Examples include:

– Migraines and headaches
– Shoulder pain
– Neck pain
– Upper back pain
– Back pain
– Sciatica
– Fatigued/weak legs
– Repetitive Strain Injury
– Rheumatism
– Stress and Fatigue
– Digestive disorders
– Anxiety and restlessness
– Hypertension
– Fertility
– Muscle tone
– Sport injuries
– Weak immunity
– Difficulty with decision making
– Anger and bad temper
– Sore scar tissues
– Poor breathing
and more

With thanks to Ela Pekalska for this information

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Offered by Sarah Talbot

Have you ever started eating a snack bar, taken a couple of bites, then noticed all you had left was an empty packet in your hand? Or been driving somewhere and arrived at your destination only to realise you remember nothing about your journey? Most people have! These are common examples of "mindlessness," or "going on automatic pilot." In our modern, busy lives, we constantly multi task. It’s easy to lose awareness of the present moment as when we become lost in our efforts to juggle work, home, finances, and other conflicting demands.
As humans we are often "not present" in our own lives. We often fail to notice the good things about our lives, fail to hear what our bodies are telling us, or poison ourselves with toxic self-criticism.
Human minds are easily distracted, habitually examining past events and trying to anticipate the future. Becoming more aware of our thoughts, feelings and sensations may not sound like an obviously helpful thing to do, however learning to do this in a way that suspends judgement and self-criticism can have an incredibly positive impact on our lives. 

Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to, and seeing clearly whatever is happening in our lives. It will not eliminate life's pressures, but it can help us respond to them in a calmer manner that benefits our heart, head, and body. It helps us recognise and step away from habitual, often unconscious emotional and physiological reactions to everyday events. It provides us with a scientifically researched approach to cultivating clarity, insight, and understanding. Practicing mindfulness allows us to be fully present in our life and work, and improve our quality of life.

The ABC of mindfulness
A is for awareness - Becoming more aware of what you are thinking and doing – what’s going on in your mind and body.
B is for "just being" with your experience. Avoiding the tendency to respond on auto-pilot and feed problems by creating your own story.
C is for seeing things and responding more wisely. By creating a gap between the experience and our reaction to, we can make wiser choices.

The benefits of Mindfulness include
Helping individuals to:

  • Recognise, slow down or stop automatic and habitual reactions.
  • Respond more effectively to complex or difficult situations.
  • See situations more clearly
  • Become more creative
  • Achieve balance and resilience at work and at home

Since the late 1970's there have been more than 1000 publications documenting medical and psychological research on mindfulness which demonstrate its validity and breadth of application.
There are currently two well respected formal approaches to Mindfulness: MBSR & MBCT. MBSR & MBCT are taught using a standard curriculum, and all teachers follow a formalised development route. Other approaches to mindfulness can be equally effective and valid, but are less likely to be well regulated.

(Adapted from http://mindfulnet.org/page2.htm)

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NLP (neuro-linguistic programming)

Offered by Sandie Norbron-Shaw and Frances Taylor

The official definition of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) is that
it is the study of subjective experience

But what does this mean!?

Subjective experience means how you experience and make sense of your world.

NLP is a total approach to discovering what makes a person behave as they do. NLP-ers are fascinated by the the structure underneath the behaviour: the habits, thoughts, feelings and beliefs that lead us to behave in a certain way.  With NLP you will discover how to change your behaviour in ways that enable you to be more successful, whatever that means for you, and on your terms. You can also learn new behaviours through the process of modelling excellence in others.

NLP is therefore all about understanding how a person ticks so that they can make the changes they want.

The term Neuro-Linguistic Programming was coined back in the 1970’s. These days it would have been called something much more user friendly but it may help you to know that
Neuro  refers to the mind/nervous system and how that perceives and processes information
Linguistic  refers to the language that we use to talk about our experience
Programming refers to the habitual, instinctive responses or patterns of behaviour that get triggered time and time again. These patterns can help or hinder us and can be changed.

NLP comprises an incredibly rich set of tools that are of benefit in almost every human situation.  Athletes use it to boost their performance (they learn the behaviours of top performing athletes). Politicians use it to help them communicate more effectively. Ordinary people use it to banish stage fright, improve relationships and discover choices that they had been blind to. NLP can also help you manage stress and develop your self-belief, assertiveness and confidence.

A brief history
NLP was created in the early 1970s by Richard Bandler, a computer scientist and Gestalt therapist, and Dr John Grinder, Professor of Linguistics. Bandler and Grinder invented a process known as 'modelling' that enabled them to study three of the world's greatest therapists: Dr Milton Erickson, father of modern hypnotherapy; Fritz Perls, creator of Gestalt therapy; and Virginia Satir, the mother of modern-day family therapy. They wanted to know what made these therapists so effective and to train others in their methods. They discovered how to  model excellence and then teach it to another and NLP was born.
Since its origins, NLP has grown in diversity and moved from its origins from therapy and health to a wide range of fields including Education and Business.

(With thanks to Frances Taylor for this information)

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Nutritional Therapy

Offered by Kathryn Rogers

‘You are what you eat’ may be a cliché but it has surely never been truer – particularly in relation to health and wellbeing.  Life is full of individual priorities – around work, around family - even around illness - and what we choose to eat may have an enormous impact on how we cope with the pressures of everyday life.  Additionally, ongoing medical conditions and other illnesses can often significantly influence our quality of life.
While it may seem that we are constantly bombarded with advice about healthy eating - there is far more to good nutrition than getting your 'five a day’ or knowing the difference between good and bad fats!

Personalised Nutrition
The key to successful nutritional therapy lies in understanding the root causes of persistent health issues.  Once that’s established, nutrients with specific potential benefit can be targeted, or nutrients that are potentially harmful can be avoided.  Nutritional supplements, if appropriate, may also be recommended as part of a tailored programme.
Our genes may determine how much we look like mum or dad, but they may also determine how our bodies react to the intake of the nutrients, our metabolism and how we function.  As a result, some of us may gain significant health benefits from more or less of particular foods or nutrients.
Turn on the TV, pick up a newspaper, tune into the radio – general dietary advice is everywhere and it can be as misleading as it is helpful.  Nutritional therapy recognises that everyone is an individual – so there are no ‘off the shelf-solutions’ – no ‘one size fits all’ approaches.  Each programme is tailored, individual and bespoke.
Nutritional therapy may help a variety of condition types. Your doctor may have diagnosed a 'pre-' or borderline condition, such as diabetes or hypertension; you may have been identified to be at moderate risk of developing a condition such as heart disease, or you may have had family members diagnosed with a condition that may be hereditary.
Dietary lifestyle changes may help address a range of specific long term conditions or may simply help you to work towards optimal health.

(With thanks to Kathryn Rogers for this information)

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Offered by Bruna Tamai

What is pilates?
There's more to pilates than developing "strong abs" or "core strength". Pilates is an exercise system that focuses on stretching and strengthening the whole body to improve balance, muscle-strength, flexibility and posture. It was created by German-born Joseph Pilates in the early 1900s and incorporates elements of yoga, martial arts and Western forms of exercise.

Initially adopted by professional dancers in the US as an effective form of recovery after injury, pilates has steadily grown in popularity around the world, and includes celebrity fans such as Madonna and Jennifer Aniston.

What are the health benefits of pilates?
There are many reports on the health benefits of pilates. However, few of these have been subjected to rigorous scientific examination and there's a need for more research in this area.

Anne-Marie Zulkahari has been teaching pilates for more than 30 years and is one of the founders of the Pilates Foundation teacher training organisation. She says pilates can help improve posture, muscle tone and flexibility, core strength and joint mobility, as well as relieve stress and tension.

Can pilates help reduce back pain?
There's some evidence that pilates can provide pain relief to people with non-specific lower back pain. For the exercises to be effective, they need to be tailored to the individual and taught by a qualified teacher.

Am I too old for pilates?
No. Pilates is suitable for people of all ages. Anne-Marie, who teaches in North-West London, says she has clients aged in their 80s. “It’s never too late to start,” she says. “With pilates, you can devise a programme of exercises tailored to the individual. With older adults, I tend to work on balance, posture, co-ordination and breathing. I offer more gentle exercises to work on their weaknesses and improve their mobility.”

Do I have to be fit to do pilates?
No. Pilates is suitable for people of all levels of fitness. Practitioners say it's a more gentle way of raising your activity levels, especially if you have poor mobility, aches and pains or an injury.
Anne-Marie says many of her clients do pilates because they're not fit. She says pilates can be adapted to raise the fitness levels of someone less active, and it can challenge someone very fit. Before starting any exercise programme it’s advisable to seek advice from your GP or a health professional if you have any health concerns, such as a health condition or an injury.

Can I injure myself doing pilates?
Pilates is a gentle, low-impact form of exercise. Injuries are uncommon. However, it's important that you find a qualified teacher and a class suitable to your level to ensure that the routines aren't too challenging.
If you don't exercise already or you're recovering from injury, it's advisable to check with your GP, a health professional and the pilates teacher before starting a class.

What’s the difference between pilates and yoga?
Both pilates and yoga focus on developing strength, balance, flexibility, posture and good breathing technique. With its emphasis on the unity between the mind and body, yoga has a more spiritual side that pilates does not. The main components of yoga are postures (a series of movements designed to increase the strength and flexibility of the whole body) and breathing.
Pilates also uses breathing, but its exercises focus much more on precise movements to target specific parts of the body.

The best pilates classes are in small groups where the teacher can develop programmes to suit each person’s strengths and weaknesses.

(Adapted by Bruna Tamai from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/pilates.aspx)

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Offered by Lauren Ross

Reflexology is an ancient form of healing which is non-invasive, yet hugely effective, with significant relevance in our current age. As a therapy to rebalance the human energy system and ignite the body’s own self-healing mechanisms, reflexology is now seen as a mainstream complementary therapy with many positive benefits for everyone not just those living with dis-ease in their lives.

Symptoms relieved include: IBS, M.E., Pain, Eczema, Insomnia, Overwhelm/Exhaustion, Stress, Anxiety, Constipation, Migraine and headaches. Holistic Reflexology can also help with high blood pressure, infertility and pregnancy – the list continues to grow!

It works by applying pressure point massage to the reflex points of the feet which correspond to the specific organs and systems of the body and is particularly beneficial for pain relief, stress reduction and restoring sleep patterns. Massaging these points helps invigorate our energy pathways, stimulating and helping to redress balance. It produces deep relaxation in the mind and body encouraging the body's own healing capacities.

Reflexology for Children

Sessions are available for children, aged two and upwards. In particular, children who are struggling to manage with life and/or specific life events. A variety of healing approaches are employed, tailored to suit the individual child requirements.

Sessions involve an initial chat, guided relaxation then stimulation to the reflexes of the feet, which correspond to the whole body. By helping to restore balance throughout the entire body and encouraging profound peace, we are left feeling re-energised and rejuvenated.

(with thanks to Lauren Ross for this information)

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Offered by Anne Hulme

The definition of Usui Shiki Ryoho - the Reiki System in which The Reiki Association has its roots is that" as running water smooths the jagged edges of a rock until it is small enough to roll away, Reiki flows to the areas of need, soothing and supporting the body's natural ability to heal itself"

What is Reiki?
“Reiki” (ray-key) is Japanese for ‘universal life energy and is also a word used to describe a system of natural healing, This tradition was rediscovered by Mikao Usui in the early 20th century and evolved as a result of his research, experience and dedication. The origins of Reiki are actually unknown, as it goes back many thousands of years, being an ancient tradition.

We live in a world of energy that nourishes and maintains all living things. When this energy flows uninterrupted there is balance and harmony within and around us, and we experience a sense of wellbeing.
There are many variations of Reiki, but in essence Reiki treatments can help the body emotionally or spiritually. It is a tradition that is open to any belief system.
Reiki treatment is a process that anyone can enjoy in the normal course of their life. Reiki can be used alongside other conventional or complementary treatment and often helps to provide emotional support during recovery.
The practice is taught by Reiki masters / teachers who have trained in the tradition passed on in person from master to student.

Reiki treatment
The method of receiving Reiki is simple. The recipient remains clothed and lies on a couch or sits on a chair and relaxes. The practitioner gently places their hands in a series of non-intrusive positions on or near the body. There is no massage or manipulation. The whole person is treated rather than specific areas. Sessions can take 45 minutes to an hour-and-a-half, depending on the client’s needs.
Reiki practitioners are not trained in diagnosis and will not predict any specific outcome from treatment. If people are concerned about their symptoms they should see a doctor.

What do Reiki treatments feel like?
Each person experiences Reiki differently depending on their individual needs at the time.
Clients may or may not feel sensations during a Reiki treatment. Benefits reported by recipients include deep relaxation promoting a calm, peaceful sense of wellbeing on all levels. Some people feel sensations of heat, tingling, or experience seeing colours, whilst others can have an emotional response, indicating that shifts are taking place, allowing harmony to be restored.

What do Reiki treatments do?
Reiki is a safe and soothing treatment that can be:
Comforting when life is tough
The relaxing nature of Reiki can be very helpful to people especially at difficult times in our lives. We can all feel overwhelmed or disconnected, sometimes there is a real sense of isolation, both emotionally and spiritually. Reiki treatments can bring feelings of peace, centeredness and an ability to cope better with the challenges of life.
Reiki can be beneficial in circumstances that are short term, but can also support people dealing with long-standing conditions, helping to bring comfort, acceptance and a more positive outlook.
Supportive during pregnancy
Reiki can be wonderful for pregnant women. Treatments can be very relaxing and enjoyable for the mother.
Calming for children
Children usually love Reiki. The length of a session is often shorter than it would be for an adult.
Reassuring for animals
Animals also respond well to Reiki, they too seem to find it relaxing and soothing
Helpful at the end of life
In such cases Reiki can be a great comfort, helping to promote a sense of peace and acceptance for the dying and their families.

How much would I need?
A single session may be sufficient, but it is best to discuss this with your practitioner. For instance, if you have long standing emotional or spiritual issues, a series of sessions may be beneficial. In general if you find that helpful changes are taking place, it is a good idea to continue treatment.

There are no known contra-indications for Reiki. It is a non-intrusive treatment that can be delivered in a variety of settings and requires no special equipment.

(Information and video clip from www.reikiassociation.org.uk)

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8-week Mindfulness course, Mindfulness for Living

Facilitated by Sarah Talbot

This 8-week course is inspired by the Mindfulness based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness based Cognitive Therapy courses which are well researched and proven to be effective in many areas of life's difficulties. The course helps calm our minds, cultivating and reinforcing different neural pathways which allows us to realise that we have a choice as to which thoughts to encourage and which ones to leave alone. We have the freedom to promote helpful, positive thoughts, which can increase our levels of energy and happiness no matter what our circumstances.

Research shows that it has a beneficial effect both on physical states (psoriasis, chronic pain, high blood pressure) and on psychological states (anxiety, stress and depression). In the UK it is recommended in some areas by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE).

More information is available at http://www.mindfulnet.org/page2.htm

We will meet as a group (usually 6-8 people) for 8 weeks. This will generally be weekly but may be fortnightly especially over school half-terms, to allow as many as possible to attend all sessions. Each meeting will be for two hours and during that time there is a mixture of exeriencing the mindfulness meditations, group discussion and teaching. No prior knowledge of mindfulness or meditation is necessary.

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Sleep Well course

Facilitated by Frances Taylor , Wellbeing Coach specialising in Stress and Sleep.

Poor sleep can affect every aspect of your life: your energy levels, work performance, relationships and physical health. In this video, Frances explores more aspects to sleep and how the Sleep Well course can help you achieve a solid seven hours sleep a night.

Sleep Well is a 5 week programme for anyone who has trouble getting a good night’s sleep. Developed from Frances’ professional experience of working with many clients, the Programme uses tried and tested techniques that work.
Frances runs small group classes periodically throughout the year.
If you are not sure that the Programme is for you, then Frances offers an introductory one-off session – just contact her to arrange this.

The core of the Sleep Well Programme is delivered over 5 weeks in weekly sessions with 2 further top-up sessions should you need them, whenever you want them. It tackles four key areas for good sleep. You’ll learn:

  • sleep habits  - the habits and routines that bring sound sleep
  • relaxation - techniques to unwind, stop endless thinking and get a solid night’s sleep
  • life style - strategies to ensure your daily schedule supports good sleep
  • thoughts  - how to stop dreading sleep and feel confident about sleeping well again.

Each week for 5 weeks you benefit from a  Sleep Well coaching session plus high quality Programme resources to support your progress. All being well, you will be enjoying great sleep by the end of the five weeks.

If you are fed up with sleepless nights and exhausted days, just call or text Frances for more information on 07967 968821

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Reiki Training

Facilitated by Anne Hulme

Two-day course (over a week-end) for anyone interested in First Degree Reiki Training.

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Mindfulness practice groups

Facilitated by Sarah Talbot

Have you attended an 8-week mindfulness course, either here or elsewhere, or have you experience of mindfulness practice? The practice groups are, as the name implies, where a longer practice is led and so allows you to experience regular practice in the company of others. There are two groups, both held monthly which last for one hour. The daytime group meets on a Tuesday with the evening group meeting on a Monday. Please contact me for further information and to confirm the dates.

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Mindfulness Retreat Days

Facilitated by Sarah Talbot

Have you attended an 8-week mindfulness course, either here or elsewhere, or have you experience of mindfulness practice? The retreat days combine teaching, discussion and most importantly, practice around a theme. They are usually held on Saturdays and sometimes the middle section is silent. Please contact me for further information and dates.

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This information is sourced from our therapists and/or the relevant professional body and where possible this has been attributed.



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It is our choices, Harry, that show us who we truly are, far more than our abilities. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter