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By West Norwood Therapies Team, Feb 13 2020 11:31AM

Feldenkrais teacher Jenny shares the first in her exploration of the Feldenkrais method using three case studies to illustrate how the method works and what you might experience in a session.

To explain a bit more about what the Feldenkrais Method is, I’m going to talk about 3 clients that I currently see, Steve, Hannah and Sara. (not their real names)


I’m not doing it, he is discovering himself

Steve is 46 and works in the city. He’s married with a child. He came to see me because of what he called general stiffness, with niggling pains now and then in his back, neck and left knee. He’s fairly fit, running regularly and goes to the gym. These kinds of concerns are common with people I see. Only the details and size of the problem vary. First of all: my job isn’t to wave a therapist’s magic wand and make Steve feel better!

My job is to help him see what he’s doing - that he doesn’t know that he’s doing that is causing him to feel stiff and in pain. It goes without saying he’s stressed and anxious a lot of the time.

So I observe how is he holding himself, how he sits and walks. How does he respond when I gently do certain movements? Are his joints having a conversation with each other, or are there habitual unnecessary muscular tensions stopping the flow of this conversation ?

This might sound a bit strange, but let’s look at it this way; there are several hundred joints in the body, and they’re all connected both anatomically and bio mechanically. In Steve’s case, the pain in his neck is related to how he holds his shoulders, how he has discomfort turning and looking to one side and over one shoulder, how he uses his eyes, what’s happening below in the rest of his spine, rib cage, pelvis and 2 feet!

Yes! our skeleton is like a dynamically connected pearl necklace or a wonderful machine, each part having a knock on effect with every other part.

So I bring attention to different parts in Steve, getting him to sense how the parts do or don’t connect, where he is preventing movement, where he’s restricted and how we might lessen the load. This is done through gentle touch and often with talking also. This sounds like a lot of work, but it is in fact very relaxing! And it’s like waking something up in him.

So each week Steve comes to my practice and sits for 5 or 10 minutes and then lies down on a table for 40 minutes or so, and we explore all of these possibilities within him. I’m not doing it, he is discovering himself.

Gradually his stiffness is going, his gym workouts are improving, he has more time for his son, he feels less anxious with his work load, he feels taller walking down the corridor. These are things he has reported to me over the last 10 weeks.

And this is the beauty of the Feldenkrais method. Steve’s nervous system which is built for learning - is learning through gentle exploration, and through developing his attention to his own internal sensations, in the same way that a new born baby learns to roll, crawl, stand up, walk and run, all without a teacher!

I’m not imposing anything on him in the lessons. I’m helping him find an inner quality, which becomes a resource for the rest of who he is, and his life. And, helps his neck pain!

By West Norwood Therapies Team, Jan 19 2020 04:59PM

Sports massage therapist Lauren O'Sullivan considers a new year goal to get fit and what your body might go through if you choose to start this. Wise words!

Many people embark on a fitness journey of some kind in January. It’s the start of a new year, and in this case a new decade, so people feel inspired by an opportunity to start fresh. Wonderful! People feeling inspired to create a healthy and strong body is something I wholeheartedly endorse. The problems arise when people try to copy or conform to others’ plans or ideas to get fit.

The most important element you can put into your fitness journey is uniqueness. How is this journey going to benefit YOU and help YOU stick with it in the long term? Firstly, know what you enjoy that gets you moving. If you have no idea, sign up for a few different classes or activities (the great thing with it being January is that a lot of these have starter/trial offers!). Once you have found something you enjoy, you’ll WANT to get up and do it; you’ll look forward to it.

So, you’ve been ploughing full steam ahead on your new fitness regime and the first few days were great. Now you suddenly start feeling tired and achy and WORSE than you did before you started – what is going on?! I have 4 letters for you: DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). When changing your fitness routine in any way, be it increased weights, more repetitions of something, or especially introducing new movements entirely, your muscles need some time to adjust. In the beginning they are being worked harder or differently to usual and so will need to adapt and grow. This leads to soreness within the worked muscles that passes over time as you get used to the movement. DOMS can be reduced with some easy habits: stretching after exercise/cooling down, foam rolling, hot Epsom salt baths, and massage. However notice my use of words, reduced not prevented!

Another very important thing to include in your fitness journey is rest days. The temptation to go hell for leather and exercise daily is high when you’ve got all of this inspiration and enthusiasm. Trust me though, if you want longevity you need to let your body rest. Rest is essential for recovery and helps to prevent injury. Alongside this, good nutrition will help to fuel your body to continue the journey. Not to mention if you’re working out more regularly, you’ll probably be hungrier! Listen to your body and fuel it with the energy that it needs.

One final thing - don’t be disheartened if things are hard at the beginning; you’re a beginner! Don’t compare yourself to others that are already well into their fitness journey or on a completely different one to you. It doesn’t matter what others think, this is your journey and it only matters what you think and how you feel day to day. Maybe some days are really tough and you feel really sore, other days you’ll feel amazing and on top of the world. Take each day as it comes and if you need more rest days some weeks, take them. If you need a massage, book one. After all it’s a journey; there isn’t really an end destination.

By West Norwood Therapies Team, Dec 23 2019 09:56AM

Yoga teacher, Reflexologist and Reiki practitioner Laura Devonshire introduces her new Tibetan Singing Bowl session on Sunday evenings in 2020 to coincide with each Full Moon - bliss!

Sound has been used as a tool for meditation, prayer and healing for thousands of years across many different cultures.

Tibetan Singing Bowls create beautiful and powerful multi-layered pulses of sound that affect our brainwaves. During sound healing the singing bowls entrain the brain to move from Beta brainwaves, our normal waking state to Theta brainwaves that are dominant in deep mediation. It is in theta that our senses withdraw from the external world and focus within.

Our bodies are made up of millions and millions and MILLIONS of atoms and molecules that form our cells, tissues and organs. With quantum physics we acknowledge that all atoms vibrate and emit their own frequency.

Through sound healing we are working to restore and rebalance the vibrational frequency in all the cells, tissues, organs of the whole body. Encouraging equilibrium and homeostasis for the body, mind and soul.

Some of the benefits include:

* A deep sense of relaxation and rejuvenation

* Promotes deeper sleep

* Deepens meditative states

* Increased energy levels

* Increased levels of concentration

* It can release old emotional traumas

* Physical pain can be alleviated

Laura offers the following treatments at West Norwood Therapies:

1:1 Sound Massage: The bowls are placed directly on the body and chimed to feel powerful vibrations. Our bodies consist of more than 65% water, if you visualise a stone dropped in water, the ripple effect is the same for the vibrations travelling through the cells in our body, simultaneously relaxing and rebalancing them.

1:1 Sound Therapy: A deeply relaxing treatment where the bowls are placed around the body mapped to the seven main chakras. The bowls are chimed in a sequence to bring balance to each of the chakras and their corresponding areas of the body.

1:1 Appointments are available Thursdays between 11.00am-5.00pm and Fridays 3.30pm-6.30pm.

Group Sound Baths: This is a group session for a maximum of 7 people. A calm and relaxing space inviting everyone to make themselves comfortable for the sound immersion. Full Moon Sound Baths will take place on the following Sunday evenings, 6.30-7.30pm:

19th January

16th February

22nd March

19th April

17th May

14th June

19th July

16th August

13th September

11th October

15th November

13th December

By West Norwood Therapies Team, Dec 5 2019 11:38AM

Reflexologist Laura Devonshire explains what happens when you come for a reflexology appointment.

*Laura is running a special offer during December 2019 *

Your first Reflexology treatment includes in-depth personal consultation to understand your medical and lifestyle history, this is to ensure the treatment is tailored specifically to your needs and requirements.

Laura will make you comfortable with bolster support for your knees and ankles. It is only necessary to remove your shoes and socks for the treatment as pressure will only be applied to the feet and lower legs. Laura may also treat the hands if necessary.

There are many different reactions one can experience during a treatment and each person responds differently, also understanding it can change with each treatment depending on what you are experiencing and how you are feeling on that particular day.

One may experience some of the following reactions; changes in temperature, changes in emotions: feeling the need to laugh, cry or sigh. Feeling of being in a deep meditative state or on occasion falling asleep. One may experience visualisations, different tingling sensations across the body or feelings of some pain and discomfort over specific reflex points.

The treatment closes with a foot massage using a soothing and nourishing organic cream and grounding to gently bring you round. It’s important to drink plenty of water to help with the clearing and cleansing process.

You can feel the effects of the treatment in the following days as reflexology continues working to achieve a state of homeostasis. Based on your needs and requirements you can discuss follow up sessions that can either form part of a complete treatment plan or be stand-alone for relaxation and balance.

Laura is a qualified Preconception and Pregnancy Reflexology Practitioner.

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