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What do I mean my emotional freedom? Getting rid of all that rubbish you have been carting around with you since the day you were born.

Some of us don’t even know we still have it attached to us, some of us realise but choose to ignore it, and some of us try to pick out bits of it and work on those, but what Is it?
It’s the patterns of negative behaviours that we find we continually repeat in our life:

  •   Attracting the wrong people into our lives
  •   Manipulative partners, the needy friends who suck all your energy,jealous friends who don’t have your         back.
  •   Bad eating habits
  •   The need to fix someone other than ourselves
  •   Over spending, and carelessness with money
  •   Generally, where you over or under compensating on different areas oflife.
  • What happens when your living your life in this way is that it manifests as a physical ailment in the body. I see this in my reflexology practice. People who are suffering with stress are complaining of back problems, headaches, tiredness. People who hold their emotions in have congestion in the chest reflex’s because they literally need to get something off their chest. Those who don’t say what they want have sore throats, those with depression again have congested chest reflex because it’s protecting the heart, and their heart isn’t happy, I find the head reflex to be inflamed and the adrenal glands are tight. This is the body’s way of protecting its self but in doing so is making you feel ill.If you peel away the layers when you start to trying to analyse these different areas you would probably end up going way back into your childhood, where feelings of abandonment, and not feeling nurtured and good enough arise. You may be able to pinpoint the times or just have a feeling that it’s there and from these feelings of not being good enough, not trying hard enough comes the negative personality traits of low self-esteem, not enough self-worth, and not enough self-love. When we are lacking in these areas that’s when the patterns of negative behaviours start and you end up going around in circles in your life waiting for something to change, some external force that will make the love of your life turn up, you’ll lose weight, and you’ll walk into the job you

have always wanted, and have all the money you need saved in your bank account.
But none of that will be given to you from someone else, that all comes from within you. You have the power to change your mind set, to create a new loving and fulfilled life for yourself and it comes down to one thing. Self- forgiveness.

To move on and make changes in your life you need to let go. You need to let go of the beliefs that have held you back, and have belief in yourself that the goals that you want to achieve are achievable and that you have the strength to do it. Forgiving yourself is the first step in doing this. Forgive yourself for any situation in your past that you found yourself in, that wasn’t positive to your life then. By going back and releasing it, you are releasing the energetic link it’s had on you. One of the ways to do this by using reiki. It’s a very gentle energy healing method. It releases energetic blockages and patterns of behaviour and replaces with positive, healing, loving energy. I find this can be incredibly powerful for my clients. They can physically feel the release happening, and it may be something small, or something that played a bigger part in your life, but either way it’s something that your body has held on to.

When you start to forgive your-self and release negative energetic blockages be prepared for some major shifts in your life to happen, it may be a subtle change or it could be something ground breaking, either way whatever happens trust that it’s for the greater and for you to move on. Life doesn’t throw anything at us that we can’t handle, it’s our mind set and how we go about dealing with it that defines the effect it has on us.

You’ll know when you are ready to make a change when you find yourself drawn to a therapist, or therapy, or start exploring ways to work on yourself. I started through meditation a number of years ago, and it’s taken me on a journey of self-discovery mainly through my reiki training and ultimately, it’s given me the tools to change my career and start my own complementary therapy company, and help to heal others using reflexology and reiki.

Lorraine Adams is the owner of Toe to soul therapy; reflexologist and reiki master based in Twickenham, London. She specialises in Pregnancy reflexology and Women’s health issues. She’s a member of the Association of Reflexologists and CNHC.

http://www.toetosoultherapy.com/

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As the festive season draws near, you begin to dread the prospect of having to attend Christmas office parties, family get-togethers, and a host of generally over indulgent chow-downs. But you’re still committed to your schedule of carefully measured calories, exercising, and reasonably good and healthy eating habits. Or are you?

The problem with overeating, or not, is it’s so easy to give in to temptation. Especially when the environment you’re in expects you to dance to the same familiar tune. Everyone is enjoying themselves –  ‘it’s only right that I do too’. However, if you’re serious about maintaining your figure and physical wellbeing – the result of a whole year’s consistent effort, then you need to make firm intentions before the cookouts start rolling in.

The last thing you want coming over the festive hill is to have to battle away hard to burn pounds you put on rapidly while having a good time, and the depressed mindset that comes along with this. So it’s best to avoid this from happening by curbing your appetite.

Here are some intelligent ways you can bite the bullet and refrain from overindulging:

Let your daily calorie allowance be your guide.

Since you’re probably on an intelligent eating plan, it shouldn’t be difficult to monitor if you’re consuming either too much or too little calories on any given day. To stay on song, all you have to do is find ways of sticking to your personal optimum calorie target. You can do this easily by factoring in your own tasty snacks and treats. The beauty part of making these yourself is that you will no doubt do your best to keep away from ingredients which are fattening and unhealthy.

You knew about fibre already.

Foods which have ample stores of fibre in them are excellent deterrents from overindulging. They make you feel nice and full and if chosen cleverly will also mean you won’t be consuming extra unwanted calories. Fruit and vegetables are the obvious choices, and they also boost your body with essential vitamins and minerals. When you top up on fibre your body produces more insulin, which will help meltdown fats and sugars you happen to eat on those festive occasions. So even if you happen to be a bit naughty at Christmas you’ll still manage to keep added inches off your waistline.

Snack up smart before you…

While you’ve promised yourself not to get glued to a chair and go at it with ‘all you can eat’, you might still find it hard to resist those innocent looking Christmas nibbles. If you don’t watch it these can and do start piling on the calories. But if you go into a party well prepared beforehand, you’ll find it easy to turn down those salty and sugary hors d’oevres. Make a delicious snack you know you’ll enjoy heartily, something healthy and energy boosting. Chew on almonds and drop an apple or two before hitting the party.

Just mind the calorie culprits

It’s easy to assume what kind of foods will be served at a Christmas party. One thing you can be sure of is that the place will be packed with variety. So in addition to the salty and fat-filled snacks, you will probably find foods that will not have an adverse effect on your diet. Make the wise choices, be calorie conscious, and eat the healthiest options you can find. There’s nothing wrong with seafood, lean meats, and tasty salads. And go easy on the dressings and condiments.

But it’s Christmas

There’s no need to be extremely hard on yourself and no one wants to engage the sour face of the party. Within reason go ahead and enjoy. Sometimes cutting back on heavy workouts, taking a break, and easing off from your fixed diet can do wonders for the body to rejuvenate itself. Just don’t allow the break to extend beyond a week of relaxed eating and lazing about. You’re in control and get to set your personal eating limits. If you remember this, you’ll come back primed, stronger and more dedicated than ever before.

Article by Marc Dressen

       Congratulations to all winners!

The Holistic Business Awards took place at Olympia Beauty Shows Wellness & Nutrition live stage in Kensington, London on 2nd October 2016. These Awards were conceived to recognise all those people in the industry, who have experienced inspiring journeys and to recognise their achievements.
Holistic Business Awards would like to thank all high skilled participants who have entered the 2016 awards; picking the winners was a real challenge for our judges.
We are glad to announce the winners for the following categories:Untitled design-6

On a personal note, I would like to say how proud I am of each and every one of you who entered the awards. It was always one of my dreams to recognise those who do not usually get recognised due to social media reach, budgets, “who you know” and other factors that unfortunately dictate so many of our industry awards. You are amazing, and as I have said before…”behind every successful person there are a lot of unsuccessful years.
Just wanted to remind you that todays failures may eventually leat to tomorrows triumphs so please sort ever downgrade your dreams to match your reality, upgrade your faith to match your destiny.  Jayson x

SUBSCRIBE TO THE MAGAZINE HERE

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Inspiration Award 2016

Winner – Nina Dungey www.ninadungey.com

Second – Linda Thursby – www.barntherapy.com

Third – Sarah Bryan – www.sbholistic.co.uk

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Star Product 2016

Winner – Lumbacurve – David Pegg (www.lumbacurve.com)

Second – Sam the sleepy sheep – Rory Z Fulcher & Dr Kate Beaven-Marks The book is available on amazon

Third – Kneadsmust – Una Tucker (www.kneadsmust.com)

SUBSCRIBE TO THE MAGAZINE HERE

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Best New Business 2016

Winner – Etie’no Skincare – Jason Presious (www.etieno.co.uk)

Second – The children’s Reflexology programme – Susan Qualye (www.kidsreflex.co.uk)

Third – Waves – Sonia Russo (www.wavesmindfulness.com)

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Best practitioner 2016

Winner – Allison McQueen-Luzar (McQueen Clinic) www.mcqueenclinic.com

Second – Stephen Truelove – www.lovelifeloveyou.co.uk

Third – Rima Shah – www.calmandclear.co.uk

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Best Training a school 2016

Winner – The British Academy of Sound Therapy – Lyz Cooper www.britishacademyofsoundtherapy.com

Second – the complimentary therapy school – Melanie Bell www.thects.co.uk

Third – balanced approach – Mark Peters www.balancedapproach.co.uk

SUBSCRIBE TO THE MAGAZINE HERE

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IMG_0880Student of the Year 2016

Winner – Zoe Warner – Therapies 4 Forces www.therapies4forces.org

Second – Tom Rigby

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Finalists (no particular category or order)

Beet it

TheraH2O

Altrient

Highland Wax

Revive Active

Accredited Massage

The Successful Therapist

Quest Institute

HypnoTC

Shared Beauty Secrets

Clifton practice

Mary-Anne Thompson

Zoe Warner

Sammy Byrne

Carole Williams

Una Tucker

Karen Mellers

Anikka Burton

Gareth Stubbs

Katarina RhodesSarah Thompson

Joanne Adler

Cathy Harland

Allison McQueen-Luzar

Mark Sheilds

Sue birdied

Yevette Taylor

Katrina Beath

Natasha Richardson

Katherine Criegton-cook

Sarah Bryan

Malminder Gill

Bryon Saunders

Natasha Aspin

Kate Berridge

Roger Daniels

Russell Davis

Trevor Eddolls

Hazel Gale

Linda Thursby

J’adore Mamma

The Massage Company

Azenti Organics

Nurture 4 Life

 

Like many of you reading this, we too are a small business trying to make a big difference in the lives of others. If you want to support in our continued efforts to make a difference to the lives of practitioners….Then please subscribe to our magazine so we can keep helping you grow. Thank you.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE MAGAZINE HERE

With thanks to Vicky Killick who was instrumental in the awards process,  Ian at Olympia Beauty Exhibition, David, Josh, Joe and Claire at Balens insurance for sponsoring the awards, & Neals Yard Remedies.

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HTM 2016 Awards Logo

Following a successful Holistic Business Awards ceremony in October 2015 the time has come to welcome applications for Holistic Therapist Magazine’s Business Awards 2016!

We want to find the best the industry has to offer and we’d like you to help. You may know a star student, or have a colleague who’s a constant inspiration. Perhaps you’d like to nominate a great training provider or college, or an outstanding new business that’s already making amazing progress? Maybe you’d like to nominate yourself or someone you know as our best Practitioner, or you offer an amazing product?

Why not enter the Holistic Business Awards? The online entry process is simple.

There is only one week left to enter so please hurry,  good luck.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

 

 

Healing practitioners and other complementary therapists from around West Sussex, Surrey and beyond, have the opportunity to learn how to transfer their skills, to care for animals with a range of health and behavioural problems. Sue Newport, a renowned healer from Horsham, particularly well known for her work in treating horses with a variety of conditions, is holding a one-day workshop in Billingshurst, where she will teach complementary practitioners of all modalities how to extend and transfer their skills to domesticated animals of all types.
The workshop, certified by the Confederation of Healing Organisations (CHO), the charity that advances the practice of Healing, will cover subjects ranging from the legal aspects of healing animals to understanding how emotions affect energy fields around humans and animals alike.

Newport, who has a diploma in Craniosacral Therapy and Animal Healing has co-written a BTEC Professional Diploma in Animal Healing (Level 4) and currently runs Asentia College of Animal Healing, dedicated to teaching and training animal carers and those who want to be professional practitioners in Animal Healing.

Sue commented: “Having the ability to heal animals is now more important than ever because of our increasing cohabitation. We sometimes forget animals are sentient beings like us; therefore they suffer emotional, physical and mental issues just as we do. They share our experiences and energy fields, and, as much as we need to take responsibility for feeding and sheltering them, we need to give consideration to their emotional wellbeing alike. We all know of cats and dogs who have been subjected to abuse, neglect and trauma, so my message to therapists is to learn how to transfer your skills to provide a level of care that our animals, who bring us so much joy and companionship, so justly deserve.”

This workshop coincides with the recent release of groundbreaking scientific research from the University of Northampton, which has ruled out the ‘placebo effect’ as a reason for Healing’s effectiveness. The peer-reviewed research, which was commissioned by the Confederation of Healing Organisations (CHO), tested healing on animals, plants and human beings, with a positive result recorded in each instance.

Taking place at Billingshurst Community & Conference Centre (Roman Way, Billingshurst, West Sussex, RH14 9QW) the Animal Healing Toolkit will commence on Saturday 6 August 2016, between 10.00am – 4.00pm at a cost of £60 (non-members), £48 (CHO members). Refreshments available throughout the day – delegates are asked to please bring their own lunch. To book your place, please visit: www.the-cho.org.uk/events or contact Nicola on [email protected] Tel: 0300 302 0021

Ends.

About the CHO:

The Confederation of Healing Organisations is the leading charity advancing the practice of Healing: promoting its benefits as a recognised complementary therapy by providing education, research and information to a wider audience of Healing and healthcare practitioners, and society as a whole. The CHO’s website is an information hub of news, case studies and insights about Healing within the UK and internationally.

http://www.the-cho.org.uk
https://www.facebook.com/ConfederationofHealingOrgs
https://twitter.com/ConfedofHealing

Vtct

VTCT and Cengage Learning have teamed up to provide VTCT approved centres with high quality blended learning resources at economic rates.

Centres offering VTCT qualifications can now order best-selling print and digital resources for Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy or Catering at an exclusive discounted price, helping you ensure your students have the resources they need to succeed, and helping your college meet the requirements of the FELTAG report.

As an expansion to their existing partnership, VTCT and Cengage Learning are exploring the delivery of innovative digital resources, to support education providers and help their budgets stretch further. The aim is to develop materials so that course concepts come to life with a variety of interactive teaching and learning resources which can be perfectly integrated in to the classroom to cover the guided learning hours for each unit.

Ashley Barnes, VTCT Director of Education and Standards said: “We are pleased to be able to assist our centres in accessing high quality teaching resources at reduced prices. Colleges and other training providers operate within tight budgets and anything VTCT can do to help teachers and learners gain access to good teaching material ensures achievement and standards are met.”

Andrew Robinson, Cengage Learning EMEA Director of Higher Education said: “We are delighted to be strengthening our existing partnership with VTCT, and believe their expanding qualifications and our content and solutions offer a powerful combination and an excellent opportunity for VTCT centres to deliver benefit and value to their instructors and learners”.

VTCT’s portfolio of qualifications has grown extensively over the last few years and it now offers a comprehensive suite of qualifications for the sectors it works within. VTCT prides itself on offering qualifications that meet the needs of the industry now and in the future; ensuring learners have the greatest chance of pursuing their desired career. VTCT is also happy to work collaboratively with centres to develop programmes tailored to meet individual market needs.

For further information visit: http://fe.cengage.co.uk/hairdressing–barbering/vtctdiscounts.aspx

 

About VTCT:

VTCT is a government approved awarding organisation offering National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs), Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) and other vocational-related qualifications (VRQs). VTCT has been in existence for over fifty years and has been at the forefront of developing the vocational system of qualifications in the United Kingdom.

VTCT is a specialist awarding body, our full qualification package covers; beauty, nail & spa therapy, hairdressing & barbering, complementary therapies, sports, active health and fitness, hospitality & catering, education, training & development, skills for work & life, business, retail & customer service, apprenticeships.

With a head office in Eastleigh, Hampshire, the company employs more than fifty staff and has a field force of over sixty external verifiers working on a contract basis.

VTCT will continue to strengthen its presence in the vocational qualifications market in the United Kingdom, where qualifications from VTCT are offered at over 700 colleges of further education and private training centres. Further expansion into overseas markets is one of VTCT’s next goals.

For more information visit www.vtct.org.uk

About Cengage Learning:

Cengage Learning publish a wide range of learning solutions, both print and digital, for the vocational and professional markets across Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy, Catering and Hospitality, Automotive, Electrical Installation and Construction. In partnership with Habia, they are the market- leading publishers of Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy books.

http://fe.cengage.co.uk/

 

A few days have passed and we are beginning to see the first indications of issues which will affect our industry and how they may play out as a result of BREXIT. Leaving aside the politics and financial markets, both of which seem to be on a gleefully self-destructive path, it seems to be as difficult now to get to the truth of the situation as it did before the vote. Mass uncertainty is never good for business and we still have many more questions than answers.

Let’s take health claims in food supplements as an example. The UK was one of the strongest opponents of more stringent EU legislation. Does BREXIT mean that UK regulations will now take responsibility for nutritional products and supplements? Are they likely to be more supportive of the market? How will those who develop new products in this sector get approval for them in the interim period until our departure? The UK Health Foods Manufacturers Association, which represents many of the large, multinational producers, has indicated that it doesn’t anticipate any immediate changes but that there will be an impact on future legislation. IF UK regulations differ from those across the EU, some product localisation may be required.

Similarly, what about those who make and sell their own skincare, aromatherapy or massage oils? Again, many of the ingredients used are approved by the EU, so it may be simplest for the UK to simply move these regulations and approvals wholesale into the UK domain, potentially under the remit of one of the health regulators such as the Medicines and Health Care Products regulatory Agency or the Department of Health. There are a number of countries such as Switzerland and Norway which already do this, though using different mechanisms. We’ve already seen that medical herbalism has taken a knockback at the hands of regulators and we will need, through our industry bodies, to gather objective supporting evidence to ensure that our holistic therapies and products continue to be accepted and gain more widespread approval.

How will BREXIT affect our clients and our own businesses? Much will depend on the market niche we serve. The prevailing suggestions seems to be that we will enter another recession, with knock on effects of job losses and raised levels of stress and ill health. Indeed, the National Office of Statistics reckons that one in six UK workers suffer from stress, anxiety or depression already, at a cost of £26 billion to the UK economy.

Many of us, particularly where we provide services, have a relatively local client base, so the impact of BREXIT will depend primarily on local factors. For example, the closure of a major foreign owned employer, or a UK firm which can no longer compete with EU businesses or export, would result in significant job losses, coupled with lower levels of disposable income and higher levels of uncertainty amongst those still in work. This would inevitably have an impact on holistic therapists, so it makes sense to diversify the client base where possible.

Over the coming weeks and months, it’s important to remain optimistic and to regard this as an opportunity. Much of what happens now will be out of our hands, so we must take what opportunities we can, where we can.

Whatever happens, there’s one thing you can be sure of. Holistic Therapist Magazine will be here for you, helping you meet those challenges and make the most of those opportunities – providing what you need to build the business you want and to live a life you love!

 

Alison, Jayson, Vicky and everyone at Holistic Therapist

Like all of us, I woke this morning to a new, and unexpected, political and business landscape. All the polls suggested that we would remain in Europe, but this turned out, rather resoundingly, to not be the case.

As I walked the dog in a coastal fog, low rolls of thunder out to sea – even the weather reflecting the lack of clarity and worry many feel today – I tried to puzzle out what this means for holistic therapists with small businesses, those who work in spas, our students and those in our industry from outwith the UK.  The people have spoken. Now what?

Much of the legislation that affects our industry is formulated in Europe. Will, for example, the Working Time Regulations be dropped in the UK? Will we lose parental leave rights? Will it become easier to employ people without a mass of red tape? What happens to EU regulations that have been enacted, but which have an implementation period, such as the new Data Protection Rules? Should we still implement these?

Most importantly, how will it affect our customers? Uncertainty leads to stress, yet a potential economic downturn means people spend less on discretionary products and services. Will those of us who sell products internationally still have access to EU markets? How do we find new ones? Will those of us who provide services such as Skype consultations internationally be constrained from doing so, or is this a new era of open trade? The fact is, we just don’t know yet.

We do know that things won’t change overnight. Greenland’s exit took three years and experts reckon we will remain members, albeit with less influence, for the next two years. We will be working in a period of uncertainty and this will present both challenges and opportunities.

Whatever happens, there’s one thing you can be sure of.  Holistic Therapist Magazine will be here for you, helping you meet those challenges and make the most of those opportunities – providing what you need to build the business you want and to live a life you love!

Alison, Jayson, Vicky and everyone at Holistic Therapist

Lemon Detox book and can shot (2)I must have been feeling brave. Having decided to embark on my first ever detox during Lent, it felt the right time to pluck up the courage to give it a go. I had not looked up any celebrity endorsement nor had I been challenged to go without food completely for 7 days! I simply wanted to experience how my body and mind would cope in such an alien environment. I admit I wanted to loosen my partners grip on my love handles, whilst testing my resolve. Oh,  and my favourite slim fit black trousers were threatening to fit me in the same way David Banner’s jeans did as he transformed into the Hulk!

So what did I need to know, well the detox was created by naturopath Stanley Burroughs and was originally known as the “master cleanser”.  More recently it’s been dubbed the lemonade diet or lemon detox diet because, quite simply, all you ingest on the regime is a drink made of lemon juice, Madal Bal Natural Tree Syrup (a carefully prepared blend of nutrient-rich maple & palm saps) and cayenne pepper. You are given the option to substitute the cayenne pepper (helps speed up the metabolism to encourage weight-loss) with raw ginger, but I wanted to keep it pure.  A few days before, I cut out the caffeine as recommended by a contact that had recently completed the detox. I also went for the new ‘Free Be’ version which meant when you start your Lemon Detox, your emailed daily affirmations, prepared by wellbeing guru Susie Pearl, and yoga videos designed by Movement For Modern Life fronted by Lucy Bruegger, to support you in your fasting period. So, after a large Mother’s day meal and polishing off some pancakes filled with fruit, at 5pm on Sunday it was on.

Day one saw me take my first glass of the natural tree syrup with half a lemon 300mls of water that I chose to boil as I prefer warm drinks in the morning, with just a dash of cayenne pepper gave it a stir. It tasted sweet and refreshing, so far so good. As the day progressed I had to get my mind straight with the programme and was feeling a little strange.  I reached for ‘The Lemon Detox Diet’ – Rejuvenation Sensation book by Dr K A Beyer for inspiration and assurance and it fell open at page 9 where it reads: ‘The Lemon Detox Diet is for anyone who feels the need to take more conscious control of their life. It is a commitment towards bringing out the best in ourselves; towards exploring our potential and living life to the full’. This is a fantastic concept, yet I was more conscious of the headache I had throbbing in the back of my head! Flip book forward, and it opens at the dreaded ‘Cleansing symptoms’ page and there at the top of the list is headaches! It dissuades the use of chemical painkillers, and instead offers rubbing some lavender oil on the temples – I decided to grin and bear it instead. I tried not thinking about food and just kept drinking water and the odd herbal tea alongside the approved concoction.  The mindfulness words in the morning email you receive revolve around loving your body, accepting yourself and releasing toxic thoughts and feelings that will leave you better, stronger and healthier.  The yoga which I decided to do late afternoon was full of twists that encourage the digestive cleanse, after I had a few more glasses (you are meant to have a minimum 7 per day) of the detox drink I was starting to feel a need to go to bed, earlier than normal but my body obviously wanted me to have more rest. This feeling is in line the main purpose of the regime to regenerate the body. The plan is to help the body dissolve and eliminate accumulated impurities, clean the digestive tract and other organs whilst regulating blood pressure leading to improved circulation. Pondering this I fell asleep.

Day two was about getting my new routine right. The stomach that rumbled continuously on day one was less noisy and the headache was subsiding. I had to take the drink every two hours to achieve the daily amount, oh and there is a need to drink at least two litres of water alongside the preparation! I was fine in the morning, and then something very strange happened. When it approached lunchtime I got the sensation of chicken in my mouth to the point I felt I was or just had chewed some and then came a need for spicy beans – bizarre! This began a chain of food related events, first I put veggie filled pasta into containers which my lovely partner left on the stove, without a cheeky sample.

Then Mr Maker pops up on the box to entertain my baby daughter whilst taunting me with his food themed challenge! It was if he was talking to me through the TV and asking me to try some food, but I could easily resist, it seemed I hadn’t missed it.

I tried the intermediate yoga session which was more posture and breath-work orientated, again assisting with an effective detox process.  I have noticed my energy levels remained steady throughout the day only slowing as the evening turned into night. Okay, there is still a commotion in the gut so something was happening, but I had got used to the strange digestive noises. After a short meditation, wash and read I was feeling good and looking forward to day three.

I awoke feeling lighter and brighter, the last day had been challenging, but I felt that I had turned a corner. My routine as a consultant is early starts and late finishes so I sometimes struggle in the mornings and mid-afternoons. Now I felt ready as soon as I awoke my sleep undisturbed and dreams less intense. I wasn’t worrying about random thoughts and instead felt more present in the moment – absent of hunger. My routine was harmonious and allowed time to have a nap with my daughter in the afternoon as I listened to my body and it felt right. The Lemon Detox Diet book tells us that: ‘After three days, the body starts to eliminate toxins and reduce fatty reserves deposited throughout the body. While this process continues, we don’t feel hungry. Only when the deposits are used up does hunger return as the body tells us it is time to eat again’. However, I did notice my tongue had a white coating which is a sign of the purification process and happens during detoxification. When the tongue reverts back to a nice pink colour the process is complete. Unfortunately, this was not the case for me – probably unrealistic in just one week.

By day four I was actually feeling quite normal weirdly. I only really noticed being on the detox programme because of the drinks. I had got so used to my stomach noise that it wasn’t until I was in a quiet setting with others that I became acutely aware of my intestinal instrumentation. There are subtleties to the Lemon Detox that if you don’t stop to take notice, can easily pass you by. One is a sense of inner harmony which takes the edge off potential stressful situations. Being in balance is a personal goal so experiencing this sensation was massive for me. Most people felt I was mad to even attempt the detox, but this clarity of mind, cleanliness of body and sharpness of spirit meant I had got though the worst. I just had get through the next few days and notice whatever comes up.

Feeling revitalised on a Friday was a completely new for me as I am normally pretty tired, but instead was looking forward to the Serenity Session being held by Leah Bracknell in Worthing later in the evening. Although the journey due to severe traffic was potentially stressful, the session itself saw me flow through the two hours, surprising myself with how energised I was. The closing ceremony was powerful and I expect heightened due to my current cleanse. I left feeling refreshed and soothed gliding home with ease and to a good nights sleep. The final days on the detox were not a problem, getting the body adjusted to actually having solid food again was challenging. Being my very first detox of any sort my mind clicked back to normality within 48 hours of finishing 7 days and although I avoided the recommended meat, fish, eggs, bread and sweets I foolishly had some pasta – big mistake! I had to go back to bed mid-afternoon to recover; needless to say I went back to soups and won’t be doing that again. However, it had been a transformative experience. I had already considered doing it all again later in the year and after watching a documentary called ‘Eat, Fast & Live Longer’ featuring Dr Michael Mosley confirmed a definite life change.

Although I had not weighed myself it was all about the cleansing process rather than weight loss, I decided to put on the slim fit black trousers and…Success! There was no hint of them ripping Hulk like, as they fit me again. I was happy and glad I did the lemon detox and would encourage anyone looking to heal from within to consider it. Novelist Paulo Coelho put it aptly: ‘Be brave, take risks, nothing can substitute experience’.

For more information on The Lemon Detox visit the website: www.lemondetox.com.

Written by Peter Courtney-Fitch

Body Lotion model shotHow can we slow down, just for a few moments and make wise choices about looking after ourselves? How do we top up our reserves? Practising mindfulness meditation can help when demands are high and our reserves are low. The essence of mindfulness is a compassionate acceptance of things being as they are at this very moment. This is not easy. Things may not be as we want them to be and it can be quite scary to feel the emotions and physical sensations that are there when we slow down. This is why many of us keep going, driven to keep occupied and avoid turning towards painful thoughts, feelings and physical discomfort under the surface. The trouble is, this can lead to exhaustion.

Mindfulness meditation encourages us to pause throughout the day. This allows us to understand more about what is going on for us and decide how to look after our own needs, along with the needs of others. So, how do we weave mindful practices into our every day life?

Being in the shower mindfulness meditation

Having a shower can be a great mindful activity to choose, as this may offer you a bit of uninterrupted privacy in a busy household. Say to yourself: “Just for these few minutes there is nowhere for me to go, nothing else I need to do. This is exactly where I need to be right now. Whatever thoughts arise about things I need to sort out, I can come back to them later, just not right now. Right now I will pay attention to the experience of being in the shower for the next few minutes”. All that is required is to pay attention to the experience of being in the shower as it unfolds. The aim is not to feel any different – just create the space to accept and allow yourself to be exactly as you are, with gentleness, kindness and compassion.

Notice the movement of your body as you turn on the shower. Feel the temperature of the water, the decision when it is just right to step in. You may already have a cascade of thoughts about wanting a different, more powerful shower, or appreciating the flow of clean water. Whatever your thoughts, notice them, acknowledge them and, without judging yourself, bring your attention back to the feel of the water. Use all of your senses, looking at the pattern the water makes, hearing the sound of the water and feeling the sensation of the water falling on your skin. Notice the smell and consistency of the products you use. Maybe you are drawn to a particular body wash – notice the smell, the feel of it in your hand.

Notice where you start your washing routine? Tune into the physical sensations within your body as you wash. How does your skin feel? Soft, rough, smooth? Can you feel the muscles beneath the skin? You may choose to massage the skin as you wash. What do you notice? Just check in with each area and gently turn towards each experience with curiosity. Turning your full attention to being present, in this moment.

Whenever thoughts arise and your mind wanders, be gentle and kind with yourself. This is what minds do. Notice the thoughts and, without following where they were taking you, gently bring your attention back to being in the shower, the water and where you were in your washing routine. You may need to do this again and again. This is the practice. Acknowledge important thoughts, or calls to action, saying: “I will come back to you later, just not right now”. Then draw your mind back to being in the shower. You may find you are impatient, or wonder why you are doing this exercise, or feel frustrated that your mind is so busy. What ever your experience, just reassure yourself that this is natural and there is no need to be good at this, or for you to feel a certain way. Just doing the practice for these few minutes is enough.

Notice if you have any judgements about yourself, liking, disliking or criticising.  As best as you can, acknowledge all of these and let them be there, without following the train of thought. Hold them gently, with kindness and compassion. Each time bring the focus of your attention back to where you are, back to each movement, each physical sensation, back to just ‘being’ in the shower.  Come back to the feeling in your body right now at this moment. Maybe there is an ache, stiffness, or pain somewhere. Gently turn towards and acknowledge it with compassion. Check that your posture is not adding to the discomfort, softening your knees, letting your shoulders relax, lifting up through the spine, releasing tension in your jaw. Feel the heat of the water and all of the sensations along with the pain that is there. If you wish, your focus can move to the sensations of your breath flowing into and out of your body. Notice the rise and fall of each breath, without changing it, let the breath breathe itself. Notice where in your body you feel the breath? If your mind wanders, congratulate yourself on noticing and just bring your attention back to the next breath, this breath, as though it was the first time you have explored the sensation of breath flowing in and out of your body. Letting the attention on the breath dissolve, your focus can widen to the whole of your body, or narrow to the part of the body you were washing, paying close attention to the sensations there.

Let yourself notice the feeling of your scalp moving as you shampoo your hair. As you move to rinsing your hair, notice each movement, your posture. Be mindful of each transition in your routine, and of how you are taking care of yourself. When you wash your face, you may want to let your fingers circle gently over your skin, fast or slow, or perhaps pressing gently on points in your face – at the temples, between your eyebrows, in the centre of your forehead, above your eyebrows, press gently and then release the pressure. Press at either side of the bridge of the nose, down and out to the cheeks, at the bottom of the cheekbones, at the back of the head – wherever feels right as you tune into the pressure and the sensations.

As you reach the end of the shower meditation, take a moment to extend gratitude towBody Washes_small rangeards yourself for giving yourself this time and attention. As you dry and move into the rest of your day, set your intention to be fully present in whatever you do next.

Listening to your body and choosing products that meet your needs at that time can add to the sensory, nurturing experience. Whether you ease your mind and body with relaxing lavender, or revitalise yourself with Sicilian lemons, warm aches and pains with arnica, or detoxify with birch – make time for yourself and step out of ‘doing’ into ‘being’ for a few minutes each day.

Nina Watson - mediumDr Nina Watson is a clinical psychologist; massage therapist, mindfulness meditation teacher and Weleda Wellbeing Advisor. She discovered mindfulness meditation was very helpful working with staff and patients in the NHS cancer services and very useful personally. She has practiced a lot, especially during the early hours when waking through the night with small children!

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