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  1. fobwatchIt's difficult to choose a therapist and especially a hypnotherapist if you don't really think first about what YOU want from the therapist.

    You could easily compare it to choosing a roofer. You can't see the problem on your roof - you just know there is one and you have to reply on someone to talk to you and convince you that they know what they are doing on your roof and they understand haw to fix the problem for you.

    You don't really want to hear about how good they believe they are or what experience they have had or how many and great successes they have had. Impressive though that might sound, that is exactly what it is - sound.

    What you want the roofer to say is that s/he knows exactly what is causing the problem and the techniques s/he would use to solve it. Then you can decide for yourself how impressive s/he is.

    Well it's even more important with your therapist. Many hypnotherapist will commence to tell you how good they believe they are(sound), success stories they have had (sound) and how busy they are(sound).

    Whereas what you are looking for is someone who at least shows a bit of interest in you and your problem. You really want someone who is prepared to offer you a free introductory consultation and this time should be spent understanding you and your problem and giving you feedback and telling you how they would approach resolving your problem. They should be open to discussion and question and you should not make a decision until you feel comfortable that they understand you and are competent to help and you are happy with their approach.

    Obviously there are limits to the amount of time that therapist can spend on the intitial consultation so try to be succinct in your communication and listen carefully to the question and be sure to answer. Hypnotherapist usually have a lot of experience and know what they need to know so don't go thinking it is a session to unload all your worries and troubles but be prepared to go along with the theme and see how it comes together at the end. You will need to be able to trust your therapist and this is a good first exercise in doing so.

    If the therapist in confident in themselves they should not put you under pressure to book an appointment or make on the spot offers that run out and they should encourage you to take the time to consider your conversation, discuss with a friend or family member and ring back to book if they feel you are undecided.

    You should feel that you are in the company of a competent professional and not someone who wants to befriend you.

    Thankfully most hypnotherapists take their roles seriously and most will be happy do their bit to ensure that you have found the right person for you.

    Please do add your experiences of finding a therapist and let me know if you think this advise is helpful

    Andrea Lowe
    Hypnotherapist/analyst, NLP Practitioner and trainer

    What we vividly imagine.

    ardently desire. enthusiastically act upon.

    must eventually

    come to pass.

    Colin P Sisson

    It is only an illusion

    that you do not have

    what you want.

    Sanyana Roman

    The two statements above appear at first glance to be directly in conflict with each other.  Is there room for some kind of understanding between the two.

    The first statement seems to say that if you want something enough and are prepared to put a lot of emotional energy into that desire it will eventually come to you.  It is not suggesting that you are industrious - just determined in your wishes.  This is not the first phrase to reflect the sentiment someone famous from long ago believed that what the mind could imagine would eventually become possible.

    Who was it and what was the exact quote? (Prize for the first correct answer)  Just respond to the blog with your answer.  All replies are authorised before being published and each reply is timed and dated.  So make sure you get there first for the prize.

    The second statement could be encouraging you to reflect on what you have and be contented with it.  That's not a bad thing.  Often comstamtly wanting more out of life is a sign of an underlying problem and no matter what you achieve you still want more. 

    The world would be a very different place if we didn't have people who acted on that need and achieved great results.

    So you have to decide whether it is an unsatisfied and burning ambition that you ae holding on to but not doing anything about or just a way a thinking that has got a bit warped and there a few emotional issues that maybe need looking at to enable you to truly appreciate and feel contended with what you have.

    By the same token it could be a bit of a kick in the derriere as it is reminding you that if you are discontented with your life, you are accepting your life as it is and unless you start to really want something more you are constantly reaffirming your acceptance of your life as it is.  Possibly not even acknowledging or clearly knowing what you really desire.  Then it's time for a bit of soul searching and rethinking to get your desires aligned.

    Please let us know your thoughts on this and any examples of inspiring life stories relating to the above. 

  3. yoga sittingOne of the notable contadictions in yoga class attendance these days is that while something like 90% of students admit to attending yoga classes for help with stress and as an aid to relaxation, only 10% admit to an interest in yoga meditation.

    This is interesting because when the great yoga master Patanjali codefied his legendary Yoga Sutras on which most of today's yoga is founded, he only gave scant emphasis to asana and stated throughout his 196 sutras that the answer to mastery of the restless turbulence of the human mind lay in the practice of meditation.

    To Patanjali, yoga was a science of the mastery of the mind through meditation and not the body although this is not to say that he was not concerned with the health and purity of the body just that a range and sequence of asanas had not developed at that time.

     Having said all that, in hatha yoga we do recognise that it is possible to get to the mind through the body so all is not lost by those who insist they prefer to practise a weekly variety of poses with a view to moving ever closer to tranquility, serenity or peace (shanti) without the contemplative addition of meditation.

    Of course it is still important not to reduce our practice to one merely of posture and movement...but to also synchronise our posturing with our breath and be ever mindful of cultivating our sense of physical awareness in order to bring more lasting meaning to our routine....

    The amazing magic of yoga is that if you only practice the asanas with the breath and some degree of closing down relaxation you will in time begin to notice positive changes in your physical comfort, as well as your thoughts, feelings and emotions. and this is even without meditation. So just imagine what an added bonus meditation can bring on your journey to tranquility.

    If you are reading this and thinking that you are perfectly happy with your yoga asana practice and the end of class Savasana or relaxation is enough for you and if you practice daily in addition to your weekly extended classes then you are on the road to moving ever closer to that serenity.

    If meditation is something that you would rather avoid or ignore if and when your teacher adds it on at the end of class* there are other techniques that you can add to your practice that can help you in your daily life with more pressing worries, problems or weaknesses if your asana is not addressing those issues quickly enough for you.

    One technique relates to a concept in yoga known as sankalpa and this simply is a resolve to do something. The sankalpa is often used in Yoga Nidra or yoga sleep, a practice that involves gentle rotation of consciousness directed by your teacher when you are relaxing in the outset and near the close you make a resolution or sankalpa to make a positive improvement in some area of your life that is currently bothering does not have to be complex and is in fact better if kept is remarkable how effective sankalpa can be even after one nidra although sometimes several nidras are required...there is a saying in nidra "be careful what you ask for as you are likey to get it!".

    For those who believe that Nidra comes dangerously close to meditation there is a way to incorporate sankalpa into your asana practice not so far removed from Nidra.

    At the beginning of your practice whether you begin with a short savasana or sitting to centre yourself become introspective and think of what might be bothering you right now. It can be a long standing weakness that you wished you could turn around, a worry or negativity that you would like to turn into a positive. Think of this issue and then resolve that while you are practising your asanas and becoming aware of the energy and power of the posture together with the energy of the breath, you will bring this issue to mind while you experience that strength and energy.  Over time this practice will begin to melt away that weakness and it will be a powerful experience to notice it gradually fading away.

    While this is not meditation and will not work miracles it is adding strength to your preferred practice to help you deal with and come to terms with some of the every day turbulance and distractions of the mind. It may help in the war on stress and tensions and could make a difference to the quality of your day to day experiences off the mat in every day life.

    Barry Todd (Hatha Yoga Teacher, Bury Mind and Body Studio)

    *I came across a story from a yoga studio in California recently where teachers commented that some of their more "physical" students actually leave the class quietly just as meditation is about to start saying they have no time for that part of the practice...while teachers felt disappointed that some students were potentially missing out on some valuable practice it has to be bourne in mind that while there are some students that could benefit from meditation yet feel for some personal reason it is not for them possibly out of some misconception of what meditation is really all about, there are also some students whose needs are better served by more physical practice at that time in their life.

  4. Wheat in sunBarley is a grain and best as a wholegrain so avoid the pot barley.  Barley does not contain gluten as wheat does.  It is a lot easier to digest and is very soothing to the stomach.  In fact you can use Barley water to calm a sick stomach and it is quite surprising how effective it is.

    Barley Water is very easy to make , simply cover the base of a saucepan with Barely grains, add about 1 - 2 inches of water and simmer for a while until you see the water change.  It's not ewxactly a pleasant drink but it's not repulsive and if you are feeling queezy it usually does the trick.

    Barley side dish
    If you are planning to use Barley for a meal here is an idea.  Boil the barley until it is soft and edible use similar portions to rice.  In the meantime take  some flavourful mushrooms and an onion and gently fry in good quality oil (coconut oil is a good choice) until all ingredients are softened.  Add the drained and cooked barley to the pan and stir in.  Add Soy sauce and serve warm or cold.  You can also throw in some home sprouted seeds and beans  just before adding the Soy.  Extras: Add garlic to the ingredients.

    For a more piquant  taste use Balsamic vinegar instead of soy sauce.

    To make this into a full meal rather than a side dish add vegetables of your choice to the mushrooms and onions.  Depending on your choice some may need a little steaming before being added in.

    Barley soup/broth

    This is very easy to make.  Start off with one onion cut and chopped and fried in a saucepan.  Add a selection of vegetables of your choice (about one cup full per person in total) and toss in the oil with the onions.  For instance potatoes, carrots, any root vegetable, peas,beans, cabbagle, green beans etc. If you are using meat add the meat at this point and seal by tossing in the oil.  Add home made stock or water and a stock cube.  Use two cups of liquid per person. If you are not adding meat add red lentils or presoaked and cooked beans of your choice.  Lentils are good as they break up and thicken the soup.  Cook until all ingredients are well cooked and soft.  Top up the water if you need to.  Add herbs fresh if you can right at the end of the process or if using dried ones anytime during the cooking.  Add about 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs of your choice or 1/2 teaspoon of dried herbs per person or to your taste.

    To serve liquidise some of the soup to create a thick soup leaving the remainder to be added back into the soup to make it chunky.  Season to taster.

    Tip:  If you use a steamer to prepare your vegetables, don't throw away the water from the boiling pan, pour it into a jug and after it is cool save it in the fridge to use next time you are making soup or gravy (don't leave it too long though).  The water will be full of nutrients that have been absorbed from teh vegetables you have been cooking.  You will still need to add extra flavour though.

    Barley and You

    According to the FDA, the soluble fibre in Barley reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and can help to lower cholesterol.  Barley also contains insoluble fiber, which reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes and colon cancer. One cup of cooked barley provides 193 calories, 6 grams of fiber and 3.5 grams of protein. Barley is  virtually fat-free  and is also cholesterol-free.  So what are you waiting for?

    Please let us know if you try these and how you find it.

  5. Readers Questions

    injection Q.  Having been persuaded to have my very first Flu jab back in November 2011, which included the H1N1 (swine flu) also a seperate Pneumonia jab as well, I seem to have contracted one virus after another, which i never seem to have got before. Makes me wonder if my immune system has took a knock after having this vaccination. <more>
    We recently got back from a long distance coach tour and 'guess what? 'I came down with an evil chest infection coupled with a horrible deep tickly cough which has not only kept me wake several nights, but given me a sore chest, and painful back and stomach muscles. Currently on antibiotics which is clearing it slowly "i think",
    Is this common and what can I do to rebuild my immunity?? 'Think i might give the annual flu jab a miss this year though !
    A.  You are not alone and whilst there is no official acknowledgement of side effects from the jabs, the number of people who have said similar things to yourself is convincing.
    There is a very good article about those pesky little viruses  you are attempting to protect yourself
    from here and whilst you are on the site you could browse through some of the other related articles listed on the health articles page.  To rebuild or strengthen your immunity common sense prevails.  Eat right and live right, exercise, get plenty of sleep.  Unfortunately natural approaches to health do not have the speed of reaction that pharmaceuticals have but then again you do avoid the possibility of nasty side effects.  Supplements are a must for self help when you are under par but it can be like pouring water down the toilet if you do not take care when selecting the right ones for you.  Read our outlines on a selection of supplements in this and the next few newsletters and they may help.

    The jab certainly protects you from some strains of flu, it's therefore a personal decision as to whether you want to go ahead or not.  You should have a frank and detailed conversation with your doctor before going ahead with any treatment.  Ask what the possible side effects are and don't be fobbed off and ask what the cosequences of not hacing the recommended treatment are.  You are entittled to this and most progressive docotrs would welcome your interest

    Please let us know about your experiences of flu jabs.  Have they helped, have you had side effects?

  6. CornThe lastest news on GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms - that's food on the supermarket shelves) has some shocking but well predicted news. You may remember the protests over introducing GMO farms to the UK many years ago.  The government of the time wouldn't listen to the people, whose main concerns were that there was no research on the effects of long term consumption of GMO foods and that through natural processes the GMO could not be contained and would contaminate other crops.i.e. insects, wind animals etc.  Well here the evidence seems to show that those concerns were well founded.  I wonder what was so compellingthat the government was willing to go against public wishes and support the US in this?
    After monitring rats, fed exclusively on GMO corn for their lifetime, the results show an overwhelmingly significant increase in fatal tumours.
    It reported, "Scientists found that rats exposed to even the smallest amounts, developed mammary tumors and severe liver and kidney damage as early as four months in males, and seven months for females."
    The report seems to centre on Corn crops grown in the USA but which you a can be sure are included in your cornflakes, tinned, fresh and frozen corn, corn wraps and anything else containing non organic corn.
    But we know that corn was /is not the only GMO crop on the market.  It is said to be almost impossible to get wheat that is not genetically modified, unless it is organic, so that includes bread, pastry, sauces and many other things that have a wheat content.

    Rats are used in these experiements because they are most reflective of humans in their reactions.

    Some are calling it the thalidamide of the decade.

    Here are some links for more information - there are disturbing pictured of rats with large tumours on most of them.
    The report
    Daily Mail
    The Grocer

    What do you think?