Sunday, 30 September 2012

Step Up

Step Forward to Step Up

Quite often (as the old saying goes) your best life really IS just outside of your comfort zone, the problem  when the giant leap seems too massive is that it can leave you frozen in fear instead of pro-actively taking action. The great news is that you very rarely have to take a giant leap! most of the time just one small achievable step is all you need commit yourself to.
 Here's a tiny example....stop procrastinating about exercising because you need the time and money to make it to the gym, you'll NEVER get there if you keep talking that talk, but you can get up 15 minutes early one day this week and stretch a bit, that's it, make a cup of tea, job done you took your first step. Next week, step 2, start wearing your gym shoes around the house, lunge a couple of times a day. In 3 weeks time it'll start becoming a habit and by week 4 I guarantee you'll be hatching a plan for an exercise routine. You possibly still won't have the gym-time or money but who cares you'll already be walking the walk.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Thermo Auricular Therapy (de-cluttering between the ears)

The ancient art of Ear Candling is still relatively new to some people so I thought I'd write a little about the treatment and some of it's benefits....
Ear Candling is a gentle holistic therapy so following a consultation (using an otoscope so I get a good before and after impression) you can kick back and relax. The ear candles I use are a pure cotton flax tube impregnated with beeswax and infused with natural extracts and essential oils (they of excellent quality and smell divine :-) While you lay comfortably on the therapy bed, the lit candle is gently held in the outer ear canal. The slight warmth and vibration from the candle column creates a massaging function that helps surface wax to drain away and harder impacted wax can be drawn into the candle filter (if one ear carries more wax than the other you can actually see this in the filter after treatment).
 Important acupressure/meridian points are stimulated to invigorate the immune system whilst the concentrated vapour from the essential oil makes its way through the ear nose and throat for a soothing effect. This process is repeated in the other ear followed by a facial pressure point massage which will help the body to continue to drain away any mucus congestion. Here in the Medshed (at no extra cost) Candling sessions are often rounded off with a little Reiki and a cup of green tea if you so wish :-)

10 conditions  Ear Candling can be useful for 
Excessive wax build-up
Regulation of pressure in the ears and head
Blocked tear-duct
Hay fever
Facial neuralgia

As with all therapies there are a list of conditions where Candles cannot be used: perforated ear drum, grommets or a cochlear implant in place. Epilepsy and early pregnancy are not advised either due to some of the essential oil ingredients.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Are You A Nutter?


Just 3 Brazil nuts per day can help provide the antioxidant selenium that reduces your risk of colon cancer and ALSO boosts skin elasticity and slows down your biological age.
Brazil nut pesto....throw some parsley, a handful of brazils, squeeze and zest of a lemon, garlic and sea salt into the whizzer, this not only tastes fabulous but can also double up as a facemask (you might want to omit the garlic for that one!)

A good handful of walnuts will lift your heart; they've a great source of heart protective omega 3.
If you're blessed with a magic Vit-mix or similar kitchen gadget you can whizz up 3 cups of walnuts, 1 tbsp. of olive oil, pinch of sea salt and hey presto you've got yourself a nut butter. You can try this with most nuts.

Almonds have calcium, magnesium and phytochemicals which help to protect against disease. 1oz of almonds provides 35% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin E.
Almond and/or Cashew milk.... soak nuts in fresh water for 6 hours, drain water off, blend  soaked nuts with 3 cups of water, add a date or two if you need it sweetening, strain the bits out and drink, keeps for up to 3 days in the fridge.

Pure Shea butter which is the fat taken from the Shea nut has an abundance of vitamin F. It melts into a dreamy moisturizer when it makes contact with the skin. It's also wonderful for smoothing hair and nail cuticles.

Ok... coconut isn't exactly a nut but it's such a versatile fabulous gift of the earth that it would be rude not to give it a mention here. Coconut oil can be used in, baking, frying, smoothies and salads, applied all over your body or even on creaking hinges!!  The presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid in the oil means that it will help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and boost your immunity along side a gazillion other benefits including brain function. Use it in place of other oils, including butter and olive oil.

Ps...Please ignore the above if you have a nut allergy :-)

Friday, 14 September 2012

Move Your SpotLight

This mindful “spotlight” practice can create actual positive physical changes to the structure of the pre-frontal cortex which means more calm, more clarity, more compassion more heart/brain coherence.

A multi-tasking superhuman super-hero may be able to fight the enemy whilst also holding up a building and changing the weather but for most of us mortals one task in any one moment is enough. Neuro scientists have proved that as we have an experience the brain throws a spotlight onto one area and everything else fades out of focus. A good example you’ll already know if you've had the pleasure of a British speed awareness course, is you'll have been shown a short film after which they invite you to recall everything that you've seen, your conscious mind simply doesn't record everything that you see and most people quickly realise that they've missed out some vital detail, this also explains one of the reasons how a group of friends may share an experience but can remember it quite differently. So what does happen when you overload the system with too much information? As your spotlight of focus darts about between the senses you may start to feel overwhelmed, then tired, the less energy that you have the more stress rises and focus will fall onto negative patterns. As this happens, your executive function (decision making) suffers greatly. The fastest way to reboot the system and bring about calm is to turn the spotlight inward. Doing the following exercise for a few minutes will re-energise the frontal cortex of the brain. Like training any muscle, the more you practice this for yourself the better the results…….

Close your eyes if it helps. Turn your spotlight onto your breath and breathe in slowly, feel the air coming into your body, through your nostrils and down into your tum. Be aware of it in your body and simply keep your spotlight on the air as it very slowly makes it way back out again. Keeping your focus on letting the air out slowly is what will really calm everything down. If you lose track just wait for the next breath and start again.

Because what we focus on we feel...taking your spotlight to your breathing will also bring your heart into coherence giving you not only a sense of well-being but bring back the sparkle into all of your organs as they radiate with renewed energy.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Questions Questions

Sometimes the smallest questions can flip everything into perspective and bring you immediately into your heart-space. ....Imagine you just had one week left in this life... who would you spend it with? who would you call? what would you tell them? would you lose sleep over the ironing pile? what would you give away?

Monday, 10 September 2012


If you take 2 minutes a day to wash your hands for your physical health then why wouldn't you lend two minutes a day for your mental health? Try these...


Each day alternate which hand you use to brush your teeth. Changing small routines like this will help balance the 2 hemispheres of your brain making it easier to achieve bigger goals when the time arises.

Stress Management...

With feet flat on the floor, hold the palm of your hand on the back of your head and the palm of the other hand across your forehead. Now breath slowly down to your navel and slowly release the air again, repeat for 2 mins. This is a great tool to use when you've some decisions to make as it re-energises the frontal (decision making) lobes of the brain.


According to research from north Carolina's school of medicine a loving (not sexual) cuddle can lower a women's bloodpressure considerably as it boosts oxytocin which is our feel good hormone. 

Ok that's 6 minutes but you were probably going to do the cuddle anyway!!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Vitamin C Gossip

Fancy burning off even more calories without any more effort?
Do keep your Vit C tip-top. An American study suggests that we can burn off 30% more fat during exercise if we’re vitamin C rich! Vitamin C will also help your skin to glow, maintain cartilage keeping arthritis away, and give your immune system a head start for the winter months. So grab the last of the summer strawberries and plums for delish Vit C snacks and smoothies.
Ps…. Did you know doing sit-ups in bed is another easy way of getting more effect for not a lot more effort? So if you’ve been meaning to get around to some tum trimming then do yourself a favour and start today…. 15 per day = 105 per week, you’ll be an Olympian in no time  :-)

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Change your words..Change your life

A Cherokee elder was teaching the young tribe about life.
He told them, “I have conflict inside me… like a terrible fight between two wolves.
One wolf represents fear, anger, envy and lies.
The other represents, love, joy, hope, and truth.
 This same fight is going on inside of you, and inside every other person, too.”
The children thought about this for a minute. Then one child asked his elder,
“Which wolf wins?” 
 The Cherokee elder replied…“The one that we feed.”

MRI scanners have shown scientists that our thoughts cause structural changes in our brain, consider that you have around 40,000 thoughts per day and you realise the power of thought. We all have an inner voice that mostly rattles on endlessly from when we wake until sleep comes again. The crucial part is what that inner voice talk is delivering. Are you even aware of your self-talk? is it your own voice you hear or your parents? do you hear a steady stream of nurturing guidance or a barrage of toxic negativity? what if you could turn the volume down on the negative and light up the positive? you're already in conversation with yourself so you may as well choose one that serves you well.

Experiment with these ideas....

Take a note pad and pen, then get naked in front of the mirror, write down everything you hear from your inner critic word for word.. If it's a list of negatives ask yourself..would you talk to a child in that way? consider apologising to yourself for being so harsh. Dispose of the list and write a list of all of your strengths and achievements, attach the new list to the mirror. Let this remind you everyday that you are so much more than how you physically see yourself... even if you are a show stopper of a beauty you still need to know that you are so much more.

Pay someone a compliment everyday.

Make a conscious decision to stop judging others.

Know that YOU have to set the example of how the world treats you, it really is your call.

When you recognise your own voice telling you that you are useless, or a failure, too this or too that then STOP what you are doing, take some slow deep breaths, lay your hand on your heart and feel as though you are breathing into and from your heart. Now ask that voice if what it's saying is your truth, what part of your inner wisdom is it coming from? My experience at this point is that the nagging bad mannered voice dissolves but if it's a fighter then simply ask it to show you the compassionate answer.

If you choose to keep feeding the love and the truth, you'll find that the big bad wolf will have left for the woods in no time  :-)

Monday, 3 September 2012

De-compress the stress (1)...your bedroom

So, before you launch yourself into your new bright shiny've got to create it!

There are two areas that will need to get clear....your mind space and your living space, fortunately as you start to make pace de-cluttering one - the other seems to follow along for the ride. If your goal today is to de-clutter a living space but you’re not sure where to start then I would suggest that you start in your bedroom. Everything runs more smoothly after a good night’s rest so start at the very beginning making the foundations definite.

Things you will need (to maximise progress)
An alarm/timer
Rubbish sacks
Hoover, damp cloth
Three good sized boxes for "donate" "non bedroom items" and "might keeps"
A box for treasure, trinkets, precious keepsakes
Commitment. Set your intention, even if you're not yet able to visualise your bedroom as a calm, clean and serene space then take 5 minutes to close your eyes, take some deep breaths and imagine how you will feel when the area is fresh and new, how will you benefit from the flow of new energy in the room?

1, On your marks....decide which area you will start with (I suggest a corner or window)
2, Get set...... switch your phone to silent, set your alarm for 45 mins and make a mental note to have cleared and cleaned the area by the time the alarm sounds.
3, Go...... remove everything from the area that you have decided to clear, move it to outside of the room or at least to the furthest point from the area. Include pictures and curtains if they could do with a wash or wipe. Next, vacuum and clean the empty space, once sparkling stand back and think about what "really" needs to go back in the space and what items could possibly dress it nicely.
By now I expect your alarm has sounded and you've earned yourself a cup of tea ( however tempting, do not open the wine at this point as you'll need a clear head for round two) Leave the room and take a breather.

 Now refreshed, go back to the room and look once again at the space, take some deep breaths in and out from your heart. Now keeping in mind that the more clutter around you the more stressful life can be - make a final decision (from your heart, still imagining how you want to feel and benefit from the new space) on what items will live there . 

Remember as you dress this area that this is your relaxation space, it's where you wind down the day, your sanctuary for sleep and recuperation. DO NOT pack it with information or colour overload, think spa, think calm, think balance, think HMmmmmmmm and put just a few things back.

Next get stuck into the leftovers... everything that's left needs to be placed into either the donations box, the rubbish sack, the non bedroom items box or the might keeps box. "Might keeps" are items that you haven't used in over six months but think that you really might need! write on your calendar  to review the "might keeps" box in 6 month’s time... if you haven't used the items by then, then the rule of cool is... it's time to ditch them. Cards, letters, pebbles and all small sentimental items go into the treasure box. The truth is when these items are laying around our living area we stop “seeing” the memory they hold anyway, they can just add to feeling of clutterstress but the feeling of happiness when you open that box in a year’s time will be like meeting up with old friends.

Repeat the above steps another day for another area of the room, or, if you weren't in too much of a muddle to begin with then perhaps tackle the whole room in one big brave show. If you take this on be sure to know that half way through, the muddle will be worse than when you started so be prepared to push yourself and keep going, remind yourself that this accumulating clutter leads to accumulating stress and you are not going to bed with it tonight.
Do make sure you have set time aside to finish the task and remove the left-overs... Good luck 

useful notes....
neutral colours are best for bedroom walls, for example yellow is a colour to provoke thinking and ideas (not great for inducing sleep) you can always bring in accent colours using cushions, flowers, a bed runner, rug, candles etc

A place for” is a great site for storage solutions as is “theholding” even Dunelm mill and Argos can have cheap storage ideas.
Ebay is great for selling unwanted items (be sure you don’t fall into the trap of buying more “stuff”) 
you can also Google companies who will sell your goods for you for an agreed commission fee.