Tag Archives: wellbeing

Some days you do what you can.

So yes, that’s a photo of my legs up the wall and yes, that’s a hole in my sock and (another) yes, I don’t care. I don’t care even if my grammar is wrong in this and the above sentences either! You get my drift. This is all I have been able to muster in the last 3 days…2 of those days in bed.

There is some sort of virus out for vengeance at the moment and this week it struck our house. It can be very difficult to admit when you do not feel well. We live in a society that is all go, go, go. If you have kids, you need to organise and get help. If you work, you let the boss know and probably affect productivity. If you work for yourself you loose out on money. You feel you are letting people down, its like admitting defeat to something. But we have no control over it. We can take the drugs/herbal remedies but often what is needed is good old fashioned bedrest. Particularly if the body feels like lead and you have the energy of a newborn kitten.

Gentle exercise is very important for when you start feeling an improvement in yourself. Don’t go gung ho as you may end up doing more harm that good. If you have already broken a fever there is no need to break a sweat again.

Start with a short walk, getting lots of fresh air in. Get mobility back into the body, this will help with the lymphatic system to help bump up immunity. If you are still floored try my favourite pose ‘legs up the wall’. Apart from being a pose of rest it too increases functioning of a good lymphatic system…just what the body needs to get rid of those yukky bits n bobs! Try and stay in it for about 20 minutes.

See more about the pose here.

And if you would like to experience more of the wonderful effects of Rest and Restore Restorative Yoga my next workshop is February 20th. See www.anandacentre.com for more details.

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Guest Blog Post – Nick from Uptown Spa on Reiki Massage

This month our guest blog comes from Nick Stokes in Uptown Spa, North York, Oregon, USA.

uptown spa

It’s great to network with the community on an international basis. Enjoy his post…

Reiki Massage

There has always been a great cultural gap between the East and the West. Somehow, even though our cultures clashed numerously over the course of history, we still developed different beliefs, traditions and viewpoints, rarely interfering with each other. Of course, as it usually goes these beliefs and values impacted most of the things and processes in our midst, moulding our standpoints and perception. In that regard, Renaissance was an important moment in history of Western civilization where people liberated themselves from religious dogma. As the time passed by, religion became less and less important in our society thus having less impact of other things in our lives. At the same time, Eastern civilizations retained high level of spirituality. This is something that can be seen even through some mundane things such as the massage.

Although massage has existed for a long time, more than 2 millennia, it hasn’t changed a lot in its core. While Western civilizations always approached it scientifically, believing that massage helps our blood flow and muscles, Eastern civilizations perceived it as a process of aligning life force energy. This is closely related to their spiritual beliefs, by viewing a person as a being that consists primarily out of energy.

Like any other Eastern cultures, Japanese also developed their form of massage. It is called Reiki and it stands for Rei meaning “higher power” and Ki meaning “life force energy”. Although it is shrouded within religious dogma and presented as highly spiritual process, Reiki is quite simple in its nature. In comparison to other Western forms of therapy it doesn’t pose any regulations or constrictions. According to Japanese, anybody can perform it and all the knowledge about Reiki is passed on by viewing the treatment itself. It doesn’t require any elaborate teaching or training. It is also quite simple and straightforward when it comes to place and time of treatment. You can do it basically anywhere and for any period of time. This gives us various options how to incorporate it. Imagine relaxing with Reiki in nature for a longer period of time. Basically, no other Western massage can compete with that.

As we previously mentioned, Reiki bases itself on spiritual healing. While pressuring the body, therapist is able to activate life force within it and move it to a place where the healing is necessary. By doing so, we are able to remedy our condition and to find a solution to our problems. Of course, similarly to other forms of massage, it is always good to combine it with other types of treatment in order to maximize the chances of recovery. However you put it, it will certainly assist you by relieving stress and quickening your metabolism.

Reiki is a treatment which is becoming increasingly popular in North America. Similarly to other Eastern massages, it provides new and fresh experience while giving you much needed relaxation. Naturally, many people still prefer usual types of body treatment like Swedish massage. You can always relax with this or any other type of massage in Toronto by visiting Uptown Spa.

Thank you Nick for your post.

…Reiki Massage is also available in Ananda Centre. Book an appointment today – 085 1502378

 3 Things Massage Can Help You With Right Now

 

We know massage will make us move better and feel happier, but not everyone can make time for regular appointments. Luckily massage is great preventive care and it can have some instantly-gratifying results. 

Check out these 3 things massage can help you with right now.

Headaches  

Tension headaches (often called stress headaches) are the most common type of headaches among adults.

Pain or pressure in your forehead or on the top or sides of your head? Could be a tension headache. It’s especially likely if you’ve been hunching over a desk or forward working, spending a lot of time in a car, or if you’re still shivering and huddling to keep warm as May slowly creeps in!

Massage can help get rid of that headache and regular massage may well keep it from coming back. (If you want to learn more about tension headaches and try a few self-massage techniques, check out this article.) 

Low Back Pain

major research study was published in 2011 showing that massage therapy was better than drugs and usual care for general lower back pain. Better than drugs. I just had to say that twice.

Just about everyone will experience low back pain at some point in their life. If it happens to you, don’t suffer. Schedule a massage with me (085 1502378) and get back into action.

Irritability

Have you ever been so cranky you got on your own nerves? Yeah, me, too. It isn’t fun. When you feel yourself biting everyone’s head off when they ask you a question, it might be time for some self-care.

Massage is great for stress relief. You get to shut off all the things that buzz and chime and aggravate you to the point of eye twitches. Music, silence, warmth, massage. All the cranky disappears.

This is dual purpose. You’ll feel better and all the people around you will be happier that you’re back to your sunny self.

Got a headache, low back pain, or a case of the grumpies? Get a massage scheduled with me – 085 1502378 and we’ll handle that fast.


See Ananda Centre for other therapies available or

go to Facebook to keep up to date.

Yoga Classes and Workshops During May

invest in you

Restorative Yoga Class – Thursdays 7.30pm – 8.45pm. Suitable for Beginners. 6 Weeks €70. Contact Brenda 085 1502378

Restorative Yoga Workshop – Saturday 16th May 10am – 12pm €20. Suitable for Beginners. Contact Brenda 085 1502378

Mantra Yoga Workshop – Sunday 10th May 10.30am – 12.30pm €20. Suitable for Beginners. Contact Evelyn 086 8727472

See www.anandacentre.com for more information.

National Workplace Wellbeing Day March 27th 2015

March 27th is National Workplace Wellbeing day. Talk to me if you would like me to connect with your workplace…lunchtime yoga, relaxation, meditation/mindfulness or on site massage. Wellbeing in the workplace has a positive effect all round from mental health to productivity.

Call me now 085 1502378 or pass this on to HR

http://www.bitc.ie/2015/01/national-workplace-wellbeing-day/

Guest Blog – Aroma Reflexology by Ula Boyle

Aromatherapy oils are naturally fragrant oils that come from a variety of plants, flowers and fruit and contain many therapeutic properties that have been known for centuries, originating in ancient Egyptian, Chinese and Middle Eastern cultures. Combining essential oils with Reflexology has many health benefits as together they can stimulate and enhance the body’s ability to rebalance itself and heal. When inhaled the aroma of the essential oils is processed by the brain producing strong physiological and psychological effects.

ula blog photos

Reflexology is a natural, gentle healing therapy dating back to ancient Egypt and China. It uses specific techniques and pressures on the feet and hands to clear congested energy pathways within the body, activating the body to heal itself and regain its natural state of wellness and balance. The anatomy of the body is understood to be mapped out in reflex zones on the feet and by stimulating a reflex it can have a positive effect on the corresponding organ or body system. A treatment can therefore benefit the whole body and help to maintain or restore good health.

Essential Oils are massaged into the feet using reflexology techniques increasing heat and circulation and the absorption of the oils (containing specific healing properties) into the skin and blood stream. Different oils are chosen and blended depending on the health and healing needs of a client to create a desired effect such as enhancing mood, relaxation, mental/physical invigoration, pain relief. Incorporating Aromatherapy into reflexology treatments offers a wonderful sensory journey to wellbeing and can be used effectively to treat a wide variety of common complaints including:

Reducing stress related disorders, alleviate anxiety & depression, enhance mood,  Improve sleep and reduce fatigue, Relieve headaches, arthritis, Help to improve respiratory problems such as asthma, sinuses, hay fever, Pain relief, Ease tension & aching muscles, Relief of painful menstruation, symptoms of PMS/menopause, Relief of digestive problems, Strengthening the immune and nervous system.

Ula Boyle works from Ananda Centre.

Telephone her on 086 0872526 to make an appointment.

www.soleserenitythearpy.ie

VTCT Dip Reflexology/Aromatherapy Massage

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Silver Island and shelf making.

Every now and then it is good to do something out of one’s comfort zone. So with that mantra in mind this year I did just that. My sister had mentioned going to pick olives on Silver Island in Greece. Helena, our Acupuncturist here in Ananda Centre, is good friends with the owners. So it was out of my comfort zone but not totally scarey!

On Silver Island, sisters Lissa and Claire, Lissa’s husband Corne and Ernest the island’s caretaker  facilitate a weekly yoga retreat for 7 months of the year. I must mention it is the world’s only private island yoga retreat centre. Amazing, yes? And not forgetting Lulu the dog. She was a real star, great dancer and an awful distraction with her cuteness!

Off we went, arriving in Athens at a decent time of 7.30pm. Booked into our hotel close to where the airport bus dropped us at Syntagma Square. We stayed that night in the Athens Diamond Plus Hotel. Clean and very reasonable but you have to say it in the accent of that  fancy lady voice on the tv commercials. Everything in the hotel was white gloss, I felt like I was in an 80’s Wham video!

Up early next morning to catch the 8.45am bus to Oreoi on Evia island. 3 hour journey – doable. Got the first Spanakopita (spinach and cheese  pie in filo crust, yum) of the trip in the bakery by the port and waited for our lift to Silver Island. Very quiet in Oreoi as it was November but judging by all the cute restaurants on the waterfront you could imagine that it would get busy in high season.

Coming in to view.

Coming in to view.

Corne kindly met us and our mode of transport to the island was a very cool speedboat, very James Bond or something! The water like glass, the sun shining and the island lighthouse coming into view.

View from Silver Island

View from Silver Island

Intros and the start of what was to be many cups of tea later the guys had lunch and headed back out to work. This gave myself and Vicki a chance to have a quick dip in the sea and a walk to warm up. The sisters thought we were mad to be getting into the water but we assured them being Irish it was a temperature akin to Salthill on Ireland’s best summer’s day.

There's a chicken in me gully! Silver Island boasts home to 23 chickens. Not sure if this guy was of the Jean Claude Van Dame or Gunky lineage?

There’s a chicken in me gully! Silver Island boasts home to 23 chickens. Not sure if this guy was of the Jean Claude Van Dame or Gunky lineage?

Up the next morning at 7.30am – big bowl of porridge and cup of coffee and we were ready for the day. All the olives had been picked the week previous so there now was the job of pruning the olive trees. There is a skill to this so our job was to remove the fallen branches and make into piles to be burned later on. Easy enough you say until you factor in an angle of 45 degrees on the slopes where the trees grow. Ok so I might exaggerate a little but it was hilly! Lets just say the muscles in my legs were getting a great workout. We broke for lunch at 1pm and there is nothing like a hunger built up from a bit of labour. Back out for 2 and then finished at 4.30. I have to admit I got a shock! I like to think I work hard manually with the massage but this was very new. Strangely though there was always a great sense of satisfaction when each day was finished during our stay.

Claire and Vicki getting into their roots.

Claire and Vicki getting into their roots.

Our jobs over the next 10 days included gully clearing, shed clearing, shelf making (thanks to Claire’s guidance we became proficient in scaffold shelf making – hipster up cycling eat your heart out!), bush clearing and I even managed to swop a couple of afternoons off in exchange for giving massages! Ernest reckoned we made a good team the whole lot of us. I also learned how to prune an olive tree.

The Team -Ernest, Corne, Lissa, me, Vicki and of course the wonderful Lulu the dog. Missing is Claire.

The Team -Ernest, Corne, Lissa, me, Vicki and of course the wonderful Lulu the dog. Missing is Claire.

Our evenings were spent deciding whether to go for a cold shower (no running hot water on the island) or have a bucket bath. I had forgotten how I can take things for granted! End result always good though. Clean, warm and hungry. Each night we had an amazing meal prepared by the guys along with a glass of local wine. Yum! It was so good to sit around a table and be social. No internet, no distractions. We discussed so much and discovered we had a lot in common too. There were many belly laughs and tears from both laughing and crying. Amazing when you keep things simple what can happen.

Vicki and I enjoying a fab brunch, cooked by Lissa and Claire, on our day off.

I got to wash my hair in the sea. On the island no products containing nasty chemicals are allowed as the water is recycled. A wonderful organic Greek range called Korres is available to those who visit Silver Island. I felt very wild-woman washing the hair with all natural stuff. Silver Island will have their own range of products soon, made by a friend on the mainland.

Vicki and I were in charge of dishwashing each evening. Which was not a chore for 5 people compared to cooking and washing for 14 during the retreat season. We were in bed each night by 9pm every night, I couldn’t even read my book as I was wiped.

We said our farewells after 10 days, joked about coming back to work on the island though you never know, we could surprise them next year! We stopped off in Edipsos on the way to Athens, they have amazing thermal baths there. Just what the weary bodies needed. 2 days in Athens where the sun shone to provide perfect tourist conditions. I had been to Athens before and was only too happy to see the Acropolis again. I really like Athens, it’s buzzing and understatedly cool.

Even in November the water was beautiful.

Even in November the water was beautiful.

I am not sure how to describe our trip away. A working holiday? A meditation of work? It was interesting to allow the mind to switch off and only have one’s focus on the task at hand. I was very happy with how my body didn’t let me down under the pressure and I came away unscathed but for the mosi bites! I dunno, maybe I would go back to help out but for a shorter length of time. I would, however, really love to go back as a guest someday. Seeing how the island is set up, it’s location and how beautiful it is definitely sells it to me. And not forgetting our wonderful hosts who without them the island would be nothing. They work very hard so that people can come and enjoy what they have enjoyed for years and that is the beauty and magic of Silver Island.

Agora in Athens

Agora in Athens

For more on the island and the retreats check out www.silverislandyoga.com