Tag Archives: energy medicine

Doctors Help


Number 4 in Lynette’s health series

Diagnosis M.E.

When I was diagnosed with M.E. it was a welcome relief. To be honest, even though I had heard the term M.E., I did not know much about the illness. I had heard in the 1980’s that young successful people would go down with the illness due to overwork.

I had a bacterial infection that almost killed me as it had made me very unwell. The doctors could not sort the bacterial infection out easily and on closer inspection on my overall health they came to a diagnosis of M.E.  When I received the diagnosis of M.E., I had no understanding of what that illness would mean to my life in the coming years ahead.  I suffered a great deal under the umbrella of that horrible illness. There were days of pain, where every bone and muscle in my body hurt. My body just did not work anymore. Something had been switched off and I just could not switch it back on. My energy levels did not exist anymore and I felt constantly sick and ill. If I ate I felt ill and if I did not I felt just as unwell. However I felt constantly hungry and I just never knew what to do to make myself feel comfortable. This went on for many years day after day.

No hope

The trouble with M.E. in those days was the illness was not understood and there was no medical cure or way forward with the illness. It is much the same today also. The medical profession do not know what to do to treat the illness, or how to cure it.  Doctors know what a horrible illness this is but the public by and large did not then and still do not understand what this illness means to the sufferer, by and large.  Although it is getting a little better as many people now  know a friend acquaintance or family member who has suffered with M.E.  I am sad to say that not much has changed over the years and there is little hope for the sufferer.

No help available

The medical profession did not give me any help with my illness as there was none to be given. I am sure if there had been something available I may well have been offered it. Nothing was ever offered to me as a help to my situation.

I remember going to the doctors many times over the years feeling very weak, ill and helpless and knowing that my symptoms were a result of my illness and there would be nothing that they could offer by way of help.  I went to see them anyway. I am not sure why. Maybe it was because as a symptom of my M.E. I would get infections almost weekly and have to have antibiotics all of the time. I hated having to go to the doctor and I hated the antibiotics even more.  That is just ridiculous I know, but it was about the emotional struggle of the whole situation and not the doctor or the medicine that I really hated.

There are so many illnesses that cannot be helped or cured. We think often of doctors as magicians that will wave a magic wand and make us better.  Very often that is indeed the case, but not always so.  They do the best they can within their circumstances and that which is available to them. That does not always help when we feel very ill.

In the end I gave into my illness as that is all I could do at the time. However in time I decided  I just would not give a moment more of my time to this horrible illness and I looked for a solution. I found my solution. Mine was in rest and Reiki. It helped me get my health back and my life back on track.

Holistic Support

Holistic therapies are being taken much more seriously by the medical profession as they are coming to understand the emotional support as well as the therapeutic and healing help that they can offer the patient alongside their own conventional treatments.

A colleague of mine said recently, that a doctor had said, they did not refer their patients for holistic therapy because that made them feel as if they had failed. Well my response to that is this: If you have given your best to your patient how can you have failed them? Therapists are duty bound to refer their clients to their GP if it is a condition that is outside the scope of their therapy. They have to give treatments that are supportive of any treatment the G P is giving.

Holistic benefit

At the end of the day it is the patient/client’s health and well-being that is the most important factor and not the pride of the therapist or the doctor in question. I did not have any such complaint with my doctors. I did not feel they failed me at all. They did not offer me holistic therapy. I have no idea on their policy with such practice.

I have a client who I helped last year. She came to me with an illness her doctor could not help with and within six weeks I had improved her illness so much so that she hardly suffers with it at all now. She can get on with her life and has just a very slight relapse from time to time. In time I feel that may well go as well.

Holistic therapy can offer a great deal of benefit to many conditions and many people. My client said to me that when I was suggested to her, she wondered what I could do that the doctors had not done or could not do. Well holistic therapies approach health from a different stand point. We look at the energy condition of the body and not the body as a machine. It is not better or worse than what the medical profession does it is just a different way at coming at the problem, and sometimes that is what is needed in some conditions.

Reiki made me better

My doctors were very patient with my illness but could not help me. I thank them for their time and patience as that helped me emotionally, and that emotional help was something of a support to me. However, Reiki made me better.

If you wish to find a Reiki practitioner in your area, go to the UK Reiki federation website. http://www.reikifed.co.uk/ or visit www.thelivingenergy.co.uk

Health and Success in the New Year

529745947O.K., so the mince pies have been eaten and you have stuffed your face with as much turkey, Christmas pudding and cake as you could humanly manage. You washed it all down with as much alcohol as your liver would allow, without sending you to A&E. It is now after News year’s eve, where you partied to the wee hours and you now feel sick and want to throw up. To be fair, you have not yet, but you really do feel like it and your skin is looking a funny shade of green. Not to mention your throbbing head.

Your body isn’t looking good. Very bloated and round. You are trying to convince yourself that the mince pies got worked off on the short walk to the party, but somehow it does not cut it. Alright admit it you have eaten too much and it is now showing in the poundage of your body and you drank too much and you are green. Fat and green to sum it up, so now what?

Well there is the New Year’s resolution of course. Get fit, get healthy and you could join the local gym. But you have done that before and the enthusiasm does not last past the beginning of February. This is called after festivity depression; a reality check after the revelry.

It is good to have a good time and Christmas is just the best time for that as so many people are up for the party. Life has to be full of good and happy things as they are the most fulfilling to us. However, should we really be partying until we go green? Maybe a lighter shade of something more appealing would be better. Being excited and loosing ones inhibitions can be a good thing sometimes. We all have our shyness’s and insecurities at any age. So alcohol is good for that. It will take that away for a short time and allow a freedom in the moment.

However, the freedom was short lived; you now understand this as you stand in front of the mirror looking at your unappealing green pallor. You could have saved yourself all of this by not engaging in the fun and not being at the festivities or participating. There is no fun in that either. So what is the answer? May I suggest moderation?

If you were moderate you could have enjoyed it all without feeling sick and going green, with a fat body and a throbbing head. This sounds like brutal advice, and it is to be fair. This was something I learnt a long time ago. Moderation is the key to a happy life. Satisfy your taste buds but don’t pile on the pounds with large quantity. Large quantities of anything will have a negative effect on your health or oppress you in time.

Last year at about this time I met a really lovely young man. He came to me as a client for therapy. He had a cocaine addiction and he looked so ill. As a mother and a caring individual my heart went out to him as he said to me, this started as a party and now it is a nightmare.

Often we make our own nightmare. Part of life is joining in the party. The ultimate party is life itself of course, and so we have to weigh a great deal up. We have to weigh up what is the right path for us as individuals. If we look down the road just a little bit we can be more controlled and thoughtful about the decisions we take.  The party seemed a good idea at the time, and maybe it was. However in hindsight was it? Your party was your making. A long, healthy and happy life needs a wee bit of control on our part and appropriate decisions made for our future anything if we are to have one at all. Life is a learning journey and none of us have all of the answers at any one time. We learn many things along the way in life as we develop over time. It is good to have fun at any age but don’t pay for it with your life, or quality of life. That is too high a price for a party.

May 2015 be peaceful, content and filled with the good things of life for you.

All the best for the New Year, Lynette.

Energy Therapy- Sound (Part 6)

Sound has been used as a powerful and effective tool for helping to improve health and well- being for thousands of years.

Sound has been used as a powerful and effective tool for helping to improve health and well being for thousands of years.

The last blog that I posted in this series was about Reiki and my session with Reiki Master Teacher Lynette Avis at her The Living Energy treatment rooms in Suffolk.  As we have been friends and colleagues for some years now, at the end of the Reiki treatment, she invited me to try something new and exciting.  She said she had been training to do Sound Therapy, a qualification she has now attained, and now part of her extensive range of treatments.  She wondered whether I would be willing to try it.  She said I would be amazed at the experience!

As we discussed the theory behind sound therapy, Lynette was laying out a range of different musical instruments (gongs, drums, bells, bowls, tuning forks, even the human voice can be used).  She explained how certain instruments affect different parts of the body due to their different vibrational frequencies. Sound has been used as a powerful and effective tool for helping to improve health and well being for thousands of years. Himalayan singing bowls for example have been used throughout Asia for millennia in prayer and meditation, and are now used to promote relaxation and well being.  Sound therapy was formally introduced to the UK in 2000 with the establishment of The British Academy of Sound Therapy (BAST) (http://healthysound.com).

Recently, science has provided valuable support and insight to these ancient techniques.   If you were to look at your body with a powerful microscope you would see that it is not a solid object but is, in fact, a myriad of tiny waves of energy. Over time these waves are influenced by a variety of different stressors such as diet, lifestyle, environment, relationships, job and other factors that can cause imbalances and weaknesses in the body which can lead to poor health and disease. The use of sound can redress these imbalances returning the body towards full balance and better health and well being. In a sound therapy treatment the practitioner plays a combination of ancient and modern instruments to gently bathe the body in powerful, healing and balancing vibrations. A good sound therapist will know which instruments and sounds to use to help the system to balance itself by releasing the denser energy that can hold the body in an unhealthy state. Based on information about the client’s present medical conditions and previous medical history the practitioner will adapt the treatment accordingly, using relaxing or stimulating sounds to try to rebalance the body.

A study conducted by BAST measured the effects of sound therapy on the autonomic nervous system (ANS- the part of the nervous system that controls your heart rate, breathing and digestion etc). Clients were connected to a machine that monitored stress responses.  Each client demonstrated an overall decrease in arousal of the ANS compared to the control group, who were lying down relaxing. This study suggests that sound therapy has a profoundly calming effect on people affected by stress at a deep level. Sound therapy is a complementary medicine designed to work alongside orthodox medicine. Sound therapy can be used to treat individuals with fertility issues, chronic pain, cancer, stress-related illnesses, IBS, ME, tinnitus, mild depression, anxiety and arthritis.  Sound therapy is said to help not only physical illness, but also help balance the emotions and quiet a busy mind. Most people feel calm and relaxed following treatment. For some, this feeling will last several days.

After her initial joking introduction and having fully set up her treatment room for the session, my introduction to Sound Therapy began.  I was again lying on the treatment table face up, fully clothed and covered by a blanket to keep warm.  I closed my eyes and allowed the sounds and the vibrations to relax me and take me away to a very calm and peaceful place. Some instruments were used close to me while others actually touched me and I could feel the vibrating sensation move through my body.  It was a deeply relaxing experience and extremely enjoyable.

On the BAST website, there is a wonderful quote from its founder, Lyz Cooper: “Our organs, chakras and different areas of our bodies, all sing a different note, which when blended together, produce a symphony as individual as a fingerprint”.  I would say that the therapy experience not only made me feel relaxed, but also more harmonious within my body and within myself.  It was a truly wonderful surprise to experience and certainly not anything I would have volunteered to do in the past.  As to the future?……..  I would snap up another session in a shot!

Again, my thanks go to Lynette Avis for her patience and good humour in explaining Sound Therapy to me and introducing it in such a fun and exciting way- you are the consummate professional.


Energy Therapy- Reiki (Part 5)

Reiki works with hands- off the body as well as hands- on.

Reiki works with hands- off the body as well as hands- on.


 Reiki is the name given to a healing technique devised by a man named Dr. Mikao Usui and was spread to the west in 1930s by a Japanese Hawaiian lady called Mrs Takata. The word Reiki itself means “Universal Life Force Energy” (from the Japanese Rei meaning “Universal” and Ki meaning “Life Force Energy.”  Ki is also known as Chi in Chinese and Prana in Sanskrit.  Ki surrounds and animates all life and is the main source of our thoughts, emotions and spiritual existence. Ki is the subtle energy that can be accumulated by the body and guided by the will.

 Reiki is a hands-on or hands-off the body healing system that is very simple to use once the person has been attuned to the Reiki healing energy. Reiki energy can cause no harm since its existence is within us and the energy will always seek to heal and to balance the body. Reiki healing can be used by anyone attuned to the Reiki Energy and can be used to help bring healing to all living animal life. A practitioner has gone through a series of attunements that allows him/ her to heal using Reiki.  Once a person is attuned to Reiki energy they can bring healing to themselves, others and all animals.

 It is believed by Reiki healers that within the body there are energy pathways, and where many of these cross they form what are known as Chakras. The free flow of energy through the chakras are said to allow the body to be in good health.

 It is thought by Reiki practitioners that the Reiki energy nourishes cells and organs helping them to perform their functions optimally. It is also thought that when Ki energy is unable to flow with ease or is blocked, the person may suffer from disease or illness. Reiki is said to flow to the location of the blockage and will then clear the pathway so that the energy can run freely with ease once again, allowing the body to function properly.

 Reiki is said always to assist the body’s natural ability to heal itself.  Reiki energy is thought to be drawn by the person receiving the treatment and not given by the Reiki Practitioner. Reiki is said to have its own intelligence and it is never left entirely to the Practitioner to decide where the energy is needed. The energy will flow where the patient needs the energy as the energy will always seek to restore balance and harmony to the body.

 The practitioner can choose the length of time given to an area treated or to the placement of the hands during the treatment or to the length of time given to the entire treatment but that is the extent of the practitioner’s involvement in the directing of the energy.

 Reiki is now used in major hospitals throughout Great Britain, and in hospitals in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, as well as a growing community of private practitioners throughout the world.  Further information about Reiki can be found at The Reiki Council and The Reiki UK Association.

 My Session

 I have known Lynette Avis for many years and we are co-authors of Nourish the Flame Within- a guide to connecting to the human soul for Reiki, Martial Arts and Life.  Lynette has had a Reiki practice for many years in Suffolk, UK, as part of The Living Energy.

 When I arrived at the therapy rooms, I was led through the reception area into the treatment room, where we sat down and discussed Reiki and how it works.  There was soft music playing and the warm colours of the walls and the beautiful pictures made for a very relaxing ambience.  Lynette asked me to fill out a questionnaire, asking questions about general health, medication and habits.  She asked me whether I was happy for her to do the healing session with hands on the body or whether I preferred her to do the session with hands off the body.  Before I got on the couch, Lynette asked me to take my shoes and socks off.  Once on the coach, fully clothed and covered by a blanket, I closed my eyes and waited for the magic to start!

 I have never had a Reiki session before.  I was surprised by what I felt. Little actually happened.  I felt  subtle sensations of flowing energy that ran along my body like running water and on some areas of my body I felt some warmth and sometimes heat, but more often than not I felt the relaxing effects of stillness, quiet and soft music, rare pleasure in my hectic life. 

 I was asked to lie on my back to begin the treatment.  Lynette explained the procedure and the order that she would treat the body. She begun the treatment at my face and moved her hands over my face, then to the side of my face on my temples.  She proceeded under the back of my head, then down to my throat, heart, solar plexus, stomach area, hips, knees and feet.  When she finished treating my feet she asked me to roll over, onto my stomach. She then treated my back, starting at my shoulders, proceeding to my shoulder blades, small of the back and base of the spine.  Lynette held each position for about 3 minutes.

 The areas of warmth I felt on my body were on my right shoulder blade, a place where I often get muscle pain and on the left side of my stomach area where I sometimes experience discomfort and can be tender to the touch. Lynette explained that the warmth relates to my body drawing the Reiki Energy from her hands and using it to help heal itself.  She explained that the energy can sometimes be felt as cold, it depends on the person and the way in which the patient responds to the healing.


 As with all the therapies I have experienced so far in researching of this blog series, I found the Reiki session very relaxing and enjoyable,. I have learnt on this exploration of therapies that the body draws what it needs to heal itself.  In light of this Reiki healing session I have become aware of areas of my body that require my attention for healing and maintaining health. The Reiki energy highlighted and brought those areas to my attention.

 In response, I have begun to do one of the health meditations in Nourish the Flame Within more regularly than usual.  By understanding that disease can often be a slow progression from wellness to illness, Reiki can be a way of self monitoring your health and being able to make small, regular efforts to maintaining well- being.  The particular meditation from Nourish the Flame works in a similar way.  It also helps me to become aware of where imbalances are in my body and gives me the means to do something about it. The meditation that I use is called “Relaxation Meditation” and can be found in the health section of Nourish the Flame Within.

 The ease with which the Reiki session is given, it makes a lot of sense that some nurses are being trained and are choosing to be trained in using Reiki to complement their daily practice in hospitals throughout the world.  If just being attuned to Reiki can offer potential healing at no risk to the patient, it makes good sense to be able to use such a subtle healing art.  Once attuned to Reiki all that is required to heal is an intention to heal.  After all, healing is one of the main focuses of nurses.  During my conversations with complementary health practitioners, many of them have said that they have trained in Reiki as well as their other healing arts.

 You can learn the first stage of the Reiki attunement process which is known as Reiki 1, and use Reiki on yourself, friends and family to maintain your health on a regular basis.  Lynette has told me that she does this every day herself.  You can take your Reiki development further onto the next three levels of Reiki training enabling you to heal others on a professional basis and to teach.


I would like to thank Lynette Avis for her time to explain Reiki to me, answer all my questions and offer me the free Reiki session on which I based this blog.  You can contact Lynette for more information about Reiki and her services at The Living Energy.  


Energy Therapy- Reflexology (Part 4)

Reflexology dates back to Ancient Egypt, India and China ad was introduced to the West in 20th century.

Reflexology dates back to Ancient Egypt, India and China ad was introduced to the West in 20th century.

A brief history of Reflexology

According to the Association of Reflexology website, “Whilst the art of reflexology dates back to Ancient Egypt, India and China, this therapy was not introduced to the West until Dr William Fitzgerald developed ‘Zone therapy’. He believed that reflex areas on the feet and hands were linked to other areas and organs of the body within the same zone.

In the 1930’s, Eunice Ingham further developed this zone theory into what is known as reflexology. Her opinion was that congestion or tension in any part of the foot is mirrored in the corresponding part of the body.”

The Theory of Reflexology

There are different schools of thought as to how manipulating the feet and hands can affect the wellness of the rest of the body.  One idea is that the nerve endings in the feet and hands are connected to particular organs and regions of the body.  Stimulating these nerves through massage can have a balancing effect on the organs or glands to which they are connected. Meridians are another way in which the feet and hands are connected to other parts of the body.  These are lines that run through the body along which Chi (the universal energy force) flows.  In Taoist tradition the belief is that free- flowing, unblocked Chi means the body is balanced and healthy physically, mentally and spiritually.

The truth is probably a mixture of these schools of thought.  Because nerve endings and meridians terminate in the hands and feet, a reflexologist is stimulating both nerve endings and meridians and affecting and influencing both. Perhaps the school you ascribe to depends on the belief system with which you feel most comfortable?  Personally I am happy with both the western, medicine based explanation of nerve endings and the eastern, Taoist theory of meridians.

Either way, Reflexology theory states that applying pressure to certain points on the hands or feet affects the energy flow of the body in some way.  The role of the practitioner is not to cure, diagnose or prescribe, but rather to help the body to restore its balance naturally.  That is why the practitioner takes a holistic view of the client’s health and tailors each treatment to the client’s individual needs, taking into account both physical and non-physical factors that might be affecting their wellbeing.

My Reflexology practitioner, Natasha Sharpin, works from The Salus Wellness Clinic in Cambridge, UK, a treatment centre for many complementary therapists near the city centre.

My Reflexology Session

The session started with some basic questions about health and personal details.  As I answered, Natasha took notes.  I began to relax as the soft music playing on the iPod and the calming environment began to take its hold.  This seemed to coincide with more probing questions about diet, overall well- being and even dreams that I have.  Although Natasha knew that I was in her treatment room to be able to write a piece for our blog, she asked to come to the session with an issue that I would like help in resolving.  I have always suffered from tension in the neck, shoulders and stomach areas and wondered if Reflexology could help.

Once Natasha was satisfied that I had painted a picture of my general state, she asked me to go over to the treatment chair.  Through a series of slow electrically driven movements, the chair moves you from a vertical position to a near- horizontal pose that is extremely relaxing and makes it easier for the Reflexologist to work with your feet.  Natasha offered me a blanket to keep me warm as I was going to be still for about 45 minutes.  I was fully clothed save for my shoes and socks.  Firstly, Natasha cleaned my feet with an alcohol-free swab and then she began looking and studying my feet!  She started telling me things about my body that I had not mentioned in the earlier part of the session, in particular the tension in my neck and shoulders and in my right hip.  I was intrigued and surprised that so much information could be gleaned from the feet!

The next part of the treatment was the foot work. It was very relaxing and at times surprisingly painful (in that way that you feel it is really doing you good).  For the first few minutes Natasha slowly and precisely manipulated my feet, as she instructed me to breathe in long, slow breaths to aid relaxation.  As the session progressed, the thumb pressure went into some really tender places that corresponded to the areas of tension in my body.  Above and beyond the wonderful sensation of having my feet massaged and the relaxing feeling it left my body in, I felt more aware of the stresses and strains I put my feet under and how this may have an impact on my body as a whole, as well as the reverse effect.  The fact that the effects of stresses that the body is under manifests in the feet should not really be a surprise, as we are fully integrated beings influenced and effected in many subtle and intricate ways.

After the massage session, Natasha and I briefly discussed some of the things I could do to support the benefits of the session in my own time.  These included using a hand reflex point in the heel of the hand below the thumb that stimulates the reflex point to the adrenals leading to reduced stress.  Using strategies of stress relief and tension release have a holistic effect on the body, the perfect complement to the Reflexology session.


I found the Reflexology session with Natasha very beneficial.  During the session and after I felt much of the tension in my body significantly reduced and so better able to manage the stress I feel. Although it would be better to have regular sessions to support the body in reaching balance and harmony, as is the case with most health issues, it is not necessarily practical financially or with respect to our busy schedules.  However, being given tips about how to manage my own stress and tension using reflexology means that I am empowered to take control and responsibility for my own health. With that said I did book in for a few weeks later.

Stress and tension are both major contributors to illness.  It stands to reason that learning effective ways to manage one’s stress levels is really important for long term health and well- being.  Rather than reaching for a cigarette, a pint of beer or a glass of wine or even popping pills when we feel stressed, would it not be better for our overall health to learn simple techniques to relax and calm the mind and body? Accessible tricks like the one’s I learned in my Reflexology session really help me manage stress, as well as meditation, going for a walk in the countryside, playing music or doing exercise.  All these things are free or very cheap.  Certainly cheaper than cigarettes and some alcohols and better for you in the long- term.

My Family recently had a health scare.  We have a history of high cholesterol and my brother was recently fitted with stents to keep open some of the arteries leading to his heart.  He had a suspected heart attack and collapsed in his late 50s.  He is well now and learning to manage his diet better to reduce his cholesterol and so reduce the likelihood of a repeat event.  Naturally this shocked me and I felt motivated to look at my diet and life style and see where changes could be made to reduce my own risk of illness related to high cholesterol.

I was staggered at how poor my health was compared to what I imagined.  I was much more over-weight than I imagined, I had high blood pressure and I had high cholesterol levels.  These things had risen so slowly I did not realise my health was in danger.  My brother’s heart attack was the wake-up call I needed.  In six months I had reduced all these symptoms to much healthier levels and I felt so much better for it.  Almost two years later I am still following a healthier life-style, based on a good understanding of my diet, the effect certain foods have on me, exercise as well as ways to manage the stresses I face during my life.

I think therapies such as Reflexology are powerful tools to help manage stress and the symptoms of stress.

Reflexology works better for us if we are prepared to make the necessary health changes as well.  Perhaps the inevitable consequences of aging are not so inevitable after all, if we take control of our life-style early in life and reduce the stress and tension that can lead to age related ailments later in life.  I for one believe in this self- responsibility and I am happy to use Reflexology as a means to help me manage my health and well-being more effectively.  I am looking forward to my next session.



My thanks go to Natasha Sharpin, founder of Reflex- aaah, who kindly gave me a Reflexology session and taught me so much about Reflexology.  Natasha’s details can be found at www.reflex-aaah.co.uk and www.salus-wellness.com.

Illness Why Me?

Illness Arrives
Illness is a funny old thing. It arrives on our doorstep one day and it seems often to have come out of know where. Illness happened to me like that. I was vacuuming the house one day and I had the most horrible pain at the back of my head. It made me stop what I was doing momentarily. I did worry for a moment but then let the thought go. I thought to myself that either this was nothing or it was the pre curser to some horrible illness. I had always enjoyed good health and so why would that change? I was thirty six and with life ahead of me and full of ideas for my future. Ill health was not on my agenda. When is it ever for anyone?

Some weeks later, I started to feel some pain in the right side of my face. I did not know what it was I just knew that I was in a great deal of pain. I went to my doctor prescribed anti-biotics and de-contestants. I did not know then that this was the very beginning of one of the worst periods of my life. Often when people become ill this is the truth. Their lives, as mine did, take a huge turn for the worst.

Unwelcome Inconvenience
Illness presenting itself in our lives is always unwelcome and a huge inconvenience. We often think of the beginning of our illness starting the moment we felt ill. However this is seldom the truth. The truth is more likely to be that the illness started years before. Its roots will have been in the past. It will have quietly entered your life and your body and the energy will not have necessarily been noticed by you.

Illness is a slippery customer. It seldom enters with bells and whistles to alert you to its presence. It enters quietly and then gets to work on you. It works its way into your life and body. In fact, the beliefs we hold about ourselves and the world around us are entwined with our life and our body. There is no way to separate them. When we become ill most of us become the victim. We say why me? What did I do to deserve this?

I Caused my own Illness
Sometimes the answer is plenty. For illnesses such as M.E. which I suffered from for many years, I can say that I did plenty to deserve all that my body put me through, although I did not know it at that moment and would find out the truth of this many years later. If someone had told me then that I had brought this illness on myself and it was my own fault I would not have believed them. Because as far as I knew about ill health it just happened, with no rhyme nor reason to who it struck down.

It certainly struck me down for it took me many years to recover my health. This was the beginning of a miserable time that was to last more than a decade and took me to places within myself that I did not know existed.

Worry and Burnt Candle
I had burnt my candle at both ends and I worried myself into the ground. That is a sure way to health disaster. This time led me on a journey and one that led me to learn lots of things about maintaining good health. If only I had known then all that I now know with regards to maintaining health. I could have avoided many years of horrible health and pain. Well we live and learn. I sure did.

This horrible health experience led me to write Nourish the Flame Within, in the hope that others will not suffer my fate, and go down the road of health doom and disaster.
The story continues with……….
Illness set in the past

To find the reason for my illness we would have to go far back into my youth.

Energy Therapy- McTimoney Chiropractic- Part 3

Chiropractic therapy works with the alignment of the bones which can become misaligned simply through the process of living.  If these misalignments are left untreated they can lead to muscle imbalance, poor posture, pain and the stagnation or pooling of energy in muscles throughout the body.

Chiropractic therapy works with the alignment of the bones which can become misaligned simply through the process of living. If these misalignments are left untreated they can lead to muscle imbalance, poor posture, pain and the stagnation or pooling of energy in muscles throughout the body.

What is McTimoney Chiropractic?
I have known my McTimoney Chiropractic practitioner for many years and know him to be very sensitive to energy in the body. Dr. Steven Aronson was drawn to this line of work when he saw how effective and powerful the McTimoney method had been for a friend. Ostensibly, chiropractic therapy works with the alignment of the bones which can become misaligned simply through the process of living. If these misalignments are left untreated they can lead to muscle imbalance, poor posture, pain and the stagnation or pooling of energy in muscles throughout the body. By realigning these bones, the skeleton can support the body as it is designed to do, allowing the muscles to relax and return the body to its natural fluid, flowing state at rest and in movement. The energy in a well aligned body flows more freely which aids overall health and well-being.

The premise of McTimoney Chiropractic
This method was developed by John McTimoney in the 1970s. He recognised that pain does not always manifest at the root of the problem. The body can become progressively misaligned and it is the McTimoney Chiropractor’s role to assess where these misalignments are and trace them back to the root of the issue. The McTimoney College of Chiropractic website says “The McTimoney approach is typified by a whole body assessment and swift, light force adjustments, which makes it a comfortable treatment to receive. The subtlety of the adjustment demands great sensitivity and mechanical skill, and once mastered the technique is extremely effective.”

My McTimoney Chiropractic session
My session was performed in the calm and tranquil environment of The Therapy Room in Cambridge, UK. Beautiful pictures and lighted candles adorned the room, creating a calming and peaceful space. Though there were other therapists practising in the building at the time, there was no noise or intrusion from elsewhere. The session began with some basic questions about my medical history, issues that I would like to have addressed, as well as an explanation of how McTimoney Chiropractic works and how the session would progress. He assured me that each patient was unique and that he uses many different skills to give effective care including Reiki and Craniosacral therapy. Once I had undressed to my underwear, the session continued with a full body assessment. I was asked to sit on the edge of the treatment table and Dr. Aronson lightly ran his fingers along the length of my spine and across my hips, as well as looked at the way my body held itself as I sat and stood. He explained that by gentle touch he can feel where the bones of the spine are misaligned and that by looking at the body he can see where muscle tension lies and how that pulls the bones out of alignment throughout the body. These subtle imbalances can have a huge impact on the body’s alignment, altering the way we sit, walk, run, lie and generally move placing stress and pressure upon the body, depleting us in energy, health and well- being. Even though I am fit and healthy, there were areas in my spine and hips that were subtly misaligned, Dr. Steven Aronson said.

Each signature light adjustment of the McTimoney method (an exact positioning of the fingers or hand followed by a gentle strike or tap) was followed by a check to see whether the bones had in fact re-aligned. It was only once I left the treatment room that I felt the effects of the adjustments. As I walked away from the session, my body felt more powerful and at greater ease and this feeling grew over the next few days as I settled into my new alignment. It was a strange feeling to have so little done mechanically, and yet I felt so much better for the experience. I am used to the deep soft tissue massage of physiotherapy and the often sore and bruised feeling that can come with that. This was very different, more subtle, yet I would say more effective.

The use of other therapies to augment healing
Dr. Aronson’s skill is not just as a Chiropractor. He used tools from Craniosacral therapy and Reiki when he felt they would be beneficial and told me when he was using them, allowing my body to take whatever it needed from the session to realign, heal and empower itself. This was understood most palpably when I was given the opportunity to sit in on a session with a patient. It was offered by Dr. Aronson as a means for me to better appreciate his process for the benefit of writing this blog and agreed to by the patient concerned. When the patient entered the room I saw a woman who I can only describe as looking as though she felt hollow of energy. She looked as though all her effort was being used to hold herself together. She had come to Dr Aronson for help because she was suffering from long term debilitating migraines that she said had eased during her course of 6 treatments.

On my journey with energy, I have developed the ability to be able to feel energy in my body and in other people’s as well as in the environment around me. It is a subtle feeling that I describe as invisible flowing water- I can feel whether it flows, where it flows and the direction of flow. It requires some concentration on my part, but it feels like I am reaching out with my body and mind for it and I recognize it when I feel it. Dr. Aronson and I discussed the session with this lady afterward and he explained that he was giving her body lots of energy during the session, allowing the lady’s body the opportunity to use the energy as it needed. I could really feel that process taking place. As her session progressed, I could see improvement in her demeanor and feel the energy radiating from her more and more. She seemed so much more relaxed.

Dr. Aronson’s passion to heal and support his clients is evident and he trusts implicitly in the client’s body’s inherent knowledge for perfect health and its ability to regain balance and well being when given the chance to do so. In his own words: “I listen to what my client’s body needs and allow their body to take what is required to achieve perfect health”.

I found my sessions with Dr Aronson invigorating. I like the idea of someone supporting and facilitating the body in nurturing and maintaining its own health. It highlights an inherent power that we all have that very often we are discouraged to tap into because we are taught to trust in the effects and benefits of pharmaceuticals and modern surgery.

Any responsible therapist would advocate medication, surgery or other forms of modern medical intervention in the desire to supply effective health care as it is recognised there are some issues that are better treated by conventional means or other therapies. Indeed, one of the points of the overall body check at the beginning of the McTimoney session was to identify potential issues that may be better addressed by a different therapist, doctor or specialist.

The session I observed with Dr Aronson’s lady client most definitely did relieve pain and discomfort for the patient. After her session, the lady and I spoke briefly about how she felt. She said that she had improved so much since she had started her series of 6 sessions (this was number 5). She said she felt far more energised compared to when she walked into the therapy room and that appeared to be the case from what I could observe. For my own session, I can say I felt stronger and at greater ease after the session. I think as an aid to maintaining optimum health, it is very effective and I would consider top-up sessions perhaps 2 or 3 times a year for my overall health and well-being.

The patient I observed clearly felt relief and that does not always happen instantly as I understand it. It can and often does takes time. The body can take time to respond as it heals itself of physical ailments that have taken many years to develop and are often borne from emotional, psychological and habitual issues.

McTimoney Chiropractic works differently to modern drug medication. It does not mask the pain to bring almost instant ease in that way. For more profound issues, many sessions may well be necessary, as was the case for the patient I observed. Sometimes, the issue becomes so severe that the desire to regain full and pain free health outweighs the financial considerations. Even so considering the expense of a Chiropractor over cheaper therapies it may be necessary to consider them over chiropractic should finance be an issue. The free therapies offered by the NHS are of course an appealing option over paying for therapy. Some health insurance companies may include McTimoney Chirpractic treatments which may alleviate financial considerations.

Consider that many people who have complementary therapies are at the end of the health line. They may have suffered for years before they seek the help of a therapist of any kind. Often they cannot be helped by the NHS for whatever reason and the NHS has given what it can and has failed to help. Under those circumstances money may not be the first consideration. The priority is a speedy return to good health and a pain free life.

I would definitely return to Dr Aronson if I needed a treatment for pain or injury. As a martial arts teacher I take injuries very seriously, not least because I do not like being in pain. There is a philosophy to complementary therapies that I am very comfortable with, namely that by treating the whole body, the therapist supports the body in reaching and maintaining full wellness without the use of drugs or surgical intervention.

NHS has made some changes to its policy towards holistic therapies and now people can be given the details of approved therapists by their GP. It would be wonderful to see the NHS embrace these treatments even more and make them available in the UK on the NHS system. Until then, it is a personal choice and life-style commitment by the individual to decide how he/ she exercise his/ her responsibility for health, including food and nutrition, healthcare and exercise.

Avis and Brown and Nourish the Flame within would like to thank Dr. Steven Aronson for his time during which he explained the principles of McTimoney Chiropractic and his patience at answering my endless questions during the session. I would also like to extend my thanks to him for reviewing this article and making sure there are no factual errors. Since the 2003 he has had the opportunity to help over two thousand people to effectively eliminate their pain. Using the McTimoney method he has successfully treated people of all ages including young babies, pregnant women and the elderly. You can read more about the services Dr. Steven Aronson offers at www.stevenaronson.com/

My Introduction to Energy Therapies- Part 1

Reiki treatmentWestern science is based on the premise of an objective observer- the idea that someone can look in at an experiment from the outside, and observe what is happening without influencing or affecting the outcome. Since the double- slit experiments of the early twentieth century, the idea of the impassive experimenter has been thrown into question (Dr Quantum-Double Slit Experiment). Evidence points to the fact that the observer plays a very influential role in the experimental outcome.

Clinical Trials and the Healing Process
Clinical trials for drugs in the pharmaceutical industry are always tested against a placebo, so that effects can be compared between patients who have been administered the trial drug and those that have not. A patient is given a placebo when they think they have been given the tested drug, but have in fact been given a completely inactive substance instead. If a patient has been given a placebo and exhibits the effects of the test drug, this counts against the effectiveness of the drug, because the patient showed effects when the drug itself was not administered.

This implies that the patient has the ability to influence and affect his/ her own healing process. Humans have a highly evolved immune system and healing mechanism built into the fabric of our being. This implies that we strive endlessly towards perfect health. Western science’s focus on the chemical processes in the body means that western medicine often seeks to correct using chemicals with pharmacological properties. This often acts as a masking effect, rather than a healing effect, which does not necessarily bring the body back into balance.

For centuries, traditional Eastern forms of medicine, such as Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture and Ayurvedic medicine, have worked with energy, and used the potent substances (drugs) in natural herbs to redress energetic balance. Admittedly, that was all that was available at the time, and the developments in western medicine and science have revolutionised medical care on a global scale. In recent years, the development of energy healing practices such as Polarity therapy, Craniosacral therapy, Chiropractic therapy, Reiki, Energy medicine and Homeopathy have surged, flying in the face of many modern western scientific principles, including the idea of an objective observer. The healer is as much a part of the healing process as the patient and the drugs that are used to aid healing.

The Healing Processes and my Objective
This two-way process of working in harmony to achieve a common goal is powerful stuff. I had never realised just how powerful until quite recently. Having co-written a book about energy with Lynette Avis called “Nourish the flame within” my interest in the effects of energy on healing have been peaked. Because of my awakened interest in this area of healing and health I have sought out a number of local healers that use energy to heal. My objective was not to be healed as I enjoy good health, but rather to experience the process and have a better understanding of how the healing is administered, the theories behind the practice and to relay any observations and experiences. I have been totally transparent about my objectives with each healer, and as I was told by one “the effectiveness of the treatment is not compromised because you enjoy good health, your body will use the energy as it sees fit to bring you into greater balance and harmony.” I was intrigued!

Finding the Therapists
I am fortunate to know a number of healers who practise their art in different ways. I hope by writing these blogs that people will begin to understand better the processes and appreciate the skill involved, the care and dedication and the power of the intent to heal. I am not here to bash western medicine. I have myself benefitted many times in my life from the advances of modern science and would probably not be here without it. I do think that it is important to explore all the alternatives available to us, and so I entered into this with an open heart and mind and a sense of adventure. As these alternative/holistic forms of healing are available to us, why should we not then benefit from them if there is a benefit to be had?

Clarity and Complementation
What has become clear to me in researching for this blog series is that each practitioner brings with them their unique combination of innate talents and skills as well as a unique set of training practices. This means that no one practitioner is the same and those generic terms such as Reiki, Chiropractor or Craniosacral therapist may lead you to believe that all practitioners sharing the same therapy perform their healing in the same way. Many healers have skills in many healing arts that complement each other, broadening the healing scope of the therapist, allowing them to be of greater service. There are also many different schools of healing thought within a given field, leading to subtle differences in emphasis. As the patient, it is after all about finding the therapies and therapists that work best with you, just like any doctor.

I look forward to sharing with you my experiences and revelations. It was an interesting journey for me as my eyes and interest were opened wider still.

Read my next blog later in the month as I continue my journey of discovery of the wonders of energy therapies and share my experiences of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy.

Food for The Soul

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Food for Thought, Food for the Body and Food for the Soul


We all walk a spiritual path as we are all spirit. We are spirit energy in a body. As human spirits we grow by learning. I am constantly learning new things. I like learning it brings new ideas and perspectives to my life.

I do not have all of the answers to life or spirituality for I am always learning new things from many people. I do not believe anyone has all of the answers to anything. There are people who say they have all of the answers and maybe they do for a short while. Life changes and it moves on and is in a constant state of flux. So are we.

When we learn something new we change. We replace old ideas with new ones or we may reinforce old ideas. Either way we are in a win situation with the new knowledge. As knew knowledge equals change to us on some level.

Today we will have a set of thoughts, ideas and understandings and tomorrow they will be different in some way. I am not saying that we do not have a responsibility for the things that we think do or say. I am saying that we will think do and say something no matter what that is and in time will change those understandings and actions as we live and develop. Change means development of us and our lives. We change from the moment that we are born and in fact if we think about it we changed even in the womb. We change in many ways throughout our life. We change physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. We are not static beings.

From the moment we enter this world we are in for change. Life will change around us whether we wish for it or not. We can resist change but that is futile as change will happen never the less. All things change. The seasons change, day changes into night, the weather changes. Everything changes.

People too change, before our very eyes. They physically change day by day. Nothing about people is set in stone at all. Life seems to be static but it is not.  Change is built into life at all levels. There is wisdom in slow change. Slow change gives ourselves and life time to decide is this a good change and do we need to keep it or change it for something else. It offers us a choice as we move towards the conclusion of the new change. It offers us and life time to understand and assess that change.

Physical change to our body is inevitable and we all know that our body is designed to break down. We can slow things down a little with good food and plenty of sleep and some effective creams and potions. However even with all of that our body will degenerate. Life will move forward and we will bend to its influence. Our body is designed for slow change and the ravages of time.

But what of our soul, how do we keep that in good condition?  And what is a spiritual path? We can develop our soul in the same way we can develop our body. We can condition our soul. To have a healthy body we need to give it good things to work with, such as good food, rest and exercise. To have an active and effective mind we need to give it food for thought. It needs input and stimulation.  The soul needs the same too. It too needs food, rest and exercise.

What is food for the soul? Life is food for the soul as it helps the soul to develop. It does not matter what we do as long as we interact with life. When we interact with life we give the soul its sustenance. Good or bad, happy or sad the soul will thrive on what we give it. It will change and develop in one way or the other. The change that occurs in each of us adds to life. It adds knowledge to the wider universe. It causes us to move forward into life.

We are all part of life and life part of us. So therefore we are all important to life and life to us. From time to time it may be that we may feel insignificant and unimportant. We are just a single person in this huge world of ours. Perhaps there are some moments of despair.

These moments are part of the catalyst for our change and growth. When we reach rock bottom in any situation or interaction often it causes us to find a solution and resolve the misery. It causes us to look, listen and learn so that we may move forward. Despair can lead to change. We are required to look at the situation and our life, the path that led us to the situation, to listen to our inner voice for the truth of the situation and learn from the experience.

Despair forces our hand to give in or grow through movement. In despair we look for the solution that will take us out of the situation. Movement of any sort equals growth to the person. Even negative movement equals growth in time. Negative movement equals more pain and misery which in turn is a further learning to the person. All of life and life’s interactions facilitate growth to the soul.

Meditation, sleep and quiet contemplation are rest for the soul.  Exercise for the soul comes by way of all of the interactions that stretch the soul to grow. On all levels of our being we grow through the interactions with life and the things we put into our being.

We need food for thought, food for the body and food for the soul. Life Nourishes the flame within.


Subtle Energy and Health

Energy flows along pathways. These paths occur naturally. For example, air pressure differences create wind. Gravity attracts objects, spins planets and moves them through the universe. Chemical pathways move energy through the process of transformation and change. Thoughts move energy along nerve fibres within the central and peripheral nervous systems. Pathways of colour, sound and heat abound in nature. These energy pathways and many others create a network of inter- related systems that bind the universe together- the energy systems of the human body are important not only because they create and sustain life but also because they contribute to the energy systems of the planet that in turn interact with the energy of the solar system in an ever expanding, increasingly complex and inter- related universe.

The fact that these systems are inter- related is important because it means we are not isolated. Our existence is dependent upon others. Genetic streams of energy combine from our parents to create a unique individual that has unique experiences and perceptions of the world. We breathe and take in food and water, all of which has been recycled from elsewhere throughout time. Many of the elements in our bodies can only be created in the super- heat of stars, which means that they have been destroyed and their energy reintegrated into a planet and everything upon that planet.

For us to remain physically and mentally healthy exchange through these energy pathways is essential. Food is a well recognised pathway of energy that we partake in 3- 5 times a day. We recognise that the quality of the food we eat is important for health and is a valuable source of fuel for us in our daily lives. The human body uses up a phenomenal amount of energy in everyday activities- thinking, moving, maintenance and repair, digestion, monitoring the balance of chemicals in the body (homeostasis) and the immune system. For all of this to work correctly and in concert, energy needs to flow throughout the body freely.

Fields of energy created by the accumulation of atoms to create the cells of organs and systems, interact with each other to maintain balance and equilibrium in the body. If there are blockages in the pathways through which the energy flows, the body becomes out of balance over time and we may need to go to an acupuncturist, chiropractor, herbalist, cranio- sacral therapist and other types of healers to redress the balance.

As well as that, we can look at our body as a whole energy system- more like a battery. These cells, organs and systems draw their energy from the whole. Just as the Earth draws its energy from the sun, so the body draws its energy from the environment around it. Just as energy flows within the planet so energy flows through the body. Extinguish the sun, the planet slowly dies. Isolate the body from the environment, or more literally reduce or prevent the energy interacting with the body, and the body slowly reduces in health and eventually dies. This manifests itself in everyday life as sustained stress, poor working and living environments, poor quality of food, lack of exercise as well as a lack of meaning and purpose in people’s lives.

The human body, just like an electrical appliance, needs power so that it can work effectively and efficiently. Built into all living things is a means to draw power from the naturally- occurring universal energy grid that recharges the battery and so gives the body the energy it needs to work optimally. Life naturally drains this battery- as I said living is a very energy- hungry activity. Because energy flows, it is right that the battery be drained, but it does need to be recharged. If it is not, symptoms of poor health manifest in subtle ways to begin with, that become pronounced the more depleted we become and the more out of balance we are.

So, how do we recharge this battery? The process is a naturally occurring one and may take place without us realising that it is happening. If we choose to consciously recharge our battery, there are things we can do that will promote better health, well- being and vitality. It requires us to consciously connect to the energy all around us- if we do so through meditation, we may imagine drawing energy into the body either from above or from below and linking the seven chakra points, energising them and so revitalising the body; if we use Reiki, we become attuned to the universal healing force that floods the body with energy; we may choose to do it through loving and nurturing relationships and acts of kindness; we may invest in activities for which we are passionate, surrounding ourselves with people with whom we can have passionate conversations about things we are passionate about. The list is almost endless, but there is one fundamental thing that links them all- we connect to the energy around us and allow it to fuel us, empower us and in turn we empower and fuel the world around us. In short, we partake in the energy recycling process that occurs naturally throughout the universe, making us active participants in our own lives and the lives of others- the way existence is meant to be.