Category Archives: helen shortland

Keeping Your Skin Hydrated

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Summer is here and I am sure we are all enjoying the warm weather and spending more time outdoors.  But what about the effect on your skin?  Summer sun and air conditioning can take their toll on the skin, drying it out and causing damage through UVA and UVB rays.

Sun damage, together with poor diet and an unsatisfactory skin care routine, can lead to dry, flaky skin. Years of sun-damage combined with the natural aging process result in a depletion of hyaluronic acid (HA), a break down of collagen and loss of elasticity. This results in thinning of the skin and the formation of lines and wrinkles. The skin gradually develops a dry scaly appearance with crepey fine lines and a dull greyish hue. These signs of premature ageing are most commonly found on the face, neck, décolletage and hands.

Dehydrated skin can also be caused by illness, medication, diuretics and dieting, as well as excessive exposure to the UV rays of the sun.

In short, good skin hydration is essential in order to maintain a healthy and youthful complexion

A Good Moisturiser

Moisturisers contain glycerine, sorbital or lanolin. These ingredients attract water and keep it in the skin, thus keeping the skin hydrated.  Dry skin should be treated morning and night with a moisturising cream.  Night creams are heavier and contain lanolin.

A wide variety of moisturising creams are available nowadays.  Some contain collagen which is the name given to the connective fibres.  Manufacturers claim to have isolated the essential protein compound and added it to their products in order to replace it in the skin.  Vitamin creams, such as vitamin E cream, are known for their rejuvenating effect on the skin.  Placenta creams claim to speed up cellular renewal, thereby having a rejuvenating effect on the skin.

Self-Help Ideas

  •  Drink plenty of water (at least 6-8 glasses a day).
  • Eat oily fish approximately 3 times a week for essential fatty acids or take an Omega 369 supplement.  A diet rich in good fats such as avocadoes and flaxseeds will also provide vitamins A and E which can help support dehydrated skin.
  • Moisturise well morning and night with a good quality moisturiser.
  • A cream cleanser is recommended for dry, mature skin but don’t over-cleanse the skin as this can strip essential oils from the skin. Some oil is necessary to protect the skin and help it retain moisture.
  • A supplement such as Hyaluron rehydrates the dermis, and is also excellent for relieving dry eyes and lubricating joints.
  • Fruit and vegetables have a high water content and support the find sodium/potassium ratio the body requires.  Spinach, chard, lettuce, melon, berries and oranges are particularly beneficial.
  • Yoghurt is approximately 85% water – eating this is both cooling and rehydrating.
  • Reduce or eliminate bad habits such as smoking, alcohol and caffeine.

This Month’s Special Offer Facial Treatment

During August I am offering a Hydrating Facial for just £23!  This includes a double cleanse, exfoliation, 15 min face/neck/décolletage massage with anti-ageing massage oil blend, nourishing jojoba face mask, tone and moisturise.

A Collagen Facial is also available for £40 which includes application of a pure collagen ampoule and a collagen face mask in addition to the cleanse, exfoliation, tone and moisturise.

Helen Shortland is a Holistic Therapist, Reiki Master Teacher and Meditation Teacher based at Little London Herbal Stores on Kings Walk in Nottingham city centre. For further information about her courses, workshops and therapies, please visit her website at http://helenshortland.com. To book a treatment please ring 07748 591690.

Note:

All supplements mentioned in this article (ie. Omega 369 and Hyaluron) and natural skin care products are available from Little London Herbal Stores, 9 Kings Walk, Nottingham, NG1 2AE (http://www.all-ages-vitamins.co.uk ).

 

The Chakras: Qualities, Correspondences and Stages of Development

This picture depicts the seven major Chakras w...

This picture depicts the seven major Chakras with descriptions. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Each of the chakras is symbolised by layers of imagery and energetic associations such as colour, element, note and a bija mantra sound, which can be used to promote balanced functioning of the chakras.  Each chakra also relates to an endocrine gland, an area of the physical body and several mental/emotional qualities, which can result in various physical disorders when the chakra remains out of balance long term.  Using a crystal of the appropriate colour can also be used to help re-balance a chakra – hold it over the chakra and visualise breathing its energy into the chakra with the in-breath for 5 or 10 minutes at a time.

Root or Base Chakra

Name – Muladhara, meaning ‘foundation’

Represents fearlessness, stillness, stability, survival instincts, will to live.

Colour – red,  Element – Earth,  Bija Mantra – Lam

Gland:  Adrenal glands

Physical organs:  Base of spine, bones, legs, feet, rectum, immune system.

Physical disorders:  Chronic lower back pain, sciatica, varicose veins, rectal disorders, depression, alcoholism, immune-related disorders, flu/colds.

Crystals to help rebalance:  red jasper, haematite, smoky quartz.

Stage of Development:  Conception and birth up to approx 1 yr old – creation of physical body.

Sacral Chakra

Name – Svadistana, meaning ‘sweetness’

Relates to emotions, sensuality and creativity.

Colour – orange,  Element – Water,  Bija Mantra – Vam

Gland:  Ovaries/testes

Physical organs:  Reproductive organs, bladder, large intestine, appendix, pelvis, hips.

Physical disorders:  Lower back/pelvic pain, gynaecological/reproductive disorders, sexual potency, urinary problems, migraine.

Crystals to help rebalance:  carnelian, tiger’s eye, rose quartz; rhodonite and rhodochrosite to heal wounds.

Stage of Development:  6 months to approx 2 yrs – becoming an individual, separate from mother.

Solar Plexus Chakra

Name – Manipura, meaning ‘city of gems’

Relates to control of energy, personal power, self-esteem and self-confidence.

Colour – yellow,  Element – Fire,  Bija Mantra – Ram

Gland:  Pancreas

Physical organs:  Stomach, liver, gallbladder, kidneys, pancreas, spleen, mid back.

Physical disorders:  Arthritis, gastric/duodenal ulcers, intestinal problems, pancreatitis/diabetes, indigestion, anorexia or bulimia, liver dysfunction, hepatitis.

Crystals to help rebalance:  calcite, citrine, amber, tiger’s eye.

Stage of Development:  Small child 18 months to approx 4 yrs – development of language and autonomy and search for balance between freedom and discipline.

Heart Chakra

Name – Anahata, meaning ‘unstruck’

Relates to harmony in both inner and outer worlds, love and relationships, compassion and forgiveness.

Colour – green or pink,  Element – Air,  Bija Mantra – Yam

Gland:  Thymus

Physical organs:  Heart and circulatory system, lungs, shoulders, arms, ribs, breasts, diaphragm.

Physical disorders:  Heart failure, asthma/allergies, lung cancer, bronchial pneumonia, breast cancer, upper back and shoulder pain.

Crystals to help rebalance:  emerald, green aventurine, rose quartz, kunzite.

Stage of Development:  The child 4-7 yrs – relating to others outside immediate family, building self-esteem and self-acceptance.

Throat Chakra

Name – Vishudda, meaning ‘pure’

Relates to union of the elements, communication, self-expression, creativity and strength of will.

Colour – blue,  Element – Ether/Space,  Bija Mantra – Ham

Gland:  Thyroid

Physical organs:  Throat, thyroid, trachea, neck, mouth/teeth/gums, oesophagus.

Physical disorders:  Sore throats, stuttering, mouth ulcers, gum problems, temporo-mandibular joint problems, laryngitis, swollen glands, thyroid disorders.

Crystals to help rebalance:  lapis lazuli, turquoise, blue lace agate, chrysocolla.

Stage of Development:  Pre-pubescent 7-12 yrs – beginning of stage of self-expression.

Third Eye or Brow Chakra

Name – Ajna, meaning ‘command’

Relates to seeing clearly, insight, intuition and imagination.

Colour – indigo or violet,  Bija Mantra – Aum/Om

Gland:  Pituitary

Physical organs:  Left eye, lower brain, nose, ears, pituitary gland, nervous system.

Physical disorders:  Brain tumour, haemorrhage, stroke, neurological disturbances, poor vision, full spinal difficulties, seizures, nightmares, headaches.

Crystals to help rebalance:  sodalite, lapis lazuli, kyanite, amethyst, fluorite, sugilite.

Stage of Development:  The adolescent – reflecting on patterns in own and others’ lives and creating a role in the world.

Crown Chakra

Name – Sahasrara, meaning ‘thousand-petalled lotus’

Relates to unity, formlessness, potential, knowledge and understanding.

Colour – violet or white,  Bija Mantra – Nng

Gland:  Pineal

Physical organs:  Upper brain, right eye, pineal gland, skin, muscular and skeletal systems.

Physical disorders:  Energetic disorders, chronic exhaustion, mystical depression, extreme sensitivities to light, sound and other environmental factors; co-ordination problems, feeling detached from others.

Crystals to help rebalance:  amethyst, clear quartz, selenite.

Stage of Development:  The adult  20-27 yrs – fully reacting and interacting with the world.

Cycles of Nature

Each of the cycles of nature can be regarded as a time during which certain skills are developed.  The precise shift from one stage of development to another will vary from person to person, often with stages overlapping.  In some cases, however, stress or trauma disrupts the chakra energy, often causing an underlying problem for subsequent growth.  If one function remains under-developed, all the others dependent upon it will be negatively affected.

Having gone through a whole cycle, root to crown chakra, the individual often asks themselves existential questions such as ‘Why am I here?’, which may cause radical changes in life and work.  The whole cycle then begins again, starting at the root chakra, with a metaphorical rebirth.  The chakra cycle can repeat itself many times in a single lifetime, providing opportunities to heal and grow and express more of your potential.

A Holistic Approach

When you perceive the chakras as aspects of consciousness, it can be understood that the physical systems of the body cannot be separated from the subtler structures of mind and emotions.  In fact, they are all fundamentally linked together.  Changes at one level will bring automatic changes at the other levels.  Dysfunction at the physical level is echoed in the function of the chakras, while stress in the chakras can manifest as discomfort at the level of body, mind or emotion.

This is the second in a series of 3 blogs looking in detail at the human energy system.  Part 3, Energising the Chakras and a Chakra Quiz, will be available at the beginning of July.

Helen Shortland is a Reiki Master Teacher, Meditation Teacher and Holistic Therapist based at Little London Herbal Stores on Kings Walk in Nottingham city centre. For further information about her courses, workshops and therapies, please visit her website at http://helenshortland.com.

Benefits of Hot Stone Massage

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Hot Stone Massage is a wonderfully relaxing treatment that provides greater muscular relaxation than manual massage alone, with a host of additional health benefits.

Benefits

The deep heat from the stones is very good for easing and soothing muscular aches and pains and alleviating tension and stress.  The treatment is particularly beneficial for those with back pain, and fibromyalgia sufferers can experience an improvement in their symptoms. Strains and sprains are improved. Hot Stone Massage helps those with poor circulation by increasing blood flow: dilation of the blood vessels causes an increase in blood flow around the body, resulting in improved body functioning.  Lymphatic function and cell metabolism are increased, thereby increasing detoxification and improving elimination.  The treatment is also ideal for people who feel the cold as it provides a local rise in body temperature of 1-2 degrees C.  In addition, it aids joint mobility, improves muscle tone and stimulates the nervous system, heart and respiratory system.

The warm stones have a very grounding, nurturing quality which is beneficial for those with depression and insomnia.  The work on the physical body, combined with the vibrational energy of the hot stones resonating with the energy of the chakras, promotes a feeling of total relaxation, balance and harmony.

In summary Hot Stone Massage can aid the following conditions:-

General aches and pains

Soft tissue injuries

Muscular tension and stiffness

Stress, tension and depression

Lethargy and fatigue

Sluggish metabolism

Sinus congestion and headaches

The Treatment

The massage is performed using the hot stones instead of the hands.  One stroke with a hot stone is considered equal to 10-15 normal manual massage strokes in its effect.

The first half of the treatment covers upper and lower back and backs of legs.  The client is then asked to turn over and the therapist treats the scalp, face, chest, arms, front of legs and feet. The chakra stones are also placed on the front of the body.

Vibrational Effect of the Stones

During the full body treatment, large stones are placed over the chakras on the front of the body.  Basalt stones are used due to their ability to retain heat.  Basalt is formed from the cooled lava produced from an erupting volcano.  Basalt stones are high in vibrational energy which resonates in balance with the human chakra system.  When placed on the body, vibrational energy is transmitted from the stones into the body to positively affect the person’s energy balance and auric field.  Balancing of the 7 major chakras increases wellbeing by increasing positive energy, strengthening weak areas and neutralising dominant areas.

Contra-indications

This treatment is not suitable for those with high blood pressure (unless controlled), heat sensitivity, prickly heat, nerve damage or loss of tactile function, people on blood thinning medication, people with diabetes who inject insulin,  people with nervous system dysfunction, an over-active thryroid gland or varicose veins, or anyone who has had an operation within 6 months.

New Healing Meditation CD now available!

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This has been recorded in the structured format of a class or workshop for you to use at home.  Includes body scan relaxation, creative visualization to promote positive psychological qualities, healing the body meditation, closing down and grounding.

Priced £10 plus £2 p&p. If you would like to purchase one, please send a cheque (made payable to Helen Shortland) to Little London Herbal Stores, 9 Kings Walk, Nottingham, NG1 2AE. Alternatively please ring me to pre-order and collect in the shop for just £10.

I would like to give special thanks to all those who have assisted me in the recording and production of this CD, namely Mitch Gamble and Andy Sutcliffe. A big thank you also to Claire Chesters of Celestial Healing for the copyrighted music. This project has been a huge learning experience but is hopefully the first of several meditation CDs from Helen Shortland Holistics. Two further CDs, Beginners Meditation and Relaxation and Connecting with your Spirit Guide, should be available later this year.

 

Helen Shortland is a Reiki Master Teacher, Meditation Teacher and Holistic Therapist based at Little London Herbal Stores on Kings Walk in Nottingham city centre. For further information about her courses, workshops and therapies, please visit her website at http://helenshortland.com.

 

The Chakras: Their Purpose and Vibration

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What are they?

‘Chakra’ is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘wheel’ which describes their spinning motion while absorbing, giving out and distributing life force energy (ki) throughout our subtle and physical bodies.  The chakras are the major energy centres of the body: when they are functioning correctly there is good free-flow of energy throughout the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies, resulting in balance and harmony.  Chakras should be open to let energy flow freely in and out and between the different auric levels.  The more energy that flows, the healthier we are.  Illness in the system is caused by an imbalance of energy or a block in the flow of energy: in other words, lack of flow in our energy system eventually leads to disharmony and dis-ease.

There are 7 major chakras – crown, 3rd eye or brow, throat, heart, solar plexus, sacral and root/base.  Each is positioned along a central channel called the sushumna which runs from the base chakra to the crown chakra.  The base and crown chakras form our connection to earth and spirit.  The sushumna is encircled by two energy channels called Ida and Pingala which spiral upwards in opposite directions from the base chakra.  The points where they meet along the central channel are known as the chakras.  Chakras can be likened to multi-dimensional gateways that allow us to access different experiences and states of consciousness.

Each chakra relates to a different colour, note, element, endocrine gland and auric layer, which I will address is more detail in the next two blogs.

Purpose of the Chakras

The chakras have three main functions:-

1. To vitalise each auric body and therefore the physical body.

2. To promote the development of different aspects of consciousness.  Each chakra relates to a specific psychological function.

3. To transmit energy between the auric layers.

Why do they vibrate at different frequencies?

Everything in the universe consists of vibrations occurring at different frequencies.  The colours we see all around us are different frequencies of visible light as perceived by our physical senses and interpreted by the brain.  Beyond this range lies ultra-violet light, radio waves and other light waves.

In eastern esoteric literature, each chakra is seen as having a certain number of petals.  These appear to be small rotating vortices spinning at very high rates.  Each vortex metabolizes an energy vibration that resonates at its particular spin frequency.  For example the base chakra has 4 small vortices and metabolises 4 basic frequencies of energy, vibrating at the colour red.  Four vortices is a relatively small amount of energy being metabolized and so this chakra relates to the physical, material world and issues of survival and security.  The 3rd eye chakra has 96 vortices and corresponds to the colour indigo.  Now consider that the crown chakra has 972 vortices and vibrates at the colour violet-white.  This seventh chakra metabolizes the greatest amount of energy out of all the 7 major chakras and carries a very high spiritual vibration.

The chakras vibrate at different frequencies according to the spiritual qualities that govern each chakra:-

Root/base chakra – security and survival – colour red

Sacral chakra – relationships with others, power and control – colour orange

Solar plexus chakra – sense of self, self-esteem and self-worth – colour yellow

Heart chakra – compassion, tolerance, joy and love for others – colour green or pink

Throat chakra – self-expression and communication – colour blue

Brow/3rd eye chakra – vision, direction, understanding and mental processes – colour indigo or violet

Crown chakra – sense of connection, oneness and spiritual awareness – colour violet or white

Personal Variations

Each chakra deals with particular functions but the quality of the energy in the chakra can vary from person to person.  For example, a strong red root chakra indicates someone who is well grounded with strong physical energy and vitality.  If this chakra was dull in colour or weak, it would indicate an imbalance in the corresponding mental/emotional qualities such as lack of stability and financial security.

For most people the heart chakra vibrates at the colour green but in those who have developed greater compassion and universal love, it vibrates at the higher vibration colour pink.  Similarly the crown can be violet, lavender or white, according to the level of spiritual development of the individual.  If the higher crown chakra, the seat of the soul, is activated, the crown area is likely to be white, indicating a person living in line with their higher self, and living by higher truths with a strong sense of oneness and spiritual connection to others.

Suggested further reading:-

‘Hands of Light’ by Barbara Brennan

‘Anatomy of the Spirit’ by Caroline Myss

 

This is the first in a series of 3 blogs looking in detail at the human energy system.  Part 2, The Chakras: Qualities, Correspondences & Stages of Development, will be available at the beginning of June.

 

Helen Shortland is a Reiki Master Teacher, Meditation Teacher and Holistic Therapist based at Little London Herbal Stores on Kings Walk in Nottingham city centre. For further information about her courses, workshops and therapies, please visit her website at http://helenshortland.com.

 

Ease Hay Fever Symptoms with Hopi Ear Candles

The Hopi Ear Candle treatment (also known as Thermo Auricular Therapy) is a pleasant, non-invasive treatment which is beneficial for many problems related to the ears and head.

Ear candling is an excellent natural remedy for easing sinus and nasal congestion. Many people who suffer from hay fever symptoms have found relief from the congestion and fuzzy headed feeling with this treatment.

What are Hopi Ear Candles exactly?
The ear candles are actually rolled cotton tubes impregnated with beeswax, honey, St Johns Wort and therapeutic oils which are painlessly inserted into the base of the ear to draw out impurities, relieve congestion and relieve pressure in the head and sinuses.

Where do they originate?
Hopi Ear Candles take their name from the Hopi Native American Indian tribe, a peaceful tribe with great medicinal knowledge. It is said that the Hopi Indians used the ear candles to clear their head before going on their shamanic journeying and indeed one of the most common benefits reported by clients is a feeling of being lighter and clearer in the head.

How do they work?

The ear candles have a gentle suction action (like a chimney effect) which loosens and draws out compacted wax from the ear canal to be collected in the base of the tube. The movement of the flame creates a vibration of air in the candle which gently massages the ear drum and soothes the sinus and nasal passages.

How can they help to ease hay fever symptoms?
The candles are particularly effective at treating congestion in the sinus and nasal passages. Breathing generally becomes freer and the head feels lighter and clearer, helping to dissipate the fuzziness associated with hay fever.

I have treated numerous clients with hay fever during my 10 years as a therapist. Client A suffered badly with a runny nose, sore eyes and fuzzy head from the beginning of March to the end of August, despite taking general hay fever medication. During these months I usually see this client every few weeks to reduce the severity of his symptoms. He finds ear candling an enormous help – his symptoms are noticeably reduced, he can breathe more freely and his head is clearer.

What else can they help with?
Ear candles can also help ease tinnitus, sinusitis, rhinitis, glue-ear, excess or compacted wax, colds and sinus headaches. They help to regulate pressure in the sinuses and inner ear canal and balance fluids in the inner ear, so are very beneficial for people with balance problems such as Meniere’s Disease and vertigo. They help ease sore throats, reduce catarrh and can be beneficial to asthma sufferers. People who suffer from migraines often find that ear candling reduces the occurrence and intensity of migraines. Ear candling also stimulates blood and energy flow and stimulates the lymphatic system and metabolism. Ear candling is particularly useful for people who have found syringing uncomfortable.

I have found that ear candling can also help people who are prone to ear infections. Client B went through a phase of regular ear infections which re- occurred every few months, despite taking medication. I was able to carry out ear candling once her infection had cleared up. After an initial course of 4 treatments, her ears were much clearer and her hearing improved. She now has treatments every 3 or 4 months to keep her ears as healthy as possible.

The Treatment

The client lies on their side and the lit ear candle is inserted into the base of the ear. The therapist holds the candle in place throughout the treatment so there is no danger of it falling over. The candle takes approximately 12 minutes to burn down. During this time the candles often make a crackling, hissing noise which is entirely normal. Wax deposits and impurities, along with candle residue, are collected in the base of the tube. Once the therapist has removed the end of the candle, the client is asked to turn over and the process is repeated with the other ear. The treatment ends with a facial massage to promote sinus and lymph drainage and to allow the client a period of relaxation.

Four to six treatments are usually recommended to treat a particular condition. The first treatment seems to loosen up compacted wax and stimulates blood and lymph flow to the ear area, which helps to stimulate the healing process. Improvements can usually be seen after 3 treatments. Clients then usually take regular monthly treatments for a few months before finishing the treatment. With hay fever, I just see clients during the spring and summer months when necessary.

Contra-indications

Ear candling is not suitable for people who have a perforated ear drum, grommets or implants, recently had surgery to the ear or head, recently suffered a stroke, or those with allergies to any of the candle contents. It should not be carried out if there is any pain or infection in the ear but can be performed once the infection has cleared.

Helen Shortland is a Reiki Master Teacher, Meditation Teacher and Holistic Therapist based at Little London Herbal Stores on Kings Walk in Nottingham city centre. The Hopi Ear Candle treatment is available for £27 and lasts 1 hr. For further information about the therapies, courses and workshops she offers, please visit her website http://helenshortland.com.

Increase Self-Awareness and Find Inner Peace with Vipassana Stillpoint Meditation

Vipassana is the practice of stillness. The stillness is symbolically expressed as the watchful, unmoving awareness that observes the coming and going of the in-breath and out-breath. The mind observes the breathing and the moments in between the in-breaths and out-breaths. It is said that the truth reveals itself in those moments. Moreover, truth reveals itself constantly if we can drop the mental chatter that obscures it. It is also known as Stillpoint Meditation as you are observing the still point, or space, between the thoughts.

“Vipassana” means clear insight into the real characteristics of body and mind, or ‘to see things as they really are’. Vipassana meditation comes from the tradition of Theravada Buddhism. It is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation and was practised by Gotama Buddha more than 2,500 years ago. The technique aims for the total eradication of negative thoughts, or mental impurities, and the resulting joy of liberation from negativity. Its purpose is healing from human suffering.

Greater Self-Awareness

Vipassana is a way of self-transformation through self-observation. You start to become aware of the thoughts that you have, the majority of which are usually negative, either about yourself or others. Initially you will be aware of the general mind chatter that is going on at the surface level of the mind, such as “I must remember to do such and such”, “Did I lock the door?”, “I must remember to put the bin out”, “Is my phone switched off?”.

As you start to relax and go deeper into meditation, other thoughts will start to come up from your subconscious mind. These are the thoughts that are usually negative in their vibration and effects and include such things as “I’ll never be able to do this”, “I can never do this as well as him/her”, or “this is a total waste of time”. When you start to meditate on where these thoughts come from, you will find that they relate to other things you have tried to do in life where you perceived you failed or weren’t good enough. It is so important to be aware of our underlying thoughts and beliefs because they condition your behaviour and the way you think about yourself and the world around you.

Letting Go of Negative Thoughts

With Vipassana Meditation you can see and actually remove the causes of suffering, which you will come to see are within yourself. Now that you have identified the negative thoughts you carry around in your subconscious, it is important to let them go. The aim is not to repress or deny the existence of negative thoughts but rather to let them come up and just dismiss them. When meditating, I often visualise a stream flowing in front of me where I deposit any negative thoughts that arise and watch them be carried away in the stream out of my consciousness. By doing this, you are starting to consciously detach from them and, in time, they will have less influence over your conscious, day-to-day behaviour.

Finding Inner Peace

As your meditation deepens, you will notice that gradually fewer and fewer thoughts arise and you will spend more time in the silent space between the thoughts. At this stage you reach the place of perfect peace and tranquillity that lies behind your own subconscious mind. You have risen above and beyond your own sense of self/ego with your personal issues and behavioural conditioning and have entered the realm of pure mind, oneness and unity that is the ultimate goal of meditation.

Benefits

Regular practice of Vipassana meditation helps you to control your thoughts but, more importantly, choose your thoughts. Long term this will help you become a more positive, effective and creative individual. Remember that your thoughts create your experiences: positive thoughts with positive energy attract positive experiences and create opportunities for you to grow as an individual; negative thoughts carry a negative energy and will attract the kinds of experiences that justify your negative beliefs. This can leave you feeling ‘stuck’ in one or more areas of life or with a feeling that your life isn’t turning out as well as it should.

Regular practice can lead to greater peace, self-control and compassion for yourself and others. It eventually eliminates the cause of mental pain, purifies the mind and leads to a stable happiness that isn’t affected by your moods or outward circumstances.

Helen Shortland is a Reiki Master Teacher, Meditation Teacher and Holistic Therapist based at Little London Herbal Stores on Kings Walk in Nottingham city centre. Her website is http://helenshortland.com.

Helen is currently running a 4 week Vipassana (Stillpoint) Meditation course on Wednesday mornings (beg Wed 10th April) 10.30-11.45am which is open to all with a basic knowledge of meditation. Cost is £28 for full course or £8 for individual classes. If you wish to attend on a drop-in basis, places are still available. Each weekly class includes a relaxation exercise, a guided visualisation and Vipassana Meditation practice. Please email helenshortland@live.co.uk or contact her on 07748 591690 for further information and/or to book a place.

Soothe your skin with an Uplifting Facial, just £23 during April!

Is your skin suffering from harsh winter winds and the drying effects of central heating? Is your skin dry, dull and not looking its best? Do you also need a bit of a lift emotionally? Why not try an Uplifting Facial with Helen Shortland Holistics to soften and nourish your skin and put the spring back into your step? Using skin care products with zesty mandarin and neroli essential oils to purify skin and improve skin elasticity, this facial is suitable for both oily and dry skins due to neroli’s sebum balancing effects. Facial includes cleanse, exfoliation, 15 minute face/neck/décolletage massage, face mask, tone and moisturise. This facial is available for the special offer price of £23 during April (usually £28). Based in Nottingham city centre at Little London Herbal Stores, 9 Kings Walk, Nottingham, NG1 2AE. Please tel Helen on 07748 591690 to book.

Ease stiff aching back muscles with this month’s special offer Back Massage just £15!

Stiff aching muscles? Tight shoulder blades? Aches and pains in lower back? Helen Shortland Holistics can help! ½ hr back massage is just £15 during April, with a choice of aromatherapy oil blends to relax and unwind, energise and uplift or to ease aching muscles and joints. Based in Nottingham city centre at Little London Herbal Stores, 9 Kings Walk, Nottingham, NG1 2AE. Please tel Helen on 07748 591690 to book.

The Power of Intention applied to Healing

A couple of months ago I came across an article about a new therapy called Resolution Magic which was based on the idea that we can firmly tell painful conditions such as stomach ache, back ache, joint pain, migraines and headaches to go away. Could something so simple actually work I thought? Well I tried it with my own lower back pain, on another occasion when I had stomach ache and with a sore throat and runny nose when I thought I was going down with a cold, and I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised! I found I had to repeat the phrase “pain go away now” or “runny nose be gone now” every now and again when the symptoms seemed to return but the effectiveness of this totally natural approach to pain management and healing was truly remarkable. When saying the words, I said them silently to myself, (ideally they should be said out loud), with a real force or energy behind them. According to the article, you can also use this technique to say “Go away!” to conditions like anxiety, low mood and bad memories.

How It Works

The theory behind Resolution Magic states that abnormal electrical waves in our nervous system are the cause of symptoms of dis-ease, for example epilepsy is known to be caused by a disruption to the brain’s electrical activity. Electricity travels along the nerves to the various parts of the body, causing painful symptoms. Memories and unwanted feelings can trigger this movement of electricity. By telling our bodies to stop the pain, we are aiming to retrain the subconscious part of the brain so that it gradually stops sending out abnormally strong electrical waves. I believe that when we send a new command to a part of the body that is functioning incorrectly, the energy that travels with that intention creates new neurological pathways that bypass the old ineffective ones.

A Combined Approach

It is however worth bearing in mind that pain arises in the body for a reason, and except in cases of mild headache, stomach ache from over-eating or eating the wrong food, or backache from postural aches and pains, symptoms should be checked out with a doctor for any other more serious underlying conditions. This ‘mind over matter’ technique is a natural approach to healing which, along with other therapies such as Reiki, Reflexology or Meditation, should be used in conjunction with other general conventional medical treatment/medication you are already using.

Using the Power of Intention in Daily Life

We can all use this power on a regular basis to help bring about the best possible outcome for any situation. In Reiki Level 2 you learn to visualise events turning out well, for the highest good of all concerned, then send Reiki to that image. Whenever you have a health problem, set the intention by stating to yourself that you will receive all the help and support you need. When you do this, doors can metaphorically open and you will find that you draw the right people to you, find an article or book that can help, discover a different medication or supplement to try, or just find new ways to cope. When visiting the doctor, ask your guides and angels to assist him/her with their diagnosis and help you get the best possible treatment. Help doesn’t always come in the way you expect it to but you will always get the help you need if you remain open to all possibilities.

Using the Power of Intention to Optimise Healing

I believe that the theory behind Resolution Magic can be applied to other forms of healing such as creative visualisation, Reiki and spiritual healing. According to the way energy flows, action always follows intention. You are in effect creating an opening, space or energy pathway which can deliver the greatest possible results. All Reiki healers tap into the power of intention when they give a Reiki treatment. At Reiki 1 you set the intention that they energy flows for the recipient’s highest and greatest good and at Level 2 you use the symbols to establish the same intention.

You can also use the power of your mind to send healing energy to a particular body part. Sit quietly and take some deep breathes in and out then visualise a beam of pure white light shining down upon you, entering your crown chakra and moving down your body to the part that needs healing. (You can also send it to a particular chakra or an area of your mind that needs clearing.) Set the intention for the body part to be returned to its perfect divine blueprint and visualise it healing and repairing itself. Here is where you can start to get creative …! You can visualise a weak organ glowing with health and vitality and functioning effectively; broken or fractured bones knitting together; compressed spinal discs stretching out; lubricating a painful joint with a liquid healing balm; tight, tense muscles relaxing and stretching out, soothed by a blue healing balm. If you have cold or flu symptoms or other infection, visualize your white blood cells attacking an army of invading bacteria and dissolving them.

You can also put the power of intention to work to heal psychological states of mind. For example, if you are prone to shyness, anxiety or anger, you can visualize yourself acting in a more positive manner, thinking the associated positive thoughts and feeling more positive emotions such as serenity and being in control. Repeating this exercise over several days or weeks leads to a marked decrease in the negative emotion concerned and an increase in positive states of mind. Gradually the positive quality will manifest more and more in your conscious behaviour. You will be able to cope with all stressful real life situations more calmly and effectively. The visualization gradually sinks into your subconscious mind, resulting in a new behavioural pattern or ‘program’.

Repeat these exercises regularly and you will be amazed at the improvements you can make to your health, your wellbeing and your life.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

From ‘Return to Love’ by Marianne Williamson

Helen Shortland is a Reiki Master Teacher, Meditation Teacher and Holistic Therapist based at Little London Herbal Stores on Kings Walk in Nottingham city centre.

Notes:

1. Helen Shortland runs courses in Healing Meditation. Her next workshop will be one Saturday afternoon in the summer (date tbc – please see website or newsletter for details). A Healing Meditation CD will also be available to purchase from May 2013, priced £10 plus £2 p&p, for use at home. If you wish to purchase one, please send a cheque made payable to Helen Shortland to Little London Herbal Stores, 9 Kings Walk, Nottingham, NG1 2AE with a note of your name and address.

2. Helen’s next meditation course is a 4 week Vipassana (Stillpoint) Meditation course commencing Wed 10th April 10.30-11.45am which is open to all with a basic knowledge of meditation. Cost is £28 for full course or £8 for individual classes. Please email helenshortland@live.co.uk for further information and/or to book a place.

3. For more information on Resolution Magic, visit http://www.resolutionmagic.com.