Tag Archives: Health

Spiritual Eating

Spiritual eating is adopting a lighter, high vibration diet and eating more mindfully. It involves being more aware of what and how you eat. People choose to practice spiritual eating for a variety of reasons, namely to raise their personal energy vibration, improve physical health and mental wellbeing and to practice what Buddhists call non-harmfulness.

Raising your Energy Vibration

Food in its natural state – termed raw, living plant based food – has the highest vibration of all. It includes fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains that have not been cooked above 48 degrees C. Vegan food (no animal or fish products) is high vibration, as is food that is without pesticides, additives, GM etc. At the opposite end of the spectrum, manufactured processed food including junk food and food high in additives or grown with pesticides has a very low vibration. Anything you consume that is actually dead (ie. meat or fish) has no vibration at all.

When you consume food that is fresh and natural, you are absorbing that high vibration into your body. High vibration foods are fruit and veg (even more so when fresh from the plant), salad foods, nuts, seeds and wholegrains. Fresh food has the highest vibration when eaten raw/cold. When food is cooked at high temperature through boiling, frying, grilling, barbecuing etc, much of the nutritional benefit and high energy vibration is lost as enzymes in the food are destroyed. Steaming and low temperature simmering are the best options for cooked food.

The main reason for wanting to raise your personal vibration is to improve your connection to Spirit and spiritual energies. If you are a Reiki or spiritual healer, a high energy vibration enables you to be a clearer channel for higher frequency healing energies. If you wish to develop your psychic and/or mediumship abilities, again the lighter and clearer a channel you are the better. A dense heavy body just weighs you down literally and metaphorically and you have to work extra hard to reach and communicate with your guides and angels. If you eat ‘lighter’, not only will you feel better physically and be more balanced emotionally, your head will be clearer so that you can more easily receive impressions and intuitions from spirit. Interestingly Doreen Virtue recommends eating pineapple to strengthen the pineal gland (relating to the crown and third eye chakras) to stimulate clairvoyance.

Many people like to incorporate a Rainbow Diet – a kind of full spectrum colour eating to energise the chakras. In other words, you need a balance of foods of all the different chakra colours to enable your energy body to be as balanced as possible. For example, red foods energise the root chakra; violet foods energise the third eye chakra.

You should also drink plenty of water, ideally 6-8 glasses a day. Water is a good conductor for psychic energy – which is why many of us receive insight and inspiration when lying in the bath!

Eating Mindfully

Being mindful of what you eat, when and how, is often included as part of a course in Mindfulness Meditation. Doing anything mindfully increases your self-awareness and makes you more present in all areas of your life, enabling you to be more grounded and effective in day-to-day life. When you eat mindfully, you are advised to chew your food very thoroughly in the mouth before swallowing. Chew each mouthful up to 40 times. This will help with the digestion process as food is then partially digested in the mouth before it hits the stomach. The body therefore needs to use less energy to digest the meal in the gut. Chewing food mindfully also makes you notice when you are actually full and need no more. It also heightens the sensory experience of taste and texture.

Most of the time people eat distractedly – watching television, talking to family/friends, thinking about problems or things they need to do, or just eating in a hurry because they need to do something else. Food is just shovelled down as quickly as possible with no thought to digesting it properly or savouring the taste. It is easy to eat more than you really need when you’re distracted. Eating mindfully both increases your self-awareness and improves your digestion.

Practising Non-Harmfulness

This Buddhist tenet is one that some people on a spiritual path choose to adhere to. Non-harmful eating includes products from animals that may have been killed or harmed in the process of providing that food. This would definitely rule out meat and fish and for some it would include dairy too.

Benefits of Spiritual Eating

This way of eating can be like a physical or spiritual detox. Eating higher vibration, raw, natural foods in particular can have a cleansing effect on the body. Digestion improves, allergies and intolerances are reduced, the immune system is boosted, energy levels improve and aches and pains including headaches are reduced. Physical health improves when you reduce or eliminate the unhealthy processed foods that cause inflammation and poor digestive health. Some people experience greater emotional balance and wellbeing – they are more tolerant, have greater ‘acceptance’ and less anger. A lot of negative emotions are caught up in what we eat and within our actual eating patterns which can gradually be released as we adopt a more healthy way of eating. Some people may find they have more intense dreams which can be a sign of a releasing of emotions on a subconscious level. Spiritual eating can also boost the depth and quality of your meditation practice.

Spiritual eating makes you more aware of what you are consuming. You start to see food as the fuel you give your body and sometimes you realise that the body isn’t running as well as it should. If you feel lethargic, low in energy, foggy headed or have digestive issues, eating more raw natural foods can make a huge improvement.

I have been on my own healthy plant based diet for 3 months now. In addition to losing a stone and a half in weight (which was much needed!), I have found a huge improvement in my digestive healthy and immune system. I feel ‘lighter’, more energised and more clear-headed. I also know I am being guided and motivated by Spirit and there seems to be a real improvement in the power of my Reiki treatments.


If you are cutting out meat altogether you will need to take a Vitamin B12 supplement as this vitamin is only found in meat. (I have however recently discovered that apricots help the body create its own bioactive B12.) Vitamin B12 is available from health stores and I recommend Little London Herbal Stores on Trinity Walk, Nottingham.

Starting with the April Newsletter I will be looking at the Rainbow Diet, starting with the Root Chakra in April. I will be introducing a series of Chakra Shakes – a smoothie recipe to energise each chakra – as well as including suggested foods you can eat to energise each one. April starts with a delicious Cherry Berry Smoothie to energise the root chakra.

Helen Shortland is a Reiki Master Healer/Teacher, Meditation Teacher and Holistic Therapist based at 15 Wheeler Gate in Nottingham city centre. She is also currently studying Raw Food Nutrition to find out more about the healing power of natural food. Helen offers several healing treatments such as Reiki, Angelic Reiki, Faery Reiki, Angel Therapy and Fairy Blessing Guided Journey, as well as Usui Reiki and Faery Reiki training courses. She has been on the spiritual path for 15 years and has extensive knowledge of healing and the healing journey. For further information about her Reiki courses, therapies and workshops, please visit her website http://helenshortland.com or visit and ‘like’ her Facebook page Helen Shortland Holistics & Enchantment.



After over-indulgence at Christmas and New Year, January is often the month when we think about detoxing.  During the digestive process everything you consume is broken down to release products that are useful to the body, while the unwanted by-products and toxins are converted into waste and expelled in the form of urine, faeces, sweat and carbon dioxide. The vital organs, comprising kidneys, liver, lungs, lymphatic system and skin, work together to rid your body of potentially harmful toxins.

Normally the body is very efficient at processing waste. However, if it becomes over-burdened with toxins, ie. when we over-indulge over several days, the elimination process is compromised and the body begins to store toxins instead. As the level of harmful toxins builds up, the efficiency of the organs is reduced and the immune system is suppressed, impairing your overall state of health and wellbeing. By adjusting your diet and lifestyle, you can reduce your exposure to toxins and aid more efficient excretion.

Symptoms of Toxic Build-Up

Toxic overload manifests as a general feeling of being unwell with the following symptoms:-

  • Regular headaches
  • Constant fatigue
  • Poor complexion and dull hair and eyes
  • High levels of catarrh and congested sinuses
  • Cellulite, water retention and a feeling of bloatedness
  • Sluggish digestion and susceptibility to constipation and irritable bowel syndrome(IBS)
  • Mood changes, depression and anxiety
  • A weakened immune system.


Your health is more or less governed by what you eat. Helpful bacteria in the gut play an important part in the digestive process. If these become depleted however due to poor diet, antibiotics or toxin overload, food can remain in the intestines in a semi-digested state and a number of digestive problems can arise, including constipation, painful wind and IBS. Supplements such as digestive aids and probiotics can help improve general gut health.

The Role of the Excretory Organs in the Digestive Process

Kidneys: The kidneys work together to filter your blood, removing toxins and expelling them in the form of urine. They also play a vital role in regulating the amount of fluid in the body and processing the by-products of digestion. Too much alcohol and persistent infections can damage your kidneys.

Liver: The liver processes everything that enters the body, including medication as well as food and drink. It has a number of functions including the removal of toxins from the bloodstream. Harmful substances are neutralised by the liver and passed into the intestines in the form of bile where they are eventually expelled as faeces. If the liver becomes overworked, it begins to store toxins rather than neutralise them. This can lead to problems such as diabetes, hepatitis and liver cirrhosis.

Lymphatic System: This is a series of vessels carrying lymph fluid that runs alongside the blood vessels. Toxins and waste drain into the lymphatic system and are transported to the lymph nodes where they are filtered out. High levels of toxins slow down the lymphatic system, leading to a poor immune system and the build-up of cellulite.

Skin:  Every poor in the skin eliminates waste in the form of sweat and sebum (an oily substance that moisturises the skin). The state of your skin is a reflection of your health since stress, poor health and toxin build-up can all manifest as a poor complexion.

Lungs:  These organs filter out airborne pollutants such as carbon monoxide, allowing oxygen to enter the bloodstream and waste products to be removed in the form of carbon dioxide. However when levels of toxins in the body build up, this can lead to recurrent health problems such as excess catarrh.


  1. The Aqua Detox Foot Spa treatment is on offer for just £19 during January 2014. During this treatment toxins are released through the pores in the soles of the feet while the ionisation unit helps to restore the correct balance of positive and negative ions in the body to boost wellbeing.

2.  Reflexology, which can promote detoxification; massage treatments to promote lymphatic drainage, and a range of facials to boost the appearance of the skin, are also available from Helen Shortland.

3.  Digestive aids and probiotics are available from Little London Herbal Stores, 9 Kings Walk, Nottingham, NG1 2AE. Please visit website at www.all-ages-vitamins.co.uk

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. Please ring her on 07748 591690 to book a treatment or visit her website http://helenshortland.com for further information.

The Power of the Subconscious Mind

Can you remember a time when you’ve completely over-reacted to something somebody said?  It could have been an innocent remark but something about it pushed your buttons and led you to react in a way you know was unacceptable, even embarrassing?  Yes, we’ve all been there, but why does it happen?

The conscious mind thinks it is in control of our everyday lives but this is far from the case.  Events and activity in the external world dominate our conscious mind.  However most of our motivations, beliefs and emotions are unconscious, meaning that we are constantly being driven by unknown forces within us.  So where do these emotions, beliefs and motivations come from?

When we get upset as an adult, the real reason you are upset is nothing to do with the current situation.  Present circumstances have triggered a painful memory; they are not the cause of the pain.  As a child a lot of painful things happen to us that we do not have the words or emotional maturity to deal with.  When emotions cannot be expressed, they are bottled up and suppressed.  The unconscious mind is the receiving ground for this painful emotion.  The adult may display anger, frustration, sadness or anxiety, but the initial encounter has been suppressed and buried so deeply that, in most cases, our conscious mind no longer even remembers it.

The Effect on your Behaviour Today

Those painful emotions of not being good enough, being blamed for something you didn’t do, feeling responsible for something that wasn’t your fault etc are so important to identify because they condition your behaviour today.  These emotions are what drive you to act the way you do.  So if, for example, you have an unconscious belief that you are a failure, then even if you do well at something and succeed in reaching a goal, instead of feeling happy about it, you will probably have a sense of disappointment that nothing seems to be really rewarding, but not know why that is.  If people tell you that you are successful and you try to believe it, there are no positive beliefs to anchor it, only self-doubt and distrust.  Instead of feeling pleased, you become self-critical and focus on the parts that could have been done better.  The unconscious mind can always find evidence to support the negative beliefs it has acquired over the years!

The Process of Change

The way to move forward is to try and break the habit as soon as it starts to kick in.  as soon as you go into self-criticizing mode, stop that thought.  Ask yourself where that emotion, belief or thought came from.  Usually it can be traced back to a series of humiliating and painful experiences that have undermined your faith in yourself.  Ok, so you were told that you were stupid – but that is only one person’s opinion and why is their opinion more valid than yours?  After all, everyone has something to offer, regardless of ability.  I think a large part of the problem is that a lot of these experiences come from parents, teachers, even older children at school, in other words the people we are taught to think of as our ‘elders and betters’ … but that doesn’t mean they are always right, often far from it.

This self-analysis is best done sitting quietly and meditating on the belief/emotion/thought and see what comes up from your subconscious mind when you allow it to do so.

Eventually, over time, on an occasion when you find yourself thinking “Don’t get your hopes up, that was just a fluke, it won’t happen again”, you will be able to realise that you are dealing with some past negative conditioning.  First, acknowledge and feel that pain.  Then say to yourself, “No, that critical statement was not true then and it is not true now.  I did well and I deserve credit for it. I no longer want that old belief that I cannot succeed and I am letting it go now.”

I wish you well on your journey of change, self-discovery and transformation.

 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


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


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.