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Release, Realign, Recover & Discover

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  • Filling Your Daily Happiness Cup

    I regularly speak with a counsellor for my mental health and wellbeing. As a sole practitioner in the health industry, I find this invaluable, and well, as they say a problem shared and all that. So, I would like to share with you a little infographic that my wonderful counsellor shared with me recently. This is from the mindmypeelings.com website, which is a great source of information if you struggle with anxiety or overwhelm (and let's face it, in this world, who doesn't feel like that occasionally?). You can go on their website and find all sorts of helpful ways to manage your self-care but if you're like me - and this just screams of someone who would benefit from more self-care - you don't have time to read pages of 'stuff', you just want to cut to the chase and get on with it, or you have the best intention of giving this your best shot but as you read you find your concentration waning. Which is why I love this infographic. So, without further ado.... here it is. Have a happy day!

  • Learn Something New....

    and give the gift of touch at the same time. Would you like to join me in learning the art of massage?

  • Home Care Package (HCP) Program & Remedial Massage

    Did you know that although remedial massage therapy is not considered as an allied health profession in the general medical field, the Federal Department of Health and Ageing now classifies remedial massage as an allied health service and therefore includes it under the Home Care Package (HCP) Program if there is an assessed care need for this service. Remedial massage is available through an approved provider, that is approved by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner to deliver Australian Government subsidised home, residential or flexible care services to eligible older Australians. A care recipient can access remedial massage therapy services that are provided by a remedial massage therapist through an approved provider when the service is: required due to age-related functional decline and/or client cannot access disability supports in line with best practice guidance for treatment delivered by an accredited provider not concurrently being funded by another government program Remedial massage therapists can also provide massage services to people living in retirement homes and aged care facilities who are over 65, who have a HCP. I am registered as a provider with Radcare, Ravenshoe but if you have a HCP through a different provider I will endeavour to contact them to become a provider if you think you are eligible to receive my services through your package.

  • The Art of Play

    What is Play? By definition, play is purposeless, fun and suspends time. Through his research Dr Stuart Brown shows that play is anything but trivial, it is as vital to our health as sleep or nutrition. “Play lights up the brain”. In children it connects neurons, “It primes the cortex for the development of neural pathways that create our physical, social-emotional and cognitive capabilities”. But science also shows us that play is productive for humans of any age. “We need to play to keep our brains flexible, ward off depression, sustain optimism, and sharpen our social-emotional skills”. https://www.nifplay.org/ “The opposite of play is not work, it is depression” Brain Sutton-Smith Play is Apparently Purposeless Play may have goals but pleasure and the engaging quality of the activity are more important than the outcome. It’s not that play has no purpose, it’s that the purpose of play may not be immediately apparent or important. Play is Self-Motivated and has Inherent Attraction Play does not have to be a ‘productive use of time’ or a duty. It is self-motivated so we will want to return to play because it is enjoyable. Play is Unique to us We naturally want to play. What constitutes play for me, may not be play for you. Play is what feels good, or fun, nurturing or energising for you. Play is something we love and want to do. Play has a Feeling of Suspending Time When we are involved in play we lose track of time. Play is a state of being. We are so present to the moment that time often seems to fly, or even cease to exist. Play Involves a Diminished Consciousness of Self During play we are so engaged that we stop thinking about ourselves in terms of good or bad and there is no concern about what others think of us. Play involves Improvisational Potential Play allows us the space to improvise, imagine, and follow those new inclinations to see what happens. Through play we stumble onto new or forgotten (to us), patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting in the world. These new or remembered patterns offer us new ways of being and connecting or reconnecting with other people. Play produces Continuation Desire Play makes us want to keep on playing. Even though you may have time constraints when playing there is an essence of not wanting it to end. We will often improvise or bend the rules in order to keep on playing. You know that you are involved in play when you are genuinely unhappy to see it come to an end. I am lucky to have found my play through Continuum Movement and Authentic Movement. I encourage you to find your favourite play activity and benefit from its healing power.

  • Somatics - Get to Know Yourself

    My Somatics journey started in 2008 with Liz Koch. I was so affected by my experience I wrote to her, and I am pleased to say she posted my letter on her blog. I would have lost it by now, so it is there for my reminder whenever I choose. Despite my chosen career as a massage therapist, I had not encountered the term Somatics. I was still into the "I can fix you model" of my practice. Nowadays, I would much prefer to assist people in finding their own way on their healing journey, and many years later, having completed my Structural Integration Training with Anatomy Trains and a post graduate qualification in Somatics and Dance Movement Therapy I feel I am much more equipped with the knowledge, skills and tools to help people do this. Somatic sensing - a way of focusing inward to sense, learn, grow and heal. Unless you live in a bubble, we all need to heal from life's knocks, some more brutal than others. I found my way through this avenue, and it is a continuing process that I give more attention to at sometimes than others. Dance Movement Therapy - I have never been shy about getting on a dance floor. DMT, however is about expressive movement and with the use of imagery, metaphors, and a theme to tether to, it is a contained and safe way of exploring some of the pointy and uncomfortable times or events of our lives. But it doesn't always have to be with a focus on life's challenges. For me now, it is common practice for me to go to my movement space and give myself the opportunity to mull things over through movement rather than the exhausting mind chatter that is often accompanied by anxiety. So, if you want to get to know yourself, truly, get to know yourself, start your Somatics journey. Grab yourself a mat, find a quiet space, get yourself comfortable and begin. If you need help to get you started you can listen to one of the recordings on my website - just go to the free resources section. There are so many resources out there nowadays to help you. So, I encourage everyone to take some time, breathe and move.

  • Authenticity - Be Moved

    Why Authenticity? This was an introduction to a group movement session with a theme of the Authentic self. You may find it useful to orient yourself with the organs within the pelvic bowl, the respiratory centre and the Iliopsoas muscle which has a connection from the diaphragm (yes I said diaphragm) to the legs. You may also want to watch the YouTube video by Kaila June on the Bartenieff Fundamentals basic 6 prior to this. During group movement sessions people sometimes say that they appreciate the pleasure of moving without the demand to attach to instruction. The anatomical focus for this session was the Psoas muscle and the connection of three diaphragms - the pelvic, the respiratory and the floor of the mouth. If we think about organs within these areas, the bladder, the lower part of the colon, the reproductive organs, the heart and the lungs, and at the floor of the mouth, the hyoids and tongue, we are looking at organs that are deep within. They convey a sense of the personal, of confidentiality, perhaps secrecy. There are structures in the pelvic bowl where things happen that we don’t readily talk about. Within the chest, the heart pounds when we are fearful, it feels full and open when we feel love. The breath is affected by our emotion. Our voice also, we may be 'dumbstruck' or we can choose to speak our mind or not. We can choose to speak or not, to speak the truth or not, to edit our thoughts with our voice. Karin Gurtner, the founder of Art of Motion and Anatomy Trains, Slings Myofascial training associates the deep front line with Authenticity. But she associates the Superficial Back Line (SBL) with Courage. I found this confusing and had to get clarification on this when doing my Slings training. Our teacher Mumu talked about the word courage coming from the french word Coeur, meaning heart. The heart is very much enveloped in the deep front line (DFL). When we are supported in an upright stance through the SBL, we open up in the front line and get support from deep within from the DFL. If we open up with our back line, there is an element of vulnerability about it. Courage will always carry with it a sense of vulnerability. When we say I’m sorry, or I love you, or when we show our authentic self in movement we are making ourselves vulnerable - we may fear rejection, we may fear being ridiculed. And these fears may lie within - self rejection, the voice in our head that says you look silly. It takes courage to open ourselves up, despite these risks, because we want to show our true self. So, when you explore your free flow movement practice, hold loosely in your mind the anatomy - the Psoas muscle, the diaphragms and the organs within the pelvic, respiratory and mouth areas. Hold loosely in your mind the movement sequences of the Bartenieff fundamentals - but don’t attach to these, use them as an anchor if you need to come into your conscious mind to get you moving but then let your mind have open attention to everything else, so that you can begin to be moved rather than doing. Be moved by what you sense in your body, be moved by the music or, if you prefer, move just beneath the music or without music so you can experience a lack of attachment to instruction (yes even the music can be an instruction of sorts) and then go deep into authenticity. Notice how your movement makes you feel in your mood. How does an emotion actually feel on a felt sense? Does embarrassment feel hot, or prickly? Does being in your head feel bound, blocking? Where do these feelings reside in your body? You will likely have different words, different experiences to someone else. Be explorative but gentle with yourself and be empowered by your courage. Be aware of and let go of the inner voice that tells you how to be or what you ‘should’ be doing. Maybe move just outside your comfort zone, and when I say this, I don’t mean the discomfort of contorting your body into a pretzel and risking injury, I mean moving outside your comfort zone in terms of how you express yourself, or in terms of the shapes you make, or how small or large you make yourself. Move in that place on the edge of security and sense how it feels to be there and then come back to a movement or gesture that feels nurturing and safe for you and when you feel the time is right go out and explore different movements again - be playful, be the 5-year-old again. So now, if you want to move to music, put on your favourite playlist. Be gentle, go into open awareness, where you are open to whatever is and allow yourself to be moved and be authentic.

  • Journaling - good for your mental health

    I have started to write a journal, apparently it is good for mental health. It is something I have always thought would be great to do, but the trouble is I forget to do it. I will start with buying a beautiful book, with blank pages and make my first entry. I imagine fountain pen italic handwriting, but that is not the reality. In reality my handwriting is not beautiful, I am much speedier at typing and after probably no more than two entries I forget to continue. A couple of years later I find it tucked away in a box somewhere. But now with the wonders of technology I have downloaded an app called Daybook. It reminds me to write my journal and I can speak into it rather than type if I wish, which I think makes for a much more authentic entry. So, I have decided that occasionally I may share some of my journal on here. This morning I wrote in my journal because I was caught in the moment and I think this is a great place to be when writing about the moment. So here are my thoughts from this morning: Up at 5 am with Noodle barking, but I decided to stay up and work on the next movement session. I'm sat out on the verandah right now as the air is cool. I think this is my favourite time of day, just before dawn. As I write this, dawn breaks and the bird noise starts, cockatoos screeching, and the silhouette of the hills is now clear against the light. Still no sun but he'll soon be here. But just before this there is a peacefulness that I take a moment of sanctuary in. It's a time of respite; no demands, no interference, just me and peace. It's the edge of peace because I know any minute now it's all going to change. The morning will slide from the cool, dark feminine of pre-dawn to the masculine, energetic, stark awakening of the day. Nothing can stop it but maybe tomorrow I will intentionally get out of bed and savor it more. So there you go - short and sweet - I don't want to burden you with oversharing of the real personal stuff, but I am sure some, like me, appreciate the peace of dawn, so I thought I would share my moment.

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