Back pain and new ways of thinking about it

Info graphic with text about pain

Back pain can be frustrating and limiting, especially if it becomes chronic (ongoing) beyond a few weeks. Recently a few people have asked me for advice, often after an incident has triggered back pain. And the good news is, things will generally get better in a few weeks, with some direct action and a helpful … Continue reading Back pain and new ways of thinking about it

Why recharging ourselves and being resilient are important for our health

Alyson jumping in frosty field

I've been thinking quite a bit about what recharges us, what keeps us well, recently. From personal experience and reading around the topic of stress, it's clear that we all need to have or do 'things that make us feel good', and which are different from what we do most of the rest of the … Continue reading Why recharging ourselves and being resilient are important for our health

How massage can help period pain

Towels and flowers in spa setting

A while back a client was coming to me for massages to help her shoulder tension, stress and to feel better. After her first massage she said she felt 10 years younger! She booked a back and shoulder massage roughly every six weeks or so and one time said in the pre-massage chat that after … Continue reading How massage can help period pain

Wellbeing workshops on pain, stress and anxiety

Yoga mats laid out in circle in room

I'm delighted to be offering two wellbeing workshops this autumn in Dumfries. Following positive feedback from the workshop on understanding chronic (persistent) pain, I'm going to be delivering this workshop again, but it'll be slightly longer at 3 hours to allow more time for the practical things. In addition, I'm going to be delivering a … Continue reading Wellbeing workshops on pain, stress and anxiety

Stress awareness month and ways to cope

Stream in woods

April is Stress Awareness Month in the UK, and has been running since 1992 amazingly. Despite this long time, stress levels in society are high and it is implicated in a range of mental health issues particularly anxiety and depression. The Stress Management Society have four main threads of focus this year's month, which are: … Continue reading Stress awareness month and ways to cope

Long term or chronic stress and the relaxation response

Cat asleep in a small bed

Stress is something we all casually mention in conversations, about work, home or general life situations, but what does stress in the body actually do to us? This depends on whether we're talking about a short-lived single stressful incident (road rage, an interview etc), or ongoing stress for days, weeks or months. Recently in the … Continue reading Long term or chronic stress and the relaxation response

Understanding persistent pain

Teddy bears leaning against a tree

I recently participated in two workshops for therapists about understanding pain, particularly long-term (chronic) pain, and how to help people with such pain to improve their situation. The sessions were very intense with a huge amount of information and were led by a local therapist, Hedd Piper, who, although is a chiropractor by training, is … Continue reading Understanding persistent pain

Controlled breathing for mental and physical benefits

Frog statues in yoga positions

Sometimes people say to me "Why do you teach people how to breathe in yoga? Surely everyone knows how to breathe?" The issue is not that we don't know how to breathe but that we may not be breathing in a helpful way. Learning and practising different controlled breathing (pranayama) techniques can bring physical and … Continue reading Controlled breathing for mental and physical benefits

Mindfulness and meditation audio tracks

Model of owl sitting with laptop and headphones

It seems that almost every week another study is published which shows that meditation and mindfulness are helpful to us for a number of reasons e.g. research showing that meditation can slow aging, or that mindfulness is being taken up by various groups e.g. some schools in Wales. As a result, many people know about … Continue reading Mindfulness and meditation audio tracks