Preparing for Pregnancy Workshop – 25th February 2017

Preparing for Pregnancy –join me and Nikki Robinson for our first interactive workshop at Holisticare.   This event is suitable for everyone planning or currently trying to get pregnant.

Details are : Saturday, February 25th 10 am – 1 pm £20 per person or £38 per couple.  Sessions will be led by Nikki Robinson MCSP (specialist Myofascial Release Physiotherapist) and myself.

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We will teach you how to work with your body and mind to improve your health and help achieve your goal of becoming pregnant.  The workshop includes practical sessions and plenty of time for discussion and questions. Refreshments provided.

Please call us on 01279 718331 to book your place.

 

What is Myofascial Release ?

Myofascial Release is a safe, gentle, hands-on treatment that works with your body to untangle the restrictions that cause pain, tension and inflammation. It was developed by an American Physiotherapist called John Barnes.

Everything that happens to us from the time we are conceived is recorded within our fascial network (the myofascia). This is a continuous web of fibres that holds our cells in place and connects them all to each other.

This 3D network gives you strength, flexibility and stability meaning that no part of the body exists in isolation. The myofascia solidifies and shortens in response to any kind of trauma, repetition of movement or ongoing poor posture. It will slowly tighten, spreading tension throughout your whole body.

There is a gloopy substance between the cells and fibres, called the ground substance. This reacts to physical and emotional stress and becomes more solid, preventing your body from being able to adapt to things and leading to symptoms and illness.

The ground substance is thixotropic, meaning that it becomes more fluid in response to warmth and pressure. During treatment, this comes from our hands and we use this reaction to feel where the restrictions are coming from and to gently release them.

As we never force our patients’ bodies, it is very safe and enables us to truly follow what they need, getting long-term results. It also allows us to work very deeply without pain, so most of our patients find it a very relaxing treatment.

5 Ayurvedic approaches to help children sleep soundly

Young children are often full of exuberant energy, but it can become disruptive when a child always fights off sleep or has bedtime tantrums. Ayurvedic approaches to help children sleep include natural ways to help children sleep better, resulting in fewer night-time disturbances. Here are 5 Ayurvedic sleep remedies suitable for children:

  1. Combat vata-related sleep imbalance

In Ayurvedic tradition, the three doshas are the elemental energies that affect mind and body. The vata dosha is associated with wind and movement, and excess vata is often at the root of sleep imbalance. Children whose minds run as they get ready for bed should eat foods that balance vata, including warm, cooked meals that avoid stimulants such as sugar.

  1. Combat pitta-related sleep disturbance

A child who wakes in the small hours and can’t get back to sleep might have a pitta-related imbalance. The fiery pitta dosha is aggravated by stimulation and heat-generating foods. Give your child more food (but keep the amount within a reasonable range due to natural sugars). Also, adopt a pitta-pacifying lifestyle. This means making sure your child is in bed and asleep before 10:00 p.m.

  1. Combat kapha-related excess sleep

Older children sometimes are hard to wake for school and seem tired no matter how much they sleep. This can be the result of excess kapha, which causes a slow and sluggish disposition. Heavy, cold foods (such as cold custard) can aggravate Kapha, so it’s best to give a child who needs excessive sleep lighter (though still substantial), warmer foods. It’s also important to make sure the child who has a kapha imbalance gets plenty of exercise.

  1. Avoid stimulants in general

Stimulants such as caffeine and sugar affect adults, creating a buzz of energy. Picture how much more excess energy is created in young bodies. Avoid giving your child food containing added sugar and avoid sources of caffeine (even dark/bitter chocolate is quite high in caffeine). This will ensure your child feels sleepier earlier and isn’t bouncing off the walls at 11 p.m.

  1. Walk your child through guided relaxation

Young, active minds respond well to stories, so turn bedtime into a relaxing story time. Tell your child to imagine a scene and describe somewhere peaceful and beautiful and calm and create a hushed, sleepy atmosphere. If your child becomes wise to this approach, you can also give your child a natural, sleep-time tea such as chamomile (if your child won’t fuss about the taste).

The above five Ayurvedic approaches will help your child to enjoy better, deeper sleep so that you can enjoy bedtime too.  Contact Ashishveda now to get your life back.

 

 

Ashish Paul Ashishveda

5 challenges mothers face that can be eased with Ayurveda

Mothers of all ages face challenges that can take a toll on well-being. Natural changes in the body such as menopause cause great discomfort to mature women, while women of all ages may be affected at some point by physical and/or emotional imbalances that require therapeutic assistance. Traditional Ayurvedic healing takes a holistic approach to common physical and emotional challenges that mothers face. Here are five complaints that may be eased using an Ayurvedic approach:

  1. Mood Swings

Women of all ages experience mood swings, especially those related to the menstrual cycle. A combination of diet and Ayurvedic therapies can reduce mood swings, however. In Ayurvedic practice, purifying the body helps to restore balance, thus purifying panchakarma therapies that detoxify the body help moody mums even out their mood swings.

According to Ayurvedic tradition, it’s also advisable to make dietary adjustments and focus on light, easily-digested food at times when mood swings are most volatile.

  1. Hormonal Imbalance

In Ayurvedic tradition, imbalance is viewed as state of body and mind. The three doshas or life energies affect our bodies as well as minds, and if any is in severe excess or lack hormonal imbalance can result. Hormonal imbalance also occurs naturally with life changes such as menopause. Hormone Replacement Therapy is a non-Ayurvedic approach to this type of imbalance, but there are also herbal remedies (such as the Ayurvedic herb shatavari) that alleviate the most frustrating symptoms of imbalance (such as hot flashes).

  1. Depression

Often hormonal imbalance goes hand in hand with depression. Feeling low and listless is also a sign of imbalance. Ayurvedic tradition offers multiple ways to alleviate depression. Mothers who have post-natal depression or another source of these feelings can learn Ayurvedic breathing techniques that promote calm and psychological wellbeing.

Besides lifestyle changes and practices, there are also foods and home remedies that help fight depression. Ashwagandha or winter cherry is one Ayurvedic herbal remedy that has been shown to reduce the symptoms of depression.

  1. Weight gain

Many women do not have sufficient time to exercise, juggling careers and family life. Weight gain is most often a result of imbalanced eating, too. An Ayurvedic eating plan that helps to create balance helps mothers restore wellbeing and a trimmer figure.

  1. Tired skin

Overworked mums often show their tiredness in their skin. A dull complexion can easily be improved and the skin can be rehydrated through an Ayurvedic hot steam treatment. Steam treatments detoxify the body, leaving skin brighter and healthier.

If you suffer any of the above complaints, start finding your way to wellness with the help of Ayurvedic nutrition and supportive, healing therapies.

 

Nasya – Herbally Infused Oil – ideal for congestion and sinus problems

View my latest video blog post on Nasya.  The administration of herbally infused oil soothes and protects the nasal passages and helps relieve sinus congestion. Daily nasal lubrication helps to release tension in the head and relieve accumulated stress. Balancing for each Dosha  Vata, pitta, and Kapha, Nasya Oil is also traditionally said to improve quality of your voice, strengthen one’s vision and promote mental clarity.  Contact me for more information.

 

 

Fertility Massage (Abhyanga)

The Benefits of Fertility Massage

Check out my recent video post – an overview

  • Increases circulation to the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes
  • Increases circulation to the digestive system thereby enhancing immune system
  • Promotes hormonal balance
  • Helps the body to rid itself of old stagnant blood, tissues and scar tissue
  • Helps to reposition a tilted uterus

The benefits of Hasta Abhyanga – Ayurvedic hand massage

Your hands are constantly busy, whether typing out work correspondence, texting friends and family or doing arts and crafts. With all the work that your hands do day to day, they could be one of the first parts of your body to show symptoms of painful ailments such as arthritis. Yet in Ayurvedic tradition, Hasta Abhyanga (special Indian hand massage) has long been used to alleviate these pains.  Here are some of the benefits of hand-massages:

Hand massages greatly reduce stress

When you are feeling pressured at work or going through difficult changes in your personal life, stress can grow unmanageable. Hasta Abhyanga is particularly calming and can help you reduce stress when you most need to.

Hand massage reduces muscle tension

When you hold tension in one part of your body, it often creates tension in other parts. Painful muscles in your hands can also cause unpleasant cramping. Ayurvedic hand massage, however, relaxes the muscles in the hand deeply. Pair this benefit with the stress reduction massage includes, and Ayurvedic hand massage becomes a powerful yet simple treatment for attaining healthy balance.

Hasta Abhyanga assists with better breathing

So much of what are our bodies do happens subconsciously. Yet Hasta Abhyanga or hand massage can help to make breathing more conscious, as you become relaxed and aware of your breathing. You can have Ayurvedic hand massage performed using soothing medicated oils or without.

You can use hand massage therapies from Ayurvedic tradition in tandem with other Ayurvedic treatments. Pair hand massage sessions with Shiroabhyanga (head massage) to relieve even more stress, improve circulation and ward off headaches. Between Shiroabhyanga and Hasta Abhhyanga you can find total relaxation.

 

A recent testimonial to share

I am delighted to share this with you.
I recently asked a dear patient “how Ayurveda is helping her on their IVF journey”?   I am proud to share her reply with you, please do contact me if you’d like to discuss anything about your IVF journey.  We are running a Retreat specifically aimed at improving fertility issues.  Please contact me to register interest.

 

Ayurveda has helped me in every way so far. It have given me precious insight into the way body works. It has particularly showed me how important it is to balance our hormones to improve our fertility. It has helped me so far in improving my relationship with my husband because we understand each other so much better. We understand foods and their effects on our health. My blood tests showed improvement in my health within few weeks.

I had never heard of Ayurveda before. I am glad I know about it now. Its such a holistic system and integrated way to look at our health.

Three Ayurvedic Rules for Coffee Drinkers

In Ayurvedic practice, the three doshas – the primary life energies that make up body and mind – must be balanced for true health and harmony. Of the many things that aggravate or ease doshas, the foods we eat and beverages we drink can have profound effects. Many of us feel like we can’t even function without a daily cup of coffee, but it is important to know whether coffee will aid or hinder your health and mental clarity. Here are three rules for coffee drinkers from Ayurveda:

  • Have a cuppa if you’re kapha -The kapha dosha, associated with earthy solidity, responds well to coffee which has a mild diuretic effect. Signs of excess kapha include fluid retention and feeling low on motivation or foggy-headed. A good cup of quality coffee can help even the most lethargic kapha find the energy boost necessary to stay
  • Be moderate or avoid coffee if pitta or vata dominate, it is important to be more careful with your coffee intake than a primarily kapha person needs to be if your pitta or vata doshas tend towards excess. Vata types often suffer from digestive problems such as constipation. The diuretic effect of coffee reduces fluid in the body more, and thus can aggravate this health complaint. As for pitta, the heating effect of coffee and its bitterness can cause more pitta to build up and can worsen problems such as acid reflux.

 

  • Balance coffee intake with an Ayurvedic morning routine even if you can’t resist having an early morning cup of coffee, you can at least adopt an Ayurvedic morning routine that will compensate for any minor adverse effects. Drink a cup of hot water with the juice of one lemon each morning if possible. This alkalizes the body and helps to counteract the acidifying effect of coffee. Also eat a grounding breakfast that will counteract the tendency of coffee to make your mind race.

 

Coffee can be hard to resist, especially if you work in an office culture where a cup of stimulating coffee is always nearby. Know your dosha and use the three Ayurvedic rules for coffee drinkers and you should be able to keep enjoying this invigorating beverage.

Eight Ayurvedic Tips for Finding Mental Calm

One of the foundational principles of Ayurveda is finding or restoring balance. It is easy to spiral into a state of high stress when overwhelmed by personal or professional challenges. Practicing Ayurvedic methods for relaxing and reducing stress should become part of your daily routine if you want to find calm and build the energy reserves you need for overcoming every obstacle.

Here are eight Ayurvedic tips for finding mental calm and balance:

Follow an Ayurvedic diet.  In Ayurveda, there are three primary energies or doshas that make up each person’s mind and body. The vata dosha, the element of air and movement, is thought to contribute to having a restless mind and a nervous temperament when it is in excess. Grains that balance vata include brown rice and oats, while vegetables including okra, carrots, beets and green beans are also recommended.

Use Ayurvedic therapies.  Ayurvedic tradition prescribes a number of treatments for easing physical as well as mental discomfort. These include hot oil treatments that use herbal infusions to rebalance the doshas. Speak to your practitioner about which massage or other treatment will be best for you, according to your dosha combination.

Take Ayurvedic Supplements.  Besides having a soothing massage, you can take Ayurvedic herbal supplements that combine all of the best natural ingredients for relieving an over-active, anxious and stressed mind. Make sure that your supplements are obtained from a knowledgeable Ayurvedic practitioner. This will ensure purity and effectiveness

Learn a calming breathing technique.  The breath is seen as especially important in Ayurveda. How we breathe directly affects our emotional and mental state. One of the first signs of elevated stress is shallow breathing. Learning a deep-breathing technique will help you use the most basic tool you have, your body, to find mental balance.

Practice Abhyanga (Self-massage).  It is best to obtain massage from an experienced Ayurvedic professional who can provide a full, balancing therapy, but you can start each day in a balanced frame of mind by practicing Ayurvedic self-massage techniques.

Meditate. Mindfulness is central to the Ayurvedic tradition. Being focused on the present moment helps to reduce anxiety about the future. Meditation entails reaching a state of purified consciousness that makes banishing stress-causing thoughts easier.

Join a yoga class. The ancient movement form of yoga has long been practiced as a means for finding and maintaining mental balance. The added health benefits of keeping your body supple and your breathing and posture optimal make doing yoga all the more rewarding.

Improve your quality of sleep.  Besides helping to balance the doshas, following an Ayurvedic diet and undergoing Ayurvedic therapies will help to increase your relaxation and quality of sleep. Try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night. This helps to keep doshas balanced and gives you optimum energy.

Take our Dosha Quiz.  Contact me for your copy or more information on attending one of our courses.

 

Ayurvedic nutrition: The 5 health benefits of ginger

Following an Ayurvedic diet is one of the most important means for balancing the primary life energies or doshas and creating wellness. The mind-body imbalance that can result when one or more doshas are lacking or in excess can cause or aggravate medical issues. Yet choosing the foods you eat carefully, according to Ayurvedic nutritional principles, can restore balance. Ginger, the pungent root used to season many south Asian dishes, is sometimes called nature’s ‘medicine chest’. Here are 5 reasons for ginger’s medicinal reputation:

  1. Ginger is cleansing.  The build-up of toxins in the body leads to health problems. Ginger helps to cleanse toxins and is also a potent alkalizer.
  2. Ginger helps to thin the bloodIf you are at risk for cardiovascular disease and blood clots, adding ginger to your diet will help as it contains compounds that inhibit the enzymes in the blood that cause clotting.
  3. Ginger is balancing for kapha types.  If your primary dosha is kapha, ginger is particularly useful for balancing your doshas. Kapha- type systems benefit from pungent, warm spices. An excess of kapha can aggravate kapha-associated health problems such as weight gain and sinusitis caused by having too much mucous.
  4. Ginger pacifies vata.  Vata, the dosha associated with movement and air, is closely linked to digestion. Vata types are prone to digestion-related ailments such as bloating and constipation. Ginger helps to pacify vata and keep this dosha in balance. Drinking a cup of fresh ginger tea before eating a meal aids digestion and provides additional health benefits.
  5. Ginger eases nausea.  Ginger is also taken as a natural remedy against nausea. It is thus often recommended to counteract motion sickness, morning sickness and nausea stemming from primary medical treatments such as chemotherapy.

These are just some of the ways this aromatic root can help you find better health and balance. To make a quick health tonic, simply place a few slices of fresh ginger in a mug, add just-boiled water, and leave to stand until the tonic is at drinking temperature.