thelittleescape

Sharing our little escape – health and happiness and holism

Experiencing Ear Candling July 11, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — thelittleescape @ 2:28 pm

I recently had my first experience of ear candling with the wonderful Ciara, and thought it might be nice to share an account of this gentle and very relaxing therapy. As Ciara quite rightly commented when I first saw her, the ears are quite a neglected part of the body, but mine have been niggling me for years. I was diagnosed with Eustachian tube dysfunction, after complaining to any GP who would listen about how my ears would suddenly block and I would be walking around feeling like I had a goldfish bowl over my head, dulling my hearing. For those who are wondering what this fancy piece of ear equipment might be, the Eustachian tube links the nasopharynx to the middle ear and helps to equalise pressure on either side of the ear drum. When I saw Ciara was offering this

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ear candling therapy

natural therapy dating back to ancient times, I thought it might be worth a try, especially as I haven’t wanted to take the steroid nasal sprays I’ve been offered to help resolve the issue.

Ciara and I had a chat about my Eustachian tubes and the fact I suffer from recurring sinus infections. She showed me the candles and explained what she would be doing, following which I lay on the couch and the candling began. A long beeswax tube was inserted into one ear at a time and lit. Each candle took about 15 minutes to burn down, during which time, I heard gentle popping and crackling in my ear. The sound reminded me of a needle jumping on a dusty old record player, and I found it quite comforting. Ciara explained that my sinuses were being filled with steam, which would help to de-congest them.

Following the candling, Ciara gave me a gentle face massage, which added to the general feeling of relaxation. I arrived for both the sessions I’ve had to date feeling tense as I was preparing for a big exam, but left feeling calmer and more grounded. Since then my ears have definitely been blocking less frequently, and I’m booked in for a further session as ongoing issues like mine can need a couple of regular treatments to maximise results.

I think given the treatments are so relaxing and they’re helping me to tackle those pesky Eustachian tubes, I could well become an ear candling addict!🙂

Anna

 

If you’d like to try Ear Candling – you can book on-line or contact us directly🙂 Each wonderful session lasts £45 and costs only £40.

 

Creativity and Well-being June 8, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — thelittleescape @ 2:02 pm

Apparently next week is London Creativity and Well-being week!

I have only just heard of this though it is in its 5th year, but I love the idea of it, and it is such a fascinating topic in terms of how being surrounded by art or music makes us feel, and also in terms of how actually participating in creativity affects us on different levels.

As the LHAF states on its website; “Participation in the arts and access to a range of arts opportunities can dramatically improve health outcomes and increase well-being. Supplementing medicine and care, the arts can improve the health of people who experience mental or physical health problems. Engaging in the arts can promote prevention of disease and build well-being.”

There is more information here: and the LHAF is also all about making Hospitals, Clinics and other healing spaces beautiful because of the well-being benefits– which is also something at the core of The Little Escape (hmm we really need some more photos of the clinic- but come and see!)

And another excellent looking event I just found out about that runs in a few weeks in sunny South London!

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But meanwhile I thought I’d write something about the links from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective….

The Liver channel is the one most directly associated with creative energy and drive, and it is also very much associated with anger and frustration when the Liver energy is not allowed to move smoothly – and this is where problems may become apparent.

The Kidneys are also related- and especially because the Kidneys in TCM are associated with Fear, and Creativity is about allowing yourself to make mistakes – which many of us are afraid of. So for some it is about strengthening that Kidney energy and taking some chances!

In my experience as a practitioner, people who’s creativity is being stifled for one reason or another (space/ time/ children/ work etc etc) can have major issues with mood swings, depression, inappropriate anger or headaches.

Sometimes (while acupuncture is definitely a big help with moving that stagnant Liver Qi!) the solution is to also find a way to weave more creativity into their life. If it is an artist who is used to doing huge expressionist canvasses, then yes we may have to think laterally about how to satisfy their creative urges, but there are ways! My mother is an (amazing) artist (you may have seen her work at the clinic!), so I also know first hand how she struggles when she can’t get enough studio time!

In these cases I also suggest people incorporate stretches that work on the Liver meridian: side stretches and yoga twists can be especially useful.

However, stress manifests in different ways for different people (surprise surprise!) and Liver Qi Stagnation can affect all systems of the body depending on an individual’s “type” and other factors- creating a Pattern of Disharmony which can be quite complex, especially if imbalances have been going on for a while…

So- before I totally digress- back to using Creativity for Wellbeing…!

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For some people, it is about using the Lungs to open the chest and Heart and move the Liver too- and it may be that they haven’t particularly been stifled creatively but their voice or truth has been suppressed in some way- and here is where singing can come into play. Especially people who notice that stressor frustration can trigger asthma or coughing, skin problems, or who get that sensation of a lump stuck in their throat. Writing is also great of course for expressing emotions but doesn’t have the same kind of knock-on effect on your physical wellbeing. In fact so many of us nowadays are so often hunched over a screen or paper that we end up weakening the chest and lungs with poor posture- so even more reason to sing and open the chest and diaphragm!

Choirs are fantastic, and have fascinating benefits that have been researched a documented (see here, here & here)- but singing in the shower or car definitely still counts- I have even been know to “prescribe” private room Karaoke😉 – it feels amazing!!

For more “Earth Types” who may have a tendency to weight problems, IBS or digestive issues, it might be most appropriate to channel creativity into cooking or gardening- both very grounding and creative activities!

For some, possibly those “Heart Types” who struggle with a “Monkey Mind” and inability to relax- incorporating a creative element to support mindfulness is really helpful- hence the popularity of Colouring books, Embroidery and knitting. Also Mindfulness has been shown to improve creativity (check out James’s class at The Little Escape, and Lis’s Sunday Meditation sessions)

I often incorporate this sort of “Lifestyle” advice in Acupuncture sessions alongside other things, but it all comes down to what works for the individual, and getting to know yourself better.

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So- take some time this week to *really* enjoy and embrace some art, music, writing, workshops, or just getting inspired to get back into doing a little of what you love. Think about how it makes you feel, which colours or shapes or themes affect you most, and if it makes you feel good- do more of it!

Lilja x

And lets finish with a some inspiring quotes, because everyone loves a good quote, and being succinct is definitely not one of my strong points😉

“Go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.” Kurt Vonnegut

“Living creatively is really important to maintain throughout your life. And living creatively doesn’t mean only artistic creativity, although that’s part of it. It means being yourself, not just complying with the wishes of other people.” Matt Groening

“Cut the arts? Then what are we fighting for?” Winston Churchill

 

Some Thoughts for the Solstice

Filed under: Uncategorized — thelittleescape @ 12:45 pm

There are many associations we humans have with the sun. The annual summer solstice that falls in June is an opportunity to honour this great star and be grateful for its sunny splendour. This year the solstice falls on Monday 20th June. The solstice corresponds with the tilt of the earth’s axis being most inclined towards the sun – hence the longest day of sunlight.

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Surya Namaskar is a well known sequence in yoga. It is in essence a bowing to the powerful sun – surya meaning sun and namaskar stemming from ‘namas’ meaning to bow or adore. This reveals the deeper wisdom of yoga and how we cultivate respect for nature through a regular practise.

From a subtle anatomy perspective, the sun feeds our manipura chakra, otherwise referred to as our solar plexus chakra. This is located about a hand’s width up from your navel. The colour yellow is associated with this chakra and the element of fire. So consider golden rays of sunlight perfusing your solar plexus and nourishing your vital force.

The sun is a constant in our lives. It rises and sets no matter what the circumstances. It radiates warmth and light. It provides life to plants through photosynthesis who all grow towards its radiance. Life giving, light bringing, energising sun.

The sun symbolises power, growth, health, passion and the cycle of life with its daily rise and set.

Oh sun, we salute you this summer solstice and thank you for your brilliance.

 

Come and have a one to one with Ciara Roberts at The Little Escape and learn more about the beauty, wisdom and transformational capacity of yoga.

 

Pancake Tuesday is just around the corner. February 7, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — thelittleescape @ 1:36 pm

  Will you be flipping pancakes or flipping  your lid?

Are you, like me, full of fond memories of plates covered with lovely, hot, fresh pancakes oozing in lemon juice and sugar? (Or, as it was in 1960’s Manchester, sugar and a Jif squeezy plastic lemon) It was the only day of the year we got pancakes and so it felt extra special and exciting.

Another very important part of the ritual was the pancake flipping. Later on, it was learning how to make them ourselves, and to watch them collapse in a mushy heap when we didn’t get the flick of the wrist right. I can still sense the anticipation I had then, as I fondly reminisce.

Now I’m married to a Belgian for whom pancakes are simply a dessert or occasional Sunday breakfast treat and consequently they are now just one item on the list of ‘things we eat in our house’. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a real treat to come down on a Sunday morning to be greeted with a welcome of “Pancakes this morning. Is that OK?”

While in the past, it never crossed my mind to refuse another pancake or lashings of sugar, nowadays I’m happy to take the smallest one and fill it with a little yoghurt and banana or to make them with brown flour and oats in order to lower the G.I. so that I want fewer of them and feel fuller longer. And I certainly couldn’t dream of eating 4 or more as I used to.

Does it bother me? Do I feel as though I’m missing out? I certainly look back wistfully to that over-skinny, lanky teen that I used to be, and there is still oftentimes a debate with my inner gourmand whether to say, “yes please” or “no thank you” to the offer of one more pancake.

Food, and the marking important occasions with food, is central to our culture and our sense of belonging to a community. However, for many people these events are more a source of isolation and unhappiness. Shame and confusion dominate their internal debate much more than for others. For those unfortunate people for whom weight issues dominate all decisions about eating or social invitations, pancake day can become a major cause of stress or anxiety. It can really begin to dominate their thinking and sap a lot of pleasure from many seemingly simple life events.

Many people will in fact just prefer to forget about Pancake Tuesday all together in order to eliminate conflict over what and how much they can allow themselves to eat or the guilt about what they should and ‘shouldn’t’ have eaten afterwards.

This makes me sad to think that for those people, the pleasures of childhood memories or the simple freedom to join others, guilt free, seems lost to them. It makes me especially sad to know that it really doesn’t have to be like that. It is possible to achieve and maintain a healthy weight AND enjoy the odd pancake. If you’d like to know how I can help you achieve this please get in touch.

Jane Miller Hypnotherapy and Life Coaching.

 

 

 

 

Are You Managing or Flourishing? October 7, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — thelittleescape @ 2:09 pm

The Power Of Coaching

“I’ve got no pressing issues; I can manage.”

How many of us keep happily (or less than happily) going about our daily lives with an undercurrent of niggles in the back of the mind. Of course we CAN mange perfectly well to juggle all the normal roles and jobs, keeping ourselves and anyone else we are responsible for well fed and well watered. Life goes on and there really are no major issues or problems so we never consider that life could be easier still with a little help or input from another source to deal with those background questions or doubts.

I wonder how many people are putting off a decision or not quite sure how to approach a slightly sticky issue that actually sap at their energy and contentedness. Here’s a few examples of typical ones:

Choosing a secondary school for a child
Who should I invite for Christmas?
How can I handle my father-in-law’s rudeness and bullying?
Why am I not getting round to applying for promotion/new job etc.?
How can I fit in time for my own well-being and keep home and job running smoothly?
Why do I feel obligated or driven to be running errands/making something complicated for others?
Why do I always end up rescuing others (or someone in particular) and not myself?
How do I simply learn to wind down, relax and sleep better?

If you are someone who was taught to ‘just get on’ with things, to look positively at everything or to remember there are others who are much worse off than you are, then you were given some very powerful tools for life. But there can also be a down side to these attitudes though; not giving credence to your own needs.

Pressure!

Pressure!

Managing is not the same as thriving or flourishing.

People who have learnt to put themselves in second place or to ‘wait till everything else is sorted first’ often don’t realise the very powerful effect that sharing in a dedicated, supportive environment can have. Many issues can be resolved or put into action much more quickly and easily than by simply holding onto them, mulling and worrying about them. It is precisely with these kinds of issues that coaching really comes into its own.

In a typical coaching session you are asked powerful questions to help you clarify the specifics of what is affecting you and then helped to draw out your own creative powers to find solutions that work for you. Finally you are asked about how you will implement those actions and how you will remain motivated to do so. It is often a real eye opener as to how quickly and easily many issues can be resolved and to discover just how many powerful resources you have to draw on.

Read up about the coaching game LUMINATION I will be facilitating here.

Jane Miller Hypnotherapist and Coach

 

Massage with Mayumi October 5, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — thelittleescape @ 11:27 am

I’m Anna, a new member of the reception team here at the Little Escape. It has been great settling in to my new role: learning more about the amazing therapies on offer, meeting lots of lovely clients and enjoying the calm, friendly environment the centre provides.

I recently had my first experience of stepping away from the desk and into a therapy room for a massage with Mayumi. Walking in I felt as though my shoulders were somewhere up around my ears. I knew I had a lot of tension that needed to be worked out – being a busy mum to two young kids, I had been ignoring the tense muscles I was developing as a result of hunching over breastfeeding, carrying an increasingly heavy baby in a sling and general physical tiredness. What I really needed was someone to release those knots and bring my shoulders back to where they should be!

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Mayumi started with a gentle relaxing massage on my legs, then spent the rest of the session working on my problem area: the upper back, neck and shoulders. Using a range of techniques and levels of pressure, Mayumi was able to methodically push the tension up and out. Whilst it was a deep tissue massage and I definitely felt some satisfying ‘pops’ as the knots were worked out, I left the session feeling relaxed, calm and rested.

A week on and I’m much more aware of how I carry myself. I feel less stiff in the neck and am determined to make massage more of a regular fixture in my diary!

See what else others have said about us here!

You can book in on-line for one of Mayumi’s amazing massages, or contact us on reception🙂

 

Trigger Points May 18, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — thelittleescape @ 3:49 pm

Hello,
My name is Kristin. I started working at The Little Escape in June 2014 and I have had the wonderful opportunity to share my massage work with many clients since then. Although I have several different massage modalities in my education, I am currently doing Swedish and deep tissue.
I have been in the fitness, massage, nutrition (hormonal fat loss) and holistic field for many years and in addition to massage I do fitness consulting and training, core conditioning, educational seminars, postural assessments and corrective exercises, stretching and mobility for muscle and postural imbalances.
I will be contributing with bits and pieces of information in The Little Escape blog related to body ‘maintenance’, massage, and training.
Stay tuned!

K:)

Trigger Points  – These are little contraction ‘knots’ or nodules in tight bands of muscle, they are active contraction of living muscle fibres. Once they form, they can last weeks, months or indefinitely. Triggers points can become annoyingly painful and, if not addressed, cause limited range of motion, postural misalignment, adaptive shortening and muscle imbalances.

Young woman having massage, close-up

Massages can help restore more normal function…

Trigger points are often created in response to physical pain.  Massages can help restore more normal function ( and also movement).

A visual that may help understand trigger points is by imagining a knitted sweater and if you grab a little piece in the sweater and twirl it…you will see how it effects the surrounding material of the sweater. The same thing happens to your muscle /soft tissue.

Addressing trigger points can be painful and may need to be done little by little and layer by layer. But the freedom you will have in your tissue afterwards and the improved performance….may make it worth it🙂

Kristin

 

 
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