Are You Managing or Flourishing?

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.



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

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!


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

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!


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 🙂


Kids and Parents Meditation class: a deeper and fun way to bond by Lisabetta Vilela

A new Kids and Parents Meditation class is happening here on Sunday 17th May 2015 at 11.30, just after our usual max meditation drop in class at 10am.
Lisabetta Vilela, our Shiatsu practitioner and Meditation teacher, is very excited to be offering this class.
“I first noticed how much children enjoy and connect with meditation techniques when a couple of parents brought their children to the Goddess Meditation class I run at The Little Escape”, Lisabetta said.
“Children are naturally open-minded and therefore ‘get’ meditation, visualisation and relaxation techniques very quickly, especially when embodied with positive and strong intentions. If encouraged and validated at home, they are eager to practice these tools with their parents/careers or even alone, as some of my clients have noticed. Meditation and self-awareness tools builds a strong sense of ‘self’ and gives children the confidence to know themselves better.”

Self-awareness practices
Within the class, children and parents will be shown a Do-in self-massage practice.
This harmonising and rivitalising practise is used to release stress/tension and re-energise: its roots comes from Chinese preventitive medicine: acupuncture, shiatsu, tai-chi. The technique is simple, fun and allows your body’s energy to flow better.

A short and effective Shiatsu and acupressure sequence will follow. Children and parents will be shown how to give and receive it to help them bond and nurture each other. It is very relaxing and calming; both parent and child appreciate the positive effects of giving and receiving and can use the techniques at home.


Visualisations and mindfulness
After these self-awareness practices you and your child will be guided through visualisations and meditations’ techniques.
These help children listen to their wise inner “wizard”, be in the ‘moment’, release negative thoughts and behaviours and build self-confidence.
When kids are able to do this, they truly start to feel their rightful place in the world: relationships improve, peer pressure is much less of an issue and kids learn to be self-empowered.

Lisabetta’s meditation class will hopefully help children and parents experience mindfulness and relaxation in a welcoming, fun and safe environment.

You can call us to book your places or email Lisabetta at

Fiona 🙂

‘My Dharma’ – A little something personal from Ciara.

An instrument of change and a facilitator of deep healing. These are my heartfelt intentions for what I do – my ‘dharma’ as it is called in sanskrit – meaning life purpose. And it was indeed a process to get there. Fifteen years in a punishing corporate environment where whilst my banking career thrived, my soul dimmed…until the universe presented a catalyst in the form of a health crisis and I knew that in order to truly be alive and flourish, I had to follow my path. And so Wholly Aligned was born with a strong focus on the principles of natural health (naturopathy) and yoga.

My inspiration has come from many avenues. Growing up in Zambia left a lasting impression on me as we grew most of our fruit and vegetables in the garden. Allowing my senses to be stimulated by the purity of nature. My mother had a genuine interest in natural health and remedies and also trained in the 70s to be a yoga teacher. Another big influence and very much continues to be so.

From my days in student clinic to seeing my own clients, it never ceases to amaze me how every person is so unique. One man’s nectar, is another’s poison. Each person responds in different ways and so it is working with each person to put it all together and unlock the wellness potential using better food choices, flower remedies, therapeutic supplements and lifestyle changes. Yoga sits beautifully in this array of tools.

Ciara Roberts

Nutritional Therapy


Water water everywhere!

Our amazing human bodies are made of 70% water and 30% solid matter – the same ratio of land to ocean as our beautiful planet Earth.

Water is life and without it no creature can survive. Given our profound reliance on this, our reaction to lack of it can have deep effects on who we are at both cellular level and through the manifestations of disease in our body.

87734498Hydration is the cornerstone of a healthy body. Many things can contribute to dehydration apart from the obvious of not drinking enough water. Stress, whether internal or external, medication, excessive caffeine and sugar and lifestyle choices can play havoc with our wellbeing. Even being surrounded by wi-fi has an impact – so it’s not difficult for our sensitive bodies to be thrown off-balance and left struggling for health.

When we become dehydrated our bodies make cellular changes as a means of defence, each cell membrane will become covered with a layer of cholesterol to protect itself from further loss of fluid. But this layer of cholesterol whilst encasing the cell and protecting it – will also cause the cell to become more isolated – losing its connection to the other cells and to the bigger picture. If our cells are restricted just think how small our vision may be. This disconnection from the higher aspects of ourselves can manifest as a loss of direction in life, the inability to get out of a repeatedly stressful situation or a loss of creativity and motivation.

The more our cells are coated with this cholesterol layer, the more disconnected they become from each other, they become colder and darker and more cut off. Which is a microcosm of how we can feel when deeply dehydrated.

78321344(1)So what can we do…we can deal differently with situations that are causing us stress – we can eat in a less challenging way and choose hydrating foods and oils.

When we really work on our hydration it can be amazing to start feeling energised again, connected to our better /higher selves and alive with creativity and motivation. Ways to do to this are obviously to increase water intake, but also the food we eat makes a big difference too. Vegetables and fruits we know are hydrating, grains and refined foods much less so. Choosing to have an abundance of good quality fruit and vegetables and a minimum of refined foods will support our bodies at a cellular level in its daily cleansing. Drinking fresh water and getting enough sleep and fresh air and enjoyment in life will all effect our hydration levels, allowing our cells to open up again and re-connect with their surroundings. This will lead to a more connected self – able to hear who we really are and the messages of universal wisdom.


What does good nutrition look like?

Let’s start a conversation…

Well, here’s the thing. There is no singular, generic approach to fit with each person.

There are certainly broad themes that will provide benefit to the majority, such as eating seasonally and organically for higher nutrient content and less chemical exposure and to well… food. What say you to the growing profusion of chemicalised ‘food like’ items that are becoming regular household purchase. A general guide to apply is if you don’t understand the ingredients list, don’t buy it and certainly don’t eat it! Something with twenty ingredients and a sell-by date way too far in the future needs to be questioned.

Michael Pollan, author of ‘In Defence of Food’, puts it simply. ‘Eat food, not too much. Mostly plants.’ I very much like this – there is much to be said for simplicity.

Good nutrition will only be as effective as what best serves your body. So this includes taking into account your health status, your relationship with food, your belief systems, how you respond to stress and your sleep habits. There is an entire web of variables for each individual.

Are you making conscious and well informed choices when it comes to your food shopping? What is your social conditioning around food and eating?

Woman shopping at farmer's market

Shopping Local, Seasonal and Organic

Questions for you to ponder:

How well do you know the source of your food? For example, are you buying from a local farmers market where you can ask the farmer direct or are you buying from a large supermarket chain whose main focus is the shareholder? Fast marketing, fast carbs, fast food. Fast route to poor health.

How do you feel after eating? If it’s bloated, gassy, lethargic, then there may be foods burdening rather than energising your system.

How do you eat? Modern life has created mass over-ride of our inherently intelligent systemic design. Ancient man was not chowing down on a packet sandwich meal deal as he ran from the sabre toothed tiger. However modern man does chow down on said packet sandwich meal deal in a fit of rage/anxiety/sadness/dissatisfaction creating the same hyper-adrenaline response. His trigger is not a looming sabre toothed tiger but perhaps an antagonising email or phone call or long queue. Not life threatening situations yet the body is responding in the same way leaving modern man marinading in a cocktail of excess stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. And so the cycle continues until the body says enough and you get floored by burn out.

Learn to deeply listen to your wise body. The messages are all there. Respond compassionately and remember small changes make big differences.

Ciara Jean Roberts
Naturopathic Nutritionist and Yoga Teacher
The Little Escape. March 2015

*Food Detective intolerance tests available in clinic
*Muscle testing using the exquisitely ethical Premier Research Labs products also available