Its Friday! You've made it through another week! HURRAH!
But if you are feeling somewhat tired and wired, Why not try this breathing technique I teach to many of my clients. Its very simple!
Notice the pace of your breath, and just add in a count for each breath.
Make the IN-breath for a count of 7 beats, and the OUT-breath for the count of 11 beats.
Its' important to start at the pace your breath is at now, then slow the beat of the count down gently, until you are taking long slow breaths in and out. Don't try and start with long deep breaths as that can cause more difficulty!
Just slow the beat down over a few breaths and notice how much you can relax and let go on the out breath.
Did you know, it's physiologically impossible to relax on an in-breath? So giving longer attention to the out-breath means you are relaxing more each time, and creating more space for fresh oxygen and energy to enter the system! Give it a try and let me know how you get on!!
So often when teaching people how to tap, this is a question I get asked somewhat fearfully! Especially when clients go home and try practicing on their own, they skip straight to the positive, and then feel they're not getting the results they got with me in the session.
By naming the negative, whilst tapping - it gets it's chance to be heard, and doesn't need to scream so loudly, so then can settle down, and allow the more rational part of the brain to kick in again. The negative is from our primal brain, which is programmed to look out for all the worse case scenarios. - "Negative Bias"
We are all "Meaning-Making-Machines" and our brain will make something mean something completely different to the truth sometimes, and this can be a cause of great anxiety... So for example when an upsetting event happens, like not getting chosen for the school sports team; a child can make it mean a plethora of things about themselves, or the world. for example - "I'm not good enough" / I'm too slow / I don't deserve it / I'll never be good at anything" and then start looking for more evidence to back up that belief, so it becomes embedded into believe system we operate from as if it's true.
With Tapping we look to explore what those beliefs are, where we learnt them, and then by tapping whilst thinking about or around that particular memory or event, it then changes our relationship to it, so it no longer becomes a trigger point for upset/ anxiety / fear etc. and un-employs that belief system as one we need to live from as if its the truth.
We all have those experiences which form our belief systems, and our body physiologically cannot tell the difference from a thought/ memory and the truth in reality, and will react as if the thought or memory is actually happening right now.
So by employing Tapping, it sends calming signals to the brain, allowing it to put the memory back in the past, and unlink it from the present, and freeing us from that emotional and physical reaction - Hence the name - Emotional Freedom Technique!
Particularly at the moment, with the Pandemic and home-schooling, let alone climate change fears and all the other nuances of anxiety facing a child or young person, I'm finding I'm working more and more with young people and getting fantastic results. Stress and anxiety used to be more in the adult realm, but sadly this has become commonplace for children and young people in today's society, and it can quickly spiral and escalate.
EFT Tapping is fun, and quick to learn and has been proven to reduce anxiety by 41% in less than ten minutes!
I started my career working with children, using the arts as a tool for transformation and empowerment, and spent ten years working around the world with"at risk" young people. I had the great privilege of spending time in Bosnia doing reconciliation work with children after the war there at the end of the 1990's, I've worked in Nepal, the UK and New Zealand, with young people labeled as "troubled" "disaffected" "difficult" "challenging" "Vulnerable" I've worked in prisons, with young offenders, on rural housing estates, in inner-city tower-blocks, and everything in-between; with children and young people who were struggling in ways society felt unable or difficult to support. and I WISH that I had had this tool then to offer them! Because where ever I was in the world, and whatever the "difficulty" those young people were experiencing, the resilience and ability of young people to transform and pivot rapidly, given the right support was extraordinary, and equally consistent, regardless of circumstance, culture or social structures.
I now find myself working with children and young people using EFT. Their engagement and ability to pick it up, transform and run with it is extraordinary and so delightful to witness! They've yet to develop the layers of cynicism and carefully constructed defences we as adults have, and so the effectiveness and speed at which they can transform how they are feeling and reacting is so often such a surprise for me, who's been working with adults for so long!
Fear and anxiety which can develop out of a feeling of loss of control, can be quickly released by giving children access to this tool, which immediately gives them control in how they respond to a situation, freeing them of those overwhelming reactions of anxiety and stress.
Anxiety is a physiological fear based response to something we perceive out of our control, which we imagine may happen in the future. How and what we think about that thing, can trigger the fear based response (and by that I mean the physiological flight or flight response (See my earlier blog post to understand more about that) So its worth a little detective work to find out what your child's thoughts are that are triggering the stress and anxiety reaction. If they are feeling anxious about going back to school - try exploring with them what exactly it is that they think about it - in relation to themselves, which is triggering the fear reaction in them. With a bit of rooting around it can often come down to something like "I'm scared my friends won't like and include me any more" or "I haven't done my work and I'll be in trouble" or " I don't know if I'll like my new teacher"
(If you can, get them Tapping on the finger tip-points or on the head points whilst having this chat!)
The next key thing to work out with them, is; what are they making that mean about themselves? and to get a real shift this is where the gold is! (and I encourage you to throw in your educated guesses here with them as they probably wont have a clue what you're on about!) common themes that arise are:
I am unlovable (no one will like/love me)
I don't deserve it
I'm not good enough
It's not safe for me (I'll be hurt / humiliated /abandoned)
If you can identify a core (usually negative belief) like this underlying the thought/anxiety and tap on that - this will make the biggest difference.
But there are many different ways to introduce tapping to your child, and I would encourage you to do so as part of your daily routine, when they are not in a pickle / drama (when you really DO need it!) but as part of the wind down at bed time, or when they get home from school, or in from playing with friends - times of transition. encourage them to tap on the points, without even worrying about what to say, just to become part of their own toolkit. Do it with them and let them see you using it on yourself too, so it becomes a normalised part of your day! (and then you can draw on it when it's really needed without having to try and teach them something when they are in a state of panic or upset.
If you'd like to learn more about EFT and how it can help your child's anxiety, you can join my facebook group here "help your anxious child with EFT" where I'll be sharing top tips, and offering short videos and workshops.
I'm also offering an Introductory family package, of 3 sessions;
The first is with the "grown-ups" to learn how to use tapping for themselves, and chat through what issues your child is struggling with.
The second is with the adults and the kids together, for the children to explore tapping with me and their parent/guardian, go away and give it a go.
The 3rd session, is to review, see how you've all got on, refine and maybe go deeper. I've found that in just three sessions when we are working together as a team, with both the adults and the kids, we can really get some great shifts and benefits very quickly.
You can give me a call to discuss or click here to book
Here's a short video about EFT being used in schools.
Currently as I write, Shiatsu Practitioners (and Complimentary Health Practitioners) have not been given a go-ahead date to practice face to face again. Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers are all allowed to open next weekend; but currently the government is not recognising our profession in any discussions around back to work, and the easing of lockdown.
We have been issued strict guidelines to follow (you can read my simplified version here of what I will be doing to keep my clients and myself safe) and will be adhering to these.
If you would like to support the call to the government to make a science-based decision please would you sign and share this petition? http://chng.it/YwWVpJfW4Z
I have written to my MP to ask for consideration of when Shiatsu Practitioners and Complementary Therapists can return to work.
If you would like to write to your MP as a user of Shiatsu or other complementary therapies, asking them to allow us to return to work, I have amended the template provided by the Shiatsu Society and you can download it here.
Thank you for your support. Wishing you well
I hope this finds you warm, dry and well. It’s been quite a start to the year one way and another! And I know that so many people have been feeling quite literally under the weather!
I am writing this post to reassure you about what steps I am taking to protect against Corona virus in my practice, and to offer some top tips around boosting your immunity and staying well, alongside keeping calm and not surrendering to the most contagious thing around at the moment – Fear.
I am now only offering online sessions. if you would like to book please call me on 07981992178 or email me Hannah@hannahcurrantshiatsu.org
Top tips for boosting your immune system.
We will all be feeling some levels of anxiety and stress around what’s happening at the moment, its part of being human. I would like to offer you some support around reducing stress and anxiety; boosting your immune system, to help fight off potential illnesses; and share an EFT Tapping recording to help release any anxiety you may be feeling about Coronavirus.
Our immune system functions best when we are in a relaxed state, so anything you can do to help ground and relax yourself can help. Alongside continuing to come for Shiatsu or EFT tapping, here are some recommendations:
If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to get in touch 07981992178
Autumn is well and truly here, there's no denying it! And at this time of year I find myself sharing a lot of top tips with clients around how to help boost the immune system and to protect ourselves from the change of season and inevitable sniffles that seem to appear in abundance!
In this post I want to share with you some tips to help with protecting your system from the changes in temperature, and the season changes we are currently experiencing
My favourite recommendation at this time of year is a garment which offers real support for those colder days and nights is the Hara-maki. This is a traditional Japanese wrap which can be worn beneath or on top of your usual clothing around the mid-riff, and is more commonly known as a kidney warmer.
If you suffer from cold hands and feet, or poor circulation, and begin to feel the chills this time of year, its recommended to wear a Haramaki. Its so snuggly and comforting, and adding that extra layer of warmth to your core helps generate more heat, and improves your circulation. I also recommend it for anyone who cycles, to add an extra layer to that gap which can creep open between tops and bottoms when cycling. Protecting the kidneys from the cold is really really important for all of us in the winter, and the Haramaki does this beautifully. It also can help aid digestion!
The Haramaki also provides great support for women who are menstruating, or pregnant, and anyone who suffers from a weak or painful lower back. try wearing one for a week and feel the difference! (picture courtesy of Haramaki-love)
I sometimes stock them to sell from koroko haramaki who sell lovely double layered thermal ones, which have become essential items for so many of my friends, family and clients through the colder months. You can also search on etsy for fabulous funky handmade ones, or even try making one yourself!!
This time of year it's also really important to wrap up warm and protect your neck from cold winds. always wear or have a big scarf to hand, especially on days which look clear and blue but can turn icy cold. In Chinese medicine, it is believed that illness and pathogens can enter our system blown by the wind down your neck and spine; the chill weakens our natural protective layers and we become very quickly susceptible to chills and colds. By always wearing or carrying a scarf we can avoid those sudden cold blasts catching us unawares.
When we go from warm, dry, centrally heated environments into the damp and cold and back in again, the rapid changes in temperature can also affect our immune boosting systems. In Shiatsu we can offer a special treatment to help boost your "triple heater" meridian which helps regulate our circulation and temperature and has special protective duties in that area. You can also stimulate your Triple Heater Meridian by rubbing your arms and the tops of your legs vigorously, where you would rub them when you get cold. this helps stimulate the energy flow and strengthens it's protective properties.
So stay warm and wrapped up and let me know how you get on!
I am excited to have been invited by Emma Dawson, a Registered Nutritional Therapist, to work together. Emma has been running nutrition based courses for a number of years including the Nuffield Health Healthy Weight Programme. After attending one of my workshops, she felt what I have to offer as a Health Creation Coach, EFT and Shiatsu practitioner would partner perfectly with her skills and in-depth knowledge. Emma says " Hannah's work with EFT and health coaching is the perfect compliment to my in depth nutritional therapy, together I believe we can help people make the lasting changes they want"
I'm delighted to announce we will be launching our introductory workshops in March and April, and running our first six week course in May. We are both looking forward to working together, and I'm already learning so much from Emma, she's hugely patient with all my questions!
Check out our new course here
I'm super excited to be bringing this new technique into my work. I recently trained in Shiatsu with Fascia Release with a wonderful Italian teacher called Gabriella Polli, in London.
The Fascia is a web of connective tissues which exists throughout our body, connecting and holding all our structures in place. It wraps around every part of our structural system, connecting and protecting, flexing and stretching. You can see it magnified under a microscope in this video on You tube. (click on link)
When we experience trauma, injury or illness, the Fascia can clamp up around that area, to protect it, and go into a longer term holding pattern which causes tension, stiffness and difficulty
The training I have undertaken provides a way to help release the fascia in an incredibly gentle, yet deep way, and my clients have been experiencing a long lasting release and effect from where I have introduced this into my practice.
If you are experiencing long term tensions, pain or difficulty around an injury this is a completely non-invasive way of working, similar to that of a cranial osteopath, but with an incredibly light touch: therefore very safe around areas which are painful or inflamed, or wouldn't respond well to manipulation. It also can work at a very deep level physiologically. Combining this technique with using some of the meridians and pressure points we use in shiatsu is proving to bring profound results with some of my clients and I am really excited to be able to offer this in my practice.
If you'd like to know more or have questions as to whether this would be suitable for you or someone you know, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Wishing you well
firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07981992178
Stressed? Anxious? Close to the tipping point?
Stress can affect us all at different times and to different levels, but if we’re not able to switch it off, and drop into proper relaxation and rest, prolonged stress can have a big impact on our physiological systems and wellbeing.
One of the things I see a lot in my practice is the impact of long term stress and how it impacts on our wellbeing. I’m often surprised at how little people understand about stress and what it does to us, so I’d like to explain a little of that here, and how Shiatsu and EFT can greatly reduce and improve our reactions to stress.
A lot of how we function is goverened by the Autonomic Nervous System, which is responsible for involuntary and reflexive functions in the body. The two key functions related to stress and relaxation are:
The sympathetic nervous system, or the “fight or flight” response, prepares our bodies for action. All of the organs involved in getting ready for a physical challenge (“fight”) or preparing for a retreat (“flight”) are activated through this system.
The parasympathetic nervous system (“rest and digest”) helps produce a state of equilibrium in the body.
The sympathetic nervous system is a fast-acting, and activates the release of stress hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones activate the target muscles and glands, causing the body to speed up and become tense, as well as more alert. Non-essential functions which are not immediately necessary - like digestion and the immune system are shut down. (To a point)
Your body goes through a number of changes when the sympathetic nervous system is activated.
When we are faced with a stressor that presents an imminent physical danger, this is what happens, but we actually see many of these changes in response to lower level stressors too, and over a prolonged period of time, the body sits in a state of high stress and anxiety, unable to switch off this response. This can have devastating impact on our immunity, and digestion. Even our thinking becomes impacted, we are often unable to see the bigger picture, decision-making becomes difficult and we are easily muddled.
Shiatsu and E.F.T. can help de-activate the sympathetic nervous system, taking you to a place of calm, where the parasympathetic system can be activated. The Parasympathetic nervous system is a much slower acting system than the sympathetic nervous system, (which needs to kick in quickly in response to perceived threat.) The stress hormones cease to be released into the system, the heart rate slows and the body allows the functions of the digestive system to be activated fully, and digestive enzymes released, allowing nutrients to be fully digested and distributed to the organs again. It is in this state where the body activates its healing system again, which is what we are working with in Shiatsu.
There are many things we can do in our day to day life, which help to lower the stress reactions of the sympathetic nervous system, but sometimes we need that extra help to really cut through the stress messaging from the brain, and this is where Shiatsu can help. Allowing your self to really rest, and be supported in that at a physiological and emotional level helps boost immunity, digestion and healing.
Points and meridians we use in Shiatsu signal to the body it iss now safe to ‘switch off the stress’ and activate the parasympathetic nervous system. And in my experience, Shiatsu can create some really lasting results.
In Japan (where Shiatsu originates from) people traditionally would see their Shiatsu practitioner regularly to keep them well, and I personally receive Shiatsu on a very regular basis as part of my commitment to my wellbeing, regardless of whether I “need it” or not! And this is what we would recommend!
Using EFT we can begin to understand what some of our stress triggers are and work to change your relationship to them. The beauty of EFT is that it can help eliminate completely your reactions to triggers, so that when they happen you are able to glide through, cope and continue in a much more peaceful state.
I have done a lot of work with people who have been signed off work with stress, or are close to that point. Stress is one of the highest causes of time off from work in the UK, and I would really encourage anyone to take advantage of the support available before it gets too much.
If you would like to know more about how I work, or the benefits of Shiatsu and EFT and how they might apply to you, please do get in touch. I look forward to welcoming you to my beautiful clinic spaces in Cotham, Clifton and Southville in Bristol. I am also available over Skype to offer EFT or Health Creation Coaching.
Wishing you well!
If you’re like me, the incredible heat we’ve been experiencing this summer, although delightful, has been somewhat draining when trying to get through the day? Where as some people relish the heat and come alive to it in a whole new way! This can often be because of our constitution, and in Chinese Medicine, we all have a core ‘element’ where our struggles or weaknesses can emerge.
Over the coming months I will be writing a bit about each of the 5 Elements we work with in Shiatsu, some typical imbalances and how they might manifest.
We often think – ‘Oh- It’s just the way I am’ I hate/ love the cold / heat / change of seasons etc., but actually all of this informs us as practitioners, clues as to what imbalances you may be experiencing, and we can then turn our treatment to tend to these.
And just to reassure you, that we are all constantly re-balancing. We are never completely ‘in balance’ but there are ways that we can tip into more difficulties when we don’t notice and tend to those imbalances.
Shiatsu is like an exploration of this, first through the consultation, then through the treatment itself, where we are curious to notice what’s going on – both externally and internally, which can affect each of these different areas, and manifest in upset, pain, illness or difficulty if not tended to. By stimulating particular pressure points and meridians, we can remind the body of its own natural healing ability and what needs to be released or nourished to really fulfil its potential again.
Sometimes we will make recommendations to help us reinforce the work we have done as practitioners, which could encompass dietary suggestions, particular movements or stretches or exercise to include into your routine, or encouragement to pursue a creative activity or meditation, all sorts of things, which again come out of an understanding of what nourishes and stimulates particular “elements” or helps moderate or stimulate ways of being where we have become excessive or stuck.
I am really looking forward to sharing more with you over the coming months – but for the mean time enjoy the rest of the summer !
And as a note – summer is a time of expansion and joy, of self - expression and love – but can also be a time of great stillness and peacefulness so follow what your body is asking for! Dance wildly, swim, float or flop out! Your body knows what it needs!
And if you’re struggling with any of that – then you can come and see me in my new clinic in Southville on North Street, or in Cotham or Clifton. Just give me a call to book in!
Author: Hannah Currant
Hannah is a Shiatsu and EFT Practitioner based in Bristol.
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"Hannah's sessions have helped me in so many ways. I no longer suffer from panic attacks, and haven't had a migraine for ages. I feel so much stronger and able to deal with what life throws at me"
N.B. - Council worker
"When I started seeing Hannah I was on the highest dose of painkillers available. These days I might have to take one paracetamol in a month."
M.T. - Administrator
"Having Shiatsu in the workplace is a great way to de-stress at the end of my day, and help me deal with the changes, uncertainties and difficulties of work at the moment"
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