Approaches to Health as Unique & as Varied as You
Each of us is an organic, biological being. We’re also blessed with the thoughts, spirit and energies that although non-physical, affect how our organic matter reacts and functions. Empowering, holistic approaches to health develop further every day to become as unique and varied as each of our individual needs. We share the insights of some of Ireland’s leading practitioners, on avenues that have brought them and their clients that healing feeling.
Tai Chi: Awareness, Development & Integration, Master Charles Thackaberry
Tai Chi is the balance of opposites. To change, shift and create balance, the first step is to be aware and feel the different aspects we need to work with. This can range from simply coordinating the hands and feet, to balancing practical everyday life with spiritual ideals.
Balanced development is not always about working on our obvious talents. We need the strength and courage to develop our weakest links too. In modern society, we’ve focused on developing the mind and spirit and often leave the body and emotions behind. Tai chi gives the mind and spirit a way to communicate with the body and emotions, and visa versa.
The process of integration needs patience, practice and a non-judgemental approach; learning to listen, trust and allowing ourselves to experience failures as well as successes. A Tai Chi class allows us to experience and integrate different parts of ourselves without external expectations or competition.
Practice and enjoy this mind, body, breath exercise;
1. Lift arms and hands to head, breathing in. Breathe out Mind & Body Stress as hands go down.
2. Lift arms and hands to head, breathing in positive energy. Breathing out, allow this energy to flow into your Mind & Body as hands go down.
Dance: Bringing the Soul Back to Sunday, Carol McInerney
Throughout history, people have used movement to celebrate, pray, connect and heal ourselves and our communities.
Growing up in Ireland, Sunday mornings meant going to church. It was intended as a special day for people to gather in a sacred place and recognise the need to nourish our souls. With the gradual breakdown of religious systems, much of this tradition has been lost.
One of the inspirations to create ‘Soul Sunday’ came from our experiences of dancing on Sunday mornings with communities in other countries. It touches my heart to be part of a room of people moving from the inside out; to experience the magic and vulnerability of getting to know more of ourselves, and each other, through dance.
Eating together releases oxytocin, the feel-good hormone that increases trust and bonding. Sitting down to eat together after the dance gives people time to get to know each other, catch up with friends, make new ones and fosters a spirit of openness and togetherness.
Dancing nourishes and heals me. It teaches me self-acceptance, relaxes my mind, opens my heart to community and strengthens my relationship with my body. And its fun! It is all the things I searched for but never experienced in the rituals of Sundays in church. Come as you are and celebrate what is.
Shiatsu: Releasing, Relieving & Moving Forward, Rebecca Allen
I found Shiatsu when grieving the passing of my Father. I had no idea what to expect during my treatment but found myself experiencing profound relaxation and letting go of muscles I hadn’t even realised were tense. As well as the physical release, emotions moved, changed and clarified within me.
Shiatsu helped me to move forward in the complexities of the grieving process. Having supported my Father through setbacks, letting go of the trauma was difficult, even when it was safe to do so. Shiatsu allowed me to progress naturally.
It has continued to be an important and valued aid through my life journey and personal growth. I have turned to it for help with fertility, the loss of my Mother and the break up of my marriage. Over time, Shiatsu has moved me so much that I decided to become a practitioner myself. I wanted to give something back.
Now, I use Shiatsu and guided meditation to help my clients reduce and manage stress. This allows your body to focus its energies on staying healthy, enabling you to overcome illness and maintain constant repair. I have the pleasure of supporting people during illness and towards wellness, in tandem with their medical treatment. Drawing from personal experiences, I also specialise in working with recently separated or bereaved women.
Systematic Kinesiology: Revealing What Your Body Knows, Siobhan Guthrie
The holistic approach to health acknowledges all areas of life – physical, emotional, nutritional, energies and spirituality, they are all interconnected. Two key factors that that we look at are the thoughts, beliefs and interpretations you have of your world, and the daily food choices you make. Muscle testing helps us reveal what your body unconsciously says about it all too.
When it comes to your health, rather than just looking at the thing that needs fixing, we examine what might underlie the root cause. A practitioner will ask you about what you eat, how you think, feel and react. Are you a busy parent? Do you love your job or hate it? How well does your digestive system function? It’s all relevant.
If you are sensitive to wheat, you may know its immediate, physical effects on your body, but did you know it could be affecting your mood? Over 55 health issues have been linked to gluten sensitivities but many people are never diagnosed. With more gluten in wheat today than ever before, it’s worth getting tested or considering avoidance for a few weeks to see how it could be affecting you.
Instinctively, deep inside you already know what is right for you. Don’t ignore the signals your body is giving you, take a moment to listen.