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Breath out exam stress with Yoga

How stress and anxiety can create issues…

Headaches, dizziness, irritable,  anger, emotional imbalance,  shortness of breath, depression, low immune system,  loss of appetite or gaining weight, trouble sleeping and lack of energy.

Without physical and mental rest, our memory and concentration can be reduced enormously, without even being conscious of it. Waking up with the sunrise and doing some light, easy yoga exercises followed by breathing work, leaves you feeling fresh and positive for your day ahead. Meditation state can help you learn fast, and retain longer, without getting distracted.

Eat right eat light: fresh, light, homemade, fresh fruits, green vegetables can go a long way in supplementing the body’s needs during this period. Food’s that are salty, processed and sweets will leave you feeling dull and tired. 

Breathe in and breathe out: The first and the most basic act of life is breathing. Breathe is connected to the mind, when the mind is agitated the breathing is short, hot and faster. When the mind is relaxed the breathing is long and slower. Deeper the breath, more the intake of oxygen, more the supply of oxygen to the brain, it works more efficiently. These can be used during exams, to calm the anxieties and stress that may come up.

Twist postures are the perfect way to relax anxiety. Tree pose is another great position, it is frequently used for concentration, a easy posture to embrace. There is such beneficial factors to the practice of yoga, that once learned, can be used daily in the comfort of your own home.

Yoga and mindfulness helps towards improving grades at school, with a increase in sleeping due to stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system and motivation to work hard and be successful at school. A relaxing ‘time out’ leaving you feeling more positive and empowered.

Yoga is gentle and smooth on the body, aiding with deep relaxation, preparing you for the best experience while, before and after your exams.

Keep your goals clear in your mind.. Peace comes from within


What is self-doubt telling us? By Vicky Kelly

 Are those nagging, doubtful feelings telling you about your abilities, or something else?

What creates self doubt?

Let me start this by asking you a question…  Why do people experienced self doubt?  Is it because of:

  1. Their abilities and the circumstance in question?
  2. Their thoughts?
  3. Both?

95% of people who read this will answer “3. Both”. How do I know this? We all have a deep knowing that our thoughts affect our feelings, so when someone points to this it feels true.  Thoughts and feelings both being generated from within.  Yet it looks like our circumstances and abilities are also playing a part.  This is the illusion of the human experience and we are conditioned to believe that this is the case.  But it only happens one way.  Self doubt is created from within.  Bear with me on this…

We all know that the earth orbits the sun, don’t we?  Yet it looks like the sun orbits the earth doesn’t it?  It comes up on one side of the horizon and goes down on the other.  But if I posed the same questions, the answer cannot be ‘both’ can it?  So why would it be for the human experience?  if self doubt was from abilities/circumstance, then it would always be the same 100% of the time. Yet we could have an experience on one occasion and feel self-doubt, and on another occasion feel confident.

self doubt

What creates self doubt – thought or the circumstance?


What does Self Doubt mean?

The ‘problem’ (so to speak) with self doubt is that people take it seriously. They believe that their doubtful feelings are some kind of instinct warning them that they might fail, and so they really shouldn’t do the thing they are doing.  Or they really need to be careful that they don’t get found out that they aren’t actually any good at what they are doing.  Or they need to work really hard to get better at it, and apply mental techniques to overcome this feeling.  However this isn’t what self-doubt is telling them at all.  All the feeling of self doubt is doing, is alerting them to the fact that they are experiencing thought about their abilities in that moment.  The thought is neutral. It is not the truth, or relevant, it’s simply a construction from within.  It is not an instruction.

We all experience thousands of thoughts a day, many of which we dismiss as irrelevant or nonsense immediately.  Like the thought I had about which of my cousins is the most normal…. Irrelevant AND nonsense!  So I didn’t make anything of it – other than it being an interesting illustration of the fact that we have plenty of thoughts all the time that we don’t need to take seriously.  Thoughts of doubt about your ability are no more significant that my musing on which of my cousins was the least quirky (we’re all pretty weird by the way).

All that self doubt means, is that you are thinking.  You are experiencing thought in the moment.  Your thoughts have gone a bit wayward, so the doubtful feeling is a kind message from your body to let you know that you have temporarily forgotten how able you really are.  It’s your body’s way of letting you know that you have got caught up in thought, and thus you are blocking the path of your innate ability and intelligence.

self doubt thoughts

When experiencing self-doubt, your thoughts are blocking your wisdom.

What should you do about self doubt?


You weren’t expecting that answer were you?  And why would you!  We exist in a society where ideas around positive thinking techniques are pervasive in the field of self help, so no doubt you were expecting me to suggest something that you need to do to change how you feel.  The truth is that the way that you feel will change on its own.  That’s how your psychological immune system works.  It’s a self correcting system.  We move from a state of being caught in thought and ‘bound up’ to a state of free flowing energy and wisdom.  Self doubt is simply telling you that you are bound up.  Caught in thought.  All you need to do is know that the system will correct itself.  If you try to do something about it, you are trying to fix what isn’t broken and you will stay in the bound-up self doubting state for longer. Affirmations do not work in the long term!

Self doubt is telling you 100% that you are thinking and 0% about your abilities.  Do nothing about it and soon enough your self doubt will have been replaced with a different experience.  The system is perfect and the problem is out of your hands.  What a relief!


Want to explore this further?

That’s what I love to hear!  I do coaching with individuals or groups on this inside out understanding.  Please get in touch to have a chat – no obligation, let’s just see how we get on.




Anxiety – Switching the Negative Focus

When in an anxious state, if we concentrate on it negatively in a bid to try and stop it, this is often counterproductive. (When has telling someone to calm down ever worked!) Anxiety is a feeling we need to acknowledge.
We can’t simply tell our brain to not feel something it’s experiencing, we have to teach it to recognise the feeling for what it is, just a feeling, and this recognition means embodying an acceptance of it too.
Anxiety in itself isn’t dangerous, but our actions or feelings around trying to suppress it could be. We cannot conquer anxiety with aggressive attempts at repression or oppression, we must calm it with kindness, reassurance and understanding.
This non-aggressive approach doesn’t mean we are allowing our anxiety to win. In fact let’s not think of it in terms of winning or losing. Anxiety isn’t trying to sabotage us, it is trying to protect us.
If we move towards the anxiety with kindness and compassion we can begin to help it calm and become less reactive. If we starve the anxiety of our negativity we starve the panic of its fuel. Treating anxiety in this way can help interrupt the anxiety cycle.
This is not a quick fix however. Our thoughts and patterns of behaviour have become entrenched and hardwired over time but they may have lost their relevance. Thoughts become outdated patterns, instructions that no longer fit our reality. So let’s be sympathetic to our old coping mechanisms but in doing so let’s also be aware of the here and now and allow ourselves to protect ourselves with our whole brain and not just with crippling fear.
Anxiety and the withdrawn child.
My work with Tamzin.
I always knew art and creativity could be empowering for children. That is why I trained as a creative arts therapist. Then I met Tamzin.
   Tamzin (not her real name) was 5. She often cried at school and seldom spoke to her teachers or anyone. It wasn’t stubbornness that was clear. She followed instructions willing enough but there was a frozeness about her as if she was barely present in any real sense at all. When I observed her in the outside play area it wasn’t even clear she was playing, her engagement was so minimal. Joy seemed to be very much absent.
   Upon her referral I was asked if I could “do therapy” with a child that didn’t speak. Inside I was secretly delighted even to be asked to. The quieter child often gets overlooked, goes unnoticed, becomes invisible and slips through the net. In my younger days I was one of those children. It was drama that saved me and creative therapy, with its use of non-verbal expression, was perfect for children such as her.
   In our first session, although she came to the room without hesitation, when I suggested we draw, it was too big for her to even reach for a pen. I handed her one, it was the only one she used. Everything in her picture was the same colour.
   The second session was pretty much the same. In the third, she took her own pen. What a moment!
   The drawing gave us opportunity for some tentative conversation. I didn’t hurry her, I gave her time. She set the pace.
   The truly transformation moment came when a pen rolled off the table. Without a thought I picked it up and playfully spoke to it about its attempt at escaping. There was a flicker of a smile. I didn’t comment on it, but it didn’t go unnoticed. As I placed the pen back on the table another one rolled off. I reacted. There was definite interest. I expanded the play to include the other pens in an animated dialogue about wanting to get away from each other. Laughter. I continued this game for a while before I noticed the silence. When I looked at Tamzin she was crying. I expressed curiosity about the contrast. “I want my mum.” She said. I didn’t try to stop the tears. I didn’t tell her it would be okay. I took her hand and held it loosely. Loosely so she could take it away if she wanted to, if my holding became too much. The tears stopped and we went back to drawing together still sat hand loosely in hand, for the rest of the session. I stayed with her in her pain and longing and allowed it just to be.
   Her frozeness was masking a deep and painful fear. If she had fun away from mum it felt like a betrayal. This primary attachment was the cause of her anxiety, it was suffocating the life out of her.
   With further work her world expanded. Although our sessions ended prematurely, in our short time together, her anxiety markedly diminished. To see her now it’s like a weight has been lifted.
   Anxiety doesn’t only present as quiet as it did in this case. Anxiety can make us hit out, make us hurt those we’re most frightened of losing. Although designed to keep us safe it can be life limiting if we let it. It takes patience, it takes understanding but it can be calmed. What I know from my experience working with Tamzin is that it can be incredibly empowering and freeing if we’re brave enough to face it and let it go.


Hay fever is a hypersensitivity to airborne allergens such as flower pollen and grass which should be on way. Microscope of PollenFor those who breath in this allergen, it creates an immune response because their immunoglobulin (IGE) antibodies release multiple inflammatory modulators, most notably histamine. Histamine is the chemical compound responsible for the symptoms of allergies including

Red itchy watery eyes.

Nasal congestion and excess catarrh.

Sneezing running nose.



The question to ask is why the client is displaying such allergic reaction in the first place. We need to focus on addressing the Immune system itself by strengthening it, with what you are consuming food and liquid, herbs, and lifestyle adjustments. 

Natural Therapies at Therapy Life Centre


However, recent studies suggest that acupuncture treatment is able to modulate immune suppressed or immune-activated conditions through various immune functions, including the activities of macrophages, neutrophils, NK cells and lymphocytes, immunoglobulin production, and complement systems.

That is, acupuncture has been shown it is able to lower Immunoglobulin-E levels and thus reduce inflammation; exactly what antihistamines do what without the side-effects!

Does Acupuncture hurt?

Generally, acupuncture does not hurt. Some people feel the needles as they go in, and some people feel nothing. Acupuncture needles are solid needles, not hollow like hypodermic needles, and they are much, much thinner – about the diameter of a thick human hair.

How long does it take to feel relief?

 Some people notice a difference immediately, but I would recommend a course of 6 treatments leading up to the hay fever season.

Herbs & Other Natural Remedies 

Milk Thistle

Best known for liver damage and protecting liver from chemical and inflammatory damage. Combating symptoms of allergies including hay fever. Milk Thistle helps by breaking down the the liver proteins of the allergens thereby minimising the allergic response.


A powerful Antioxidant helps reduce inflammatory, as well as bio-flavonoid which stabilises mast cells preventing them from releasing histamine, recommending 4- 6 weeks prior Hay fever season.


Noninflammatory, anti histamine, anti-catarral and astringent and removing symptoms of Hay fever. If dried use cold as a eye wash.

Nettle Leaf

Antihistamine & anti-inflammatory properties, recommending 5 – 10 ml nettle tincture 3 times per day.

Vitamin C

Destroying the histamine and making the Immune system stronger. Recommending 1000mg, 3 times a day.


A good diet must  be in place along side herbs to gain a stronger immune system such foods like leafy greens, garlic, horseradish, high content water fruits and deep yellow and orange vegetables. Increase omega 3 fatty acids and pro -biotic intake. 

Quick fix drink

Teaspoon of Honey, 1/2 Lemon, 20 – 30 Mint leaves, 1/2 Grapefruit, 1 cup of pineapple, 3 inch of ginger. 

Turmeric & honey & water



Anger the tip of the Iceberg

What Jamie Taught Me About Anger.

   Jamie (not his real name) was my first ever client during my training as a child creative arts counsellor.
   He was referred because of his behaviour. He was out of class more than he was in and struggling. Although his school had a nurture unit they thought he could do with some extra support. He was just about to turn seven and due to go to junior school.
   In our first session I asked him why he thought he was being sent to see me “because I have anger issues” he said. I asked him what that meant and he shrugged. We were to spend a very interesting five months together!
   Creative therapy is a great way to work with anger because it enables exploration without direct confrontation. Even if cut of from experience connection to feeling can be made through drawing, visualization and bodywork.
   Most of my work with Jamie happened via storytelling and role play. It was through his creation of a character he named the ball of energy that he managed to express his innermost feelings. The ball of energy in his story was drowning and no one was coming to help. There it was, his life experience laid bare through metaphor. What lay underneath the anger was a great deal of hurt and pain and devastating sadness and despair.
   I played my part as he told his story even though I was unsure where it was leading and my doubts as to whether I should. I had to trust the process and honour the faith he had in me to hold and contain these huge feelings.
   We revisited this story a couple of times. I knew it was important, I wanted him to know that, I wanted to make sure I got it right. At this stage the story had no ending. It didn’t feel right to offer up one. It would have been wrong to try and neatly tie it up, make it better, it didn’t fit his experience.
   As we came towards the end of our time together we were able to come up with an ending together. I went home and wrote it up making it into a book and in our last session I gave his story back to him.
   We were both much changed by our time together. I truly believe we wouldn’t have got there without the use of creative therapy. It not only helped him connect with his feelings it gave him a means to express them and enabled me to support him without offering false hopes.
   Our early work on connecting anger with the body helped him to gain greater awareness of his inbuilt warning signs and we practiced ways to counteract these signals, to help him self sooth and self regulate. Once we had calmed the loudness of the angry voice we were able to hear the quieter cry of sadness. Through staying with the sadness it grew into a wail before finding its ultimate release.
   I have worked with many children since Jamie who were presented as having “anger issues”. All have had their story to tell through one creative medium or another. As I help facilitate expression in this way I always feel immensely privileged and humbled by their bravery.
   Anger is the label but it’s only the beginning of the story. For all those I have helped since, thank you Jamie for teaching me that.

Chocolate Gong

“I slept fantastic and felt really positive the next day.” Sharon

Ben Saxon has been hosting popular gong baths in Essex and London for the last 5 years.
This is one session that you can really indulge in.

Summer is on it’s last legs as we rapidly move into the twilight weeks of August. If the pressure of getting the kids ready for school, or preparing for college/university proves to be a bit too much, take your relaxation into your own hands with Chocolate Gong, hosted by our very own Ben Saxon.

Chocolate Gong is a modern interpretation of an ancient method of meditation. The gong has been used in spiritual ceremony as far back as the Bronze age. The cosmic sound which the gong creates draws the mind away from the folly of modern life and removes one from their day-to-day thoughts. This is combined with the chocolate aspect, high-quality raw chocolate is used, which contains no dairy, making it accessible to anyone. The use of chocolate in a ceremonial capacity is a tradition amongst South American shamans.

You will be ‘bathed’ in the healing vibrations of the gong, a healing instrument that has gained popularity for its ability to take you to a deep relaxed space of both body and mind along with its ability to put the body into a natural state of balance.

At the start of this session there will be a short seated yoga warm-up to release surface level tension in the body.  Your healing will also be enhanced by a raw chocolate drink prepared to a traditional South American recipe (this drink will produce a naturally elevated feeling, lifting your energy and allowing you to relax)

You will need…
Loose clothing comfortable enough to lie down in, feel free to bring pillows and blankets for extra comfort as well as a water bottle to hydrate fully after.

Yoga mats will be supplied.



Chocolate Gong usually takes place on the first Thursday of every month however, Christmas/New Year dates are as follows:

  • December 14th
  • January 11th

**Sessions are available from £20 each, book all four and pay only £60**

The chocolate drink is optional and ingredients can be given on request.



Metal and Autumn: a blog by Steve Coster

Always seem to be catching colds?  Your Metal may be out of balance!


Don’t you love the autumn?  It’s that time of year where once again nature is in transition; it is preparing for the winter, taking stock before the time of renewal in the spring.  As the days shorten and the leaves turn a golden brown and fall to the ground, it’s also a time that we should be retreating; a time to gather round the fire with our loved ones (or the central heating for most of us now!) taking stock of all that we have done and achieved throughout the year, but preparing for the long cold nights of winter and making plans for next year.

About this time of year I see a lot of people who have a cold, and they often tell me that the changing of the seasons affects their health.  So why might this be?  In Chinese Medicine we associate the Metal element with the autumn, and, on a physical level, the lungs and colon.  In our human lifetime, Metal is the time of letting go, a time of tranquility, peace and wisdom.  In the autumn of one’s life it is a time of withdrawing from outside involvement and looking for meaning within.  We must ‘let go’ to face the limits of life.


 Yin organ: Lungs

Yang organ: Colon

Colour: White

Season: Autumn

Climate: Dryness

Flavour: Pungent


So what happens if we don’t (or can’t) let go? Well, if we don’t let go of the summer and continue to wear less, stay up late and eat summer foods, we are more susceptible to viruses and the cold.  Or, put another way, if we are not in tune with the changing of the seasons (or nature), our Qi may be weakened and therefore our defences are down.

Mistiming the transition of the seasons is something we are all prone to, however, and that’s why we all get colds every now and then.  But some of us seem to get more colds and worse colds than everyone else.  If this is you, it might be because your Metal element is out of balance.

And this is where Acupuncture can help you.  When our elements are out of balance, we are ill.  This might mean you are more susceptible to weather changes, or it might mean things are just not right.  In the case of a Metal imbalance, you may have a dry cough and a sore throat (Lungs) or you could be constipated (Colon).  In either case, the ‘letting go’ function is impaired.

Acupuncture is able to stimulate the free flow of the body’s energy and therefore its natural healing response.

If you would like to know more about Acupuncture and how it can help you, please call me on 07909 521847 or at the Therapy Life Centre on 01702 433959.

Steve Coster










So what happens if we don’t (or can’t) let go? Well, if we don’t let go of the summer and continue to wear less, stay up late and eat summer foods, we are more susceptible to viruses and the cold.  Or, put another way, if we are not in tune with the changing of the seasons (or nature), our Qi may be weakened and therefore our defenses are down.


Mistiming the transition of the seasons is something we are all prone to, however, and that’s why we all get colds every now and then.  But some of us


Mystic Holistic Yoga Workshop with Paula Lotus Rose


Sunday 29th October 2017    3.30-6pm    £25

Mystic asana exploration, discover Mudra & Mantra magic & nourish your spirit with the power of Yoga Nidra. Gain insight with the primordial power of the cosmos; as we move into meditation, let’s release, let go and shift our thoughts to inner restoration, holistic wellness and preparation for our 3rd eye awakening.

Enter a place of stillness…this is the challenge of Winter initiated by Samhain, simply being where you are, not moving forwards or backwards, simply being utterly present. It here we listen to the voices in the crackling fire, rain & wind, entering Winter dark season of the year is for dreaming & remembering.

Honouring ourselves by entering that still place within, connecting with universal energies  through our Yoga practice.  Asana, pranayama, mudra & mantra lead us into Yoga Nidra to nurture new dreams & sow seeds in the dark, nourishing our spirit; & through this period of rest we find rejuvenation & renewal.

EVERYONE Welcome – workshop suitable for all levels & abilities.

Please wear comfortable layers, bring own Yoga mat if preferred although mats are provided

Inform Paula of any health issues & or injuries prior to workshop via email

email:      web:    FB: Paula Lotus Rose

Bookings & Payment via Paula 07958 682172

Paula Lotus Rose

Paula has been living, practising & studying spirituality, natural beauty therapy & holistic healing therapies; here in the U.K. & on her international travels & Yoga; including Yoga therapy, Meditation & Ayurveda in India whilst walking the Yogini path & living a holistic lifestyle.   Drawn to reside in the South East coastline, yearning for a high vibrational Earth connection, since living a beach life in India, has brought her to Leigh-on-Sea Essex.  Paula’s workshops are also inspired by another lifelong fascination, Astrology & also  the Seasonal & Moon cycles, due to their energetic influences.. This has encouraged self enquiry, a life-long personal development & extensive training courses leading to an all encompassing daily yoga & meditation practice. Paula thus discovered the transformative effects of Yoga on her wellbeing & amalgamated her knowledge to teach classes workshops & training courses alongside a Holistic therapy practice. Her pleasure & honour is to share these universal gifts & help support others to be the best they can be on their own journey.



Menopause and You by Lorraine Whitby

Menopause and You by Lorraine Whitby

Menopause itself does not have to be problematic, or symptomatic, but many of my clients ask for help and support at this time:

  • Hot flushes, Night Sweats
  • Tiredness
  • Irritable, mood swings, anxiety
  • Memory loss, confusion
  • Low libido, discomfort during sex
  • Skin dryness or thinning, blemishes
  • Heavy or irregular periods
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Increased PMS, Breast tenderness
  • Urine incontinence
  • Feelings of overwhelm, not coping
  • Weight gain, difficulty losing weight

Peri-menopausal and Menopausal Symptoms – that are caused by the increasing imbalance between oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone – tend to be worse if this quite normal transitional phase of a woman’s hormone cycle comes at a time when a woman is run down, deplete, nutritionally deficient, unwell or stressed. So for example, if you have been on anti-depressants long term as you come into menopause, or have been dealing with any long term stress that remains unresolved, it is likely that your body and mind will find it harder, and will need more support at this time. It could even be something as seemingly unrelated as suffering whiplash, or having a chronic dental infection preceding peri-menopause that leaves your body less resilient and more susceptible to menopausal symptoms.

Again, if nutrition has been unbalanced, due to a busy life, especially if you have become deplete in minerals and healthy oils, there will not be the resources needed to cope easily at this time. Herbs can be very nourishing and supportive at this time – such as sage, black cohosh, wild yam –  as the nutrients in certain herbs at a molecular level mimic our female hormones, triggering balance, which is why they are called phytoestrogens.

The menopause can highlight the need to take care of yourself, and Lorraine offers many approaches that identify what you may need to support you at this time. For example, a Cell Well Being hair scan – using 3 strands of hair – will provide an epigenetic hair report that will indicate what foods and supplements you need for 90 days, to function at optimum.

Magnesium is essential at this time – the correct type and doses supports deeper sleep, stress management, and PMS. A lesser known but excellent benefit is that it strengthens the bladder…

Throughout Menopause, balance is needed to be achieved in our mind, body and energy, so the effective natural approaches that Lorraine offers such as Homeopathy, Kinesiology, sound nutritional approaches including hair mineral analysis or Cell Wellbeing hair scan, Bio-resonance, and hypnotherapy can support you and alleviate your symptoms.

Lorraine Whitby LCPH Homeopath and Integrative Complementary Therapist


Self Defence

Self Defence

Are your children off on their own? Travelling, going Uni or just out with friends? Would you like for them to know how to protect themselves?

There is nothing better than having the peace of mind that you and your loved ones are safe!

But do you actually know how to protect yourself or anyone else in a bad situation? You may think you’re fine because you’re physically fit or because you don’t think it would ever happen to you.

But the amount of reassurance that comes with knowing that you’re truly prepared is an unexplainable boost of confidence!

The benefits of self-defence

There are so many positives other than the obvious when learning self-defence! Learning self-defence can help boost your confidence, it contributes to building self-discipline, it can help improve your physical conditions and so much more!

Empower yourself with the knowledge that you can protect yourself and others! 

Gary Hogben has over 35 years of experience in Martial Arts & self-defence; you will be taught the necessary manoeuvres and will learn about awareness, avoidance & the laws of reasonable force!

This course will teach you the simple but effective way to be protected against stronger, bigger aggressors while also including defence against knife violence!

(As this course will include lethal techniques attendees will need to be over 18)

It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, everyone can benefit from knowing how to protect themselves, big or small you can learn to stay safe!

For £25 per person, and if you are a past attendee it is only £18

Booking is essential so call us on 01702 433959