The holiday let down

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Well I’m at a bit of a loss for inspiration this week after arriving back from a warm winter break in Fiji to the strong icy winds that we have blowing here at the moment.  All I really want to do is snuggle up in bed with a good book!!  So following that thought I’ve decided to just go with the ‘lazy flow’ and share my e-books with you ….. in case you have the urge to snuggle up with a book too 🙂

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Take it Easy

In this busy interconnected and wired-up world stress seems to be a natural part of daily life. Right? Wrong! Life doesn’t have to be a rush. What if you could take it easy and create a ‘stress-less’ life for yourself? With my simple tools and ideas you can discover simple ways to reduce your stress and be on your way to creating exactly that – A ‘Stress-Less’ Life. This e-book will guide you through five simple steps to help you create a life where you are enjoying your days and experiencing less stress while improving your health and well-being.

 

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Magnificent Mamas (really for anyone though as it has all my pearls of wisdom in it)

Regain balance, rediscover the joy in each day and live your dream with this 12 week program. Life is busy and when children are added to the mix life can get hectic. Often it is easy to lose sight of the things that really matter and forget to give time to yourself along with remembering your dreams. Now Magnificent Mamas with take you through week by week to create the life that you want and can have. There are tips and ideas for finding balance, for self- care and for achieving your goals and dreams.

 

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Creating a Vivacious You

Losing weight and feeling great doesn’t have to be complicated or cost lots of money. In a world where we are bombarded with new ‘diets’, ‘quick fix’ solutions and numerous products for improving our lives it is easy to forget that actually the basic rules for having health and well-being still apply. This book guides you through some ‘back to basics’ steps which will help you to feel healthier, feel happier and help create your ideal body.

 

 

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Finding Calm and Balance

This comprehensive guide has everything you need to use Bach Flower Remedies with confidence. Find out how you can begin to gain more balance, more calm and less stress naturally through using Bach Flower Remedies. This guide covers what Bach Flower Remedies are, how to select them for yourself and others, how to use them and affirmations to support your chosen remedies along with a section on using Bach Flower Remedies with children. If you are interested in becoming healthy naturally and healing then this is a must have book for you.

 

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Mother’s Little Helper

Discover easy, natural remedies and ideas for healing your children with Mother’s Little Helper by Yossarian Fay. This book is loaded with ideas to help you to continue on your journey of Becoming Healthy and ensure your children are becoming healthy too. There are recipes, kitchen cures, a section on using Bach Flower remedies with children, information on how to use EFT and reflexology with your children, making this a must have book for your collection.

 

Hope this finds you relaxed, mentally nourished and ready to enjoy the week ahead

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

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Winter Wellness – Part 6 – Lymphatic system

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This will be the final part of my Winter Wellness series.  I hope you have enjoyed it and found it useful,  I’d love to hear from you if there is something else you want to know about or you think I could cover otherwise next week it will be back to recipes 🙂  This final ‘Winter Wellness’ post is taken from an article I wrote a while back on the benefits of Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage Treatment, which I’m trained in, and which came to mind as I had two calls last week about reflexology treatments in this area.

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Getting some exercise with themselves before the next rain shower

It does read more like an article still than a blog post; I have tried to adapt it a bit ….. though no sense in re-inventing the wheel is there? 😉  Anyway, here it is in all its glory and if you are interested in treatments then it won’t be too long before I will have my clinic in one place again, as opposed to the home visits I now offer. Exciting times ahead!

Our health depends on many things but maybe two of the most important are the body’s ability to circulate blood and lymphatic fluid.  The importance of blood you likely know however the Lymphatic system is just as important as it is this system which helps defend the body against disease by clearing waste and toxins, by helping maintain fluid balance in the tissues and by absorbing fats from the intestines to transport back to the blood.  In fact it is a vital system in our bodies as without it our cardiovascular system won’t work and our immune system would be hard-pressed to cope.

The Lymphatic system is designed for transportation and as such it needs to keep moving.  There are fluids found between the cells or which actually seep out of the cells (intercellular fluid) which slowly begin to accumulate and must be returned to the cells and the blood stream to help maintain homeostasis in the body.  This is where the lymph system comes in; it gathers those fluids, checks it, filters it and then returns them to your blood via the subclavian veins just above the heart.  Unlike the circulatory system however (in which blood flows) the lymphatic system (in which lymph fluid flows) doesn’t have a pump and needs us to move our bodies in order to have the lymph fluid moving.  This system relies on movement of our muscles, their ‘milking’ action, and the changes in the thorax through deep breathing to keep it flowing.

This means that if you lead a sedentary lifestyle your lymphatic fluid may not be flowing as it should and your lymphatic system may be hampered, causing toxins and waste to build up within our bodies. The more waste left in our system the harder our body has to work.  Our body is effectively running on a system of ‘tubes’ and ‘fluid’ so when toxins and waste clog these up we suffer!  Think of a river. When it is flowing it is clear and clean, when it is not flowing it begins to stagnate then it becomes a perfect home for bacteria and disease to build.  The Lymphatic system is no different.  At first it may be a sluggish feeling in the morning or a headache which we just can’t seem to find the cause of.  Eventually it can cause much more serious issues within the body such as swelling, arthritis, skin disorders and more.

Thankfully there are many actions we can take in our lifestyle to help the Lymphatic system work better and ensure that it is doing its job.  In using preventative measures, we can improve and promote our health and well-being while avoiding dis-ease in our bodies. As the Lymphatic system is important in this it makes sense to keep it flowing and healthy and it is important.  As a reflexologist of course the first thing I think of is to have a Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage Massage which will work on the lymphatic system while allowing you to relax and de-stress.   It is an excellent support to the Lymphatic system, especially if you have trouble with mobility and best of all it will help you feeling more relaxed and lighter at the end of a session.  It is a very unique and special thing to have.

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There are some cases where having a Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage Massage is not recommended however and these include: cases of cardiac or renal impairment, first trimester of pregnancy, cases of Deep Vein Thrombosis, having high or low blood pressure or if the foot if injured in any way.  If you are not quite ready to treat yourself to a reflexology lymphatic drainage routine or you feel that it isn’t for you then there are many things you can do at home, in your everyday lives, to ensure that you are keeping a healthy lymphatic system which will help to have a good immune system too.  Try some of the following out:

Exercise– this will help to keep your lymphatic system flowing and moving as it ‘massages’ it into action.

Good Food– a healthy diet means that less toxins and waste products end up in your system. Eating over processed, sugary foods may over load the lymphatic system.

Drink plenty of water– the body needs water to keep everything working properly, including the lymphatic system.

Deep breathing– this ensures that your cells are healthy and oxygenated along with stimulating the lymphatic system.

Dry brushing– long strokes towards your heart for around 5 mins before a shower will stimulate the lymphatic flow.

Herbal teas– they are great mixture of hydration, favour and medicine (depending on what you have).

Use natural beauty products– means less toxins coming into your system via the skin which gives the lymphatic system less of a load.

Wear loose clothing– this lets the lymphatic fluid flow where as tight clothing tends to slow the whole thing down.

Hope this finds you having a great start to the week and ready for all there is to come.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Winter Wellness – Part 5 – Cold & Flu fixes

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Our days here have been very varied lately … one day overcast and rain the next bright sunshine and balmy temperatures.  It is hard to know whether you’re coming or going!  I’m not complaining though as while I love the warm days for my morning walks with the dog, I am also very partial to inside days where I can snuggle up with a good book, especially now that the study has finished and the exam completed.

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Picnics with the chickens in the sunshine – as viewed from out back window

Even with all the temperature changes we have thankfully got through winter pretty much illness free… touch wood … however now that the stress of my exam has passed, I can feel my body relaxing and clearing a few things it was obviously ‘storing’ up until I was less stressed.  It’s murphy’s law I guess that as soon as you go on holiday or have a break those cold or flu viruses get you. The body loves coming back into balance and will take every opportunity to do so 🙂  Thankfully, that isn’t me at the moment but it did make me think about a few home cures which I regularly use to help feel a little better a little faster if those breaks from stress end up with my body succumbing to illness.

As always, they are very ‘back to basics’ ideas, ones that our ancestors probably used with success long before we were reaching for all those cold and flu medicines.  See if there are a few that will work for you.

Rest.  The verdict is out! Rest and sleep are the best treatment for most ills and for keeping others at bay.  Getting as much rest as possible early on, rather than pushing through, can help the body to fight the ‘bad guys’ before the bugs overwhelm the body. Sleep really is that good, so make sure you make time to snuggle up when you are feeling the effects of a cold or the flu.

Fluids. Replacing all the fluids you are losing via nose blowing and coughing is a really important part of helping your body heal.  Our bodies need water to function correctly so make sure the fluids are good quality; that is non-fizzy, decaffeinated, sugar free options.  Hot fluids can help loosen congestion so herbal teas (see below for idea) or slices of lemon with honey can be a good option and a soothing too.  It is also a perfect to time to make a big pot of soup that you can dip into through out the day, ensuring you get all the vitamins and fluids you need. Here is a great chicken soup recipe (from before we had vegans on-board)

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Fresh lemons ready for making some lemon tea

Wash your hands.  This seems like a really obvious one I know however it is easy to forget to wash your hands after each blow and/or sneeze when you’re wallowing in how grotty you feel.  Colds are spread easily, both for you to ‘catch’ the first time and to re-infect yourself, through virus-infected airborne droplets or by direct contact with infected secretions so by washing your hands regularly you can cut down the risk to yourself and others in the family.

Herbs.  Using the healing properties of herbs to boost your health can be an easy, and often overlooked, aid to healing.  Try out some of these herbs in your meals or make a soothing cup of tea with them.  While gathering fresh herbs from your garden is delicious, dried herb will have stronger medicinal properties and may be easier to access when you’re feeling under the weather. Sage is a great one for helping with sore throats as it is both an antiseptic and an analgesic. Basil can ease headaches. Thyme is a tried and true herb for coughs. Rosemary for helping to clear the head.

Food.  Eating real, fresh food (combined with herbs) is one of the best way to get any extra nutrients that your body may need.  It can be easy to grab quick and easy processed/packaged kai (food) however this isn’t always going to serve your body well or help you get rid of those cold/flu symptoms any sooner. Garlic is a great addition to meals, as it is both an antibacterial and an antiviral food which will help knock those ‘bugs’ on the head.  Or you could do like my Mum used to and have it raw (chopped up very finely of course) in a honey sandwich! I have to admit that even as a vegan this is still my go to when I feel a cold coming on. Salt water gargles can also be a great way to get you on the road to recovery, another go to for me in the early stages, and an easy fix from home.

Hope this finds you happy, healthy and enjoying your day.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Winter Wellness – Part 2 – EFT

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Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is one of the healing tools I have in my kete (basket) which I have to admit was a bit out of my comfort zone the first time I tried it.  That was over a decade ago now and since then it has become an invaluable which never fails to make a positive difference in how I feel.  I regulary use it for relieving syptoms of discomfort and illness, with great results, so I thought you may like to try it too.

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Tapping on the karate chop point

As you may know, I believe that all our health and well-being, yes all of it, comes down to our emotions.  Our emotions dictate how we interact with the world and what we do in it.  If we are feeling safe, we are more able to make good choices in our life as we operate in more of a ‘rest and digest’ state of being. If we are feeling stressed, worried or scared a different part of our nervous system kicks in and we operate out of a ‘flight or fight or freeze’ survival mode where our decisions are based on what we think we need at that moment to survive.  Obviously, there are bugs out there that can make us sick however when we are operating in ‘survival mode’ due to us feeling stressed, worried, angry etc then our immune system is impaired which make that fact, bugs will make us sick, all the more likely to occur.

Our bodies can’t heal or fight disease in our bodies if we think our safety is compromised as it is too busy worrying about survival, which is where EFT can help.  Tapping (another name for EFT) works by tapping on meridian points, which studies have shown helps calm the amygdala (a part of the brain which plays a key role in processing emotions) and thereby helps clear emotional blocks within our system. While you tap you also say statements about the issue or how you are feeling – focusing on the negative to start with and then moving to the positive – which also helps to bring the body back to that all importance place of calm and balance.  In a nutshell EFT/Tapping assists you to move through the negative (sickness, emotions or pain) by combining tapping on certain points in the body and saying how we feel about the issue we have, simple as that!   It honestly is that easy, yet it is so effective and you don’t need to get ‘tied up’ about what to say either, rather just say how you are honestly feeling.

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The tapping points as portrayed by an amazing artist 🙂

Now at this point you may be saying ‘but a cold is physical, it has nothing to do with emotions’ and that is true to a point. There are two things that bring it back to the emotional though …. one, when we are stressed/angry/worried or rushing all the time our bodies go into survival mode which lowers our immune system, so allowing bugs in a little easier and two, everything we experience has an emotion attached to it.  So when we get that cold we may begin to wallow in how sick we feel, get angry about still having to do jobs, feel frustrated that being sick stops us from doing something and all of these emotions end up making us feel worse.  Tapping helps clear that emotional aspect which allows you to feel brighter and more able to cope.

Tapping/EFT is really easy to do and best of all you don’t even have to leave your bed to do it!  Even if you feel a bit silly to start with, tapping under your arm especially, after a few rounds it will help you to feel better.  There are loads of tap along videos on youtube ( I’ve listed a few below to try) however if you want a little one page quick guide, by yours truly, then here is a PDF to help you along.  If you want a more detailed look at EFT and how you can reduce your stress then try out my book ‘Take it Easy’ which you can purchased at Amazon, Smashwords and other online bookstores.  I will say though that while tapping at home and using youtube videos is great for relieving minor issues I do suggest that if anything comes up for you and you feel you have deeper work to do then please seek out a professional practitioner.

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Try out my e-book for a more detailed guide on reducing stress to improve health.

Cold and congestion tap along with Nivedita Mehta

Cold tap along with Beth Tuttle

Healing tap along with Brad Yates

Cold and flu tap along with Julie Schiffman

Hope this finds you getting a bit of relief and feeling healthier each day.

Arohanui
Y
www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Winter Wellness – Part 1 – Reflexology

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After five weeks of recipes and with winter officially here in NZ I thought I would begin a ‘Winter Wellness’ series of blogs.  As the Chinese proverb goes ‘The superior doctor prevents sickness; The mediocre doctor attends to impending sickness; The inferior doctor treats actual sickness.’  So I thought I would share a few tools and give the opportunity for you to all become your own superior … or at the very least mediocre …. doctor and get on top of your health before any of those dreaded winter lurgies appear  … or reappear 🙂

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Rainy day views

Each week over the next few weeks I will give a few suggestions for you to try. which can help you find some relief from winter lurgies or may help boost your immune system to keep them at bay completely.  These don’t replace medical advice of course, rather they can be used in conjunction with other techniques or medications you are using to help  bring your body back into balance and hopefully heal a little quicker.  Once your body has balance (we naturally want homeostasis in our bodies and the body strives for it at a physiological level) it has more energy to focus on healing and maintaining a healthy body.

Reflexology is a great tool for helping you bring your body back into balance and one that I love to use.  While I primarily give foot reflexology treatments to my clients, I know that this isn’t always the easiest option to use at home, by yourself, or when you’re out and about.  So for that reason I teach a lot of hand reflexology points during my workshops so that you can actually use this fantastic tool yourself.  The positive effects of hand reflexology are usually a little shorter lived than foot reflexology though thankfully it is easy to repeat as needed.  Best thing is that you can do some basic moves in the comfort of your own home.

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Ingham Method Map

I thought a one page hand out would be the best way to share (click here to download a PDF version) and a little video (thankfully the sun came out so that herself could video me in the light) to help you along the way … including a bit of eye rolling from me as himself runs in and out of the bus and I thought that I wasn’t having my face filmed!!!  Excuse our low tech productions ….  not that much room for lighting and screens in our 1956 Bedford 🙂 If you feel there is something that isn’t clear then please let me know so I can do another ‘take’. The most important thing is that you are mindful of your own wellbeing.  Stop if  you’re feeling pain, go easy on tender spots, ease up if things feel ‘too much’ and if you are concerned then see a health professional

Hope this finds you happy, healthy and working those hands to your benefit!

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Something for the cold nights

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Here we are back in the South Island after a quick trip up North for himself to do work.  For the first time I was really looking forward to getting back to the South Island and parking up the bus, which has to be a good sign I think,  and themselves were super excited to get back so they could snuggle some chickens!

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Themselves with Bertie and Gertie

While the days are gradually getting shorter and cooler I have been enjoying a delicious evening drink thanks to a post from the Minimalist Baker.  I have pretty much followed it by the book this time (I know shock, horror …. or as a friend used to say hock, shorror!)  Though as we didn’t have any ground black pepper in the bus, much to the disgust of himself, I decided to add a few grinds from our pepper grinder.  I’m not sure of the overall impact, as combining pepper and turmeric magnifies their effects, however I do know that I keep forgetting about my pepper ‘grinds’ and biting down on the lumps I find and, well ….. spicy bursts do occur!!

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Straight out of the fridge 

Anyway here is the recipe and to see more then please visit Minimalist Baker’s post.  You only need an old jar to shake the dry ingredients up in first then pour in the wet and stir.  I have been storing it in the fridge and using 1 heaped teaspoon full of an evening with some warmed rice milk.  There are loads of health benefits to this turmeric drink (which you can see on the original post) however I confess that I’m more about the taste which is why I’m still using this recipe, drinking it, enjoying it and sharing it with you 🙂

Evening Turmeric Drink Mix

4 TB ground turmeric

2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground black pepper – or if you’re daring a few grinds of the old pepper mill 🙂

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground clove

1 Tb melted coconut oil

4 Tb maple syrup

2 Tb hot water.

  • Mix (or shake) the dry ingredients up in an old glass jar – gotta love recycling!
  • Pour in the wet (water, oil and syrup) and stir until everything is blended.
  • Store, sealed, in the fridge until needed.
  • Mix 1-2 tsps with warmed milk (or milk alternatives) and stir well before enjoying.
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Almost ready to enjoy

Until next time I hope this finds you happy, healthy and revelling till your heart’s content

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Healing Hands Reflexology

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My mind is still filled with all those families who are now learning to live without their loved ones.  I constantly think about how magnified their emotions must be, not only with grief but also dealing with the way the loss occurred, of what the future holds and possibly a sense of uncertainly in their own community.

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For that reason I thought that I would share a bit of my Healing Hands workshop so that people can put it to use at home or out and about as they deal with the everyday stresses with everyday situations which may trigger huge emotions to surface.   Reflexology is such a great tool for well-being and since feet aren’t always that practical to get to when emotions arise, I love to use hand reflexology.  It is a bit of self love and soothing that you can be using, anytime, anywhere,  without anyone being the wiser.

Reflexology is a natural, holistic treatment which works on the principle that everything in the body is connected.  It is is a mixture of ancient wisdom and modern thinking where by the nerve endings in the feet and hands can be massaged in a particular way to help bring the body back into balance.  (Read more here)

What I’m offering here is a very basic guide as to where some points are in the hand which can help elevate the stress reaction as emotions come up.  The points shown in the images are ones you can rub and/or massage to help bring you some calm in order to move forward.  For the purposes of self calming and self love it really doesn’t matter how you approach the massage rather focus on breathing deep while holding the intention of calm and love with you as you work so that your body can respond in kind. In fact I would suggest any hand rubbing, twisting, shaking and clicking with the intention of release would be fantastic!

These points relate to parts of the body which frequently come into play as part of our stress (fight or flight) response.  Our breathing can quicken so rubbing the top of our palms (lung points) can help bring our breath back into balance. Our heads can spin so rubbing the fingertips (head, brain and sinus points) can help to bring clear thinking back into play.  Our shoulders and back tense up so rubbing the base of the little finger (shoulder point) and along the edge of our thumb and wrist (spine and nervous system) can ease the tension for example.

So without further ado I’ll let you look below and give it ago ……… don’t be shy, just try it and you’ll be impressed with how much more relaxed you can feel.  I was thinking about making a wee video of it all in action so if you think this would be helpful please leave a comment below and I’ll get cracking 🙂

Healing Hands Mini Stress Relief Routine

  • Pictures are all shown palms up.
  • Remember to take care of yourself so if anything hurts then ease up or miss it out. 
  • These are only guidelines, if you find a technique which is better for you then go with that. 
  • If it seems too much and overwhelming then just focus on one or two points to start with.
  • Breath as deep and slow as you can throughout the routine if possible. 

Begin with shaking out your hands then squeeze, twist and pull each thumb and finger. Rub hands together gently (front and back) while taking some deep breaths before starting the points below.

  1. Head and Brain points:  These are your finger tips.  Rub/massage in a circular motion with the thumb of the opposite hand or whatever feels good for you. This will help to bring calm and balance to the mind as well as hitting on some endocrine and sinus points.

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2. Chest and Lung points: This is the area is at the base of your fingers and the top of your palm.  You will feel the metacarpal heads (the other side of your knuckles) and the base of these is pretty much the lower part of this point.  Using the thumb or fingers of the opposite hand rub/massage across this area.  This will help to balance your breath and give more oxygen to the brain to bring calm.

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3. Diaphragm Points: This is at the base of the lung area or just below the bony metacarpal heads. Using the thumb of the opposite hand ‘caterpillar walk’ or rub across this line in both directions. Again this helps with bringing balance to the breath.

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4. Solar Plexus Points:  This is the in the centre of the diaphragm line above and in line with the middle of your palm.  You should press on this point with the thumb of the opposite hand while taking slow, deep breaths.  Do three breaths .. pressing in as you breath in and release at you breath out.  Repeat as many times as necessary to bring almost instant calm.

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5. Shoulder Points:  This are located at the base of your fingers and the section at the bottom of your little finger.  Using the fingers or thumb of the opposite hand work across the area … first the ‘line’ and then the section at the base of the little finger. Notice any tenderness (not pain just tenderness) and breath into it to help ease away the tension from this area of the body.

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6. Spine points: This area runs along the outside of your thumb and along the bottom of your palm.  There are various ways to work this area on  yourself so see which feels the most comfortable – work with thumb of opposite hand in a ‘caterpillar walk’ style, work with fingers of the opposite hand, rub with the whole of your opposite hand.  If you think of the tip of your thumb as your head then work up towards the head will bring more calm energy and working down towards the wrist will bring a relaxing calm.

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7. Adrenal Points:  These points are found near the fleshy part at the base of your thumb and likely to be found by the tenderness there.  Best worked in a gentle circular motion with the opposite thumb while the fingers of the opposite hand ‘cradle’ the hand being worked.  Remember to breath as deep as you can while working these points 🙂

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I hope this finds you safe and secure with another tool in your kete (basket) while feeling a little more calm.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz