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Hello, today is Sunday, July 14th, 2024 

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Barreres Fora Association for People with Physical disabilities - May 2017

barreres fora logo‘Barreres Fora’ is a newly formed charitable association based in Mora d’Ebre, fighting for improvements in accessibility for people with mobility difficulties in our towns and using public buildings in the Terres d’Ebre and beyond.

This covers wheelchair access, ramps, dropped kerbs, parking, pavement width, public building access, adapted toilets, etc...

There is no organisation of this kind south of Tarragona in Catalonia right now and there is a desperate need for one.

We provide support and advice regarding problems of accessibility/architectural barriers. Our aim is to make the town of Mora d’Ebre, a model of what an accessible town should be like. We strive to raise awareness of mobility issues by spreading the word - meeting and working with town councils, talking at schools and organizing events.

We would like to help any English-speaking people who need us as well

Contact us at or ‘like’ our Facebook page§ion=contact_basic

or ring us on 632 712 920 (english speakers can ring 977 402 599 and ask for Sarah).

Join us and become a member!

barreres team


Healthy mind in healthy body: lifelong exercise keeps the brain working better

healthy mindLifelong exercise can lead to improved brain function in later life, a study has shown.

People perform better in mental tests at the age of 50 if they have engaged in regular intense activity, such as playing sport, running, swimming or working out in the gym, since childhood.

More than 9,000 individuals took part in the research from the age of 11.

Interviews were conducted at regular age intervals to monitor levels of exercise. Participants also undertook tests of memory, attention and learning.

Those who had exercised two to three times per month or more from the age of 11 scored higher in the tests than those who had not.

Study leader Dr Alex Dregan, from King's College London, said: “As exercise represents a key component of lifestyle interventions to prevent cognitive decline, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer, public health interventions to promote lifelong exercise have the potential to reduce the personal and social burden associated with these conditions in late adult years.”

The findings are published today in the journal Psychological Medicine.

Government guidelines say that adults aged 19 to 64 should exercise for at least 150 minutes per week.

“It's widely acknowledged that a healthy body equals a healthy mind,” said Dr Dregan. “ However, not everyone is willing or able to take part in the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week. For these people any level of physical activity may benefit their cognitive well-being in the long-term and this is something that needs to be explored further.

“ Setting lower exercise targets at the beginning and gradually increasing their frequency and intensity could be a more effective method for improving levels of exercise within the wider population.”

Intense exercise appeared to provide greater benefit for the brain than regular moderate activity, said Dr Dregan.

“ Clinical trials are required to further explore the benefits of exercise for cognitive well-being among older adults, whilst examining the effects of exercise with varying levels of frequency and intensity,” he added.




Health self-help Toolkit March 2012

crohnsSharing one patient's experience after finishing 10 weeks of treatment recently after 15 years of chronic daily pain, a reminder that this new year of the water dragon brings the breezes of fresh energies available when we take the time to align ourselves with what is needed and listen to our bodies.
Thanks to you for your story. Taru

''I went for treatment for several different problems, originally  for massage for active back pain, then with the good situation I  found the way to trust and opened myself to tell about very personal things, the digestive problems I have been having every day for 15 years,  diarrhea & stomach pains. Because I could have treatment in several different ways, massage, acupuncture, & including the reiki healing towards the end of our sessions, it gives me so much positive energy that I can handle the aching better and the aching is less and less in just 10 weeks.
The energy work is so successful that l almost forget the active pain during the week & as I feel in such a good mood the pain gets less and less. It's like a ball, a circle, each helps the other. Because the right points are always being stimulated through the treatments they have no chance, they have to change for the better.At first with the stomach problems it took some weeks. The bloatedfeeling of air went first, I stopped feeling like I was pregnant all the time, then each week more and more benefit.
I think it's worth trying other routes apart from only the regular medical services with something like Crohn's disease. I tried kinesiology before. I never went the medical surgery route offered as I think that with that stomach Crohn's pain it's also affected by your psychological state. If you calm down inside and have more good energy, not all that nervousness inside, less fear, then it helps and no surgery can help in that way.
These things work when you find the right person to work with with theright understanding, with the right vibes.''
Thanks again.

Taru Burstall, Licensed in Acupuncture, Family Therapy, Pyschotherapy, Diploma in Therapeutic Massage. Racó de Salut Natural Therapies Centre, Plaça Jaume II, 8, El Perelló, Baix Ebre, 977 490 333, 629 301 509,,



HEALTHSymptoms that in Traditional Chinese Medicine show you may be particularly susceptible to the effects of 'Damp' in your internal &/or external environment include feeling tired & heavy, a stuffy chest, chronic blocked sinuses, muzzy head, lack of concentration, depression, overweight,, oozing discharges, loose stools, dislike of damp weather, & achey joints that are worse in damp or humid weather. Damp can turn into Phlegm if it builds up, causing lumps and bumps &  blocking things, not good, and we need to support the Spleen  organ particularly to transform water and food so that Damp & Phlegm don't bulid up. Damp goes down, it sinks and affects the lower body particularly as it is heavy & lingering. This is unlike Wind, which rises as does heat, but also moves around and changes quickly. Chinese medicine says Damp is the hardest ''influence'' to shift, slow and heavy, so how can you help prevent it or minimise its sticking around?

- Living in dryer conditions helps, as many of us have noticed moving over here with less damp related joint pain, so invest in a dehumidifier or damp-proof course if you live in a damp house or place.

- Our grannies were no fools & always aired their clothes in the airing cupboard to prevent rheumatism, removing any last traces of damp. Thye told us to always change out of wet clothes. If your clothes are wet from sweat do of course change but only after you have finished sweating: if you change before finishing the pores are still open and changing too early leaves you too unprotected, letting cold, wind & damp enter your body. Drying hair before going out or sleeping is also a good basic to prevent chest infections.

HEALTH- Some foods are Damp-forming and if Damp affects you it is worth avoiding excess of the following: dairy, fatty and fried foods, alcohol, wheat (bread, pasta, etc.), concentrated fruit juices (e.g. orange juice, tomato puree) and other sweet things, peanuts, bananas, and cold foods. A lot of these are sticky, like Damp itself. Some people think regular dairy intake is essential for avoiding osteoporosis, but there are plenty of other ways to get calcium. Onions, for example, are high in calcium.
- A diet to help counter Damp on the other hand would include plenty of unrefined grains like rice, rye, or millet, plenty of beans, soy products like tempeh and tofu particularly for women, some lean meat, a littlle fresh or cooked fruit though not fruit juices, and plenty of lightly cooked vegetables.

- Regular light exercise as ever is another counterweight against the voice of Damp with its sinking, heavy and lethargic suggestions which say to get basically horizontal whenever possible and miss the festa of life - just not an option.

Taru Burstall, Licensed acupuncturist and massage therapist, registered psychotherapist. Racó de Salut Natural Therapies Clinic, Plaça Jaume 11, 8, El Perelló. Tel. 977 490 333, Mob. 629 301 509.



Pass The Butter .... Please.
This is interesting . .. .

BUTTER IS NOT ONLY GOOD TO EAT..Margarine was originally manufactured to fatten turkeys. When it killed the turkeys, the people who had put all the money into the research wanted a payback so they put their heads together to figure out what to do with this product to get their money back.
It was a white substance with no food appeal so they added the yellow colouring and sold it to people to use in place of butter. How do you like it? They have come out with some clever new flavourings....

DO YOU KNOW.. The difference between margarine and butter?
Read on to the end...gets very interesting!
Both have the same amount of calories.
Butter is slightly higher in saturated fats at 8 grams; compared to 5 grams for margarine.
Eating margarine can increase heart disease in women by 53% over eating the same amount of butter, according to a recent Harvard Medical Study.
Eating butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other foods.
Butter has many nutritional benefits where margarine has a few and ONLY because they are added!
Butter tastes much better than margarine and it can enhance the flavours of other foods.
Butter has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for less than 100 years.

And now, for Margarine..
Very High in Trans fatty acids.
Triples risk of coronary heart disease ....
Increases total cholesterol and LDL (this is the bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL cholesterol, (the good cholesterol)
Increases the risk of cancers up to five times..
Lowers quality of breast milk.
Decreases immune response.
Decreases insulin response.

And here's the most disturbing fact.... HERE IS THE PART THAT IS VERY INTERESTING!

Margarine is but ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC... And shares 27 ingredients with PAINT
These facts alone were enough to have me avoiding margarine for life and anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is added, changing the molecular structure of the substance).
You could try this yourself:
Buy a tub of margarine and leave it open in your garage or shaded area, within a couple of days you will notice a couple of things:
No flies, not even those persistent fruit flies will go near it (that should tell you something)
It does not rot or smell differently because it has no nutritional value ; nothing will grow on it. Even those teeny weeny microorganisms will not a find a home to grow. Why? Because it is nearly plastic . Would you melt your Tupperware and spread that on your toast?
Share This With Your Friends.....(If you want to butter them up')!

Pass the BUTTER ... PLEASE




dogs go to yoga

Taking your pet to take relaxation classes and incorporate them into the exercises

dogs yogaThe days in which humans and their dogs were limited to a walk in the park are over. Now you may swim with them, they race down a field and may even practice meditation with you. The latest craze in Spain is to go to yoga with your pet. The technique called Doga, which is a new hybridized term combining Dog and Yoga and is an adaptation of Eastern art where the owner and the pet participate in it.
"Start by sitting down and start breathing. Let your dog find a place beside you, on whichever side is most comfortable to you both.

Concentrate, caresses, relax. "This is how to begin the ritual, according to actress and dogi master, Suzy Tietelman (, who started this craze in America when she decided to add her Cocker Spaniel Coali in the yoga routines adapted to relax not only her but her little dog. She began practicing yoga at her academy in New York back in 2002 and developed the technique around 2006. Today, thousands of people around the world practice the technique (in Spain, some centers may be found @ and follow their steps through the Internet.

The routines are modified to be in contact with the animal. They are placed on your lap, lying on your body, held in your arms ... The person caresses the dog and transmits its energy to create a unity between the two. Any contact such as touch, movement, stretching, breathing is acceptable ... They say that for those who practice Doga it helps to relax, exercise and create a common space with the person and the dog and serves to improve communication, mobility, reduce stress and even cure digestive problems.

Not everyone agrees. The proponents of traditional yoga – purists - are against these practices, as they say this distorts one of the oldest arts.


YOGA FOR ALL- Easing Stiff Joints Dec 2011

kermit lunge poseAs the weather cools in Autumn we can really start to feel our age! But with just a few stretches each day we can relieve pain and chronic stiffness through a series of exercises designed to literally lube up your joints and loosen your whole body. Yoga is a form of mind/body exercise that incorporates the holding of a position (pose) for a given amount of time. This is a good way to stretch the nearby muscles and connective tissue that surround the stiff joints. It can improve flexibility, posture and it can also aid in stress relief.

What your Stiff Joints are Telling You
Chronic stiffness and pain are natural mechanisms to alert you that something in your body is out of balance. If left unattended, they can lower the quality of your life, and ultimately become debilitating.
The problem is that many of us tend to work our muscles and do some stretches, but ignore our joints completely. Yoga offers simple and effective exercises to restore and maintain joint health and balance. And the best thing is that no special gear or athletic skills are required.

extended triangle poseHere's what you'll be able to do when you learn to improve joint mobility:
-Decompress and nourish your joints
-Release your muscle tension and tightness
-Reawaken your joints and feel enlivened
-Improve your posture without trying too hard
-Prevent stiffness after getting out of bed or sitting for a long time
-Improve your balance and prepare your body for unexpected challenges
-Reduce overall stress, compression and wear and tear on your joints

Extended Triangle Pose
A great yoga pose to ease stiffness in shoulders and hips at the same time is Extended Triangle. To do this, stand with your feet about three to four feet apart. Turn your right foot in slightly and turn your left foot out 90 degrees. Extend your arms out to your sides so they are parallel with the floor. Shift your hips laterally to your left and lean over to your right. Slide your right hand down your right thigh and lift your left arm straight up in the air. Look up at this hand while making sure not to strain your neck. Go as far over as you can and hold your leg. Both legs should be straight. Hold for 30 to 45 seconds, come up slowly, then change sides.

Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering local weekly classes and home tuition. Contact Sarah for more details on 663 140 297




Health self-help toolkit: Heart Protector (Pericardium) energy Dec 2011

heart protector channelThis important energy channel of the body runs from the breast down the centre of the inside of the arm ending via the wrist & palm at the tip of the middle finger. It is particularly connected with the quality of intimacy in our lives & used to soothe the spirit and reduce anxiety & fear. Nourishing this channel via key energy points on its pathway helps strengthen the core sense of safety necessary in order to have the fluidity to manage the inevitable ebbs and flows, slights and challenges, inherent in relationships. This allows us the nourishment which comes from sustaining relationships and friendships.

It is known as the heart protector since it functions as the gateway protecting the heart. Being open & alive, inevitably our hearts get bruised many times as we are willing to be open. If the protector energy is not well balanced sometimes along the way this can lead us to feel too vulnerable and over-exposed, as if our inner processes were on show to the world and we lack the necessary boundaries, or conversely we may create rigid walls which shield us from others but also lock ourselves in, ending up devoid of the fresh air, difference of perspective & humour so essential for lightening our worlds. Balanced Pericardium energy helps generate the compassion to soften the brittle judgemental-ness we can feel after being hurt, helping release any residues of revenge and mistrust. In this way we can again choose to shield or radiate as appropriate.

To help balance the heart protector energy some of the most useful points to hold gently and stimulate with steady finger pressure for a few minutes a day, or simply be aware of, are listed below. They are found between the 2 tendons you can feel running through the centre of the inner forearm when you make a fist; relax the arm and press.

P7: quiets the spirit, eases stress connected with a relationship breakup, calms fright palpitations & restlessness, & helps carpal tunnel syndrome (on the wrist crease)

P6: reduces anxiety, balances the heart and mind, releases chest tension, calms the stomach, & helps clear gall stones (3 finger widths above P7)

P5: good for insomnia, manic depression, for epilepsy, & strengthens the mind to lessen fear (4 finger widths above P7)

P4: reduces fear, particularly fear of surroundings and people, calms the mind, & helps palpitations (7 finger widths above P7)

These points can powerfully help reduce energies of fear and anxiety in our life, steadying our hearts and minds. Established with our sense of worth and safety we can once again, as Chinese medicine says, ''bless the world with our gaze''.

Taru Burstall, Massage, Licensed Acupuncturist and Psychotherapist, Raco de Salut Natural Therapies Centre, 8, Main Plaça, El Perelló.
977 490 333, 629 301 509



YOGA FOR ALL- Releasing A Tight Neck & Shoulders November 2011

neck pain



Sometimes we carry the world on our shoulders and added to this the head is the size and weight of a bowling ball on top of your neck. No wonder you get a little stiff and sore now and then!

The neck and shoulders take a lot of physical stress and abuse, turning, nodding, lifting, hunching and straining all day long. In fact, neck and shoulder problems are among the most common injuries. In addition to physical injury, we carry a lot of stress and tension in our necks and shoulders.

The following simple exercises can help relieve stiffness and tension, and help strengthen the neck and shoulders against injury.

However, please be careful when working with your neck and shoulders. Move slowly and deliberately. Pay attention to which muscles are being used and never go beyond your edge of comfort.


neck painneck painneck painneck painneck painneck pain

1. Chin-to-chest.
Inhale and as you exhale slowly lower your chin to your chest, creating a long, gentle stretch along the back of the neck. Take several slow, deep breaths with the chin down. Lift the head back up on an inhale. Repeat.

2. Ear-to-shoulder.
Inhale and then as you exhale slowly lower your right ear toward your right shoulder. It won't reach, but don't worry about it. Breathe into the gentle stretch created along the top of the left shoulder and left side of the neck. Take several slow deep breaths. Inhale and raise your head back up. Repeat on the other side.

3. Neck roll.
Follow the instructions for ear-to-shoulder, then roll the chin down toward the chest, across the chest and up the other side. Inhale and as you exhale roll the chin down across the chest and up the other side.

4. Shoulders-to-ears.
Inhale and raise your shoulders up to your ears, pulling them up as high as they'll go. Then let go with an "ahhh" and drop your shoulders back down. Repeat several times.

5. Shoulder circles.
Raise your shoulders up, rotate them back and down, forward and up again. Repeat several times then go in the opposite direction.

Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering local weekly classes. Contact Sarah for more details on 663 140 297




olive oilolive oil for healthy hair




The Wonders of Olive Oil November 2011


Olive oil is truly a great wonder of the world! Not only is it amazing and healthy to cook with, but it has numerous benefits for a beauty regimen!



Better than Butter
olive oil not butterWe already know, thanks to overwhelming research, that olive oil is an important part of a heart-healthy diet, with much less saturated fat and cholesterol than butter. You already know that we love baking with olive oil, especially in olive oil-centric goodies, but did you know that you can bake nearly anything with olive oil, and achieve a healthier, much more flavourful result? From cookies and cakes to muffins and breads, nearly all baked-goods can all be improved by partially or fully replacing the vegetable oil, shortening or butter called for in the recipe with olive oil.
Another great benefit of using olive oil in place of butter is that you actually need less, which means you save money along with calories and fat! Here's a handy chart to keep on-hand for determining the conversion:

1 teaspoon = ¾ teaspoon
1 Tablespoon = 2¼ teaspoons
¼ cup = 3 Tablespoons
⅓ cup = ¼ cup
½ cup = ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons
⅔ cup = ½ cup
¾ cup = ½ cup + 1 Tablespoon
1 cup = ¾ cup

oilve oil to bathe inThe Beauty of Olive Oil-
The main reason behind the effectiveness of olive oil for beauty is that it's rich in squalene, a natural emollient that penetrates skin without leaving a greasy film behind. Beyond that, it's packed with Vitamins A & E and a number of polyphenols that already make it a popular inclusion in beauty products." Opposite are 16 "other" great uses for olive oil:

1. A little extra virgin olive oil makes a fabulous substitute for foot cream. Just rub some on your feet before you go to bed, put on some socks and wake up with super soft tootsies.

2. Bad sunburn? Mix olive oil with white vinegar and apply before a warm bath to soothe and heal the burn.

3. Banish frizzy hair by putting a couple of drops of olive oil on dry hair.

4. Smooth generously onto hands before bed, put on white cotton gloves, and wake up with soft, youthful hands.

5. Dandruff issues? Mix olive oil with almond oil and leave on scalp for five minutes. (If it starts to burn, rinse it out.) Rinse well to clear hair of dandruff.

oilve oil for dry skin6. For a pampering bath, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to your bath to calm red, irritated skin.

7. Soothe chapped lips by smoothing on some olive oil.

8. Olive oil makes a great anti-aging moisturizer, since it contains polyphenol hydroxytyrosol, an antioxidant that helps to hold cell walls intact and thus reduce the signs of aging.

9. Apply a little olive oil to a Q-tip and use it as a makeup remover. (Yes, that's why the store-bought kind is often so oily!)

10. Soak thin, brittle nails and ragged cuticles in a small cup of olive oil to soften, smooth and strengthen them.

11. Massage olive oil into your hair, then leave hair covered with a shower cap for 30 minutes. Shampoo and discover softer, more lustrous hair with fewer split ends. For an itchy dry scalp, massage a bit of olive oil onto it.

olive oil for healthy hair12. Sensitive skin? Go easy on your legs by using olive oil as a shaving cream.

13. Slather on olive oil before braving the sun – it's rich in Vitamins A and E, keeping skin from drying out in the heat while protecting you from UV rays.

14. Rub on elbows and knees for intense moisturizing. (My elbows are actually soft now – I'm not kidding.)

15. For stained nails and fingers, simply add a few drops of lemon juice to olive oil and soak your fingers in it.

16. Apply a bit of olive oil to lips before bed or going out into the cold for a natural lip balm!







APPLE DAYApple Day is an annual celebration, held on October 21 each year, of apples and orchards. It is celebrated mainly in the United Kingdom.

Apple Day was initiated by Common Ground in 1990 and has been celebrated in each subsequent year by people organizing hundreds of local events. Common Ground describe the day as a way of celebrating and demonstrating that variety and richness matter to a locality and that it is possible to effect change in your place. Common Ground has used the apple as a symbol of the physical, cultural and genetic diversity we should not let slip away. In linking particular apples with their place of origin, they hope that orchards will be recognized and conserved for their contribution to local distinctiveness, including the rich diversity of wild life they support.

Apple Day events can be large or small, from apple games in a garden to large village fairs with cookery demonstrations, games, apple identification, juice and cider, gardening advice, and of course many hundreds of apple varieties.

More recently Apple Day has evolved into a weekend event, usually taking place on the Saturday and Sunday closest to Oct. 21st although a number of venues now simply use the term Apple Day for their own events which can take place anywhere in the second half of October.

The first Apple Day was on October 21, 1990 in Covent Garden, London.


APPLE DAYHealth benefits from apples

We all know that old adage about an apple a day keeping the doctor away, but did you know that apples are fabulous for beautifying our complexions? They are! The alpha-hydroxy fruit acids in apples are the greatest for sloughing off old tired skin so the fresh skin underneath can be revealed, and their pectin firms and tightens saggy skin–as well as healing inflammations and smoothing fine wrinkles.

Apples are mentioned in ancient literature as magical fruits sacred to many goddesses. Now it's autumn and the apples are round and ripe, ready to be picked so you can be a Goddess of Beauty with their help. Find out apples' secrets here–and learn why they're also great for your teeth and breath!

APPLE FOR HEALTHFor Teeth and Breath
The pectin in apples helps to neutralize food odors, so the next time you have garlic or onions, have an apple for dessert! The fibres also serve as a natural dental floss.

Honey of an Apple Glow Mask
This one really wakes up a dull complexion and it's fun, too! This formula combines the magical apple with sweet honey, a great humectant–meaning it will bring moisture to your skin.
1/2 cored apple
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
Pulse ingredients in a food processor, combining well. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes. Apply this mixture to a clean face. With your fingertips, begin gently patting your face. Continue until the mixture feels very, very sticky–this will bring the blood to the surface of your skin, making it glow. Rinse with warm water.

To Reduce Wrinkles and Inflammation
Grate an unripe apple and apply to clean skin to heal and improve the appearance of fine wrinkles or inflammation. Allow pulp to remain on skin for 10 to 20 minutes before rinsing with warm water.

APPLE FACE MASKOily Skin/Acne Healing Mask
Mix equal parts grated raw apple (or unsweetened applesauce) and honey. Apply mixture to a clean face and allow to remain on skin for 10 minutes. Rinse with cool water.

To Reduce Eye Puffiness
Mix 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce with one small grated raw potato. Lie down and apply to eyes, covering with a warm damp washcloth, if desired. Allow to remain on for 10 to 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water.

Autumn Magic Facial Mask
This formula soothes and nourishes skin and nerves, and provides gentle exfoliating action.
1/4 cored apple, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon rolled oats
1 teaspoon cream
1 teaspoon honey
Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Apply to clean face, massaging gently, and allow mixture to remain on skin for 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water.




half hip stretchYOGA FOR ALL- Releasing Tight Hips Oct 2011

Tight hips are uncomfortable. They're also very common. They affect almost everybody, regardless of their walk of life. These basic yoga poses can help you to release the tension, open up those hips and also protect the lower back in the process.

yogaFirst, try to do some exercise to increase heat in the body prior to doing yoga hip-openers. Living in the Campo my favourite is walking. This warms the muscles and allows them to stretch more readily during the hip-opening asanas (postures). Remember that women will naturally find these yoga poses far easier to complete. Men should exercise more caution in the postures and take care not to push themselves too far, especially when just beginning a yoga practice.



reclined bound angle pose



Reclining Bound Angle Yoga Pose - Supta Baddha Konasana

Sit on the floor. Place cushions on either side of your knees. Lie back, with your back supported by cushions or folded blankets. Allow your knees to splay outward so that your legs form a diamond shape and the soles of your feet are flat against one another. If necessary, use your hands to assist yourself in attaining the proper alignment. Your knees should be resting on the cushions. Relax completely. Breathe. Remain here for at least a minute in this passive stretch.



riangle pose





Triangle Yoga Pose - Trikonasana

Stand in Tadasana, or mountain pose (standing position with arms by the side of the body). Now spread your feet wide apart, at least a metre. Point the right foot out, the left foot in. Raise the arms parallel with the floor. Lift your upper body upward toward the ceiling. Gradually move your entire torso to the right, slowly but surely moving your right hand toward your right ankle. Take care not to lose your balance. Touch your right knee, shin, or grasp your right ankle. Lift the left arm straight upward. Remain here for several deep breaths. Come up and repeat the yoga pose on the left side.

wide angle pose



Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend Yoga Pose - Upavistha Konasana

Sit in Dandasana (Staff Pose) with the legs straight forward and pressed firmly together. If sitting on the floor in this way is difficult, place the hips on a folded blanket to gently tilt the hips forward. The back should be straight and the palms should press firmly into the floor. Now use your hands to open your legs wide apart. Slide your buttocks slightly forward, again using your hands to help you to widen the angle of your legs. Place the hands directly behind the hips, flat on the floor, and sit up straight. Rotate your hips and flex the feet so that the knees and toes point up toward the ceiling. Push from behind your body so that your torso angles very slightly forward. If you have the flexibility to do so without arching the back, place your hands on the floor in front of you. Move forward gradually, only as much as you feel comfortable. Breathe. Stay in this yoga pose for at least a minute.

Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering local weekly classes. Contact Sarah for more details on 663 140 297






Yoga has many health benefits including a boost to your energy levels and improved overall health. You don't need to set aside a special time of the day to do yoga. In fact, can do yoga at any time you want. Try these simple tips for energy boosting yoga poses that you can do at home when you feel tired - they really do work!


The Mountain Pose
This pose begins with you standing still with your feet hip width apart and arms resting by your side. Keep your feet parallel with the toes facing forward and ensure that your weight is distributed evenly. Shoulders are relaxed, fingers stretch towards the floor. Breathe in deeply and hold the position for the length of one breath.


down dog poseExtended Mountain
Hold the mountain pose and put your hands above your head by slowly raising your arms outwards. The palms must be apart, at least shoulder width, and facing each other. Now extend your spine, your back should be curved inwards and hold the position for the length of the breath.


Standing Forward Bend
This position is continued from the last position. Exhale and from the waist bend forward keeping your spine straight and long. Bend the knees as much as you need to while keeping the back long from the hips to the head. Stretch your arms towards the floor and once the hands reach the floor, place them either on your thighs or on the ground. Hold the position for the length of one breath while you focus on your legs. Ensure that your neck and head are relaxed as it will make this position easier.


warrior 3 poseThe Modified Long Staff
This move follows forward bend. Position yourself completely on the ground by moving your feet backwards. Exhale deeply while you do so. Now balance your body on your toes and hands so that you are parallel to the floor (like a low push up). Bend your legs in such a way that knees, shins and your feet, the top portion, are on the floor. Bend your arms; hold the position for the length of one breath.


Modified Down-Dog Split
You should start this move with a pushup position and then lift your hips moving into an inverted V position, facing down. Now take five breaths and lift your right heel and leg upwards, toward the ceiling. Lower the right leg, raise the left leg and heel to the ceiling. Return the right foot to the floor.


Warrior 3
This position follows the down-dog split. Lunge the right foot forward between the hands if possible. Balance all your weight on the right foot, straighten the right leg while you raise the other leg behind you. Ensure that your torso and back leg are parallel to the ground and stretch your arms forward. Repeat by balancing on the left leg and raising the right leg behind you, parallel to the floor.



tree poseTree
From the last position, go back to a standing position using only your core muscles. Place the left foot on the right thigh and lift both arms upwards. Repeat on the other leg.


When we relax into yoga we find unlimited reserves of energy. Try every day for one week to enjoy the full benefits.

Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering local weekly classes. Contact Sarah for more details on 663 140 297








Health self-help toolkit: 'Standing like a Tree' Sept 2011

stand like  a treeIn Qi Gong ancient Chinese medicine's internal energy exercise system, one of the simplest of all exercises, 'Standing like a Tree' is considered one of the most profound and beneficial for replenishing vital energy and calming the entire nervous system. It is normally done standing but can be adapted if the body's energy is weaker to be done in a chair. The stationary positions promote increased circulation, deeper breathing, and induce inner calm. When we join our body & mind through attention to simple reference points, such as our awareness of our body in the space we are in, ordinary sanity and balance stabilise.

Simply stand with the feet shoulder width apart, with the knees unlocked slightly. The arms rest effortlessly by your sides with the shoulders relaxed (sometimes hunching them up briefly and then dropping them re-teaches them their relaxed position). Breathe naturally and keep your eyes open, looking calmly forward. Try remaining in this position for one or two minutes and gradually increase the time to several minutes.

Imagine that your feet are like roots of a great tree sinking down into the earth. Your body rests unmoving like the trunk of a tree. Imagine that the top of your head is lightly suspended from a golden cord reaching up infinitely into the sky. It is as if the top of your head opens and relaxes as the countless leaves of the tree open into the sunlight.

There you are, a good human being joining heaven, the inspiration and space of the sky, to earth, the stability, manifestation and groundlessness always present where we live.

Taru Burstall, Licenced Acupuncturist, Dip. Massage, Licenced Psychotherapist

LATEST: New Clinic Racó de Salut Natural Therapies Centre open at The Plaça, 8 in El Perelló
977 490 333, & 629 301 509




yoga glassAquatic yoga is a great new way to keep fit that is allowing those formerly too apprehensive to join a yoga class to jump into the water and enjoy the many benefits of practicing yoga. Studies show that water has long been used to calm and balance the body and mind with many quantifiable results. Combining the long known benefits of yoga with the cushioning ability of warm water, aquatic yoga therapy has opened the fitness arena to many people for whom it was previously closed. The fundamental postures of yoga, the asanas, can be preformed within the privacy, support, and comfort of water with either freestanding movement in a shallow body temperature pool, equipment assisted poses, or wall assisted poses.

Aqua yoga exercises, often labelled as yoqua or water yoga classes in aquatic fitness centres and gyms can add a new dimension to your yoga practice. With aquatic yoga poses, the water can act as resistance, creating additional intensity for your workout, or it can support you, keeping pressure off of your joints. The Aquatic Exercise Association emphasizes that water classes are especially beneficial for people with arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, back problems and pregnant women. In just a few months many converts, enjoy numerous benefits ranging from strengthened muscles, improved energy levels, increase in flexibility, and an enhanced overall state of wellbeing. Aquatic yoga really is a great way to reap the benefits of yoga without having to go to a class, gym or yoga studio. Try it at the beach or in a swimming pool to get fit while keeping cool this August!

aqua yogaThe positive benefits of yoga are seen over the long term with a gradual increase in strength, flexibility and endurance and when preformed in water this increase tends to happen far more quickly and with far less chance of injury or strain which is why this new form of fitness is quickly becoming so popular with all age ranges. Aquatic therapy, including water yoga, has also proven to be extremely useful in pain management. Conditions such as fibromyalgia, and varicose veins, where pain can be constant, are eased and in some cases eradicated. The soothing cushion of water and the muscular relief experienced during yoga can allow students to attain a higher fitness level without the discomfort of traditional exercise. It's the perfect marriage of function and comfort. The perfect union of effort and ease, comfort and stability.

How do I practice Aqua yoga?

Try these simple exercises to get you started, either at the beach or in a swimming pool.

aqua yogaChair Pose Flow
Standing in waist deep water, place your feet hip-width apart, heels slightly apart. Raise your arms straight up overhead, keeping your shoulders soft. From a straight posture, sink your hips back and down so you feel your outer thighs contract (as if you were sitting down on an imaginary chair). Keep your abdominals pulled slightly in toward your spine. On an exhale, bring your arms straight through the water down to your sides. On an inhale, raise your arms out to your sides, then straight back up as you return to standing position. Flow back into your chair position on your next exhale. Continue this flow for up to a minute. Feel the resistance of the water working against your arms. Repeat up to three times.

agua yogaSwimming Warrior Three
Begin in a standing position in waist depth water. Stretch your arms up to the sky, palms pressed together. Raise your right leg straight back behind you. Lean forward so your leg can become as close to parallel with your hips and the water level as possible. Your arms stretch forwards, level with the water. Flex your right foot, pointing your toes down. To work your arms, on your next inhale, bring your arms either back out into a T-shape (stretched sideways away from the shoulders) or all the way to your lower back. Feel and work the muscles in both of your legs, and keep your abdominal muscles engaged. Hold the pose for five to seven deep breaths. Repeat on your left leg.

Please practice all exercises in the water with care and attention, without being under the influence of alcohol.

Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering local weekly classes. Contact Sarah for more details on 663 140 297



Health self-help toolkit: 'How does massage work? Stimulating the body's energy flow to promote healing and feel good' Aug 2011


massageMassage - Holistic
This involves a variety of techniques designed to relax muscles, increase oxygen in the blood and release the toxins from muscles which make them feel tight and sore. Stroking in the direction of the heart stimulates circulation and flushes the tissues of lactic acid, uric acid, and other metabolic wastes, all of which help shorten recovery time after muscle strain. As well as providing specific medical benefits, holistic massage improves general health and wellbeing.

Massage - Remedial
Remedial massage is a holistic massage treatment used to produce deep and long-lasting effects. It aims to both prevent and help heal injuries, removing blockages and damaged cells, breaking down fibrous areas and encouraging mobility. Trigger points can be identified which are at the root of the pain and specific massage techniques encourage the body's own healing processes.
Remedial massage can be used to treat conditions such as sports injuries, muscular cramps, frozen shoulder, whiplash, arthritis and spondylitis. It is also effective in treating stress relief and nervous exhaustion.
This therapy works by increasing lymphatic flow and blood supply to soft tissue areas, encouraging the reduction of inflammation and swelling and improving muscle tone. Used on a regular basis, remedial massage can help prevent small injuries from impairing mobility.

TuiNa Massage
Developed in China over 2,000 years ago, TuiNa massage works to release blockages in the flow of energy, or Qi, and uses similar principles to acupuncture using the hands and fingers rather than needles. It is based on the understanding that our body's motivating energy force moves through a network of channels that run beneath the skin. Illness arises from blockages in the energy flow. TuiNa treatments are revitalising and energising, shifting problems that have been stuck in the body and aiding healing at all levels. The massage combines techniques from western massage such as gliding, kneading, vibration, shaking and rocking, with other movements unique to TuiNa such as compression of the acupuncture points, joint manipulation and mobilisation.

Taru Burstall, Licenced Acupuncturist, Dip. Massage, Licenced Psychotherapist

LATEST: New Clinic opening in August at The Plaça, 8 in El Perelló
977 490 333, & 629 301 509


for all sun worshippers July 2011

heat strokeAfter a day in the sun, you may find yourself with an itchy, peeling sunburn. Peeling skin is not only unattractive, it can also be quite painful. Here are a few simple ways to deal with the peel.
Cool it down
If you notice your skin starting to peel, the first thing you should do is take a cold shower or bath. The cold water will help your skin cool down & slow the peeling process. When you are drying your skin, be sure to pat dry with a clean, soft towel & avoid rubbing. By rubbing your skin, you can actually speed up & spread the peeling of your skin.
Moisturize your skin
Once you get out of the shower and dry your skin, apply a moisturizing lotion. Look for a moisturizer that is specifically designed to work on sunburn or peeling skin. Generally, the lotion should contains aloe vera, which will cool your skin, reduce inflammation and slow the peeling. Aloe vera is a natural cactus extract that has long been hailed for its soothing properties. You can actually buy pure aloe vera gel (or break open the plant, if you have it) and apply it directly to the peeling skin to aid healing, fight pain and avoid infection.
Drink up
Now that you have cooled your skin from the outside, it's time to start working on your skin from the inside. Truth be told, nothing helps your skin as much as a tall glass of water. Healthy skin needs to stay hydrated. When your skin is damaged – like after a sunburn – water becomes even more important. Drink a lot of water to give your skin all the fuel it needs to repair and revive itself. If you notice your skin beginning to peel, be sure to drink 8-10 glasses of water per day.
Stop the itch
At all costs, you should avoid scratching your skin when it's peeling. You can actually do permanent damage to your skin in the form of scars. If you get the urge to scratch, the best thing to do is to use ice to dull the sensation. Put ice in a piece of soft cloth and gently place the cloth on top of the area of your skin that itches. The itch should subside once the ice begins to cool down the skin.
Don't peel it
Flaky, peeling skin is more than just irritating and unattractive. It can also lead to an infection. Peeling skin can become infected if you scratch or try to forcefully peel the skin. If there is a segment of dead skin that is hanging off and you want to remove it, don't pull on it - no matter how tempting it is. Instead, get a small pair of scissors and carefully cut away just that section of skin. Be sure you are only cutting away dead skin and you don't tear skin that is trying to heal. Once you cut away the dead skin, apply an antibacterial ointment (such as Neosporin) to the area.
Be prepared
Prevention is the best cure for peeling. Plan ahead and don't get sunburned in the first place. By the time your skin starts peeling, that means that the damage has already been done. Before you go out into the sun, always wear sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. If you are going into the water, be sure to re-apply sunscreen each time you get out. When applying sunscreen don't forget about hidden areas, such as behind your ears, which are often forgotten and end up burned.

yoga for all- Pranayama - The Art of Yoga Breathing July 2011


When the Breathe wanders, the mind is unsteady, but when the Breathe is still, so is the mind still." - Hatha Yoga Pradipika

pranayamaPranayama (deep breathing exercises)
Seasonal nasal allergies, often referred to as hay fever, are triggered by pollen in the air. Ragweed pollen appears each autumn, while newly blooming trees, grasses, and weeds are the culprits in the spring and summer here in Catalonia.
Though many find relief in doctor-prescribed medications, there are several yoga practices that will help to alleviate allergy symptoms, including runny noses and inflamed sinuses. Pranayama is one of the most effective ways to relieve these symtoms.

What is Pranayama?
Pranayama, the formal practice of controlling the breathe, lies at the heart of yoga. It has a mysterious power to soothe and revitalize a tired body, a flagging spirit, or an unfocused mind. The ancient sages taught that prana, the vital force circulating through us, can be cultivated and channelled through a range of breathing exercises. In the process, the mind is calmed, rejuvenated, and uplifted. Pranayama serves as an important bridge between the outward, active practices of yoga (asanas) and the internal, surrendering practices that lead us into deeper states of meditation.
Yoga breathing exercises are an important part of a developing yoga practice. One of the Five Principles of Yoga is Pranayama which promotes proper breathing. In a Yogic point of view, proper breathing brings more oxygen to the blood and to the brain, and to control Prana or the vital life energy.
Pranayama is one of the Eight Limbs of Yoga, as defined by the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. In addition to deepening your yoga practice, learning ways to calm or invigorate the body through breathing will greatly benefit your life off the mat.
Breathing is an involuntary act; it is an essential part of life. Although we can´t control whether or not we breathe, we can control the way that we breathe. A belief that different methods of breath affect the body's health and life force is the core of Pranayama practice.


pranayamaHow do I practice these breathing exercises?
Dirga - Three part breath.

This pranayama exercise is often done while seated in a comfortable, cross-legged position, but it is also nice to do while lying on the back, particularly at the beginning of your practice. When you are lying down, you can really feel the breath moving through your body as it makes contact with the floor.
1. Lie down on your back with the eyes closed, relaxing the face and the body.
2. Begin by observing the natural inhalation and exhalation of your breathe without changing anything.
3. Then begin to inhale deeply through the nose.
4. On each inhale, fill the belly up with your breath. Expand the belly with air like a balloon.
5. On each exhale, expel all the air out from the belly through your nose. Draw the navel back towards your spine to make sure that the belly is empty of air.
6. On the next inhale, fill the belly up with air as described above. Then when the belly is full, draw in a little more breath and let that air expand into the rib cage causing the ribs to widen apart.
7. On the exhale, let the air go first from the rib cage, letting the ribs slide closer together, and them from the belly, drawing the navel back towards the spine.
8. On the next inhale, fill the belly and rib cage up with air as described above. Then draw in just a little more air and let it fill the upper chest, all the way up to the collarbone.
9. On the exhale, let the breathe go first from the upper chest, then from the rib cage, letting the ribs slide closer together. Finally, let the air go from the belly, drawing the navel back towards the spine.
10. Continue at your own pace, eventually coming to let the three parts of the breathe happen smoothly without pausing.

Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering local weekly classes. Contact Sarah for more details on 663 140 297



Cherries the miracle fruit June 2011

herries yumCherries have been associated with pie and other deserts long enough, and "now it's time to take a look at the other side, the healthy side." It's certainly a better alternative than fast food. "There's more interest in living a healthy lifestyle, and that can mean grabbing cherries by the handful for a quick snack. There's a definite trend in society where people are wanting to eat healthier, and this fits right in with what folks are looking for. The tangy little orbs of deliciousness have been credited with an array of health advantages, from soothing gout and arthritis to helping with a good night's sleep.

Emerging evidence links cherries to many important health benefits – from helping to ease the pain of arthritis and gout, to reducing risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Cherries also contain melatonin, which has been found to help regulate the body's natural sleep patterns, aid with jet lag, prevent memory loss and delay the aging process.

A recent study from the University of Michigan reveals new evidence linking cherries to heart health benefits. The study found that a cherry-enriched diet lowered total weight, body fat (especially the important "belly" fat), inflammation and cholesterol & all risk factors associated with heart disease. The key is the fruit's skin and pigmentation, where antioxidants called anthocyanins are found. The study found that the antioxidant activity of tart black cherries is greater than that of Vitamin E, according to the Moss Report, a cancer treatment and referral service.

Not only are cherries delicious, they pack a powerful nutritional punch. This little miracle fruit can:

Help prevent and fight cancer Cherries are a rich source of healthy antioxidants, which help to repair damaged cells in the body. They contain queritrin, a potent anticancer agent. They also contain ellagic acid, which experts believe is one of the most useful compounds for cancer prevention. Another compound found in cherries is perillyl alcohol (POH), effective in reducing the occurrence of all types of cancer; it stops the spread of cancerous cells by depriving them of the crucial proteins they require in order to grow.
Act as an anti-inflammatory. Cherries can help with pain relief; they contain anthocyanin and bioflavonoids, which are compounds that produce a similar effect to that of aspirin or ibuprofen. These compounds can relieve or prevent head and body aches, and even ease the symptoms of arthritis and gout.
Improve the body's Circadian Rhythms. A natural sleep aid, melatonin is abundant in cherries. This antioxidant helps to regulate your sleeping and waking pattern, and since it is found in small quantities in the human body, the dose in cherries can work wonders.
Fight against premature aging. The compounds isoqueritrin and queritrin work to eliminate the by products of oxidative stress, and thereby slow the aging process.
Serve as a healthy snack. Cherries are tasty and nutritious: one cup, approximately 21 cherries, contains no fat, about 90 calories, no sodium, and no cholesterol. They're also a great source of fiber, potassium (270 mg. per serving, to be exact!) and vitamin C.

cherry and lamb tagineCherry and Lamb Tagine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 pound boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces (about 1 pound)
1 red pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 can chopped tomatoes (15 ounces)
1 cup water
1 can chickpeas (15 ounces)
3/4 cup dried cherries
2 tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or 5-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat.
Add the onion and lamb, and brown the lamb.
Stir in the garlic, sweet potatoes, red pepper, cumin, paprika, coriander, cinnamon, salt and black pepper.
Add the chopped tomatoes and 1 cup of water and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes. Add the chickpeas and cherries and continue simmering until the lamb and sweet potatoes are tender and the sauce has thickened.
Sprinkle the tagine with cilantro and serve with couscous



yogaCan Yoga really change your life? Well yes, it's more than likely, since just about everyone who practices yoga has been touched in some way by its trans-formative power. Maybe you simply feel better in your body. Perhaps you've experienced more profound changes in your life, relationships, and world view. But because these changes often take place over time, as part of a subtle and evolving process, it can sometimes be hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about yoga that helps you to live a better life.

To truly understand why yoga is so trans-formative, it helps to understand the concept of transformation. The idea that yoga changes you into someone better than the person you were before is something of a misconception. It´s more accurate to say that yoga helps you remove the obstacles that obscure who you really are, that it helps you come into a fuller expression of your true nature. We're not transforming into something we aspire to, we're transforming into the very thing that we are innately: our best Self - happy, healthy and pain free.

One way yoga encourages transformation is by helping you to shift patterns you've developed over time, either mental or physical patterns that may be unhealthy. When you put your body into a pose that is new and unknown and you continue to practice it, you literally learn how to take a new shape. Taking this new shape can lead you to learn how to change any self limiting patterns in the mind. If practiced correctly, yoga asana (postures) can break down the psychological, emotional and physical obstacles that inhibit us from thriving.

savasanaYoga can also teach us how to make better decisions. Everything about practicing yoga involves intention—you set apart time in your day to do it, you move in a certain way, breathe in a specific way. And when you are mindful and deliberate in your yoga practice, you create the opportunity to become more mindful and deliberate in your life. As a teacher of yoga I find that the people who regularly practice yoga realize that their lives have changed for the better. Relationships, happiness and health all flow naturally when we simply set aside a few minutes each day to mentally and physically "check in".



Perhaps most importantly, your yoga practice allows you a glimpse of the joyful and free person you can be. Practicing yoga shows you that you can accomplish things you never thought you could. At first, we think, 'There's no way I´m going to be able to do a Headstand.' And then, in little increments, we start to gain confidence, balance and strength. And then all of a sudden we can do it (local students from age 16 to 60 regularly achieve this goal!)


boat poseWhen you're lying in Savasana (relaxation pose, lying flat on our backs) at the end of a yoga practice, after you have worked hard and felt connected to your body, that sense of joy and freedom you experience is an expression of your true nature. Even though it may be fleeting at first, it shows you what is possible.....

Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering local weekly classes. Contact Sarah for more details on 663 140 297





SELF-HELP TOOLKIT: living will options- MAY 2011


LIVING WILLI went to an interesting talk on Living Wills in my local village recently by Gustau, a member of the Association for the Right to Die (RTD) Catalunya, and hosted by a club, COP (Club d'Opinió Perellonenc), that I am a member of, which stands for diversity of opinion as its name suggests. It was a generous, moving, useful, and brave meeting to attend, particularly poignant as some COP members helped support their founder and former President by witnessing his living will as requested to ensure that his choices regarding his death from an incurable condition were respected.

Living wills are means by which we can choose to put in place at any point in our adult life to state our wishes regarding the end of our life, which once witnessed by a notary or 3 (regulated) others can allow us to have these choices respected by our care team should we be unable to communicate them or make a decision in certain extreme circumstances regarding our care. Catalunya regulated the right to make such wills through law 21/2000 of the Generalitat and there is a register of 'testaments vitals' in each autonomous community.

LIVING WILLGustau's presentation began by making the point that your body is your own & not anyone else's, not your family's nor the medical profession's. A living will could, for example, preclude the use of artificial means for prolonging our life in the case of vegetative brain death, or ask for palliative care such as sedation to be administered to control pain even if its use could have the effect of shortening our life. This can be a support for family members and the medical care team in such extreme circumstances, relieving them of the responsibility for making such decisions and letting them know they are carrying out the person's own express wishes.

Clearly there are complex issues to be explored and the talk was a helpful beginning point for moving towards making such a document for those of us who would prefer to have similar safeguards in place regarding our right to determine our care and dying. The website is translatable via google and has models to use for tailor-making living wills for use in the State, in both Catalan and Castellano.

Like many of us, I have accompanied loved one's through their final stages of life and know that for some of us having the option to end things when we ourselves choose can be an indispensable piece in making that last journey easier to deal with. My sister, for example, relaxed the minute she had access to a method to end her life herself and from then till she died could continue far better working with her cancer and living those last months, relieved of the fear of the pain or indignity that haunted her before.

MY LIVING WILLThe RTD Europe site under Whose life is it anyway?, contributed by Jacqueline Jencquel, contains powerful statements: "Euthanasia is not a choice between life and death, but the choice between two different ways of dying" (Jacques Pohier), and ''Euthanasia, if allowed by the law, should never become an answer to failing care or fear of loneliness.'' Also on that page Dr. Aycke Smook, a Surgeon-Oncologist, discusses his medical work in Holland, from which come the following extracts: ´´My motivation to help patients to die has always been the patient's longing for a dignified death.......Amazingly, pain hardly ever was the reason for the request for euthanasia. It was always the loss of dignity. In many cases, the desired death was a better perspective for the patient than enduring the misery of the sickbed......From 1985 onwards we could discuss euthanasia more openly to the benefit of all involved.......For the patient, the relatives, and the friends a fond farewell became possible and the process of mourning could begin before the inescapable death..... An attending doctor should never let his patient down in the last vulnerable phase of his existence. .....It is amazing to see the power of patients in their final stage. In most cases, they support the future surviving relatives instead of the other way around.''

I am grateful to the speaker and club for creating a space for reflection & discussion on this highly personal topic, and further for providing practical tools, such as the template for making a living will, that can help us put into place protection for forethought to safeguard the last steps of our precious journeys here.

Please go to the website to learn more about Advance Decisions (or "Living Wills") in the UK.  And, from this website, you can download a free document in English.


Taru Burstall, M.A. Psychology, Licenced Psychotherapist, Acupuncturist & Massage (Tuina) therapist. 629 301 509,, El Perelló
Taru Burstall, Dip. Massage, M.A. Psych. Licensed Acupuncturist, psychotherapist and massage (tuina & holistic) therapist. Any queries, please feel free to contact me, 629 301 509,


yoga for all- namaste MAY 2011

NAMASTEWhat is Namaste?
Namaste' or 'namaskar' is the Indian way of greeting each other. Wherever they are – on the street, in the house, or on the phone – when Hindus meet people they know or strangers with whom they want to initiate a conversation, namaste is the customary courtesy greeting to begin with and often to end with. It is not a superficial gesture or a mere word, and is for all people - young and old, friends and strangers. Namaste is one of the five forms of formal traditional greeting and refers to paying homage or showing respect to one another when we meet.

The Meaning of Namaste
In Sanskrit the word is namah + te = namaste which means "I bow to you" - my greetings, salutations or prostration to you. The word 'namaha' can also be literally interpreted as "na ma" (not mine). It has a spiritual significance of negating or reducing one's ego in the presence of another.

Bend the arms from the elbow upwards and face the two palms of the hands. Place the two palms together and keep the touching palms in front of the chest. Utter the word namaste and while saying the word bow the head slightly.

Why Namaste?
Namaste could be just a casual or formal greeting, a cultural convention or an act of worship. However, there is much more to it than meets the eye. The real meeting between people is the meeting of their minds. When we greet one another with namaste, it means, 'may our minds meet', indicated by the touching palms placed before the chest. The bowing down of the head is a gracious form of extending friendship in love, respect and humility.

Spiritual Significance of Namaste
The reason why we practice namaste has a deeper spiritual significance. It recognizes the belief that the life force, the divinity, the Self or the God in me is the same in all. Acknowledging this oneness with the meeting of the palms, we honour the specialness in every person we meet.

Namaste! Sarah
Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering local weekly classes. Contact Sarah for more details on 663 140 297


yoga detox fro spring april 2011

twist for springApril is here, and as the days get longer and brighter, our bodies and minds relax and begin to absorb the energy of sunlight and the bloom of spring plants.

In springtime, yoga is a fabulous way to get in shape and cleanse your body and mind from the winter season, in preparation for many summer events and activities.

Spring is a time of rejuvenation, if you take a walk in the campo you'll likely see spring flowers pushing up through the ground and tightly wound buds forming on the ends of tree branches, it´s no wonder that we use the expression, "spring is in the air."

A spring yoga practice is different from a winter yoga practice. Where winter is about turning inward, spring is about opening up —blossoming, and inhaling new experiences.

Here´s a simple rejuvenating and detoxifying yoga pose to try this month:

Simple spinal twist

Why it works: Twisting your torso coils the organs that are vital to digestion. When you twist, blood flow is constricted to the liver, gallbladder, stomach, spleen and intestines, allowing newly oxygenated, clean blood to enter when the twist is released. This pose is great for speeding up the elimination and assimilation of nutrients into your body.

spinal twistspinal twistspinal twistspinal twist

spinal twist

How to do it: Lie flat on your back and bring your knees into your chest. Extend the arms along the floor straight out from the shoulders, turning palms up to the ceiling. Keep the legs, feet and bent knees together as much as possible as you exhale, lowering your knees onto the floor toward the left elbow while you keep reaching your chest and right arm to the right. Keep your gaze over to the right shoulder or up at the ceiling, which ever feels best on your neck. Hold pose for at least five complete inhales and exhales. Repeat the pose with knees bent and on the floor to the right side of your body now. As you become more comfortable with the twist you might like to inhale with your bent knees and legs above you, then on each exhale lower knees to either right or left each time, flowing with the breath and your movement like this brings great relief to any lower back issues too.

Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering local weekly yoga classes.
Call 663 140 297 for


SELF-HELP TOOLKIT: Overweight - April 2011

overweight acupuncture

From the view of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) people struggling with some excess weight may simply have a weakness of their digestive system, so that it is harder for them to break down the accumulation of fat or adipose tissue, which is seen as an accumulation of dampness, an excess of Yin and imbalance of the water element. The Spleen is the organ in the TCM view which carries out the function of breaking down food into energy and of transporting water and fluids in the body so that they do not build up to create dampness. The balance of fire and water in the body naturally starts to change after about 35 years of age & the fire/Yang element starts to decline, which can be why we may put weight on after that age which we would simply have burned off before. Fire is needed to break down and metabolise the food we take in, so it becomes important to try and help assist the digestive/Spleen function so that we end up with energy rather than overweight.

SP3Eating more easily digestible foods is one way we can help this happen is by avoiding too many sweet, damp and greasy foods which hamper the Spleens operation. It also helps to not eat too much cold food or drink cold liquids in excess, rather drink a small amount of warm water with meals. Drinking a lot of cold water before meals to fill up just ends up flooding and inhibiting the Spleen's transforming function, so not only do you not breakdown food properly but it can lead to other digestive problems. The Chinese believe that drinking green tea with meals is useful for excess weight, as a Spleen strenghtener, & some other foods helpful for dispersing damp are aduki, alfalfa, asparagus, capers, celery, cherry, lettuce, marjoram, pumpkin, papaya, rye, scallions, turnip, & tuna. Exercise obviously warms up the body and therefore the digestive system just as blowing on a fire rekindles it, so regular moderate exercise helps breakdown of food and helps the Spleen transform, transport and release liquids and fat.

ST36Some self-help acupuncture points to use with gentle pressure to stoke the fires of digestion are the following:

Spleen 3 & 4 Point 3 is on the arch of the foot, and 4 a thumb-width in from the ball of the foot towards the heel. Both points strengthen the Spleen and help clear damp. 4 is also good for calming the mind.

Stomach 36 Four finger-widths below the kneecap, one thumb width outside the shinbone. Boosts the Spleen and Stomach, resolves damp, boosts qi (energy) and calms the mind.

Internal organ and neuroendocrine pointsThere are also a number of key acupuncture points on the ear that can be used, often by taping a small magnet onto the skin for up to a week at a time, such as the Hunger/Appetite control point, which helps interrupt the wish to change the channel/seek comfort by putting something in your mouth - whether it is food or a cigarette; the Triple Warmer point, which helps regulate the entire energy balance of the body; & the Pancreas which helps regulate blood sugar levels. Regular use of these points can help weight issues to start stabilising and reduce compulsive eating patterns related to swings of sugar levels, just as they can be similarly helpful with regulating other health imbalance patterns such as overuse of drugs or alcohol.
So there are multiple ways to help ourselves work with our particular constitutional makeup, to support our body so we can enjoy as far as possible the energy created when the fire of the digestive system is well-tended, moving damp and its accumulated overweight out of our system, and to enjoy the freedom that comes with that energy.

Taru Burstall, Dip. Massage, M.A. Psych. Licensed Acupuncturist, psychotherapist and massage (tuina & holistic) therapist. Any queries, please feel free to contact me, 629 301 509,




SCIATICAIf you've ever suffered from Sciatica you'll know the misery and discomfort it can bring. But fear not, yoga really can cure, or at the very least help, if practiced for just a few minutes each day.

What is Sciatica?
Sciatica can be defined as any pain that radiates down the sciatic nerve, which runs from the spinal cord down into each leg. Sciatica may develop due to spinal disc issues or unknown reasons. Many people with sciatica practice yoga because it includes numerous poses, or asanas, that stretch and strengthen the body and helps with sciatic pain.
The following symptoms may be experienced during sciatica:
• Pain on one side of the bottom or in one leg that is worse when sitting
• Burning or tingling down the leg
• Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot
• A constant pain on one side of the hip
• A sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up or to walk

How can yoga help?
Yoga can both help prevent sciatica and relieve sciatic pain. Many yoga poses involve stretching muscles, which gently soothes sciatic pain. Yoga also has many core oriented strengthening poses. Recent studies have found that regularly exercised and strengthened abdominal and back muscles may help prevent sciatica. Along with strengthening muscles we need to remember the importance of moving in and out of poses to bring circulation into the affected area.
Healing ourselves after a flare up is usually quicker when we actively use strengthening and stretching exercises, rather than taking to our beds. Occasionally, sciatica generates from a tumour or severe infection so people who suffer from symptoms should consult with a doctor before starting a regular yoga program.


COBRA POSERecommended Poses
Cobra pose is generally seen as one of the best poses for curing sciatica because it creates stronger back muscles while it brings better circulation into the hips. Yoga students with sciatica should consider practicing any poses in the Warrior sequence including Side Angle Pose and Reverse Warrior. Downward Facing Dog is also helpful and can be practiced with your knees bent if this brings greater relief.

Yoga continually stresses the importance of strong postures and core muscles. Poses like Mountain build awareness of the body from a simple standing posture. Staff Pose (sit on the floor with legs straight out in front of you, spine straight) requires a straight posture with deep support from the core muscles. With a regular yoga practice, the situations that can lead to sciatica, like poor lifting habits and slouching while sitting, are less likely to occur because yoga reminds us to hold our bodies with more awareness and strength.




Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering local weekly yoga classes.
Call 663 140 297 for more details.





YOGAIf you've ever suffered from insomnia it may be comforting to know that yoga has been scientifically proven to help.
What is insomnia?
Insomnia is the inability to sleep or sleep well. Up to 12 percent of adults report symptoms of chronic insomnia, or insomnia that lasts for more than one month. Although medication is often prescribed to treat chronic insomnia, natural health practitioners recommend trying other strategies, such as behaviour modification and relaxation techniques like those used in the practice of yoga.
The next time you can't sleep, try some yoga poses and insomnia may be relieved. Over time, yoga can help those suffering from a lack of sleep to become more calm and relaxed.
Yoga Aids Sleep
A study conducted by the Division of Sleep Medicine at the Harvard Medical School shows preliminary results that daily simple yoga will help in the treatment of insomnia. According to the results of the 20 participants in the two-week study, significant improvements were made in the areas of:
CAT POSE• Sleep efficacy
• Total sleep time
• Total wake time
• Sleep onset latency
• Wake time after sleep onset
Suggested Yoga Poses for Insomnia
Even if you can't take actual yoga classes, you can find yoga exercises online, or purchase yoga DVD's, that you can practice to relieve any restlessness at night.
Forward Bends
Forward bending has many benefits, including helping to relieve stress, anxiety and headaches, forward bends in our yoga practice are therapy for problems such as high blood pressure and insomnia.
Start standing straight, facing the front of your mat, arms resting at your side. This starting position is called mountain pose. Place your hands on your hips and start bending from the waist. Feel like you are hinging at the hips, rather than rounding your back. If you can, place your hands on the mat beside your feet. Keep your knees bent to relieve pulling on the hamstrings and to protect your knees. This pose is called standing forward bend. For a slight variation, as you gain flexibility, grab onto your big toes with your first two fingers, placing your thumbs on top of the toes. This is called big toe pose.
You can also do forward bends in a seated position. Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Start to reach forward, trying to gently get closer to your toes. Again, your flexibility will improve rapidly with daily practice. The movement comes from hinging at your hips rather than rounding your back. This pose is called seated forward bend.
COW POSECat and Cow Pose
The American Yoga Journal lists both cat pose and cow pose as helping to relieve stress. These poses also stretch out tense neck and back muscles and gently massage the belly and spine. For added relaxation and increased awareness of the breath, these poses can be paired in a smooth sequence.
Start on your hands and knees. Your hand should be placed directly under your shoulders with your fingers spread wide apart. Your knees are about hip-width apart and the tops of your feet are resting on the mat. As you inhale, lift your tailbone toward the ceiling and drop your belly toward the mat, creating an exaggerated arch in your back. At the same time, lift your chin up like you're trying to look at the ceiling. This is cow pose. On your exhale, start to arch your back toward the ceiling, dropping the top of your head to the floor and tucking in your tailbone. This is cat pose. Continue this sequence for a few rounds, making sure to coordinate your movements with rhythmic deep breathing.
Avoid Strenuous Nightime Yoga
Not all yoga is relaxing. It's a paradox, but some vigorous forms of yoga can lead to better sleep. For example, a benefit of Ashtanga yoga is deeper sleep. However, Ashtanga yoga requires more effort than some other forms of yoga, which may end up waking you up at night. Instead, practice strenuous yoga, like Ashtanga or power yoga earlier in the day.
Like other exercise, the combination of fitness and yoga can lead to better sleep. This is only true if you plan to do the exercises several hours before bedtime. Doing these types of yoga and poses right before bed may end up invigorating your body rather than lead to relaxation!
Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering weekly yoga classes.
Please contact for more details on 663 140 297


treat your health in the new year-JAN 2011

PUREWATERDr. Brett is a Naturopathic Physician with practices in Stratford and Stamford, USA

A number of patients coming into the office have been suffering from a variety of symptoms, all of which can be traced to a lack of pure water intake. Most were drinking plenty of fluids: coffee, soda, tea, and juice.
But none were drinking enough pure water.

What kinds of symptoms result from drinking too little pure water? Most commonly I see constipation, dry and itchy skin, acne, nose bleeds, repeated urinary tract infections, dry and unproductive coughs, constant sneezing, sinus pressure, and headaches.

You might ask how a lack of pure water intake can cause this wide array of symptoms. Pure water is required by every cell in the body as nourishment and to remove wastes. When water becomes scarce, the body tries to limit the amount it loses through breathing, mucous production, urination, perspiration, and bowel movements.

Several cups of water are lost daily through breathing because the lungs require humid air to do their work. In the winter when drier air prevails outside and heating systems (especially forced hot air and wood stoves)
dry out the air inside, even more water is lost. It is estimated that on an average day in the fall, 3-4 cups of water are lost through breathing.
On a cold, dry winter day, as much as 2-3 more cups of water may be lost in this way. The body has to moisturize the air before it reaches the lungs and does so through the mucous membranes lining the nasal passages and the bronchi. As available fluid decreases, the mucous lining becomes drier. This in turn irritates the lungs, causing them to become more reactive to dust, mold particles, cigarette smoke, and other irritants; and is less resistant to viruses and bacteria. The result: dry cough and bronchitis.

The mucous membranes of our lungs and gut are an important component of our resistance to disease. They provide an effective barrier to bacteria, viruses, and pollutants when intact. But a number of substances (such as aspirin) are known to harm this barrier. What is less well known is that a lack of pure water in the body makes the all important mucous less viscous and can cause constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and a slowed movement of the bowels contents. These problems in turn increase ones risk of other long term disease including hemorrhoids and colon cancer. The mucous lining in the sinus passages is similarly vital as a defense against disease. When it becomes drier, sinusitis, nose bleeds, and allergic symptoms worsen.

Obviously, we all lose some water through urination, and urination is required for the removal of various toxins from the body. When fluid volume is diminished, the ability of the body to remove toxins through urination is also diminished. It is a common misunderstanding that the more pure water we drink, the harder it is on the kidneys. In fact, except for people with some uncommon kidney problems, the opposite is true. Water soluble toxins cannot be easily removed through the bowels, especially when a lack of water also causes constipation. These toxins then must be eliminated in other ways such as through the skin. The increase in body toxin levels can cause headaches and fatigue. The attempt by the body to remove excess levels of unwanted chemicals through the skin can cause acne and will aggravate eczema.

The easy solution to all these problems is to drink more pure water. Coffee, tea, and soda all contain caffeine which is a known diuretic and will actually accentuate the symptoms of fluid loss. Fruit juices are more concentrated in sugar than your body's fluids and so the body will attempt to dilute them in the gut, thereby causing a loss of water from other areas of the body.

In the dry, hot air of winter and very hot days of summer, drink at least 10 glasses of pure water daily for optimal health. During the spring and fall, 8 glasses will suffice for most people, although those with inhalant allergies do best to drink as much pure water as possible. Pregnant women need to drink at least 50% more pure water daily than they would while not pregnant.
People who exercise vigorously should add one glass of pure water for each 30 minutes of exercise. Herbal teas and diluted fruit juices (1/3 fruit juice to 2/3 water) can be substituted for some of the water. Drink one extra glass of pure water for each cup of coffee or black tea you have. Humidifying the air in the winter will help reduce water loss, but be careful to clean humidifiers daily to discourage bacteria or mold build up.
Pure water can be a miracle cure for many common ailments.
Try drinking some now, and see if you don't feel better!
Dr. Jennifer Brett

For more information call PureWaterSpain 977 059 364




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For most applications, NoScale® is a hassle-free alternative to traditional water softeners.
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Limescale causes all sorts of problems for homeowners and business people in hard water areas. Not only is it highly destructive to appliances, potentially decreasing the lifespan of boilers, washing machines and dishwashers by several years, but it can also increase their energy consumption dramatically. 1mm of limescale deposited on a heating element can increase the energy consumption of that appliance by around 10%. NoScale® is a revolutionary type of catalytic water conditioning media which changes the structure of limescale in the water in order to stop it depositing in pipes and on heating elements. Our installations have proved highly effective, saving our customers money, time and effort from the word ‘go’.

noscale     noscale

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For more information call PureWaterSpain 977 059 364




Happy New Year! Healthy New Year? Well, if you're feeling a little below par here's a quick and very effective detox diet to get back to glowing health again.
The Master Cleanse diet has been tried and tested for over 60 years, all over the world, as one of the best cleansing diets of all. The diet gently allows the body to heal itself.

Since ancient times, men and women have used fasting and cleansing techniques to heal their bodies. When fasting the digestive system and body are given a rest from the arduous task of digesting foods, so they can have a chance to throw off the toxins and poisons that have been lodged in the body. Most programs use some kind of herbs to assist with the cleansing (except pure water fasting). The Master Cleanse diet uses cayenne pepper and lemon as the cleansing agents, and maple syrup or honey for minerals. The lemon and cayenne pepper are also high in vitamins and minerals.

In today's society many people have been led to believe they would become ill if they don't eat enough food. This is an unfortunate misconception as studies show that a lack of fasting can lead to sickness in the world today. In America and many Western countries, obesity has been declared a national pandemic. Heart problems, cancer and cholesterol are common and this has been linked to the excessive consumption of food and alcohol.
While undergoing a detoxification fast we're aiming to cleanse and nourish the body at the same time; unlike water fasting which only cleanses the body, but could possibly leave it in short supply of minerals, vitamins and energy. The Master Cleanse helps to expel toxins, the body becomes clean and healthy.

The main ingredients are cheap and easy to find: Lemons have been hailed as the richest source of minerals & vitamins of any food known to man; Maple syrup & honey are also very high in minerals and sugar, which helps to sustain the body through the cleansing process; cayenne pepper helps to stimulate the body's cleansing process, & also breaks up the mucus that is clogging the body.
The Purpose of the Master Cleanse:
To dissolve and remove toxins and mucus from the body.
To clean the kidneys and digestive system.
To cleanse the glands and cells of the body.
To remove waste and hardened matter in the joints and muscles.
To relieve pressure and irritation in the nerves, arteries and blood vessels.
To create a healthy blood stream.
To return youthfulness to the body.
When to use the Master Cleanse:
When sickness has developed.
When the digestive system needs a clean.
When a person has become overweight.
When the body needs to be rebuilt and better assimilation of nutrients and food is needed.
How often should one do the Master Cleanse?
The Master Cleanse can be performed three or four times a year to keep the body in a normal healthy condition. But the diet can be used more frequently for serious problems.
How long does one do the cleanse for?
The diet should be followed for a maximum of 10 days. Please consult your doctor if trying the diet for more than one day.
MASTER CLEANSEHow to prepare the Master Cleanse
-Two tablespoons of fresh organic lemon or lime juice, (approximately half a lemon). Do not use bottled lemon juice.
-Two tablespoons of Honey
-1/10 teaspoon of cayenne pepper or to taste
-250ml water at room temperature
Combine all the above ingredients in a jar and shake together. Drink the mixture.
How much should I drink?
It's recommended to drink 6 to 12 glasses of the Cayenne, honey and lemon mixture per day.
No other food or juice should be taken during this time.
The mixture contains all the vitamins, minerals, nutrients and energy your body requires.
Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering weekly yoga classes.
For more information call 663 140 297


Health self-help toolkit: 'right relations (Part 2)'

SILKOContinuing on from last month, a look at Leslie Silko Marmon's description of manifesting health through living in right relations learned from growing up in traditional Pueblo Indian village. This is a continuing annotation of her fine article entitled ''Yellow woman & a beauty of the spirit'':

''......In the old time Pueblo world beauty was manifested in behaviour & one's relationships with other living beings. Beauty was as much a feeling of harmony as it was a visual, aural or sensual effect. The whole person had to beautiful, not just the face or body; faces or bodies could not be separated from hearts & souls. Health was foremost in achieving this sense of well-being and harmony. A person who did not look healthy inspired feelings of worry or anxiety, not feelings of well-being. A healthy person is of course in harmony with the world around her: she is at peace with herself too. Thus an unhappy person or a spiteful person would not be considered beautiful.

NATIVE AMERICANStrong, sturdy women were most admired. One of my most vivid preschool memories is of a crew of Laguna women, in their forties & fifties, who came to cover our house with adobe plaster. They handled the ladders with great ease, & while two women ground the adobe mud on stones and added straw, another woman loaded the hod with mud, & passed it up to the women on ladders. Since women owned the houses they did the plastering. At Laguna, men did the basket-making & weaving of fine textiles; men helped a great deal with childcare too. Because the Creator is female, there is no stigma on being female; gender is not used to control behaviour. No job was a man's job or woman's job; the most able person did the work.

My Grandma Lily had been a Ford "Model A" mechanic when she was a teenager. She was always fixing broken lamps & appliances. She was small & wiry but she could lift her weight in rolled roofing or boxes of nails. When she was 75 she was still repairing washing machines in my uncle's coin-operated laundry.

The old-time people paid no attention to birthdays. When a person was able to do something, she did it. When she was no longer able, she stopped. Thus the traditional Pueblo people did not worry about aging or about looking old because there were no social boundaries drawn by the passage of years. It was not remarkable for young men to marry women as old as their mothers. For the old-time people marriage was about team work & social relationships, not about sexual excitement. New life was so precious that pregnancy was always appropriate, and pregnancy before marriage was celebrated as a good sign.

Every impulse is to reaffirm the urgent relationships that human beings have with the plant & animal worlds. In the high desert plateau country, all vegetation, even weeds & thorns, becomes special, and all life is precious & beautiful because without the plants, the insects, & the animals, human beings living here cannot survive.

As children we were always warned not to harm frogs or toads, the beloved children of the rain clouds, because terrible floods would appear. I remember in the summer the old folks used to stick big bolls of cotton on the outside of the screen doors as bait to keep the flies from going in the house. The old folks staunchly resisted the killing of flies because once, long, long ago, when humans were in a great deal of trouble, a Green Bottle Fly carried the desperate messages of human beings to the Mother Creator in the Fourth World, below this one. To show their gratitude, the old folks refused to kill any flies.

SILKOThe old stories demonstrate the interrelationships that Pueblo people have maintained with their plant & animal clans people. Kochinako, Yellow Woman, represents all women in the old stories. Her deeds span the spectrum of human behaviour & are mostly heroic acts; though in at least one story she chooses to join the secret Destroyer clan, which worships death & destruction. She dares to cross traditional boundaries of ordinary behaviour during times of crisis in order to save the Pueblo; her power lies in her courage and her uninhibited sexuality, which the old-time Pueblo stories celebrate again and again because fertility was so highly valued. Her beauty lies in her passion, her daring, and her sheer strength to act when catastrophe is imminent.
The old-time people always say, remember the stories, the stories will help you be strong.''

Taru Burstall, licenced acupuncturist/massage & family systems therapist, any queries/comments 629 301 509,



yoga for all tree pose(vrkasana) Dec 2010

yoga christmasTree Pose (Vrkasana)

Balancing postures are wonderful for beginners in that they develop our physical balance. In addition, they assist in developing concentration, poise and awareness. In the nature of a tree, the standing leg grounds itself into the earth like roots of a tree as the upper body lengthens upward like the branches. Ancient yogis of India were known to stand in this posture for many days on the banks of the Ganges River while meditating and chanting. The Yogi's say that if you can hold Tree Pose with comfort and ease, it mirrors your emotional and mental states.

tree poseTree Pose

1. Stand tall on both feet for as long as it takes to gain a sense of balance and grounding through the legs. Find a place to focus your gaze upon, without straining the eyes. Keep your focus and breath steady as you continue.

2. Shift your weight onto the left leg. Slowly bend your right leg, and place the soul of the foot onto the inner side of the standing leg. You can place the foot on the inside of the ankle, calf or thigh. The important aspect of this pose is balance not where your foot rests. To reach the inner thigh, guide your foot upward with your hand. Press the foot into the thigh to keep from slipping.

3. Press through the foot of the standing leg, and as you breath lengthen your torso up. Bring your hands together in front of your chest into Namaste (prayer position). Allow the breath to flow naturally, deep into the lower lungs. If you feel stable, slowly raise your hands into the air above your head and lengthen the spine upward.
tree pose

4. Concentration is key; hold for as long as you feel comfortable. When you are ready to release, bring your foot back down to the ground in a smooth flowing movement. Alternate sides and repeat. Notice if you are more or less stable on one side or the other.
• Develops awareness, balance, concentration, and poise
• Revitalizes spine as well as the body and mind
• Strengthens entire leg, ankles and feet
• Increase flexibility in the thighs and hips

dog with tree pose


Cautionary Notes/Modifications

• If you find it difficult to balance, place your fingertips against a wall or on the back of a chair. Standing completely against the wall for support is another option.

• Call upon your breath as a source of strength for this grounding and quieting asana.

• Traditionally, we should begin with our less dominant leg to stand on

• Standing on one leg is very challenging, and we must always remember to honor where we are in every moment. If you fall out of the posture, it's okay, smile and try again!

• If you feel very stable try closing your eyes while maintaining the pose.

Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained Yoga teacher offering weekly drop in Yoga classes and also affordable private tuition at home. Please call on 663 140 297 for more details.



Health self-help toolkit: 'right relations (Part 1)' Dec 2010

silkoI always enjoy learning about ways in which other cultures & social systems foster the health of members of their communities. The quality of our relationships deeply affects our health as we all know. Leslie Marmon Silko describes the ways that right relations were encouraged & manifest growing up in a traditional Pueblo Indian society in an article entitled ''Yellow woman & a beauty of the spirit''. An annotated version of her beautiful article is offered here where she talks about how, despite the massive social changes of the last century, the old-time views on healthy relationships with our world still persist.

''They looked at the world very differently; a person's appearance & possessions didn't matter nearly as much as a person's behaviour. For them a person's value lies in how that person interacts with other people, how that person behaves towards the animals & the earth. That is what matters most to the old-time people. The Pueblo Indians believed this long before the Puritans arrived with their notions of sin & damnation, & racism. The old-time beliefs persist today. Many worlds may co-exist."

spirit truthI spent a great deal of time with my great-grandmother. Her house was next to our house, & I used to wake up at dawn & go & wait on the porch swing or on the back steps by her kitchen door. She got up at dawn but was more than eighty years old, so she needed a little while to get dressed and get the fire going. I had been carefully instructed by my parents not to bother her and to help her in any way I could. I always loved the early mornings when the air was so cool with a hint of rain smell in the breeze. In the dry New Mexico air, the least hint of dampness smells sweet. That's what I came to do every morning: to help Grandma water the plants before the heat of the day arrived.

I was allowed to listen quietly when Aunt Susie or Aunt Alice came to visit Grandma. They were usually busy chopping wood or cooking but never hesitated to answer my questions. Best of all they told me the hummah-hah stories, about an earlier time when animals & humans shared a common language. Adults took time out to talk and teach young people. Everyone was a teacher, and every activity had the potential to teach a child.

In the view of the old-time people, we are all sisters & brothers because the Mother Creator made us all – all colours and all sizes. We are sisters & brothers, clanspeople of all the living beings around us. The plants, the birds, fish, clouds, even the clay – they are all related to us. The old-time people believed that all things, even rocks & water, have spirit and being. They understood that all things want only to continue being as they are, they need only to be left as they are. They used to tell us kids not to disturb the earth unnecessarily. All things as they were created exist already in harmony with one another as long as we do not disturb them.

wolf spiritAs the old story tells us, Tse'itsi'nako, Thought Woman, the Spider (in some myths she is identical with Spiderwoman), thought of her three sisters, & as she thought of them, they came into being. Together with Thought Woman, they thought of the sun & the stars & the moon. The Mother Creators imagined the earth and the oceans, and the animals and the people, and the ka'tsina spirits that reside in the mountains......all the plants that flower and the trees that bear fruit. As Thought Woman & her sisters thought of it, the whole universe came into being. In this universe there is no absolute good or absolute bad; there are only balances & harmonies that ebb and flow. Some years the desert receives abundant rain, other years there is too little rain, and sometimes there is so much rain that it causes destruction. But the rain itself is neither innocent nor guilty. The rain is simply itself.

My great-grandmother was dark & handsome. Her expression on photos is one of confidence & strength. To the Pueblo way of thinking, comparing one living being with another was silly, because each living thing is unique and therefore incomparably valuable because it is the only one of its kind. The old-time people thought it is crazy to attach such importance to a person's appearance. It was bad manners to make comparisons that might hurt another person's feelings. The traditional Pueblo societies were communal and strictly egalitarian, which means that no matter how well or how poorly one might have dressed; there was no social ladder to fall from.

In the old time Pueblo world beauty was manifested in behaviour & one's relationships with other living beings. Beauty was as much a feeling of harmony as it was a visual, aural or sensual effect. The whole person had to beautiful, not just the face or body; faces or bodies could not be separated from hearts & souls. Health was foremost in achieving this sense of well-being and harmony. A person who did not look healthy inspired feelings of worry or anxiety, not feelings of well-being. A healthy person is of course in harmony with the world around her: she is at peace with herself too. Thus an unhappy person or a spiteful person would not be considered beautiful.''

Pueblo communities were & still are highly interdependent but also highly tolerant of individual differences & eccentricities because survival of the group means everyone has to co-operate.
To be continued next month, part 2, "Further perspectives on right relations as a cornerstone of health."

Taru Burstall, licenced acupuncturist/massage & family systems therapist, any queries/comments 629 301 509,



Health self-help tools: 'Smile at Fear, Awakening the true heart of bravery' Nov 2010

smile at fearAt these times of widespread instability I have greatly appreciated the recent release of the book 'Smile at Fear', whose author, Chögyam Trungpa, a renowned meditation teacher, seeing that the coming times would bring immense difficulties, was sure that humanity could handle what was coming, but equally sure that the challenges would be substantial. This is an annotated version from the opening chapter which offers tools to help train us for these challenges.
''Warriorship here refers to fundamental bravery & fearlessness, overcoming cowardice & our sense of being wounded. If we feel fundamentally wounded we may be afraid somebody is going to put stitches in us to heal our wound. Or maybe we have already had the stitches put in, but we dare not let anyone take them out. The approach of the warrior is to face all those situations of fear or cowardice. The general ground of warriorship is to have no fear, but the ground of warriorship is fear itself. In order to be fearless we have to find out what fear itself is.
Fear is nervousness; fear is anxiety; fear is a sense of inadequacy, a feeling that we may not be able to deal with the challenges of everyday life at all. We feel that life overwhelming. People may use tranquilisers or yoga to suppress their fear. They may take occasional breaks to go to Starbucks or the mall. We have all sorts of gimmicks & gadgets we use in the hope we might experience fearlessness by taking our minds off of our fear.
Where does fear come from? From basic bewilderment. Where does basic bewilderment come from? It comes from being unable to harmonize or synchronize mind and body. In the sitting practice of meditation, if you have a bad seat on the cushion, you are unable to synchronize your mind & body. You don't have a sense of your place or your posture. This applies to the rest of life as well. When you don't feel grounded or properly seated in your world, you cannot relate to your experience or the rest of the world.
So the problem begins in a very simple way. When body and mind are unsynchronised, you feel like a caricature of yourself, almost like a primordial idiot or a clown. In that situation it is very difficult to relate to the rest of the world.
One of the main obstacles to fearlessness is the habitual patterns that allow us to deceive ourselves. Ordinarily, we don't let ourselves experience ourselves fully; we have a fear of facing ourselves. Experiencing the innermost core of their existence is embarrassing to lot of people. Many people try to find a spiritual path where they do not have to face themselves but where they can still liberate themselves - liberate themselves from themselves, in fact. In truth, that is impossible. We cannot do that. We have to be honest with ourselves even our most undesirable parts. That is the foundation of warriorship & the basis of conquering fear. We have to face our fear; we have to look at it, study it, work with it, & practice meditation with it.
The only way to relax with yourself is to open your heart. Then you have a chance to see who you are. This experience is like opening a parachute. When you jump out of airplane and open the chute, you are there in the sky by yourself. Sometimes it is very frightening, but on the other hand, when you take this step, the whole situation, the whole journey makes sense. You have to actually do it, and then you will understand.
You remain true to yourself if you give up inhibition. You just give up your sense of privacy, your sense of shyness, and the longing to have a personal 'trip'. You could be a real person. When you give up smoking cigarettes you don't have to proclaim what you have done. Maybe nobody will notice. You just don't smoke any more. It might be sad for you that nobody can appreciate your virtue, but on the other hand, so what? When you give up your privacy you still stand and walk on two feet like other human beings. You look at the universe with two eyes, and it is okay, fine. You have become a fully decent person for the first time, but you do not have to proclaim that. You stop at red lights. You drive when it is green. It's a boring world. One has to take the first step. Then you find that you still maintain the same old standing, which is sometimes terrible, sometimes good, but still standing steady. It is very humorous in some ways, maybe painfully so. Maybe not! In any case, welcome to the warrior's world.
Then you begin to realize that you have something in yourself that is fundamentally, basically good. It transcends the notion of good or bad. Something that is worthwhile, wholesome, and healthy exists in all of us. You possess it already. Such goodness is synonymous with bravery. It is always there. Whenever you see a bright & beautiful colour, you are witnessing your own inherent goodness. Whenever you hear a sweet & beautiful sound, you are hearing your own inherent goodness. Whenever you taste something sweet or sour, you are experiencing your own basic goodness. If you are in a room & you open the door & walk outside, there is a sudden breeze of fresh air. Such an experience may only last a second, but that whiff of fresh air is the smell of basic goodness.
Things like that are happening to you, but you have been ignoring them, thinking they are mundane & unimportant, purely coincidences of an ordinary nature. However it is worthwhile to take advantage of anything that happens to you that has that particular nature of goodness. You begin to realize that there is nonaggression happening all around you in your life, & you are able to feel the freshness of realizing your goodness, again & again.
But you can't jump the gun. First, let us look at ourselves. If you put 100% of your heart into facing yourself then you connect with this unconditional goodness. Whereas if you only put 50% into the situation, you are trying to bargain with the situation, & nothing very much will happen. When you are genuine in the fullest sense, you do not need the conditional judgement of good or bad, you actually are good rather than you become good. We are fundamentally awake, already good. It's not just potential. It's more than potential. The heart of the matter, the technique that seems to be the only way to realize this, is the sitting practice of meditation. It is the key to seeing yourself as well as to seeing beyond yourself. Seeing yourself is the first aspect, discovering all sorts of terrible things going on in you. Facing the possibilities of that is not all that bad. If you begin to do that you are being an honest person. Then beyond that you begin to have further vision. Your honesty allows you to realize your goodness.''

Taru Burstall, licenced acupuncturist/massage & family systems therapist, any queries/comments 629 301 509,


Health self-help toolkit: Tui-na Bodywork October 2010

tuinaTui-na bodywork is a hands-on treatment that uses Chinese understanding from Taoism and martial arts systems about the body's energy channels to powerfully bring it to balance. It started to be practised in China around 1600 AD, when it was found particularly useful for treating infants and the elderly. Tui-na can be helpful in treating a broad range of acute and chronic musculoskeletal/joint problems, as well as many non-musculoskeletal problems such as chronic stress-related disorders of the digestive, respiratory, reproductive & mental/emotional systems.


massage catsmoxa

tdbaby tuina

tuinaThe client, wearing loose clothing and no shoes, lies on a table or sits in a chair and the body's ability to heal itself naturally is reactivated through a process of massage and manipulation techniques such as kneading, pressure on the acupressure points, brushing and rolling body areas. The major focus of application is upon specific pain sites, acupressure points, energy meridians, and muscles and joints. Sometimes we use auxiliary techniques such as moxa, where a nourishing herb (mugwort) in the form of a stick is burned and which, when held above the body, warms, relaxes and invigorates the painful area; or cupping, where suction is created in glass cups placed on the body, stimulating the flow of energy and highly useful for pain relief.

The Chinese view most chronic pain in the body as an expression of the stagnation of energy in the area, so all these techniques are different methods to help the flow re-establish itself in a gentle but powerful way, and so reduce to pain. As an intervention system, Tuina tends to be more task focused than other forms of massage. Sessions last from 30 minutes to 1 hour, and depending on the specific problems of the patient, they may return for additional treatments. The client usually feels relaxed but energized by the treatment.
Taru Burstall, licensed Tuina therapist & acupuncturist . Please phone 629 301 509 if you have any queries..




Work With Nature
PEACESKIN CAREPEACESafe natural tips -- for your health, for your budget, and for the environment. Go green.
Work with nature. We were given all we need, the natural ways have just been forgotten over the years. Man has put medicines into capsules and tablets, but most of these were made from plants or trees, many of which we have access to today.

Sleeping on your back will prevent many wrinkles and breakouts on your face, and even wrinkles in your cleavage area.

Wearing clothes that are tight make you look heavier. Even a slim girl can bulge over too-tight jeans.
Put on a coat of clear nail polish before a coloured polish to keep your nails from discolouring.
Being angry really does take away from your beauty now and will result in more wrinkles later.

Wearing less make-up makes you look younger.

Vitamins and minerals are needed for health and beauty, but more is not always better. Too much Vitamin A or Selenium can cause hair loss. There is nothing beautiful about losing your hair.

When shaving, don't stretch the skin or you could cause ingrown hairs by shaving hair off slightly under the skin.
Drink plenty of water and get eight hours of sleep every day.

Tighten bra straps as they stretch out, or buy a new bra when they can't tighten any further, to keep the bosom looking young and perky.

Instead of shaving over and over, with the hairs coming in darker and thicker each time, try waxing. Waxing to remove hair will result in softer hairs each time and result in permanent hair loss after a few sessions.

Exercise while dieting is a must or your skin will be too large (and saggy) for your smaller body. It is much, much tougher to tighten skin after your body shrinks than as you go.

After washing your face, rinse in cold water (fair-skinned people should use cool instead of cold) to close the pores and tighten the facial muscles.

Gum in the hair can be removed by saturating it with baby oil, peanut butter, or mayonnaise.

If your hair is turning green from too much chlorine, rinse it with tomato juice, then a final rinse of water
Get Rid of Gray Hair: (To bring back your own hair colour.) Pour 2 cups of boiling water over 1/2 cup of dried sage leaf. (Boiling sage will decrease its effectiveness.) Let this simmer for half an hour and then steep for several hours. Apply the tea to gray hairs once it has cooled down. Don't rinse it out. Let the hair dry naturally, then rinse. Apply this tea once a week until you have the shade you want and then once a month to maintain the colour. WARNING: Sage should be avoided if you have epilepsy, are pregnant, are nursing (or it will stop the milk), or if you have a fever (sage warms the body even more)



HEALTHYMany years ago, iodine was added to ordinary table salt so that just about everyone could easily get enough. With so many people cutting salt out of their diets and their kids' diets, goiters have made a big comeback due to lack of iodine. A goiter is a very large lump in the neck. The main source of iodine is seaweed, which is not in everyone's "backyard." Most people can handle a little table salt every day, and iodine is included in most multi-vitamins One-A-Day does not include iodine, so read labels before you buy.

Acid reflux or GERD is more than occasional heartburn or indigestion. In fact, some people with acid reflux never even experience heartburn. Some symptoms of acid reflux include:
• Hoarseness.
• Bitter stomach fluid coming into the mouth, especially during sleep.
• Repeatedly feeling a need to clear your throat.
• Difficulty swallowing food or liquid.
• Wheezing or coughing at night.
• Worsening of symptoms after eating, or when bending over or lying down.
Obviously, you should avoid spicy foods and any food that bothers you. Below are a few more things that will help tremendously.
• Don't lie down until at least 3 hours after eating.
• Sleep with your head at least 8" higher than your stomach to let gravity help keep stomach acids from coming up into your esophagus. Using a Comfort Wedge Pillow makes this very easy.
• Don't bend over or do exercises until long after eating.
• Eat 6 small meals instead of 3 large meals.
• Don't drink fizzy drinks.
• Cut out fatty foods (they increase the time food remains in the stomach).
• Quit smoking (nicotine relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter (LES)).
• Cut out chocolate (it relaxes the LES).
• Don't drink alcoholic beverages (alcohol relaxes the LES).
• Eliminate caffeine (it relaxes the LES).
• Eat properly so you don't develop constipation - that pushing will also push food or stomach acids upward.
• Lying on your left side can help relieve heartburn by keeping the stomach below the esophagus and acid-free.
• Avoid stress and anger.
• Mix 1 tablespoon of natural apple cider vinegar in a glass of water, and sip this during your meal.
• Yogurt contains beneficial digestive bacteria, as do Probiotic Acidophilus Capsules, Adult Chewable Acidophilus Tablets, Acidophilus Strawberry Liquid, and L'il Critters Probiotic Acidophilus Chewable Tablets.
• Eat dried figs, fresh pineapple*, and dried or fresh papaya. These foods are loaded with digestive enzymes. Or you could take Digestive Enzymes in capsule form. *Pineapple will help most people, but it bothers some - if it bothers you, eliminate it from your diet.
Note: Peppermint candy, tea, or essential oil will soothe an upset stomach, relax the body and so aid in digestion, and relax muscles to allow the body to get rid of gas. But, peppermint should not be taken if you have acid reflux or GERD because it relaxes and weakens the LES. When the LES is relaxed, food and liquid are allowed to come back up.

If you have asthma and are caught without your inhaler, you can get emergency help from drinking a few cups of coffee, a can of coke, a few cups of tea, or a cup of cocoa. You could even eat a few chocolate chocolate bars (dark chocolate being stronger than milk chocolate, and semi-sweet being stronger than dark chocolate).
These contain either caffeine or theobromine, or both, which help stop bronchospasms and open constricted bronchial passages. Cocoa has much less caffeine than coffee but much more theobromine.
The theobromine in chocolate can also be used as a cough medicine, and also lowers blood pressure.
Don't drink things directly from the can that are purchased from a grocery store. They may spray pesticides regularly to keep bugs away, and there may be residue on the cans.


Health self-help toolkit:
fire and water August 2010

health fireHere we are in the midst of the Catalan fire and water festivals, & feeling the strength of these elements every day in the most extreme ways as summer peaks and we try to keep the vegetables alive. The balance of fire and water is an expression of the most central yin & yang interrelationship in our body, as well as in the environment around us, our shared collective body on a larger scale. This is the most important time therefore to ensure we take care of the balance between these 2 core elements.
Fire is crucial, needed to kick-start every physiological process in our body. It is the flame that stokes all the transformative processes such as providing the energy for digestion, breathing and detoxing, powering the movement of the blood, allowing conception, and keeping a spark alive in the mind and heart. If the fire element of the body becomes weak, the lungs and spleen don't transform water and dampness builds up, making us sluggish, depressed and carrying excess water and weight..
exotic fruitThe water element in our body clearly serves to moisten and cool, balancing the warming of the fire element and keeping us from overheating. If there is not enough water to cool the body fire gets out of hand and the excess heat tends to flow upwards - just as warm air rises - creating classic signs of heat in the top of the body, such as headaches, red eyes and face, and thirst. Water flows, and excess fire gets us dried out, brittle and rigid.
So as the fire mounts around us: keep eating cool and watery things, like cucumbers and melons, fish, and other watery beings that nourish your Kidneys, the root water element organ; make sure you get to the sea or swimming pool; and do your meditation, or any calming-cooling hobbies you have that will carry you though this time with less stress and more enjoyment.

Taru Burstall, licensed acupuncturist and Tuina (Chinese massage) therapist, phone 629301509.




Home Remedies for prickly Heat- July 2010

prickly heatPrickly heat is a rash that appears on the skin due to excessive sweating, especially in the summer season. They are also popularly known as heat rashes or sweat rashes. In medical terminology, prickly heat is known as miliaria rubra or simply miliaria. Prickly heat occurs because the excessive sweating caused due to the external heat temporarily blocks the sweat glands, due to which a proper purification of the blood does not occur.

The common symptoms of prickly heat are small eruptions on the skin which are small and grainy in nature. They could be red, or they could even be just a shade darker than the colour of the skin. These eruptions are always itchy and they are accompanied by a prickly burning sensation. For children, prickly heat is always very uncomfortable. In addition, there is always a chance of a more serious bacterial infection once the prickly heat has occurred.

heat rashHome Remedies for Prickly Heat
When they occur, the natural instinct is to buy some cream or powder readily available in the market and apply it on the skin. This does work most of the time, but we must remember that each of us has a unique kind of skin. Hence, the patent formulations may not work, and may actually aggravate the condition.
Therefore, it is much safer to use some herbal and natural remedies, which will not have side-effects even if used in an excess amount. The following is a list of some of the most effective home remedies for prickly heat to apply when heat rashes occur.
prickly heatThis is a very elaborate, but certain method to remove the prickly heat. Take an earthen vessel. Fill it with clean water. Take about fifteen to twenty gooseberries (amalaki, Emblica officinalis). Wipe each gooseberry in turn and add it to the water in the pot. Then cover the earthen pot with a lid. Let the gooseberries remain in the pot for one whole night. In the morning, the fruits will have become soft. Mash the gooseberries in the water itself. Then strain the water, add sugar in it and drink. Drink as much as you need to quench your thirst. This remedy removes the heat from the body. The prickly heat is treated within about seven days. There are other benefits too. The stomach will remain clear and digestion will be improved. This is one of the useful home remedies for prickly heat.
Make a paste of cornstarch or baking soda in water. Apply this paste onto the portion of the skin affected by the heat rash. Let this paste remain there for about half an hour. Within this time, the paste will dry completely. Then take a cold water bath and wash the paste away. Otherwise, you can use a towel soaked in cold water and apply this cold compress onto the skin. Either way, your skin will cool down and you will get relief from the prickly heat inflammation. This is one of the important natural remedy.
Drink several glasses of citrus fruit juices, especially limejuice in a day. You can have juices from oranges, sweet lemons, watermelons, pineapples, etc. These cool down the body and arm it against the external heat.
Neem soaps are easily available in the market. Having a bath with this soap, especially in the summer season, will keep the prickly heat away. It is also a good remedy if you already have prickly heat eruptions.
You can make a fine powder of sandalwood and dust it all over your body. This will also be very helpful in keeping the prickly heat in check.
Cut open a watermelon. Then take it peels off. Eat the fruit. It will provide coolness in the body. Then apply the peels on the prickly heat affected areas. Use the inside portion to rub on the skin. Such a remedy cools the body from the inside as well as the outside, and helps to get the prickly heat treated soon. This is the best diet for prickly heat.

drink waterPrecautions for Prickly Heat
(i) Avoid hot and humid climates as much as possible.
(ii) Do not exert yourself so much that you produce more sweat.
(iii) If sweat occurs on the body, clean it off as soon as possible. If you can, have a bath to remove the sweat, or at least wipe off the body with a rough towel in order to unclog the sweat pores.
(iv) Try to use air-conditioning wherever possible.
(v) In summer air circulation is very important. If there is no air conditioner, at least keep the room well-ventilated. Also wear loose cotton clothes to allow the air to pass through.
(vi) Have a bath several times a day in the summer season, if your work involves a lot of sweating. Also, very important to remember, have a bath in the night before going to bed. Or else the sweat will dry up on the skin and will possibly cover the sweat pores by morning.
(vii) Drink lots of water in the summer season. This helps to keep the sebaceous (sweat) glands functional.



Health Matters- kickstarting your health-card application (Targeta Sanitària) & the medical translation service March 2010

targeta sanitarioAs all reputable complementary health professionals do, I like to work alongside existing medical services wherever possible and indicated, working together as a combined health team for our patient's benefit. Stereo vision usually helps, and whenever I have been health-challenged myself I have wanted all the available perspectives to make the best informed choices for myself.
body systemsHowever, a lot of us moving to this new country here find ourselves vulnerable & disempowered around our health needs because of the long delay in getting hold of the actual health card. Or forking out a lot on flights to get healthcare back home. Some people have applied for their health card, often at their local health centre, but may still be waiting for the card even up to a year later. This puts people off getting important medical help & check-ups that they need.
When this happened to me the local health centre explained that their help in passing on my application was discretionary, a favour, & that they were unfortunately therefore unable to help me follow up to see what had happened to my application. They advised me to go straight to the CatSalut (health service) office, so I went to the local office in Tortosa where the service was efficient & I was given a temporary document to cover me until the proper card itself was ready 2 weeks later.
So to get your long-awaited health card you can go direct to your local CatSalut office (eg. for Tortosa, C/ St Joan Baptista La Salle, 8, on the corner of La Salle & C/ Despuig, tel. 977 448 170).
health spainTo apply for the health card in the first place you need to provide proof of identity (passport/NIE), your Certificate of Empadronament (some places seem to ask for an original, not a copy), and to complete the application form, available at your local CAP (primary healthcare centre/doctors). Details of the targeta sanitària, eg.conditions for accessing it, etc., can be found on the government´s health service website:, (you can access an English language version), or tel. 902 111 444. The CAISS office (Centre for Attention & Information for Social Security) is also useful for information about health cards - our local office, for example, has 2 people who speak English & very helpfully field enquiries.
Another useful service is Sanitat Respon, a translation service where you & your doctor can call a translator during your consultation: phone 902 111 444. Translation is available in English & other languages, such as Arabic, Rumanian, etc.
healthAlso good is the internet service where you can change a doctor´s/clinic appointment by entering your health card number into the webpage
And finally, of course, it's always good to know the emergency medical number here, 061.
So, good luck with being well-prepared and informed about your healthcare.
Taru Burstall, Licensed Acupuncturist & Psychotherapist , Massage Therapist, 629 301 509,



new eu regulations from may 1 2010

health care cutsChanges to EHIC regulations affect British pensioners in Spain. Changes are underway to the system of issuing the European Health Insurance Cards to British expatriates living in Spain who are in receipt of a UK state pension. UK state pensioners are eligible for free public healthcare through the form E121 in Spain as their country of residence, and, just as with Spaniards travelling within Europe, may currently apply for the Spanish equivalent of the EHIC for temporary trips to another member state of the European Union. The card is known as the Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea , and is available from Spain’s INSS Social Security Authority.

global healthBut that’s all set to change on 1st May next year when the UK will become responsible for issuing the EHIC to UK pensioners who are resident in other EU countries. It’s understood to be part of a new system to coordinate EU social security schemes which is to be implemented across member states next May. The imminent changes in the issue of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), as required under the new Social Security Coordinating Regulations 883/2004 which come into effect on May 1 2010. As from that date the payment of a citizen’s health care, when using the EHIC, will also become the responsibility of the state issuing the form E121, which is available to Pensioners as well as those in receipt of long term sickness benefit and entitles them to state health care in Spain.

The UK is still working on its processes for the implementation of the new regulations and, according to a statement on the British Embassy’s website in Madrid, everyone it affects in all EU member states will be contacted once the processes have been finalised.

The Embassy notes that the INSS has issued some EHICs to British residents in Spain which are due to expire on 28th February 2010, based on a previous planned date for the new regulations to come into effect. The advice to anyone that may affect and who wishes to travel before the new system is in place is to contact the INSS for an extension to their EHIC.

The European Health Insurance Card covers travel in the EU’s 27 member states, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, where it is valid for unforeseen medical treatment during your trip.
Important information for UK State pensioners living in Spain appears in the official statement issued on the NHS web site see details below:
"Due to changes in European Union regulations, from May 1 2010 the United Kingdom may be responsible for the issue of your European Health Insurance Card instead of the member state where you live.

This will apply if you are a national of an EU member state and live in an EU member state, and you either:

* receive your state pension or other long-term benefit from the UK and you have registered the form E121 with the health authorities in the member state where you live; or
* you are dependent on a citizen working in the UK and have registered the form E109 issued by the UK

You will need to send your application by post. An application form, along with an explanatory letter, will be posted to you during February 2010. This application form will be different from the EHIC application form available in the UK, and will be modified to prove your entitlement to the new UK-issued EHIC card.

These cards will be sent out from April 2010 onwards. If you return your completed application form by the end of March 2010, your card should arrive before the new regulations come into force.

If you are not a national of an EU member state, or you live in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, then the country where you live will remain responsible for issuing your EHIC. In these circumstances, please contact the authorities in your country of residence."

For more information please call the Overseas Healthcare Team on 0191 218 1999. Or visit the NHS website.



ocd-Therapeutic Intervention using Hypnosis and NLP march 2010

hypnosisHello and welcome to our next article on Hypnotherapy. Those who have read the earlier interesting features will by now remember that Hypnosis is very safe and that you are not unconscious or asleep as many people suspect. If anything you are more alert when in the Hypnotic trance than you are when out of it. Many people are surprised they can hear my voice and that they remember hearing my wife walking along our hall floor. Remember no Hypnotist or Hypnotherapist can make anyone do anything that would be against their own code of ethics. Forget what you have seen in pubs and clubs or on television with the stage hypnotists, those people on stage actually want to get up and be the star of the show and a good stage hypnotist will let them do just that. Most of us will have read adverts for Stop Smoking with Hypnosis and as this seems to get lots of publicity it would be easy to assume that this is its main use. Not so!

Let us take a look at something, that if you have it can absolutely control your life and spoil it for you and others. One such difficulty is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD and in its mildest forms can be a nuisance but in anything above mild can ruin your life. Some of us will recognise OCD And others might recognise it as you read through this interesting feature. What is OCD And how can Hypnotherapy and NLP help? I can assure you I have treated many clients who had OCD Successfully and helped them improve their lives. So let's look at what OCD is.

hypnosis catOCD Affects a good proportion of the population. It is characterised by obsessive thoughts that cause anxiety. This leads to rituals or repetitive actions, for example, constantly washing your hands, to relieve the anxiety.
OCD has two main features:
Experiencing frequent, disturbing, unwanted thoughts that result in fears, and compulsions,
Acts or rituals carried out in response to fears caused by the obsessions.

The overwhelming urge to carry out a certain ritual is known as a compulsion.
Examples of (OCD) Compulsions include, excessive hand washing, cleaning, counting, checking, touching, arranging, hoarding, measuring, excessive neatness (e g pencils lined up neatly on the office desk, look around the office tomorrow), and repeating tasks or actions. People with OCD carry out these types of compulsion in a desperate bid to calm the anxiety caused by their obsessions. However, once they have carried out the compulsion, they feel slightly better. This feeling is only temporary, because once the obsession comes back, the whole ritual starts again. If the person is unable to complete the compulsion it usually results in severe anxiety or panic. This is because they think that something terrible will happen if they don't finish or don't do it properly. The thoughts and actions of OCD may become so upsetting and time-consuming that it gets in the way of work and family life. This can lead to anxiety or depression. In some cases, a person may have only obsessive thoughts without showing compulsive behaviour or vice-versa.
Examples of obsessions are worrying excessively about germs, contamination, dirt, fear of having harmed others, intrusive sexual thoughts or urges, death and illness. People with OCD are usually aware that their compulsions and obsessions are irrational or excessive. However, just knowing is not enough to stop the obsessions and compulsions and treatment is needed.

The following disorders also display obsessive symptoms that are similar to OCD:
Compulsive hair pulling.
Compulsive skin picking.
Eating disorders such as Bulimia or Anorexia
Body dysmorphic disorder (Extreme anxiety over body appearance).
Hypochondriasis (Irrational ideas or fears of having a serious illness).

OCD Symptoms. The symptoms of Obsessional Compulsive Disorder (OCD) might typically begin during the teenage years or early adulthood. However, it is not unusual for children before the age of five to develop the condition. Research shows that at least one-third of cases in adults began in childhood. Only a very small minority of people develop OCD after the age of 35.
Symptoms and behaviours linked with OCD are wide-ranging. A person with OCD has either obsessions, or compulsions, or both.

Obsessions are unpleasant thoughts, images or urges that keep coming into your mind. Some of the common obsessions include:
Unwanted thoughts, often of a disturbing nature, such as sexual or violent urges.
Feeling the need to confess to something.
Fear of making mistakes or behaving in an inappropriate way.
Fear about causing harm to other people, and needing everything to be perfect.

Compulsions are thoughts or actions that you feel you must do or repeat. Some of the common compulsions include:
Fear of contamination and germs, leading to constant cleaning.
Repeatedly checking things, such as doors and locks, counting, while performing routine tasks.
Needing to do things a certain number of times or in a certain order,
Touching or arranging items in careful and neat order.
Hoarding objects, usually of no value.
Repeating numbers, words, phrases, prayers or a particular song over and over again, either under your breath or internally in your mind.

The physical symptoms of OCD are very similar to those of a panic attack and include:
Sweating, Racing heart, Dizziness, Shortness of breath, and Trembling or shaking. Social Phobia and Panic disorder are also more common in people with OCD.
Causes. The exact cause of Obsessional Compulsive D

isorder (OCD) is unknown, but it is probably caused by a combination of factors. Something happened in earlier years that caused your subconscious mind to make you behave in this way and it may well have been a good thing to do…ONCE! Stress does not cause OCD. However, a stressful event or trauma seems to trigger the condition in some people. OCD sometimes runs in families and it may be due to copying the OCD behaviour of another family member. A learned behaviour! This would be similar to how many people develop Phobias. Personality type may also be a factor - for example, perfectionists seem to be more prone to developing OCD.

Diagnosis. Those with OCD do not always understand what they have and don't like to ask for help because they might be worried about what others will think of them. This is particularly common in situations where the person goes to great lengths to keep their OCD secret.
Test yourself, do you answer yes to any of the following?
Do you have symptoms that cause considerable anxiety and distress?
Do you have symptoms that are present on most days for at least two weeks?
Do you have symptoms that take up more than one hour a day?
Do you have symptoms that significantly interfere with work, personal relationships, social activities and daily routine?
Do you recognise that you or someone close to you has obsessions and compulsions that are unreasonable or excessive?
How do you treat it? Your GP should be your first port of call and he/she will make recommendations and may well suggest a complimentary therapy instead of medication. Hypnosis and NLP are a complimentary therapy and can often obtain a relatively quick change in your behaviour and thinking. By utilising the full resources of the subconscious mind it might be necessary to uncover the root cause of your OCD and then from that point we can then help you re-programme your own mind so that your subconscious learns how to behave in a new way or in the way it did before you developed OCD (if appropriate). Using NLP (Nuero Linguistic Programming) and some of the many guided visualisation techniques whilst in the Hypnotic trance can transform your behaviour and your life.
If you are reading this and would like an informal discussion, then call me. Paul Parker, tel 0044 (0)7766 885350 or 0044 1926 811129 or


is sleep the new sex?
sex or sleep-what does it for you? Feb 2010


Trends run in cycles and now, after suffering years of angst about whether we’re getting enough quality sex, it seems that people are deciding to roll over and grab some sleep instead. That is, according to international trendspotter Marian Salzman, the woman who previously predicted “singletons” and “low-carb diets”. Her new year prediction is that “sleep will be the new sex. Sleep as a luxury. Sleep as a fantasy. Sleep as a naughty little secret indulgence.
hoverflies mating“Look around, there are so many clues that a good night’s sleep has come to beat a great orgasm,” says Salzman. “The big airlines are advertising fully-reclining beds for business class travellers. Prozac has fallen out of fashion and organic sleeping aids are springing up in its place.
“Women’s magazines are full of tips for sleeping as a beauty treatment, advising everything from herbal tea at bedtime to learning a whole new set of breathing techniques. sleeping catAnd, this time of year, when most people are booking their summer holidays, ask your friends what the are looking forward to most. Nine times out of ten they’ll tell you, ‘a good rest’.” One sign that sleep is being placed higher on people’s agendas is the latest fad in America for “Nap Centres”. (Japan has actually had them for some time.) These are spa-style outlets where stressed customers can walk in off the street and pay $30 to take a 20-minute catnap in a specially-designed pod. Lights are dimmed and soporific music plays.
The Nap Centre trend began in Stress City, New York and now it’s headed for Europe. Instead of power lunches, executives are preferring to nip out and unwind horizontally. Newsweek columnist Gersh Kuntzman, writing about the new phenomenon after spending time at a Nap Centre reported, “Look, I’m a man, I have needs. A few minutes between the sheets. It happens sometimes. And I needed it so badly I was willing to pay for it.
karmaWhat, you thought I was talking about sex? Please. Any idiot can get sex, but I have found that it’s almost impossible for me to get enough sleep nowadays.” He isn’t alone. Studies have found that one in three people suffers from some form of insomnia. We now sleep for just under seven hours a night, on average – one hour less than 30 years ago and two hours less than 80 years ago. Increased working hours, greater entertainment options and larger intakes of alcohol are also conspiring to keep us awake. Tiredness is one of the most common problems reported by couples to marriage counsellors. Sleep is certainly the topic of the moment. Even pop stars are talking about it.

The 17-year-old singing sensation Joss Stone says sleep is her favourite hobby and pop idol Christina Aguilera recently confessed that “some of my best sleeps are under my piano”. It may never replace it but lack of sleep is certainly the enemy of sex. It would pay to invest a few hours in the former to guarantee plenty of the latter.



The Journey – an amazing healing process- jan 2010

the journeyThe Journey, developed by Brandon Bays, is a deceptively simple process that helps people clear out emotional blocks which give rise to physical and psychological problems. Brandon’s own healing journey began after she was diagnosed with having a basketball sized tumour. Rather than undergo surgery she embarked on a soul-searching journey in which she uncovered a means to get access to a cell memory associated with the tumour and to tap into the boundless healing potential inside all of us. Only six and a half weeks later she was pronounced tumour free, text book perfect without the use of drugs or surgery. She then developed a profoundly effective process which uses practical techniques that help people clear longstanding emotional issues and physical challenges through tapping into the body’s infinite wisdom

life stairsHer bestselling book, “The Journey”, has been widely read and, as the tools are so user friendly, many organizations have incorporated them into their workplace. Businesses, universities, schools, hospitals, prisons, alternative centres, counselling groups, youth groups, churches and all manner of social and spiritual organizations are using The Journey to liberate people’s highest potential and facilitate lasting healing.
Since its inception in 1994, Journey work has been expanding worldwide and Journey seminars are now conducted in over 30 countries with the book translated into 20 different languages including Spanish.
JOURNEY OUTREACH is the charitable arm of the Journey. It was born in 2004 when a generous group of individuals made donations with the prayer that a Journey Centre be built in South Africa so that its youth-orphans, children with AIDS or drug addictions, those who had suffered the hurt and pain of violence and sexual abuse would have a free-of-charge way to find freedom, love and healing. The results have been amazing and Journey Outreach now has active programmes in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, India, and with indigenous communities in Australia and New Zealand.
For further information on this amazing healing process, please contact: Bríd Ní Ríordáin on 977 444703 or e-mail Bríd at: Or visit

the journey


Cognitive reactions to smoking relapse
By Elliot Wald, Tami J Eggelston PhD & Frederick Gibbson PhD-feb 2010

time to relaxno smoking

Hypnosis is the most effective way of giving up smoking, according to the largest ever scientific comparison of ways of breaking the habit. Willpower, it turns out, counts for very little.

Smokers are coming under increasing pressure to quit.

stop smokingEarlier this month the Institute of Actuaries published the results of a study it commissioned which showed that the mortality rate for smokers is twice as high as for non-smokers, and that on average a smoker dies 6 years earlier than a non-smoker. Surveys suggest that three in four smokers would like to give up, according to the anti-smoking campaign Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). To find the most effective way to give up smoking, frank Schmidt and research student Chockalingam Viswesvaran of the University of Iowa carried out a meta-analysis, statistically combining the results of more than 600 studies covering almost 72,000 people from North America, Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe. By combining the results from so many separate studies, the meta-analysis enables the real effectiveness of each technique to be picked out from the statistical ‘noise’ that often blights studies involving smaller numbers of subjects.

The results, published in the current issue of the journal, show that the average success rate for all methods was 25%: that is, only about two in five smokers is likely to succeed using methods covered by the study. Patients told they had serious cardiac disorders, and so a clear incentive to stop immediately, had the highest quitting rate, at 36 per cent. But for most smokers the most effective technique was hypnosis, which included 48 studies covering over 6000 smokers, gave an average success rate of 80 per cent for this method. ‘Combination’ techniques, combining, for example, exercise and breathing therapy came second with a success rate of 29 per cent. Smoke aversion, in which smokers have their own warm, stale cigarette smoke blown back into their faces, achieved a 25 per cent success rate, followed by acupuncture at 24 per cent.

The least successful method turned out to be advice from GPs, which appears to convince virtually no one to give up. Self-help, in the form of books or mail-order advice, achieved modest success – around 9 per cent, while nicotine gum was little better at 10 per cent.

stage hypnosis‘We found that involvement of physicians did not have as big an impact as we expected’, said Schmidt, ‘We speculate that the reason for this is that it is the content of the treatment that matters, and not the status of the person giving it.’ David Pollock, director of ASH, said he was surprised by the success of hypnosis, which anecdotal evidence had suggested was not very effective. One organization not surprised by the results is the British Society of Medical and Dental Hypnosis. Christopher Pattinson, the society’s academic chairman, said that current hypnosis techniques are a far cry from their popular image of music hall tricks involving swinging fob watches.

The latest relaxation techniques achieve success rates of up to 80 per cent from a single session, he said. Richard Doll, the epidemiologist who carried out the pioneering studies of the risk of smoking, said that the apparent success of hypnosis and the high quitting rate of patients with heart disease backed his own observations. He added, however, that he was somewhat surprised by the low success rate of those who resorted to willpower alone: ‘The majority of people find it too difficult to give up, he said. ‘The only way to succeed is to want to do it enough.’

hypnosis sleepArticle taken from New Scientist vol 136 issue 1845-31 October 92
If you are reading this and would like an informal discussion, then call me. Paul Parker, tel 0044 (0)7766 885350 or 0044 1926 811129 or


How good would it be to get rid of excess fat without a diet?

Weight Reduction Using Hypnosis & your own mind - Let me explain how. JAN 2010


WATCHAs a Certified and Registered Hypnotherapist and Trainer of Hypnotherapists I understand some of the concerns people have surrounding the myths and fairy tales that abound on the subject of Hypnosis. Let me tell you about the good work that can be done utilising the power of your own mind. At this time of year many of us make a promise to ourselves to ‘lose weight’ and go on diets of many different kinds. Well, what a waste of time! You will be on a diet of some kind for the rest of your life. What happens when you come off the diet? Dieters in the main fail and let me explain the reason. When I work with my private clients on weight reduction there is no diet and we do not focus on ‘losing weight.’ There are no forbidden foods! I do not want my clients to have any forbidden foods. How can it be right for someone, whom you have never met to tell you what you can and cannot eat?

OK got your attention now? We are all programmed in our subconscious mind, from childhood to go and find whatever we lose. Remember when you were a child losing your shoe or toy and your parents telling you to go and look for it and find whatever it was. So now when you ‘lose’ weight your subconscious mind kicks in and tells you to go and find the weight you have lost. Using Hypnosis and the power of your own subconscious mind we start by changing your thinking to the fact you are deliberately getting rid of something you have no need for, your excess weight. As you deliberately get rid of ‘it’ your subconscious mind realises this and gets on with something else. So far so good, many of you are nodding your heads now in agreement because you know this makes sense, don't you?

How do we get to this stage and what happens at a Hypnosis session? Firstly decide how much weight you want to loose and the reasons for this before calling me.

At your session I will take details of your eating habits before deciding what process we will use together. Then explain what we are going to do without going into great detail, after all that's the reason you are here. We may even set a realistic target date for your weight reduction to be achieved.

FATMANApproaches can vary depending on what you tell me. For example if there are cravings, say for chocolate, this could easily be dealt with without hypnosis utilising TFT or thought field therapy and involves self tapping on certain points of the body to remove the cravings. Once the desire for chocolate has gone then you simply do not eat it or eat a reduced quantity, you decide before we start. If there are other foods that you want to stop eating completely, then I could use a different method, commonly known as BUSTER therapy and again we are not yet using Hypnosis. (Some of this I do in public, at exhibitions or when giving talks freely to local groups). If alcohol is an issue and we all know how fattening alcohol is, this can be dealt with. All the decisions are yours and yours alone, no one telling you what to do. Deep down if we are being honest we do know how we would like to behave with food and eating and this is where we start utilising Hypnosis. Once you have allowed yourself to enter into the Hypnotic trance we can then start the process of you reprogramming your mind with my assistance. Notice I wrote the words allow yourself to go into Hypnosis as no one can be Hypnotised unless they are willing to be. Those of you who know a little about hypnosis will know that you the client are in control and no Hypnotist or Hypnotherapist can make you do anything which would be against your own code of ethics. You will be awake; you will be conscious and fully aware of everything that is going on. I liken the Hypnotic trance to deep relaxation, a bit like drifting into a dream world before you fall asleep, very pleasant, and very relaxing. All I ask is that you follow my voice and my instructions and providing you do that you will enter into Hypnosis. Then using various techniques we can help you change your eating habits to what you really want, deep down in your own mind to do.

WEIGHT LOSSMany people say they do not have enough will power and whilst this is true for some, we all do have will power. Often this will power is increased through Hypnosis and makes the whole process of getting rid of excess fat, very easy, surprisingly easy they say. With Hypnosis it is possible to get rid of excess weight by an average of 2 - 5 pounds per week and all you have to do is what we agreed with your subconscious mind and follow my golden rules. There are only 4 of them so this will be very easy.
Rule 1 When you are genuinely hungry EAT
Rule 2 Eat what you want, not what you think you should
Rule 3 Eat CONSCIOUSLY and ENJOY every mouthful
Rule 4 When you first feel full STOP eating

In some cases people are fat for a reason(s) and this has been done by the subconscious mind for a positive reason. A clue might be in someone saying for example ‘I am always hungry’ ‘I never feel really full’ ‘If I don't have a pudding I feel cheated.’ This could point to the need for regression. Your subconscious mind may have started this a long time ago for the right reason in its opinion at the time, and sometimes there is a need to go back in time and visit and or learn what was going on at the time your subconscious decided this was the route to go down. Time passes but your subconscious keeps behaving in an old way based on old information. There is nothing to be worried about in doing regression if you have chosen an experienced Hypnotherapist, he or she will guide you in complete safety and help you to make the necessary adjustment. Once the past event has been successfully dealt with your subconscious mind can then learn how you wish to behave in relation to food from now on.

So in simple terms your subconscious mind is working with old information and needs updating. Weight reduction or weight control is an area I specialise in and have extensive experience of, although it is only the tip of the iceberg that Hypnotherapy can help with. How many sessions will I need is a common question and not an easy one to answer. I can tell you that all of my weight clients will have a minimum of two sessions and more if required, it really depends on each individual and what their goals are. A lot easier than going to classes each week for the rest of your life, isn't it?

Hypnotherapy has been around for a long time and must not be compared to the stage shows you may have seen. It is used by some medical practitioners and certainly in the past Hypnosis was used widely around the world for surgical operations long before we had anaesthetics. A professional Hypnotherapist gives a completely confidential service so you can talk in the certain knowledge that no one else will know anything about you. If you are reading this and would like an informal discussion, then call me. Paul Parker, tel 0044 (0)7766 885350 or 0044 1926 811129 or



DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR WATER..When you drink a glass of water from the tap, you probably think that it’s 100 percent pure H2O; you know there is fluoride in there for healthy teeth and other various chemicals used to kill bacteria and improve taste. What you don’t know is that you are probably also drinking a big, cold glass of the remnants of someone else’s medicine.

The quality of our drinking water has been steadily declining. So far governments have turned a blind eye to the problem. They continue to dump chlorine into our drinking water, ignore corporate pollution, and fail to address the newest threat to the public health - prescription drugs seeping in to our water supplies.
You have the right to know what you and your family are drinking, and how you can keep your water safe.

The 5 Biggest Health Risks Found In Drinking Water According to the Mayo Clinic the average person in made up of 60% water, and needs to consume 2 liters, or just over 8 glasses of water to stay healthy. Every system in your body is dependent on water - the problem is that most people are not nourishing their body with clean, safe drinking water. If you're not using a quality home water filtration system here's what could be lurking in your drinking water.
* Human Faeces
* Chlorine
* Rust & Sediment
* Prescription Drugs
* Chemicals / Farm Run Off/Corporate Waste

ON THE LOOFaeces Right now many areas are pushing to introduce "recycled water" into the public drinking supply. That might sound harmless until you learn that "recycled water" is the waste that gets flushed down the toilet. The methods in place to separate the water from the human excrement include the use of chemical disinfectants.By comparison, drinking water laced with human faeces is a small health risk compared to the more serious chemicals, and toxic substances found in your public water supplies listed below.




Chlorine Chlorine is used by municipal water systems to remove microorganisms from water. There's only one problem, chlorine is poison! While it's safer than having pathogenic organisms in the water, it isn't truly a safe ingredient in your water. The National Cancer Institute believes that those of us who consume chlorinated water have a 93% increased risk of many cancers, in part because it combines naturally with organic matter in water to make trihalomethanes—molecules that contribute to the formation of cancer.



Rust & Sediment Even if your local water treatment facility did manage to remove 100% of all contaminants from your drinking water (which is highly unlikely) you could still be at risk. If you were to go down into your basement, remove one of your water pipes, and look inside, you would likely find rust, lead, and other sediment built up on the inside of your water pipes. There's also the potential for contamination coming from the pipes that bring the water from it's source into your home, which you have no control over.


PILLSPrescription Drugs THERE ARE NOW MANY REPORTS SHOWING- there's a new threat facing every water supply in the developed regions of the world. Prescription Drugs are now being detected in our water supplies. After being ingested, excreted, and flushed down the drain these drugs are not being filtered out by water treatment facilities. What that means is you could be getting a small dose of 1000's of different drugs including, Prozac, Valium, uppers, downers, steroids, and all the other drugs you see stacked up behind the counter of your local pharmacy with every glass of water you drink.
The thought is frightening. What's worse is that there are no government standards restricting any of these drugs from being in your drinking water!

"Some experts fear that even low levels of antibiotics fouling the nation's water supply may help create superbugs: microorganisms that have evolved to survive an antibiotic's lethal assault.
Public health experts already have noted the rise of infection after infection that cannot be stopped with the usual arsenal of antibiotics.
And the superbugs may be causing "tens of thousands" of deaths in the USA each year, says Abigail Salyers, an expert on antibiotic resistance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign." ~ Source: USA Today




Chemicals / Run Off / Corporate waste
It's almost universally agreed upon that big corporations really don't care much about anything except making a profit, and nothing hurts profits more than following environmental guide lines. The problem is that the fines these corporations face for not properly disposing of waste (assuming they get caught) are not enough of a deterrent to keep them from doing it.

HEALTHY WATERWhat You Can Do To Make Sure Your Drinking Water Is Safe

It's almost impossible to remove 100% of every possible type of contamination from city water, but by using a home water filtration system you can greatly improve upon the quality of the water you consume. You have to be careful when selecting a water filter for your home. Many of the water filters being sold are relatively ineffective, and overpriced. THERE IS A SOLUTION THOUGH FOR NOT ONLY TOWN WATER BUT RIVER AND CANAL WATER TOO! General Ecology, Inc. started with a single objective - to create an ideal water purification technology with an ecological and chemical free balance. Developed by multi-disciplined scientists and engineers to protect against modern environmental and ecological water borne problems, "Structured Matrix™" purification technology combines truly advanced concepts and purification techniques not available from any other product. It is independently certified to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's very rigorous Microbiological Standard for Drinking Water Purifiers, which encompasses pathogenic cysts, disease bacteria and viruses. The outstanding success of "Structured Matrix" purification technology is continually unmatched in laboratory tests against other systems and by over 27 years of customer satisfaction through service to a wide range of sophisticated users worldwide.




Call Purewater Spain the suppliers of these products for the benefits of refreshingly pure, great tasting water. or
Call 977 059 364


Call Purewater Spain today 977 059 364

This is a 10 min video of the river water demo in KL and Penang, Malaysia of the Seagull IV water purifier from General Ecology USA.

Seagull 4 is a EPA certified micro-biological purifier, clinically proven to remove 99.99999% of viruses, bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals, up till the last drop.

Do not be confused by water filters or fancy so called high technology units that are not clinically proven.

Clinical tests done at the University of Arizona, USA and Institute Pasteur, France.




great benefits of carob NOV 2009



Carob, or “Ceratonia Siliqua”, is cultivated in the Mediterranean region. It is mostly cultivated in the eastern and southern area of Spain. It's natural habitat is Cyprus, Syria, Greece, Spain, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Israel and Libya. It is an evergreen tree with large and shiny leaves. It grows in warm climates and may live to be 120 years old. Carob contains carbohydrates, tannins, proteins, minerals and dietary fibers. It is included in dairy products, baked goods, snacks and cereal as dietary fiber. It favours arid conditions which are naturally alien to fungus and pests so little or no chemical sprays are needed in its cultivation. It is a large tree and grows to 15m in 50 years. It produces no fruit for the first 15 years of its life, but will fruit well into its old age. A large tree can produce one ton of beans in one harvest.

The carob tree flowers in September and October. The flowers on female carob trees must be pollinated by pollen from the male trees.

CAROB PODSDeveloping carob pods have the appearance of green broad beans but they turn a dark glossy brown with maturity. They are between 4"and 10"long and weigh 0.75 to 1.5 oz\. The pods contain four series of oval holes, each bearing a seed like a watermelon seed. Each pod can contain up to 15 seeds.  Carob seeds and pods are edible. The ground seeds are used as a substitute for cocoa and as a food (also known as algarroba, St. John's bread, and locust bean gum). The pods are commonly used as cattle feed. Carob powder is also used as a food stabilizer and as a darkening agent.

CAROB TREECarob was consumed in ancient times. It's name is referenced in the New Testament. According to the legend, St. John survived on carob beans mixed with honey during his crossing of the desert. Hence, it is also known as Saint John's Bread. The seeds of carob were used to weigh gold. It is eaten on the Jewish holidays and it's juice is consumed by Muslims during the Islamic month of Ramadan.

Many know the carob tree (or locust tree) but they don't know of the health benefits. This article covers the benefits of carob for health. Here is a great list of benefits of the locust tree.

1.Improves digestion.
2.Lowers cholesterol level in the blood. Carob seeds don't have a cholesterol agent.
3.It acts as an antioxidant.
4.It can be used to treat diarrhoea in children and adults.
5.It contains an active substance that is effective against asthma. Carob is also used for asthma problems caused by allergies.
6.It is a good expectorant. If smokers use it for a few days, they will soon feel the benefits.
7.It doesn't contain caffeine. It works well for patients that have high blood pressure
8.It can help to prevent lung cancer, if used regularly.
9.It contains vitamins E and is used for the treatment of cough, flu, anemia and osteoclasis.
10.Carob tannins have Gallic acid. Gallic acid is analgesic, anti allergic and antibacterial. It is also antioxidant, antiviral and antiseptic.
11.It is used for the treatment of polio in children, as the Gallic acid in carob tannins helps to prevent polio.
12.It is rich in phosphor and calcium. For this reason, it is used in the fight against osteoporosis.

I want to remind you, that you should apply the cure in the way that is described here. Do not take an over dose to get a faster result. Follow the times and amounts that are given.

Application: In the case of general shortness of breath and allergic shortness of breath. First wash 6-7 medium size Carob in water and then break them into pieces (each 3-4 cm), put them into the half liter boiling water. Bring to the boil cover and simmer for 7-8 minutes. After it cools down, pour the juice into a glass bottle. Its shelf life in the fridge is 3 days. Drink a glass of it every morning, during breakfast, and before dinner. You should prepare a new cure every three days. Apply the cure for twenty days without a break. After twenty days, keep applying the cure for fifteen days but add a spoon full of honey into the glass of juice and drink it during breakfast and before dinner. Don’t consume additional honey at breakfast while you are applying the cure. Attention: If the patient is a child who is between 5-12 years of age and having shortness of breath or allergic shortness of breath, you should apply the cure only during breakfast. Attention: Don’t eat honey at breakfast while you are applying this cure. Don’t add more than one tea spoon full of honey to have a stronger effect.

CAROB CAKEAlternative to chocolate
Carob has rightly been coined the healthy alternative to chocolate. As most of us are now aware, carob is free from the stimulants caffeine and theobromine found in chocolate. It is also naturally sweet, so carob products will generally contain substantially less sugar than their chocolate counterparts.  Carob powder can be substituted for cocoa powder in any recipe. 


CAROBSAdvantages of Carob over Chocolate
Carob is free from caffeine and theobromine which can be addictive and can cause allergies. Caffeine and theobromine are stimulants. Caffeine is the most active and works directly on the brain stimulating the senses, inspiration and alertness. It can be transmitted through breast milk and pregnant women are advised to restrict their caffeine intake. Caffeine has analgesic properties but also has side-effects such as anxiety, nervousness, nausea, and palpitations. Caffeine not only stimulates the brain and other organs but also increases the heart rate. It can provoke emotional reactions. It stimulates the gastric juices and acts as a diuretic and so can cause excess loss of the water soluble vitamins B & C. Caffeine stimulates release of the body's stored energy reserves, meaning that sugars are released into the blood. This can increase the risk of diabetes and possibly obesity and can cause mood swings.


Health Matters- training ourselves to work with pain May 2010

painbreathepain layers

breathe relaxUsually we put up resistance to pain & try to avoid uncomfortable experiences. Unfortunately, though, this doesn't always work & life continues to relentlessly send us messages of all shapes and flavours. However, studies on coping with pain demonstrate the role of the mind in adjusting our pain threshold, & it is clear that resistance to pain is often a greater source of tension & fear than the pain itself we are seeking to avoid. So learning to lower the resistance and acknowledge our experience as it is can have huge benefits, in coping with chronic physical pain for example. Since this means a reversal of our usual pattern we tend to have to practice lowering our resistance somehow. The traditional method of 'sending and taking' from the East is designed to help us do this. It helps make the mind less rigid in its habitual categorizing of good vs. bad so that the physical or emotional pain we all have to work with at times, whether our own or as witness to others, becomes less frightening.

pain relax1. Settling
Find a comfortable sitting position with a straight spine, or lie down, and just be aware of your body on the chair or earth & your natural breathing for a few minutes, simply going in & out…
2. Working with the texture of the breath
Once settled imagine you are surrounded by dark, heavy, hot smoke & breathe it in through the pores of your body. As you breathe out imagine yourself radiating out light, cool, openness, ease & spaciousness. Do this for several minutes, Quite naturally the mind will get distracted, sleepy, whatever; when you notice that just bring your attention back to working with the alternating sensations.
breathe out3. Your pain, others´ pain
Once you have a feel for that alternating cycle of dark and light allow your feelings to rest briefly on whatever sensation, thought or emotion that comes up as you breathe in the dark, heavy sensation - it can be your pain or someone’s else’s. Just acknowledge that you are feeling it & breathe it in. Continue to breathe out light & spaciousness. Keep alternating for a few minutes.
4. Extending outwards
Nothing we feel is not something felt by innumerable others around the world, so as you breathe in now encompass every being anywhere who is feeling similar pain. As you exhale, send that light, spacious peace to all of them as well.
breathe out5. Resettling
Finally, return to just being aware of your body and placing your awareness on the breath going in and out, just as it is.
This is a powerful practice for training our minds to work with a suppler, open approach. Just take it little by little; if it bring up strong feelings, just relax; and always wrap it in the settling practice as above to ground yourself and allow the balance of simplicity.

Taru Burstall, Licensed Acupuncturist & Psychotherapist , Massage Therapist, 629 301 509,


Health Matters - Preparing to beat seasonal allergies April 2010

hayfeverhayfeverllergic reaction

hayfeverPrevention can play an important part in making the wearying symptoms of the allergy seasons easier to cope with for those who suffer from allergic rhinitis, or hay fever. This condition is characterised by a highly sensitive immune response including symptoms such as sneezing, watery nasal discharge &/or blocked nose, eye redness & irritation, headaches, irritation & depression. It can be seasonal or throughout the year. Spring allergy reactions tend to be to tree pollens; summer ones to grass pollens; & autumn ones to weed pollens. Drugs such as antihistamines can help control symptoms but may produce undesirable side-effects such as severe drowsiness.

About 1 in 10 people in the western world are affected by this condition, and there is a link to a history of repeat antibiotic treatment as children, as well as to a diet high in sugars, fruit juices, dairy products & yeasted grain products. Reducing intake of these products in the months prior to the allergy season is therefore an important step in reducing the severity of symptoms, and by creating a build-up effect using any or all of the following self-help tools in the 2 -3 month period before your allergy usually kicks in.

Horseradish is a powerful herb which can clear out your sinuses immediately, but take care when using it as it is so strong it can burn sensitive tissues. Quercetin is an extract from oak & onions and is sold with vitamin C as capsules which help reduce histamine (an immune reaction chemical) formation and release.

A traditional folk remedy is a teaspoonful of honey daily, a sort of homeopathic treatment to prepare your immune system pollen-wise. Bee pollen itself works similarly: the bee's collection of plant pollens in the product helps prepare the body for the coming peak pollen periods. Start off slowly and build up gently towards the peak season.

LI 4Homeopathic treatments can be very helpful. I find I have to experiment with homeopathic remedies; one tends to work for a few years, then stops, and I have to find a new one by asking in the chemist about available remedies, or in a homeopathic shop identifying my specific collection of symptoms/ constitution & choosing accordingly.

Likewise using self-acupressure points ahead of time can help soothe an over-reactive immune response. Use of the points also helps reduce symptoms during the allergy season, a quick treatment 2 or 3 times a day can make a real difference, as well as for an emergency treatment like on extra high pollen days when you find yourself picnicking in a meadow.

To treat, press some or all points listed below firmly for a minute or two.
A key point is Large Intestine 4, at the web margin between the thumb & first finger; it governs facial problems as well as being a calming & pain-reducing point & helping headache. (This point is too strong for use by pregnant women, however, please note.)
yingtangbitongLI 20

Yintang between the 2 eyebrows helps clear nasal congestion & calms the mind.
Bitong, on either side of the nose above the nostril (where the finger can't move any higher) helps dry up mucus in the nose. Similarly helpful is Large Intestine 20, in the groove at the outer flare of the nostril.

bladder 2st 36

bladder 10


Bladder 2, in the slight groove at the inner edge of each eyebrow helps soothe eyes.

Stomach 36, four finger widths below the kneecap on the outside of the leg, strengthens the immune system so prevents & treats over-allergic response.

And Bladder 10, half an inch below the base of the back of the skull, & a half-inch out on either side from the spine, helps headaches, eye problems & the exhaustion caused by the over-reaction.

Good luck with your preparation so you can enjoy the spring and summer to its full potential.

Taru Burstall, Licensed Acupuncturist & Psychotherapist , Massage Therapist, 629 301 509,






Health self-help toolkit: stepping beyond addictions -JAN 2010




KARMAWell, we made it, we passed through the deepest, darkest turn of the year yet again, the winter solstice, & now the days lengthen little by little once more, almost invisibly. For most of us, the heart of winter brings a time of reflection, sitting with the quiet at those depths, with the gift of time we can look at the shadows inside, the real rich story of how we are beyond the mask of personality and the face we usually keep on for the world of relentless progress. It's the time when seeds rest deep in the earth, true to themselves; ready to become who they are expressing their unique signature of the pattern of reality. And traditionally it's a time we use to make resolutions to be true to ourselves, to go beyond the habitual patterns that seem to promise lightness of being, spirited-ness & diversions, but in fact end up weighing us down. The means we thought would lead to the goodies end up instead becoming a smokescreen sapping our energy & preventing us from achieving the very things they promised to deliver. We become addicted to the highs and familiar-ness of a very narrow band of experience. And so we miss the everyday feast of small miracles & ordinary magic that occurs on a daily basis if we don't insist on editing reality and putting a lid our genuine responses and insights.

Paulo Coelho has a story about how some Moroccan desert tribes perceive original sin in his fine book, 'Like the Flowing River.'

Eve was out walking in the Garden of Eden when the serpent slithered over to her.
'Eat this apple' said the serpent.
Eve, who had been properly instructed by God, refused.
'Eat this apple,' insisted the serpent. 'You need to look more beautiful for your man.'
'No. I don't,' replied Eve. 'He has no other woman but me.'
The serpent laughed. 'Of course he has.'
And when Eve did not believe him, he led her up to a well on top of the hill. 'She's in that cave. Adam hid her in there.'
Eve leaned over and, reflected in the water of the well, she saw a lovely woman. She immediately ate the apple the serpent was holding out to her.

According to this same Moroccan tribe, a return to paradise is guaranteed to anyone who recognizes his or her reflection in the water and feels no fear.

So here's to any of you getting real & using this time to stop smoking, comfort eating, avoiding exercise (me!!!), over-watching TV, lying comfortably-uncomfortable under the 'duvet of despair' as a friend of mine calls it, or whatever your particular pattern of sapping your life energy is. May a good appreciative look at your shadow, your messy, creative and vital depths, usher you through the gates to a freer, juicier year ahead.

Taru Burstall is a registered family therapist, masseuse & acupuncturist; Tel: 629 301 509,

CHangeslazy bearnew life



Health self-help toolkit: Meditation - Training the Mind DEC 09


This month I have come across all kinds of venues where people are using meditation as a body-mind linking tool to restore health and balance to their lives, from Mora to Vilafranca. These places offer useful practices which can stand alone, along with or without any other belief systems. This is a refreshing & medicinal development in these complex & demanding times. A poster I saw for an upcoming weekend meditation workshop puts it well:

The majority of us are slaves to our own mind. Our own mind is our worst enemy. We try to keep our centre, but our mind scatters. We try to keep stress at bay, but our anxiety keeps us awake at night. We try to be good to the people we love but we forget & end up more preoccupied with ourselves. And when we want to try and change our lives we hurl ourselves into spiritual practices, hoping to get immediate results, but lose our way once our initial desire for change cools down. "
By training our mind through the practice of meditation we can stabilise and forge an alliance with ourselves which allows us to use our mind instead of it using us. It is a simple practice which anyone can do. If we want to lessen our confusion & the pain we habitually feel and be of help to others & the planet, we need to accept the responsibility to learn what our mind is and how it functions, independent of any of our belief systems. When we see how the mind works, we also see how our life works. That transforms us.

MEDITATIONAnd a group started on a monthly basis in my local village of El Perelló to do a full moon meditation, organized with the help and blessing of the local Ajuntament. There were 45 of us in the room, about 30 Catalan women and assorted others, a fine turnout. We were given a beautiful, clear description of the mindfulness meditation technique used by Tibetan buddhist schools as a grounding presence practice, by Antonio Grandon of the Kagyu Samye Dzong school. The introduction to the practice was in Castillano, which we English-speakers all managed to understand enough to do pretty much what everyone else was doing (I think!) & in future there will be a resumé in English if needed. The room was like a deep quiet river at times, the questions/answers afterwards were great - completely unphilosophical, about how this related to our everyday lives - and it felt very sane.
The full moon meditations will explore meditation techniques from various traditions, the next one being asana techniques used in the yoga path. This broad approach perfectly embodies the respect needed for the multiple wisdom traditions which exist that needs fostered so dearly to get us through these coming times.

Taru Burstall, M.A. Psych, Dip. Massage, Licenced Acupuncturist, 629 301 509,
Please feel very welcome to contact me & for details of any of the above workshops/meetings.



WINDHORSEHealth self-help toolkit:
UNDERSTANDING our major organ systems: The Gallblader
NOV 2009

Continuing the series looking at what our major organ systems do for us & what we can do for them.

In chinese medicine the Gall Bladder is all to do with

GALLBLADDER- decision making

The gall bladder, the working partner of our Liver, has a pathway through the body that begins at the outer edge of the eye, zig zags round the head (that's why you get a headache if you abuse the Liver) and proceeds down the side of the trunk and leg to end at the 4th toe.

GALLBALDDER PROBLEMSSo the Gall Bladder's meridian pathway starts with the eyes & vision, giving us the ability to see where we need to go and helping its partner the Liver to choose the strategies we need to get there. A weak & challenged gallbladder energy in the body often shows up as indecision & timidity, apologising whilst others stand on our toes & camouflaging ourselves, whilst an overflowing gallbladder energy can lead to behaviour characterised by anger & rash decisions, bullying others as we rush to get to our aims. Life of course involves a balance of being decisive enough to manifest and execute but without being rigid, so that our path ahead is clear & we can reach it through flexible & co-operative means. The Gall Bladder helps supply the sensitive courage needed to continue our journey effectively.

The Gall Bladder also stores Bile made by the Liver, which stored well avoids the nausea and indigestion which can occur if the Gall Bladder is weak in performing its digestive role. In TCM Bile also is said to have a pure & fluid aspect which nourishes all our tendons and ligaments so that they flow in an elastic, ready way, both relaxed & taut enough to allow us to reach our purposes. Ligaments wrap around joints to hold them in place, whilst tendons attach muscles to bone. Both need to be hydrated, stretched and exercised, & need us to avoid holding rigid positions in our lives, emotionally or physically.


2 useful points are Gall Bladder 29 & 30, which can help release rigidity and immobility of the hips & pelvic girdle, straighten a twisted lower torso and reduce one-sided sciatic pain. KUNG FUImagining a Kung-fu style kick by Bruce Lee, for example, we can see an image of the readiness & generosity of being willing to be ourselves, clear in our boundaries and generously extending them through our legs, so we can flexibly adjust our position to ride the ever-changing realities of our lives. In the East they call practising the flexible stability this requires 'riding windhorse' – you ride phenomena, they are not allowed to ride you. It's certainly more fun that way!


Taru Burstall is a family systems therapist, licensed acupuncturist and massage therapist. Any queries are welcomed, please phone 629 301 509.



Health self-help toolkit:
UNDERSTANDING our major organ systems: The KIDNEYS oct 2009

dreamstimeFrom a chinese medicine view your KIDNEYs are the root source of your creation of power, skill and ability. They are the storehouse of the energy we inherit from those before us which governs our progression through the stages of life like adolescence. The strength from our Kidneys helps make those transitions smooth if we nourish the Kidneys when there are bumps during those times of life, like the menopause, and as we emerge into old age. The kidneys re-assure our feelings and trust of having a place where we came from and can return to, and as such are an antidote to fear. Weak Kidney energy makes people fearful and lacking willpower as that trust in having a place to stand on is undermined.

kidneysWe all have two Kidneys: they contain the creativity of difference. The Kidneys have both Yin (cool/moist/liquid) & Yang (spark/flame/fire) aspects and just as the oil and flame of an oil lamp together make light, the Kidneys help supply the meaning and depth we need in our lives, illuminating the treasure of who we are and where we need to put our energies. Their capacity to hold the balance of opposites also gives rise to the joy and power of sexuality and reproduction.

They are related to the WATER element and govern the deep structures of the body, the bones, brain, skeleton, sexual & urinary systems, ears, lower back & knees, as well as head hair, strong silky hair suggesting plentiful Kidney energy. Water-related activities or connections can help nourish Kidney energy, like using the colour blue; eating cucumber, watermelon, oysters; swimming or walking by the sea; as well as activities balancing the dual needs for stillness & expression of energy in our life.


SP 6K 3

feng-shui-yin-yang-catsThe point Kidney 6 (just below the inner ankle) is called 'Illuminated Sea'. We can all imagine the sea when it is so still its depth is reflecting the stars and moon. The stillness and silence can be so strong it goes beyond the quiet of just sitting still, becoming so potent it is almost magical. Sometimes we touch the power of that depth of stillness entering a grove in a forest, or a church or temple - we know instinctively not to interrupt those moments. That stillness, blessing and power in our lives is a gift from the Kidney part of our system. If we are quiet enough to take the time to listen we can see through stillness into the vast mirror of ourselves.
Taru Burstall is a licensed acupuncture & massage therapist & psychotherapist. You are welcome to phone 629 301 509 if you have any queries.



Health self-help toolkit:

SPINEFor most of us, understanding what is going on helps us cope when dealing with pain, whether by helping us deal with uncertainty or by finding pointers as to how to take better care of ourself. Over half of the Western population has to deal with back pain at one point or another, so some understanding as to what goes on in this often mystifying and vital part of our body can be useful.

Sometimes lower back pain seems to arise from nowhere; at other times it's clearly related to a fall, accident, over-lifting or digging, for example. Back pain can be caused by many conditions, the most common of which are the following four:

(1) LIGAMENT strain – a general term applied when there is no other clear problem seen for chronic recurrent lower back pain, where the back muscles are weak or overworked and fail to protect the ligaments (which attach to bone) so they get overstrained. This type of back pain is usually better with rest & worse with exercise. From the traditional Chinese medicine view (TCM) boosting the Liver & Spleen to help ligaments and muscles respectively helps, alongside treating the back itself.

(2) Problems of the JOINTS where vertebrae meet (spondylosis)- Here a disease (usually ankylosis) causes hardening, or ossification, of the joints between vertebra. Movement over the troubled joint(s) is restricted and causes pain, and the muscles along the spine are stiff and spasm. In TCM, boosting the Liver to support ligaments and cartilage helps this condition along with treating localised pain points with massage or acupuncture.

(3) Problems with the SPINE's BONES/VERTEBRAE
themselves (spinal osteoarthritis)- Osteoarthritis mainly affects the cartilage (protective tissue at the end of bones) which becomes worn away so that there is no cushioning between bone surfaces, &/or little bony spurs develop like bird-beaks which can put pressure on nerves travelling away from the spinal cord, causing pain in the back & sometimes the areas the nerves relate to as well. In TCM helping the Kidneys strengthens the bones plus there are special points to boost the bones themselves bordering the spine which you can massage or treat with acupuncture. We can also see if there is Cold or Damp to clear, which can accumulate causing lower back pain, or general Kidney weakness.




(4)Prolapse of the lumbar DISC- The discs are cartilage pads between 2 vertebrae which allow the spinal column to move when the pad is compressed. Within the pad is a sac of fluid-er matter which can burst through (prolapse) the cartilage ring holding it in if the cartilage is weak or over-pressured. This condition is often referred to as a slipped disc, but actually the disc doesn't move, just the sac inside bulges out. As the disc's outer ring hardens with age, prolapse/bulge becomes less easy & this mostly happens to people in their 30s/early 40s. The bulge can interfere with the nerve roots leaving the spinal column as above in (3), and will often come on as a sudden shooting pain in the back, often down the leg (sciatica), and sometimes numbness.

A person with a disc prolapse pressing on a nerve root will find it hard to lift one straight leg up when lying down, when flexing from the hip; the pain on trying to do so is on the side where the nerve root is compressed. When acute it can be hard to get any comfortable position at all. However the outer ring of the disc can heal and the torn (herniated) inner sac can be reabsorbed; complete bed-rest is needed to allow this to happen. With TCM we boost the Liver to support cartilage in order to speed up healing of the disc, along with local back points to reduce pain, compression & spasm.



Back pain responds well to acupuncture, and unlike many other conditions treatment is less related to the length of time the problem has been there, and cases of very chronic backache can sometimes be cleared in a few sessions. Treating and relaxing muscles & ligaments allows the spine to realign itself properly. Lack of regular exercise is one of the main causes of back pain, so even regular walking is a good way of preventing back pain from re-occurring, along with gentle stretching and twisting exercise. Caution lifting weights is essential if you are prone to back strain – easier said than done, if you're living in the campo!

Taru Burstall is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Massage Therapist, ph. 629 301 509.



BODY AND EARIn the 1950s a French surgeon noticed that people who had been treated on the ears with acupuncture had successfully recovered from sciatica, chronic lower back pain. A Hong Kong doctor also noticed that treating a patient with lung disease with ear acupuncture also by chance helped the patient go through heroin withdrawals with far less difficulty than usual. This led to a mapping of acupuncture points on the ear which treat related areas of the body, echoing the form of a baby in the womb. Chairman Mao began to train China's 'barefoot doctors' in ear acupuncture as a cheap effective form of mass medicine, & the Black Panthers in the 60's occupied a clinic in the Bronx & set up a free drug detox program using ear acupuncture for local people addicted to heroin or cocaine.

Since then thousands of people throughout the world have been treated with ear acupuncture to help them detox from many different substances, from cigarettes & alcohol to crack-cocaine, using this method because of its ease of access and effectiveness in lessening the pain of withdrawal symptoms. People tend to sleep better, have less of the crazy feelings, muscle spasms & stomach pains, & get through it faster. It is still a challenge to stay off, but easing detox is one major obstacle lessened.

EAR BABYWe use the Liver points to kickstart the detox & flush out toxins; nervous system points to help sleep, to calm, to reduce cravings, & to boost endorphin production (our natural painkiller/pleasure hormones); Kidney points to cool and nourish an exhausted system; points like Stomach for pain & help energy; & mouth points on the ear if for smoking, whether cigarettes or heroin, or for compulsive/comfort eating.

EAR POINTSThis treatment nourishes the Yin of the person's system, the fundamental stillness and capacity to be peaceful, which we lose when we get addicted.

Tiny gold-covered magnets can be stuck onto the ear points instead of, or after, acupuncture needles; they work to slowly and steadily stimulate these points, flushing out toxins and nourishing Yin. You may have seen people like Kate Moss photographed in the papers sporting rather natty ear magnets.


The landscape of the ear points is straightforward enough to learn yourself so you can treat yourself or those you care about, either with simple touch or with magnets, which are cheap and easy to buy. Feel free to email me for a more detailed ear map if you are interested to try, via Good luck.

Taru Burstall, Acupuncturist and Massage Therapist.
629 301 509



health self-help toolkit/ balance between the 5 elementsodiseachiodisea



One of the most useful things I have come across from Eastern views is the model of the 5 elements, or 'Wu-Xing' in Chinese, related to but slightly different from the elements traditionally found in some Western traditions.

Looking at the Wu-Xing as below you find that each of the 5 elements is connected with an array of properties/experiences, such as an organ system of the body, a colour or season, or sense organ. The related emotions are shown both when the element is in balance or with the negative side which comes up more easily when it's out of balance (e.g. The flexibility/acceptance of Wood can flip to irritation & rigid views.)

Each element is said to be the 'mother' of the following element, so if one element is weak & out of balance, then to strengthen it you can nourish its mother element.


Each element is also said to be the grandmother of the element two places ahead. As we know, over-active grandchildren sometimes ”insult” their grandparents, & grandparents can have a useful role in controlling their grandchild element. If for example, the Heart was over-active, e.g. at a time of great joy or grief, of emotional opening, if that isn't kept balanced you might find insomnia (when the Heart is not sufficiently anchored). Strengthening the Water element could help control the over-active Fire. Walking by the sea, dressing in or emphasising deep blue in the house, eating shellfish like oysters & watery vegetables (e.g. cucumber), could all be methods to balance the Heart/Fire.

I find the Wu-Xing useful because it makes me curious to look that bit further & be more aware of the flavours I come across in the world, elements I can choose to strengthen in my environment or not.

shoumigeIn this point in our Western culture there is a tendency to over-emphasise the Wood and Earth elements, visible as preoccupation with the over-dramatic soap-opera & political/military story-ing (Wood imbalance) and (over) consumption (Earth imbalance). In times like these we must try and support the Fire–Water axis which will help to interrupt the ricochet between the Wood and Earth elements. For example, speaking the truth to each other 'from the heart' (the Heart opens to the tongue) instead of reaching for yet another substance/cigarette to consume, is one way of not going along with the cultural pressure to be variously addicted. So much addiction has roots in early trauma in the first 7 years of life (the time dominated by the Kidney), creating a sense of not belonging. Strengthening the Water/Kidney element can give us back that sense of connecting with our bones, the support of our forebears, and having a right to stand in the place we come from just as we are.

Good luck playing with the elements, shaping the parts we can affect to find your balance.
Taru Burstall, Massage Therapist & Licensed Acupuncturist. 629 301 509



Health self-help toolkit: joint pain

PAIN MAPMany of us get affected by pain in the joints, whether through overuse, bad posture, injury or chronic build-up of tension and inflammation. It takes care to keep the invaluable fluidity of our joint system, & appropriate exercise & rest. In Chinese Medicine we find the following strategies useful to help reduce joint pain:

strengthening the Kidneys - as they govern the skeletal structure (like the body's tent poles)

nourishing the Liver – as the Liver governs the tendons (supporting the strength of the body's guy ropes)

REIKEclearing blocked Qi (energy) & Blood (nourishes and detoxes the area) – pain is often an expression of stagnant energy in the area so we can boost the circulation (like maintaining the flexibility of the tent material itself)

clearing any invasion of excess Heat, Cold, Damp or Wind lodged in the muscles or joints (Heat - joint feels hot & red; Cold – dull, aching pain; Damp - weather-dependent; Wind - pain moves from one joint to another.

So you can try some of the following acupressure points to support the main organs relating to the body's ability to be a flexible & sturdy home. Steady gentle pressure a few times a day can strengthen the muscular-skeletal system.




FROZEN SHOULDERGallbladder 34 (Master Point for the tendons & muscles): below the knee, one inch below and in front of the head of the Tibia, which runs up the side of the leg
– helps Liver maintain flexibility, clears Damp Heat
Gall Bladder GB20: under the skull, on either side of the spine in the hollows that lie 2-3 inches apart
- relieves neck pain & stiffness, clears Wind
Triple Warmer TW5: 3 finger-widths above the wrist on the outside of the arm in the dip between the 2 bones
- tendinitis, wrist pain
Large Intestine 11: by the elbow where crease ends when you bend it
- clears Heat, elbow pain
Large Intestine LI4: (Note: don't use this point if pregnant, as it can start contractions) in the web between thumb and 1st finger, at the highest point when you squeeze them together
- analgesic, anti-inflammatory
Stomach ST36: on the outside of the leg just out from the shin bone, 4 finger widths below the base of the kneecap
– knee pain, helps Blood & Qi circulation
Liver LIV3: between the 1st & 2nd toes, run your finger up to where it can go no further & press in
– boosts the Liver for flexibility of tendons
Next month I will outline more of the local points to treat specific joint problems to add to these core muscular-skeletal support points. The local area acupoints help increase circulation, reducing inflammation & gradually increasing joint movement & comfort.
So, good luck & here's to dancing when we are 80!

Taru Burstall, M.A. Psychology, Dip. Massage, Licensed Acupuncturist.
Call 629 301 509



Health self-help toolkit: insomnia MARCH 09

PEACSFUL SLEEPInsomnia is a common complaint, especially as we get older, either not falling asleep or waking easily and not getting back into the drift zone again for hours. We can also tend to get easily rattled when we think we have had too little sleep, especially if we have something demanding to cope with coming up. As one of those, I was delighted to be advised years ago that it is good practice to always have an hours' less sleep than you think you need to keep the mind that little bit clearer. And that since fighting sleeplessness always tends to increase it, the best approach is often to just get up and do something useful and stop trying so hard.
That said, herbs like passiflora tincture or some of the vervain-catnip-camonmile-skullcap mixtures can work wonders taken in the evening, helping to relax the system without making you sleepy at the time, so that later on the falling-into-the-sleep zone can allow itself to happen. Vetivert is a good powerful essential oil to burn or put in an unscented moisturising cream, or in a bath, plus lavender or camomile are also good. Reducing tea & coffee intake is important, and making sure to get some regular exercise.
GB20In Chinese medicine one of organs most linked with sleep is the Heart; if the Heart energy is particularly challenged (e.g. at a time of a lot of excitement, or grief) then the Heart cannot anchor the mind at night, the deepest Yin time. So to help the Heart, processing emotions is important, like through talking with friends. Watching the diet for excess fat also helps strengthen the Heart's ability to do its job and therefore our sleep pattern.
Excess vivid disturbing dreams or restless easily-disturbed sleep is often a Liver-related pattern; reducing alcohol, fatty & spicy food intake helps the Liver by creating less heat in the system, we are more able to roll with stressful circumstances rather than fight them if we take care of our Liver. Meditation and chill-out time helps calm the emotional soap-opera feeling an overworked Liver causes, hence the dream-disturbed sleep.
Using certain acupressure points can help rebalance the system so that the naturally needed time for regeneration is allowed to unfold. Choose some of the following points, the ones you are drawn to and particularly any which are tender when you press them, meaning that they are active points needing rebalancing, and use a firm and gentle pressure for a few minutes, several times a day if you want to see results. Build up to use enough pressure so that you can feel it strongly but not so that it hurts, the pressure tends to reduce as you rebalance the flow of energy in the channel/related organ system you are working on. Find the pressure points where your fingers just fall into them, usually in little dips you can feel; the points are like wells where the energy channels of the body converge and are therefore easier to directly effect there.
If you are working on someone else's points, you may find they fall asleep if you do this for a longer session then wake up relaxed and alert, but a couple of month's regular use of these points either on yourself or an other is usually necessary to change the overall sleep pattern. People will tend to find they both sleep deeper & are more alert the next day.

Points to help insomnia

GB20There are 3 groups: head/neck/chest , wrist , & ankle points (& some additional uses are added)
Gall Bladder GB20: under the base of the skull in the hollows that lie just past the big cord of muscle which borders the spine - also relieves neck pain & stiffness, headaches
ANMIAN (Peaceful Sleep) AN: at the base of the skull level with the top of the ear lobe, just behind the bone which curves up behind the base of the ear - also calms agitation, tinnitus & high blood pressure


YINTANGYINTANG (Hall of Impressions) GV24.5: between the eyebrows in the dip where the nose meets the forehead
also calms anxiety, helps frontal headache, dizziness, stuffed nose, hypertension, eye problems
CV 17 (Sea of Tranquillity): on the breast bone at the level of the nipple-also helps heart, stress & breathing problems
Heart H7 (Spirit Gate): just above the wrist crease in line with the little finger- also helps depression



Pericardium P6 (Inner Gate): 3 finger-widths above the wrist crease on the inside of the arm, in the space between the 2 tendons- helps relieve nausea, indigestion, palpitations, & tight chest


Kidney K6 (Calm Sleep): in a dip under the inner anklebone- also helps heel & ankle pain, hypertension & anxiety

Bladder B62 (Joyful Sleep): in the dip right behind the outer anklebone- also helps back pain which disturbs sleep


Wishing you good rest & much bright energy off the pillow as a result.

Taru Burstall, M.A. Psychology, Dip. Massage, Licensed Acupuncturist. 629 301 509




Health self-help tools (2) for finding balance: Paying attention: using mindfulness meditation – what is it?

RELAXMany people these days have a sense that meditation could be a useful tool for helping find some kind of sanity in a complex & challenging life, but don´t know what it is and whether you have to be like the Beatles or Tibetan to do it properly. There are many forms of meditation but one particular method called mindfulness (paying attention) meditation is being increasingly used to help people with heart problems, stress and for chronic pain control.

It is a self-help practice, a standalone practice free of any other trappings though originating in Buddhist meditation, where you learn to pay attention to (or be mindful of) where you are, of whatever is going on. It works in fact mainly by your learning to notice those moments when you are not present, when your mind is off wandering telling itself stories - as minds do - about all the things you've done or need to do, shopping lists, projects,...... You notice pretty fast if you try to rest your mind on one ordinary object of attention - like your breath in your body, or how your feet feel as they meet the ground when you're walking the dog - that your mind wanders all over the place half the time – well more, in my case! Minds endlessly tell us stories, & there is of course nothing wrong with that, it´s just what they do, like waves' energy is to move in the sea. But we all know how you can ride a bike down the road and suddenly realise you were completely unaware of where you were for the last 3 blocks, or be eating pizza whilst thinking how much better it might have been if it was from the restaurant next door. As it can be a pain, that tendency to miss the current slice of pizza, when we practise meditation for a few minutes a day at the moment we notice that we've spent the last 10 minutes rehashing the list for the hardware shop, we then place our attention gently back to the present, to being back with our feet on the dirt track or sitting on the chair.LOTUS

Practising coming home to the present over and over again tends to give you more chance of doing likewise in everyday life. Or when circumstances around are a bit rockier, like in the middle of an argument with your neighbour you might suddenly lose conviction in the rightness of your position as you have a flash of noticing how rough he looks this morning. Out of that flash a whole different way of tackling the argument might happen. Or we find that if we lean with softening our breath into the pain in our back, as current chronic pain research is showing, strangely it reduces rather than increases.

Training in paying attention to those ordinary moments when nothing particular is happening except – just sitting, cleaning the engine or pruning the tree - tends to make that 'nothing' turn out to be a more and more rich nothing. Paying attention helps us be less wary of our own experience & we notice that we can always manage the current moment however bad we think it is. We taste its texture (sad, edgy, excited, or whatever), let go & feel the space we are in. Then comes the next moment.

Julia Cameron says in 'The Artists Way´ that the quality of life is in proportion to the capacity for delight and that the capacity for delight is a gift of paying attention. Paying attention is always good medicine - both for us and luckily usually for others too - as the art of connection.

Taru Burstall is a psychotherapist who has practised this form of meditation for 25 years, is trained to teach it and is always happy to pass it on & practise with other people. 629 301 509. She also practises massage & acupuncture.


yoga for all - The 7 Chakras part 2 Aug 2010

chakrasThe Chakras, first mentioned in the ancient Vedas, the Hindu books of knowledge, is the name given to the seven main energy centres of our body. They are located at different points throughout the physical body and are associated with particular parts of the body. When you are stressed about something, the chakras themselves are said to become unbalanced and this can manifest itself as illness in your physical body. To become healthy again, or to maintain a healthy mind and body, you may like to balance your chakras from time to time. Even if you think that chakras are nothing more than new age hocus pocus, this is still a nice relaxing exercise!

Chakra balancing technique

This technique is a step by step guide that combines self-hypnosis and some guided meditation with the idea of balancing your charkas.
Step One: Find a place where you are not going to be disturbed for a while, lay down and allow your eyelids to close. Imagine that as you close your eyelids, they melt and relax into your face and begin to send relaxation throughout your body. Take a few moments to focus on your breathing. Notice how you are thinking and feeling, perhaps listening to the sound of each inhalation and exhalation.
Step Two: Using your imagination, begin to sense that you are floating on a soft cloud. It melts and molds itself to the exact contours of your body; imagine that you settle deeply into it. Now imagine that the cloud is a beautiful red colour. Imagine that a red mist gently envelops your entire being. Sense that it is bathing you in a soft and gentle relaxation. Let the red mist move throughout your body, drawing away anything unwanted, leaving you in a soft, peaceful state. Imagine the red colour is in each and every cell of your being. Let the red mist focus around the base of your spine. Maybe you can even imagine that your spine vibrates in harmony with red mist and the entire area of the lower back and spine goes into a total relaxation.
relaxationStep Three: Repeat the same process, this time with the colour orange. Bring your attention to the area of your abdomen where there is an energy center that vibrates with this colour of orange. Allow an orange mist to bring relaxation and comfort. Feel and sense anything unwanted being absorbed into the mist from all the parts of your body. Your body feels at ease, wonderfully relaxed. Take enough time to really enjoy doing this.
Step Four: Now in your mind’s eye imagine yourself floating on a yellow mist, the soft lemon yellow in the center of your chest. Again feel the colour envelop you, bringing relaxation and calm.
Step Five: Imagine that you are floating on a green mist, begin to see, sense, imagine and feel a green mist all around you, absorbing into your skin, feeling immersed, enveloped in the green mist. Imagine that your chest and your heart area vibrate and feel the peace that it brings.
Step Six: Now imagine yourself floating on a mist of blue. While doing that, allow your throat and your neck to relax all the way up through the back of your neck. Breathe in the blue air and feel it drifting and floating throughout your entire body. Allow this gentle blue mist to draw up and soften and balance all the muscles in your body. Think that your body is in balance as the blue mist works through it and soothes it.
Step Seven: Finally, imagine yourself floating on a misty cloud of violet. Imagine that the violet penetrates your body and allow yourself to go deeper into your own mind. Imagine that you draw this purple into your body. Feel the color bringing you serenity.
Step Eight: Now imagine a combination of all the colours we have been working with. Imagine that they combine to form a white light, purifying, cleansing and rejuvenating.
Step Nine: When you’re ready, open your eyes, you’ll feel balanced and energized (whether you believe in chakas or not!)
Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering weekly drop in yoga classes and also private tuition.
Call on 663 140 297




chakrasAn Intro Guide to the 7 Healing Chakras
Chakras are energy centres that run from the base of your spine out the top, or crown, of your head. The word chakra is a Sanskrit word, meaning wheel or disc. There are seven major chakras, each a circular wheel of light spinning in your energetic system, associated with certain body parts, a colour, stone, element, and function. By learning to tune into the energy of our chakras, we can bring our bodies and minds into balance and embrace life fully.
Blocked energy in our 7 Chakras can often lead to illness so it can be important to understand what each Chakra represents and what we can do to keep this energy flowing freely.
What does each charka represent?
chakras1. RED- Root Chakra - Represents our foundation and feeling of being grounded.
Location: Base of spine in tailbone area.
Emotional issues: Survival issues such as financial independence, money, and food.
2. ORANGE- Sacral Chakra - Our connection and ability to accept others and new experiences.
Location: Lower abdomen, about 2 inches below the navel and 2 inches in.
Emotional issues: Sense of abundance, well-being, pleasure, sexuality.
3. YELLOW- Solar Plexus Chakra - Our ability to be confident and in-control of our lives.
Location: Upper abdomen in the stomach area.
Emotional issues: Self-worth, self-confidence, self-esteem.
4. GREEN- Heart Chakra - Our ability to love.
Location: Centre of chest just above heart.
Emotional issues: Love, joy, inner peace.
5. BLUE- Throat Chakra - Our ability to communicate.
Location: Throat.
Emotional issues: Communication, self-expression of feelings, the truth.
6. PURPLE- Third Eye Chakra - Our ability to focus on and see the big picture.
Location: Forehead between the eyes. (Also called the Brow Chakra)
Emotional issues: Intuition, imagination, wisdom, ability to think and make decisions.
7. VIOLET/WHITE- Crown Chakra - The highest Chakra represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually.
Location: The very top of the head.
Emotional issues: Inner and outer beauty, our connection to spirituality, pure bliss.

Next month ……. How to balance our charkas with simple at home exercises for health and well being.
Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering weekly drop in yoga classes and also private tuition. Call on 663 140 297




lord of danceFinally, it’s beach weather again, yet we face that unwelcome moment when it’s time to reveal our winter weary bodies to the sun. A few days of yoga and detoxification can really make a big difference. So how does yoga help?

When the mind, body and spirit have been purified through the various practices of yoga, the overall result is an increase in the flow of prana (energy) through the whole body, improving our capacity to work, think, digest, taste, feel, and experience life. And not only do these practices make us feel more alive, they also foster our spiritual development, inner awareness and equanimity.

Purification (saucha) is a central aim of all the yogic practices, and is the first principle of self-discipline (niyama) in Patanjali’s eight-limbed approach. The yogis have discovered that impurities in our internal body adversely affect our state of mind, and prevent the attainment of real enjoyment of life. Through the yogic practices of asana (yoga poses), pranayama (breath work), tapas (self discipline), and shatkarma (cleansing of the body), the body and the mind become cleansed and our enjoyment of life is accelerated. The physical postures of yoga purify the body through movements that increase and improve the flow of blood, oxygen and prana (life force energy) in the tissues, muscles and organs. The yoga poses squeeze and massage the muscles and organs to move out old stagnant blood and bring in fresh blood full of nutrients and oxygen. In the more dynamic postures, heat is created and sweat is produced to facilitate the release of toxins through the pores of the skin.

lord of dance
The breathing techniques of pranayama purify the mind and body through the balance and cultivation of energy throughout the whole body. Different pranayamas have different actions on the body and thus different purifying effects. Kapalabhati (breath of fire) is warming and energizing, purifying the body through the creation of heat and the movement of energy. Nadi Sodhana (alternate nostril breath) is calming and cleansing, purifying the body through reducing stress and removing blockages in the nadis (energy channels).
The self-discipline of Tapas purifies the mind and spirit through the “burning up” of the desires in our mind. Basically, Tapas is engaging the will to do some action you do not want to do or not doing some action you want to do (Cutting down on cigarettes for example). This creates a conflict between our will and the desire of our mind producing an internal “fire” which illuminates and burns up our mental and physical impurities.

The six cleansing practices of shatkarma purify the body by physically removing excesses of mucus or phlegm. These are primarily esoteric practices that must be learned and performed with the supervision of a qualified teacher. The shatkarmas are described as six groups of yogic cleansing techniques: Neti: nasal cleaning and irrigation, Dhauti: cleansing of the digestive tract, Nauli: abdominal massage, Basti: colon cleaning, Kapalbhati: purification and vitalization of the brain, and Trataka: blinkless gazing.
The goal of these practices is to purge out toxins and simply bring our body back to a natural, healthy state, making us feel positively vibrant and alive as we move through each day.
Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering weekly drop in yoga classes. Affordable group tuition within the comfort of your own home is also available.
Please call for more details 663 140 297



KIDDY YOGAKIDDY YOGAStudies that have looked at children and yoga have shown overwhelmingly positive benefits. Not only does it help to build body awareness and self-esteem, it shows children how to achieve inner relaxation in the face of stress and builds flexibility which can be useful for certain sports and other physical activities. The effects of yoga may extend far beyond this for children.


In 2006, researchers looked at the relationship between children and yoga training in terms of academic and school performance. Children who participated in yoga classes not only had a higher self-esteem but they also scored better on tests. In addition, the children who were yoga participants experienced less disciplinary issues. It seems that yoga helps children focus better and concentrate on their school work and the increase in self-esteem gives them a “can do” attitude towards school projects.

NAMASTE KIDSAnother benefit for children who receive yoga training is it teaches them early how to deal with stress in a positive, constructive way. This type of learned adaptive response to stress can carry over into the teenage years when life becomes even more stressful and complex.

Even children, as young as 3 years old, can benefit from the practice of yoga. Because children have inherently shorter attention spans than adults, children’s yoga classes are often adapted to suit their particular needs. For example, a child might be encouraged to assume the role of an animal or a flower and make the sounds that particular entity might make while holding poses. This adds an element of fun and also helps to stimulate the imagination which may help with the development of creativity.


When children are exposed to yoga at an early age, they get a variety of mental and physical benefits that may allow them to be more centred and focused as well as handle stress better as an adult.

We look forward to hearing from you,

Namaste, Sarah
For more details please call
663 140 297




JANU SIRSANAJANU SIRISANATWISTFinally, after what seemed like a long cold winter, spring has arrived!

Yoga can be the ideal form of exercise to give our bodies a spring clean at this time of year. You can use your yoga practice to bring your body back to life, just as the earth is awakening from its slumber.

The abdominal region, including the gastro-intestinal system, is a great place to focus, as it can be in need of some cleansing and rejuvenation. To purify your insides as part of a personal spring cleaning nothing is better than a good healthy twist. Twisting poses are often the best way to untie both physical and emotional knots. Try incorporating a few of these twists into your life this month, allowing the breath to move deeply into your centre, and let the rejuvenation begin.


As you move through these postures pay particular attention to lifting the entire spine, long and tall, up and away from the hips. When you feel the length in your entire spine, then it’s time to take a deep inhale and twist on the exhalation. Maintain steady, deep breathing as you hold the twist. Always examine the pose, scan the body and only hold the position for five to ten breathes if beginning a yoga practice for the first time.

Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained Yoga teacher offering fun weekly drop in classes and private tuition within the comfort of your own home

For more details please call
663 140 297




chiguagua+relaxIt’s good to remind ourselves that yoga isn't just a form of mental or physical toning. It was originally conceived as a lifestyle, creating a feeling of harmony with oneself, our community and the environment. The work done in yoga is designed to affect all moments in our lives. Here are some simple yet effective tips you may find useful to allow your practice to have a positive influence throughout the following month.

1. Refresh and restart as many times as you need to throughout the day. Don't let events from the previous day or even the previous hour bring down your mind and your mood. Remember that no matter what you are doing, yoga or otherwise, it is a matter of where you are now, not where you have been.

yoga exercise2. Maintain a relaxed posture throughout the day. Let your shoulders drop away from your ears, and maintain a long, straight spine. It's okay when we forget, just adjust your posture when you remember. Tension can build up in the shoulders and the back. Release the muscles to release tension.

3. Instead of allowing stress or anxiety to overtake you, practice Ujjayi, or loud breathing. Deep breathing will automatically lower your heart rate, and concentrating on the sound of your breath will empty your mind of harmful thinking.

namasteyoga4. Practice Savasana (relaxation pose) 2-3 times a day for 10-15 minutes. It can refresh you mentally and physically, and will prepare you for a positive mood. It can be used instead of a nap and is just as reviving.

5. During moments of anger, loneliness, or sadness, meditate upon the meaning and purpose of the Sanskrit word "namaste." Take it to refer to the respect that one owes all other sacred living creatures, including yourself. Use this to let go of negative emotions and replace them with positive, healing ones.

Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained Yoga teacher offering fun weekly drop in classes and also home tuition. Contact Sarah on 663 140 297



ACUPRESSUREThe start of the new year often reminds us to renew our efforts to find the balance we need in our lives & to help make up for any excesses that may have left us a bit tired and toxic as the last year ended. Just attending to the basics again, like eating better & a little exercise, we know can give us back the balance and stability we need to enjoy our lives & bodies more, and help keep our resistance up to the winter colds this weather can bring. Another simple way to support the body to detox & boost the immune system is to practise self-help acupressure, using the body's pressure points which you can easily find on the body - or on each other. These pressure points are the same points we use in acupuncture, located on the meridians or channels of energy which run through the body joining the dots, but they can be just as effective used with pressure alone, without needles. Using gentle pressure at these points where the energies of the different main organ systems converge can relieve many unwanted problems, from muscular pains & arthritis to hangovers.

FACEThe pressure points are usually just like wells, as they tend to be in a small dip or place that your fingers just naturally fall into. Trust your fingers to find the point that is most intense in the areas pointed out in the diagrams, and gently build up to using a pressure that is strong enough that you can feel it - but not so strong and it is painful so that the body tenses up, obviously - to get the most benefit. Use pressure on the point for a couple of minutes. It's usually best to do whichever ones are most tender as they are the ones that most need rebalanced. With Chinese medicine tools like this you have to be strong if necessary, though always gentle, in order to make the change the system needs to make things better. You can either use steady pressure or a pulsing style, releasing and increasing the pressure, whatever your intuition tells you. People find that using some of these points for a few minutes a day over a period of time can make real changes to their well-being – and it's free!

GB24.524.5Governing Vessel GV 24.5: between the eyebrows, in the little dip where the nose meets the forehead
- calms anxiety, helps headaches, dizziness & insomnia

GB21Gall Bladder GB21: on the highest point of the shoulder, 1 or 2 inches out from spine, on the tightest spot
- helps relieve neck pain, shoulder tension and irritability

Gall Bladder GB20: just below the base of the skull, on either side of the spine, in the hollows that lie 2 to 3 inches apart
- relieves neck pain & stiffness, & headaches


TW5Triple Warmer TW5: 3 finger-widths above the wrist crease on the outside of the arm, in the dip between the 2 bones
- helps rheumatism, tendonitis, wrist pain, & increases resistance to colds

Large Intestine 11: by the elbow where crease ends when you bend it
- strengthens the immune system, helps colds, fever, constipation & elbow pain

Large Intestine LI4: (Note: don't use this point if pregnant, as it can start contractions) in the webbing between your thumb and 1st finger, at the highest point when you squeeze these together
- relieves pain anywhere in the body, calms the mind, helps headaches, colds, constipation & allergies

CV6Conception Vessel CV6: two finger widths below the navel
- strengthens the immune system, boosts energy and helps digestion

Stomach ST36: on the outside of the leg, 4 finger widths below the base of the kneecap just out from the shin bone
boosts energy, immune system & clarity, relieves knee pain, helps digestive problems & anxiety







LV3Liver LIV3: between bones above 1st and 2nd toes, run your finger up to where it can go no further & press in
boosts the immune system, helps clear headaches, hangovers & moodiness, and sore/tired eyes, helps memory & concentration

So good luck exploring what these points can do for you - some of them may become your really good friends

Taru Burstall, M.A., Dip. Mass, Lic. Ac. practises massage & acupuncture in El Perello
CALL 629 301 509POINTS



yoga for all nov 2010

yogaAt this time of year we’re bringing out our fleeces and boots, relighting the fire to keep us warm and healthy, but we also have Yoga to help boost our immunity to seasonal sore throats and colds.
Here are just a few of the ways regular yoga practice can bolster our natural defences:
Yoga drains mucus
It may not be the most pleasant thought, but the fact is that certain yoga poses, such as downward-facing dog and other inverted postures, are perfect for draining mucus from the sinus passages. Not only does that make these poses great for clearing out the head when you have a cold, it also makes them the natural way to rid the body of allergens.
Yoga increases oxygen levels
We know that breathing is essential for life but it helps to really focus on how we breathe. As we move through the day the general chaos of life prompts us to take short, shallow breaths that rob the body of the oxygen it so desperately needs to function. In fact, some research suggests that oxygen deficiency is linked to the development of cancer cells.
Deep breathing, just like the kind that happens during yoga sessions, teaches us to slow down respiration, allowing the body to take in the higher levels of oxygen that boost the immune system.
Yoga reduces stress
Yoga lowers the level of the stress hormone cortisol, which is notorious for weakening the body’s natural defences. Cortisol is especially harmful when the body is exposed to it constantly, such as when you’re caring for a terminally ill parent or balancing the pressures of marriage, kids, and work. Chronic cortisol levels have been linked to everything from Type II diabetes to high blood pressure.
Like any exercise, yoga decreases stress levels, but it’s yogic deep breathing techniques that help create the deep relaxation that has been proven to reduce the harmful cortisol levels that leave you vulnerable to illness.
Yoga increases circulation
How does circulation help boost immunities? White blood cells—your body’s natural army—meets invaders by travelling through the blood stream. Good circulation allows that army to get where it needs to be quickly and efficiently. A healthy circulatory system also sends much-needed oxygen throughout the body.
Regular yoga practice is known to improve immunity-boosting circulation. Inverted poses, such as the shoulder stand, are especially effective at boosting the blood flow.
Yoga poses are designed to help the body heal itself
While the exercise and meditation of any yoga practice helps boost immunity, there are certain postures that are designed specifically to bolster the body’s natural defence system. For instance, tortoise posture is aimed at stimulating the thymus gland, which is a key producer of antibodies. Wheel posture is another technique that stimulates the pituitary as well as the thyroid glands, both of which play key roles in overall health and wellness.
Other poses designed to boost immunity include boat, fish, pigeon, and bridge pose, which all open the chest and stimulate the immune system. Twisting poses, like prayer twist and seated angle, play a role in boosting natural defences, too. They stimulate the spleen, an organ that helps fight infection as well as filter harmful particles from the blood. The benefit of twisting poses doesn’t stop there, however. They also activate the lymph system, which helps to drain and filter bacteria from the body.
Yoga provides relief if you’re already sick
Not only does yoga boost immunity against colds, sore throats, and other illnesses, it also has therapeutic benefits for those who already live with more serious conditions. Findings reported at the American Physiological Society (APS) found that yoga may strengthen the immune systems of breast cancer survivors. The study found that it decreased the activation of a certain protein that indicates physical and mental stress.
Yoga will strengthen your immune system
Whether you want to avoid the sniffles and snorts of a cold or recuperate from a more serious illness, consider making yoga part of your life. With techniques rooted in traditions thousands of years old and an emphasis on creating a body capable of healing itself, yoga can boost your body’s own immune system, allowing you to live the life you want and deserve.
Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained Yoga teacher offering weekly drop in Yoga classes and also affordable private tuition at home. Please call on 663 140 297 for more details.



downdogdowndogdowndogdowndogdowndogdown horse

If you’re looking for a simple New Years resolution that will help make you feel alive and youthful, you may like to try this quick, simple yoga pose each day for the next month.
yoga dogDownward Dog enlivens your body—from your hips to your spine to your fingers and toes—making you feel more vibrant and alive. As you discover the subtleties of the pose on a daily basis, you'll find it gets deeper and more enjoyable. Downward facing dog works its magic by deeply stretching the back, opening the chest, and building upper body strength. This posture stimulates the brain and nervous system, improving memory, concentration, hearing and eyesight.
Adho Mukha Shvanasana looks so easy and so beautiful, and its benefits are far-reaching. It both strengthens and stretches your entire body and requires you to balance the effort in your arms, torso, and legs so you don't overburden any one area. Hold it for a few breaths and you'll see what I mean.
When you first try Down Dog, you may feel tight in areas you never knew existed. Your lower back might round and your elbows may bend and bow, as they did when I first practiced. But with daily or weekly practice, you'll love the sensation of unfurling your body into the pose, feeling long and lithe like a dog stretching after a good nap.

downdogHow to Begin
Come onto the floor on your hands and knees. Set your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly forward of your shoulders. Spread your palms, index fingers parallel or slightly turned out, and turn your toes under.

Exhale and lift your knees away from the floor. At first keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. Using straight, strong arms, press the hips up and back, making an inverted ‘V’ shape with the body. Keep the spine straight and long, stretching from fingers to tailbone. Breathe deeply.
downdogThen with the next exhalation, push the top of your thighs back and stretch your heels onto or down toward the floor if possible. Straighten your knees but be sure not to lock them.
Firm the outer arms and press the bases of the index fingers actively into the floor. From these two points lift along your inner arms from the wrists to the tops of the shoulders. Firm your shoulder blades against your back, keep the head between the upper arms in a straight line with the rest of the spine.
With practice you’ll feel comfortable in this pose anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes. Then bend your knees to the floor with an exhalation and rest.
Free trial class offered to all beginners this month!
Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained Yoga teacher offering local drop-in classes for beginners and beyond.
Private tuition is also available.
663 140 297




CAT YOGAHappy New Year to all Olive Press readers and a special thank you to all of my wonderful students whose dedication and devotion are received with love and gratitude.
Early in your yoga practice, you’re faced with what seems to be a contradiction as you move into unfamiliar, awkward, and difficult postures, you’re asked to let go of tension in your body, mind, and breath. While you struggle to hold the pose your teacher gently reminds you to combine effort and surrender—to be both alert and relaxed at the same time. This is an essential teaching that comes from yoga philosophy. The idea is that if you can balance these qualities simultaneously while you practice, you’ll create a state of internal balance that you can call upon when faced with life’s everyday challenges.

KITTY YOGAI’ll admit, when I first started yoga, combining effort and surrender seemed laughable. Having been an aerobics fan for many years, I couldn’t comprehend how they could coexist. But I was eventually willing to entertain the concept even though, in reality, my Sun Salutations and standing poses were strenuous, yoga was all about relaxation.

The reclined position of Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose) naturally encourages a sense of surrender. It also targets your hamstrings without stressing your lower back; the floor stabilizes your back and you can adjust your strap to suit your needs.

How to begin
Lie on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor. Release your shoulders toward the floor. Relax into the ease of this moment.
Draw your right knee toward your chest. Wrap a belt around the arch of your foot, holding one end in each hand. Slowly extend your right leg toward the ceiling, and, keeping the backs of your shoulders on the floor, straighten your arms. Make sure to keep your hands as far apart as your shoulders.
Next, straighten your bottom leg and press your thigh toward the floor.
While your bottom leg presses into the floor, extend your other leg until you create a thorough, sustainable stretch in the hamstrings. Depending on your flexibility, your top leg will be more or less vertical. If you’re tight—as I was for years—you’ll need to give yourself plenty of slack on the belt and move your leg farther away from your torso. Wherever you are, breathe smoothly. As you reach your top leg up, remember to keep your bottom leg rooted into the floor.

FLEXIBLE CATNow that your body is fully awake, you can try cultivating relaxation. Relax your temples, loosen your jaw, and release your tongue. Hold the belt with just the effort needed to support the pose. Stay for 10 to 20 breaths if possible.
If you’d like to deepen the pose try raising the chest towards your leg. Eventually your chest will float closer to your top leg. This is the most difficult stage in which to meld relaxation with alertness because it requires the greatest amount of muscular work. But even when you are at the peak of your effort, focus on breathing evenly, softening your forehead, releasing your jaw, and trying not to judge yourself. After 5 to 10 breaths, slowly release your upper back and your head to the floor. Soften your abdomen and observe the breath circulating in your belly. Savour this moment as preparation for working on the opposite leg.

PEARLThe Pearl of the Pose
While it’s great to open and loosen the back of your legs by doing the Supta Padangusthasana series, it’s even more essential to cultivate a balanced state of body and mind while you practice this posture. As you learn to combine alertness and relaxation in class, you’ll be better equipped to face life’s stresses with a sense of calm presence. With practice, we can respond with compassion, rather than falling back into habitual frustration. This is the work of a lifetime and it begins with this one simple pose.

Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering beginners weekly drop-in classes and home tuition. Please feel free to call for more details on 663 140 297




AYERVEDICMaintaining a strong immune system in the body is a basic requirement for staying healthy in the winter months. To avoid falling sick and to maintain good health, Ayurveda advises a number of simple formulas which are very effective to increase immunity or 'Ojas'. Along with a healthy diet and regular yoga you may like to try some of these tasty tonics.

These simple Ayervedic tonics bring balance back to the body for all ´doshas´(body types). These are especially beneficial for those who are physically weak, underweight or suffering from colds and flu. The tonics given below nourish not only the body but the mind too, and all ingredients are easily found.

digestion-ayurvedicEat 3 or 4 figs and drink 250ml warm milk in the morning. One or two teaspoons of honey may be added to the milk for sweetening. Soak the figs in water if they´re dry. Its a very good tonic and also cures constipation and anaemia.
Take 2 walnuts, 4 almonds and 7 raisins. Soak them overnight in water and eat the next morning with 250ml of warm milk. Chew well. It's good to add one or two teaspoons of honey to the milk for sweetening.
Take 1 part dry dates (without seeds), 2 parts dried coconut and 3 parts honey and mix together. Take about 50 grams of this mixture every morning. It's specially good for children and the elderly and prevents common ailments like tonsillitis, cold, cough, and indigestion. The dose for children is 2 teaspoons and 4-5 teaspoons for adults. Do not drink water immediately after eating this mixture.

Take equal quantity of unpeeled apples and carrots grated. This mixture should be taken on an empty stomach in the morning. Dose can be up to 200 grams. Do not eat anything for 2 hours after eating this mixture. It is very effective in reducing extra fat, specially for women. For increasing weight the same mixture should be taken immediately after lunch.

Special Ayurvedic tonic for infants:
Take 1 almond and soak it in water overnight. In the morning remove the skin of almond and make a fine paste by grinding it. Mix in 1 gram of honey. Give to babies who are 4 months or older. It is a nice tonic for both mental and physical development of the child.
Take 2-3 dry dates and soak them in water every morning. In the evening boil them in 250ml milk until half the quantity of milk remains. Cool and add one teaspoon honey as a sweetener. Eat the dates and drink the milk. This can be taken one hour before going to bed. This tonic helps to give strength to lungs, increases blood circulation, cleans the bowels and alleviates Vata and Pitta imbalances.

Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained Yoga teacher offering weekly classes in the area. Please call for more details on 663 140 297




DhanvantariAs we head into the winter months we may feel the natural vibrancy that we felt in summer begin to slip away. Yet regularly bringing our bodies back into balance with Ayurveda can help us to retain a healthy body and a happy mind.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda simply means “science of life” (a Sanskrit word, ayur meaning life, veda meaning science or knowledge). It’s an ancient philosophy based on a deep understanding of the human body, mind and spirit. Unlike orthodox medicine, it’s not based on the frequently changing findings of specific research projects, but rather on permanent eternal principles of living which can be applicable to modern day life.

Although it originated in the East several thousands of years ago, Ayurveda is particulary relevant to present-day Western society. The logical, common sense approach to health and living is combined with philosophy, psychology and spiritual guidance.
How does Ayurveda work?

It's a system of healing that examines our physical constitution, emotional nature, and spiritual outlook. According to Ayurvedic philosophy, we predominately manifest as one of three different energies, or doshas, known as vata, pitta, and kapha.

AYURVEDAAyurvedic practitioners believe we're all made up of a unique combination of these three forces. Although everyone has some of each, most people tend to have an abundance of one or two of the doshas. This unique combination is said to be determined at the moment of conception, and is your own personal blueprint, or prakriti (nature).



As you move through life, the proportion of each of the three doshas constantly fluctuates according to your environment, your diet, the seasons, the climate, your age, and many other factors. As they move into and out of balance, the doshas can affect your health, energy level, and general mood.




DOSHAWhich dosha are you?





Next month we’ll take a look at simple ways to bring each dosha back into balance using a combination of easily found herbs and yoga techniques.




Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained Yoga teacher offering local weekly drop-in classes and private tuition within the comfort of your own home. Please contact Sarah on
663 140 297


yoga for all oct 2009

alliancesHealth,harmony, endorphins-rich happiness—We practice yoga for all of these reasons and can extend these feelings into our daily lives. Perhaps this autumn you’d like to take better care of your body, help others, or reduce your impact on the planet. Whatever your intention, when you make positive changes grounded in self-awareness, you can connect with the truth of who you are and why you do what you do. Here are five small acts that can help you understand yourself, connect with the world around you, and live happily through the cooler months.

karma1. Shift Your Perspective
To radically shift your outlook, break out of your regular routine. Go a different way to work, try a new food, take a class with a yoga teacher. Then notice how one seemingly simple change affects the way everything else appears to you. Our whole world is basically what we perceive. The opening verse of the Dharmapada—an anthology of quotes attributed to the Buddha—says, ‘We create the world with our thoughts and our perceptions.’ This means that the only thing we know about this world we are living in is how we perceive it.


karma2. Waste Not
Commit to a single day free of disposable products. Bring your lunch to work in a reusable container, use a cloth napkin, and bring your own water bottle to yoga class. Carry a reusable bag for everything you buy, not just groceries. Notice what you’re obliged to throw away, whether it’s the plastic wrap around your sandwich or the cotton in a new bottle of vitamins. And don’t be discouraged if achieving a waste-free day proves harder than you think. Just becoming aware of what you’re discarding is likely to usher in other changes that will eventually have an even greater effect on the environment. People say they’re throwing stuff away, but ‘away’ is a euphemism. There is no ‘away.

3. Experience Silence
Spend some time in silence. Silence can be one of the best ways of cultivating self-awareness. Practicing silence can also be a way of conserving prana, or “life force.” When you speak a lot, you are using up prana. So unplug your iPod, hide your mobile phone, and commit to a period of silence—as short as a 10-minute tea break or as luxurious as a whole day. Initially, being quiet can feel agitating, but simply notice your urge to speak or to take in other people’s words or ideas. See if you can appreciate all the ambient noises: the sounds of birds, wind in the trees, the movements of other people, even traffic. Soon, you’ll likely find the respite from speech to be deeply restful.

f144. Be a Creator
Bake bread, knit a cap, build a birdhouse, design your own thank-you notes. Creating something may feel like a small way of enriching the world, but making something with your hands can be an active meditation, an opportunity to take a break from conscious thought and allow yourself to freely engage with your creative side. Like the practice of yoga, creative acts are about the process, not the result; your sense of satisfaction when you pull on a warm hat you made yourself, mail a beautiful card to a friend, or bite into a sandwich on homemade bread is just an added benefit.

5. Make an Offering
Commit to one selfless act each week. Bring a meal to a busy friend; babysit your neighbours kids; give a few hours to a community garden. These moments are a chance to share someone else’s experience of the world and see the richness of your own existence. “All yoga begins with karma yoga, which is action done as a service to others and as a form of worship of the divine,” writes David Frawley in Yoga: The Greater Tradition.

Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained Yoga teacher offering local drop – in classes and also private tuition within the comfort of your home.
Sarah can be contacted on
663 140 297






Sometimes it's hard to see that yoga is far more than a physical activity confined by time, space, and a mat. Perhaps we rush to a class or put in a DVD without taking note of our surroundings. We may compare our poses with those of others; we can get distracted by people wandering in and out of class or manoeuvring for elbow room.



OGA ON THE BEACHBy getting out of the house or studio and into nature, you can experience yoga as it was originally intended. Yogic teachers believe that being outdoors gives you access to a whole other world of sensations, "helping you feel part of a boundless existence, at one with an intelligent and sympathetic universe". The pure unpredictability of being outside and exposed to the elements can strengthen an existing practice or inspire a new one. Perhaps it’s best not to practice in a thunder storm though!

Tips for Outdoor Practice

To refresh your experience when you go outside, keep these four points in mind.

YOGA GOLDEN BRIDGEFind Your Place of Peace
Everybody has access to some spot of natural power or beauty. It doesn't have to be a Pyrenean mountain top – a favourite tree or hillside perhaps – somewhere you enjoy returning to regularly.

Be Present
To some people, the outdoors is a transitional place - something to rush through on the way from one indoor environment to another; not being fully conscious of the world itself. The rewards of being present in nature are fulfilling and easy to cultivate.

Start with Your Breath
Do a few deep breaths to relax and slow down. Breathe slowly through your nose, allowing your belly to expand; slightly contract the back of the throat as you inhale and exhale to create the audible sound of what is called ujjayi breath, almost like ocean waves rushing over pebbles (some students describe it as Darth Vader breathing!) Listen for the gentle rhythms of nature and allow your breath to fall in sync with it. With each breath, reach your sensory awareness toward your inner self and out into the world around you.

When you practice yoga outside, it's not about how many asanas you do, but the quality of movement that enriches your practice. Think of moving from the inside out, following your body's natural inclination and rhythms. Feel the currents of the air across your body and let that direct you. Enjoy the flow of one pose into another, and remember to take your time….



There's another element at work outside - negative ions. These negatively charged particles in the air are found in great numbers in forests and around trees, oceans, rivers, or streams. Negative ions make you feel alert and invigorated and reduce anxiety and depression. According to researchers, this is because they increase our capacity to absorb and utilize oxygen so that it reaches our cells and tissues more quickly. That's a remarkably similar effect to that of hatha yoga, so why not combine the two for a double dose of feel-good energy!


Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained Yoga teacher offering weekly drop- in classes in Rasquera and L’Ampolla. Private tuition within the comfort of your own home (or finca) is also available.

WATER LILYPlease call to discuss your goals on 663 140 297










Jennifer Aniston does it. Reports are that Liv Tyler, Halle Berry, Madonna, David Duchovny and supermodel Christy Turlington do it, too. Many professional athletes are said to be doing it in an effort to improve their games.

The "it" is yoga, a sophisticated mind-body exercise many believe can do everything from tighten your bottom to change your outlook on life.


But can this no-strain, work-at-your-own-level exercise really help you lose weight?
It's true most types of yoga don't have anything near the calorie-burning power of aerobic exercise. A 150-pound person will burn 150 calories in an hour of doing regular yoga, compared to 311 calories for an hour of walking at 3 mph. But it is exercise, after all, and many practitioners believe yoga can indeed help people take off extra pounds.
"Yoga is a phenomenal way to put you in touch with your body the way nothing else can, and yes, you will lose weight," says instructor Dana Edison, director of Radius Yoga in North Redding, Massachusetts.

Celebrity yoga trainers Ana Brett and Ravi Singh, who have worked with such celebrities as Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow, also believe in yoga's weight-loss powers.
"We have seen it in ourselves, we have seen it in our clients - yoga can give you a real workout even if you are a beginner," says Ana Brett.


In 2005, medical researcher and practising yogi Alan Kristal, DPH, MPH, set out to do a medical study on the weight-loss effects of yoga.
With funding from the National Cancer Institute, Kristal and colleagues at the F H Cancer Research Centre in Seattle led a trial involving 15,500 healthy, middle-aged men and women. All completed a survey recalling their physical activity (including yoga) and their weight between the ages of 45 and 55. Researchers then analysed the data, teasing out other factors that could influence weight change - such as diet or other forms of exercise.
The end result: They found yoga indeed helped people shed pounds, and at the very least save them from gaining weight.
"Those practising yoga who were overweight to start with lost about 5 pounds during the same time period those not practising yoga gained 14 pounds," says Kristal.
For the study, he says, practising yoga was defined as at least one 1 hr. session per week for one or more years.
Kristal says it's not clear just how yoga might help people keep off the pounds, at least from a scientific standpoint. His own opinion is that the effects are subtle, and related to yoga's mind-body aspects.
"The buzzword here is mindfulness -- the ability to observe what is happening internally in a non-reactive fashion," he says. "That is what helps change the relationship of mind to body, and eventually to food and eating."
Yoga makes you more susceptible to influence for change - so if you are thinking you want to change your lifestyle, you want to change the way you think about food, you want to get over destructive eating patterns, yoga will help give you the spiritual connection to your body that can help you make those changes. Another idea is that yoga forges a strong mind-body connection that ultimately helps make you more aware of what you eat and how it feels to be full. Essentially, in yoga you learn your body is not your enemy, and the conscious awareness of the body that you gain translates into better appetite control.

ELLE MACPHERSONMaking Yoga Work for You
One thing all experts agree on is that yoga can be a terrific introduction to the world of fitness.
To help get you started, they offer these tips:
1.Practice in a room without mirrors, and put the emphasis on your internal experience rather than your outer performance.
2.Learn to experience the sensation of movement, down to the tiniest micro movement.
3.Always try to find your "edge" -- the place where your body feels challenged, but not overwhelmed. When you achieve this, keep an open, accepting state of mind and breathe deeply.
4.Give yourself permission to rest when you're tired.
5.Combine your yoga session with positive self-talk. Appreciate your efforts and praise your inner goodness.
6.Go to a class regularly. If you work out at home, set a specific day and time for your yoga session and stick to it.
7.Recognize that you are not only working on your body, but are also working to develop qualities like patience, discipline, wisdom, kindness and gratitude.
8.Look for a teacher (in a class or on a video) who you feel offers a balance between gentleness and firmness, and who inspires you to practice.
9.Recognize that simply buying a yoga DVD or attending the class is a step toward creating a better you. Use it as momentum to keep going.
10.Realize your efforts are not just inspiring you, but also inspiring others as you become more attuned to who you are, inside and out.





Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained Yoga teacher offering weekly drop- in classes in Rasquera and L’Ampolla. Private tuition within the comfort of your own home is also available.
Please call to discuss your goals on 663 140 297






It’s one of those hot, sweltering summer days, when it feels as though every ounce of energy has been drained from you. So how do you meet the demands of your day when your body and mind feel lethargic due to excessive temperatures?

Take some time to try a few yoga techniques. These postures require very little energy to perform, but will have the effect of cooling and re-energising your body, and calming your mind.

Legs-Up-the-Wall-Pose-(Viparita-Karani)Legs up the wall pose (Viparita Karani)
-Lie on the floor with your buttocks as close to the wall as comfortable, hips raised slightly.
-Keep your legs up and resting firmly against the wall. Your arms should be relaxed by your side, with palms facing upwards. Adjust yourself so that you have no discomfort in this position. Let your eyes be closed and relaxed. A beautiful variation is to cover your eyes with a herb scented eye pillow.

Stay in this position for 5-15 minutes, breathing deeply and slowly from your diaphragm. Mentally scan each part of your body, releasing any tension in those areas with each exhalation. Let your mind become tranquil as your body restores itself in this deep stillness.

When coming out of the posture, slowly lower your legs by bending your knees and bringing them close to your chest. Gently roll onto your right side, and when you feel ready, slowly resume a sitting position.

This posture allows the blood and other bodily fluids to flow more easily from the legs back to the heart and vital organs, flooding them with nutrients. The anti-gravity effect means the heart doesn’t have to pump as hard, thereby slowing the heart rate and cooling and re-energising the body.

After emerging from this restorative pose, you should feel calmer, more balanced, and less fatigued. It is a wonderful pose for those suffering from tired, aching legs, and can also be used to combat travel fatigue.

EXTENDED CHILDS POSEExtended Childs pose (Balasana)
Excessively hot days can often drain your patience as well as your energy. The following posture has a very calming effect on the mind, as well as releasing pressure on the spine and rejuvenating the entire body.
-Kneel on the floor with your toes together, knees apart. Lengthen your spine and bend forward from your hips on exhalation, arms outstretched in front and forehead resting firmly on the floor. Your knees should be as wide apart as comfortable.
-Breathe fully and slowly, and with each exhalation, feel your body melt into the floor. Hold for 5-10 breathes, and then very slowly resume an upright position.
This is a beautiful posture for delivering a freshly oxygenated supply of blood to the brain, thus enabling it to function more clearly and efficiently.

Prana is the Sanskrit name for life-force/breath, and correct breathing is an important part of yoga. Practicing pranayamic exercises increases lung capacity, thereby enabling more oxygen to be pumped throughout the body and to the brain.
Shitali breathing
Shitali means cooling, and is a particularly good pranayamic practice to cool you down in summer.
-Curl the sides of your tongue into a tube and breathe in air over your outstretched tongue. As the air travels over the wet tongue it is cooled down. Close your mouth and hold the cool air in your lungs for a second or two before gently releasing it, breathing out through your nose. This works much the same way as a dog that pants to regulate his body temperature. Repeat the process 5-10 times, but do not practice more than 10 rounds of this breathing.

This summer, be sure to stay cool and keep your cool with yoga!
Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained Yoga teacher offering weekly drop- in local classes in Rasquera and L’Ampolla. Private tuition is also available in the comfort of your own home. Please call to discuss your goals on 663 140 297




BEACH YOGAFinally, Summer is here , and as you lie in the shade, perhaps you may enjoy reading what others have to say about my favourite subject!


“Practising asanas began to teach me about myself. The body is such a great school of learning. It makes you pay attention.” Lilias Folan

“The challenge, and the opportunity, that Yoga presents to us is the possibility of breaking the conditioning cycle. We do this by becoming aware of the depth and pervasiveness of our patterns and, at the same time, by working to change them. And true transformation begins at the moment that we become aware of our actual condition.” Gary Kraftsow

“What I want to say is that there is a strong relationship between yoga on the mat and yoga off the mat. I’ve really come to believe that the energy accumulated in practice has a lot to do with my ability to get clarity about the reality of things.” John Friend
“I did not come to yoga to stretch. I came to live.” Maya Breuer


“People sometimes ask me what difference practice has made in my life. The answer is it’s changed everything for me. And, in a funny way, it’s changed nothing." Lama Surya Das  

“The most profound benefit of yoga and meditation for me has been a natural relaxing into my life. Obstacles are not so scary. I am more fluid, more curious, and at the same time more patient. I have more options for happiness because I don’t require specific conditions. It is a relief to discover that I can be happy even if the world doesn’t revolve around me or my agenda.” Cyndi Lee

“When I started doing asana, the yoga postures, I had a very strong feeling of many unnecessary things dropping away – especially tension and inadequacy.” Patricia Sullivan


“When you’re experiencing peace, it’s coming from within you, you’re ‘doing’ peace. And this is true of anything else you might be looking for. Love, happiness, contentment, well-being come from within. Nothing external needs to change for you to have what you want…..If you want to be happier – be happier. If you want to be more relaxed – relax. If you want more friends – be friendly. Sounds simple. It is.”  Cheri Huber  


“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” Jack Kornfield
“Through practice, I’ve come to see that the deepest source of my misery is not wanting things to be the way they are. Not wanting myself to be the way I am. Not wanting the world to be the way it is. Not wanting others to be the way they are. Whenever I’m suffering, I find this ‘war with reality’ to be at the heart of the problem.” Stephen Cope

LOTUS“These days, my practice is teaching me to embrace imperfection: to have compassion for all the ways things haven’t turned out as I planned, in my body and in my life – for the ways things keep falling apart, and failing, and breaking down. It’s less about fixing things, and more about learning to be present for exactly what is.” Anne Cushman

“One day, [teacher Jean Klien] said to me, ‘Your very trying to change yourself is actually taking you away from what you are.’ ” Richard Miller

“If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation." J. Krishnamurti

“I was caught in the conundrum of believing that I needed to be different, that the way I was right now was not all right….Eventually I came to understand that it was this very non-acceptance that was keeping me stuck in my patterns.” Judith Lasater


“Whether things get better or worse depends to a considerable extent on our own actions. The recommendation of a yoga practice follows the principle that through practice we can learn to stay present in every moment, and thereby achieve much that we were previously incapable of.” T.K.V. Desikachar

“I feel certain that the change wrought by my practice also changes the world. I don’t see how it can be otherwise. Everything is interconnected in the fabric of oneness. Awakening affects the entire world.” Richard Miller

Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering weekly drop-in yoga classes.
Please call 663 140 297 for further details.


halfmoonyoga for all may 2009



If, like many of us, you’re thinking longingly of the warmer days of early summer you may also be worrying about the stress of revealing a winter weary body in your favourite summer clothes. With a little dedication and practice you’ll gain benefits beyond your expectations by practicing ‘Hot Yoga’.






What is Hot Yoga?



Hot Yoga is a form of yoga exercises practiced in a hot environment with humidity at roughly 30-40%. Founded over 30 years ago by Bikram Choudhury, this form of yoga in its purest form is also known as Bikram Yoga. The warm temperature of the room allows for greater flexibility, minimises muscle strain, lactic acid build up and reduces the chance of injury, it allows for greater cleansing of the body and helps build tremendous stamina and endurance.



All exercise programs focus on warming up our bodies before vigorous activity. The temperature of the Hot Yoga room is similar to our body's own temperature and this accelerates improvement in many of the benefits of your yoga practice. Regular exercisers recognise that peak performance occurs when fully warmed up and your body generates heat from the inside radiating out and into your muscles.

yogaThe heat means we can get into postures more deeply and effectively - plus the benefits of the postures come quickly. Like many before you, you will find that practising yoga in the warm room creates a satisfying and almost addictive feeling of achievement, known as the ‘Yoga Glow’.

What Are The Benefits of Hot Yoga?

• Your body burns fat more effectively, fat may be redistributed and burned as energy during the class. It is common to lose centimetres of shape in a very short time
• The heat produces a fluid-like stretch allowing for greater range of movement in joints, muscles, ligaments and other supporting structures of the body
• Capillaries dilate in the heat; more effectively oxygenating the tissues, muscles, glands and organs and helping in the removal of waste products
• Your peripheral circulation improves
due to enhanced perfusion of your extremities
hot yoga• Your metabolism speeds up the breakdown of glucose and fatty acids
• You benefit from a strengthening of willpower, self control, concentration and determination in this challenging environment
• Your cardiovascular system gets a thorough workout
• Your muscles and connective tissue become more elastic and allow for greater flexibility with less chance of injury and improved resolution of injury
• Sweating promotes detoxification and elimination through the skin - which is the body's largest eliminating organ
• Just as when your body raises its temperature to fight infection, the raised temperature in the room will assist in improving T-cell function and the proper functioning of your immune system
• Your nervous system function is greatly improved and messages are carried more efficiently to and from your brain
• Metabolism improves in your digestive system and in the body's cells

exerciseWe are lucky to have use of the perfect environment for Hot Yoga at the Hotel Flamingo Spa in L’Ampolla each Thursday morning from 11am -12. The humidity is within the ideal range, ensuring we gain all of the well documented benefits from each session. Please feel free to drop in on Thursdays. Classes are ideal for beginners and exercise mats are provided for your use. Just bring yourself and dress in comfortable clothes that allow free movement of your legs and arms.

Sarah Good is a Sivananda Trained yoga teacher offering weekly drop-in yoga classes. Please feel free to call and discuss your health goals on 663 140 297




YOGASpring has finally sprung and we’re turning our thoughts to spring cleaning our homes, and perhaps our bodies. The benefits of yoga such as weight loss and toned muscles are available to us all.
There are however three keys to enjoying yoga’s undisputed benefits. They are 100% under your control, and affect not only your enjoyment of your practice, but just as importantly, the benefits you receive from each practice.
1. Challenge yourself
One of the purposes of yoga, like every exercise regime, is to incrementally improve your body's physical capabilities. Yoga of course has the added advantage that it also helps to improve many aspects of your health and well-being that general exercise cannot.
Even with these increased benefits, yoga is not a magic cure-all. Achieving these benefits requires your commitment and effort each time you practice. Achieving incremental improvements to your capabilities requires (and allows) you to further challenge your own physical limitations. Over time improvements result in large gains in your yoga abilities and the health and weight loss benefits of your practice.
In every posture you should be looking to make sure first that you are stable and comfortable in the posture. You should then be aiming to slowly and smoothly deepen the stretch as far as it remains pain free for you to do so. In all postures you should feel the stretch in the relevant muscles and deepen into the stretch in a controlled manner to avoid damaging your muscles and ligaments. You should challenge your own abilities in order to achieve new yoga abilities, but also listen carefully to your body to know when to stop.
LOTUS2. Breathing
There is a lot of discussion and research into the importance and health benefits of yoga breathing. While these may well prove to be real benefits, adopting relaxed, controlled yoga breathing definitely helps to improve your overall yoga practice.
The natural tendency, when practicing an asana (yoga posture) that tests your physical abilities, is to shorten your breath and in some cases, to start breathing through your mouth. This stressful breathing technique encourages you to tense your muscles and fight against the asana and the stretch. This is the opposite of the desired state for practicing yoga.
Instead it's important that you concentrate on your breathing, completing a long, controlled inhale exhale cycle that fills your lungs to capture the maximum amount of oxygen for each breath. Focusing on your breathing in this way, helps you to remain relaxed and allows you to be more aware of your physical condition enabling you to better feel the stretch, be aware of tension in your muscles and concentrate on releasing that tension and to loosen the muscles you're working on. Through this increased awareness of what you body is telling you and by noticing and releasing tension in your muscles, it's easier to accept each stretch and go deeper into each asana and hold it for longer without injury.
COUPLE3. Practice, Practice, Practice.
As with all exercise, the benefits only come with a commitment to regular practice. Only through regular practice of exercise does the body start to develop, strengthen, adapt and change according to the physical demands you are placing on it. Practicing yoga is no different. Regular practice helps to build the muscle strength required to hold asanas. More than that, you'll develop increased lung capacity and provide the regular stimulation to the internal organs that helps balance chemical and hormone levels. Frequent practice helps to learn any new skill or ability and yoga is no different. In particular, repetition helps your body learn the correct position balancing postures, to the extent that it becomes second nature - just like riding a bike. Another area where frequent practice is highly beneficial is learning how to slow and calm your mind, to purge your thoughts of the worries and stresses of the day. This increased serenity, along with welcome weight loss benefits, can be taken ‘off the mat’ and into the rest of your life.
Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering weekly drop-in yoga classes.
Please call 663 140 297 for further details.



YOGA POSERestorative sleep is vital to our health and wellbeing, yet enjoying deep, restful sleep doesn't come easily to all of us. If you suffer from interrupted sleep patterns Yoga can help combat insomnia and is in fact one of the best remedies for sleep disorders.
Yoga is one of the most wholesome of all fitness regimes, and even in the context of sleep disorders it can help in many ways. Yoga stimulates the nervous system, particularly the brain, and this improves the quality of sleep itself. The practice of certain yoga postures helps improve blood circulation through your body and to the brain as well. This helps to normalize sleep patterns.
Yoga not only focuses on the physical. Breathing exercises or Pranayama(lengthening of the breath) improves the oxygen supply throughout your body. This improved oxygen supply to the brain improves its functioning. Regular practice of Yoga and breathing techniques also facilitates the expulsion of toxins from the body, which helps to rejuvenate us.
CAT STRETCHInsomnia has become very common and can be a disturbing disorder that seems to be inescapable for some of us living in the modern world. As we struggle to keep pace with the progress around us and the rising stress levels and pressure at the workplace our health suffers tremendously; both physically and mentally. Insomnia can be caused by both or either. Yoga is ideally suited to treat insomnia, as it addresses both physical and emotional or mental health.
If your insomnia prevents you from falling asleep, try practicing some of the deep relaxation exercise and meditation techniques that are an integral part of yoga. Do this around twenty minutes before attempting to sleep. This will relax your body and calm your mind, giving you a chance to rest peacefully. If your insomnia stems from disturbed or interrupted sleep try to practice gentle and rhythmic breathing exercises, whenever you wake up. This will help you fall asleep. Moreover the problem of disturbed sleep can be resolved if you practice some simple yoga poses each day.
CALMING POSEInsomnia is not a disorder that occurs independently in most cases, and can therefore be treated by eliminating symptoms that cause insomnia. This is where daily yoga workouts will come in handy. A daily yoga routine will help you to stay in shape, both stretching and relaxing muscles. It will help relieve stress, anxiety and fatigue, whether physical or mental. Tending to one aspect of your health while neglecting another never bodes well, so make it a point that you also follow a healthy diet and lifestyle. Cut down on your intake of caffeinated drinks too and avoid them completely for at least six hours before your sleep time. Similarly, avoid consuming any alcohol or having a heavy meal for the hour before bedtime. Sweet dreams
Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering weekly drop-in yoga classes. Please feel free to call for more details on 663 140 297



YOGA POSELiving with chronic pain, can be a cause of constant discomfort, with an attack on your reserves of strength, energy, and feelings of well-being. Using Yoga techniques for pain management can help minimize medication usage and help you lead a happier and fuller life. The best techniques for pain management are Yoga breathing (pranayama), relaxation, and meditation. These three aspects of Yoga act to distract your mind from pain, reduce your body’s tension in reaction to pain, and provide an opportunity to "move through" the pain instead of resisting it so it loses its full impact.

RELAXYoga is believed to reduce pain by helping the brain's pain center regulate the gate-controlling mechanism located in the spinal cord and the secretion of natural painkillers in the body. Breathing exercises used in yoga can also reduce pain. Because muscles tend to relax when you exhale, lengthening the time of exhalation can help produce relaxation and reduce tension. Awareness of breathing helps to achieve calmer, slower respiration and aid in relaxation and pain management. The act of controlling the breath in yoga also helps reduce pain. The body has a natural phenomenon built in to the nervous system, which keeps tension in the muscles "on stand by" when the lungs are full, or "pressurized".

Lengthening the time of exhalation can help produce relaxation and reduce tension in the body.

RELAXATIONRelaxation training is a step - by - step process of relaxing each of your body’s muscles; this helps to counteract the body’s natural tendency to increase muscle tension in an unconscious effort to "push" the pain away – which only causes the pain to increase. Mental relaxation is more effective in the relief of chronic pain, when combined with meditation and rhythmic breathing.


MEDITATIONMeditation training is a conscious effort to reduce your mind’s constant chatter and to concentrate instead simply on the feeling of not thinking. Regular daily practice of meditation builds a foundation of internal strength by opening a door to a part of yourself that is not governed by the demands of your physical body. Start with five minutes. Build up the time slowly until you can do 20 minutes. You might want to try two 20 minute sessions eventually, one in the morning and the other at night. If you can only do five minutes, don't worry, you´ll still feel the benefits.


Yoga's inclusion of relaxation techniques and meditation can help reduce pain. ALPHASPHEREPart of the effectiveness of yoga in reducing pain is due to its focus on self-awareness. This self-awareness can have a protective effect and allow for early preventive action.
Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering weekly drop-in yoga classes. Please feel free to call for more details on 663 140 297







YOGA FLOATINGHappy New Year. The fun and festivities may have taken their toll and perhaps you´re ready for a fresh start, a detox. From reading the celebrity mags we may be forgiven for believing that detox is something you do by either checking into a cushy rehabilitation facility or consuming nothing but liquids for 21 days. It seems overly arduous or something only the rich and idle have time to do. But your body is designed to engage in detoxification every day. We can help these natural processes along by adopting a regular yoga practice. Yoga, with it´s focus on systematically stretching and compressing every part of the body, is particularly well suited to keeping the waste removal departments of the body functioning well.


SALADESAUNAIn a well rounded yoga practice, every part of the body is pushed, pulled, twisted, and turned. This facilitates the removal of waste products such as carbon dioxide, lactic acid and lymphatic fluid from the deep tissues and extremities of the body that a jog or bike ride just don´t reach.


How detoxification works
There are three main systems of the body that play a crucial role in the elimination of wastes – circulatory, digestive and lymph. The circulatory system pumps blood throughout the body, delivering oxygen to and carrying waste products from cells. The digestive system processes the food we eat, separating nutrients from waste and eliminating anything the body doesn´t need. And the lymphatic system collects intracellular fluid from throughout the body and transports it to the lymph nodes where anything harmful (such as bacteria or other contaminants such as excess alcohol!) can be removed before the lymphatic fluid is returned to the bloodstream. It´s a robust system that works well on it´s own. But in order to help your body keep up with the demands of our sometimes stressful lives, and nutrient poor modern diet place on these systems, the trick is to give your body some help so that it can perform it´s natural detoxing functions. And yoga is the ideal companion.



DETOXNew Year, New You

To kick start the New Year why not give yourself the gift of a weekly Yoga for Detox class. Classes start on Wednesday 7th January 11am - 12 at the Hotel Flamingo Spa in L´Ampolla, and are held weekly. After the poolside class feel free to swim in the heated indoor pool, then complete the detoxification benefits by stepping into the sauna. Give yourself the gift of health – all for only 10 euros.

Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering weekly drop-in classes.
Please feel free to call for more details on 663 140 297








LOGOTis the season to be jolly ... but mention the christmas present list, last posting date to the UK or preparation of the turkey with all the trimmings, and most of us feel a little less jolly, perhaps a little bit stressed.
By setting time aside each week to destress through exercise and relaxation we will be repayed with a noticable increase in vitality and peace of mind. Relaxation is a tonic for the body and spirit, expanding our energy levels throughout the day. By remembering that the state of our minds and the state of our bodies are intimately linked we are able to create a healthy and happy life for ourselves.
If your muscles are relaxed, then your mind will be relaxed. If the mind is anxious, then the body suffers too. All action originates in the mind. When the mind receives a stimulus that alerts it to the need for action, it sends a message via the nerves to contract the muscles in readiness. Everyone has their own trouble spots – whether it´s a clenched jaw, a furrowed brow, or a stiff neck. This unnecessary tension can be a drain on our energy and a major cause of ill health and tiredness. So how do we fully relax? Watching TV, for example, may feel relaxing to us but the body and mind are still not in a full state of relaxation. A typical exercise such as Savasana (relaxation pose) can be experienced at home or in a yoga class and will completely relax the body and mind, and top up our energy reserves for a full and active life.TIED UP MAN


Savasana (Relaxation pose)

To fully relax the body, you lie down in the relaxation pose and first tense then relax each part of the body in turn, working up from your feet to your head. This alternate tensing then relaxing is necessary because it is only by knowing how tension feels that you can be sure that you have achieved real relaxation.Then through a process called autosuggestion you´ll consciously tell each muscle in turn to release any further tension and a feeling of heaviness will be felt as your body relaxes further onto the floor. To relax and focus the mind you breathe steadily and rythmically and concentrate on your breathing. As you relax you´ll feel sensations of lightness and warmth. When all muscular tension is gone, a gentle euphoria suffuses the whole body, often referred to as ´the yoga glow´. Even a few minutes in deep relaxation will reduce worry and fatigue more effectively than many hours of sleep and produce a calmness that reaches deep into your core.

PUPPYSarah Good is a Sivananda trained Yoga teacher offering weekly local classes.
Please call for the latest times and locations this month. Tel: 663 140 297




YOGA CATThere are so many good reasons to begin a regular yoga practice, gaining a healthy, correct posture can be counted among them. Contrary to the Victorian idea of a rod straight back a healthy back has natural curves and yoga gently encourages the spine to return to this natural state of health.

To correct the posture through yoga the first emphasis should be on poses that help to realign the spine and promote healthy postural habits. The full sequence of postures experienced in a yoga class will enable us to achieve our goals. SPINEIn a normal adult who is standing erect, the spinal column curves slightly in four parts. Beginning at the head, it curves slightly forward (cervical curvature), then in a sweeping curve backward under the shoulders (thoracic curvature), forward over the haunches (lumbar curvature), and backward at the end of the spine (pelvic curvature).

All four spinal curves lend resilience and spring to the vertebral column. This ´spring ´is essential for shock absorption while walking, jogging and other physical exercise. We all slump from time to time (you at the back, sit up straight…) but long term bad postural habits formed through years of sitting at an office desk for example can produce rounded shoulders and a slightly hunched effect (Kyphosis). Symptoms may be experienced as neck pain.

Those of us who have worked for many years on our feet may find we have a different problem. Our lower backs have an exaggerated curve (Lordosis). Symptoms regularly manifest as lower back pain.

A sideways ´kink ´in the spine (Scoliosis) may be produced by a lifetime of carrying uneven weight on our shoulders. Tension between the shoulder blades and headaches may be experienced.

If you recognise any of these symptoms there is no need to suffer in silence. Yoga has been proven by chiropractors and back care specialists to realign the spine and restore health to this area. While practising yoga for realignment emphasis should be placed on keeping the head aligned with the upper body and trunk. The standing poses also help us to become more aware of postural alignment.

TREE POSEA regular practice which includes Mountain pose, Tree pose and Triangle pose will really be beneficial here.
Strengthening the back muscles, particularly the muscle which runs vertically along the length of the spine, is also important when improving postural alignment. The increased strength in the muscles will prevent scoliosis from progressing further to one side.

COBRA POSEThe Cobra pose works this muscle and helps us bring the spine into natural alignment.
With greater spinal flexibility comes grace and fluidity of movement. Where the body goes the mind flows – greater flexibility in all areas of our lives soon follows a regular yoga practice.
Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering relaxing, friendly weekly classes and private tuition in the area.
For further info or to discuss your goals Sarah can be contacted on 663 140 297.





YOGA CATO.K, hands up who´s feeling the twinges of arthritis as the nights are getting colder? Arthritis can be experienced as a minor nuisance – or it can be incapacitating. Most doctors agree that some regular exercise is beneficial for arthritis because it keeps muscle tone intact and helps to prevent stiffness in the joints.
When the pain of arthritis strikes, it has the effect of stiffening up the rest of the body, as if to protect the part that hurts. Most people respond to this by decreasing their activity level. Inactivity, however, is often the worst thing to do because it weakens the muscles and actually increases stiffness and pain. Yoga encourages you to keep moving gently while your body is healing in order to maintain muscle tone, good circulation, and joint flexibility. Each asana (exercise) brings fresh blood and nutrients to muscle tissue and can be likened to accupressure with similar deep felt benefits.
Arthritis does not have to be a disability. By practicing a few gentle yogic exercises each day you can take control by reducing pain signifigantly. With increased strength and flexibility we can maintain our daily activities with health and renewed energy.
What is arthritis?



Arthritis affects the joints, the areas of the body where two or more bones meet. In addition, there are several different parts of the joint that may be affected by arthritis, such as, cartilage, synovium, tendons, and muscles. The neighbouring ends of bones that form the joints are covered by a soft, protective material called cartilage that cushions the bones and keeps them from rubbing together. The joint is also enclosed in a capsule and lined with a tissue called synovium. The synovium releases a slippery fluid that lubricates the joints and helps them to move freely. Finally, tendons and muscles are responsible for moving the joint area. When a person has arthritis, each of these areas can be affected in some very specific ways, creating a different pain for each person.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting both men and women as they grow older. Because the disease causes pain and stiffness as bones and cartilage progressively break down, osteoarthritis is sometimes called ¨degenerative arthritis¨.
Rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a specific type that causes inflammation of the joints due to abnormalities in the body´s own defense system against infection, the immune system.
SARAHFibromyalgia usually affects women. It affects the the muscles at their attachments to bones. Although the condition is often characterized by painful,SARAH tender points in areas of the body that are more susceptable to pain, the disease does not do actual damage to muscles or joints.
Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering local classes and also private tuition. She can be contacted on 663 140 297









As a yoga teacher I find that one of the most frequently asked questions is one centred on the students concern for their sensitive back. There is sometimes be a pre-existing belief that we need to be super flexible before we begin practising yoga to avoid further back pain. The truth is that anyone can practice yoga. The yoga asanas (postures) give muscles and ligaments a slow, non-violent stretch, easing sensitivity and pain in the spine and entire skeletal system. At first glance it seems to be little more than a series of strange physical postures. But in time, anyone who continues with a regular practice becomes aware of a subtle change in their approach to life and a tremendous freedom from long held physical stiffness and back pain.
Muscles that are stiff and weak with under use will cause them to be permanently tensed and make each day to day action doubly tiring. Over time our ligaments (the muscles attached to our bones) may shorten resulting in incorrect posture, ultimately leading to undue stress on the lower spine, hips and pelvis. Even a simple action such as carrying a bag always on the same shoulder can soon throw the whole frame out, with muscles overdeveloped on one side a vertebra may be displaced.
YOGA POSITIONThe good news is that for all common back problems adopting a regular practice of a gentle, full asana sequence is the key to regaining the lost vitality many of us seek. A yoga class is designed to stimulate the circulation, and to work systematically on every part of the body so that muscles are healthy and in balance. Back care yoga will keep us young and agile throughout our lives easing our passage through the later years.
Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering local weekly yoga classes and also private tuition. She can be contacted on 663 140 297.



Many people will enter a yoga class with the goal of becoming slimmer, or changing their physical abilities in some way. Months later they find they are not only physically changed but their lives have changed too. Yoga works on the body, mind and emotions in positive, life-changing ways.

Starting with weight loss, let´s look at why yoga works successfully as a path to fitness. Muscles metabolise calories when they are stimulated. One pound of muscle uses 35 – 50 calories every twenty four hours. However, the more muscle used, the greater the stimulation, and in turn more calories are burned. A muscle that is put through it´s entire range of motion, as in yoga, will burn more calories than a muscle which is only partially used as in jogging. A typical yoga practice will stimulate each muscle in the body through nearly 100% of it´s range, therefore the practice of yoga postures is an efficient use of muscle tissue with a high calorific expenditure.
BRIDGE POSEAsanas (postures) such as the Bridge, which increase blood flow to the thyroid gland in the neck, are also of great benefit for those looking to lose weight. Anyone who suffers from an under active thyroid will feel lethargic and put on weight easily, yet with regular practice of the Bridge pose a rich supply of blood is supplied to the thyroid gland. The increased flow provides stimulation and a massaging effect, ultimately restoring a healthy metabolism and regulating the body´s weight.

In addition to weight loss yoga is an exercise which builds strength and flexibility with minimal risk of injury. By moving into and out of postures in a controlled way, and holding the pose for a length of time, the yoga student uses his or her own body weight as resistance. A recent study by the university of California found that one hour of yoga practice, four times a week over a period of eight weeks increased muscular strength up to 31%, muscular endurance up to 57%, and flexibility up to 188% in a group of previously sedentary participants.

Beyond it´s purely physical benefits, yoga increases your body awareness and helps to decrease stress. The increase in awareness leads to better decisions about what to eat. Instead of fuelling your body with foods that digest slowly, the body begins to ask for lighter foods higher in nutrients.

Also by reducing stress, yoga reduces eating as a stress response. Our sometimes stressful lives increase the hormone cortisol which produces a sensation of false hunger. By lowering our stress levels we lower the amount of cortisol in our bodies.

With yoga´s awareness and attention to detail, comes strength, flexibility and self mastery, bringing unlimited benefits to the body and mind.
You may enter a yoga class for the physical benefits, and within a short time find that you've received so much more. So what do you have to lose?

Sarah Good is a Sivananda trained yoga teacher offering weekly drop-in yoga classes in the area, ans also private tuition. You may contact her on 663 140 297




“Inflation.....oil prices rise again”. Is there nothing else in the news at the moment?
Hang on a minute, I'm talking about vegetable oil prices here, not crude oil and one of the most expensive....olive oil. Read on, however, before you remove it from your shopping list, I'm hoping to persuade you that there are some things worth paying extra for and that olive oil is definitely one of them.

'Good' fats v 'Bad' fats
The majority of vegetable oils are classed as either polyunsaturated ( e.g. Sunflower, maize), saturated ( most animal derived fats, coconut and palm oils.) or mono saturated e.g. rapeseed .Olive oil is a mono saturated fat and this, along with other qualities makes all the difference.

GOOD FATSThe 'amazing health benefits' of polyunsaturated margarines have been pushed on us through advertising for years. What a con! They were processing the oils in such a way that the health benefits were reversed. This is because the oils were altered by hydrogenating to make them more solid,( e.g. many oils used in margarines.) This process is now known to increase the risk of cancer and heart disease and there has been pressure upon the food industry to either cease the process or make customers aware of it through better labelling of food. Palm oil is another contentious issue. It is a saturated fat and is used in many manufactured foods. In addition to this it is causing massive habitat loss within the rainforests as land is cleared for it to be grown. Butter is a saturated fat and should be used in moderation, however due to the effects of hydrogenation many health experts would recommend that we use this on our bread, spread thinly, rather than a margarine containing hydrogenated fat. Better still use olive oil!

GOOD FAT BROTHERSI don't want to be accused of scaremongering but looking more closely at what manufactured food contains and its cost to the environment would seem to be a good idea.

Using olive oil instead of other fats can:
Reduce blood pressure by lowering cholesterol and preventing the build up of plaque within the wall of the artery.
Inhibit the growth of some cancers including breast and colon cancer due to its high level of beneficial antioxidants.
benefit people at risk of, or with diabetes by helping to stabilise blood sugar.
Lessen the severity of asthma or arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
help your body maintain a lower weight.
Feeling the benefits. Simple steps you can take now.
OLIVE OILBuy good quality virgin or extra virgin olive oil. Support your local co-operative and buy locally produced oil or perhaps harvest your own olives if you haven't considered this yet!
Drizzle olive oil over salads or cooked vegetable. (oils help with the absorption of vitamins and minerals.)
Use olive oil for shallow frying instead of sunflower oil, etc.
Baste meats and fish with olive oil when roasting.
Resurrect the traditional Mediterranean habit. Ditch the margarine and drizzle olive oil over bread instead. ( OK, maybe not so great with toast and marmalade.) Try 'Pa amb tomata.' The locals will be very impressed!
Consider making your own flavoured olive oils by adding herbs such as wild rosemary, thyme or oregano. ( all available in the wild for free.) Pack a punch with some garlic or a zing with some lemon.
If you are organised enough to bake your own bread you can use olive oil instead of butter of margarine. In Italy they call it ciabbata.

KFCTRANSFATQuestion: “ This is all very well but I've been out all day 'olive bashing' and I'm aching all over-surely that can't be healthy?
Answer: congratulations, you have had a great workout! Now gently warm some olive oil and ask your partner to massage it into those aching joints and muscles. I guarantee this will revive your flagging spirits!
A source of good fortune....The olive branch.
Olive leaf extract has recently had a huge amount of attention and is being hailed as “ nature's antibiotic” due to it's powerful antioxidant properties and ability to treat a range of bacterial and viral illnesses.
In fact it is not a new discovery and was held in high esteem by the Ancient Egyptians. Olive leaf was the first botanical cited in the Bible ( Ezekiel 47:12) as a natural healer.” The fruit thereof shall be for meat and the leaf thereof for medicine”.
Before you rush off and buy expensive extracts or capsules here is a recipe I have found. If you have access to fresh olive leaves why not try it?

Olive leaf tea.
Use approximately 5grammes of dried, crushed olive leaf, place in a tea ball or herb sack and drop into half a litre of boiling water. Immediately reduce the heat to a medium simmer for 20 seconds and then turn off heat. Allow to brew for 3 to 10 minutes depending on desired strength, occasionally stirring. Tea should be a medium amber colour. Can be served with honey, sugar or lemon. You can also experiment by mixing with black or green tea. ( olive leaves should be air dried for one month before crushing. Spring is recommended as the best picking time for leaves as the beneficial properties are at their height.)

* Caution: not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, diabetics or those on medicine to lower blood pressure. If uncertain consult your G.P.
It does seem ironic that we are burning all that olive brash when there are companies selling packets of of dried olive leaves at five pounds for a 100g bag. Food for thought perhaps?

Vicky Palmer. (The Olive Maintenance Company)






Insect bites leave venom in the skin and cause a usually mild but itchy skin reaction. Scratching may infect the wound and leave lasting scars. Infection becomes obvious if the bite swells and reddens on the second day or after the initial skin reaction seemed to improve. Some people react to bites with allergic rashes, which can be dangerous if the swelling blocks air passages. Insect bites are also a serious problem if the insect carries disease. In several tropical regions, mosquitoes carrying malaria cause dangerously high fevers. In some wild areas of North America, tick bites may cause Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Since tick bites are not painful, they can easily be overlooked. Lyme disease causes flu-like symptoms to develop within one month of the tick bite, often with a rash.
MOS BITEWeeks later, it can cause lingering arthritis, heart problems, neuritis and other nervous system disorders, which usually go away after several months. In rare cases, symptoms last indefinitely. Rocky Mountain spotted fever causes a dangerously high fever, headaches, muscle pains and a rash. These symptoms develop within two weeks of a tick bite. Other biting insects are horseflies, ants, fleas, lice and scabies mites. None of these carry diseases, though they can be troublesome.

SHORT BACK &SIDESInsect Bites (Spiders, Ticks & Fleas) Causes
Mosquito and tick bites can be prevented with sufficient clothing. Insects prefer dark clothing and bright floral designs to pastel colours and whites. Sweet, flowery perfumes, hairsprays and sun-screens also attract mosquitoes and other insects. In hot climates, mosquito nets help, especially near water and after sunset, when mosquitoes are most prevalent. Natural insect repellents including garlic and cider vinegar (diluted chlorine) will help. Alcohol dilates the blood vessels in the skin, which attracts insects, including mosquitoes and horseflies. Ticks thrive in wooded areas, so wearing adequate clothing helps to repel them. Since the bites are painless, checking for ticks after a day in the woods can help prevent infection.
Household pets are often a source of fleas and ticks, and can also carry worms. Head lice are passed on among children very quickly regardless of hygiene, so head lice are difficult to avoid. Body and pubic lice are less easily contracted, since they are spread through contaminated clothing and sexual contact.
BEEInsect Bites (Spiders, Ticks & Fleas) Nutrition
To prevent bites from mosquitoes and horseflies, avoid alcohol. Alcohol causes the skin to flush and the blood vessels to dilate, attracting insects. Eating garlic or rubbing it on the skin helps repel insects. Yeast also helps reduce susceptibility to bites. Eat nutritional yeast daily for three weeks before going into the woods to discourage mosquitoes and black flies from biting. After a severe insect bite, drink plenty of pure spring water, light soups and diluted juices to flush out residual toxins.


WASPInsect Bites (Spiders, Ticks & Fleas) Nutritional Supplements
As a prevention for insect bites, garlic and vitamin B1 (thiamine) supplements are effective, as they give off an unfavourable scent to the insect. A vitamin B complex can be added to B1 for several weeks to prevent imbalances. Use brewer's yeast supplements for pets, or nutritional yeast for humans. Garlic is more effective against ticks. Take these supplements several days before and throughout a trip to wooded, damp areas.
Very high doses of vitamin C, taken together with calcium, can be used effectively to combat the allergic and toxic effects of all kinds of bites, even against venomous spiders and snakes. The calcium also seems to markedly reduce the pain.
Daily dosages:
Most Important to take:
Vitamin C, with bioflavonoids, 4,000–10,000 mg immediately following a bite and 1,000 mg every few hours
Vitamin B1, 50 mg twice daily
Garlic, 2 capsules three times daily
Vitamin B complex, 50 mg daily
Helpful to take:
Calcium, 1,200 mg
SPIDERInsect Bites (Spiders, Ticks & Fleas) Herbal Remedies
Herbal remedies can promote healing of the skin, decrease inflammation, help the body cleanse residual toxins from the blood and boost the immune system.
Yarrow reduces the itching and swelling, while lemon balm, plantain and ivy leaves soothe and heal. Crush or gently rub leaves on the bite.
Aloe vera gel is excellent to soothe and heal the affected skin.
Citronella oil is a natural insect repellent that should be rubbed on the skin and is safe for children and pregnant women. Keep away from eyes.
Intense swellings should be treated with hot hay seed compresses.
Spider bites:
Spiders inject a toxin into the blood and lymph system that affects internal organs and can cause the formation of harmful free radicals in the body.
To boost the immune system and purify the blood, take 10to20 drops of echinacea tincture in liquid or 1to2 capsules or tablets three times daily for up to a week. After the venom is removed and the bite thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, apply comfrey and plaintain salve to speed healing. Make sure all traces of venom have been removed from the area before applying comfrey, as this herb almost instantly rebuilds tissue over the area.

MOSQUITOInsect Bites (Spiders, Ticks & Fleas) Homeopathy
Homeopathic remedies are excellent for insect stings and bite reactions or pain. The recommended dosage is 2 tablets under the tongue in a 6c strength, repeating every fifteen minutes for three doses. If symptoms persist, repeat every four hours for an extra day or two. Stop once symptoms improve.
For any stings or bites, Ledum can be used immediately. Typical symptoms include a cold feeling to the skin around the bite and cold applications to the skin provide relief.
For swelling, heat and stinging pain, use Apis.
Hypericum should be chosen in those cases where shooting pains develop along a nerve, common in horsefly bites.

Insect Bites (Spiders, Ticks & Fleas) Tissue Salts
The tissue salt Nat mur can be made into a paste by adding a little water, and applied directly to the bite to soothe the irritation.

STINGSInsect Bites (Spiders, Ticks & Fleas) External/Physical Therapies
Place a slice of fresh onion on the sting.
To disinfect, dab the spot with alcohol.
Apply ice to the area to slow absorption of the venom.
For first aid, if nothing else is at hand, rub saliva into the bite.
If stung inside the mouth, gargle with liquid whey or, if not available, with salt water (2 tbsp. salt to 3 cups of water).
A cabbage leaf poultice applied to the neck will further help in reducing the poison's effect.
For ant, mosquito, tick and chigger bites, wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. Use a brush and scrub chigger bites, then apply damp baking soda.
Once a tick is found on the skin, it should be removed with tweezers by pulling the head, which is closest to the skin. Once removed,the tick must be burned. Trying to remove the tick with the hands can cause the head to embed even more firmly in the skin.
A capsule of vitamin E emptied onto the skin supports healing and alleviates pain.

Insect Bites (Spiders, Ticks & Fleas) Other Suggestions
Take charcoal tablets to draw the toxine out and chamomile tablets to reduce the irritation. Applying natural(greek) yoghurt to the bite immediately takes the inflamation down. Mosquitoes are attracted by sour sweat.
Wasp stings can become infected. If the inflammation seems to worsen on the second day, consult a physician.

From the Enyclopedia of
Natural Healing



Top 10 tips for a Healthy Liver and Lymph

glass of water
Your liver has many functions; stores certain vitamins, minerals and sugars for use as fuel, cleanses/filters the toxins out of your blood and controls the production/excretion of cholesterol. Your overall health and vitality, to a great extent, depends upon the health of your liver. The thousands of enzyme systems that control virtually every body activity are created there. If your liver fails to create even one of these enzymes, overall body function is impaired, creating greater metabolic stress on your body.

THE LYMPH composed of
Lymph fluid consists of; The 'tissue fluid' in which all of our cells are bathed, and the fluid within the 'lymph vessels'. These are 'blood vessel' like tubes, which connect the lymph glands of the body. The Lymphatic System is also called the Immune System.

Modern lifestyles can overstress your liver. Alcohol, tobacco, environmental pollutants, food additives, agricultural pesticides, popular cosmetic ingredients, common household products, stress, pharmaceutical and OTC (over-the-counter) drugs (including oral contraceptives and caffeine), gallstones, home repair materials, artist materials, garden chemicals and building materials can all kill liver cells.

Symptoms of liver imbalance include headaches, bruising easily, anxiety, depression, confusion, fatigue, jaundice, impaired libido (sex drive) and mental function, food allergies, multiple chemical sensitivities and PMS, as well as conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. When your liver is damaged it cannot remove toxins, which then build up in your blood and eventually, your brain.


Try the following tips for a healthy liver and lymph:

1•Avoid any foods of which you suspect you may be intolerant:
They will produce toxins in the gut that can cause stress to the detoxification mechanisms. Bacteria, viruses, too much alcohol, coffee and other caffeine-containing drinks, smoking and the medicines that have powerful effects on the liver, stomach and other parts of the body can prove toxic Chew your food well to help release the enzymes that aid digestion.

zinc2•Consume plenty of foods containing:
Consume plenty of foods containing folate, flavonoids, magnesium, iron, sulphate and selenium and B-vitamins 2,3,6 and 12, since toxicity in the body can be caused by deficiency of the nutrients that the liver needs for detoxification as much as by exposure to toxins. Think along the lines of salads, beans, fresh juices, stir-fries cooked in a little good-quality olive oil, nuts, seeds, yoghurt (full-fat is fine). Steaming is a quick and healthy way of cooking vegetables, and the only vegetables to avoid are potatoes. Aim for a diet build on complex carbohydrates (brown rice), lean protein (beans, lentils, eggs, chicken, fish and a little lean red meat) and organic fruits & vegetables.

3•Cut down on stimulants:
Such as tea and coffee, and depressants such as smoking & alcohol. Aim at drinking at least 2.5 litres of water a day.

4•Eat foods rich in antioxidants:
Which aid the natural detox mechanisms like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts and Soybean products. Nutrients that enhance our immune system are Vitamin C, Vitamin E, the B-vitamins, Zinc and Magnesium. These nutrients are either potent anti-oxidants capable of stopping the free-radical cascade of tissue damage or are involved in the enzymes that help detoxify damaging chemicals.
liverArtichoke contains both liver-protective/restorative powers. It acts as a blood purifier and has been proven in clinical studies to lower cholesterol, triglyceride levels and other metabolic waste products

5•Take a daily does of Echinacea , milk thistle or dandelion root:
(as tablets, tincture or teas) – all herbs with a long – established reputation as blood cleansers and skin tonics. The usual recommended dose for milk thistle is 350mg three times a day for a couple of weeks.

6•Don’t use antibiotics or antacids unless absolutely necessary:
Antibiotics can destroy the useful bacteria in the gut that eliminate toxins; antacids decrease the natural acidity that is necessary for complete digestion.

7•Take a dose of activated charcoal twice a week:
This is a medical form of charcoal with the capacity to absorb whatever molecules it encounters, including toxins. Don’t take it with food or medicines though, or it will absorb them.

zinc8•Take some gentle exercise:
too, which increases lymph activity within the body, causing you to sweat and generate more urine, encouraging liver activity and stimulating the gut to get rid of waste products, all of which can help to detoxify your body. Gentle exercise is the key, however, because although you'll find walking, swimming and cycling beneficial, you can really feel out of sorts when your body starts cleansing itself, and strenuous exercise will just make you feel worse. Wind up the exercise routine by carrying out deep breathing to use the Lungs more fully, this will get more oxygen into the blood, remove waste products from the blood - especially carbon dioxide - more quickly; and help to speed up the circulation of the blood.
Quick exercise massage for the Liver and Gall Bladder: Place the heel of the right hand on the side of the body under the rib cage, and just above the hip bone. The fingers should point straight across the body. Pressing firmly, move the hand slowly across the body to the middle of the abdomen; you should end up with the hand over the navel. Repeat this action 10-20 times.

9•Avoid excess of salt & sugar:
Instead of excess salt use fresh herbs, pepper, chillies and lemon juice to enhance the flavour of food. Too much sugar isn't healthy for anyone but especially those with an impaired immune system.
Ginseng is an adaptogen that helps to stabilize blood sugar through glucose metabolism, boosts your immune system and improves mental and physical stamina, allowing the body to better manage stress.

liver10•Laugh, Rest and feel good! :
One more really good way to boost your immune system and it's free. Laugh, Rest and feel good! A depressed mind can cause a depressed body. Laughter actually increases production of an antibody that is responsible for our first line of defense against bacterial infections. Laughter, lovemaking and exercise are the best medicine of all!
Over time, the health of the liver and lymph may be restored. Taking beneficial herbs regularly and following a detoxification process can help to provide protection to either the sick or healthy liver during the course of daily life. This stabilizes cell membranes and encourages the regeneration of liver cells destroyed during their normal functions.






GLASS OF WATERDID YOU REALISE that by the time you get a bottle of water home from the supermarket you have already moved it 6 to 8 times. Why not treat yourself and have a whole of house water purification unit and have drinking water from all your taps in your home. It is possible to purify river, irrigation and canal water with this unique SEAGULL IV X6 system.
It’s a fact – we should all drink water, as it is the body’s most important food. Having purified water from your tap encourages your children to drink more water instead of fizzy drinks plus you always have water on tap without taking up valuable fridge space. We can survive several weeks without a meal but only the maximum of three days without water! Next to the air we breathe, water intake is our most vital need. Giving yourself a steady supply of pure water does your whole body a big favour. Your body is about 70% water, and water makes up 80% of our blood. It transports body wastes, lubricates our joints, stabilizes our body temperature and is a vital part of cells. We lose around 2 litres of fluid every day and when you exercise you lose water at the rate of about one litre per hour.

TAP WATER When you increase your pure water intake you fill yourself up BOTTLED WATERwith benefits and it is refreshing, invigorating and completely natural, free of caffeine, chlorine, calories, preservatives, sugar, and artificial ingredients.
A healthy water intake keeps your inner organs and digestion functioning properly, water flushes out toxins and impurities, it helps to transport disease fighting cells through the bloodstream, and it benefits your body’s largest organ, the skin, keeping it supple and smooth. Water increases your body’s resistance to stress. It thins your blood. Fights fatigue, helps your cardiovascular system, and fights stress. It is essential to your health to have a source of clean fresh water not only to drink but also to wash in as many diseases can be taken in via your skin, eyes and ears.
Remember your family deserve the best and when you have a water purification unit in your home you will wonder how you ever lived without it.




healthWashing away diseases

By Henrylito D. Tacio
Health 101

water“THE water and sanitation crisis does not grab headlines, but far more people suffer from it than what you would think,” said Eveline Herfkens, UN general-secretary’s executive coordinator for the Millennium Development Goals campaign.

bathing“While water-related diseases vary substantially in their nature, transmission, effects and management, adverse health effected related to water are organized into four categories: water-borne, water-based, water-related vector, and water-scarce,” explains Hinrichsen.

Water-borne diseases are “dirty water” diseases--those caused by water that has been contaminated by human, animal, or chemical wastes.

Worldwide, the lack of sanitary waste disposal and of clean water for drinking, cooking, and washing is to blame for over 12 million deaths a year.


Water-borne diseases include cholera, diarrhoea, typhoid, shigella, polio, meningitis, and hepatitis A and E. Human beings and animals can act as hosts to the bacterial, viral, or protozoal organisms that cause these diseases.

“Where proper sanitation facilities are lacking, water-borne diseases can spread rapidly,” Hinrichsen said. Untreated excreta carrying disease organisms wash or leach into freshwater sources, contaminating drinking water and food.

healthWater-based diseases are caused by aquatic organisms that spend part of their life cycle in the water and another part as parasites of animals. These organisms can thrive in either polluted or unpolluted water.

The parasitic worms enter the human body through contact with infested surface water, mainly among people engaged in agriculture and fishing. It has also been known to infect women who do their washing in parasite-infested rivers, or children who swim in them.

streamWhat is alarming is that cases of water-related vector diseases are increasing. There are many reasons for this: people are developing resistance to drugs; mosquitoes are developing resistance to insecticides; environmental changes are creating new breeding sites; migration, climate change, and creation of new habitats mean that fewer people build up natural immunity to the disease; and many disease control programs have slowed or been abandoned.

virusesMeanwhile, many other diseases--including trachoma, leprosy, tuberculosis, whooping cough, tetanus, and diphtheria--are considered water-scarce (also known as water-washed) in that they thrive in conditions where freshwater is scarce and sanitation is poor.

Infections are transmitted when too little freshwater is available for washing hands.

According to the United Nations Environment Program (Unep), the incidence of water-related disease and death around the world could be cut by three quarters if there were adequate supplies of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation.

Water is, literally, the source of life on earth. The human body is 70 percent water. People begin to feel thirst after a loss of only one percent of bodily fluids and risk death if fluid loss nears 10 percent.

What you can see in the water may not kill you but the problem is what you can’t see possibly could.

How pure is your water?

A water purification treatment system for the whole house is recommended based on scientific conclusions. It has been proved that up to 50% of all harmful substances in the water and its vapour is not only absorbed by drinking but also through the skin and the respiratory system. Skin ageing and allergies are also a reason to eliminate harmful substances out of the water. Our system should be the first choice. The passive absorption of chlorine, germs, pesticides, herbicides etc. by having a bath/shower or other personal hygiene has unfortunately been underestimated in the past.





Worried about cholesterol?

chlorestrolSee how the right diet can help stave off heart disease
You hear so many stories these days about diet, cholesterol and heart disease that you could easily be ‘frightened to death’. NHS registered Dietitians at help unravel the tales from the truth with clear, sound advice.
Diet and coronary heart disease
The food we eat affects our health both directly and indirectly in lots of ways. There is, for instance, a direct relationship between diet and heart problems, so having the wrong eating habits can help increase the risk of heart disease and even stroke through contributing factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, blood clotting and body weight.
Like most of these factors, cholesterol only becomes a problem when its concentrations in the blood are too high. Although it is a fatty substance, this in itself is not a problem, as the body actually needs a certain amount of it – producing some itself and absorbing the rest from animal foods such as dairy products, eggs and meat.
Cholesterol is carried around the body in the blood, where it is attached to a protein in a fat-protein combination known as a lipoprotein. These are categorised as high density (HDL), low density (LDL) or very low density (VLDL), depending on the amount of protein in relation to the fat.
cholsetralIt doesn’t take an Einstein to work out that it’s the low and very low-density lipoproteins that can cause serious damage to our coronary system if they become too highly concentrated in the blood, adding to blood pressure and blood clotting, while a good level of HDLs actually helps to combat cholesterol build-up in the arteries.
To further complicate matters there is another type of fat to look out for: triglyceride’s. Triglyceride’s are derived from calories that are stored up in fat cells, theoretically as a reserve for later use. Although most are stored in fat tissue, low levels are also found in the blood, where they work with VDLs to increase the risk of heart disease.
How do you know if your cholesterol is high?
High cholesterol itself does not cause any symptoms, so many people are unaware that their cholesterol levels are high. The only way to know if you have high cholesterol is by a blood test.
Foods that ‘build’ cholesterol
Avoid a high intake of saturated fats, found mainly in animal products such as lard, butter, cream and hard cheese. These foods are fine in moderation, but can contribute significantly to cholesterol levels, so try to keep to an occasional treat, limit to a 2-4 times a week.
Limit cholesterol-rich foods such as prawns, fish roe and offal (kidneys, liver etc.) to no more than once every two weeks and eggs to no more than 3-4 times a week. Egg white contains no cholesterol and can replace yolks. Substitute two whites for one egg
saladReduce your intake of salt and sugar-based products such as cakes and sweets, and greasy foods such as chips, chorizo, pies and anything fried in oil. If you enjoy these foods, treat yourself once a week.
Remember, all fats are high in calories and will create fat pockets that are unsightly, unhealthy and will strain your heart and other organs, so moderate your intake of fatty foods, watch your weight and exercise. It need not be a strenuous programme; just get off the sofa and make sure you move more
Foods that help prevent cholesterol build-up
We can’t avoid consuming fat altogether, nor would it be healthy to, so make sure you choose healthier fats such as mono unsaturated fats like those found in olive oil, olive oil spreads and rapeseed oil, as they give us the fat content we need without building up HDL levels. 
Polyunsaturated fats, such as those in vegetables and seeds like sunflower, soya, maize and fish oil are good in moderation. The omega-3 contained in oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, kippers, salmon, trout and fresh tuna are excellent in combating heart disease, so try to have a portion at least twice a week.
Fibre helps to break down cholesterol, hence the doctor’s advice to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, but these and other fibre-rich foods like beans and oats will also give you a healthy, natural energy boost.
Fats are less likely to build up in your arteries or as unsightly belts on your body if you burn them up through exercise. Again, the amount of exercise should be in proportion to your fitness levels, so it’s better to do little often than try being overly ambitious only to give up shortly afterwards. For those not keen on physical exercise or sport just walking is a relaxing but healthy way to keep fit.



The Stroke

Dear reader, it makes me happy to invite you to the world of naturopathic therapies.
In the first topic I would like to provide information about a serious and very important subject, which unfortunately can hit us also here in the country of our dreams.
We normally first take interest in such a topic when we have been affected by it ourselves or at least a person close to us.
However, we are not quite helpless when it comes to these illnesses: Nowadays we are able to do quite a lot to enable the return to a fulfilled and self-determined everyday life.

What is a stroke?

A stroke is an acute impairment of the blood circulation within the brain. Arteries or veins could be affected; vessels could be blocked or there may be bleeding to the brain. These disorders may recede and if they are treated in time, the chance of long term consequences can be drastically minimised. For this reason it is very important that one is able to recognise the main indications for a stroke.

How can I recognise a stroke?

The symptoms of a stroke depend on where the damage is being caused within the brain. It is quite often that one half of the body (left/right) suffers from paralysis with disturbances of equilibrium meaning that the person may fall to the side of the paralysis. In most cases, hearing, sight and speech is also affected. There is a good test if you’re in doubt: let the person smile and try to put his eyebrows up. If he or she isn’t able to do this, call 061, so that an ambulance and the emergency doctor can be sent to help.

What can I do?

The most important thing: remain calm!
If you are alone with the person, phone first before taking any further action.
Apart from that, as the first person providing aid it is your job to stand by and help the person suffering. If possible, the persons head should be propped up a little higher than the rest of the body to take a little of the pressure off the brain. Also, tight clothing should be loosened enabling a better supply of oxygen. If unconscious, patients should always be put into the lateral recumbent position; breathing and pulse should be controlled just as one learns during first aid courses.

What happens when the person affected leaves hospital?

After leaving the clinic, the main point of the therapy will be the swift mobilisation of the patient and the commencement of self-help training. Depending on the intensity of the stroke, rehabilitation should take place whilst still in hospital.
The correct type of activating-care is of importance whilst planning the future approach. The emphasis is on the building of individual coping strategies for ones personal situation following a stroke, with rehabilitation always being the task of a team. The person affected is also an important part of the team; others are the family and friends. Not only doctors and nursing staff play an important role, but also the well trained therapist. A well trained alternative practitioner is in the position to provide entire individual and intensive care. He helps patient and relations with the organisation of nursing and rehabilitation, if possible in ones home. His tasks include speech and exercise training, physiotherapy, social care, the choice of accessories and the training of the patients integration into everyday life.

Your German alternative practitioner in Cambrils,
Petra Nauman
n. Tel: 977 792 145 or 637 120 648







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