Acorn Health Blog

Acorn Health Blog

What we love is great health...

...and we like to write about how we can all achieve better health, naturally. Sometimes tips on how you can DIY to better health and sometimes on the therapies that can make a difference to you, your health and wellbeing.
Thank you for reading, We hope you enjoy :)

Developing Your Inner Guidance System

Workshops & ClassesPosted by Sally-Anne Fri, April 06, 2018 03:16PM
By Sally-Anne Marler Creative Awakening Coach, Intuitive & Energy Healer

We all have the ability to tap into a part of ourselves that is wise, supportive, knowledgeable, loving, creative, expansive, all knowing and in tune with our higher good and life purpose. The problem is, we don't develop this connection and end up rationalising, assuming, second guessing, doing what is expected and taking action based on what we think we should do. As Einstein so rightly points out, we're forgetting the beautiful gift that lives inside each of us.
I've spent a long time, working on and developing the connection to my inner guidance and wanted to share a few things that I've discovered in doing this.

1. Your inner guidance can show up in many guises. It can be presented to you as a 'hunch' or gut feeling. This is probably the most common form and widely experienced sensation. We've all had this feeling at one time in our lives - maybe there's many times that you can think of but we fail to trust this source and shrug it off, only to find out later we should have gone with our gut!
2. It's a whisper - not a loud voice in your head. It's gentle, loving and kind. How many times do you have thoughts that feel quite harsh and self-critical? This is the ego, trying it's best to keep you safe based on your past experiences by ANY MEANS NECESSARY. Your ego isn't as you might assume - it's true nature isn't based on negativity. It's what we develop as part of our personalities, as part of our survival kit growing up, our behaviours, defences, coping strategies - all of that is ego. It's connected to survival and doesn't care about how you survive, often leaving you feeling frustrated, restricted, untrusting and without much faith or hope. When you start to quieten your mind, however you might do this - with music or meditation or practicing mindfulness - listen out for the quiet whisper and ignore the loud thoughts telling you the latest you can't, you mustn't - don't try or trust...etc, etc.
3. It's connected to something bigger. We hear more and more about working with the universe and the universal laws that are always at play. The law of attraction is a common one that suggests like attracts like for example. People talk about guardian angels and spirit guides, the divine, then there are Gods. Different ones for different religions that support people's beliefs in something bigger or a 'higher source'. The point is that we are part of something bigger - regardless of our beliefs or lack of them. Once we learn how to tap into this 'higher source' which we can do through our 'higher self' a lot of light bulbs start flashing - well they did for me! It's like being given a bird's eye view over your whole life and the ability to objectively review it to make the necessary changes you want and need to move forwards with confidence and meaning. Don't get me wrong, it's not an easy process and you can't 'short cut' what you need to face, heal or learn once you embark on this inner journey but I can guarantee you, it's worth it!

There are many ways to develop your inner guidance and work with it. I developed mine through creativity and expression, metaphor, using oracle cards, meditation, creative visualisation, reflective practice, recognising syncronicities, numerology, astrology, dream interpretations and so on. I'm running a beginners guide workshop to help others connect to their inner guidance system as I feel we need to start honouring the gift not the servant and everyone should have the ability and confidence to tap into their inner guidance to help and support them along the way. If you'd like to book your place please book here to do so - this is running at an early-brid offer of £32 if you book before 7th July. I also offer 1:1 coaching if you're interested in embarking on an inner journey - my coaching program is called Brilliantly Shine and start from £55 for an introductory session & welcome gift. Perfect if you feel you're an empath, struggling to connect to meaning or purpose, have regular feelings of sadness, anxiety or depression or just wanting to learn more about yourself, increase confidence and self-awareness.

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Meditate towards a happier you!

Workshops & ClassesPosted by Sally-Anne Fri, February 23, 2018 02:47PM
By Eileen Strong Therapeutic Massage & Holistic Complementary Therapist

What is meditation anyway?

It’s really just a state of being when your mind becomes quieter. You have less thoughts per minute. That doesn’t sound like much until you stop and notice how many thoughts you are having every minute! If you try sitting down with a piece of paper, and mark it with a tick every time a new thought comes along, you will see what I mean.

So when you notice the noise and chatter in your mind, you can simply decide to slow things down so you feel less bombarded by them. When you learn to meditate, you learn to listen to your thoughts in a different way, observe them and manage them, so they begin to feel less overwhelming.

Your brain has a range of different operating frequencies, depending on what you are doing in the course of your day. I like to think of this like the gears of a car that you adjust to travel smoothly at the speed you need. So as your mind grows quieter and more calm, it begins to slow down though it’s gears and that, in turn, triggers the activation of many wonderful chemical/hormonal reactions in your body that have a whole range of benefits.

And as your mind and body become more relaxed and balanced, your emotions benefit too. This is why the holistic approach to health and wellbeing is so effective, because then benefit the whole person, mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually.

So its win-win really. It can just take a little practice. There are different types and styles of meditation, so it’s worth trying as many as you can to find which works best for you. Here are just a few of the recorded benefits:

- It reduced levels of stress and anxiety

- Helps reduce physical pain and boost the immune system

- Lowers blood pressure

- Increases blood flow to the brain and improves your powers of concentration

- Promotes deep sleep

- Balances the emotions

- Helps your develop deeper self awareness

Developing a regular meditation practice, either daily or a few times a week, even for 5 or 10 minutes (whatever you can manage in your routine) can really make a difference.

You learn techniques during meditation that you can embrace within the rest of your day, to help you feel calmer and less pulled about by the people and the world around you.

And of course, the more you feel like that, the better decisions you make.

And the better decisions you make, the better your life becomes. Simples.

So why not give meditation a try. At Acorn, my classes use guided meditation/visualisation with a focus not only on relaxation, but also on self healing , empowerment and positive life changes.

We also have special guest teachers along from time to time so that you can experience other types of meditation too (such as our very popular Zen Meditation night last year with my good friend Jibul from Peak Zen .. and we have a few more lined up too, so do keep your eyes peeled for those!)

Here’s our upcoming dates:

Introduction to Meditation Weds 11 April 7-8 pm £8

Suitable for new starters and people who are a bit rusty, an informative and experiential evening. What is meditation? How do you do it? Why would you want to? And could it be fun?

4-Part Series - Meditations for Wellbeing Weds 2, 9, 16, 23 May 7-8 pm £7 /£20 prebooked

Meditations that cover a mind, body, spirit and emotions them to give you a broad experience and plenty of benefits.

NEW Monthly Meditation Mastery Class Weds 7 March, Weds 4 April 7-8pm £7 / block book discount available

A regular monthly class for people who have had some experience and are making meditation a part of their daily life, to help you become the master of your meditation practice. Guest teachers from time to time.

Do get in touch with us to register your interest and book a place. Pay on the night.

Contact Eileen direct on 07745 409059, email or Acorn.

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Learning about Relaxation and Mindfulness

Workshops & ClassesPosted by Sally-Anne Fri, February 02, 2018 01:26PM

By Mark Clutton, Clinical Hypnotherapist & Mindfulness Teacher

We all know what relaxation means ……but what about Mindfulness? Mindfulness has been getting a lot of publicity in the last several years and pops up in all walks of life from schools to large corporations.

What is it?

It’s a collection of techniques to help us retrain our brains from going into automatic behaviours and thought patterns linked to the “flight or flight/stress” responses that causes us to become anxious, have negative repetitive thoughts and keep triggering our stress hormones. When we get like this we are frequently living in our heads, locked into patterns of negative behaviour, irritability, feeling overwhelmed etc

NB – it is not a spiritual/religious practice.

Some definitions of mindfulness:

- Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.

- A state of psychological freedom that occurs when the attention remains quiet, without attachment to any particular point of view.

- Waking up from a life lived on automatic pilot and based in habitual reacting.

- Mindfulness is the ability to make choices to respond rather than react and not fall prey to habitual reactive patterns.

- A way of treating yourself with kindness and compassion reducing self criticism, not judging your thoughts, or yourself, or your emotions. Applying these techniques to others in your life.

- Becoming aware of what is going on in your head – and not taking the bait.

What about Relaxation?

- Freeing the body and mind from tensions & anxiety.

- Consciously using the mind to relax the body and direct the stream of thoughts.

- A physical and mental state where the body is still and the mind is focused on particular internal imagery whilst being detached from, but aware of, the immediate surroundings.

So what are the benefits of using these techniques? What can they do for you?

- Decreases stress, anxiety and irritability.

- Memory function improves, increases in physical & mental stamina.

- Improved immune system, brain functioning, improves mood.

- Can assist cardio vascular function, and with reducing hypertension.

I'm currently running workshops that will cover the basic techniques, give you the opportunity to experience them and try them out, learn real world skills to help you control your stress and anxiety levels and reap the benefits of a different way of experiencing the world. You will also learn what mindfulness is not, and its limitations.

Course materials will be provided as part of the cost. To book in for the next available workshop click here. For more information get in touch!

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5 Steps To Beat The Procrastination Monster

Workshops & ClassesPosted by Sally-Anne Thu, June 22, 2017 12:11PM

By Sally-Anne Marler Creative Arts Therapist, Facilitator & Coach

We all get hit with this little monster from time to time. He's very clever and comes in many guises and tricks us into being okay about not doing what we really want! We forget what we really want because it all feels too big or scary and so we remain stuck in habitual patterns and routines that don't support our goals, dreams or aspirations. It's not all bad, when you look at why we do this we begin to understand it forms part of our fight or flight response, and we are just trying to keep ourselves 'safe'. But our definition of what is safe, is very different to what it meant years ago. As we are not all running from a saber tooth tiger these days, most of our fear comes from our minds, not an actual physical threat. It's the 'unknown' that tends to entice the procrastination monster out from hiding and can often be triggered by the prospect of change. But this is living, without it, we are simply existing.

I look back now and realise I became best buddies with the procrastination monster for the best part of 20 years or so and know first hand how it might start off quite innocent, believing you're doing the right thing and playing it safe but you end up feeling immense frustration, isolation and disorganisation.

Here are my top 5 tips to overcoming the procrastination monster:-

1. Focus only on one or two tasks at a time and ask yourself “what can I do now?” This will take the pressure off yourself and stop feelings of overwhelm. You might not get everything you wanted done, but you will get something done and lift that feeling of being stuck. Procrastination invites itself in when we feel overwhelmed with 'too much to do' so simplify your day and see one thing through at a time.

2. Meet up with supportive friends and family IN PERSON.
Talk over any problems, concerns or anxiety that you are experiencing with them that fuel the procrastination monster! Be as open and as honest as you can. Once you've done this, the fear you felt about it will start to diminish because it's strength comes from you trying to hide it or not discussing it with anyone. Once it's all out in the open you will feel much better.

3. What you don't do influences your brain, thoughts and actions just as much as what you do do. This was a big eye-opener for me and I realised the more I resisted something the more anxious I became about doing it and I started to believe eventually that I couldn't do it, no matter how seemingly small it was. This is because the brain interprets this 'non action' to mean you actually can't do it. Start making a list of the things you feel you can't do, then write in front of each one I CAN DO... and read it over several times or say it out loud, then do one of the tasks.

4. Tell yourself daily that you're worth it, you're worth it, you're worth it. Why do we struggle to do things for ourselves but can easily do things for others? This conflict of interest usually comes from not feeling worthy enough and assuming our needs are not as important as the needs of others. You must absolutely believe with your whole heart that you are worthy of love, happiness, success and fulfilment and that it is not selfish of you to want these things or prioritise these things. You are worth it!

5. Be flexible and bring your awareness to the moment. Your goals are a process so acknowledge that, you don't need everything to be done right now. Remember what you've already done and achieved and be mindful of what you're working towards but don't get too consumed with it. It's what you're doing now that counts. Procrastination loves to take you away from living in the moment and slap you right bang into chaotic thoughts of 'not done' things from the future to make you feel small.

If you'd like to understand more about this you can book yourself onto a Mindset Motivator or Mindset Activator workshop, coming soon at Acorn! Click here for more information.

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