Listening Touch Therapies is the positive result of my own personal battle with anxiety and depression, one which I still occasionally walk with on a daily basis but also one which I know makes me who I am today. One spring day a few years ago, I really hit rock bottom, the lowest I have ever been. A feeling so very hard to describe to someone who has never been there. That day I made a choice to live, but not only that, I wanted to get better and to feel well once again. I also wanted to help other people do the same. After all, life is to be lived and we are all here for a reason. Through lots of reading, research, self-reflection, counselling and support from my amazing husband and family I am here in a much stronger place to share this journey with you.
Inspirational people to follow who have helped my journey without even knowing it!
Ruby Wax - 'Frazzled' was one of the first self-help books I had ever read and found me at a poignant time in my life - or maybe just in time! A humorous, informative read which gave be the bug to learn more.
Russell Brand - The man who has used his own experiences and battle with addictions to turn his life around and become an source of information on all things spiritual, alternatively political and personal development. Seeing him live in Henley was without doubt one of the most memorable and inspirational moments on my journey to date.
Jay Shetty - After following his social media posts I spent several months as a member of his genius group. With this came the opportunity for monthly meetings with like minded people left me buzzing with positive energy for the next week. Networking with people who have walked the walk has led me to some amazing people who I now class as friends.
Dr Rangan Chatterjee - His most recent book 'The Stress Solution' helped me to understand how acute and chronic stress affects the body and mind and gives tips on how to address this. Understanding this also helped me to understand my journey and what I could personally do to help.
Top Ten tips which will help you on your journey
Talk - to someone who will understand -your GP, health visitor, friend, a charity such as Mind. Sharing how you feel even if its just to say 'I feel emotionally numb' starts the ball of support rolling.
Understand there are no quick fixes and it will be a bumpy road. It has taken your whole life to get to this point so don't expect to be back to 'normal' in the next week but progress is still progress no matter how small.
Have a medical - this may seem obvious but for those of us living with chronic pain we are more prone to depression. I remember asking my GP if my pain was caused by depression or whether the depression was caused by pain. There are no simple answers but breaking the cycle at any point will help. What works for managing pain is individual to each person. I take conventional pain relief medication when I need to but use CBD oil, stretches, yoga, a healthy (ish) lifestyle and a positive mind set to prevent and manage pain caused by Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis.
Educate yourself - read, watch, listen to anything educational that takes your interest. Learn about brain development, nutrition and the impact of stress on your body. But also understand you are not responsible for causing your depression and there may be no obvious reason for it. Chemical changes in the brain can happen to any of us at any time.
Yoga - I have Fibromyalgia and as a result I am not a lover of anything which is high-impact or energetic because I know the affect on my body is usually unpredictable and painful. Yoga has become my most favourite exercise. Not only does it strengthen, lengthen and stabilise it also enhances sensation, builds focus and determination. Hatha Yoga is low impact and very relaxing! Find yourself a yoga teacher that understands your story and what you hope to gain. Do whatever exercise it is that makes you feel good.
Meditation - During my darker stage I booked myself onto a meditation retreat at The Global Retreat Centre. Here I learned about Raja Yoga which is a form of spiritual meditation (Yoga of the mind). Alongside this, I experienced a whole day of silence in the most beautiful setting which was surprisingly uplifting. No pressure to conform, no pressure to participate and no expectation to pay. Operated and run by the Brahma Kumaris, this centre is open to all, and therefor you pay what you can rather than a fixed rate.
Finding a purpose - We all need purpose in life, a reason to get up in the morning, a reason to be here and make a difference. If you dont know your purpose, create one. What do you want to be here for? What difference do you want to make? You can reinvent yourself anytime you like.
Pet therapy - having a pet to love and care for can make a real difference so much so that it is becoming widely used to support wellbeing in all ages and abilities. My boxer dog, Rex is a major part of my life and has been instrumental in my journey.
Use affirmations to boost yourself and remind yourself that you are enough. A low self esteem is something most people with depression suffer from. For me, the feelings of not being good enough on every aspect of my life was a contributing factor. Constantly challenging myself to do more, earn more, work harder, be thinner, be a better parent all lead me to being in a place where I wasn't present or existing.
Give back - the happiest people in the world are those that give, not those who take. I tryly believe this and give as much as I can, as often as I can. Offer your services for free when you can, volunteer for a charity,
Ok - I said there were ten but I need to add this one Remember 'what other people think of you is none of your business' therefore it can't affect you. Also know that other pople also suffer with depression, anxiety and there own insecurities and how they react to you is often because of how they feel about themselves. Don't take it personally, just breathe and be kind.
Listening Touch Therapies
The aim of Listening Touch Therapies is to bring a sense of positive wellbeing through holistic therapies such as massage to people of all ages and abilities. It is often the must vulnerable people who would benefit most from the power of touch but they are also the ones less likely to receive it due to their personal or social circumstances. I aim to reach out to all areas of society but using my previous work experience and training I have made the following my focus at this time;
Baby massage and parenting support groups
Massage for special educational needs and/or disabilities
Massage for the elderly
Massage for dementia
Watch this space for further updates and thank you for being part of my journey x