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Welcome to Angelic Complementary Therapies April 2024 Newsletter



Can you believe it’s April already? The clocks have sprung forward, and the evenings are officially lighter—yay! I love this month, a time for regrowth and sensing that gentle warmth is beginning to soften the air around us.

 

What a busy March I had. I certainly embraced each moment and experienced more of my “One Day 50 Things…” (which I’d recommend anyone doing). It started with my first-ever experience throwing clay—it’s actually quite hard to keep the right amount of pressure and wheel speed to limit the chances of the clay face-planting the floor! It was great fun, though, and I hope my pieces survive the kiln.



I was also fortunate to attend the Practical Magic weekend retreat with Kate Taylor on the beautiful Isle of Wight. What a beautiful weekend it was, and I am grateful to have spent time in the magical area of Tiny Homes. Magical is the best word I could use to describe it. My “Tiny Home” was small but perfect. The cute little house had everything you could need, including two outside baths! (it did have an inside shower room I hasten to add). The log burner fire kept the place cosy, and as I fell asleep, I listened to the gentle crackle from the fire, which cast a deliciously warm glow right up to where I slept – it was perfect. During the day, we went for walks in the forest nearby and practised Qoya, the most incredible Ayurvedic Yoga massage, sound baths, and not forgetting the three-course lunches and dinners. During the weekend I had the time to stop, unwind and come back to who I am at my core. Re-evaluate areas including my wishes and desires. It was a time for contemplation. Return to Mother Earth, ground and find peace within. I couldn’t ignore the outside baths; like a magnet, I felt compelled to try them – they were amazing! How can such a simple thing bring such a huge smile to face, even now as I write this.

 

Suffice it to say that I returned home fresh with ideas that I need to implement, and I will implement them.

 

Something to remember…

 

Hard work and rest

Self-discipline and self-compassion

Mind and body

You are enough right now

Happiness and sadness

Strength and flexibility




Following up on last month when I recommended The Way of the Tortoise - A Journal to Happiness, I would like to recommend Big, Bold, Beautiful Life by Kate Taylor. I met Kate last year at an event in Dorset, and her energy is both infectious and beautiful. This book takes curious soul-seekers on an exhilarating journey of self-discovery, empowering them to design and create a life they can thrive within. I have read the book, and it makes you look at all areas of your life, encouraging you to not only think about the goal but also enjoy the journey along the way. Too often, we can focus on the result, but in the process, we ignore or devalue the steps to get there. Sometimes, we can be so goal-driven, and once that one is met, it’s on to the next – something I used to be very guilty of. Now, I take the time that’s needed and enjoy the journey, every bump, slide, tear or laughter along the way.

 

If you want to embrace the brilliance of your BIG, BOLD, BEAUTIFUL life, this is the book for you.



The Vagus Nerve

 

I felt compelled to write about the vagus nerve this month, explaining what it is and why it’s so important. Those who have experienced reflexology treatments with me will have more than likely heard me explain the importance of balancing the vagus nerve, which ensures the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems are in harmony.

 

I first became aware of the importance of the vagus nerve when I attended the Profession Clinical Reflexology (PCR)—Langstone-Wring method course. This method was created to help alleviate anxiety and calm the parasympathetic system in patients undergoing cancer, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy treatments.

 

The vagus nerve (also known as the vagal nerve) means “wandering” in Latin. It is the main nerve of the parasympathetic system that “wanders” from the brain stem to the gut, connecting to all your vital organs. From the brain stem, it then branches out in multiple directions to the neck and torso, down both the left and right sides of the body, and up and down. It relays sensory signals from the gut and organs to the brain and vice versa – from the brain to the gut and organs, as well as influencing our immune system.

 

The vagus nerve is a core component of the parasympathetic system (responsible for the fight or flight, or rest and digest state of being). The vagus nerve always signals to the body whether it feels safe or to act. It is responsible for calming the organs after a stressed fight or flight adrenalin response to danger.

 

When I applied the PCR technique to patients at the hospice, it was quite remarkable to see their bodies relax – it was like turning off the stress switch. It was quite beautiful to see. It’s now a system I check and, if needed, treat with every single client I treat.

 

 

Here are some ways to stimulate your vagus nerve:

 

·       PCR with myself or another reflexologist who is trained in the technique

 

·       Abdominal breathing

Practice slow, deep belly breaths. Place your hands on your belly and aim to push apart your hands as you inhale. As you exhale, feel your hands come together again. Exhale for longer than you inhale as this will trigger your parasympathetic system.

 

·       Gently move your body – yoga, tai chi, Qi gong.

 

·       Cold water: You can go cold water swimming (if it takes your fancy) or simply splash cold water on your face.

 

·       Spend time in nature.

Get grounded, spend time amongst the trees, walk barefoot on the earth, and float in still water.


Quote for the moment

 

“Every moment is a fresh beginning.”

 

T. S. Eliot


Mindfulness

 

Mindfulness bedtime

 

This feels very apt due to yesterday’s clock change.

 

Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night to fully recover and function the following day. Many go through life at 100mph, and often, sleep doesn’t get the priority it should. I’m a huge advocate for NOT working, watching TV or anything other than sleeping (or loving) in the bedroom. The bedroom should be an oasis of calm, tranquillity, and peace. The mind is very clever; it needs to know that the bedroom is a place to switch off and not be stimulated. It’s also been proven that those who make their bed every morning sleep better at night. I’m a real sleep nerd and I realise I need good quality sleep.

 

This week, try to make sleep a priority, and you will feel the benefits it has on your physical and mental health.

 

1.    Set aside the time you need. If you need 8 hours, then make the sacrifice not to watch that TV show or send yet another email, text, or scroll through social media. Sign out from duties, clean your teeth, etc., and put on your pyjamas.

2.    Before getting into bed, lie on the floor and stretch. Tense every muscle in your body, hold and then relax. Repeat three times before focusing on your breath.

3.    Breathe to trigger the parasympathetic system (as above). Practice slow, deep belly breaths. Place your hands on your belly and aim to push apart your hands as you inhale. As you exhale, feel your hands come together again. Exhale for longer than you inhale, as this will trigger your parasympathetic system.

4.    Now, climb into your beautiful bed and relax.

5.    If falling asleep takes a little time, don’t panic; just relax. You are resting and still recovering, and sleep will soon sneak up on you.


Crystal/Stone of the month – Mystic Merlinite

 

This stone helps you release deeply held emotional patterns and wounds. It can also aid with past life recall so you can gain and recognise your gifts and talents – soul retrieval.





Oracle Card

 

It is safe for you to shine

 

Raise Your Vibration Oracle Deck, Kyle Gray

This is not the time to hold back. The answer is: “Yes, go forth, proceed; the time is now.” The energy of wishing on a star is coming to you because you are a star. If you’ve been hanging back or thinking something through before moving forward, or you’ve been waiting for a sign that it’s the right thing to do, please take this card as the sign.

Move on up! Positivity, abundance, and excitement surround you at this time. The dreams you have been dreaming are more like visions of what is possible for you. Know that whatever you are connecting with on the inside is something you’ll soon be experiencing in the physical realm.



I’ve just been looking at my diary for the month of April. Next week, I’m on holiday, and then the remainder of the month is filled with lots of lovely client treatments. I’ll also make sure I get out into nature and enjoy the warmer weather - Fred, the tortoise, will also come out of hibernation. I am going to take each moment at a time and have deep belly laughs where possible (also great for the core).

 

I wonder what this April has in store for each of us. Whatever it brings, may it be fun and peaceful. Maybe think of ways you can have quality time with the people in your life or quality time with yourself. Be present and, as I always say, be kind to all, but mostly yourself. I look forward to seeing you soon, with love and light.


Kate x ^i^ x

 

Kate Palmer-Marshallsay MAR BA (Hons)

Complementary Therapist

 

Angelic Complementary Therapies

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