Ideal for those lacking time and working in confined spaces
By Louise Vaughan-Arbuckle, MAR MNFSH •
Healing massage, reflexology and sound therapy (tuning forks)
Stress affects different people in different ways. One thing is for sure – extended periods of stress on the body have a detrimental effect. Your energy levels, mood swings, patience and clarity of thought and action are all affected.
- Depression, anxiety, irritability, sadness, frustration and outbursts of anger
- Immune system compromised so more likely to catch viruses etc., burnout, headaches, muscle tension or pain, chest pain, fatigue, stomach upsets, sleep problems, heart attacks, constipation, inflammation
- Drug, food or alcohol abuse.
So what simple things can we do to help the body to recover that don’t take long and can be done in the confines of a yacht where there is little privacy?!
Tips for less stress – a good night’s sleep, so no caffeinated drinks after lunchtime
1. Caffeine is known to exacerbate stress level. Alcohol, sugar, salt and nicotine strip the body of essential
2. The body uses magnesium to combat stress. Consider taking a supplement
3. Water is good for helping the body to detox;
4. When the flora in your gut is out of balance your stress levels can rise. Consider probiotics
5. To help counteract the adrenaline and cortisol (produced by adrenals when stressed) eat omega 3 rich food.
6. Dark 70+% chocolate in small quantities can be helpful because of the antioxidants and is rich in magnesium and has been seen to reduce cortisol levels
7. If you are irritable, lack of concentration or are anxious you may have zinc deficiency
8. Take a metaphorical or actual step back from the situation. Take a deep breath and count to ten. Focus on your navel, you can place your hand on it or look down at it. This will bring calmness to the head, thoughts and help bring clarity.
9. Attacked -˃ respond by combatting with negative energy to protect yourself -˃ doubles the negative energy
Attacked -˃ respond by sending love energy to protect yourself -˃ blocks the negative energy
10. Standing, sitting or lying down – put left hand on heart and right hand on stomach/solar plexus. Breathing in and out be away of the movement of your breath.
11. Meditate using your breathe. Focus on counting each in and out breathe, each time your mind wanders off, bring your attention back to the breath and you can remember where you’d got to, continue counting. If not go back to one.
12. Feel the earth through the soles of your feet. Imagine that there are roots coming out of the soles of your feet, like the roots of a tree, going deep down into the centre of the earth, anchoring you to the earth. Feel your root chakra (base of spine) sending out a line down into the ground giving you the 3-legged stool effect with your feet. Visualize your roots reaching towards the compost heap in the centre of the earth. From the bottom of the compost heap breathe in, up through your roots and feet and up through your body, the wholesome, healing earth energy. With each inhalation feel the energy moving higher and higher up through your body until it spouts out of the crown of your head like a fountain, surrounding you in lovely, luscious earth energy.
Any tensions, anxiety or whirring thoughts that you feel either in your body or head can be sent down through your body, through your feet and roots, down onto the top of the compost heap in the centre of the earth, here it will be processed and transmuted into healing energy.
13. Picture one of those soap bubbles that you used to blow as a child. Imagine yourself inside the bubble. The bubble is over your head and beneath your feet, all around you. It can be as big or as small as you like. Close fitting as a glove or a larger fit. You can add a colour into your space to add extra protection and comfort. The appropriate colour tends to ‘leap’ into your mind as soon as you ask ‘what colour shall I add’.
14. Picture a shield like a big yellow sun over your abdomen held in place, protecting your solar plexus. If you find it difficult to picture a shield, try putting a piece of paper down the front of your shorts. You know that it’s there because you can feel it. No one else will know that it’s there, it won’t make any noise but you’ll feel it there shielding you.
Clearing stuck/blocked energy
15. Have a shower and ‘see’ the stuck/attached energy going down the plughole. Stay under the jets of water until you feel ‘clean’ energetically speaking.
16. Put on the tap and wash your arms from the elbows down to the tips of the fingers.
17. If your energy is low or the energy in your cabin is stuck, clap, it’s excellent for raising your energy and moving stagnant energy.
Self-help techniques with reflexology
18. Joining Valley – Why: to relieve tension
How: Relax right hand. With left thumb and index finger, massage and squeeze the area between index and thumb on right hand towards the metacarpal of the index finger. This is an acupuncture point Large Intestine 4 and can be used for Nasal congestion, hay fever, cough, stiff neck and anxiety. Should not be worked whilst pregnant
19. Solar Plexus/diaphragm – Why: to reduce stress and tension
How: Take right thumb and place below ball of right foot. Place left hand on top of right foot and bend foot/toes over and press right thumb into foot. Move along ridge. Take extra time at zone 1/2 for solar plexus. Add in to deep breathing, exhale/push in, inhale/release.
20. Period pain – Why: to relieve pain during period
How: Place left index finger on right inside ankle bone. Place left 3rd (ring) finger on edge of right heel. Place 2nd finger in the middle. You should be able to feel a slight dip, this is the uterus reflex. Work with which finger/thumb is most comfortable. Use small circular massage movements. For the men, this is the prostate reflex. Not when pregnant
21. Smoky quartz is one of the most efficient grounding and anchoring stones as it has a strong link with earth and base chakras. It’s a protective stone and absorbs geopathic stress, electromagnetic smog. Smoky quartz is a great antidote to stress and assists in fortifying resolve in difficult times. It promotes positive though and can be used to neutralize fear of failure.
22. Black Tourmaline grounds energy via the base chakra and disperses tension and stress. It is an excellent protector against psychic attack, mobile phones, electromagnetic smog and all kinds of negative energy. It encourages positive attitude regardless of the circumstances, stimulating practical creativity.
EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique also known as tapping
23. This technique can be used for pretty much everything from not able to get to sleep to headaches to phobias.
There are many sites out there, this one seems the simplest for me http://www.emofree.com/eft-tutorial/tapping-basics/how-to-do-eft.html
Some people use lots more points – I’ve always found these points to be enough.
Once you’ve done it enough times you’ll be able to have the same effect by imagining you’re tapping the points – makes it easier to get to sleep
24. Taking time to write down all that’s going round in your head can be very helpful and is absolutely not there to be judged. You can rip it up afterwards. If you don’t want to put it into words tune into where/what you’re feeling and scribble, it may take 12 sheets of paper, however the results are worth it!
Louise gives workshops on Self-help techniques with Reflexology, Grounding, Protection and Introduction to meditation.