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Shaolin Kung Fu: Why every child should learn Martial Arts by Martine Niven

29 Dec

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Q: Why bring your child to our kung fu class?

A: Here are a few of the many qualities they can attain:

Fitness  

Strength of body, mind and spirit

Discipline

Learning to work with others

Learning respect for themselves and others

Inner & Outer self expression

Creativity

Self awareness

Internal awareness

Confidence

Courage

Wisdom

Balance

Mindfulness

Acceptance

Inner calm

Social interaction

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We have been working with children for many years in many different settings, as foster carers and support workers, in community theatre projects, teaching drama and dance, class room teaching, children’s entertaining, through the treatment of Children’s Chinese medicine and of course in martial arts.

We have experience in teaching children with mild to severe learning difficulties. Also children with many different behavioural issues.

Our classes differ from the average martial arts school, yes we do teach a traditional style of Shaolin Temple Kung Fu which encapsulates many different aspects from acrobatics to traditional forms and movements, to the more softer internal practices of Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Meditation;

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but our focus is also on the personal development of each child, with our extensive knowledge in traditional Chinese Medicine and various movement based disciplines, we incorporate all our knowledge together to help guide these young people, helping them to grow in individual ways.

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Each child has their own personal challenges and difficulties and it is our job as teachers to help that individual discover themselves by challenging and supporting them in ways that help them to change and grow into balanced young people.

We have a special class that we run on Sundays at the Littledown Centre in Bournemouth called our “Family Kung Fu” class, this allows parents and children to train together. We have found that this gives a great atmosphere to the class and helps to build strong and healthy bonds between parents/carers and children.

We also run a volunteer class at the Bournemouth Chinese School on Sundays. This is an hour long class and at the moment we tend to have a younger age group.

We tend to find that children are more responsive to this type of training and exercise after the age of five but we have been known to take on younger students depending on there developmental stages. In these cases the parents always have to be present in the room and be willing to encourage and work with their children to help them to feel comfortable, some children take to it first time, some need gentle encouragement and can understandably feel scared and worried being in a large group, but we find that after a few sessions they soon feel comfortable and settle in to the training. All the senior students are encouraged to make beginners feel welcome.

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We like to keep an enjoyable atmosphere in the sessions but there are also times when discipline and structure are needed.This is part of the  key skills to their growth, development and learning. We feel these skills can be taken through to influence their whole life, in the way they interact with people, therefore building the foundations and valuable life skills.

We have also done a number of workshops for schools and a variety of education establishments, here are a few listed below:

  1. Bournemouth Chinese School39637_150594538289563_792060_n
  2. Avonbourne Secondary School
  3. Sheiling School
  4. Wing Centre
  5. Bournemouth University
  6. Bournemouth & Poole College
  7. Haymoor Middle School
  8. Sturminster Newton High School
  9. Paragon Education & Skills Ltd

Paul is looking into furthering this area and is hoping to bring these skills to schools in more permanent morning sessions and after school activities.

We do take part in competitions and there is the chance to do gradings. These are not pushed but are gently encouraged if the child would like to take part, to help the children gain focus and enthusiasm for this amazing practice.We have found that the competitions inspire and motivate the children when they see other schools performing and demonstrating. They can find it challenging, facing fears and building confidence in a safe , friendly, non judgemental atmosphere.

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We choose very carefully who we associate with, making sure that these principles are maintained, it is important to us that the right attitude to these events are implemented so that the positive aspects of competition are developed. It is also a chance to enlighten their minds about self-awareness, kindness, respect and most importantly being humble.

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After all we believe that life is present in each and every one of us, one person no more important than the other, as we are all a part of everything and everything a part of us.

We also like to incorporate some of the cultural aspects of training, for example teaching in Chinese, after all this is how we were taught by our teachers and masters and so need to pass on these ancient practices in the most authentic way possible.

Sometimes we are asked to do events and demonstrations, we have taken the children to London to perform for health organisations and regularly perform for the mayor of Bournemouth and Poole at Chinese New Year. The Children enjoy the challenge and focus.

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There is also a social aspect to the school. We  organise various events throughout the year, including christmas!, outings and from time to time free training at the park. We have seen how children who are more introverted literally come out of their shells developing into confident young people who are more able to deal with social situations better. This is evident in the children we teach who have mild Aspergers.

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Every Year we hold a week long course for the children to do over the summer holidays. We call it “Kids Kung Fu Camp.” We have been running this for about four years and every year the children come back to enjoy more. We do lots of types of training including: Tai Chi, Meditation, Qi Gong, lots of forms and acrobatics, san shou (Chinese kick boxing) and for the more advanced students, weapons. We also have been known to do beach training too, which went down very well last year.

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At the end of the week we usually go on a group trip. This year we all went to Snow Trax to let off some steam after all their hard work. In previous years we have been bowling, the cinema and next year we are considering “go ape” (high rope climbing) or some type of water sports, should be exciting!!

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One of our Instructors Martine Niven is a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine and has just qualified in Paediatrics (the treatment of childhood illnesses) She takes regular trips to China to improve on her Shaolin Kung Fu and regularly trains with her master in England Shifu Yan Ming, 34th ShaolinWarrior Monk, at the UK Shaolin Temple. This constant practice  helps her to grow and develop in her skill and knowledge, after all we are all students in this art, we are always trying to develop and grow mentally, physically and spiritually, it is important for the children to see this, so they understand that everyone is on the same journey, children learn not only through experience but also by and  through example.

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Paul is constantly developing his internal skills with his master Grandmaster Gou Kongjie, 11th Generation Lineage holder of Chen style Tai Ji, who is based in Oxford.  He is extremely knowledgable and proficient in internal martials arts.

Paul works with many different streams of society, he is a full time instructor and we have both dedicated our whole life to this practice and way of life. We both have been very fortunate to be taught by extremely accomplished practitioners and therefore are honoured to be able to pass the true traditional knowledge onto our students.

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What happens in class?

Each class follows a similar structure but is constantly changing and adapting depending on the dynamic and energy of the group and the individuals present.

We have mats and crash mats which provide safety and give the children confidence to practice their skills.

We and the students have worked together in sponsored events to raise money to buy  valuable pieces of equipment for the school, one example is a 10 meter tumble track which we have yet to use in the New Year!

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Physically in the classes the children start with a warm up. This is very important as their bodies/muscles need to be warm in order to practice the next movements. This reduces injury as well as building stamina, fitness and strength.

After this the class can take on various different focuses. We tend to practice stretching all body parts, splits, back bends, arms, legs etc. to increase flexibility. We learn and practise stances, all basics or “Ji Ben Gong” in Chinese – the root or foundation movements for further practice. This is  very important for you cannot build a house on weak foundations or your house will collapse. Kung fu is the same and so we work diligently on these movements and stances.

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Children are encouraged to ask the instructor for water and if they need to leave the room for toilet breaks. We do provide suitable breaks but this teaches the children the boundaries and they can learn respect not only for their teachers, family and friends but also for themselves. Hence they must also bow before entering and leaving the training hall. This gives them awareness, respect and care for their training environment and later they discover they are essentially bowing to themselves, respecting and caring for themselves.

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After stretches we practice basic kicks in all directions and combination movements. We also practice acrobatics similar to gymnastics type movements. For example the beginners may learn forwards and backwards rolls, cartwheels, handstands and then as they progress moving on to learn the more complicated movements of hand springs, flick ups, spinning kicks and back and front flips (hence the need for the tumble track to make these movements easier and safer to learn)

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The children then go on to learn “a form” which is a group of movements put together to make a routine. These “Tao Lu’s”(forms) help the students to understand and practice the various different movements and help them to develop at the level they need too, depending on what form is chosen for them.

Usually they start by learning the “WU BU QUAN” which is 5 stance leg and hand form. Once proficient they will move onto the more complicated forms of which there are hundreds (and more if you include modern wushu and artistic forms.)

They also get the chance to learn various weapons. Hard style like stick and sword and soft style like 9 section chain whip!

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We incorporate at any time stamina and traditional strength training. We like to keep the classes fresh and are always coming up with new ideas and practices to keep the children interested and enthused.

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At the end of the session we bring together all the students (sometimes parents too!) to practice meditation and/or qi gong (qi gong are Chinese health promoting exercises, similar to yoga). These practices help to develop inner strength, peace and clarity of mind, very good for the children nowadays who are more and more under pressure with large amounts of homework or for those children who have family pressure of all kinds wether that be pressure at home, school or from life in general.

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It has been told to us by parents that these exercises have helped their children when they are stressed giving them a valuable tool to use. Throughout the  years we have seen our students grow into well balanced, happy, healthy and well-rounded dependent individuals.

Are aims and focus are to help these young people to grow through this amazing and ancient martial art form.

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Yes there are aspects of self-defence but this is only the surface of a very deep, philosophical and profoundly enriched system that encompasses all layers of learning, growing and knowledge internally and externally.

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We guide the students to reach their inner potential in all aspects of their life – this is our passion and why we teach.

Over the years we have seen so many children gain positive experiences from the training. But we think it would be best to let them tell you what they feel about the classes themselves! Please see below for some of their thoughts and also some of the parents too. (there are more to come so please be patient as we upload them!)

Parents Comments:

“Both Finn and Chris say they love coming to kung fu because  it’s helping Chris with his confidence and stamina and helping Finn with his coordination. He says it’s fun too!..”

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“Paul and Martine are excellent and passionate teachers of Kung Fu and my seven year old has really enjoyed the classes and progress that he’s made.  The classes are fun and friendly, beginners are always made very welcome and the kids learn a great deal of discipline and respect for others as they develop in the practice of Kung Fu.”
ShifuGreen
“I have enjoyed the classes since I started at 2009. I have made many new friends and have had chances to learn new skills such as acrobatic, weapons, hand forms and basic Kung Fu. They have helped me with my physical health & strength. I would like to thank my highly skilled teachers, Martine & Paul, for their encouragement & supports as well as teaching me and helping me to achieve all I have done!”
Owen Choy, age 13
MonkeyKFP2
“My son started Kung Fu with Paul in the Bournemouth Chinese School 3 years ago. He was looking for something more physical and challenging at the time, as well as enjoyment from another Martial Art (he was already a highly trained Karate student)!
Paul & Martine have supported my son throughout his training and took him to various competitions in London, where he gained a number of trophies and medals. These provided much needed confidence for his self believe. 
Kung fu also teaches my son good disciplines & self awareness, which he lacked in the past. I hope he will continue to enjoy the lessons under the brilliant guidance of Paul & Martine, and that he might be able to pass on this Traditional Chinese Art Form to others in the future generations!”
Candy Choy
KFP
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The Truth of Speech

28 Dec


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Over the past few months I have been considering how the use of our speech and choice of words are so important in the healing process of our patients.

As acupuncture practitioners we offer lifestyle advice, this is part of our training and is an important part of the healing process.

This is a key point of change where the patients take responsibility for their process and learn how to consciously help and balance themselves.

This can include advice about diet, exercise, and also importantly mental patterning. From the Five Element perspective it is advice in helping to balance a person at their constitutional level. I have experienced that there comes a point in treatment when deep changes at this level are brought about maybe at the yuan qi level. Sometimes the patient’s symptoms have recovered and they appear to have resolved their main complaint but they are still coming for treatment, at this level it is clear that the patient wants to change some deep patterning within themselves and as practitioners we are there to facilitate this process by making them conscious of this and helping them to address, balance and grow through these changes as they work on their deep inner virtues.

Maybe as practitioners we don’t fully realise that what we say has such a huge and profound effect on our patients’ process and helps to shape and influence their lives.

It is stated in the Yellow Emperors Classic of Medicine (Chapter 77 on the five failings of the physicians) that:

“ The fourth failing occurs in counselling. When a physician lacks compassion and sincerity, when the physician is hasty in counselling and does not make the effort to guide the patients mind and mood in a positive way, that physician has robbed the opportunity to achieve a cure. So much of all illness begins in the mind, and the ability to persuade the patient to change the course of perception and feeling to aid in the healing process is a requirement of a good physician”

We all understand that words and expression of them can have a powerful effect on a person. They can be destructive as well as healing.  Let us consider Mr Masaru Emoto’s years of research into the conscious effects of human intent, through his experiments with water.

Mr Emoto decided to see how thoughts and words affected the formation of untreated distilled water crystals. 
This was done by typing words onto paper then taping the paper onto glass bottles overnight. His experiment showed that the molecules of water physically changed when different words were attached. When positive words and prayers were placed on the jars the molecules flourished in beautiful formations and when negative ones were used they broke apart, this is fascinating considering that we are made up of nearly 80% water. Therefore imagine what influences we can have on our patients by using such positive words.

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Therefore I began to consider the following (of which I am still finding the answers):

  • How do I choose the right words, expression and advice to help guide the patient towards harmony and balance?
  • What choice of words can give the correct input for change?
  • There is a realisation that this process is done instinctively and very naturally, but as this process can be extremely powerful does it not warrant a mindful approach?
  • In relation to the five elements how can we guide each patient towards their sense of balance and harmony within themselves by what we say?
  • Therefore what is mindful speech and why is it important?

After answering these questions for myself it made me very conscious of the way I use speech and words in my every day life. I suggest that you might like to ask yourselves the same questions and see where they lead you.

Speaking mindfully is a skilful practice and requires effort and training.

The conclusion I came to was that on a day to day basis we aren’t very mindful of the words we speak, we tend to speak out of a need, a want or desire, but what if for one day we only spoke after considering two conscious intentions?

These are:

  1. Only speak the truth
  2. When you speak it should be out of love and compassion and for the benefit of the other person.

In other words before we speak we need to think – is this the real truth I speak and does it help them in any way, is it for their benefit?

The Buddha said:

“When we speak, be truthful, be kind, be patient and be mindful. For both you and others who hear, are affected by your words. This will open your eyes and lead to better understanding. It will lead to peace of mind, to higher wisdom. It is the path to enlightenment.”

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Please feel free to leave comment and thoughts on this topic.

Love and Many Blessing for the New Year 2013

Martine x

TuiNa For all (Chinese Medical Massage Workshop) in June 9th & 10th

30 Apr

2 day Practical Workshop: Learning Ancient Chinese Medical Massage Techniques

Taught By: TCM Practitioner: Martine Niven BSc (hons) Lic Ac MBAcC DipTn

Sat 9th – Sun  10th

1-6pm EACH DAY

 June 2012

This is an introduction and refresher to Traditional Chinese Medical Massage.

It is a great opportunity for those who have attended our workshops before and would like to refresh their skills.

It is also suitable for new massage therapists and those with in an interest in body work wanting  to extend their skill set. If there are particular conditions you may struggle with this workshop is a great opportunity to highlight those areas and find new and inspiring methods to get effective and powerful results.

The two days will be informative and very practical, with  demonstrations of other Traditional Chinese Medicine therapies like Fire Cupping and Moxabustion. There will also be useful Chinese Medicine dietary therapy.

This workshop is also suitable for those wishing to help friends and family with specific health related issues. Please mention these when booking and we will try &  accommodate your requests with specific techniques to practice on the day. Looking forward to seeing you there!

 

Acupuncture at Julia’s House

2 Apr

Hello Wonderful People,

I hope you are enjoying the openings of spring and some beautiful rays of well needed sunshine.

As some of you may know I had a restful week off which gave me a wonderful opportunity to work at the local children’s hospice based in Corfe Mullen named Julia’s House. It was my first day of treatments there and was  such an amazing positive and inspiring place to be.The day went really well and I successfully treated some of the staff and nurses there. I saw and treated many different conditions. It was a positive and very rewarding day and I will hopefully be returning there soon. If you would like to find out more or support this charity you can check out there website at

http://www.juliashouse.org/

Free Acupuncture Treatment

15 Mar

As spring has sprung I would like to offer  out a free Acupuncture treatment session on Wednesday 21st of March at 12 o’clock.

This is first come first served!

Any body can claim this session for themselves or a friend/family member in need,or maybe for mothers day  please ring and quote the reference from my website. You will find the code on the fees page.

Good Luck!!!

Best Wishes

Martine xxx

http://www.naturalelementshealth.co.uk

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How Emotions Cause Disease in the Body Part 2: Fear

7 Mar

In Part 2 we will be exploring the emotion of fear.

Emotions are the movement of qi on the level of the mind. An interesting japanese proverb states that Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.

In the Chinese medicine classics there is reference to how the emotion of Fear can affect the qi (life force energy) in the body and the Shen (relating to the persons spirit)

“When one is fearful and frightened, qi descends….when one is anxious qi scatters and becomes chaotic…..anxiousness and being startled cause the Shen or spirit to not be housed. When Shen is not housed the qi is reckless and chaotic” .

This for me conjures the painting by Edvard Munch “The Scream”

This is all very well but what does this actually mean and how can we apply these ancient principles in our modern day lives.

Most people have at some time experienced fear or fright. In conventional medicine we are educated about the fight or flight responses in the body, this is our body’s natural response to danger and is needed to prevent ourself from being hurt, this is the positive side of this emotion.

In Chinese medicine the emotion of fear is linked with the Water element. The organs that are associated with these are the kidneys and the bladder.

This Water element within a person allows them to be vigilant and alert without thinking about it and allows them to do what needs to be done safely and necessary in the face of danger. It accounts for bravery .When balanced a person has great reassurance and trust with integrity and honesty. Others will turn to them when they are in need of reassurance and support. What amazing attributes to have; but if we are switched onto this energy all the time or inappropriately then this causes major imbalances within the body.

In Chinese medicine fear relates to the kidneys (water) and Shen heart (fire) disturbances. Therefore common symptoms we may see when there is an imbalance in this area and with these emotions are heart palpitations, chest pains, dry mouth, sleep disturbances, mental symptoms like anxiety, phobias, memory problems, impotence, nocturnal enuresis (bed wetting – especially in children), alopecia areta, hair loss and growth inhibition.

Fear can present along a spectrum of emotions ranging from generalized anxiety and panics to paralysis and paranoia.  It can encompass feelings of dread & apprehension.

The healing process transforms conflict and suffering into awareness and unity. Therefore Fear can be transformed into wisdom and is achieved by inner vigilance and being aware of the smallest changes in ones emotional life. This is the method of cultivating wisdom.

“Who sees all beings in his own self, and his own self in all beings, loses all fear.”
  Isa Upanishad, Hindu Scripture

The kidneys also relate to the will, a persons drive, and a person needs this in order to dispel fear.

Fear manifests itself in the awareness of future events ie. –  what may or may not happen. If we live in the moment fear cannot exist. So how do we live in the moment?

Past actions have been and gone, we can learn from them but essentially they don’t exsist.

Projection of the future is also non existent because it hasn’t  and and may never happen. It is a distraction for the present moment. As Mark Twain said, “I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”

So what can we do?

All we can do is live in the present moment.

Realistically that’s all we can do.

When we start to reminisce we are living in a time that is not real and the same when we project forward, not saying that futre plans are wrong but if we live in the future this is not reality, we have to live in the now.

Why not experience and enjoy what is happening now.

When we are frightened we tend to move away from the fear, avoiding the situation or subject. I say embrace the fear, move towards it, look it in the eye and know it, let it be your friend and smile at it.

Resisting only magnifies the pain. My kung fu teacher said recently in class  “if you run away from an opponent it will only cause more injury in the long run. It is a more dangerous situation to create, you have to have the courage to move towards your opponent and this takes guts and willpower.”  I guess this is the same in life when there is pain, suffering and fear. The reaction is to run away, to not face it, but eventually this will cause more pain and suffering.

The solution is acceptance.

Embrace what is happening. This doesn’t mean you have to like what is happening, that would be denial or resignation, but rather through an understanding of the moment, watch your thoughts and try not to get involved in them. Thoughts are just thoughts, like a type of energy and we don’t have to engage in them if we don’t want to. We don’t have to believe them and we don’t have to do what they say. Kabat-Zinn said “Acceptance doesn’t tell you what to do. What happens next, what you choose to do; that has to come out of your understanding of this moment.”

If you’re aware of your feelings right now, as you’re reading this, you’re living in the moment. Nothing happens next. It’s not a destination. This is it. You’re already there!!!

I came across this quote when at drama school when I was 17, when life was full of insecurity, anxiety and fear, in a new town away from family and friends, venturing out into the unknown. It really helped me to change my perception of myself and give me the confidence do so. I thank those wonderful teachers at that time in my life and hope that these words can help you too to have the confidence you need in your life.


Our Deepest Fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?


You are a child of God.



Your playing small does not serve the world.


There is nothing enlightened about shrinking 
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.


We are all meant to shine, as children do.



We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.


It is not just in some; it is in everyone.



And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
 other people permission to do the same.


As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.”

What would you be like if you didn’t hold onto your fears, what would it feel like if for today you let them go.

Why not try? Today liberate yourself!!

 

Exercises to help strengthen the Kidneys/Water Element:

 Massaging the Lower back and rubbing the lower back 36 times ,also gently knocking the lower back with loose fists

..

Visualising and cleansing the Kidneys

Stand in wuji posture or alternatively sit or lie down. Like Paulie in the picture below.

With the tongue loosely on the roof of the mouth and teeth and lips gently closed together,practice 7:11 breathing.

(This breathing technique can be practiced on its own as a very effective calming method)

This consists of breathing in for the count of seven and out for the count of 11. This can be profoundly relaxing and can calm any anxious situation.

After this visualise a dark blue energy in front of you like a mist, or a vibrant pulsating blue orb. Imagine it is like the deep blue colour of the ocean. You can also visualise being near a beautiful crystal stream.

As you inhale you breathe in this blue energy through the nose and into the kidney organ. Imagine and feel the kidney fill with this blue energy.

As you breath out imagine any impure energy or pathogenic qi leaving the body via the mouth. Usually we can see this as a dark cloud. As the darkness leaves the body the blue clean vibrant energy remains in the kidney.

With each inhalation the kidneys get brighter and cleaner, glowing with more vitality.

Practice this exercise and repeat 6-12 times which will take about  5mins.

Enjoy!

If you have anything to add to this post I would be happy to hear it.Please leave your comments below. Also keep an eye out for a free treatment session in next two weeks there will be a code to quote on my website in the fees section.Then it will be first come first served, if you know of anyone who would benefit from a treatment it might be a good opportunity to keep an eye out.

http://www.naturalelementshealth.co.uk

Peace and Love to all

Martine xxx:)

References

The Seven Types of Stress – Yair Maimon in EJOM Journal Vol 6 No5 2010-11

Medical QiGong Exercise Prescriptions:  A Self healing guide for patients and practitioners – Suzanne B Friedman

 


How emotions cause disease in the body Part 1: Anger

2 Feb

Chinese Medicine considers that there are many causes for disease in the body; these can be categorized as internal, external and miscellaneous causes.

External causes are mainly associated with climactic conditions such as cold, damp, heat, wind and dryness. These invade the body when it is vulnerable or weak and cause illness.

Miscellaneous causes of disease can be lifestyle factors including diet exercise, work and rest.

Internal causes  of disease are associated with our emotions.These are anger,grief, worry, over thinking,joy and shock.Even though there are only seven in Chinese Medicine it does include all the others too and the various shades in-between for example fear can encompass fright, terror,dread or anxiety as like grief can include emptiness, longing, regret or remorse.

Anger can come in many different forms – frustration, guilt, resentment, and bitterness.

In Chinese Medicine Anger is said to make the Qi rise and can lead to many symptoms like headaches, migraines, eye complaints, tension in the neck and shoulders, raised blood pressure and stroke.

When we transform negative patterns it is best not to fight them, as this will only give them more strength. The best way to resolve them is through positive influence like affirmation and/or creative visualization.

Therefore to scold and condemn oneself for being angry or trying to force oneself to be tolerant would be useless and only lead to further internal pressure. It would be more useful and powerful to visualize for example, an act of kindness and consideration to another person every day, putting energy through a positive visualization.

The main challenge for people with an abundance of wood energy and a tendency to anger is to slow down and cultivate a discipline of inner peace; to act out of stillness and certainty and not out of impatience and stress, to learn to relax and surrender and let go of the pressures of their plans and decisions. By doing this they can develop their intuition and flow more smoothly and in harmony with life.

There are times in life when wood energy is vital, it represents the potential to move towards something, overcoming obstacles and challenges and is crucial in setting things in motion.

Its associated season is spring when life bursts forth pushing upwards and outwards. This energy is needed in our lives in the given appropriate situation like when we need to assert ourselves, make important life changing decisions and plans, or stand up for what we believe in.

But at other times it may be a hindrance when we can control ourselves and it becomes imbalanced and causes destruction with our mental emotional lives and then starts to effect out bodies. This is when we need to take action and find ways to redirect and focus this energy and work on our virtues and qualities to help transform it into the positive.

In life, and also reflected in Chinese Medicine, things are not all black and white, as we can see in the yin yang symbol, which underpins one of the main principles in Chinese medicine.

From this symbol we see a little bit of black in the white side and visa versa, this shows that not everything is just opposites but has aspects of one in the other. It implies that nothing stays the same. Things are always interchanging, inter-transformational and interestingly interdependent on each other. As is so in pathogenesis of disease and with the internal causes of the emotions.

Emotions therefore have their extreme opposites and many shades in between.  The yin side of anger is depression and hopelessness. Methods can be applied to help the free flow of this emotion back to its normal healthy state.

If anger is suppressed for a long time it can lead to stagnation and other imbalances in the body. Therefore suppressing ones anger is just as destructive as outwardly releasing and uncontrollably engaging it.

So how do we express it in a safe and positive way? Throughout this article I will hopefully find and share tools to help mange and balance each of these two extremes.

When we can harness this energy and use it in its positive aspects we can transform the negative components into wondrous and virtuous counterparts; the transformation of anger, guilt, frustration and resentment and bitterness, into forgiving, acceptance, consideration and understanding.

Helping to achieve and receive these virtues:

We need to understand that there are times of no action and change, either in the outside world or within ourselves. We need to accept times of rest, be patient and allow ourselves to tune into our higher self, access our intuition and clearly see and decide which way to go. We have to learn to over come selfishness and learn to love and experience compassion and consideration for others. This comes through being able to see from other points of view, the saying goes “never judge a man unless you have walked a whole day in his shoes”. Learn to replace anger with calm, and impatience with patience, and finally judgment with observation.

Anger can be dealt with. It doesn’t have to be feared or disgusted or indulged in and has to be learnt to be expressed when appropriate and when it is best to stay quite.

One way to help transform anger into acceptance is through forgiveness.

How forgiveness helps to release anger.

 The freedom in a simple act of forgiveness saves the expense of anger and the high cost of hatred.

Forgiveness can buy peace of mind.

Just think of everything that has been directed at you for which you bear grudges and hostility. Every hurt or sting is like being bitten by a snake.

You rarely die from the injury but the venom of the incident still flows within and through your system. The venom is your bitterness and hatred that you hang onto long after you have been hurt and it is this venom that will ultimately destroy your peace of mind.

The antidote is forgiveness and is not as difficult as you may believe to do. When we forgive it relieves us of burdens of resentment and past grievances and can allow us to let go!!

Think of all the people in your life who have wronged you in any way, regardless of how severe or recent it may have been and make a choice to let go and forgive. This true act comes from your heart. Do it for yourself! To provide the antidote to the poison that you have allowed to flow through you.

Be aware that your parents and everyone else in your past did what they knew how to do given on the conditions of their lives. You cannot ask more of anyone. Perhaps you would not have done it their way, so learn from it. By forgiving you recognize that deep injuries will not recover until you let go of past grievances and forgive. So make that choice and lighten your load you will immediately feel freer than you ever felt.

Make the effort to let go of the labeling process of life – Look past skin bone structure, right and wrong and realize that we are all part of the same energy.

By understanding our inherent/true nature we can realize that essentially we are a part of everything and are interconnected like the underlying philosophies represented by the yin yang symbol. This knowledge brings about an understanding that if we anger toward others we essentially anger toward ourselves.

Learn to forgive yourself for the wrongs that you have done to others. It is difficult to forgive others if you cannot forgive yourself! Shame and guilt are also negative and destructive emotions that we hold in our bodies. We can affirm to ourselves that we have learnt from our past experiences and cannot change them so therefore the solution is to forgive ourselves, let go and move on.

Sometimes we anger because what we see in the world is not right in our eyes. Sometimes we cannot change it and we get frustrated and angry, but by changing our perceptions and responses to these issues we do not become so easily affected, and we are able to help in different ways and see and respond clearly, not from an uncontrollable emotion which could lead to more hurt and suffering. I guess what I mean is once we can balance this side of ourselves we can see clearly how to act and respond in the best way in any given situation. Whether that is to not respond at all or to take arms and stand up for what is just and right.

3 steps to change and balance

  1. Perceive a problem
  2. Find the true abilities within ones-self
  3. Develop strength of self and have perseverance to make the change

Out of the five elements Anger is such a strong and forceful emotion and its expression, and finding its expression, in our society can be quite difficult as it is seen as a “bad” emotion to express; whereas for example fear, worry, happiness and even grief, are quite tolerable and less imposing on others. Anger is seen as a direct and imposing force.

  •     Releasing anger through the voice: sometimes by singing very loudly we can help emotions to flow or move smoothly in, out and through the body. When people anger they shout in order to release the feelings inside themselves.
  • Singing is a great way to express this emotion in a more acceptable way that engaging with the anger.It can be through a good belting rock song in the car or by singing in the shower or at karaoke or joining a choir singing is a great way to move this bottled emotion.
  •     Another way to move the emotion is through physical exercise, punching cushions or punch bags, running or walking off an intense session, racket sports or stamping feet theses are safe way of letting go of our blocked or stuck feelings can practice for 5-10 mins.

Remember that clearing emotions can be important release, but they will resurface unless the underlying causes are also dealt with.

We can get angry for many reasons including not being appreciated, feeling frightened, not feeling respected or loved therefore forgiveness is needed to help move through these feelings otherwise it may never be cleared fully.

  •     Visualisation of a kind act can help
  •      Meditation can also help but for some this can be very difficult and generate more tension and stress. In this case have a vigorous exercise session then meditate afterwards, try not to fall asleep!:)
  •     Qi Gong for the Liver – The liver is the associated organ connected to the emotion of anger. When we feel frustrated and angry we can feel very tight and constricted around the ribcage where the liver and GB lie. This exercise will help to loosen up this area and help to free up the energy of these channels down the sides of the body.
  1. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent
  2. Raise hands interlocked above head with palms facing downwards
  3. Lean over to one side and then take a deep breath in and out
  4. Return back to the centre.
  5. Repeat on the other side
  6. Altogether you can repeat this 6 times on either side

See Paul demonstrating in the picture below

References

Angie Hicks – Healing you Emotions

Wisdom of the Ages – Wayne Dyer

The Seven Types of Stress – Yair Maimon in EJOM Journal Vol 6 No5 2010-11

Acupuncture Point combinationsAcupuncture point combinations:

the key to clinical success- Jeremy Ross