A group of highly experienced psychotherapists offering individual, couple and group psychotherapy. For many people, group therapy is a compelling experience that can be profoundly illuminating about themselves & their relationships with others.
If we have “poor” posture or spend a lot of time sitting our transverse abdominus muscles will weaken. This, in turn, can be linked to pelvic floor problems. For example, if we collapse our chest while sitting, we end up with a “C-curve” in the spine. This makes it challenging to take a deep breath, and as a consequence, the muscles of the pelvic floor don’t receive the gentle ‘exercise’ they need, stretching and contracting with every breath in and out.
Scoliosis is a three-dimensional deformity of the spine that causes structural changes on all anatomical planes. 80-90% of all scolioses are “idiopathic”, which means that, to date, cause and pathogenesis have yet to be fully explained. A scoliotic curve is defined “functional” if it can be compensated and improved, or “structural” if it cannot be compensated.
Light Therapy – The Basics
There are many articles and discussions about the use of LED Light Therapy (also known as photobiology). The scientific based benefits are far reaching. The question is how can a red, or near-infrared LED bulb bring such benefits to the human body?!
The red and near-infrared light spectrums have scientific evidence that they have a biological impact on our bodies. The red spectrums of light can penetrate the skin deeper than other light spectrums, reaching the hypodermis. These photons can enter the blood stream and be passed throughout your body as well.
LEDs have the ability to be programmed to emit light in very specific wavelengths, without emitting almost any heat. These are proven to have therapeutic benefits on the human body. On the other hand incandescent and halogen bulbs including heat lamps exhibit too much heat to be considered for light therapy of this nature, and long exposure times.
The Main Benefits of LED Light Therapy
· Healing wounds
· Enhancing blood circulation
· Increasing muscle recovery and collagen production
· Decreasing pain
· Anti-inflammatory effects
· Reducing wrinkles and fine lines
· Enhancing fertility and increasing testosterone
With regular dosing, these health benefits can be seen and felt in no time at all.
In the last Olympics, you might have noticed more and more athletes using light therapy devices around the Olympic Village and stadium. You can get huge benefits from putting red and near-infrared light on your muscles.
There are 2 main ways athletes can benefit from Photobiomodulation (Red Light Therapy) devices, in particular red and near-infrared wavelengths. The first is through preconditioning before an event. It has been proven that time to exhaustion is extended with such light therapy. Secondly there is after an event, or training session, as Red Light Therapy helps assist recovery and delayed onset of muscle soreness (or the dreaded DOMS as you might know it).
For anyone who loves the gymthe benefits allow improved recovery, getting you back ready for the next session quicker and safer than most alternatives. These benefits are through the stimulation of stem cells, increased muscle blood flow plus reducing scarring, and increased speed of regeneration in ligaments and tendons. What are you waiting for!
Red Light Therapy – Uses for Health:
Infrared light therapy for the prevention of symptoms of Alzheimers?
Alzheimer's disease is a devastating condition. Both for the sufferer and for the family and friends that are left behind.
Alzheimer's is a type of dementia (a general term for memory loss and a decline in other cognitive abilities) serious enough that it causes problems with memory, thinking and behaviour. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. It is the most common form of dementia.
Alzheimer's is not a normal part of aging. The greatest known risk factor is increasing age and the majority of people with Alzheimer's are 65 and older however Alzheimer's is not just a disease of old age. It is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer's, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment. Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
In the UK the numbers are shocking. There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. This will soar to 2 million by 2051. 225,000 will develop dementia this year – that’s one every three minutes.
There are over 40,000 people under 65 with dementia in the UK.
In Alzheimer’s, there are changes in the brain beyond those associated with normal ageing. Among the most prominent are the build-up of two proteins, called amyloid-beta and tau. Research suggests that both of these are involved in the disease process, and is revealing more about the sequence of events. As the disease progresses, more and more nerve cells in the brain become damaged. This damage leads to the symptoms of Alzheimer’s
A study suggests that there may be reason to believe that infrared light therapy directed on to the head may lead to a decrease in the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease. The details of a study from a US University in Scientific Reports (an online journal published by Nature Research) shows a significant reduction in the harmful effects in the brain related to Alzheimers after a period of treatment with infrared light on the heads of mice. Researchers at the university found that a certain type of protein can become toxic at the point of connection between brain cells where information gets passed along. This break down between brain cells is known to be a sign of the onset of the disease. Infrared light has been shown to reduce the occurrence of this protein which suggests that infrared light can be used therapeutically to treat the disease.
Infrared induced neuro-protections are not entirely clear, although they appear to operate on at least two different biological levels.
First, infrared acts at a cellular level, activating intracellular cascades that ultimately contribute to the survival of the target, and possibly neighbouring cells and/or stimulating neurogenesis (formation of new neurons).
Secondly, infrared light appears capable of triggering systemic protective mechanisms; this presumably involves as yet unidentified circulating cellular or humoral factors that can transduce protective effects to the brain.
In short, what is being suggested is that infrared light is a low-level stressor of cells which leads to an increase in ATP production (cellular energy) and a burst in low levels of reactive oxygen species (free radicals). The latter process can be likened to that of a vaccine, introducing a small amount of an illness in order to stimulate improved immunity by the body. This modulation of multiple molecular systems appears capable of both conditioning neurons to resist future damage and accelerating repair of neurons damaged by a previous or continuing insult.
Infrared light therapy has the potential to develop into a safe and effective neuroprotective treatment for patients with Alzheimer's disease (and presumably other neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Consequently, over time, the greater neuronal survival would lessen the clinical signs and symptoms. Further, infrared light therapy—because of its lack of side-effects and neuroprotective potential—is amenable to use in conjunction with other treatments.
There is much to do in further developing this treatment, but the therapeutic possibilities are many and the potential outcomes are very exciting. We await the outcomes of major clinical trials using infrared light therapy on these patients with much anticipation.
Red Light for Hair Loss
Good news for the men (and women) out there who may be experiencing baldness or thinning of the hair.
There are studies that purport that treatment with red light therapy can encourage better regrowth of hair. These studies used both men and women who showed symptoms of hair thinning to a various degree). They shaved a small spot of hair on their heads and then took photos of these shave spots and the various stages throughout the treatments. Some of the subjects were treated with the real devices while others were treated with a 'fake' red light device (a placebo) that was a plain red coloured light device.
How Red Light Therapy works for hair growth:
· Red Light Therapy causes a number of reactions within the cells mitochondria which leads to increased ATP production (cellular energy) and with this increase in energy comes the increase in function of the hair follicles and associated cells.
· Red Light Therapy prolongs the growing phase and can even re-establish the growing phase, even after the hair follicle itself has entered into the resting stage, which in turn cause the shedding phase to be pushed back further.
Your hair grows for a longer period of time before being shed, which is a natural part of the process, allowing new hair to grow back. The conclusion of the tests found that the subjects in the experiments, the ones that got treated with the actual red light device (and not the placebo) showed a significant increase in hair regrowth speed as well as an increase in hair count over the treated area! Improvement is reported after 12 to 26 weeks of use, with reduced hair fall and noticeable hair growth.
It should also be noted, that as of writing this, no ill side effects were reported, nor have any been reported in any experiments with red and infrared light therapy!
Transform your health on the cellular level with the power of Celluma LED Light Therapy! This exclusive, all-in-one therapy device uses powerful light energy to effectively improve the overall condition of your skin and help with a variety of pain management.
What is red light therapy?
Red light therapy—also known as red LED light therapy, low-level light therapy (LLLT), photobiomodulation, and cold laser therapy—involves exposing bodily tissues to red and near-infrared light between the wavelengths of 660 nm and 890 nm with either low-level lasers or red LED lights. The light from these devices is used to treat a variety of conditions, from wrinkles to scarring to pesky wounds that won't heal. Some red light therapy units are small and handheld while others can be positioned above your face (like a dentist's lamp), and others look more like tanning beds.
These red and near-infrared wavelengths do not burn or damage the skin (unlike the dangerous UVA rays in tanning beds), but they're thought to be absorbed by skin up to 10 millimeters—a lot deeper than any serum or cream can penetrate.
Surprisingly, red light therapy can be traced back to NASA. In the 1990s, scientists developed technology featuring red LEDs to help promote growth and photosynthesis in plants during space shuttle missions. This, in turn, prompted research into whether red light therapy might have benefits for humans, particularly for astronauts, who experience problems such as poor wound healing due to weightlessness.
The mechanism by which red light therapy delivers its benefits is still poorly understood, which makes it a bit controversial, but it's thought to work by stimulating the mitochondria in our skin cells. Mitochondria are the power plants of our cells that turn food and oxygen into energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Stimulated mitochondria are thought to produce more ATP, and thus, help cells function, regenerate, and repair themselves more efficiently. Stem cells may also be activated by red light therapy, which promotes increased tissue repair and healing.
What are the benefits?
1. It heals scars and wounds.
If you still have scars from your acne-riddled teenage years, if you've recently experienced burns, or if your wounds tend to heal slowly for any reason, then red light therapy may be an option. It's thought to help skin cells function more efficiently and repair damage by stimulating mitochondria and stem cells.
2. It promotes collagen production.
In addition to its beautifying benefits, red light therapy may also help counter common skin issues that occur with age, like reduced collagen production (which begins declining around age 30), which can increase the appearance of fine lines. One study found that patients receiving red light therapy on their face twice a week for 30 total sessions experienced improved skin complexion, skin tone, skin smoothness, and collagen density (as measured with an ultrasonographic test). In fact, the study included some before and after pictures, which are pretty impressive.
3. It promotes hair growth.
The most common type of hair loss, androgenetic alopecia, affects 50 percent of men over age 40 and 75 percent of women over 65, and there are only two medications approved to help counter it. But research reveals that red light therapy may be a powerful, drug-free solution. One research review found that red light therapy was safe and effective for promoting hair growth in both men and women. It seems to work by stimulating stem cells in the hair follicle and shifting follicles into the anagen phase (the active growth phase). More research is needed to determine the optimal wavelength for promoting hair growth, but one study found that women who received red light therapy at 650 nm every other day for 17 weeks experienced a 51 percent increase in hair density.
4. It eases pain joint, muscle, and tendon pain.
Since red and near-infrared light penetrates deeper than other wavelengths, it has the unique ability to treat issues below the skin's surface as well, like joint pain and muscle and tendon injuries. One of the original uses of red light therapy was in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, and research shows it can reduce pain and improve grip strength among carpal tunnel patients. A research review also reveals that red light therapy is an excellent resource in the treatment of skeletal muscle injuries due to the fact that it reduces the inflammation and increases angiogenesis (the development of new blood vessels). Additionally, painful conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, and back pain all respond positively to red light therapy.
5. It speeds recovery and boosts endurance.
Red light therapy has perks for male and female athletes, too. One study found that men who participated in intense exercise and also received red light therapy experienced improved performance and less exercise-induced muscle soreness. While another study on female basketball players found that red light therapy improved endurance as well as sleep. It's thought that red light therapy helps mitochondria produce energy more efficiently, making muscles less likely to experience fatigue.
6. Reduces side effects of cancer treatment.
Research conducted by NASA has found that red light therapy helps counter a side effect of chemotherapy called oral mucositis, characterized by extremely painful sores, redness, dryness, and burning sensations in the mouth and throat. A two-year trial in which cancer patients were given a far red and near-infrared LED treatment determined that 96 percent of patients experienced reduced pain as a result of this treatment. This is great news since it could help increase food intake, reduce use of painkillers, and boost morale among cancer patients.
Source: mbglifestyle - Stephanie Eckelkamp / Celluma
“SF Studios is for people with positive attitude and patience. And also for people who care about their own well-being in the long term.”
Tell us about yourself. Your age, career, hobbies, one thing you can’t stand.
I am 51 years old. I am a housewife. I don’t have any specific hobbies. I love watching movies and TV series while cooking.
Oh dear, I cannot stand a lot of things (I was a lot worse though!) - first thing that comes to my mind is either too many excuses or even worse a "so what" attitude.
Why did you come to SF Studios?
I came to SFS because of the pain around my left hip and lower back. My GP told me to see a physiotherapist. And my friend Joel had strongly recommended Suz.
What did you expect when you scheduled your first appointment?
Only talking and focusing on the pain, maybe some stretching and massage together with some specific strengthening exercises, & some exercises to do at home.
What did you think/find when you walked through our doors?
I really liked it. It was very welcoming and felt quite relaxing.
What was the biggest lesson you took away from your first appointment. Any insights / surprises?
I was expecting to focus only about the painful area. It was a big surprise that the first visit was not only about the pain but also about myself, and how to create time and space to feel better. The card to myself was a brilliant idea :-) The facts about the brainwaves were impressive and the advice to lower them before entering SFS does make a difference.
How did you feel when you left our Studio after the first time?
I felt very relaxed and energetic. I wanted to go back again very soon - and I did.
Briefly tell us about your journey from your first time to now.
After my first visit I started to join various Movement, Strength and Pilates lessons. They all felt very good. I’m trying to do 3 lessons a week. During the classes Suz makes you work really hard with empathy :-) and gives you brilliant tips to correct the movements in a way that you would understand. To my surprise in every lesson she asks you to do something different which makes each lesson very interesting.
I also very much enjoy the Pilates sessions with Karen on Saturdays. These sessions are very calming and relaxing, makes me feel energized afterwards which is a great way to start the weekends.
What is SF Studios to you?
SFS is a place where you feel positive energy. It’s full of feel good elements for me. Everything seems in good order and very clean which in my opinion reflects the discipline at SFS. Everyone here has positive and understanding attitude, which is great.
I usually have lessons with Suz. Her full attention and eagerness during the lessons makes me want to come more often, work harder and better.
For who is SF Studios?
SFS is for people with positive attitude and patience. And also for people who care about their own well-being in the long term.
What should we always maintain?
The calmness, cleanliness and positive energy. No phones is just brilliant. And of course the ginger roots by the sink. (No need to write about how wonderful it is to have ginger tea during the lessons)
Anything else you would wish to add?
I would love to have a small daily exercise plan to start and end the day.
I love the videos that Suz sends - they are very very helpful. Together with these videos, I would love to have the description of some exercises, so that it may take less time to go over them while doing it at home. Might be easier to remember.
We are excited to teach you some tools so you can look after yourself as well as possible. Some of you are new and some of you are regulars and know exactly what we mean.
We are all students and we learn all the time. So, what do students need to know:
1. We need to come with a plan & an AIM:
• Why are youhere?
• What would you like to achieve?
• When would you like to achieve your AIM?
• How will we work together toachieve your goal(s).
2. The more specific we are, the more accurately we can plan.
3. Planning is important – from bothsides. Preparation has a knock-on effect, the moreyouprepare,themoreweprepare. The process just gets more and more dynamic and that is when you start to see and feel actualresults.
4. Be on time – it is your time and it is precious.
5. Remember the influence of your brainwaves on the overall performance of your health, mind and body. The healthier your brain, the more you can absorb, retain & apply new information, whichleadstosomewonderfulskillsets.
6. Sleep well.
7. Dedicate your time to ensure regular alpha, theta and delta times. Have an over-all balanced approach to life in general.
9. Learning is an interactive process, so please bring along your ideas or requests. You can ask for help at any time - if we can help, we will.
We offer a wide variety of services toaddress all of our client’s needs as best as we can. In ‘SF Therapy you will find Physio, Osteo, Sports Therapy, Reflexology, Massage and Thai-Massage. We are here to help you rebuild your strength & help you back on your feet. We work with knowledge, empathy and always respect yourpace.
In SF Movement you will find a wide variety of classes: Our latest additions are Box- Fit & Hip-Hop for those that want a HITT experience and some creativity.It’s fun whilehavingahardwork-out.Letitout!Let it go. For people that are still retraining and want to continue to improve their mobility and strength. Look at the time-table or ask anyone from the team to give youadvice.
We also offer workshops on Sundays. These workshops are ‘topic-lead’ workshops. They explore important themes in our lives and we work through movement, breathing andcreativity.Ifyouwanttobeinspiredand feel mentally, emotionally and physically great,thenthisisforyou.Opentoalllevels.
Our retreat for June 2019 is fully booked – we hope that wecan follow on the incredible experience of last year.
Finally, we offer Coaching Workshops to small groups to inspire, connect and optimize teams. Retaining ambitious, pro-active teams are important forall. Dynamic, energized, supportive work placesare possible – take SF Studios as an example.
Let's talk about incontinence!
Yes that’s right... It may not be perceived as the most glamourous subject and sadly many choose to suffer in silence due to the stigma attached to bladder leakage. However, we do need to speak about it – loud and clear. In the UK today there are around six million people who experience symptoms of incontinence. Do a quick Google search on the subject and you will find an array of companies selling incontinence products. As amazing as it is that these products are available for those who really are in need and as a short term solution, it also poses the risk of people thinking that incontinence is “just something one has to live with and accept”, without actually being proactive in taking steps to become continent.
Incontinence may be very common, however it is NOT normal, meaning it’s is NOT something you have to live with. The symptoms can often be treated, either with professional help or on your own by doing a combination of specific Pelvic floor exercises and by implementing lifestyle changes.
Although the incidence of incontinence and bladder weakness does increase with age, surveys show that 6% of women aged 15-44 have the condition so it is far more common, than one might think.
Urinary incontinence is often considered a female problem, but this is only partly true. Although in younger age groups, more women than men do experience this condition, the differences are equalized around the age of 70, so in later life, almost as many men as women suffer from incontinence. However, we should not view as part of normal aging- it is never too late to seek help.
There are two main types of urinary incontinence – Stress Incontinence and Urge Incontinence.
Stress incontinence: Leaking of urine with coughing, sneezing, sex, or impact exercise, like running and jumping. This is related to damaged and/or weak pelvic floor muscles, and is common in younger women who have given birth vaginally.
Urge incontinence: Sudden and unpredictable overwhelming urge to urinate, with leaking of small to large amounts of urine. This sometimes also goes along with needing to go often that can occur day and night. It is more common in people who are overweight, or have diabetes or other neurological issues such as dementia or stroke. The problem is thought to be due to spasms of the bladder. A lot of things can aggravate symptoms, such as caffeine, diuretics (“water pills” used for high blood pressure), drinking too much fluid, and bladder infections.
The most common form of incontinence, called “mixed”, has symptoms of both of these categories. But the kind of incontinence really doesn’t matter. What people need to know is that there are solutions.
So what are the ways of treating incontinence?
First of all, you need to be assessed thoroughly by your health professional to understand the cause of your problem. In the case of this being done by a Pelvic floor Physio, they may observe your breathing, posture and how your muscles are functioning. You will be asked about your lifestyle choices such as hydration, nutrition, exercise and stress levels.
Specific Pelvic floor exercises (often prescribed by a Pelvic health professional) are in many cases the simplest and best way to start with, often leading to good results. These should be done in conjunction with implementing the necessary adaptions to your lifestyle. The importance of treating the patient with an holistic view is something we learned about in the last 25 years — before then, most doctors believed that most stress incontinence required surgery.
Your health professional may also ask you to keep a “bladder diary,” in which you record two days and nights of activity.
Finally, were there events that triggered it? Laughing? Coughing? Sex? Drinking coffee? This can help with diagnosis and treatment, especially for people who have to go frequently during the day or have to get up several times a night to urinate (a problem called nocturia).
For otherwise healthy people, the next step is to look at your lifestyle choices. If you are overweight, losing weight is essential. Stop smoking (for this and many other reasons). Limit your caffeine. If you have trouble with nocturia, avoid drinking liquids after 7 p.m. If constipation is a problem, treat it.
Another treatment method is behavioural therapy, which means a combination of two techniques, bladder and pelvic muscle exercises and bladder training. Strengthening or down training the muscles of your pelvic floor (these are called Kegel exercises, often recommended to pregnant women).
For those with urge problems, the strategy is slightly different. Bladder training involves going on a regular schedule and learning how to retrain the central nervous system to control strong urges (“mind over bladder”).
Instead of running to the bathroom as quickly as possible, be still. Do pelvic muscle exercises and focus on feeling the urgency to wane (like a decreasing wave). Hopefully the urgency will lessen so you can get to the bathroom in time.
By Karin Goldschmidt
Brainwaves - Talk
Why do you come to a/the class(es)?
Are you aware of your brainwave state when you enter SF Studios?
Can you achieve what you want to achieve in ‘that state’?
Are you aware of the influence that ‘your state’ has on others around you?
BETA 15 – 40 CYCLES/S
In Beta, you are:
A strong, engaged mind
A decision maker
Having a Debate(s)
A reasoning critique
You are alert, aroused & excited
Although we need Beta to function and to get things done well, it demands a lot of energy. It is not an effective use of energy to be in Beta, consistently and for long periods of time.
People: Focused, open eyes; talking; thinking; finger wagging; exploding; angry; stressing/anxiety; getting sick; collapsing.
ALPHA 9-14 CYCLES/S
You are typically in Alpha:
After you have completed a task, when you are sitting down and having a break. You are taking time out; however, you are still cognitively functional. (you know what is going on around you). You are reflecting. You are Meditating. You could be walking in a garden or a park, you are wondering, gazing or leisurely drifting. You are deeply relaxed, your eyes are usually closed (you are internalising, your brain does not have to focus; you are instinctively shutting-out vision, thus any external stimuli that will interfere with your state of mind).
THETA 5-8 CYCLES/S
Being in a Theta, you are:
• Light meditating, falling asleep
Taking time off
Not cognitively functioning, you don’t know what is going on around you, you are not aware of the outside world
Having thoughts, visions and/or dreamlike experiences
Typically doing long-distance driving
Typically doing long-distance running, not recognizing anyone, because you are not focusing on anything or paying specific attention
Typically in the shower or brushing your hair (- being on auto-pilot)
You are mentally disengaged
If you want to experience Free flow in your life and you want things to work out smoothly, without hassles, then make sure you get enough time out. More to the point, make sure that you do use your ‘time out’ in a way that will serve your well-being now and later.
DELTA 1.5 – 4 CYCLES/S
Being in a Delta state, you are typically in a:
You are sleeping 7-9 – hours/night
You can enter Transcendental meditation
Realm of your unconscious mind. Delta is the gateway of the universal mind & collective consciousness.
You can receive information here that is not available at your conscious levels.
Reflexology is an ancient complementary healththerapy that uses gentle pressure applied on various points of feet to treat the whole body, helping it to relax, balance and heal itself.
Why did you start reflexology? What’s the story?
I discovered reflexology through a treatment that I received myself and was deeply impressed by the sensations and the relaxing and balancing effect it had on me. The more I dug into it and the more I became fascinated by this practice. One day the idea crossed my mind to get trained and to be able to provide such wellbeing to others but it took me a couple of years to get over myself and engage into the official training offered by the London School of Reflexology.
I also think that the 10 years I have spent in China during which I have received treatments of reflexology, acupuncture and qigong have opened my western mind to a different approach to the body, to health and to healing. I find in my practice of reflexology a very practical and hands-on way to help people to heal and find a better balance in their life.
How did it help you through your journey?
First as a client, I can be quite stressed out and I have found in reflexology a place where my mind gets into a state of peace and my body deeply relaxes. Then as a reflexologist, I am glad to have developed a manual trade where my hands do the work with little input or involvement of my brain. It is also deeply gratifying to feel the soothing and relaxing effect on my clients, as well as the help it brings into their life. I must say I find fascinating to read the story of people in their feet and to be perhaps able to give them a little bit of support and their journey.
Who are the people that would benefit the most?
Almost everyone can benefit from a relaxing session from time to time. Of course people who have a medical condition and who would like to help their body to overcome this will find in reflexology a complementary approachto whatever treatment they are undergoing and that will help greatly the body to rebalance but as well to let theanxiety linked to any treatment fade away. More widely, reflexology can help to work on the beginning of imbalances, before they become a problem. As such, I believe it can play an important role to nip illnesses in the bud.
Is the effect immediate, or does it take effect only over time? How many treatments are normally required and what is the frequency of treatments?
There is normally an immediate effect of relaxation in the hours following the treatment. But beyond that, the rebalancing of the body may take several sessions at regular intervals. I personally try and have for myself one reflexology session a week (that’s the ideal, or every other week if not) to keep a good overall state. Prevention of illnesses through a healthy hygiene of life seems very sensible, and for me reflexology is one of the key ingredients together with a good diet, proper sleep and regular physical exercise.
Why is it now the right time of the year to receive reflexology treatments?
“Winter is coming” and with it its lot of colds and flus and others. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have your annual flu jab, particularly if you are more advanced in age, this is not for me to say. But giving a boost to your immune system through a 3-4 treatment course will certainly get your body stronger to resist to these seasonal ailmentsand overcome it more quickly and easily if you are subject to one of them.
What: What type of exercise do you do, how often?
Why: Why do you choose this type of exercise?
How well do you do to satisfy all of your Needs, Physical, Mental and Emotional?
At times we are in such a tough place that the only thing that makes us feel better, or keep us ‘fairly calm’ is to go for that ‘lung-busting run’, or perhaps that spinning class where we sweat and know that we have burnt 100’s of calories and keep our weight intact or still constantly fighting our battle to lose weight.
These classes are great and they do serve a purpose. We all love them. However when I am constantly tired or more to the point exhausted, when I am permanently fighting a little cold or a small injury – all signs that my immune system is battling or when I am constantly having a little ache or am fighting pain. Perhaps it is time to take a step back and be honest with myself: What do I choose to do for exercise and Why do I choose that particular exercise.
There are a 101 reasons, however I believe that we struggle to make the right choices with all the pressures we face these days. If my day is ruined because I have not burnt my x-amount of calories or I am constantly hindered by injuries then it is time to ‘STOP’. Take stock.
Start with what is most important: your immune system. How can you help your immunity to support you better?
Sleep: 7-9 hours every night.
Minimise pressures (stress): Have a Balance between being switched on in a focused way (low Beta) and quiet times (alpha). Day-dream and drift off to delve in your creativity and innate wisdom and sleep long enough to enter the phase of dreamless sleep – to enable your body to repair and to restore, thus maintaining a healthy brain condition and brain waves.
Nutrition: What do you eat ;when and why?
Broaden your attention and focus on a variety of things, be aware of the bigger picture. Spread your wings and seek what is interesting and varied. You need to have more than one thing in your life that gets your attention. Workaholics all end up on one heap: It’s called exhaustion.
Exercise with purpose. Understand what you choose and feel confident that that choice is serving you and your body well. Treasure your health, do not destruct. No-one is indestructible.
SF Studios and all the people that work here, are fully committed to ‘Inspire Holistic Individual Health’ in a consistent, long-term manner. At times joint mobility should be a higher priority than calorie-burning, some-times a slower-paced class is more conducive to learning than a fast, pumped up class with loud music….. and yes, at times it feels damn good to give a punch-bag a great punch. We love the punches too, we just know that we need to deserve to punch as we need to land and absorb them safely and confidently. We need to do our ground work consistently: That is ultimately what keeps us safe and our immune systems balances in the long-run.
Start at the right place, give yourself adequate time, nothing happens overnight and not even in 3 months… However a year or perhaps even longer dedication might serve you for the rest of your life. Play and Compete without being Hurt. Play and Compete with real Confidence and proper Technique. Enjoy what you do, exercise is not meant to be a survival tool to combat all the other negatives in your life.
Our patient journey, which starts with a comprehensive assessment is there to ensure that we put you on the right path. You will either start with one-to-one sessions, or you would be able to enter a ‘therapy class’ (these are small classes of up to 4 people to help people when they start and when they are unfamiliar to movements or perhaps scared). Or you would be placed in the right class to suit your specific needs. Start well. End well.
I was born in South Africa, where it is part of the Afrikaner culture that giving your word is a real commitment and sign of respect, both to yourself and to others. Your word is your honor. To break your word, and so your promise, is the last thing in the world you would do, in fact it is inconceivable.
‘Giving your word’ can refer to so many things, for example, borrowing money or a pen and telling the other person that you will return it, or telling someone that you will meet them at a certain time and place (can you remember those days before mobile phones?) or promising that you will ‘back them up’, ‘stand up for them’, do your homework, or honor your side of any given agreement. I could go on.
I go about mylife these days and I find myself pondering about “I give you my word.” Is there still such a thing as “my word?“
Does it have the same meaning and importance in today’s world? Do people even realise, or have any sense of guilt when they break their word, thus breaking their commitment or promise to themselves and toot hers?”
Keeping my word in my career:
My job entails many responsibilities. I treat patients and promise to write to their referring specialists, in order to recap the session, or to send them their home exercises, etc. These are big promises and when I make them I am usually in a one on one setting with my clients. They have my full attention, as well as my time. When I make these promises, I say it out loud, because I know if I say I will do something, “I have to do it” - I cannot opt out. This act of making a deliberate promise to myself is my way of forcing me to be diligent and I always set a deadline for delivering it. So many times things would come up: I can forget, I have over-committed myself, or I end up working over the week-end, late at night, etc., I may not be in the mood, or perhaps I’m too tired or too foggy to do it… There are a thousand reasons that can get in the way.
This made me realise that I have to be very cautious when I make a promise. I must really value the person. I must be willing to put in the effort and take time out to do so and I must believe in the importance of the commitment.
This brings me to the other side of the equation. Making a promise usually entails two or more parties (except if the promise is to yourself, which I will come to later). Imagine that I made the effort to set a programme, (this used to happen quite often) and then send it to my client and then my client comes to the next session and announces that they did not receive the programme, or did not have time to open it. Or that they have not had time to do the exercises. Can you imagine how that makes me feel? Can you see how such a lack of commitment can break down a valuable session. It is not only a cost to me, but also costs my client £119, as well as their time!
I have ended up on the wrong side of this equation too many times. I don’t want to be annoyed with my clients and resent them for wasting my time - so I now enter agreements very cautiously.
Do we both believe in ‘keeping our word’? Do we share the importance of aligning word and deed? I now enter each step of the process with an agreement. I take into consideration whether my clients want a programme in the first place, whether they are absolutely committed to doing their home exercises, if not we simply agree not to send them any programmes - without putting them on the spot. Sometimes we agree that they will go home and make notes of what they have understood from the session and to either email me or to bring their notes back to the next session.
Entering any empowering therapy session, physical or mental, requires effort and commitment. It is important that people give their word and keep it.
I am only a human being. When I am under a lot of pressure I know that I can forget something. Under these circumstances I tread more cautiously. I set-up reminders on my phone. I ask my team to help me be accountable and most importantly I ask my client to keep me informed and let me know within 48 hours if they have not received anything from me and, if so, to notify me at once.
Keeping my word to my clients and for my clients to keep their word to me, forms the basis of all my commitments: to be able to meet expectations, to achieve results on both sides – client and therapist. I am a firm believer in setting a standard of conduct from the very first session.
Keeping my word with my family and friends.
My amazing brother, whom I love dearly, is probably the worst time keeper in the world. This inability to be on time, has been with him since childhood and has impacted on my life, my two sisters’ life and my parent’s life, for as long as I can remember.
I have clear memories of sitting in a car in the mornings, on our way to school, hearing my father honking away, my mother yelling and of me getting out of the car and yelling even harder than my mother! This did not happen just once, but all the time and it lasted for the remainder of my school years. My brother, simply could not be on time.
Then I moved to London where I lived by myself. I had to get myself to my appointments on time. It caused me so much stress to be late or even ‘just managing to be on time’. I soon realised that there was absolutely no point dripping with sweat, or having a perspiring forehead or a clinging, sticky shirt for the rest of the day, so I started to be punctual and take my time. I opted to read or have a coffee, and familiarize myself with my environment. Then then I started to realise who of my friends, colleagues, clients are late and guess what, it’s always the same ones…. And yes, I do note the perspiration on their foreheads, the clammy shirts, the hasty movements, the lack of breath and I silently smile and say ‘thank you’. Thank you for making me commit and promise myself I would always be on time.
I communicated the importance of time keeping to my brother and told him how I felt about people disrespecting my time when they are late. There is always a time when things get really out of control, however that is the not the norm and not a ‘weekly occurrence!’ I told him it was very important to me and that when we make a date to meet, I expected him to be on time – no matter what. I also agreed to give him a 5-minute leeway, but after that I would leave.
This was one hell of a promise to make, as being rejected by my brother would hurt me very much even now. Also, bear in mind that I have grown up with my brother, he’s my best mate, and we’ve always bailed each other out…
It was December, a Friday night, I was working late. I had to book a taxi directly after work (I gave myself 25 minutes to get ready and have a shower) to take me from Hampstead to Notting Hill Gate. I had booked a lovely restaurant for dinner and I wanted to say good-bye to him before I departed on my holiday over Christmas and New Year.
I got in the taxi, was just about dry and controlling my breath. I tried to put the day behind me and was looking forward to seeing my brother. I remember that I had a nervous feeling of anticipation. It started snowing and the world slowly turned whiter and whiter. As soon as I got to my destination, I got out of the taxi. I ran to the tube station where I had agreed to meet him. I went inside for shelter and waited … the 5 minutes were up… I walked back outside to see if he had called me or if we had missed one another. By now 6 minutes had passed. It was my word to myself and my word to my brother versus a great night out for Christmas. Shit, to say the least!
I remember having an ‘out of body experience.’ I could see my feet moving down the stairs into the tube station. I could feel the tears running down my cheeks and the anger and heat in my face and body. The fury, disguised my profound disappointment, sadness and fear. I think I must have walked really slowly, desperately hoping I would bump into him, I don’t remember anything of the rest of the journey back home - to this day it is a total blank.
That was such a hard thing to do and that incident must have beenten years ago now. My brother was furious with me and was full of all kinds of excuses why he was late…. however.
Since then, my brother has never been late for any of our appointments. In fact he says that he used to have an attack of diarrhea every time he had to meet me, so he madesure he was always at least 30 minutes early. After that incident, I do not think that there will ever be another occasion in our lives when we will not keep our word to one another.
This story might sound like an over exaggeration, a hefty penalty for a very small sin, however it was not that night that mattered, it was a life-time of future nights that did.
Professional people making a promise to me:
I recently had a profound experience. I was being treated by a wonderful, very grounded woman and felt very safe in such a daunting and intimate situation. It took me a long time to pluck-up the courage to go for this specific treatment and I am very glad that I did. I benefited right away and am still benefiting three days later. The only sad thing about my encounter with this lovely person, was that she promised to write me an email within 2 days of my appointment to find out how I was getting on, so she could decide whether to schedule a follow-up treatment. It is now day 6 and I have not yet received an email from her. I am hoping to hear from her in the next few days, fingers tightly crossed, because right now I need to overcome my disappointment, but if she does not email me by then, I am afraid that that would be the end of the line with her. I have to stand by promise to myself. If you give me your word, then you have to keep it. If you cannot trust yourself to keep it then ask me to keep you accountable for keeping it.
I truly believe that in life, all relationships – whether professional or personal - would be so much better if we keep our word. When we promise something and act with integrity, we keep our words and deeds aligned.
And please, when you bump into me on the road, do not say to me that you will call me, just to be polite, without really meaning it. We all live busy lives and get carried away by the moment, however do take one step back, take a breath when you make a promise, whether to me or to anyone else. That will help us all to make less promises and put less stress on ourselves.
A promise to myself:
We all make promises to ourselves, every year, every month, every week and every day. I for example would promise myself that I would run three times this coming week. When I make the promise to myself I fully intend to honor my word, however the week then commences and guess what; I have too much work, I end up working exceptionally long days, I end up being too exhausted to even put my trainers on, never mind think of a run!
Another of my favorites is to promise myself that I would go the whole week T-total – no alcohol. Guess what, the week starts and I have a stressful day, or a friend calls me out of the blue that I have not seen in a long time - and we would love to have a drink together and of course it is a very special occasion as we have not seen one another in ages. Alternatively it is a particularly cold day, or my husband fancies a drink and lures me in to having a drink with him, as one drink will not make any difference…
Can you see how quickly it is to ‘slip’ or to ‘fall’ down a slippery slope. Before you know it you are back in your old spiral of ‘valid excuses’, ‘justifying your actions’ and postponing your commitments until next week.
We all have friends that are permanently on a detox, that are permanently going to lose weight, that is always about to start a training regime, give up smoking, whatever it is….. at one point we all get to that point where we no longer pay attention. We have to safe-guard ourselves and our own expectations. Be careful, I am speaking about myself before I speak about anyone else. Do not become one of those empty vessels and if you do, start to change your tune, by simply staying quiet, reflecting, thinking. Consider your pitfalls and decide how to avoid them by starting to implement realistic goals so you can keep your promises and so build credits of integrity for yourself while slowly extending that to your friends, family, community and life itself.
Whatever you say and do, think what you put out there. It can be so meaningful and yet so easily demeaning. Leave foot prints of integrity behind you and surround yourself with people that do care about the meaning of ‘keeping your word.’
Travelling through Uganda a week ago, presented me with a lot of time to reflect. Being fully immersed in my surroundings (which would be classified as very harsh and arduous in our western terms) brought a few home truths to me.
As I have found myself in this place of ‘no rushing’, ‘being calm’ with ‘lowered expectations’ I ask myself the question, as I want to be realistic in my own life: ‘How long will this insight of mine last?”
Back in London, walking through South End Green, up Pond Street past the hospital on my left, I was immediately aware of the amount of concrete, people with their faces buried in their phones, bumper-to- bumper traffic with fumes up my nostrils - even in August; I was filled with sadness and I did not enjoy the walk at all.
I longed to be on the dusty, very bumpy, incredibly uncomfortable road in Uganda, immersed in dust and surrounded by jungle. Looking out to see people carrying water, bananas, wood or coal and pushing their pedal bikes, if they were lucky enough to have such a sophisticated transporter. The roads frequently are too steep and difficult to pedal, the push bikes are mostly used to transport cargo for miles.
The Ugandans are the friendliest people I have come across in a long time, I never experienced or observed any form of aggression or violence, no one was ever shouting; I only experienced and observed patience, kindness and content communication. Everyone made eye contact and one was generally greeted with a beautiful white smile and a wave of a hand.
I saw no over-weight person, nor a cripple, nor any physically deformed individual – perhaps I was just very lucky. Even the toddlers walk and carry small buckets of water on their head. One learns from an early age that one is part of a bigger system and everyone has to share the load. The people walk upright with strong postures, they bend easily, they work the fields with grace and ease. Everyone squats, from old to young. They gaze, they chat, they play with self-made balls in the streets or on the fields. To see body movement with such elegance, from old to young, hit a chord with me.
What is life about? I wonder. What do I do as an individual for a meaningful life and what is meaningful at the end of a day? To keep on expanding, gathering, ‘self-enhancing’, seeing more places.... or making sure one has enough food and water on a daily basis to feed one’s family, to spend time with one`s family each day and to work one’s little piece of land. Maybe I should strive for some place in the middle.
I was astounded by my own excesses once I have returned to London, I don’t have one plant to water, I have hundreds.... We ordered an Indian take-away for my first night, (a usual routine after having been away on holiday). The amount and variety of food on the table made me laugh and then I was shocked, the number of flavours in one bite.... all over- whelming and my stomach suffered for the first time in 10 days. I experienced the sensation of having eaten too much. I was disgusted. It was simply just wrong. I did not need that much. Was I over-whelmed by the variety and excessive amounts available? What made me over-eat?
In Uganda I had a choice of two meals for dinner, there were one vegetarian and one meat option. I always chose the vegetarian. I had daily chats with guides, trackers, locals and they informed me that they live on 1⁄2 a sweet potato for lunch, an Irish potato and perhaps some peas or nuts for dinner. Meat, usually stewed beef with tomatoes and peppers, is saved for Easter and Christmas and when a very special friend visits from afar.
I went to Uganda for two reasons. It was a trip to see the mountain gorillas for my mum’s 70th birthday. (This item ‘Gorillas’ was high on her bucket list). It took me 22 hours x2 of travel to get to Entebbe and back via Dubai. It took three days of travel by road in an uncomfortable, rattling, dusty Jeep to complete our itinerary. One bounced up and down, side-to-side constantly and one could find no rhythm whatsoever. Some things in life, one has to experience oneself, no explanation will do justice. Those trips presented me with: an Opportunity to practice patience. Time to think. Time to gaze. Time to gain perspective.
Nothing that is truly wonderful and special comes easy, and nor should it. One has to be prepared to do the extra yards (or miles), literally.
However, meeting those creatures in a jungle after 3-hours of a track was worth every mile, every bump all the swallows of dust.
The gorillas were much shorter in the leg than in the movies, they are strong and mobile. We were particularly lucky as it was the dry season in Uganda and browsing was difficult, they had to travel far for food daily and rests were needed. We caught them in their napping time in a fairly open area.
They stretched regularly, they changed position ‘in bed’, they yawned, sneezed, snored and snoozed. They gazed as if in wonder. They played with themselves, with one another and with little twigs which they chewed on and waved. Some were more restful than others. The silverback raised his arms once and made a sound when the little ones irritated him. They scrambled very quickly into a cranny. They slept next to one another, rested their heads, arms and legs on one another and some preferred their own space.
They did not smell like an animal to me, they smelled like a very dirty person who had not had a shower in 3 weeks and had plenty of intensive work-outs. The odour, however, was musty, rather than overwhelming.
My favourite picture is the one of Rafiki (which means friend), the leader of the group of 14, stretched out, one foot stretched into a bifurcation, looking upwards to the sky.
I will remember the soles of their feet, their nipples – identical to those of human beings, their hands and fingers, the funny big toe resembling a thumb to enable them to use their feet like hands. The thumbs on their hands are also very short as long thumbs will get in the way when they swing from tree to tree, called branching.
Back to the studio, back to Autumn. The time of year when leaves fall, things slow down and trees prepare themselves for winter, shielded by their coat of bark. This Autumn I want to take things slower, I want to do less, drink less, eat less – never have I said ‘nothing or zero or stop’, nordid I say ‘everyday, intensive, hard, fast’.... I want to be realistic daily, weekly, I want a balanced, overall approach to my whole life. I want to be present when I eat, train, walk, read, talk. I want to stop doing 2-5 things at one time.
I am going to set small goals, to keep me on track and to help me prioritise better, as this city called London, is a jungle full of opportunities and options that bombard us every day from every angle. We get persuaded so easily by ourselves and by others. I hope to keep on reminding myself of my incentives and my promise to myself to slow down and to be present.
For training; The Ladder Approach: One step at a time; ladders go down, they stay still and they go up, it is not a one-way traffic upwards – don’t fool yourself. Try to gain perspective from your position on the ladder and learn and gain from each step. There is no rush and I promise you there is no end destination. All you get when you reach the top of this ladder is another ladder. The higher you aim, potentially the bigger your fall. Yet, horizons also broaden when you have gained some height. What does make sense then in your life?
For being; I want to be creative this Autumn, I want one project, it is either going to be photography or painting. I will commit to one on the 30th of September 2018.
For business; For the family; For friends: For dancing; Etc.
Many insights were revealed during our ‘Catch That Fall’ Retreat – June 2018. A few of them are still very fresh in my mind. Mr Stolzenberg confessed at the end that he always had a ‘zero-to-hero’ approach and he always got injured. He thought that if he did one class a week that he would get strong and flexible. He realised how wrong he was and he realised how much work one has to put in, however hard it is at times, it will be possible. It takes a lot of dedication but the onus is on you, it is you that have to put in the work, no-one else can do it for you.
Mrs Utting said that she did not wish for anyone to suffer, however, it was comforting to know that other people suffer too from pain and discomforts. That we all have our own issues and that we have to deal with them and mostly we can.
I hope to inspire you to be kinder to yourself about your self- expectation, I want you to take a little bit of time and really think what matters in your life. Take one step back. Do one thing fewer. Do it properly. Be authentic in your choice(s) for your life. Assume accountability, put in the work and stop blaming ‘having no time’, ‘having too much work’, ‘being too tired’ ......... start and commit to something small, one step at a time and enjoy it.
I am not dependent on exercise/movement/connection for my survival, however, I fully know that I derive so much more meaning, joy and contentment when I do move, am creative and have proper connections with people daily.
I wish you all a wonderful Autumn. Do choose from our SFS Menu what will enhance your life holistically. There is enough on the list to offer you a meaningful choice, perhaps choose something that you always secretly wanted to do, however never felt ready or good enough to do.
Look out for the colour in the leaves when they “autumnize” be one of those beautiful white smiles that greet people with your eyes and when you can avoid walking up Pond Street in traffic!
“One thing that SF Studios has instilled in me is that I am “normal” and need not be scared to use my body”
I was first introduced to Suz at SF Studios by my back surgeon, who had operated on me 9 years ago.
Since the operation, my back always gave me pain which rarely dissipated. Two years ago, I was diagnosed with herniated discs in my lumbar spine, my neck (together with a cyst on the disc in my neck) and, most worryingly, a herniated disc in my thoracic spine. This last herniation was impinging on my spinal cord and I was told that it could lead to paralysis in my legs. It also gave me constant excruciating pain in my ribs and referred nerve pain in my shoulders.
I was reluctant to see another “physiotherapist” as I had seen so many who had failed to help. It was frustrating just lying on a bed being treated with a bit of massage once a week and never benefitting from any long-term relief. I was taking paracetamol every 4 hours, anti-inflammatories every morning and tramadol every evening, but still had interrupted sleep due to the pains in my ribs and shoulders. However, my surgeon thought I would really benefit from seeing Suz so I arranged to have a session in around March 2017.
Since my first session with Suz, I have never looked back! I began with some one-to-one session. Suz started with a thorough holistic assessment and asked me about my whole life, not just my spine. She also assessed my movements and she palpated every joint in my body and tested the movements. She explained to me her finding and assured me that we could do a lot to help me, however, that she was going to teach me how to move and she said that her aim was to ‘see the movement as my friend and not my enemy’. This approach helped me gain confidence and work on my strengths. Rather than being negative and telling me what I couldn’t do, Suz was incredibly positive and made me feel like I could and would get stronger and stronger. She affirmed my strengths and values as a whole person.
Suz nudged me gently, however with strong intention….. and I finally felt confident enough to join the movement classes. I have met some lovely, supportive and fun people! I also started working with Marco who although works on the same principles of movement as Suz. His Movement Conditioning Classes (MC Classes) focus on strength and varies the movement and focus each week. It keeps the classes interesting and enjoyable (and it’s great to sweat!).
I’ve also attended some of the weekend workshops which complement the weekly classes with information and insight into how your body works and how you can improve things like breathing. I can now hang on the ladders like a monkey and pull myself up. I can plank like I’ve never planked before! If someone had told me that I would be doing such things two years ago, I would have laughed!
One thing that SF Studios has instilled in me is that I am “normal” and need not be scared to use my body. I was always scared that I could not exercise like other people since my back was weak and prone to problems. I now know this to be untrue and am able to do as much, if not more, than any “normal” person with no back problems.
I rarely take painkillers anymore and feel strong and happy when I’m moving with Suz and Marco. I even went on the retreat to France with Suz and Ginny in June and had a life-changing experience, forming fantastic friendships with people who share a love of movement and becoming stronger both physically and mentally.
I enjoy going to SF Studios a couple of times a week and relish the holistic approach to movement and mental happiness. It is a calm and positive place where you are encouraged to work to your strengths rather than dwell on your weaknesses. Suz and her team are so friendly and I always walk away feeling refreshed and prepared to take on the rest of my week!
“More than anything else, I want to empower each and every individual that crosses my path, to remind them what a beautiful strong person they are and what they are capable of”.
You attend Suz and Marco’s classes, can you explain me the difference between the two methods?
It’s a given that both Suz and Marco are 100% dedicated to the fundamentals of their practice. 100% appreciated by me. Given this shared commitment to detail. I would say Marco is more routinely focused on the bricks and blocks- The chords. Suz is more instructive; improvises; more into me flow/movement, while on top of detail.
What do you expect from them?
With Suz – expect the unexpected high energy, fun, an ability to connect and engage on a personal level with everyone. A full assessment of your place, your being.
With Marco – it is my M.O.B. I know what to expect – value his work highly as a comfort point to Suz. Both methods speak to each other/blend.
Why do you need both of them (class with Marco and 1:1 with Suz)?
Great to combine 1 :1 with classes – different dynamic, perspective. Appreciate strength with Marco. Sense of ongoing development and settings sights and goals and possibilities with Suz. Back to base, being grinded with Marco. Enjoy my week immensely with Suz.
Marco is technique, movement conditioning. Suz is movement, feeling, flow.