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Losing My Identity: Sally Brampton

Losing My Identity: Sally Brampton

Quite recently, I lost my identity, which sounds rather careless given that I hadn't, until some days had passed, realised it was missing. It started with a phone call, one sunny morning. Something I had loved, and had spent years involved with in happy occupation, was taken away. It took all of three minutes. I put down the phone and looked around the room. Nothing had changed. Everything was still in its place. But everything had changed. Once I had dusted myself down, I shrugged and thought, "Well, that's that. Time to move on." I didn't take it...
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The Beautiful Game and Depression

The Beautiful Game and Depression

Footballer Gary Speed, former captain-turned-manager of the Welsh national team, had movie star looks, a million pound mansion, a beautiful young wife and two sports-obsessed sons. He seemed to have the world at his feet. But three years ago he took his own life after an embittered battle with depression. With the World Cup in Brazil only days away it is easy to cloak our footballers with the super human strength of gladiators in Ancient Rome. However when the arena clears and the applause dies away, cases like Speed’s are sadly far from rare. A study carried out by...
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Learning to Grieve

Learning to Grieve

No-one wants to grieve. I remember a moment at the hospital with my husband, who had collapsed that morning with what turned out to be a brain haemorrhage. Things were going from bad to worse, and then worse again; it was becoming clear that he might not survive. My mind rebelled, in advance, against what I knew I might have to go through – the shock, the sadness, the painful work of rebuilding my life. It felt completely daunting and I simply did not want it to start. Grieving is about coming to terms with loss and change, and we humans are creatures of habit. We...
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Deep Tissue and Trigger Point Massage

Deep Tissue and Trigger Point Massage

If you suffer from muscle tension and pain, caused by posture, sports or injury, deep tissue and trigger point massage is the place to go. The massage is stronger than average and can help with: Chronic muscle tension Recovering from injury Carpal Tunnel Muscle spasm Chronic headaches Muscle strain Though used separately, the two complementary massage styles are often used together to get a deep release. What happens in a session? Your therapist asks you to fill in the usual client questionnaire, covering questions about the...
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How Mid-life Changed My Relationship with Exercise

How Mid-life Changed My Relationship with Exercise

I was the classic bookish school girl who hated PE. One of my earliest memories is of watching my primary school sports day from the tiny window of the locked loo cubicle where I’d hidden myself. I loathed the cold. I was mortified by  ‘cross country’ running round the local housing estate in red knickers. I was baffled by the fact that despite my scrawny build and long legs, I couldn’t run fast. And, oh yes, that I was so uncoordinated that when it was time for the scary, sporty girls to pick teams, I was actually offered to the opposing side. In fact, those...
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Floating: Technologically Assisted Mindfulness

Floating: Technologically Assisted Mindfulness

When is the last time you did absolutely nothing for two hours? I’m not talking about lolling on the couch on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I’m talking about doing nothing - minimising distractions to the degree that all you are left with is your own mind. This can be achieved through “Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy” (REST) – in short, what happens when you immerse yourself in a flotation tank. In a previous post I spoke about how technology can get in the way of mindfulness. But what if technology might also offer us a quicker and more direct experience of...
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Boarding School Survivors

Boarding School Survivors

“Are we going to be head of rugby?” a well-dressed mother self-consciously jokes with another. They stand by their BMWs in the forecourt of a prep school accepting their tiny sons for the first time. Trunks have been carried in, housemasters have made brisk reassuring comments, and the ‘settling in period’ has begun. There are no tears. The scene comes from a BBC 40 Minutes documentary, made 20 years ago, called The Making of Them, in which young boarders were discreetly filmed over their first few weeks at prep school. It is available on YouTube, but careful: it...
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Intuition: Unlock the Power

Intuition: Unlock the Power

Philosophers and scientists have endeavored to understand intuition for thousands of years, and many of the great spiritual leaders have talked about intuition. Psychotherapist Carl Jung classified our experience into thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition, and he described intuition as being like a ‘compass’ in life. Intuition also involves the input of nerve networks around the heart and gut. Modern psychology and neuroscience has identified that the non-dominant part of the brain (your right brain if you are right handed) is the site of visual,...
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Bowen Technique

Bowen Technique

Bowen is a unique treatment that treats all kinds of musculoskeletal issues, both acute and chronic for example injuries like: Whiplash Repetitive strain injury Frozen shoulder Less well known is that it is also effective for a wide range of conditions where stress is a factor: Depression Ulcerative colitis Eczema Psoriasis Improving the quality of life for those suffering terminal illness. Bowen is not really a massage treatment as such, but it is included here because it is a gentle and relaxing way of...
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Sometimes Therapy Goes Wrong

Sometimes Therapy Goes Wrong

The course of true therapy may not always run smooth. Conflicts and ill feelings can arise just the same as elsewhere – therapists can offend, get things wrong, be clumsy or annoying as well as others. Like others too, they can also be unprofessional, unethical and even, it's tough to think, criminal. It may be that your therapist hasn't done anything 'wrong' as such, but you just feel as if you aren't getting anywhere or you have a vague and repeated sense of unease in the consulting room. Therapy works best if you are able to be as open and honest about any...
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