Aromatherapy and Meditation

Two of my favourite ways to manage my mental and emotional health is aromatherapy and meditation. Aromatherapy is the use of specific oils from plants for physical, mental and emotional health. Guided meditation is a practice of breathing and body relaxation along with visualisation to help develop relaxation skills for physical, mental and emotional health.

Aromatherapy inhalation is the best way for the chemistry of the essential oil to enter the body and bring it’s many benefits. Aroma anchoring is a way of connecting particular aromas to a relaxing feeling. Anchoring is a method of training the brain to associate a particular aroma with relaxation. Some people feel relaxed when they smell lavender. Others feel relaxed when they smell roman chamomile, tea tree, lemon or marjoram. There are so many oils to choose from depending on individual tastes.

In my upcoming six week aromatic meditation course with I will guide participants through a breathing and body visualisation, followed by a guided reflection on the way each essential oil helps support us, mentally, emotionally and energetically. The essential oils that will be covered on the 6-week block of classes are Peppermint, Juniper, Orange, Basil, Grapefruit and Cypress. Participants also receive an aroma-inhaler, choosing one of three blends. This inhaler can use anytime you need a boost.

For more information and to book on a place on this meditation group, contact Tracy from Relax From Stress Holistic Centre on 086-2202734 or visit http://www.relaxfromstress.ie.

Published in the Connaught Telegraph newspaper on 31 October 2017


Understanding Awareness

Awareness can be such a buzz word, but what does it actually mean? The dictionary definition of awareness is “knowledge that something exists, or understanding of a situation or subject at the present time based on information or experience”.

We learn to understand our wants, needs and motivations by using awareness. For example, in 2011 when I was getting recurrent chest infections, I realised that it was caused by stressful, grief related shallow breathing. By breathing properly into my belly, and my managing stress, As well as going to the doctor, the recurrent chest infections stopped.

Awareness means questioning your behaviours and reactions to situations. When you have a sugar craving, it’s asking yourself a few questions. Why do I need a sugar high? What am I trying to emotionally numb? Is there a better way to deal with this feeling?

Awareness can be brought to relationships, work, money and health. Through awareness, you’re looking at sources of joy and seeing how those sources can be built on for the future. You’re also looking at sources of tension, and seeing how you can stop experiencing that tension in the future.

Awareness, rather than burying our head in the sand, helps things to pass. Through awareness we identify how we need help and support to face what’s going on in our lives.

For stress management and mental health support contact Tracy Fitzgerald from Relax From Stress Holistic Cente on 0862202734 or visit http://www.relaxfromstress.ie

Published in the Connaught Telegraph newspaper on 24 October 2017


Minding Ourselves At Work

Work is somewhere we spend anywhere from 20 to 60 hours at, depending on the job. Keeping this in mind, it’s so important to make sure we mind our mind at work. What goes on at work can affect our lives at home. With modern technology, there’s often so split between work and home life.

Workloads, workplace relations, or office politics can take its toll on mental health. Often people who come to me for Kundalini Yoga, Indian Head Massage or Reiki are trying to manage the stress of the workplace. Preventative care, or minding ourselves while we’re healthy, is a something that needs to be practiced more often. There are some steps we can take personally to mind our mental health at work.

1.Take personal responsibility for your work-life balance. Speak up when work expectations and demands are too much so employers can address them.
2.Take proper lunch and tea, trying to get out of the workplace if possible.
3.Try to draw a line between work and home. If you do need to bring work home, try to keep your work in a certain area of your home where you can close the door on it.
4.Develop protective strategies against poor mental health due to work such as exercise, regular therapies, walks, leisure activities and friendships.

To find out more about how Indian Head Massage, Reiki and Yoga can help mind your mind, visit http://www.relaxfromstress.ie, contact Tracy on 086-2202734 or email tracy@relaxfromstress.ie.

Published in the Connaught Telegraph newspaper on 17 October 2017


Practicing Deep Relaxation

This week in my yoga classes I taught a yoga set called “Kriya to Throw Off Stress”. It was so badly needed. Every day our brain and nervous system are reacting and responding to all the internal and external things that are happening. Our brain is constantly on the look out for danger. In this mode the sympathetic part of the nervous system is activated. On a regular basis, our body and mind needs effective relaxation to activate the parasympathetic nervous system so our body and mind can take a break, get some much needed repair and healing done so we can continue coping with our busy lives.
So how do we activate the parasympathetic nervous system so our body and mind can repair and heal? We do this with restorative yoga sets, relaxing Reiki, massage or reflexology sessions, a gentle walk on a beach or quiet country walk, a relaxing Epson Salt bath, listening to free guided meditations on Spotify or YouTube or listening to gentle music. It needs to be enjoyable, affordable and enjoyable!
When we relax deeply, we sleep better, have more energy, are calmer, are easier to be around, can focus better and we enjoy life more! So what can you start trying weekly to help your parasympathetic nervous system to activate?

For stress management and mental health contact Tracy from Relax From Stress Holistic Centre on 086-2202734 or visit http://www.relaxfromstress.ie.

Published in the Connaught Telegraph newspaper on 10 October 2017.


An Introduction To the Chakra System

One way of working with our body and mind is the Chakra System. The Chakra System represents different parts of our body and mind. It is a useful guide for helping us to understand and heal ourselves. It’s a way for us to take responsibility for our own wellbeing.

Many healing systems work with the Chakra System to bring balance into our body. Yoga, Reiki, colour healing, meditation and many other modalities work with the chakras.

The chakra system provides us with a way of understanding individual challenges as well as ways to heal or change.   Working on the chakras can lead to new ways of thinking and to emotional understanding and expression.   

The chakra system can be used to understand and treat various life challenges.  No matter who you are or what challenges you face, the chakra system can assist in your growth and healing.

When we work with the chakras for healing, we are looking to bring balance into our lives. Balancing chakras happens with yoga, energy healing, crystals, affirmations, meditations, journaling and many other ways. Balancing the chakras may need to be done regularly. Just like we need to wash our body regular to stay clean, our chakras need work to stay balanced.

There are 7 chakras plus the aura. In Kundalini Yoga the aura is seen as the 8th chakra. Here’s a description  of the 7 chakras:

Chakra 1: Root Chakra represents our connection with earth and is associated with the colour red. It’s located at the base of the spine. Issues linked to the root chakra include survival, trust, prosperity, roots, grounding, health, home, family, appropriate boundaries. It’s about our right to be here.

Chakra 2: Sacral Chakra represents water and is associated with the colour orange. It’s located in the lower abdomen. Sacral chakra issues include pleasure, sexuality, emotions, movement, desire, need, sensation. Its about our right to feel.

Chakra 3: Solar Plexus Chakra represents our inner fire and is associated with the colour yellow. It’s located in the upper abdomen. Solar Plexus issues include Energy, activity, autonomy, individuation, will, self-esteem, proactivity, power. It’s about our right to act.

Chakra 4: Heart Chakra represents air and is associated with the colour green. It’s located at our heart centre. Issues connected to the heart include Love, balance, self-love, relationship, devotion, reaching out and taking in. It’s about our right to love.

Chakra 5: Throat Chakra is associated with the colour blue. It’s located at the throat. Issues connected to the throat chakra include Issues: Communication, creativity, listening, finding one’s own voice. Its about our right to speak.

Chakra 6: Third Eye Chakra is associated with the colour indigo or violet. It’s located between the eyebrows. Third Eye issues include intuition, imagination, image, visualization, insight, dreams, vision. Its about our right to see.

Chakra 7: Crown Chakra is located at the top of the head. It’s colour is white or purple. The Crown Chakra is connected with transcendence, immanence, belief systems, higher power, divinity, union, vision. It’s about our right to know.

There’s a lot to the Chakra System and this really is a very brief introduction. I highly recommend books by Anodea Judith to help you understand the Chakra System. There are many websites with excellent information on the Chakra System. 

I use the Chakra System as a tool for healing. By seeing it as a tool I can use, I take responsibility for my body and mind. I may not work with it for months, then sometimes I’ll come back to it so I can work through something.  Enjoy getting to know this part of yourself!


Sleeping To Mind Your Mind

When we have regular quality night’s sleep, our ability to manage the ups and downs of life is much greater. A good night’s sleep offers our body and mind a chance to switch off, recover, process and have dome downtime to heal.

Sleep boosts your mental health. It helps to make your memory sharper. Getting regular quality sleep puts you in a better mood. Quality sleep aids in decision making. We can focus on everyday tasks easier when we’ve had a good night’s sleep. Getting a good nights sleep helps clear your mind.

There are many ways to improve your quality of sleep. It’s all about finding an enjoyable one that helps you. Try switching off TV’s, phones and computers at least one hour before bed and listen to relaxing, enjoyable music or guided meditations. Get regular exercise well before bedtime to release stress. Eat a healthy diet so your body has the building blocks it needs to relax and repair during sleep. Get regular sessions of massage, Reiki, bio-energy, reflexology or any kind of therapy you enjoy that helps you relax. Make a to-do list or journal to declutter your mind before sleep. Make a gratitude list before bedtime of all the good from the day and go to sleep feeling positive.

For stress management and mental health contact Tracy from Relax From Stress Holistic Centre on 086-2202734 or visit http://www.relaxfromstress.ie.

Published in the Connaught Telegrah newspaper on 3 October 2017.