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The Spark Therapy Definitions

Here's a list of therapy definitions, many of which you will find advertised in our listings section.

Our list of definitions is not complete but we're working on it. Please let us know if you feel a definition is missing and you'd like to help.

Acupuncture

Fine needles inserted in specific points of the body to restore healthy energy flow

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical practice that is thought to be at least 2,500 years old. Energy flows through the body via the ‘meridians’, which are associated with different organs.
Acupuncture works by assessing the problem through study of the tongue and pulse, and discussion of symptoms, and then re-establishing the flow of energy by adjusting the ‘chi’ (flow) using very fine needles.
Acupuncture can be used with various problems such as addiction, migraines, digestive problems, asthma, pain, infertility and emotional stress. Clinical trials have proved acupuncture to be an effective treatment for headache, toothache, lower back pain and knee pain. It has also been used as a preventative measure.
Clothed? Depending where pain is, it might be clothed or unclothed.
Patient needs? No requirement for special equipment

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Alexander Technique

Re-education of the mind & body leading to more free & efficient movement

The Alexander Technique is about learning about how we are designed to move, to free oneself up mentally and physically, in order to think more clearly, have more control over reactions and move with more ease and grace.
Lessons are relaxed and informal and involve gentle manipulation, discussion of FM Alexander's ideas and principles, and looking at the way you use yourself in any activity. They are individually designed to allow you to learn how you can improve your thinking, your movement and your life in general.
The Alexander Technique can be taught to individuals or to groups and it’s often possible to have a free or low-cost introductory lesson. The next stage is to have an introductory course, often 10 or 12 lessons, to give you more of an idea of how you could help yourself. After that you can decide how often and for how long you want to carry on learning and improving.
Benefits reported include: lessening or disappearance of muscular tension; improvements in activities such as walking, standing, sitting at a desk, sports, playing instruments etc.; Improvements in relationships; more reasonable ways of interacting with other people; calmer life and better ways of dealing with stress; clearer thinking and planning.

Clothed? Yes but wear comfortable clothing
Patient Needs? Students don't need to bring anything.

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Anthroposophical medicine

Complementary holistic medicine practice founded by Rudolf Steiner

Anthroposophical medicine is a complementary medicine that integrates theories and practices of modern medicine with alternative, nature-based treatments. The holistic approach regards human wellness and illness as biographical events connected to the body, soul and spirit of the individual.
Anthroposophical medicine was founded in the 1920s and is based on Rudolf Steiner's concept that spiritual awareness is the foundation of individual health and of the health of society. Practitioners must be certified doctors to practise.
The Raphael Medical Centre in Kent is the UK’s only anthroposophic hospital.

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Aromatherapy

The use of natural plant oils to treat or heal, often using massage

Aromatherapy is the systematic use of volatile, naturally occurring plant oils, known as essential oils, for the treatment or prevention of disease. It treats the whole person and not just the symptom or disease by assisting the body's natural ability to balance, regulate, heal and maintain itself. The oils are believed to have curative or preventative effects.
Aromatherapy can involve the use of essential oils whilst bathing, in foot baths or compresses and through steam inhalation, vapourisers and burners or lotions, creams and shampoos. Perhaps the most widely used practice is whole body aromatherapy massage where the therapist and client will work together to decide an appropriate combination of oils.
Essential oils have been known to treat skin problems, indigestion, colds, asthma, depression, problems with the nervous system, tension, insomnia, emotional and mental problems.
Clothed? Depends on treatment. Unclothed for full aromatherapy massage.
Patient needs? No requirement for special equipment

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Arts Therapies

Using creative process as a tool to explore & develop the self through art-making, music or drama.

Arts therapy is the psychotherapeutic use of art-making within a professional relationship. It uses creative processes to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals. It is based on evidence that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behaviour, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight.
A wide range of people may benefit including those using adult mental health, prison or palliative care services. People with learning disabilities, children, young people and families may also find arts therapy approaches of value, as may people interested in furthering their personal development.
Arts Therapists must be registered with the Health Professions Council.
Art therapist and art psychotherapist are interchangeable titles.
British Association of Art Therapists www.baat.org
Association of Professional Music Therapists www.apmt.org
British Association of Dramatherapists www.badth.org.uk
(The Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy UK www.admt.org.uk are not currently HPC registered.)
Clothed? Yes
Patient needs? No requirement for special equipment

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Bowen Technique

Gentle rolling movements & pauses allowing the body to balance & re-align

The Bowen technique was developed by Tom Bowen and consists of a series of gentle moves on specific points on the body over certain muscles and/or nerves Touch is either directly on skin or through light clothing, with frequent pauses between moves giving the body time to benefit from each set. It aims to re-align and balance - practitioners treat the body as a whole or can target a specific problem, pinpointing stress build-up in muscle groups and then releasing it. A session usually lasts around forty five minutes and frequently results in a deep sense of relaxation, allowing the body to recharge and balance itself.
The client usually lies on a bed or treatment couch, although it is possible to be treated seated. A typical session takes place over 30 to 45 minutes.
Bowen can be effective for a range of condition including allergies; back, bladder or bowel problems; digestive or menstrual problems; fatigue; headaches (migraine, sinus); poor mobility; RSI; respiratory problems; skeletal and muscular problems; sports injuries; stress. Bowen therapy is suitable for all ages from new-born babies to the frail elderly, and for pregnant women.
Clothed? Light clothing or no clothing.
Patient needs? No requirement for special equipment

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Breath Therapy

A range of exercises using the breath to improve health & well-being

Breath therapy is an umbrella term covering a broad range of therapeutic approaches that emphasise the importance of breathing and its potential to affect human health, used to relieve stress and anxiety and improve physical, emotional, and mental health.
The range of different techniques can be used to correct breathing flaws, control energy, expand the lungs, and to induce relaxation. Practices that make use of breath therapy include forms of meditation, rhythmic breathing, Eastern spiritual techniques, yoga, qigong and t'ai chi.
Benefits also include enhanced energy and vitality, and increased flexibility. Breath therapies have also been used to treat a wide range of specific complaints, such as asthma, high blood pressure, headaches, and rheumatoid arthritis. Breathing exercises have helped some children avoid asthma attacks and improve lung function. Breathing therapy has been used to help reduce anger, exhaustion and hostility.
Clothed? Yes client remains clothed
Patient needs? No requirement for special equipment

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Buqi

Buqi (bu chi) is a system of energy healing using Tai chi forces

Buqi is an energy healing treatment system that has been developed from Chinese medicine and uses techniques that were almost lost.
The system is based on the theory that disease is caused by the build-up of pathogenic factors and toxic by-products. These pathogenic factors, known as Binqi, accumulate in the body, in particular in the inter-vertebral spaces, joints and organs. Negative emotions, such as stress, anger, fear and sadness, are another type of Binqi, and can affect the body's biochemistry. The accumulation of Binqi leads to blockages in organs, joints and the energy channels. The resulting dysfunction leads to impaired body fluid circulation (blood, lymph, intercellular and cerebrospinal fluid) and stagnation of energy flow. Thus we can become vulnerable to disease.
At the heart of a Buqi treatment is the healing force of the Dantian, an energy centre located in the lower abdomen. The dantian, when activated, can generate a strong internal force and it is this force that every Buqi practitioner must first learn to find and develop. During a Buqi treatment the practitioner activates their own energy system, creates an energy field around the patient, and then directs binqi out of the patient's body.
Buqi does not normally involve touch, and the practitioner may work a few inches or even feet away from the patient. Through exercise, the practitioner will develop the ability to direct energy by combining the use of mental force, breathing and dantian force. This not only clears the patient's energy system, but can also subtly re-align body posture.
Clothed? Treatments are clothed.

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Chiropractic

Realignment of the spine and other joints to relieve pain and improve health, posture and well-being

Chiropractors aim to maintain the good health of the spine and nervous system. They assess the patient's needs by taking a case history, making a physical examination, and sometimes taking x-rays. Treatment aims to improve range of movement to the joints of the spine, relax muscles and relieve pain. Realigning the spine allows the nervous system to function more fully, thus improving general health and wellbeing.
There are many techniques used by chiropractors. the most well know is the 'diversified' technique. This is where the joint is taken to the end of its normal range of movement and a measured force is applied. You may experience a popping sensation in your joints and hear a popping or cracking sound. It is thought this is caused by gas bubbles in the fluids that surround your joints and is a normal part of this type of spinal alignment. There are also many other techniques used by chiropractors. These generally include using their hands to release the muscles, bones and joints in and around your spine. They may use short controlled thrusts against a joint, gradual movement of joints through their normal range, soft tissue techniques such as massage, heat, ice and kneading, and pulling or stretching muscles. Techniques can feel quite strong, or almost imperceptible.
A treatment may last between 10-60 minutes, and generally a course will be prescribed to ensure maximum benefits are obtained.
Chiropractic is commonly used for musculoskeletal conditions (affecting the muscles, bones and joints), such as lower back pain, neck and shoulder pain, prolapsed discs and sciatica. Chiropractic has been show to be successful in the treatment of a wider range of other conditions, and chiropractors work on patients of all ages, including babies and during pregnancy.
Chiropractic medicine was originally practiced in the late 19th Century by Daniel Palmer, a schoolteacher turned healer. He discovered that ancient Egyptians had used spinal manipulation and began to develop his own methods.
Chiropractic treatment is appropriate most people, even if you have osteoporosis, cancer or any other condition. Your chiropractor will discuss this with you before deciding on treatment, and will refer you on if appropriate.
Clothed? Some chiropractors work through light clothing, and some may ask you to strip down to underwear. Your posture may be studied whilst standing, sitting and lying down.
Special requirements? No special equipment needed.

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Coaching

An active partnership between coach & client to work on personal/career growth & development

Coaching is a forward-looking collaboration between coach and client(s) with the aim of helping the client achieve better results faster. This may be in practical matters such as career path or self-organisation, as well as more personal, 'inner' issues such as confidence, life purpose or relating to others.
The International Coach Federation, an international body that regulates the coaching profession says: “Professional coaches provide an on-going partnership designed to help clients produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. Coaches help people improve their performance and enhance the quality of their lives. Coaches are trained to listen, to observe and to customize their approach to individual client needs. They seek to elicit solutions and strategies from the client; they believe the client is naturally creative and resourceful. The coach’s job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the client already has.“
Coaching is future-oriented and focuses on individual growth and development. Offering both support and challenge, it aims to help people clarify what they want, unstick themselves when they feel stuck, and help them meet the challenges along their chosen path. Coaching is not advising, telling or influencing; and though it might be therapeutic in its effect, it is not therapy or counselling.
Clothed? Yes & no special equipment needed.

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Colour Therapy

The use of colour to heal and re-balance

Colour therapy is a form of energy medicine which says that colours act on the body in certain ways, and can be used to stimulate energy systems, promote harmony between the body, mind and spirit, and promote healing where the body needs it. A Colour therapist helps you understand your needs for certain colours, and shows you how to use these colours in your daily life for healing, health, relaxation inspiration and protection. They will also offer a range of colour therapy treatments to balance energy, aid creativity and learning, release blocks and alleviate physical, emotional and mental pain.
Colour can be applied by various methods including directing coloured light on parts of the body using light boxes/lamps with colour filters; coloured silks; gem remedies and creative visualisation. The energy relating to each of the seven spectrum colours of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, resonates with the energy of each of the seven main chakras/energy centres of the body and allows re-balancing.
Also known as Chromotherapy
Clothed? Depending but mostly yes.
Patient needs? The therapist may ask you to wear light coloured or white clothes to your session or you may be asked to put on a white robe prior to your treatment.

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Constellations

Understanding & resolving past family or personal trauma that effect you now

Systemic Constellations originated in Germany in the late 1980′s as the work of Bert Hellinger, a psychotherapist, philosopher and teacher, drawing on many sources and traditions including Psychodrama, Family Reconstruction Therapy, Gestalt and Psychoanalysis.
Just as physical characteristics are passed down through families, the Constellations practitioner believes that emotional and psychological patterns can be inherited. Unresolved traumatic events in one generation can leave traces in closely bonded groups, such as families, that can have an effect across many generations, and can result in debilitating psychological, emotional and physical symptoms which seem to have no discernible cause.
In a Constellations workshop, after clarifying your current issue, group members are invited to represent family members or other relevant elements. The experiences of the representatives offer insight and resolution to the issue. Private Constellations sessions are also possible.
Clothed? Yes patient remains clothed
Patient needs? No requirement for special equipment

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Counselling & Psychotherapy

Talking therapies, often one-to-one, to restore or develop emotional well-being & mental good health

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Craniosacral Therapy

Very gentle manipulation of spine and skull releasing tension and blockages

The craniosacral technique works with the natural cranial rhythm, a subtle physiological rhythm that arises in the central nervous system and is transmitted through the body via the connective tissue. Ideally, this should move in a free way but can become blocked or restricted due to mental, physical and emotional imbalances. Gentle treatment on the head, spine and body tissues frees the flow of cerebro-spinal fluid, and this helps release tensions and encourages the body’s ability for self-healing.
A craniosacral therapy session involves the therapist placing their hands on the patient, which allows them to tune into the craniosacral rhythm. Through gently working with the spine, the skull and its cranial sutures, diaphragms, and fascia, restrictions of the nerve passages are eased, the movement of cerebrospinal fluid through the spinal cord is said to be optimized, and also the spine is able to return to a more balanced position.. The client usually lies (or sometimes sits) fully-clothed on a treatment couch. The therapist makes contact by placing their hands lightly on the client’s body.
Craniosacral therapy developed from the work of an American osteopath, Dr William Sutherland in the early 1900s.
Craniosacral therapists work with those who have suffered head injuries and babies who’ve suffered difficult births (symptoms can manifest in ear infections, squints and sinusitis). It can also be helpful for mental stress, neck and back pain, TMJ, migraines and chronic pain.
Clothed? Yes patient remains clothed
Patient needs? No requirement for special equipment

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Dance Movement Psychotherapy

Use of creative movement to explore & resolve difficulties & develop the self

Dance Movement Psychotherapy uses creative movement to develop self-expression, clarity of thought and to enable people to manage their feelings, to expand communication and develop creative resources through movement and dance. It is founded on the principle that movement reflects an individual’s patterns of thinking and feeling. Participants explore themes within a safe psychotherapeutic relationship with a therapist who facilitates rather than directs the session.
Dance Movement Psychotherapy is practised as both individual and group psychotherapy in health, education and social service settings and in private practice. Dance Movement Psychotherapists work with a wide variety of clients including people who are emotionally distressed, people with learning difficulties, those with physical or mental illness and people who want to use the medium for personal growth.
Clothed? Yes patient remains clothed
Patient needs? Clothes that you are able to move in.

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Homeopathy

Prescription of tailor-made remedies to stimulate the body’s own capacity to heal

Homeopathy is a non-toxic form of medicine that stimulates the body's own healing abilities to treat a wide variety of ailments using a system known as Like Cures Like – natural substances that can cause symptoms in a healthy person can be used to alleviate similar symptoms in a person who is ill. According to homeopathy, symptoms are the body's way of fighting disease. Patients are prescribed a Remedy made of a minuscule dose of something that in large doses would produce symptoms - thus stimulating the immune system and triggering the body’s own restorative and healing powers. Remedies are said to be Potentised – the active ingredient is highly diluted and succussed (systematically vibrated and agitated). This process is not fully understood by current science.
Homeopathy is holistic in that it treats the individual as a whole, and takes into consideration many aspects of the person’s physical, mental and emotional states. This includes their life circumstances, such as family history, innate predispositions and temperament. Each person is treated individually, since not everybody shows the same symptoms or responds the same to different remedies.
Homeopathy is the second largest system of medicine in the world today, as recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), although it has its detractors, evidence for the efficacy of homeopathy range from meta-analyses and systematic reviews of double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials to clinical observation and conventional wisdom.
Homeopathy can be used to treat a variety of issues, ranging from acute fevers, sore throats and toothache, to chronic illnesses such as arthritis, eczema, asthma, anxiety, depression and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Clothed? Yes patient remains clothed
Patient needs? No requirement for special equipment

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Hypnotherapy

Use of deep relaxation to access the subconscious mind and bring about positive change.

Hypnotherapy works by putting the client into a state of deep relaxation where they are more responsive to ideas and imagery. The hypnotherapist can then work with the individual to change feelings, emotions and behaviour. As a form of psychological therapy hypnotherapy is distinctive in that it works with the clients’ subconscious mind. The hypnotherapist may enlist the power of the clients’ own imagination and also use such methods as storytelling, metaphor, symbolism, or the use of direct suggestions for beneficial change.
If at any point during a hypnotherapy session the client feels uncomfortable they can immediately come out of the hypnotic trance simply by opening their eyes. Contrary to a popular misconception – that hypnosis is a form of unconsciousness resembling sleep – research suggests that it is actually a wakeful state of focused attention and heightened suggestibility.
Hypnotherapy can be used to treat a variety of issues, from anxiety and personal development, to stopping smoking and pain management.
Clothed? Yes
Patient needs? No requirement for special equipment

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Kinesiology

Use of muscle testing to assess problems & find appropriate treatments

Kinesiology is a system of diagnosis and treatment that asks the body what it wants by combining muscle testing with the principles of Chinese medicine, to assess energy and body function, using a range of gentle yet powerful techniques. Muscles are perceived as indicators of stress, hence muscle testing is used to detect and realign those imbalances.
A therapist will test a client's muscles in many different positions, both before and after the treatment. Testing is done by applying light pressure to specific muscles and acupuncture meridians and monitoring the response. The client may be asked to hold a sealed container of a substance on a particular meridian and then perform the strength test. When the therapist has found the correct therapy, there will be an improvement in the inhibited muscle. This system can detect food allergies or intolerances, toxicity, nutritional imbalances as well as help with emotional and structural problems and much more.
Once the stresses are identified, techniques such as homeopathic remedies, light massage, positive affirmations and nutritional supplements are employed, as well as dietary advice.
In the medical sciences Kinesiology is the name given to the study of muscles and the movement of the body. 'Applied Kinesiology' was the name given by its inventor, Dr George Goodheart, to the system of applying muscle testing diagnostically and therapeutically to different aspects of health care.
Clothed? Yes
Patient needs? No requirement for special equipment

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Lightning Process

Training programme of mind-body techniques to improve health & life

The Lightning Process is a three-day training programme run by a registered practitioner and designed to teach individuals a set of techniques for improving life and health. It has been developed from a combination of techniques, including NLP, life coaching and osteopathy, enlisting the body's power to heal itself. The programme teaches participants to use the powerful influence between the brain and the body, focusing on the science behind how the brain and body interact; it gives powerful tools to use this brain-body link to influence health and happiness.
Participants learn a set of steps and simple movements, meditation-like techniques and mental exercises. It is not vigorous or physically demanding, and can be tailored to meet the capabilities of anyone. The Lightning Process practitioner teaches you to recognise and then stop "stuck" patterns, and to stimulate new and more useful neurological pathways in the brain instead, so that you can take control over your health and wellbeing.
The Lightning Process was developed over 10 years ago by osteopath Phil Parker, a London-based mind-body connection expert who has written books and lectured internationally to both medical and non-medical audiences.
Participants remain clothed & no requirement for special equipment.

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Meditation

Calming the mind of everyday thoughts for relaxation or as a spiritual practice

Meditation usually refers to a state of extreme relaxation, contemplation and concentration, in which the body is generally at rest and the mind quieted of wandering thoughts and fantasies, becoming calm and focussed.
Meditation does not necessarily require effort and can be experienced as "just happening". Physical postures include sitting cross-legged, standing, lying down, and walking (sometimes along designated floor patterns). Quietness is often desirable, and some people use repetitive activities such as deep breathing, humming or chanting to help induce a meditative state.
Several major religions include ritual meditation; however, meditation itself need not be a religious or spiritual activity. Most of the more popular systems of meditation are of Eastern origin. In many religions, meditation involves verbal or mental repetition of a single syllable, word, or text (eg a mantra). Visual images (eg a mandala) or mechanical devices such as prayer wheels or rosaries can be useful in focusing concentration.
Meditation is often practised alone but if you are a beginner or prefer meditating with others there are various groups and classes one can attend.
The purposes for which people meditate vary almost as widely as practices. It may serve simply as a means of relaxation from a busy daily routine, or even as a means of gaining insight into the nature of reality or of communing with one's God.
Clothed? Yes, wear comfortable clothes
Patient needs? You may want to use a mat or pillow to sit on.

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Osteopathy

Manipulation of muscles, nerves and joints to ease pain and improve posture

Osteopathy is a manipulation technique that detects and treats problems with the muscles, nerves and joints. The main idea behind osteopathy is that the structure and function of your body are closely linked.
An osteopath will use their hands to assess areas of weakness, tenderness, restriction or strain within your body. They will take time to find out about your medical history as well as asking about your lifestyle and diet. They will consider each person as an individual. The osteopath will then aim to restore normal joint stability and function to help the body heal itself.
Treatment is hands-on and involves skilled manipulation of the spine and joints, and massage of soft tissues. These techniques can reduce pain and swelling and improve movement in parts of your body. They also encourage the movement of blood to and from your tissues and organs.
An osteopath may also advise on changes you can make to your lifestyle to avoid the problem happening again, such as improving your posture, changing your diet, and exercises to do in your own time.
Osteopathy is most commonly used to treat conditions caused by problems with the nerves, joints and muscles, such as: back and neck problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, sports or work injuries, such as repetitive strain injury, joint pain, arthritis, and bad posture caused by work, driving or being pregnant. Osteopathy can also be used to relieve general health problems such as headaches, ear, nose and throat problems or digestive disorders. It can also be used on babies and children to relieve colic (abdominal pains) and sleeplessness.
Cranial osteopathy is a refined osteopathic treatment that encourages the release of stresses and tensions throughout the body, including the head. Cranial osteopaths are trained to feel a very subtle, rhythmical shape change present in all body tissues, called Involuntary Motion or the Cranial Rhythm. The movement is of very small amplitude; therefore it takes practitioners with a very finely developed sense of touch to feel it.
Clothed? Cranial Osteopaths may treat their patient clothed but in general osteopathy patients are normally asked to undress to their underwear to allow proper assessment of posture and mobility. Towels or gowns are used to cover patient during treatment.

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Personal development

Improving one’s self-knowledge, confidence, abilities and self-esteem

Personal development is an individual’s acquisition of knowledge, skills, and experience in order to enhance their capabilities, potential and self-perception.
It can be used for • improving self-awareness • improving self-knowledge • building or renewing identity • healing the self • developing strengths or talents • identifying or improving potential • building employability • enhancing lifestyle or the quality of life • realising dreams • fulfilling aspirations.
Personal growth can cover many different practices; physical, spiritual, mental or emotional, but the end result should be a more confident, better adjusted you. Personal development opportunities include residential courses, camps and retreats; classes and workshops; a wide range of books and websites, or classes, guided sessions or therapies with an individual practitioner.

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Pilates

Small precise exercise movements to strengthen & balance the body’s core

Developed in Germany in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, this set of exercises seeks to balance, strengthen and elongate the body while strengthening the core to provide support for the spine. The primary focus is on awareness of the spine, proper breathing, core strength and flexibility.
Used extensively by athletes and dancers, it can be practised by almost anyone, regardless of their age or physical ability. Pilates focuses on doing certain small movements but doing them with precision and concentration. The outcome is a balanced body which is strong and supple, flat stomach, balanced legs, and a strong back.
You can attend a class or be taught individually. Workouts are done either on mats on the floor with a minimum of equipment, or on Pilates apparatus. In mat work exercises are mostly performed lying down, sometimes using small pieces of equipment. The apparatus has names such as the Reformer, Cadillac, Ladder Barrel or Wunda Chair. A high level of individual attention is usually given.
Clothed? Yes, wear comfortable clothes you can move in
Participant needs? An exercise mat

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Rebirthing

Using the breath to revisit one’s own birth & heal any trauma experienced

Rebirthing is based on the belief that birth is a traumatic event and that reviewing or revisiting the event can have therapeutic benefits.
The birth experience has a deep effect on one's psyche and shapes one's perception and experience of life, self and the world in ways of which one is mostly unaware. Practitioners believe it is possible to gain recall of aspects of birth, gestation and early childhood and to release the accompanying emotions through conscious connected breathing thus having a positive transformative effect. A session usually has an initial consultation, some breathwork and then the actual rebirth with the whole session lasting 2-3 hours.
Clothed? Yes but may be required wear something like a robe.
Patient needs? No special equipment required

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Reflexology

Massage of pressure points, usually on the foot, that relate to & treat areas all over the body

Reflexology is an ancient technique that uses pressure-point massage (usually on the feet, but also on the hands and ears) to restore the flow of energy throughout the entire body. It is based on the premise that there are reflex points in our hands, feet and ears that relate to every organ and part of our body - they effectively act as a map of the whole body. By stimulating these points with pressure and manipulation, nerve function and blood supply may be improved, which may alleviate stress and other health problems and help restore balance throughout the body.
Treatments can be used to target a specific ailment or simply to improve general health and relaxation. Reflexology is used to soothe conditions such as migraine, sinus problems, hormonal imbalances, breathing disorders, digestive problems, circulatory problems, back problems, tension and stress.
Clothed? Yes, with shoes and socks off
Patient needs? No requirement for special equipment

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Reiki

Gentle energy healing restoring flow & balance to the body & mind

Reiki healing works on the principle of unblocking energy and restoring the natural flow of Ki (Chi) around the body. With Reiki it is the power of love and life energy of the universe rather than the practitioner’s own energy that is being utilised - the practitioner acts as a conduit to channel and move energy where it is stuck. During a treatment energy is said to be drawn through the hands of the practitioner into the body of the recipient, healing and giving energy to specific areas on the receiver's body. Practitioners place their hands on or over positions on the body where the organs and endocrine glands reside, and the areas that correspond to the chakra centres. Practitioners also use mental visualisation to send healing energy to areas of the receiver's body that need it. Advanced practitioners rely on intuition and experience to determine which areas of a body need the most energy healing.
The practitioner's hands are held in each position for around five minutes, to allow the transfer of energy and the healing process to take place. In each position, the hands are kept stationary, unlike typical massage where the hands move.
Reiki was developed in the early twentieth century by a man called Mikao Usui. Reiki is a Japanese word meaning Universal Life Force Energy. It’s beneficial for treating physical, emotional, spiritual or mental disease.
Clothed? Yes, loose comfortable clothing
Patient needs? No requirement for special equipment

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Rolfing

Deep manipulation to facilitate release of muscle tension & re-alignment of posture

Rolfing Practitioners work to release tension built up in the deep fascia around muscles throughout the whole body. This tension builds up when we repeatedly put our bodies into distorted postures. Rolfers often prescribe a sequence of ten sessions to balance and optimise both the structure (shape) and function (movement) of the entire body. The theory is that "only by bringing peace 'from the ground up' can problems higher in the body be 'under-stood'".
Sessions start with a discussion of your lifestyle, your movement and your body shape, followed by advice on breathing techniques and posture. The practitioners will then do deep manipulation to release your muscle tension. Clients say they stand straighter, gain height, and move better through the correction of this soft tissue tension.
Rolfing is the commonly used name for the system of Structural Integration Soft Tissue Manipulation founded by Ida Pauline Rolf.
Clothed? Initial part of sessions clothed - massage will be unclothed
Patient needs? No requirement for special equipment

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Shiatsu

Pressure point massage to improve flow of energy around the body

Shiatsu is a pressure-point massage technique developed in Japan in which finger pressure is applied to specific points on the body to stimulate the meridians (channels through which energy flows around the body), correct imbalances, and maintain and promote health.
Shiatsu practitioners use a variety of techniques to improve your energy flow. These may include gentle holding, pressing with palms, thumbs, fingers, elbows, knees and feet on the meridians and, when appropriate, more dynamic rotations and stretches.
Shiatsu is a holistic therapy in that it works on the individual as a complete being - not just the physical body but also on an emotional and/or mental level. Benefits of Shiatsu include reduced stress and fatigue, increased circulation of blood and lymph, reduced blood pressure and muscle stiffness, and increased vitality, stamina, and energy.
Clothed? Yes, wear loose clothing
Patient needs? No requirement for special equipment

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Taijiwuxigong

A series of simple exercises to improve health and well-being

With its’ roots in Tai Chi and Chi Gung, Taijiwuxigong (ta-jee-woosh-i-goong) was developed for its health benefits by grandmaster and physician Dr Shen Hongxun.
Consisting of short exercises and postures which embody the essence of Tai Chi, there is no need to memorise the long sequences of Tai chi form(s). Practice aims at opening and clearing one’s energy channels, increasing sensory awareness and the ability to integrate mind, body and breath, cultivating a playful attitude and the ability to direct one’s intentions.
The series of simple standing and moving exercises (daoyin) activate an area in the abdomen (the dantian) by using a vibration force from the earth (diqi). As the dantian becomes active it starts to vibrate and produces its own force (called yuanqi or vital force) in the body’s energy channels, and various pathogenic toxins (binqi) are removed by the body.
Benefits include a gradual improvement in chronic emotional and physical conditions, greater flexibility and freedom of movement, better balance, reduction of stress, and awakening the body’s natural spontaneous self-healing function. Suitable for all ages and abilities, exercises can be adapted for individual capacities and students work at their own pace.
Suggest loose comfortable clothing. No requirement for special equipment.

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Yoga

The use of physical poses, breath, internal ‘locks’ & meditation to purify and strengthen the body and mind

Yoga practices are a combination of breath exercises (pranayama), body positions (asanas), body locks (bhandas), hands positions (mudras) and meditation. The yoga positions (asanas) follow one another in a specific way in order to direct energy flow around the body. In this way, the body is ‘warmed’ and prepared for meditation: the last step in the Yoga path.
Although many people practise it purely for its physical health benefits, Yoga is a spiritual practice in its true and original form. It can be practised by anyone, regardless of their faith or physical ability.
The physical exercises of Yoga provide the tools necessary to quiet the mind so that the practitioner can access a natural state of oneness, and, ultimately, Samadhi (Nirvana; ultimate bliss). This attainment of peace and enlightenment is the ultimate goal of Yoga practice.
Modern day styles vary in their focus and emphasis. Different people use yoga for different purposes: it might be for stress release and relaxation, for flexibility, for sports training, for birth preparation, for recovery from injury, or for spiritual enlightenment. There are many, many different derivative forms of Yoga practised in the world today.
Yoga is thought to have originated in the Indus Valley (modern day Pakistan) around 4-5,000 years ago. Originating in the Sanskrit language, the word ‘yoga’ is derived from the word ‘yoke’ which means ‘union’ or ‘joining’.
Clothed? Yes, wear comfortable clothes you can move in.
Special requirements? Participants often use a yoga mat for floor work. There may be other tools such as stretchy bands or pillows - ask your teacher what they recommend/provide.

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