The seminars listed below are available to professional groups. Please contact me if you are interested in learning more about any of these opportunities, or to schedule a seminar.
The Gift of Touch: Reaching Out for Our Elders
The aging process often brings with it a growing physical isolation. The illness or death of a spouse, children and grandchildren moving to distant locations, and the limitations of reduced mobility each can play a part in robbing us of our most human and healing treasure — touch.
Try to imagine never being touched by another human being again. No hugs, no handshakes, no pats on the back. Without too much exaggeration, this is the lonely reality of many older people. Is it any wonder they often center their lives around their illnesses? On the one hand, the stress of isolation may be adding to their sickness; on the other hand, their doctors and nurses are often their only safe source of touch. Classic psychology research in the 1960s proved that “failure to thrive” in infants was much more highly correlated to lack of physical contact than it was to any nutritional or other cause. This basic human need does not disappear as we age.
The Gift Of Touch Seminar© explores the issues of touch: safety, privacy, intimacy and communication. Ways of raising the “Touch Quotient” in one’s personal and professional life and the mutual stress-reducing benefits of doing so are discussed. A hands-on training in basic massage is given, with substantial time for students to practice.
The Gift of Touch Seminar© is designed for senior citizens’ caregivers and helping professionals who want a deeper level of healing connection. It addresses the needs of both clients and their caregivers to gain a concrete sense of self and worth through the medium of touch. Knowledge of some of the classic techniques of massage imparts a confidence that enables this connection
The Gift of Touch Seminar© blends together many avenues of learning. Lecture, guided visualization, physical exercises, massage, and centering meditation are each incorporated. Written materials are provided. The total seminar time can be adapted to suit any schedule, from one hour to a full day to a weekend retreat. Physical limitations have no bearing on the participants’ experience.
The Healthier Healer: Self-Care for Caregivers
Taking care of others, whether personally or professionally, is hugely demanding. “Burnout” is a common condition amongst long-term caregivers: a state of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual exhaustion. The excess of responsibility creates an inability to respond, and the caregiver’s system shuts down, either gradually or suddenly.
Much of the stress of caregiving can be traced to the caregiver’s own needs and demands, rooted in her or his personality style and beliefs. These factors also influence how the caregiver copes with the stress on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels. Many of our stress responses are unhealthy, and therefore become stressors in themselves; overeating and drug abuse, for example, are both responses to and causes of stress. Unhealthy, ineffective stress responses bring us to burnout sooner than need be, hurting both ourselves and those dependent on us in the process.
Most of us have some idea of improvements we could make in our health habits. The Healthier Healer Seminar© provides inspiration, support and encouragement in these, along with presenting a wide range of other possibilities. The four levels of stress and health-enhancing responses for each are discussed and practiced.
The Healthier Healer Seminar© is designed for the layperson or professional caregiver who realizes that their own well-being is the foundation of their ability to serve others. A wide variety of self-care methods will be taught in brief: these may include relaxation practices, stress pattern identification, self-massage, gentle yoga, conflict resolution, compassionate communication, prioritizing, nutritional support, and centering meditation, among others.
The Healthier Healer Seminar© utilizes large group, small group, paired and individual work. Lecture, discussion and exercises are employed, and written notes are provided. The total seminar time can be adapted to any length, from one hour, to a full day, to a weekend retreat. Any physical limitations can be accommodated.
Yoga Nidra: Conscious Deep Relaxation
FREE Audio Sample: A 6-minute Yoga Nidra Practice can be found here:
“Stress” has become a household word these days: even children are learning this name for the pervasive sense of pressure that shortens tempers, creates accidents, amplifies illnesses and obstructs creativity. Tension seems to be epidemic in our society. But how many of us have truly accepted the reality that stressors are unavoidable, and that our suffering is due to our reactions? The only cure available is self-control: learning how to take responsibility for our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual reactions to life’s changes. Change creates stress, and in our fast-changing world, we need effective tools to help us maintain a healthy balance.
Yoga Nidra offers one solution, woven of many different threads. An ancient Eastern practice, Yoga Nidra uses carefully guided imagery to address the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels of tension that stress is made up of. Breathwork, progressive relaxation, affirmation and autogenics, or self-suggestion, are also incorporated in the practice. In addition, this presentation of Yoga Nidra also explores the medical viewpoints on stress, bringing elements of East and West together in our journey towards health and understanding.
This introduction to the practice of Yoga Nidra is designed for the layperson or health professional who wishes to better understand the causes, effects and management of stress. A specific, scientifically validated stress-reducing practice is taught and practiced, with ample opportunity for student participation. The central effects of Yoga Nidra are greater internal and external awareness, with decreased emotional reactivity.
Shifting gently between lecture and discussion, physical activity and stillness, this Yoga Nidra seminar engages the student in a holistic learning experience. Written notes are provided, freeing up the attention for full participation. Participants are encouraged to bring a pillow and blanket to cover up with. Participants with limited mobility may remain seated, with no loss of benefit.
** Audio CDs for home practice are available for purchase – Please contact me to request **