Do you use music in your therapy room? If so, what is your preference – classical, new age, traditional, contemporary? Something else? Have you ever wondered how and why certain tracks or sounds are better at relaxation than others? Have you ever struggled to find the ‘right’ music for your style of treatment?
I have been working with therapeutic sound and music since 1994 and have developed different techniques based on how our brains have evolved to respond to sound and music due to the way our brains have evolved over millions of years. Different sounds (whether they be music or nature sounds) can elicit different responses, so high pitched sudden and short sounds will stimulate the mind and body and low pitches will relax”.
These days more research is being done to find out how we react to different instruments. For example, people will use words such as ‘warm, rich and cuddly’ to describe the sound of the Himalayan singing bowls whereas the crystal singing bowls were found to be ‘cleansing, clear and cool’. A BAST Sound Therapist will use this ‘sound psychology’ as well as other techniques based on research to help improve health and wellbeing.
Therapeutic sound and music can be applied in your therapy room and I’d love to share my latest project ‘LifeSonics RelaxÒ’ with you. LifeSonics RelaxÒ is a ‘music medicine’ programme that will mainly be delivered in group relaxation sessions. Participants will be taken on a musical journey designed to improve health and wellbeing. As well as group sessions, you can download separate tracks to use in your therapy room or at home and/or work. This ‘Consciously Designed Music’ (CDM) draws on research in the fields of sound and music psychology, sound therapy, sound cognition and neuroscience together with creativity to create music for a therapeutic effect. Great composers such as Mozart used sounds to elicit different emotions and many great artists use music to tell a story – especially in film. Most composers use intuition and experience to create their music and there is nothing wrong with that – a lot of great music is created in exactly this way.
I also feel that reducing music just to a specific formula could take away its soul, which is something that I definitely don’t want to do! I see my compositions rather baking a cake. The cake could end up being chocolate, carrot or lemon. The basic ingredients you need will always be roughly the same (eggs, flour, butter) but you can add extra ingredients until you get the exact flavour, size and shape you want. When I set out to create a piece for relaxation or creativity – just like baking two different cakes, once I have the basic ingredients in place I will then add different ingredients (instruments, musical intervals and ‘motives’, tempo, shape and time). I also try to use as many natural sounds as possible. A study by Ratcliffe et.al, (2013) found that ‘bird songs and calls were….the type of natural sound most commonly associated with perceived stress recovery and attention restoration.’
I will sit with a piece for weeks and weeks sometimes. Listening to it and feeling the effect, tweaking one or two sounds, re-listening, re-tweaking – it can be a real ‘fine tuning’ process. In my last piece, ‘Glow’, I knew the last track needed something and yet I just couldn’t find the sound I needed. It took months! One day I thought popped into my head – I need Gibbons! I found a lovely sample of some Gibbons in the rainforest and it has brought the piece to life.
Take a look at my compositions on my Soundcloud account – you can also go on to www.lifesonics.com and in exchange for signing up you can get a sample of ‘Cosmic’ one of the LifeSonics RelaxÒ sessions. When you are next considering what music to accompany your therapy session, think about how the tracks make you feel. Stop for a moment, take in what you are hearing and feeling – let your mind go and see what happens. If the music supports you, relaxes you and helps you feel refreshed it is perfect. If it distracts you, the tempo is too fast or there are too many high pitches, you may want to try something else.
By Lyz Cooper of The British Academy of Sound Therapy –
BCMA Independent School
Anna-Louise Haigh explains her pioneering approach to an ancient skill
Every therapist wants to deliver their very best for their clients. Building trust and rapport quickly during the initial consultation is essential. Knowing and understanding your clients more deeply means that you can really meet their needs before they even know they have them! Every day, since 1988, with every client, I use Soulistic Face Reading to help me achieve the success my clients recommend me for!
Not only is this ancient skill fascinating because of its accuracy to unveil important messages about character, health and underlying personality, it is essential for anyone who wants to really ‘know’ themselves at a deep soul level.
I attribute the consistent results that clients enjoy to the fact that this skill has helped me understand their unspoken and underlying causes of their dis-ease and dis-harmony. By trusting the insights of this highly accurate skill, I know that I am always meeting my client’s needs which softens those times of self-doubt every practitioner experiences.
What is Face Reading?
So, what is Face Reading and why am I still so fascinated about it after all this time? Let me start by telling you what it is NOT! Despite it being called a ‘reading’, this is not a psychic endeavour to reveal the future or confirm what is already known. It is also NOT about interpreting facial expressions.
Face Reading is the systematic interpretation of the structure, features and lines of the face which reveals insights about personality, character and well-being status. Every aspect of the face holds messages that create the story of the person, chapter by chapter, hence the name Face Reading.
Where it all began
Dating back to the ancient days of Chinese Emperors, as with acupuncture and reflexology, a volume of knowledge was amassed based which became validated over time. Face Reading, or Siang Mein as it is called in China, is based on observing people’s behaviour and health in conjunction with common facial characteristics. Initial correlations were catalogued and conclusions were drawn after thousands of observations.
One of the most common applications of traditional Face Reading is found within the Chinese medical system. Although Western Medicine or Complementary Practitioners would not claim to ‘diagnose’ through Face Reading, the accuracy of this approach is commonly used within Traditional Chinese Medicine to assist in diagnosing a patient’s condition.
This picture is taken from a 400-year book which identifies the significance of parts of the face with personality traits.
Face Reading Speaks Volumes
At the time, with no books available, I built upon my initial introduction by basically following the Chinese approach to learn and trust my observations. Having conducted many thousands of Face Readings myself, I know how accurate this approach is.
When engaging with a client, I listen to their story, and at the same time I am reading the features and lines on their face. This allows me to ask, ‘just the right’ questions which open up their ‘real’ well-being needs. Then, I can create the most appropriate treatment session which ignites their return to balance and well-being on all levels.
Over time, witnessing how this approach went deeper than just assisting with general holistic needs, it became obvious that a new level was being reached. I coined the term Soulistic Face Reading to reflect the depth of this whole-being approach. This means that clients receive support for their mind, body, emotions and soul.
Stories the Face Can Tell – A Case Study
Here I am going to highlight 5 attributes and their meanings for this person. Each feature tells part of the story of the person so when they are all put together a clear understanding is unveiled.
- Wispy hairs along the hairline – Indicate natural creativity and that there is a strong soul need to be regularly engaged in something that brings the imagination to life in order for the person to feel fulfilled, whole and happy.
- Eyebrows – In general, straight eyebrows indicate a very pragmatic approach to life. Curved ones indicate a natural interest in spiritual matters. In this case, they are slightly curved which shows that she is cautious about exploring ideas that are not concrete, however, once she has enough information to make up her mind, she is likely to be very engaged.
- Ears – The upper rim of her ear angles outwards indicating that she has a naturally playful, even mischievous, side. She gets bored easily, so it is important to direct her energy towards something productive and meaningful.
- Lower lip – The lips represent what is happening in the digestive tract. In this case, because the lower lip is larger than the upper one, my observation would be that she struggles with bloating and needs to be better hydrated. From a soul perspective, it is likely that she experiences deep lack of self-appreciation and holds onto emotional issues unnecessarily so there is a need to ‘let go and move on.’
- Face Shape – In Soulistic Face Reading as I teach it, we focus on five main face shapes. Each one reflects a selection of core personality traits. The slim, long face shape pictured here denotes that this person likes a challenge and who gets restless easily. She is motivated by achieving goals and has a need to be recognised for doing so. She will give her best to meet the needs of others who she wants to please.
Overall, this young woman is happiest when focused on achieving her goals through creative expression which she approaches with great enthusiasm and dedication. She inwardly challenges herself to overcome what she perceives to be past failures, and can be unnecessarily hard on herself.
As a client, although it would be typical if she presented wanting help with headaches or migraines or insomnia, employing Soulistic Face Reading would reveal her deep sense of feeling out of balance, frustration at not moving forward fast enough due to lacking direction. I would approach her well-being needs by helping her feel more grounded, and comfortable at times of rest. In doing so, she would have the time and space to gather her energy and focus her mind which would give her the clarity she seeks.
Meeting the needs of today’s clients
We are in times or great uncertainty, it is said. I believe that we are in a time of great opportunity. While so many things are seemingly outside our control, it is only your clients are seeking some sort of stability. The foundation of true well-being is found in feeling content, fulfilled and valued.
For this reason, self-knowing is the key to unlocking the inner wealth of well-being and wholeness that underpins all our decisions, experiences and relationships. Soulistic Face Reading is the art and skill of self-knowing that every therapist can use, and every client can benefit from. This fresh and exciting approach to a time-honoured skill gives well-being practitioners the opportunity to expand their reach and make a difference in greater ways. Many students of Soulistic Face Reading develop a mentoring role which enhances their value to clients.
Learn Soulistic Face Reading Online
The time is right to share Soulistic Face Reading beyond the classroom. Delivered with the same richness of information, numerous reference illustrations supported by clear guidance, it is now possible for every well-being professional to gain the benefit of this fascinating approach. Learning online gives you the freedom to study when it is most convenient, yet have the connection with other students and myself through our dedicated Facebook community. Completing this accredited course means you will have received a thorough education and the opportunity to know and grow yourself, improve your relationships and strengthen your career….and benefit all your clients too!
For further information, please visit
Anna-Louise Haigh was the first BCMA Member to do a webinar for the BCMA in November, thanks to Anna-Louise it was so successful we plan to do many more!
Find out about the next webinar on our promotions page
A branch of Kinesiology that offers Body Tracking
The School of Creative Kinesiology was founded in 1989 by Carrie Jost, who had made the exciting discovery that the body can actually give feedback about how it is functioning. She saw this as an unfolding of the mystery about the way the body is working (or not) which allows a creative process to take place between therapist and client, through witnessing and working with symptoms and problems. ‘I love the gentle non-invasive work of acupressure and healing techniques that can really shift the energetic problem in the body, relieving symptoms and encouraging a new view on life’. Understanding that all of our experiences – physical, emotional or spiritual – can be held in our physical self is the basis of the work of Creative Kinesiology.
Body Tracking is the method we use to find out what your body is saying to you. Our bodies are wise – they know all about us. Symptoms come about so we can listen to what our bodies are saying – they have no other way of speaking. They can show up as any kind of discomfort, stress, aches and pains, digestive difficulties, low energy, ongoing problems of any kind, including relationships, family stresses and not being able to achieve goals in life.
We can track the problem, discover what it is doing there and from our wide array of techniques available find the ones to make a positive change. We use muscle biofeedback for the tracking – a method that comes from chiropractic – we include some bodywork techniques also originating in chiropractic work. Energy techniques give us a huge range of ways to help – many founded in acupuncture theory – such as acupressure – to make a change in the energy flows in the body.
This work will appeal particularly to those interested in personal growth and their Life Journey – healing the past, expanding the Self in the present and moving forward with potential.
- Enabling individuals to empower themselves
- Supporting people through change
- Learning the tools for life
When we see life as a story, we can find the triggers to our problems or symptoms and understand and heal them, so we are free to be fully ourselves.
The approach of Creative Kinesiology is person-centred. Practitioner and client work alongside each other in a co-creative journey. This process works by accepting, witnessing and using gentle, non-invasive healing techniques (derived from Applied Kinesiology and other modalities.) Each session is tailored to you – every one of you is unique and our bodies will be talking just about you – on all levels of body, mind, emotions and spirit.
Our Kinesiology practitioners are well trained and thorough and above all, they love the work they do – making a difference by facilitating your own healing mechanisms to work effectively. It is worth having a go if you have an ongoing problem that doesn’t seem to be getting resolved, if you are interested in preventing ill health and if you wish to be full of energy to live life to the full.
The School has now expanded, having trained over 250 Professional Practitioners and currently 10 Teachers providing courses all over the country. The CK School became an Association of the BCMA in 2016. A summary of our training courses are below:
THE LIFE TRACKING SERIES
A foundation kinesiology course, recognised by the Kinesiology Federation of GB. As well as an exploration of the world of subtle energy and an opportunity for self-development, it gives an introduction to the “tracking” approach, pioneered by Creative Kinesiology. The syllabus is below:
- Everything is Connected
We are connected to all of life and each other. Well-being happens when every part of our self is balanced & connected.
- Chinese Medicine – the basics
- kinesiology muscle testing
- balancing subtle energies
- practical tools for maintaining equilibrium
- We Can Make A Difference
Exploring how intentions, thoughts and goals can shape our lives:
- starting to track in the energy system
- releasing the blockages so we can move forward
- the Chinese five elements
- Witnessing: The Key to Change
When our stories and our Selves are uncovered and witnessed, our bodies and energy systems can let go of any unnecessary patterns:
- body language, posture & energy splits
- balancing the waters of life
- witnessing others and ourselves
- Self Empowerment
Our focus is on enhancing self-esteem and ways of standing more fully in our own power:
- tracking into the past and healing it
- deeper techniques for centring
- balancing the chakras
As we deepen the tracking work and build our tool kit, we are ready to launch into the next part of the journey:
- recognizing & developing gifts and talents
- the body’s inner realms
- tracking into the future
WAY OF THE TRACKER
This is the professional kinesiology training and a journey of profound spiritual growth and self-discovery which develops the detective work approach of “tracking” to discover the story behind a person’s symptoms and how best to heal. This is designed for you if you:
- Are interested in making a difference
- Enjoy being with people Wish to help others to heal and change
- Are open to being a detective – a body detective
- Have some idea what it means to take a journey of personal growth
You will learn to:
- Listen deeply and witness another as they tell their story
- Help to alleviate symptoms using an array of wonderful techniques
- Look beyond the obvious and discover what is not being said
- Find and use the maps that can guide the work (Physical maps, Nutritional maps, Elemental maps, Emotional maps, Medicine Wheel maps, Energy maps and many others)
- Support people wishing to go on a journey of discovery
- Understand the importance of relieving stress, finding balance and celebrating life.
A professional kinesiology training offering the opportunity to undertake a healing journey through learning simple and effective adjustments to the physical body and the electro-magnetic energy, as well as exploring various other approaches derived from Applied Kinesiology.
COMBINED DIPLOMA – WAY AND THE TRACKER AND PERCEPTUAL BODYTRACKING
This new kinesiology professional training will take you on a profound spiritual journey through which you will receive a thorough training in kinesiology practice. Taking place over roughly two years, you will become confident in the skills of a professional Kinesiology practitioner, able to work deeply with emotion, energy and bodywork.
The School provides courses in most core subjects.
- Inter-Personal Skills
- Practice Management
- Anatomy & Physiology
The aim of these courses is to provide a creative and experiential approach to the subject matter while incorporating the creative Kinesiology approach.
KINESIOLOGY PRACTITIONER DEVELOPMENT
Includes mentoring, master classes and continuing professional courses – these are important aspects of the work of the School.
KINESIOLOGY TEACHER TRAINING
An in-house programme of teacher training and how to lead groups and workshops is available that enables the School to train Kinesiology practitioners as teachers and workshop leaders of LifeTracking, Way of the Tracker and Perceptual Bodywork. Courses available are: Presenting Kinesiology and Group Work Skills. Practitioners must also repeat the professional training if they wish to teach at a professional level.
For further information, please look on www.creativekinesiology.org
Long time BCMA member Staś Bernasiński has a natural affinity with bodywork. He holds distinctions in Therapeutic and Advanced Massage from the Natural Healing Centre in Cork, he is a certified sports injury therapist and a qualified Neuromuscular Therapist (NMT). Continuing professional development keeps his thirst and knowledge for bodywork prime and has taken him to many fascinating seminars, workshops and courses including Advanced Orthopaedic Massage, NeuroKinetic Therapy®, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation and more. Staś (pronounced Stash, rhymes with dash), who came to Cork in 2002, is British-born and of Polish extraction. He speaks both English and Polish natively. he works at Remedy Massage in Cork.
Remedy Massage specialises in therapeutic massage, remedial massage and neuromuscular physical therapy, combining massage and advanced manual therapy for effective pain care, rehabilitation and soft tissue health. Therapeutic massage is perfect for relaxation and letting go of tension. Remedial massage and physical therapy benefit a wide range of common injuries and pain conditions, long-term or recent. Visit us at our clinic or let us call to you. Treatments are always tailored to your needs.
Visit his website http://remedymassage.ie/
“Blown away today to watch a baby turn itself from breech to cephalic during myofascial release work at an awesome School of Bodywork study day. The mother was so much more comfortable after the baby turned and grinned from ear to ear.
It was so gentle and permissive. Truly the baby chose to turn. Somehow the therapist merely held the space which enabled this. The change in the mother’s demeanour was profound from tense and experiencing chronic pain since 11/40 to smiling happy and comfortable. She told us the baby was moving big movements about 10 minutes into the treatment. The therapist’s hands were still. We could easily see the baby’s movements and all of us noticed the changed shape of her belly after the Release. She was kind enough to let me palpate afterwards, already convinced her belly felt quite different at the top. It looked so gentle and led by the baby. I was in awe and still am. More workshops may follow.”
The above account was written by Liz Nightingale an extremely well regarded independent midwife of 13 years.
On the 8th of August I, Emma Gilmore Director of School of Bodywork was kindly invited to Oxfordshire to teach 13 chiropractors and one midwife some incredibly effective myofascial release techniques, to free up restrictions in the pelvic diaphragm and abdomopelvic cavity which allows breech or posterior babies to turn. After settling into the space and getting over my fascination at the tiny chiropractic couches we settled into what was to become a very moving day.
The course entitled Pelvic Diaphragm Release is a one day course and in the past has been attended by midwives, physiotherapists, massage therapists, doulas or partners. So working with chiropractors was new to me.
After an introduction to fascia and an exercise to tune the therapists into the subtle yet profound touch of the myofascial techniques, I went on to teach the “workhorse” of MFR, the Cross Hand Release, a gentle, flat handed technique where the therapist contacts the patient’s body and feels for the first restriction or barrier. With light, sustained, yet constant pressure applied into the patient’s body, the trained therapist will begin to feel the restrictions release, working through barrier after barrier, releasing layers of restriction within the fascial system. This subtle yet profound work created a great atmosphere in the room and there was great focus amongst the students; everyone truly understood the essence of this work.
After lunch Geri a 34 week pregnant patient of a chiropractor present joined us, she had been in a lot of discomfort since week 11 of her pregnancy, she had numbness and pain down her left leg, and had been walking on crutches, she did not look 34 weeks pregnant. Her baby boy was in breech position. She looked exhausted and in pain, although had a charming disposition. She climbed awkwardly and tentatively onto the couch with the help of a foot stool and lay in a supine position. I ensured she was as comfortable as possible and explained briefly what I was going to do, she seemed very happy. While I worked with Transverse plane technique; which frees up restrictions within the pelvic diaphragm; Geri talked about some of the difficulties of her pregnancy, her baby was almost never still (as he was constantly trying to get in a more comfortable positon for both of them). As I worked I felt her sacrum soften and “drop” into my hand, allowing space into her body, I continued for several minutes more, tuning into what the baby and mother needed, we both felt further restrictions on the left of the abdomopelvic cavity, so after gently removing my hands from the original position I worked here with a Cross Hand Release, after a few more minutes of this technique there was a terrific movement and Gerri looked almost shocked as the bay repositioned himself in a cephalic position, it was clear that my work was done. So I invited Liz to palpate…….the baby had turned itself cephalic, Geri got off the couch saying how different she felt, the baby had dropped and she now looked like a pregnant woman, she then walked without crutches.
These techniques are a MUST for all midwives and bodywork therapists working with pregnant women.
Next course: Tuesday November 25th 2014
Pelvic Diaphragm Releases: Incredibly effective myofascial release techniques, to release restrictions and allow breech or posterior babies to turn. Invaluable techniques for midwives, massage therapists, doulas or partners. £95
7 CPD points awarded by APNT
Welcome to the BCMA Blog. For our first posts I thought I would start to introduce some of the team here at the British Complementary Medicine Association. Today is my turn, I am the BCMA Administrator and have worked for the BCMA for over 10 years, before I was asked to design their ‘new’ website and do some admin duties I had only a very limited view about Complementary Therapies and what CAM was all about.
I had vaguely heard of Homeopathy and Acupuncture but what on earth are Reiki, Reflexology and NLP? I had of course some knowledge of massage but how did you know where to find a massage therapist and not get more than you bargained for (certain impressions gained from the media immediately sprang to mind). So as with all my past jobs I needed to know more if I was going to be a part of this organisation. This started with my self education on complementary therapies. Luckily I am competent with computers, search engines and have pretty good ‘people skills’ so I started research.
It soon became apparent there was a whole world of therapies out there, most of them directed at your body’s own ability to heal itself with gentle help, NONE of them are miracle cures and would never claim to be so. I learned early on that professional therapists with good reputations never claim to be able to do more than help your body use its natural abilities and relax you.
In the last ten years I have been privileged to meet many therapists and sample some of their therapies. I now have first hand experience of many of the therapies within the BCMA including Reiki, Reflexology and Energy Field Therapy and have a much better understanding of CAM, which helps me when I am responding to questions via phone and email from the public and therapists.
The BCMA has just announced the launch of the BCMA Guides, at our first ever Road Show on 18th May 2013, one of which I have helped to compile ‘The BCMA Guide to Finding a Therapist’ one of 4 guides being released as either an online download or in paper format for a very low fee.
‘BCMA Guide to setting up a Therapy Organisation’
‘BCMA Guide to setting up a Therapy School’
‘BCMA Guide to setting up a Therapy Clinic’
More information to follow during the launch.
Which title would you be interested in? Are there any titles you would like to see added?