Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ionic Foot Detox

Wow, 2 posts in 1 day.

There is a lot of discussion about Detox foot spas and whether they work. I purchased one of the cheaper ones in November and have used it on myself and my clients. They are quite amazing to watch and I regularly get clients coming in pairs so they can see each others foot spa as its happening. It has created much interest around our island.

The footspa works on principles of electrochemistry. The array is like a small element that is immersed in the water and places negative charge on the hydrogen in the water molecules. Negative hydrogen is supposedly absorbed via osmosis into the body and acts as a free radical scavenger. Free radicals are damaging to our cells and body and can set up disease states in our bodies, so removing some of them would seem like a good idea.

The footspa is filled with water, with half teaspoon of salt. After 30 minutes, some peoples water looks like the picture above. This client has had the strongest colouring of the footspa water of all the people who have used it. Her first 3 foot spas also had a lot of cream coloured foam around the arrays (supposedly Lymphatic in origin). Most people also have distinctive black particles (suggested heavy metal elimination) and some people have had small cheesy looking chunks (excesses of yeast).

The people who had a treatment remark that they felt more energised. Some felt pain around the teeth (amalgam fillings) or could feel stimulation around the lymph nodes in the groin, armpits and face/neck. It's all interesting and I think we'll find out much more about this relatively new treatment in the future.

Amazing Chinese Cupping

My first cupping experience came with a shiatsu massage from a terrific Japanese practitioner in Toowong, Brisbane. Her name is Meiki Araki. She has the shiatsu yoga studio on Jephson street. She doesn't speak a lot of English, and I was pretty excited the first time I rang to book and there was a Japanese voice on the phone. My thoughts, "The real thing". As a massage therapist, I get the usual shoulder, elbow and hand irritations that come with doing too much in the busy times of the year. My right shoulder was feeling pretty awful.

She came to the hotel I was staying with my young daughter. The treatment she gave me was memorable, in that it was quite different to any massage I'd had before. Meiki completed my experience with Cupping therapy. At first I didn't know what I'd let myself in for, but I love trying all kinds of massage and this was a new experience. It hurt a bit, not painful, but a pinchy feeling. She used glass cups with a suction device to create a vacuum in each vessel. It took about 7 minutes to put the cups on and they stayed on for about 10minutes. By the end of the 10 minutes, they had lost their pinch, replaced by a very warm feeling.

The most amazing the distinct detensioning of the back and shoulders when the cups are released. It feels unreal. But even more to my amazement was that the shoulder pain was gone,
completely gone. At that point I made a committment to myself
to learn this amazing technique.
I get the same sort of feedback from my clients when I use it on their injuries. It is a great enhancement to any massage treatment. It works really well with shoulder and neck pain, and also with lower back pain. Probably the most thankful of my clients was a triathlete who injured his knee only days before leaving Norfolk Island to compete. Cupping to his Ilio-tibial band (the side of the thigh) released his knee instantly. Injury gone.
Cupping therapy has its origins in oriental medicine and has been practised for thousands of years. The cups were traditionally bamboo (readily available), then glass. The vacuum was created using flame to remove oxygen from the cup and then quickly applied to the body. The cups are applied along the meridians of the body, like acupuncture, or concentrated around areas of tension and pain. The red marks (not bruises) are more noticeable in areas of muscle tension and poor circulation and can remain visible for a couple of weeks. Cupping increases circulation, removes toxins and restores Qi (energy pathways) of the body. If you would like any further information about Chinese Cupping, contact me.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bounty Day

Everyone who publishes blogs on Norfolk probably posts one about Bounty Day. Bounty Day is the celebration day which commemorates the historic arrival of the Pitcairners to Norfolk Island on 8th June 1856. The original families that arrived were apportioned land on the island by Queen Victorias government of the day. Many families still own land concentrated in their ancestors original allotment.

My daughter Ada is descended from all of the Bounty mutineers. Her grandmother was a Nobbs. Each year, since Ada has been able to walk, she has joined in the procession on Bounty Day. She marches with my wonderful friend, Suzanne (Evans) or with my sister in law, Rachel and her 2 children Ella and Brandon.

Our day begins with dressing up of the children and Rachel and the kids pick flowers for bouquets in the garden. Then we head to Kingston where the commemoration starts with the re-enactment of the boat landing at Kingston Pier, which is hard to see for the crowds of people around the pier on the day. The descendants then form a procession and walk to the cenotaph where they say prayers and sing for those who have fallen in the wars.

Then proceed to the cemetery where more hymns are sung and the children lay wreaths and flowers on the graves of their family members. It's a really beautiful and moving thing to observe.
Then most people make their way to Government House for cordial and cookies with the Administrator and his wife. Our kids usually just want to walk back to the car along the stone walls built by the convict settlement.

We're usually blessed with really nice weather on Bounty Day and for the sesquicentenary in 2006 there were whales breaching behind the procession at Kingston.
Once we're all walked out, we prepare a picnic. Again, our family breaks with tradition and we picnic at Emily Bay usually.

This year it was windy at the Bay and we had ours on the opposite side of the island, not far from our home on Red Road.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The stormy weather overnight and this morning gives me time to post another blog. My computer doesn't boot in wet weather usually, and seeing as its still running, I'll sneak another blog in.

I found this pic of local yoga instructor, Candida Langman, and thought it might be a good time to introduce some of our calm therapies.

Candida runs Strawberry Fields Yoga on Anson Bay Road. Her compact studio has a beautiful garden setting, and the entrance to the yoga studio is graced by a produce stall with fresh produce from her garden.

She specializes in power yoga. I call her the yoga olympics, although she offers beginner choices as well. Most of our other resident yoga teachers go to Candida's classes for their own training.

Candida has wonderful foresight, and also located on the property is a huge garden maze, seen here in this picture taken from the air. The maze is constructed from plantings of pohutakawa. The maze can be accessed from Mission Road at the Anson Bay Road end.

Candida can be contacted on mobile 50811 for enquiries about yoga. She occasionally runs yoga bootcamps and participants camp in the valley on the property, are fed organic vegetarian foods sourced from her garden or locally. The property also adjoins access roads to the national park and to Anson Bay. Candida has been a yoga inspiration on Norfolk Island.

A stormy sea at Anson Bay

Well the start of winter arrived with some beautiful warm sunny days, with overnight and morning dew, the only indication of the change of seasons. I think the kids will be enjoying a swim on Bounty Day on Tuesday, which is usually the last swimming we do until late August or early September.

When I say, "we", I don't mean all of Norfolk stops swimming. There are some diehards that stay in the water all year round. They are inspirational.

Some real excitement to report though, with my business, Therapeutic & Relaxation Massage, which is situated in my house at Cascade. I put a deposit down on Solar Power package which is such an achievement. I planned this house out of "The Natural House Building Book" over 15 years ago and never thought that I would ever be able to afford to solar power it. Those of you visitors and locals who have been there for massage will know that it is quite a different house. I'm a bit of an outdoorsey girl and like to think I'm outside when I'm inside. It's an eco-friendly house really, lots of natural light, fresh air, recycled building materials and green scapes visible.

The grid connect solar will mean I can add more relaxing features to the massage retreat. In the near future I hope to add a hot tub for outdoors and spa bath for indoors. It's so exciting, part of a dream come true. The images I have included with this post are all taken wintertime on Norfolk Island for an exhibition curated by Gallery Guava titled, "Winter Beach". Hope you like them, cheers

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Massage Norfolk Island

I started this blog initially with the idea of promoting my massage business and its activities as a kind of cyberspace word of mouth, but in doing so I felt that the whole of Norfolk contributes so much to people's ability to chill out, relax, think clearly, gain new directions....which I couldn't contain within my business, so I called my Blog Norfolk Island Calm instead.

Today I would like to introduce my business, Therapeutic and Relaxation Massage. It is my business and I have 2, sometimes 3 part-time staff and we offer treatment options from 30mins to half day retreats. Between the 3 of us you can chose from relaxation massage, including Swedish massage which is the nice nurturing massage that you receive when you go to a beauticians. I love this type of massage. I find that my "all sorts massage" technique still holds some of the great Swedish massage techniques such as the figure 8 to the lower back, that everyone receives when they come for a treatment.

My tertiary training is in sports science with a particular interest in sports medicine and functional anatomy, so my initial foray into massage was through sports training with an emphasis on treating sports injuries and injury rehabilitation, so Therapeutic/Remedial Massage is where most of my client base comes from. After more than a thousand bodies have been on my massage table, I have now developed proven techniques for treating sciatica, pinched nerves, frozen shoulder, stiff neck, tennis elbow, lower back pain and migraine.

5 years ago on Norfolk we were lucky enough to have a Shiatsu teacher living on the island who ran an introductory Shiatsu course. The benefits of Shiatsu are really profound. When I started the first week of the 10 week course, I had difficulty bending my right knee following collateral ligament damage in 1998. By the end of the first session, I could sit back on my heels (albeit not very comfortably!) and by the end of the 10 weeks I could sit comfortably on my heels for a reasonable amount of time. In giving Shiatsu, it is necessary to sit back on your heels and I can still do this.

The Shiatsu course happen to coincide with a particularly stressful time for my family. My nephew was born 11 weeks premi. I was stressed for my twin sister, dizzy almost to the point of fainting. I found the Shiatsu course very grounding. It got me out of my head and much less stressed. Something about the movements to the hands and feet. I highly recommend Shiatsu for anyone who suffers depression or anxiety.

2 of my part-timers have completed massage courses with the Brandon Raynor School of Therapeutic Massage. The Raynor technique is a deep tissue technique with some very effective movements. For more information on this technique, try googling Brandon Raynor Massage and his dedicated site will give you lots of information. When I'm in the particularly busy time of the year I have a weekly Raynor massage from George and it gets rid of all the built up tension and soreness from doing too much.

My other part-timer, Lorraine, does Chinese Acupressure, but she also does beautiful relaxation massage as well. Chinese Acupressure works on improving the overall wellness and Chi of the body, by opening up the energy flow around the body and promoting the healing response of the body. Like Shiatsu it works with the meridians of the body that are the basis of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Lorraine is also an amazing Tai Chi instructor and watching her metamorphisis (hope that's correct spelling) into a sagelike being at the front of the Tai Chi class is something to behold and I find her awe-inspiring at this point. It's like she's been born to it. Maybe a past life thing.

Last year, I made a point of doing some more training and came home from a few weeks of intensive workshops with new skills under my belt. Chinese cupping being one. I have yet to find anything like cupping that can immediately remove RSI type impingements. Cups to the back of the shoulder that release sore points in the chest. Nothing else that I have experienced can make soft squishy ITB's like cupping can. And its so interesting to perform cupping and see what happens!
But I guess, the most exciting thing that I added to my bow last year was the training that I did with USPA trainer, Ann George, at her clinic Perfect Scents Therapies, in Port Macquarie. I learnt the unbelievably decadent Javanese Lulur Ritual. 2.5hours of total pampering! I also learn to do wraps, exfoliations and facials using the natural plant product range of skin and body care from Melbourne based company USPA. The USPA signature treatments, all of them, are like embarking on a sensory journey. The products smell so fresh and beautiful. Each unique in its fragrance, texture and function. Google USPA or Perfect Scents Therapies for more on these products. I'm going to finish here, but will expand on some of these other therapies another time. If you are coming to Norfolk and would like to book any of these treatments, send me an e-mail or contact me on the blogspot. Cheers!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Norfolk Island's first Holistic Living Festival

Its just over 24 hours since I started this blog and already have some exciting news.  Norfolk Island is hosting its first ever holistic living festival from November 14th to 19th 2010.  Check out the website www.holisticlivingfestivals.com for an overview of the festival and its program.

 The festival is the brainchild of our newest speaker of the house on our Legislative Assembly, Robin Adams, along with New Zealand psychic Helen Barnes.  The festival programme includes yoga, tai chi, meditation, numerology, naturopathy, bush walking, angelspeak, fitness and wellbeing, past lives and spirit guides, sustainable living and gardening, and of course massage and body therapies and enjoying the warm November climate here on Norfolk Island.  You've got no idea how excited I am about being able to attend some of the workshops on offer here at home.

The photo above is of Norfolk Islands beautiful Emily Bay which can be enjoyed at any time of the year by all ages of people.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Kick back, relax, find your inner calm

This blogging thing is new to me today, and I don't have a lot of time right now, but stay tuned for lots of information and photos about Norfolk Island, massage, relaxation and organic body therapies.
Norfolk Island is a natural haven for people seeking an escape from busy lifestyles. Just check out the guy in the photo, he's pretty relaxed right now! I first came to Norfolk Island on holiday in 1984 at the ripe old age of 18. I came for 2 weeks, extended to 6 weeks because I loved it. What did I love? I loved the stunning beauty of the place first. Flying in over a really green vista, huge pine trees and grassy green slopes, white sandy beaches and rocky coastlines surrounded by crystal clear waters of the pacific ocean.
I was pretty active back then, selflocomotion was the best form of transport. It's slower than a car and you get to see more. Lots more, in fact you don't miss a thing. I guess that's why 2 weeks wasn't long enough. 6 weeks wasn't enough either. I ended up coming twice a year for 8 years, deferred Uni for a year and stayed in 1986, then moved here in 1992 and its been my home ever since. So what has any of this got to do with photography, relaxation, massage and organic body therapies you might ask? Well, these are the things I do now, 25 years on from my first introduction to Norfolk Island.