Issue 72

Page 32

32 body & soul Beccy Golding meets a Constellations practitioner, chats to a professional clutter clearer and investigates using Alexander Technique for swimming

alexander technique for swimming

What is… Constellations therapy? We talk to Barbara Morgan: family Constellations practitioner, trainer, supervisor

Describe Constellations therapy…

Family Constellations constitute a radical approach to healing your own soul and your family’s soul. No-one really knows how it works but it seems as if the family system has a conscience which demands that the system be in order. When it is not in order by, for example, not mourning for those who die young, or not acknowledging abortions or prior relationships, the consequences can be felt by individuals in subsequent generations. These feelings can be manifested by depression, addictions, mental or physical illness, infertility or difficulty in forming or maintaining longterm, intimate relationships. In a group workshop, I support an individual to choose other people in the room to represent either family members, parts of themselves (the part that wants to heal, the resistant part etc.) or abstract concepts (the secret, war, the truth in this family). We may also gather information about important events or trauma in the history of the family. The representatives are placed intuitively in the circle without any prior knowledge of what they are representing. The representatives slowly begin to experience bodily sensations, emotions or a desire to move. This then often leads to previously unknown dynamics or energies being uncovered in the system. Sometimes a resolution becomes apparent (this can be followed by rituals and healing), at

other times the client is asked to wait and see as changes can happen over time. Individual sessions are also possible using stones, plastic figures (lego or similar) or cards to represent family figures.

What brought you to Constellations?

I was completing my Gestalt training and I did a workshop with Bert Hellinger. I was gripped by the power of the work and it made so much sense to me from the beginning. My first personal constellation transformed my relationship with my mother and I had 18 months of blissful togetherness with her before she died.

What I’ve learnt about myself is… that I am so much more relaxed and at peace with my family than I ever was before. I can approach family Christmases with ease and love for my children and grandchildren.

If others want to do this… I’d say do go for it. I know of no other method which offers so much potential for healing but you have to be prepared to go through the difficult bits to get there. Next 3-day workshop, 26-28 April, Bristol, £195. Two-year training in Bristol starts June 2013. Email Barbara:

A space clearer talks… Lisa Bolitho is an experienced space clearer,

creative gardener and shiatsu practitioner.

Describe what you do…

I am a space clearer. I like to think of myself as a light-hearted, gentle but firm clutter clearer with a bit of fun thrown in! I work alongside you at your pace to sort out the muddle in your home. If you are feeling overwhelmed, thinking ‘I have had enough of this mess’ but don’t know how and where to start - I can help you physically and emotionally. You decide what stays or goes. As we clear together you will pick up techniques from me and soon you won’t need me anymore. It’s all about empowering you!

What brought you to clutter clearing?

I have always seen the beauty and usefulness in objects. I began collecting useful items and had lots of art projects on the go but every so often I would feel claustrophobic and have a huge clearout. I would scrap the projects that weren’t going anywhere and move my furniture. This made me feel good and gave me more energy to focus on what I really wanted to do. Others asked for my help and I am now experienced and confident with this wonderful service.

The misconceptions of clutter clearing are… ‘It’s not normal to be in this mess. I am embarrassed’. Anyone can let things get on top

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of them and feel stuck. I am a shiatsu practitioner, too, working directly with the body. My shiatsu has taught me how to be confidential, supportive and compassionate to your feelings. Feel good and have visitors back again!

I know it’s been a good day when… we have had fun together getting rid of that horrible gift that you never liked and I see your relieved, happy face as you relax in your new, clear space. If I wasn’t doing this I’d be… constantly moving my own space around! I would do what I am already doing: Shiatsu bodywork, inspiring people through art and play and being curious. If you want to do this I’d say… go for it! Lets rid the world of unwanted stuff and give to those who need it. Find our forgotten treasures and create a less cluttered world. Space clearing £10-£12 an hour (minimum of 4 hours per session). Shiatsu £35 an hour. Concessions available for both. Lisa 07766 296497, email


lexander Technique, first developed for performers, is a way of checking your own balance and poise, and unlearning subconscious patterns of using your body. The technique has been applied to all sorts of activities, including walking and cycling. In the late 1980s Stephen Shaw began to develop Shaw Method: an Alexander Technique-based approach to swimming. In 1996 he published The Art Of Swimming, a now seminal work. Briefly reading just one chapter of the book about five years ago fundamentally changed the way I swam breast stoke; from merely a great way of exercising to a calm, meditative practice. Recently I decided to revisit the book and while making an online search was delighted to find that there is a second re-written and improved edition and, delightfully, people teaching the method in one-to-one classes and group workshops. I quickly booked a session with Paul Rothery, who teaches in Swindon and Bristol. I swim three or four times a week and love it; partly because of that breaststroke I learnt from the Art of Swimming. I wondered if Paul could help me do the same with front crawl, a stroke I have never quite mastered for more than one exhausting, breathstopping length in a row. To start with, Paul watched me doing a couple of lengths each of breast stroke and front crawl and made some observations. He then taught me a fundamental step for the Shaw Method: ‘The Glide’ which is a starting point for most other exercises in the pool. It would be wrong for me to go into great detail about some of the things Paul taught me – I wouldn’t want to explain them incorrectly – but we looked at breathing (concentrating on the out breath leaves room for the in breath to find its own place); slight

Stephen Shaw practises his crawl changes to arm positions that take tension out of muscles, ; concentrating on the down kick of the leg (enabling it to raise naturally afterwards); starting a turn of the body with the head (then the rest of the body follows, right down to the hips). It’s all about making things easier, calmer, slower, gentler and more efficient. Paul is a good teacher, patient and open to questions. He was a nonswimmer until he twas 38 and his experience means that he really enjoys working with non-swimmers and those who are anxious in the water. Of course I haven’t mastered front crawl in one lesson but I’ve learnt valuable techniques to take away and practise. After my lesson I took a moment to watch Paul as he practised his butterfly and I’ve never seen that stroke look so elegant, graceful, dancelike and easy before! More info and to book lessons or workshops: tel 0845 604 1910 60-min lesson with Paul costs £65 for Nuffield members/£75 for non-members, 45-min £65 nonmember/£55 member and 30-min £55/£45.

news Memory Cafés are open to anyone affected by dementia. Learn new skills and undertake meaningful activities, or if you are a carer, get practical info & support from guest speakers.

classes, breast-feeding support and a young parents group. The centre had its first Ofsted inspection in 2012 and was awarded ‘outstanding’ in every area.

Visit and click ‘Local information’ and find services in your area.

Bellefield Children’s Centre, Windermere Road, Trowbridge BA14 8TE, 01225 763274

BCfm, Bristol’s community radio station, has launched a new weekly programme for older listeners called Silversound, broadcast Fridays, 10am-noon. Silversound want local people of that age group to get involved, from producing and presenting to research and administration. Training is available! BCfm: 93.2fm. Email

Reiki practitioner Ian Meachin offers a mobile Reiki service with a difference. Being nonclinic-based enables Ian to keep his costs down and he can offer low cost treatments (£15-£25) to people in need on a tight budget (clients who are ill, dealing with trauma, carers, claiming benefits etc). First session free to anyone in dire need, with no money, who can travel to him. Ian is insured and CRB checked. email tel 0117 902 9145, 07879 735577

Bellefield Children’s Centre in Trowbridge opened in 2009 offering play groups, parenting

The Self Injury Self Help group (SISH) has received funding to re-start its support groups from March: weekly women’s-only group (25 years+); weekly men and women’s support group (18 years+); twice-yearly course for women and men who want to change their self harm habits; monthly Good Mental Health workshops (open to anyone, self-injury does not have to be a personal issue). In addition, Bristol Crisis Service for Women offer a self-harm support group for young women under 25. For SISH groups email: or tel Bristol Mind 0117 980 0370 For BCSW group tel Babi or Mel: 0117 927 9600

Bristol has received funding of £200,000+ to help turn it into a ‘dementia-friendly city’. Three projects will work towards this goal by tackling isolation through volunteering, intergenerational work, and improving hospital stays through the re-design of wards in the BRI and Southmead Hospital.

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