Ziggie Bergman explains how German research shows that the part of the brain associated with our fight-or-flight stress response, the Amygdala, is stimulated by our own angry facial expressions.
Try a simple Facial Reflexology sequence to help with Hot Flushes
by Ziggie Bergman
A simple sage smudging ritual to cleanse and protect your aura and clear your space is a perfect way to lift your spirit.
Native American shaman and medicine men have used dried sage plants on their fires, in sweat lodges and for healing ceremonies for over 2,000 years. Any conflict, anger, illness or evil was absorbed by the sage smoke to be released or cleansed from the energy field of a person. It is also used to cleanse the home, for example after an argument or to welcome each season, washing out the old stagnant energy and bringing in the new. Smudging can also be used to create a special ceremonial place for healing during a treatment. It is believed as the smoke rises it carries away the negative energy, so it is important to always have a window open just a crack to allow for this.
Sage is most commonly used for cleansing and healing, however you can also use Cedar, Sweetgrass and Lavender and it is easily available at many organic supermarkets or on the internet and go for brands that are traditionally growing it (Native Spirit for example grows White Sage on a reservation in California) or if you grow it in the garden you can just pick it and string up up with a little string to dry and it will then be ready for burning.
Before you begin Smudging: make sure the area you are smudging is well ventilated by opening all windows and doors so that the negative energy can "escape". Don't use near infants or very young children; asthmatics, or pregnant women and never leave burning smudge unattended.
Smudging is quite simple to do effectively yourself by following a few simple steps:
1. To smudge, light a smudge stick. The lit sage bundle produces a cloud of fragrant smoke that you can pass around yourself or another person or place that needs spiritual cleansing. Make sure to lift the arms, and with rooms get right into the corners and around and over doorways moving from left to right.
2. Focus on your intention. ‘I release all negative energies and may this place/person be filled with pure love and light energy from the universe'.
3. To smudge yourself fan the swirls of smoke with your hand or a feather around your body from head to toe. It's best to visualize the smoke lifting away all the negative emotions, thoughts and energies that have attached to you. If you are feeling depressed, for example, you could visualise the smoke carrying away all your feelings of depression.
4. If you want to smudge someone else, it is best to hold a positive intention and you could say something like, ‘allow the sacred smoke to cleanse your body and bring you present and available into this moment'. Or create your own prayer that fits.
5. Smudging a flat or space: first offer smoke to the four directions, starting with the east, then south, west and ending with the north. Beginning with the lowest level of your house, or, if it's a flat or bungalow, working from the floor upwards walk around the outside edge of each room, giving special attention to the corners and the places behind doors. Repeat the following either out loud, or in your mind: ‘I release all negative and stagnant energy in this place. May peace, light and love protect us and be ever present'.
6. Use a jar or ceramic bowl under the sage stick to catch the embers and to stub it out safely when finished. You can smudge at the beginning of each season and whenever you need a shift in energy to invite in the new.
Ziggie regularly smudges clients as part of the Zone Face Lift treatments and it is included in her professional training. ‘It is a lovely way to release negative stagnant energy, cleanse the aura and invite in love and positive balance creating a feeling of well-being'.
Ziggie spent many years learning with Native American Shaman and Healers in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which inspires her teaching and treatments. www.zonefacelift.com
Women are twice as likely to develop restless legs syndrome than men especially during middle age. Research suggests decreased dopamine levels can be a factor and Reflexology can help with symptoms.
As the weather starts to change I always recommend my clients drink one cup of fresh ginger and lemon tea a day. Slice fresh ginger and lemon and add water, simple. Sometimes I suggest adding 1/4 teaspoon of ground turmeric and manuka honey if they are feeling under the weather.
The key to Ginger‘s unique benefits are that it contains several essential oils that give it that distinct aroma and flavour: zingerone, shogaols, & gingerols. These oils are powerful anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-parasitic and anti-fungal agents. Ginger root promotes healthy digestion, helps treat asthma, boosts immunity (antioxidants that boosts immunity and helps fight off infections), aids in cardiovascular health and relieves pain (preventing prostaglandins from setting off an inflammatory response in the body).
Due to the warming properties of ginger, it improves your blood circulation. Increased blood flow will improve the delivery of vitamins, minerals and oxygen to your body’s cells. Ginger is also a very effective remedy for headaches, flu and colds. Just one cup of tea a day will also minimize your chances of stroke, as ginger helps break down fat deposits that block arteries.
Lemon helps to clear skin – Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is key to the production of collagen, a protein which aids in the growth of new cells and blood vessels to give skin its firmness and strength. The vitamin C contained in the lemon rejuvenates the skin from within our body and gives us a vibrant glow!
Lemon is one of the easiest, cheapest and most effective ways to boost the immune system; high in antioxidants and vitamin C, drinking lemon juice or lemon tea regularly helps to fight off disease and illness. Lemons are also high in potassium, which stimulates brain and nerve function and control blood pressure.
Lemons are also anti -inflammatory so recommended for anyone suffering with Asthma and other respiratory symptoms.
If you drink Ginger and Lemon Tea in the morning it helps to kick start our metabolism for the day, it assists the liver and digestive system, therefore it helps us to control weight. Lemons have strong antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers which build immunity and fight infection which is why I recommend this simple home remedy to all my clients after their Facial Reflexology treatments. Facial Reflexology is both wellness treatment (a gentle cousin of acupuncture without the needles) and a blissful anti-aging workout for you face which sculpts, lifts and smooths leaving a radiant glow even after the first treatment.
Ziggie Bergman’s Zone Face Lift facial reflexology treatments are available at Grace Belgravia on Wednesday’s from 12pm-8pm. For bookings please click here and also at at Triyoga Camden on Thursday 12.30-4.30 and Friday's 5pm - 9pm. For bookings click here