Bespoke Relaxation is a unique service that allows a qualified occupational therapist to work in partnership with each individual to create a one of a kind relaxation script. Each script is designed with the individual's interests in mind and is written to support them in overcoming a particular difficulty and improve their health and well-being.
Our imagination can have a powerful effect on what we actually experience throughout our lives. Our imagination influence how our minds interpret events that happen to us. Our interpretation of events can directly effect how we feel and act in any situation.
For example, if your best friend goes to the cinema with your boyfriend there are different ways you interpret the situation. Your imagination could think that this must mean your boyfriend is cheating on you with your best friend, which could leave you feeling angry, hurt and upset. Conversely, your imagination could instead think it is brilliant that you best friend and boyfriend get on so well without you there, leaving you with more positive emotions instead.
Our imaginations are powerful things and the mind should not be underestimated. By practicing visualisation techniques we can encourage our imagination to work in a more positive way interpreting events in a way that increasing the positive feelings and experiences that we have.
Christmas can be so much fun as it is the one time where everyone gets together. Children love party games, so you might like to make your Christmas day into a real party. Instead of turning on the TV this Christmas, keep the festive spirit with some fun family games that will keep everyone laughing and releasing those all important endorphins.
Christmas Pass the Parcel – Wrap a small gift with lots of wrappers and have a sweet or forfeit in between each layer. You could have forfeits such as: Give grandma a big hug and a kiss. Say the alphabet backwards. Talk about Christmas for 30 seconds. Sing a Christmas song. Name Santa’s 8 reindeer. Hop around the circle. Bark like a dog to the tune of Jingle Bells. Hum/ la/ sing ‘ding dong merrily on high’ as fast as you can… Be inventive!!
Pin the Carrot on the Snowman – Draw a big picture of a snowman and get everyone in turn to put the carrot nose on the snowman. Don’t forget that they have to be blindfolded.
Christmas A-Z – One person starts the game saying a Christmassy word beginning with the letter A, and the next person B and the next person C and so on until someone can’t think of anything. i.e. Advent, Baubles, Christmas cake etc
Guess who I am? - Under everyone’s plate, place cards with the name of a famous person or Christmas character written on it. The person sitting to the side of that person will stick the card with tape to that person’s forehead making sure they don’t see the name. Everyone else but the person who is wearing the card can see the name. Everyone asks each other questions to see if they can guess who they are. ..
Hum a Tune – Give everyone sitting round the Christmas dinner table a Christmas Carol or song. They then have to hum the tune to that song/carol for others to guess. This game is always lots of fun.
Christmas Stories - One person starts the game off by making up a story about Christmas and stop after two or three sentences. The person sitting next to them has to continue the story and so on.
Christmas I Spy - Everyone loves I spy! Why not play Christmas I Spy and list things related to Christmas.
The Big Wrap – Wrap up a present with lots of wrappers and make it as hard as possible to unwrap. Each person rolls the dice. When a person gets a 6, they put on gloves and try and unwrap the present until someone else gets a 6 and takes the gloves and starts to unwrap the present. The person who unwraps the final layer wins the present.
Preparatory visualisation can be used to help a client overcome an event that is causing them anxiety. The therapist encourages them to visualise the event they are worried about going well and slowly describes this to them as part of a visualisation. This helps to reduce the fear for the client when they are actually engaging in the anxious event and it can help them to succeed by visualising their own success.
The way the therapist uses their voice in relaxation is essential to establishing a relaxing environment for the client and increasing their receptivity to what you are saying.
It is important to keep your voice, soft and gentle with a deep pitch to promote a relaxing environment. It is helpful to talk slowly and clearly making sure that you leave pauses in your description allowing the client time to build up a picture in their mind of what you are describing.
If you keep you breathing deep, the client with unconsciously pick up on this and copy your pattern of breathing helping them to relax further.
Visualisation can be relaxing by describing a relaxing scene to you using suggestive language that promotes the feeling of relaxation. Encouraging you to imagine a relaxing scene allows you to experience the scene as though you are actually there, thus creating a relaxation response within the body.
Visualisation uses your imagination and ability to picture relaxing scenes that are being described to you, to take you away from the stresses of everyday life and experience something relaxing.
Are you stuck with what to give your loved ones for Christmas?
How about giving them a Bespoke Relaxation. You can create their own personal safe space that they can visit anytime they want to relax. I am offering an exclusive 15% discount for my tumblr followers on any order.
I write each script from scratch for the individual so they are suitable for anyone aged 4-104! It can be based anywhere, in their favourite place, in a memory, in a fictional world or anywhere else you or they can think of.
I e-mail the written script and audio mp3 file so I can write the scripts for anyone anywhere in the world. If you would like to give a Bespoke Relaxation as a Christmas gift please e-mail me by 15th December to guarantee it will be finished in time.
Check out my website for more details and/or e-mail me with any questions.
For many of us, the onset of winter signals the time for us to stock up on a multitude of ‘behind the counter’ medicines and tissues. The long winter months result in most of us catching some sort of acute illness and schools can be a common breeding ground for germs and bacteria. This can be a miserable time for parents and children, whose immune systems often take a beating.
For parents who are concerned about their child’s health, they can focus on boosting their child’s immune system by combining something as simple as relaxation and a healthy eating plan. Relaxation and simple stretches have been proven to help strengthen and balance the immune system – and is lots of fun for children too!
Relax Kids offers children and parents an easy – and magical – way to rest and relax whilst building up a strong immune system. When children meditate and listen to Bespoke Relaxations, they go into a state of peace and calm. They experience positive feelings, which causes them to release natural endorphins, which can help build the immune system. Believe and Achieve CD from Relax Kids is one way of doing this or a Bespoke Relaxation created especially for your child.
Blocked sinuses, headaches and sore eyes are all caused by the mucus-producing process within the immune system, which attacks the innocuous invaders. Through relaxation, the nervous system can tell the immune system to settle down and stop attacking these foreign bodies. When the immune system backs off, inflammation and mucus decrease and symptoms diminish. Relaxing the nervous system has been shown to help direct the immune system to attack the viruses and bacteria that increase in colder weather.
Colds are caused by bacteria and affect the upper respiratory system, causing stuffiness, coughing, sore throat and the other common symptoms. If the immune system is weak, the bacteria can penetrate the lungs and may cause bronchitis or pneumonia. If children are given the opportunity to totally relax their bodies – and therefore their immune systems – they will be armed with such a powerful tool that they can use throughout their lives.
‘Top Tips’ For Beating The Winter Blues
Good Mood Food
Cut down on sugary snacks that meddle with the blood sugar and can affect mood. Lots of fresh vegetable soup will bring winter cheer to your family table. Bananas are a great mood enhancer and provide lots of mental energy. They contain serotonin, a mood lifting substance and dopamine, which is great for emotional balance,
When it is dull, the last thing you want to do is take the children outside. Getting the kids to have fun and exercise in the open air will bring them more energy and make them feel great. Even running and jumping in puddles will increase their heart rate and give them a ‘feel great’ factor!
Hugs & Cuddles
There is nothing better on a winter’s day, than snuggling up and having a cuddle. Lots of hugs and cuddles will remind your child that he/she is loved, which can improve a child’s behaviour. Try some gentle massage strokes on your child’s back, forehead or arms. Better still, see if they will give you a massage back!
The heavens are opening at this time of year and water is everywhere outside. It is easy to remember to take water inside when the weather is hot, but easily forgotten in rainy weather. Water will help flush out toxins and helps the nervous system work better, so improving your child’s mood and brain power.
Music is a great mood enhancer. Pop on some fun and lively music and get the family dancing in the living room. You’ll feel so much better after a good dance than watching reality TV.
We can often feel low in winter, as we are taking in less sunlight and many adults and some children are affected by Seasonal Affected Disorder. Even though the sun may not be streaming through your windows, it’s important to make sure the children get enough natural daylight.
Often when it is so cold outside, we can feel quite miserable as we yearn for the warm summer months. Make the winter fun and wrap up in bright warm hats and coats. Find some cosy family activities such as cuddling up with a book, drinking hot chocolate, building a den with lots of warm blankets. Cuddle up and listen to the Relax Kids CDs!
Make sure your family has lots of laughs together. Children are great at this. Children love making up jokes or you could dig out an old joke book or even find some on the Internet. You could have family stand-up nights where each member entertains the rest of the family. An easier option could be watching a funny DVD together.
Do a Good Deed
There is nothing better than doing something good for someone else. It would be a treat for the whole family to work together and do something lovely for someone that needs it. Watch everyone’s mood change as you see the happy face of the recipient.
If you do nothing else on this list, but smile, you will be on your way to beating the winter blues. Ask your family to try to smile but have really sad thoughts. Now make a really sad face while having happy thoughts. It is amazing that it is virtually impossible. The more we smile, the better we will feel about ourselves and others.
It has been proven that positive thinking helps keep us healthy. The Relax Kids Believe and Achieve CD can be played at bedtime, in the car or in the background during homework. It is great for helping children and adults feel more positive.
I am very excited to have been offered the opportunity to do a creative workshop teaching session with 2nd year OT undergraduate students on my Bespoke Relaxation method/idea.
Having delivered one talk already at the British Association of OT South West Regional Conference and with another upcoming in November for the Children, Young People and Families Specialist Section of College of OT Specialist Section. I will probably expand on this talk by adding in more practical elements, to create what will hopefully be a fun and interactive session for the students!
I have until January to plan. Wish me luck!