Sally Ibbotson Shiatsu Massage & QiGong
Kensal Rise, North West London

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Qigong and Climate Change

In Spring 2019 at the Findhorn Foundation in Northern Scotland a conference titled Climate Change and Consciousness will be held. See here for details CCC19.
In the run up to the conference I will be blogging on the significance of Qigong and other self healing arts in an uncertain future where Healthcare institutions will almost certainly be overwhelmed. A You Tube video for self tuition will accompany the Blog. To find this month's Click here.
It is certain now that our planet will undergo change that will have repercussions for all of us. The conference seeks to find positive solutions to some of the consequences that we have witnessed in those parts of the Earth already affected by extremes of nature.
Healthcare is likely to become more reliant on local knowledge and resources as medical institutions struggle with overwhelming demand.
As Conference Convener Stephanie Mines Ph.D points out, shock and trauma will be a major factor affecting human health and we would be wise to strengthen our resilience to catastrophic change by learning such techniques as TARA Jin Shin (The TARA Approach) and Qigong.
Conscious Connectivity
Translations of Wu Chi, our starting position include’ boundless’,’ limitless’, ‘nothingness’ and, my favorite, ’Nothing Special’!
Now Click here for the video. It’s simple (nothing special!) and could make the world of difference.

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Sucessful November workshop!

Patricia Teahan and I lead a calming and renewing Qigong Workshop on 11th November 17 in West Hampstead.
Here are some comments from participants:

"I feel like new. So much better than when I arrived..."
"We are so lucky to have these two teachers available to us. Professional, sensitive and experienced.."

The workshop included self-healing techniques, digestive Qigong, Qigong for immunity and the shoulders, the Taiji Qigong Shibashi 2 form, meditation and this short centring practice - click here for Central Vertical Flow.

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Qigong and Climate change October 2017

In April 2019 a gathering will take place in Findhorn, Scotland. The gathering has been named Consciousness and Climate Change and brings together experts, parents, healthcare professionals, Shamans, young people and those already experiencing effects. For more information Click here
It is certain now that our planet will undergo change that will have repercussions for all of us. The conference seeks to find positive solutions to some of the consequences that we have witnessed in those parts of the Earth already affected by extremes of nature.
Healthcare is likely to become more reliant on local knowledge and resources as medical institutions struggle with overwhelming demand.
As Conference convenor Stephanie Mines Ph.D points out shock and trauma will be a major factor affecting human health and we would be wise to strengthen our resilience to catastrophic change by learning such techniques as TARA Jin Shin (website) and Qigong.
In the run up to the Conference I offer a monthly Blog via You Tube to assist those who would like to start learning simple and effective techniques to help themselves and their communities in the uncertain future.
Image of wu chi from Chris’s book.
Conscious Connectivity
Translations of Wu Chi, our starting position include’ boundless’,’ limitless’, ‘nothingness’ and, my favourite, ’Nothing Special’!
Now go to () for more. It’s simple (nothing special!) and could make the world of difference

Current. Me TARA

September 2017 TARA technique at the Findhorn Foundation

I have just attended a course with Dr Stephanie Mines, a Neuropsychologist committed to releasing shock and/or trauma from the body. According to the TARA Approach, devised by Dr Mines, this shock can be from as early as conception and can hold the person back in life unless carefully addressed. It was a fantastic course and I hope to bring aspects of it into my practice especially my work in Palliative care. Being at the Findhorn Foundation in the North of Scotland is always a joy!
Click Here for a Qigong set based around the TARA Approach.

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Urban Qigong - August 2017

I am lucky to live a cycle ride away from Hampstead Heath. I often do my Qigong in the early mornings with bare feet on the damp ground and the rising sun on my face. It's easy to feel blessed and grateful, however I also do a form on the Kent-bound platform of Waterloo East station opposite the Shard with packed commuter trains rolling in and out . It is just as grounding and blissful.
The moment doesn't have to be perfect for you to be present in it.

Deeply Relaxing Qigong August 2017

CLICK HERE! for a new You Tube video showing the movements of Fa Soong Gong which I will be teaching at our next Dorset retreat.

Qigong at the Breast Cancer Haven in London - August 2017

I am delighted to be teaching Qigong in this beautiful and innovative venue this month. For details please Click Here!

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2018 Spring Qigong Retreat

Joining a class, attending a Workshop or treating yourself to a Qigong Retreat is a great way to learn a sequence and to deepen your practice if you are already doing Qigong. We hold the retreats at the beautiful and spacious Gaunt's House in Devon (Venue details here.).

Contact me for details of our 4 day retreat next year (19th to 22nd April 2018) in Dorset.

"Excellent" "your teachings compliment each other perfectly" "wonderful food and venue" "clear instruction and follow-up video" "cant wait for the next one. Very useful!" (some comments from participants on a three -day Qigong retreat in Dorset March 2017)

"Thanks for an enjoyable day. Very pleasant, happy workshop. This has added an 'extra layer ' to my practice. Very useful!" (Participant in a one-day Qigong retreat in Dorset September 2016)

Physical Therapy for your Heart!

July 17: Here's a good write up on how regular Massage is very likely to help your heart condition and keep blood pressure low. Click here..

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Barnet Qigong/B>

June 2017

New Ground Cohousing is the first senior cohousing community in the country and the only one dedicated as women-only.
Amazingly it is built on my old school playground in Barnet! I teach Qigong there on Fridays to this wonderful group of women who have made social history. See New Ground Website.

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8th April 2017: Workshop at OWCH!

A Good Morning always starts with Qigong - a peaceful practice in times of troubled news!

I have just given a Qi Gong workshop at the fabulous Older Women's Co-Housing project in Barnet.
It was a delight to teach this group of women who have taken the later part of their lives into their own hands and build a dream home. Environmentally friendly, spacious and definitely welcoming, the new build is a pleasure to visit.

The workshop went down well!

"I felt very calm after our session and I really hope you will come back and teach us on a regular basis"

"Lovely workshop - well articulated and clear. Thank you"

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April Spring Qigong retreat 2018

Following the success of our last Retreat in Dorset, we have extended the next retreat by a day! The dates are 19th April to 22nd April 2018. A days Workshop has also been arranged on 8th July and that will be at a London venue to be confirmed. For more information please contact me.

The Extraordinary Vessels April 2017

Click Here to read a Blog I wrote for Suzanne Yates of Well Mother. I wanted to convey my experience of working with the 8 Extraordinary Vessels of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Simple and deeply effective, these channels are profoundly healing and are fast becoming popular with many Shiatsu Practitioners especially those working with family/lineage/ancestor issues.

3 DAY QI GONG RETREAT IN DORSET - last few places left.
Click here! for details.
Collect the energy
Move the energy
Store the energy
Relaxing and restorative..Qigong is a movement therapy for our times!

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Qigong for Mobility and Rehabilitation

One of the beauties of Qigong is it's simplicity. In terms of starting or returning to exercise this Form - called Fragrant Buddha - relies on engaging the mind in a story set in nature. The mind finds stories set in beautiful places it hard to resist so it is more likely to 'turn off' thought such as 'I can't move my arm sideways' or ' 'I will fall if I stand up'. Messages of pain are still there to protect us, however people can often do more than they think when they let the body decide!! Try the form here!

Qigong Shibashi Set 2

This Qigong set will be taught at our Spring retreat in Dorset. Dates 31st March to 2nd April 2017. It is a more challenging 'follow on' from Set 1 which we taught last Autumn. Try it - click here!

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Shiatsu and Self Worth

December 2016/January 2017
Traditional Chinese Medicine when used to it's best, should consider the Physical, Emotional, Psychological and Spiritual aspects of dis-ease. Here is a summary of the discussion that took place when a Client is surprised to be able to bring challenges around the matter of self worth into the Shiatsu treatment room! Please click here.

A 4 week Retreat

November to December 2016
I have just returned from a 4 week Retreat in Northeast Scotland. The Findhorn Foundation was the venue for a challenging, adventurous, life-changing, heart-warming Programme entitled Spiritual Deepening. In this Western world without rituals that celebrate the stages of ones life, I felt it important to acknowledge this beginning of my Third Age where hopefully Wisdom, Kindness and Compassion come first. The programme and place were everything I had hoped for and more. Highly recommended!

Qi Gong and Blood Pressure

For a short Vlog on the benefits of Qi Gong for those with High Blood Pressure - please click here.

July 2016

See here. for a You Tube information video about Qi Gong.

Micro Cosmic Orbit

Click here
A 5 minute moving meditation to keep energy moving

Pushing Hands

Click Here
Forms of Qi Gong usually comprise set movements which are repeated a number of times in sequence - each movement has it's own qualities and benefits. For example, this is one of the movements from the Taiji Qi Gong Shibashi form - it can be done on it's own and uses visualization, breathing and specific focus to enhance your sense of direction in life. Click Here

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I will be running a RESIDENTIAL QI GONG RETREAT in Autumn 2016
Date: 16-18 September 2016.

Full Board and Training in rural Dorset. Venue details here.
Beginners are very welcome as are experienced Practitioners of Qi Gong.
To be kept informed please please contact me.

January 2016
A new study published recently in Biological Psychiatry strongly suggests that inflammation can be significantly reduced by mind-body practices, with an intriguing twist. Building on earlier evidence-based research that insomnia can increase inflammation, UCLA researchers showed that a mind-body activity such as Qi Gong could not only alleviate sleep disturbance but also significantly decrease inflammation. this has repercussions for many of the diseases we struggle with in modern life - if mindful movement can improve matters that could mean less surgery, less medication and more emphasis on self-directed lifestyle changes.

January 2016
Research by Dr James Stahl of the Massachusetts General Hospital shows that teaching patients relaxation techniques such as meditation reduces subsequent need for health services by 43%. See more...

January 2016 : For my homemade snoring solution Click Here!

January 16 Click here for a Tai Chi oriented Telegraph article.

January 2016 Free 5-minute meditation!

December 2015 For an interesting article using climate change as a metaphor for chronic pain Click Here.

December 2015 For a free guided meditation please contact me.

November 2015Just completed a training in Birmingham in Tai Chi and Qi Gong for Falls prevention and rehabilitation . Here is what I thought..Click Here

November 2015 My Vitamix is one of my best friends! I follow a sugar-free diet - even fruit is counted as sugar as far as my digestive system is concerned! Berries are OK! I am also meat and fish free and like to eat raw as much as possible. I therefore rely quite heavily on good fats, grains and plant protein. I can blend my morning porridge of millet or buckwheat, dandelion root, ginger, cinnamon, almonds and chia seeds in 2 minutes - I don’t even have to crush the ginger! I then soak it over-night and add hot water in the morning to make a warm but raw dish for these misty mornings. The Vitamix can make nut butter and hot soup in minutes - I love it!

October 2015 The 6th day of my course Diploma in Tai Chi for Rehabilitation in Birmingham took place last Tuesday. Visualisation means different things to different people. I have just been with a highly visually creative client exploring the discomfort in her shoulder. She described it as 'like barbed wire'. I asked her what she would need to do to it to lessen the effect of the barbed wire. She visually 'wrapped the wire with wadding' and felt immediate and lasting relief.

October 2015 I love this time of year and so am taking time out to walk in nature and have a last dip in the sea! I am a keen student and teacher of meditation and will be taking a course entitled 'The Subtle Activist Training' this month: Thousands of people worldwide will be meditating together with the aim of sending power, joy and energy to the seats of parliaments all over the globe, in the run up to the Climate Change talks at the end of this year.

September 2015 Conference : Measuring the Value of Integrated Medicine:

I attended this conference hosted by the Research Council for Complimentary Medicine.

Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is used by 80% of us and yet it is difficult to measure the benefits of integrating CAM with mainstream medicine. Many projects such as Bristol Cancer Care and the Royal London Hospital for Integrative Medicine are successfully treating patients. However the very nature of CAM - treating the person as an individual and offering multiple modalities is problematic when it comes to research - what worked? Why did this patient benefit specifically?

The Conference was positive, citing the fact that it is patients success stories that are likely to influence service providers. Increasingly , with the advent of clinical commissioning groups, professionals are contracting CAM in regardless of scanty evidence, knowing from personal and patient experience that it works!

Meditation: 9.9.15: I practice meditation every day - having a 'Western mind' which needs constant variety, I find it useful to practice one daily technique for a 2 week period and then swap to another. This week I am practising 'Mindful body scanning' and loving it! If you would like me to send you a link where you can hear this meditation and join me, please email or call as per my Home page.

Pain: 6.8.15 Burning, stabbing, crushing...very often we name or label our pain in a way that is unhelpful. It is violent in itself and so subtly suggests additional suffering. Try saying to yourself "Oh there's that cool running water feeling again" next time you are in discomfort.

2.7.15 Feminine Wisdom is a company run by Kathryn Woodward Thomas.
Kathryn is a Trans-formative Educator - which means she teaches techniques which lead to transformation. Specifically the techniques help us to get to the source of negative beliefs about ourselves and, whilst fully accepting why we might have been seeing and acting through the lens of these beliefs, challenges them - FEROCIOUSLY!! Here is a link to her materials and Blog Click Here

5.6.15 BackCare Click Hereis a national charity for back pain sufferers and their carers. They run Back Pain Awareness Week and reach some 5 million people through general media. Government funded, their mission is to highlight new research, host discussions and offer advice. April 2015

3.4.15 The Complementary and Natural Health Council is a register of accredited complimentary health Practitioners. It campaigns for complementary therapies to be used alongside mainstream medicine and all practitioners on their register have been vetted for professional competency. GP's have access to the register and can commission local Practitioners when needed April 2015

3.4.15 Spring cleaning the body!
A Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage can be an excellent way to kick-start a detox. Gently moving the blood and the fluid, this relaxing, slow-moving treatment increases the uptake and elimination of toxins in the tissues and organs leading to a lighter, more energetic feeling. Great for providing the motivation you may need to see your cleanse through. March 2015

Pain Toolkit
Pain in daily life can be all invasive - here are some handy hints for getting back an element of control - so you are more in charge! Click Here

Explain Pain
Think about the difference between hard-won pain of a top cyclist going uphill and pain as a result of an injury - same pain, different concept:
Get yourself a dollop of Click HereA blog enhancing links between clinicians and researchers to bring ideas from the clinic to the fore

Shiatsu Society Funded research

The Federation of Shiatsu Societies commissioned research from Professor Long at the University of Leeds. Looking at papers from Europe, results showed:

*Up to 60 per cent of regular Shiatsu receivers slept better.
*Receivers rated their symptoms as significantly reduced throughout the six-month study
*86 per cent said that Shiatsu was effective in treating stress and tension, structural
and postural problems, low energy and fatigue.

Tai Chi improves balance in the elderly population (GUO L.Y. June 2014)

A study of 20 elderly people who did 9 hours of Tai Chi or Qi Gong every week showed better balance than a control group of elderly people who did not. Proprioception (perception of one's body in space) was improved and this would seem to be the most influential factor. Lower body muscle strength was also better and so this would also be a factor when considering improved balance and less falls. Published in the Chinese Journal of Integrated Medicine June 2014.

Cardiovascular exercise for the older population

A two year study of older people with cardiovascular complaints showed that Qi Gong and Tai Chi are safe, viable and effective exercise regimes for this section of our population to follow (Journal of American Geriatric Society) Lai JS.Wong MK Lan C Teng SH.

Open Age Click Here is a user led charity working across Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster enabling older people, from 50 to over 100 years of age, to sustain their physical and mental fitness, maintain active lifestyles and develop new and stimulating interests.

Teaching Qi GOng for this organisation is enlightening and rewarding - class members are always enthusiastic and grateful and report many benefits from practicing these slow yet powerful movements.

Neuro Orthopaedic Institute (NOI)

Challenging and Progressive, this South Australian organisation leads cutting edge research and treatment of Chronic Pain. Rehabilitation and Neurodynamics explores how working centrally on patterns of pain can produce results, even when injury is peripheral.

Their website Click Here focuses on the perceptual changes that a person goes through when in pain for a long time. Most immediately there may be real difficulty in telling Left from Right (laterality).

There is a free trial on the website which measures how quickly and accurately one can identify, for example, a Right hand or a Left foot. Undertaking this test on a regular basis can start to reprogramme the patients brain.

Graded Motor Imagery - imagining a movement for as long as it takes before actual movement is comfortable - is another research area. Mirror work - 'tricking' the brain into thinking left is right and vice versa is another reprogramming technique.

Chronic pain can be devasating to a persons life and disheartening for those who are trying to assist. NOI offers new hope for people on both sides of the coin.

Visit to the Blackthorne Trust
Click Here
An NHS Medical centre run along Rudolf Steiner lines is something to shout about!
Located in the deepest Kent countryside - a village called Barming to be precise - this centre offers refuge to patients for whom trauma and injury has typically meant a life of pain and associated isolation.
That referrals outstrip available places is a testimony to the Projects success.
Outcome measures are showing remarkable turn-around for the patients who are fortunate enough to live within the West Kent area
I visited in Summer when the Bio dynamically grown garden was at its most beautiful.
Patients are known as co-workers - working in financially viable ways - gardening, growing, baking, woodworking or craft-making.
The Cafe is wonderful and there are workshops selling goods, greenhouses where you can purchase plants and a small charity shop on site.
October 2014

Qi Gong for Rehabilitation
Mark Peters is the Teacher behind the successful integration of Qi Gong into Many of Birmingham's Community and Outpatient Physiotherapy departments. Click here
His website makes great reading - outlining recent research and highlighting the usefulness of Qi Gong for patients recovering from Stroke or Cardiovascular issues.
Inspired by a visit to Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth's hospital, I am running a Pilot study offering Qi Gong to patients at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.
November 2014

Manual Oedema Mobilisation

I have recently completed an audit of a technique known as Manual Edema Mobilisation (MEM).Click Here
Fast becoming the treatment of choice for Therapist working in Upper Limb rehabilitation this technique is gentle enough to honour the fragility of the lymphatic system and powerful enough to see immediate results in most cases.
It incorporates prescribed exercises and so can easily be incorporated into a home exercise plan post-operatively.
Sandra Artzenberger has written most of the literature available on this technique and I was fortunate enough to have been taught by her before her retirement in December 2012.
November 2014

Natural Pain Management Strategies

Many people who are in pain daily will know that there are numerous methods and techniques available to try to take back control of pain from a non-medical prospective.
Others are keen to be helpful - including professionals - offering solutions which can be both time consuming and expensive.
Useful as these techniques may be it is vital to monitor what is best for you.
Change one thing at a time so you can honestly map changes and keep a pain diary so that you have your own evidence.
Here is a simple technique that has proved useful within rehabilitation groups:

If you focus away from the pain - for example, if the pain is in your right shoulder, focus your mind on your left foot - a nerve pathway is set up between the brain and your left foot which will 'compete' with the pain pathway. The pain message will be 'diluted' by this new pathway. Keep focusing and practice regularly so that when the pain kicks in, this technique becomes second nature.

I have been honoured and fortunate to have worked with people whose lives are dominated by pain and who have improved pain issues in their own way. Often less is more.
November 2014

Qigong with a guided visualisation - a powerful combination

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