Could Covid-19 have changed our attitude to health? Government asked us; no, forced us to take more responsibility for our health; to change our long-held beliefs that we can rely on someone else to fix us when we are sick. In the absence of a vaccination or approved medical treatment, experts told us to take more responsibility – wash our hands, wear a mask, keep our distance and abide by various restrictions. We also had recommendations to take a daily walk. Most knew about exercise and a healthy diet, rich in vitamins, but did we reliably follow through on this?
Let’s introduce Sleep-breathe-ground:
Scientists also know more things we can do to support a healthy immune system, enabling us to ward off disease or recover from the after-effects. There are many reasons to assume that doing these things could help with Covid-19, and best of all, they are free. As time goes by, the evidence increases. Let’s start with three critical topics:
Breathe: How do you breathe? Did you know that breathing in and out through your nose will clean the air and give every cell and organ in your body more oxygenation. Breathing gently down into our diaphragm will relieve anxiety, that causes so many mental health challenges.
Sleep:We all know how vital it is. Regular quality and quantity of sleep (8 hours for adults) not only improves your immunity but also increases the number of antibodies you can create after infection or vaccination.
Ground: Grounding, quite simply is connecting us with the earth, imagining you deeply rooted to the ground with every cell in your body, will do the trick. It will keep you calm and centred. Ground yourself for a happier, healthier lifestyle.
These three things are so crucial in helping to prevent infection and recovery. They are all simple skills to learn and will positively affect your wellbeing. Just putting your attention on Sleep-breathe-ground for a few minutes every day will improve your immune system, help you fight Coronavirus and recover from it more swiftly if you get it. Over the next few days/weeks, posts will appear at my blog to share more details. Do sign up so you don’t miss an installment.
We can all learn new skills to help us to take more responsibility for our own health. Look out for further episodes of this Empowering Health series, for example:
How can Sleep-breathe-grounding assist every child?
How can you add better sleep to your own personal health?
What is the connection between breathing and a hyperactive child?
How can meditations help you recover your energy after Covid.
“Are you worried about the panic surrounding Covid-19?” I was. As a health and learning coach, I don’t disagree with the messages about public health, but there’s angles here that are being overlooked.
Our immune system is a learning organisation. As everyone is likely to experience it naturally or through a vacination, this virus can actually deliver an upgrade to our immune systems. It is vital that our immune system is in the best condition it can be, to learn. The primary function of our immune system is a complex structure that defends the body against an intruder. It keeps a record of every germ it has ever defeated so it can recognise and destroy it more quickly if it enters the body again. When you have a flu virus, your immune system remembers it and protects you from getting the same virus again. Vaccination works in the same way. Our natural immune systems are doing a great job for millions of people who experience mild Covid-19, learning all the while how to naturally develop immunity. I recall listening to a doctor, who had gone through Covid-19 herself, was praising her immune system, how it copes and has adjusted to support her healing.
Of course, we want people to adhere to medical advice. But we must be very careful not to terrorise and depress them – that will automatically suppress their natural immune system. During the roll-out of vacinations, our main ally against this virus is our immune system.
We need to take care of our immune systems; they are busy with this new invader. Here’s how to ensure it is as strong as possible.
Your immune system likes physical and mental exercise, healthy eating. Even if we are self-isolating there is much we can do to remain active with exercise programmes on the TV and Youtube, for example.
Your immune system is suppressed by toxins, such as alcohol, smoking and an unhealthy diet. Please do everything possible to improve the quality of the air you breathe.
Sneezing is an important part of the immune system. Sneezes protect your body by clearing the nose of bacteria and viruses. Don’t forget to use a tissue.
Vitamin D has proved to be a major contributor to our immunity. In the winter when sunshine is less away from the equator, we need to supplement this and in addition those with dark skins will get less naturally. According to this article, margarines were supplemented with vitamin D from 1940-2013 and many people are now deficient in this vital vitamin.
Other vitamins and herbs such as Vitamin C and Echinacea also support your immune system.
Consider how much anxiety is floating around, try to calm yourself, it might even rub off on others. For example, seek out fun TV, write down what you are grateful for, practice diaphragmatic breathing, consider a complementary technique such as EFT to release specific anxieties.
Sleep is another underappreciated topic that is free. According to Matthew Walker, good quality/quantity of sleep before an infection can reduce its severity and good quality/quantity of sleep after can increase the antibodies you generate. Matthew is professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. He life’s work is on sleep.
Have you ever noticed how you speak to yourself? Your subconscious doesn’t understand negatives. When in social distancing do you see that as being negative? Try reframing “I am at-risk” to think “I am protected” and notice any difference.
This in a series about what we can all do individually and as a community to take responsibility for our own health, especially in these times of uncertainty. This will be followed by topics such as healthy breathing, reducing anxiety and how complementary therapies can support you.
To maybe brighten your day I thought I would draw these crazy little characters.
2020 has been tough for so many and lets all hope 2021 will get better. I am so grateful for how our family is looking after us from afar, the services are keeping going to look after our health, deliver food, collect refuse, supply electricity and water, etc and we are able to get out for a daily walk.
Hope you are all keeping safe and lets reconnect in 2021.
You will hear about: * how breathing and grounding help reduce stress * how visualising words can be achieved in minutes * how to calm a racing brain * how students have reduced distraction, impulsivity and hyperactivity * how to organize mental imagery * Improving your memory * Skills for any neurodiversity * and so much more.
We were thinking that everyone needs good news stories about possibilities and how they can make progress, at this current time, so tune in every day and get just a little inspiration.
Made by Dyslexia has done a great job bringing together excellent material called Connect the Spots to inspire people to be more optimistic about Dyslexia – but we have to remember that this is a great challenge and very worthwhile for parents, students and teachers alike. When everyone fully understands dyslexic skills, the students and the education system will be a far happier place. Early identification and intervention is, of course, essential before the child gets depressed with their abilities and loses their self-esteem.
I agree and support so much of the material, especially that Dyslexic skills are the skills we need for the future; these people have so much to offer to the world. I too remember “Popcorn reading is a death sentence”, [John Clark, Schenck School], that causes significant anxiety and trauma. The material is full of exceptional nuggets from famous dyslexics, specialist teachers and children.
However, there are a few topics below that would rapidly improve the Dyslexic experience, and enable these children to find education more accessible.
Fantastic mental imagery underpins almost all Dyslexic strengths. The curriculum neglects this aspect of cognition vital for education and teacher training. I should like to know whether the speakers, who mention a multi-sensory approach, actually understands visual learning, not just visual teaching. For people with Dyslexia, visual learning must not be confused with visual instruction. With the correct tuition, students can quickly develop their Word Form Area (WFA), improving word recognition and spelling. The WFA is adjacent to the occipital lobe that holds all our mental images. Those children who have excellent reading and poor spelling, [just like Aristotle], have 1000s of words stored in their WFA, all they need to do is build the neural pathways to find them for spelling. There is no reason why they will always be slow readers if they have migrated from phonics to using their WFA.
When a child is highly creative, can see different perspectives and has a high-speed problem-solving brain, they can also have uncontrolled mental imagery that creates multiple images and fast-moving videos. These images are one way that students get letters and numbers moving on the page, leading to anxiety and exhaustion. Simple grounding and breathing exercises create calmness, reduces their pressure, stabilises their imagery and reduces distraction.
All of the late Sir Ken Robinson’s work on Finding your Element, Creative schools and self -directed learning plus NASA’s research on creativity all shine a light on visual learning. When we ensure every child is using their visual thinking skills and knows how to learn through their visual memory, the need for identification might even disappear, one day
Big picture thinking goes well with whole word recognition – phonics that is primarily bits of words has no visual cues for people with Dyslexia. Correct teaching of whole-word recognition won’t “blow up Dyslexics” . They love it; it supports their visual strengths and fantastic visual memory.
Phonics – As Maggie Aderin-Pocock said, “Dyslexics have a hard time with a rule-based approach”. The English language is littered with rules and words that break the rules. It is much easier for them to visualise words, using their natural strengths. Hart Stuck said that phonics means they don’t have to memorise words – but visual memory is what they are good at! they just need to learn how to do it. The English language has a deep orthographic depth, making a phonics only strategy limiting.
Memory – Mental imagery is a vital part of the memory for all aspects of the curriculum.
Slow processing – people with high-speed mental images may be taking the “scenic route” to process questions, so they are not really slow but very busy.
Getting all teachers to look at the content and not the spelling or punctuation is a tall but worthy order – rules are easier to mark
It is easy to learn times tables when they are taught visually from the youngest age with visual cues such as dice and counters.
Learning to use mental imagery for words, numbers, etc. won’t inhibit their visual skills, and will enhance them.
I am a reformed dyslexic who visualised numbers all my life (I have a maths degree) but had very poor literacy. Nobody told me that visualising words was essential for fluent literacy, so you can progress from phonics for new words to word recognition or better still run them in parallel. I refused to accept the status quo that people with Dyslexia could not be taught literacy through mental imagery.
I can’t entirely agree that Dyslexia is genetic, although it might appear like that. We need to look at what is behind that. What geneticists might be seeing is highly visual creative people, many of whom may develop Dyslexia when they are not taught in a way that works for them, capitalising on their strengths. As a postscript, I didn’t have dyslexic parents, although my brother, when young did do perfect mirror writing because he was bored. I have met many identical twins where one is dyslexic, and the other isn’t. Plasticity of the brain is all-important here, showing how students can learn to use their WFA, even if they missed out at a younger age.
We need teachers to understand how people learn, what is going on inside their head, so they understand visual learning, not visual teaching. They need to realise “the reason why they are not memorising their spelling words” [Hart Stuck]. But the reason is not just Dyslexia, nobody has taught them how to. It is very easy to do at the age of 4. I had to wait until I was 50.
I like the Made by Dyslexia pledge and would like to add to it something about supporting visual learning, that is the root of many dyslexic strengths.
To start our month of great Dyslexia and ADHD success stories, I want to give you the 3 secrets we have discovered to significantly address poor literacy, inattention, impulsivity, hyperactivity, drowsiness, irritability and low self-esteem. These will be demonstrated with actual stories throughout the month, starting October 1st, from myself and other Empowering Learning Practitioners.
ADHD and Dyslexia are generally looked at as a problem, with maybe challenging unmanageable, hard to control students; all focused on behaviors that are identified by parents and teachers.
The Empowering Learning approach is to work from the student’s strengths and to learn from the students about their experiences. There are a few little know facts that those diagnosed with or suspected ADHD/Dyslexia, often have: * very extensive mental imagery and those with Dyslexia are not using their mental imagery for words * poor breathing, sleep and grounding * anxiety, trauma, feeling unsafe and a highly stressed Autonomic Nervous system (ANS). All of these can both be a cause and an effect of ADHD/Dyslexic symptoms
During October you will hear how improving these 3 factors have changed the experiences of individuals. All you need to do is to SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/olivehickmott and you will receive a reminder every day at 10am UK time. At this time I will be available to answer your questions on-line, below the video.
October was ADHD and Dyslexia awareness months. Empowering Learning contributed to these events in a very positive way, with success stories from Practitioners, clients and any who have discovered Empowering Learning Resources.
You will hear about: * how breathing and grounding help reduce stress * how visualising words can be achieved in minutes * how to calm a racing brain * how students have reduced distraction, impulsivity and hyperactivity * how to organize mental imagery * Improving your memory * Skills for any neurodiversity.
We were thinking that everyone needs good news stories about possibilities and how they can make progress, at this current time, so tune in every day and get just a little inspiration.
Children are not discovering an essential skill for learning.
In response to the piece, on Dyslexia Wars in the Guardian on 19.6.2020, there is still no appreciation that not all children learn in the same way. Bright, creative, imaginative children with poor literacy or Dyslexia typically have good mental images for pictures. However, they have not discovered an essential skill of how to use their mental images for word recognition and spelling; we mustn’t leave this to chance.
There is a straightforward way to identify Dyslexia and its FREE. Has a child learned to visualise words? 100% of those I have met diagnosed with Dyslexia or with poor literacy are not reliably visualising words. The answer is simple and would reduce inequality: it only takes minutes to teach the skill, and after practice, they can catch up with their peers.
It isn’t the child, the teachers’ or the parents’ fault. It is the National Curriculum and the Early Years Framework that has no mention of visual learning and how to teach it well. Each child’s literacy problems may appear different until you notice that none are visualising words. Also, other associated learning differences have a component of uncontrolled visual learning, especially ADHD, Dyscalculia and Autism.
Most schools would say they are committed to multisensory teaching and learning, but teachers are trained to teach and not how a child learns. Neuroscience shows how the brain’s Word Form Area retains word images. Focusing on the most commonly used words, will, of course, help, but only 1 is a noun (mum) that triggers word recognition.
When children are continually told they can’t do something is it any wonder that their stress levels rocket and they think “I am stupid”, or worse. One of the common symptoms of letters moving on the page can be simply controlled by reducing stress
The deep autographic depth of the English language plus the need to cope with homophones and silent letters necessitates both word recognition and phonics. Following these parallel strands in nursery and primary years, would reduce the cost of special support by several million and alleviate the stress on parents and students, who can’t do phonics. Even Maggie Snowling, revered Professor of Psychology at Oxford University, said in a recent interview how her dyslexic son had asked her to stop sounding out words, so he could read the letters.
Not every child learns the same way; it is time we taught to their visual strengths.
Has Covid-19 left you feeling exhausted and drained of energy? Some people may just be exhausted as a result of the lock-down. These recordings may really help you. Recover your energy was originally written for those with Chronic Fatigue or ME and we made this talking book for those who are too tired to read.
However listening to them again recently it seems just as appropriate to those people who have had Covid-19 and left feeling exhausted, called Long Covid, I believe. So I am offering the recordings for free to anyone they can assist, in a spirit of exploration and curiosity. You will find the download links below.
Do not listen to this whilst driving a car or operating machinery. ind yourself some quick moments, sit back and enjoy the story, without thinking it though and just see what you feel like afterwards.
Journeying through this book will enable you to activate your own “internal team” to recover your energy. Recover your energy is written in a lighthearted way because story telling is the easiest way to teach the skills you need to improve your health. It is a lighthearted treatment of very profound emotional, physical and energetic manifestations. You will learn to clear what is affecting your recovery, understand your own personal energy system and set it up for health, wellness and vitality.
Recover your energy is intended to enhance any conventional medical practice or complimentary medicine, not replace it. If you have any concerns do, of course, consult your doctor. Recover your Energy empowers the individual to take action, using the resources they already possess, to positively affect their health and aid their recovery.
Take a look at the testimonials below, some people have found it extraordinarily beneficial, some people have missed the point of how we talk with our subconscious and not benefited. Of course, we don’t know yet how it will help with the Covid-19 audience, but it is FREE and worth a try. Do let me know what you have achieved.
Before started, you have no doubt heard in the media about good breathing. To help you adopt good gentle nose/diaphragmatc breathing listen to this 5-minute video: https://youtu.be/DgO-vlCDuHg
Chapter 1: Running on Empty
Chapter 2: What Green Goblins do Best
Chapter 3: Edward the Electrician
Chapter 4: Maisey Investigates
Chapter 5: Maisey re-educates the Captain
Chapter 6: Edward re-connects the mains
Chapter 7: What will the future hold?
Chapter 8: What’s been holding me stuck?
Chapter 9: Maisey has an Idea
Chapter 10: Clowning around
Chapter 11: Releasing unwanted memories
Chapter 12: A compelling Future
Chapter 13: Reviewing my journey
Thank you for Listening. Olive Hickmott Olive@empoweringhealth.co.uk
You can order a paper copy of the book, a CD of the meditations and a double CD of this complete recording Available here . The book is also available from Amazon USA, Amazon UK.
Testimonials from Amazon:
Trevor Fred Jones5.0 out of 5 stars Give it a go!Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 May 2012Verified PurchaseThis book is written in the style of a fairy story as “stories have direct access to the healing part of the mind” and contains within it a series of highly imaginative visualisations involving such things as magical magnets for removing negative energies, and healing waterfalls in which we are invited to individually wash each and every part of our body.
If you are looking for a balanced and sober explanation of ME or chronic fatigue, and conventional strategies for dealing with this condition, then this book will leave you feeling exasperated.
If, on the other hand, you are able and willing to suspend sceptical disbelief and enter into the spirit of the book by reading and engaging in the visualisations with an open, joyful, and playful mind; then you may find, as I did, that the results achieved far surpass your expectations. It really does seem extraordinary that these visualisations, so ridiculous and far-fetched from a certain point of view, can have the effect of dissipating an experience of fatigue that only moments previously had felt as solid as granite.
I bought this book on Kindle because I experienced the power of the NLP tools in the past and was looking for ways to get myself out of the rut. I must say that it helped me put myself into a more positive frame of mind and the processes are directing me to make positive changes.
Now, there are some reviews that have said they did not like the characters etc. etc., remember this book is not a piece of literature designed to impress you. It is a book designed to speak to your subconscious and help you let go of unproductive patters. The author said that reading this book will energize, and it did exactly that.
In no way I will say it is a miracle, but to anyone looking for help I will say that this book is helpful.
Mark Newey5.0 out of 5 stars Real life solution for Chronic Fatigue etcReviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 January 2010Verified PurchaseOlive’s book is a delightful and easy read using the power of story or metaphor to simplify the message. However, make no mistake, the simplicity of the story, in no way weakens the power of the book. Energetic NLP is something that anybody can use at home to restore their natural energy levels. This is real self help material; it works. Olive has loads of successful stories of people who have sued her techniques and literally changed their lives. If you suffer from Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, ME etc, then this book is for you.
Amazon Customer4.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tinReviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 August 2010Verified PurchaseI bought this book when I was in hospital for serious heart and lung problems.As a Master NLP Practitioner and also someone whose disease means exhaustion and loss of breath,it seemed to hold the promise of more control over my body. I worked through the exercises and not only felt relaxed but re-stimulated to regain my sense of my life direction.For those unfamiliar with NLP and the power of metaphors and stories,the book may well seem childish.It is anything but.The techniques begin to put you back at cause from having been at effect.It effectively de-mystifies health and proves that everyone has control over their thoughts and instructions to their unconscious mind. Many seriously ill people believe that they have to surrender their health to doctors and hospitals.This could not be further from the truth.See the doctors as a vital part of your health team and know that you are directing the healing process via your dialgue with yourself. I shall be recommending this book to my coaching and therapy clients.