Is anxiety our new norm?

New Year is a time for renewal, hope – a new start. We set new goals, resolutions, plans – with every intention of making the New Year better or greater than the last. But this New Year has asked us to dream, hope, even pray, for one collective thing – a Covid solution – a way the world can return to some semblance of normal – even though that normal will be packaged differently.

New Year’s bring expectations – the belief that something will or should happen a certain way. But how do we achieve our expectations in this new world when it seems all is out of our control? One suggestion is that instead of focusing on outcomes we cannot control, we choose to focus on the things we can control – our own actions, our own emotions, and our own thoughts. So take it day by day; give yourself grace; incorporate positivity in what you say, read, hear or do; focus on the why and remember that physical isolation should not be social isolation

Anxiety is our body’s natural response to stress, a feeling of fear or apprehension of what is about to occur, or what we think will occur. It is our thoughts that create the unrest, it is our interpretation that creates our imbalance. There are many ways we can help overcome stress, even in the short term, and Bowen Therapy is one way. However, as I write this Brisbane has entered a 3-day lockdown. So while you can’t access a Bowen treatment, I suggest you find time during the day to breathe; breathe from the depths of your lungs. It is here you will find the peace to help silence the anxiety. Stay safe and see you all soon.

Caroline xxx

The Vagus Nerve – How to hack your nervous system

Butterflies in the stomach occur when we feel nervous, anxious or excited. Some call it a gut feeling; that intuitive sign of something to adhere ahead. In today’s world we allow our minds to dictate our actions, so we fail to hear the messages – both subtle or loud – being conveyed though our physical body. Considering that our minds are made up of belief systems, judgements and emotions, maybe it is time we reconnected with our inbuilt health and emotion monitor – our gut feeling, and cut out the white noise.

Welcome to the Vagus Nerve – a very long meandering nerve that serves as a direct line of communication between the brain and the gut – our second brain. Vagus – a Latin word meaning wandering – suitably describes this nerve because as it meanders from the base of the skull to the visceral organs, it sends out sensory fibres controlling the inner nerve centre – our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The Vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve passing from the brain through the face and thorax to the abdomen.

Responsible for the regulation of internal organ functions, such as digestion, heart rate,and respiratory rate, as well as vasomotor activity, and certain reflex actions, such as coughing, sneezing, swallowing, and vomiting, this nerve is one we should all listen to – daily. It plays a significant role in everything from our emotions to how well we sleep.


7 interesting facts about the Vagus nerve

  • Helps prevent inflammation.
  • It helps make memories.
  • It helps you breathe.
  • It’s intimately involved with your heart.
  • It initiates the body’s relaxation response
  • Telephone line between the brain and gut
  • Electrical stimulation of the Vagus nerve reduces inflammation and may inhibit altogether.

How Bowen Therapy can help

Bowen Therapy, by the very nature of its gentle rolling moves and pauses during the treatment, activate the parasympathetic nervous system – the state for rest, relax, digest. And it is while we are in this state that we enable our bodies to do what they do naturally – reset,repair, rebalance, reconnect.

When we relax, the flow of blood increases around our body giving us more energy. It helps us to have a calmer and clearer mind which aids positive thinking, concentration, memory and decision making. Relaxation slows our heart rate, reduces our blood pressure and relieves tension.

Bioelectric medical research indicates that direct stimulation of the Vagus nerve may be beneficial for: acute lung injury, arthritis, brain injury, burns, cerebral hemorrhage, colitis, diabetes, hemorrhagic shock, pancreatitis, post-operative illus, rheumatoid arthritis and sepsis – many conditions that Bowen Therapy is indicated for, and reported to have positive effects on. Vagus nerve stimulation can also relieve migraines and rapidly quench inflammation and is now considered as a novel treatment for depression.

7 ways to stimulate the Vagus nerve

  • Breathing exercises
  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • Yoga
  • Omega-3 rich diet
  • Singing & chanting
  • Splashing face/neck with cold water
  • Hugging
  • Massage
  • Intermittent fasting

Overall, the Vagus nerve has the important job of ending your body’s fight-or-flight response once a stress has passed. That’s why Vagus nerve stimulation is so effective for mood and ultimately our overall health and wellbeing.

“This is a way to be in a conscious dialogue

with your senses: the feelings, the urges,

and the needs of your body”

Jill Miller

The Meditation Mindset

“As your nervous system unwinds,  your attention expands to dissolve self-doubt,

to enhance your interest in listening, and to guide you

towards the most inspired choices that are always in reach.”

Matt Kahn

Mindfulness and meditation—tools for wellness and self-care—can provide calm and restoration,” says Luann Fortune, Ph.D., a Mind-Body Medicine faculty member at Saybrook University.

Changing your mindset and the way you think about the world around you can open you up to new possibilities happening all around you.

Napoleon Hill of “Think and Grow Rich” claimed “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

But this can have both a positive and negative effect, and currently in an over stimulated world flooded with news of pandamics, rising mental health concerns, rising unemployment and poverty, climate change and an uncertain future, our minds which are programmed to protect us, readily accept the negative messages.

This means that we have to work a little harder to replace the negative messages with positive ones and begin to believe that what we want is possible, change the focus, only then will the brain will take over the job of accomplishing it for you.

  • Helps preserve the ageing brain
  • Helps reduce Monkey Mind activity
  • Its effects rival antidepressants for depression, anxiety
  • Improves concentration and attention
  • Improves mood and well-being
  • Meditation reduces anxiety — and social anxiety
  • Can help with addiction

The key to mindfulness/meditation is in the breath. By focussing on the breath we anchor ourselves in the here and now, on purpose, without judgment.

Meditation may appear simple, but the practice takes patience. So take time to find your meditational space ie a yoga studio, meditation groups, or online apps such as Insight Timer.

While meditation isn’t a cure-all, it can certainly provide some much-needed space in your life. Sometimes, that’s all we need to make better choices for ourselves, our families, and our communities. And the

most important tools you can bring with you to your meditation practice are a little patience, some kindness for yourself, and a comfortable place to sit.

Fill your body with deep breaths and it will fill you with peace