Archive | January, 2018

Best Exercises to Burn Belly Fat Rapidly! Get the Six Pack Abs You Want in Just Two Weeks

If you have a tummy and want to get a six pack, read on. There are lots of reasons as to why you have a fat belly. Your diet and exercise are the main factors. If your diet and exercise is right, you can have those six packs easily.

There are tons of exercises that you can do to burn belly fat. But the problem is most of them aren’t effective. Doing all the exercises won’t help you burn that fat.

Doing just one super effective exercise can make all the difference required. Like Bruce Lee said, “I fear not the man who practices 1000 kicks but the MAN who practices one kick one thousand times”. Here are two super effective exercises that can burn belly fat faster than any other workout…

Hindu Pushup Variation – This exercise is a body weight exercise. It increases your endurance and strength. At the same time, it burns belly fat faster than any other exercise.

Keep your legs wide apart and your hands planted on the ground. Assume the position of the normal bomb-diver pushup. Tilt your head forward and incline your body.

Maintain that position. Don’t rise from that position. Hold that position for around ten to fifteen minutes. You will soon find out that it gets really difficult. If you can master this one exercise and do it for twenty minutes every day, you’ll get abs within two weeks.

Breathing Exercise – You don’t need to work your body for this exercise. It makes use of your respiratory system. This exercise relaxes your mind and burns fat too. It can be difficult at first. After two days of doing it, you’ll get the hang of it. It can stress you at the beginning.

Inhale as much as you can. You will reach a point where you can’t take any more breath. You will feel a stinging sensation in your throat and tightening of your stomach muscles. Take in a little more for another two seconds and exhale all the air. Exhale it until your belly gets hard and your body craves oxygen.

Inhale and exhale the same way for another five to six times. Do this exercise once in the morning and once in the evening. Don’t do it inside your house. Do it in some place where you can get a lot of fresh air. This exercise will also increase your life span.

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My Best Lavender Herb Care Tips

Lavender herb is one of my personal favorites – that aroma just can’t be duplicated and always conjures up images of vast purple fields swaying in a gentle breeze – I could just roll around in its splendor! My herb garden is never without a handful of lavender shrubs, they are the perfect addition to my garden as a whole – tainting it with it’s sweet scent and giving that ever so slight sense of wilderness and mysticism. I love to sleep with a pouch of it’s dried leaves under my pillow at night to send me off into a peaceful sleep. My lavender plants take good care of me when I feel slightly under the weather and the least I can do is to give some TLC back.

I want to share with you some of my best tips to growing lavender and taking care of this marvelous herb so that it can flourish in your gardens as well as my own. This article will tell you all you need to know about taking care of lavender so that you can benefit from its medicinal, culinary and decorative offerings.

How to Give Lavender the Best Start.

Purchase seeds from any nursery or garden center. This herb loves to bask in the sun and needs around eight hours of sunlight a day so take this into consideration when finding the perfect spot to start seeding.

Get digging around the bed to loosen up soil and remove any obstructions such as pesky weeds, rocks or other debris. Lavender has a rather large root system and needs plenty of room, expect to dig six inches deep to allow the root to spread.

You can increase the soil’s fertility by adding some compost manure into the bed where your seeds will be planted.

Give your lavender a better chance by growing it first in a pot, at least for a couple of weeks before transferring it to your prepared bed. Remember that the soil should be loose as opposed to compact.

When moving to the designated beds, ensure there is plenty of space between seedlings to allow for air to circulate and individual roots to grow. Cover the roots with loose soil.

To help water and heat retention, layer a little sand over the soil and plants. You will need to water lavender frequently in the first year for optimal growth and condition.

Caring for Your Lavender

Water your plants regularly and allow them to feed by providing plenty of compost manure. If you notice that the plant is yellowing mix some liquid sea kelp with fish emulsion and dilute with water before utilizing.

If your plants are turning brown at the base then this is a sign to decrease the amount of watering.

Trim the leaves down around a third during spring to allow re-growth and an eventual fuller bush.

Regularly cut down on spent stems, this will prevent a woody and malformed growth. Dead ends will split the plant.

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Hand Reflexology – What is the Difference Between Hand and Foot Reflexology?

There are many similarities between hand reflexology and foot reflexology, this article is going to look at how they compare and the benefits come from reflexology.

Both hand reflexology and foot reflexology use the energy system in the body to promote healing and well being. There are specific reflex points that are centralized in the hands and feet, and those reflex points relate directly to the major organs in the body.

When specific health problems are occurring, it is possible to help stop the symptoms and let the body heal by using reflexology. It is important that you locate the specific areas in the feet and hands that correlate with the problems that you are having.

Using reflexology techniques on the hands or feet (depending on the physical condition you are targeting) will help to balance out the energy levels in your body. Reflexology helps those energy points to become un-blocked allowing the energy to flow freely, which in turn encourages the natural healing processes of the body.

Reflexology is an alternative form of medicine, and some doctors do not agree that it will help you to heal or overcome physical ailments. But, there are many people that have experienced life changing healing by using reflexology on a regular basis.

When you begin to apply reflexology techniques in your life, be sure to start it with an open mind. The energy levels within the body are very sensitive and they contain quite a bit more healing power than most people realize. Having an open mind about reflexology will allow you to experience the full benefits that reflexology has to offers.

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How Old Do You Have to Be to Use a Bowflex?

Image is everything with young people today and many young people want to work out and use equipment like adults, however is it safe? What age do you have to be to use a piece of equipment like the Bowflex?

While there is, little information from the manufacturer on this point the use of a Bowflex is similar to any other weight-training situation. That being said determining what age you can begin using a Bowflex is a matter of common sense.

Children grow continually sometimes until they are 18 years old. This means that bone, tissue and muscle configurations are constantly changing. You should keep this in mind when determining if your child is old enough to begin strength training.

The American Academy of Pediatrics supports children participating in appropriately designed and supervised training programs, even those which incorporate the use of machinery such as a Bowflex. Light strength training is good at any age. This is especially true if a young child is involved in other sports such as little league or gymnastics.

The key to using a Bowflex or any other training program with a young person is adequate training on how to use the equipment. Improper use at any age can cause serious injury to muscle, tendons and possibly bones. Therefore, if you are a first time user of the Bowflex you will want to work with the machine for a while before showing a young person the ropes.

Once you are confident with knowledge and use of the Bowflex here are some base guidelines for use with children or young adults.

o Plenty of fluid intake

o Well lit area

o Three days a week maximum

o Beginners should do one set of ten reps for each major muscle beginning with light weight or resistance

o No maximum lifting or resistance

o Training should be a part of a whole fitness program including nutrition

Following these steps and some average common sense, your young person should benefit from strength training with you. It must be noted that you should never begin any type of training without first consulting a physician about the fitness level of you and your child if training together. How old do you have to be to use a Bowflex? Old enough to take proper instruction on the proper use of the machine.

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After LASIK Eye Surgery Series Part I of III – Bathing and Showering

Once a LASIK eye surgery patient’s procedure is complete, their LASIK eye surgeon office sends them home with an accompanying driver to take a long nap. When they awake, they will already be able to experience clearer vision. However, it is imperative to remember that corneal tissue requires several weeks to completely heal. While this occurs, patients often have questions about when and how they complete certain everyday tasks after their LASIK eye surgery. This article is one of an upcoming three part series that discusses when post-op LASIK individuals can bathe and shower, how to approach required medications and how to complete daily activities until your eyes have completely healed.

In regards to bathing, numerous LASIK eye surgeons deem it acceptable to take a shower or birdbath the day after your LASIK surgery as long as you are extremely cautious and do not get hair care products and facial washing liquids too close to the eye. However, many LASIK eye surgeons recommend waiting for 5 days before water (or soap, shampoo, body wash, etc.) is allowed in the eye or your head is submerged in water. These precautions allow your corneal tissue to heal properly. If water, soap, shampoo and/or similar washing materials are not kept out of the eye for the 5-day post-op period, patients could:

  • Run the risk of infection with soap, water, shampoo, etc in eyes
  • Experience burning and irritation
  • Rub their eyes and wrinkle the corneal flap made during the LASIK procedure, risking corneal flap dislodgement
  • Accidentally exacerbate any dry eye symptoms/begin experiencing dry eye symptoms

In regards to swimming, LASIK eye surgeons’ offices heavily advise post-op LASIK eye surgery patients to wait for 14 days before jumping in the pool, hot tub, ocean or lake. Due to the chemicals in chlorinated water and the particles found in salt and fresh water bodies, irritation, redness and corneal tissue infection is a high possibility immediately after LASIK. Interactions with these bodies of water can slow the healing process or cause post-op damage.

Besides swimming, bathing and showering, post LASIK eye surgery patients are also prompted to closely monitor other aspects of everyday life for certain, short periods of time. Keeping a close watch on your progress while remaining safe and cautious is paramount for allowing your eyes to take time to fully adjust to the procedural changes. Medications, both required and optional, makeup practices and the proximity of pets and young children should also be monitored accordingly.

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Ayurvedic and Herbal Home Remedies For Cough Treatment

Cough is not a disease actually; it is a symptom of any kind of obstruction in the respiratory tract. Coughs can originate in the pharynx, bronchial tubes, trachea and the pleura lining of the lungs.

In Ayurveda, coughing is known as Kaasa roga. It is predominantly an effect of the vitiation of the vata dosha. But the pitta and the kapha doshas can also cause coughs. Based on the causative factor, there are five types of coughs – vataja, pittaja, kaphaja, kshataja and kshayaja.

Vataja cough is dry and hacking in nature. There is little phlegm observed. Side symptoms are headache and pain in the chest. In pittaja cough, there is yellow sputum which may sometimes have streaks of blood in it. Other symptoms like fever, excessive thirst and burning sensation in the mouth and the pharynx are also felt. In kaphaja cough, there is a thick mucus discharge, which is slimy and white in color. This cough makes the whole body feel heavy.

Kshataja cough is vata vitiation to the extreme limit. There is dyspnoea and blood in the sputum. Kshayaja cough is a very serious kind of cough in which pus is observed in the sputum.

(1) Useful Herbs in the Treatment of Cough

– Bay Berry (Myrica nagi) The bay berry is very effective in curing throat congestions which causes the coughs. It can even cure coughs that are caused due to chronic bronchitis. Its bark is the effective part which is to be taken in the form of a powder.

– Belleric Myroblan (Terminalia belerica) The fruit of the belleric myroblan has excellent curative powers in the treatment of coughs caused due to catarrh.

– Betel (Piper betle) Betel leaves when crushed, made into paste with water and applied externally on the chest have amazing effects in the treatment of coughs.

– Butea (Butea monosperma) Butea leaves can treat congested and inflamed throats. They are effective in the treatment of coughs and sore throats. The leaves are boiled in water. This solution is used as a mouthwash to get the desired effects. Coughs caused due to septic and sore throats are treated in this manner.

– Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) Cloves can reduce the irritation of the throat. Cloves are more effective if the coughs are produced due to inflammation of the pharynx.

– Euphorbia (Euphorbia hirta) Euphorbia is a very potent medicine in the treatment of all kinds of cough. It enjoys a special position in Indian herbology in treating the coughs caused due to colds, asthma and bronchitis.

– Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum) Fenugreek seeds are effective in the removal of coughs that are associated with sore throats. The seeds are boiled in water for half an hour and this water is used to take gargles.

– Garlic (Allium sativum) Garlic is an excellent remedy for whooping cough. The syrup of two to three pieces of garlic must be taken two to three times a day in the case of whooping cough. If the symptoms still persist, or if it is a severe cough, then the dosage must be increased.

– Henna (Lawsonia inermis) Henna is a definite remedy for sore throat and the related cough problems.

(2) Dietary Treatments for Cough

– Cold foods must be avoided as these can aggravate the throat further. Water that is drunk normally also must be warmed a little before drinking.

– Use old rice in the diet. Wheat can also be used beneficially.

– Do not consumer any fruits or vegetables that can cause excessive cooling of the body. Foods like cucumbers, green bananas, papayas, watermelons and oranges must be strictly avoided.

– Fennel seeds are effective in the treatment of cough. These must be taken along with figs for better results.

(3) Ayurvedic Treatment for Cough

– Ayurvedic doctors prescribe slightly different kinds of medicines depending on which type of cough is observed. a) If the cough is of vataja type, then kanakasava or kantakaryavaleha are prescribed. b) If the cough is of pittaja type, then sitopaladi choorna is preferred in conjunction with chandansava or vasarishta. Vasavaleha and matulungadi avaleha may also be prescribed. b) If the cough is of kaphaja type, then trikatu, triphala, guggulu and shilajit are the drugs of choice.

(4) Home Medications

– The pulp of the fruit of the belleric myroblan is mixed with long pepper, salt and honey. This is to be taken once a day.

– Clove oil mixed with garlic and honey helps to eliminate spasmodic coughs which are produced in tuberculosis, asthma and bronchitis. This mixture must be taken every night before going to bed.

– Prepare an extract of ginger. Sweeten this with honey. Take this in a teaspoonful quantity three to four times a day. There will be confirmed positive results.

– Prepare a mixture of extract of tulsi (holy basil) leaves with ginger and honey. This is better than the above method for the treatment of coughs. This mixture must be taken if the cough is severe, and is caused due to some serious ailment such as tuberculosis, bronchitis, etc.

– Make a decoction of licorice in honey. Consume this decoction so that it makes good contact with the inner lining of the throat. This will relieve cough and the feeling of irritation in the throat.

– A very simple way to stop coughs in the night is to place three to four pieces of long pepper in the mouth. Chew them slightly so that their extract oozes into the mouth. As long as the peppers remain in the mouth, the urge to cough will be suppressed and you will get a restful sleep at night.

– Figs are known to clear the buildup of phlegm in the chest cavity. This brings about an elimination of cough.

– Make a powder of cardamom and dissolved it in water. Take this thrice in a day. This will keep all types of cough at bay.

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Top Five Benefits of a Hot Towel Shave

There’s a reason the best barbershops in town offer hot towel shave services for their male clients. Not only is it a relaxing experience that results in smooth skin, but it also has multiple health benefits. Below are the five advantages to utilizing this service once per week.

It Opens Up Your Pores

Barbers have special cabinets that keep towels heated to the desired temperature. When these items are placed on a man’s face prior to a trim, the heat begins to open the pores after only a couple of minutes. The hairs also start to soften, which is prime time to get out the razor and begin the shaving.

It Provides a Closer Shave

Once the hairs are soft, and the pores are open, the shaving can begin. It is best to always move the razor in the direction of the grain. It will become noticeable right away that one is able to obtain a closer shave with this method than simply slathering on a handful of cream and scraping away. Afterward, take a look in the mirror and notice how much healthier the skin looks. It will also feel extremely smooth to the touch.

It Exfoliates

In addition to clipping your whiskers, the hot towel shave also doubles as an exfoliating treatment. This is because the blades remove up to four layers of dead skin cells with each swipe. Making this process a weekly event is ideal as it allows the healthy skin cells to breathe. Skin will appear more radiant and attractive to everyone that walks by.

It Removes In-Grown Hairs

Another plus associated with this type of weekly grooming is the removal of ingrown hairs. While using your straight razor, also sometimes referred to as a cutthroat razor, you’ll notice a few blood spots appear. These are actually caused by the roots of ingrown hairs being pulled out. There’s no need to fret, though, as once the routine is complete, the blood spots and any bumps that made an appearance during the trim will quickly dissipate.

It Creates a Resistance to Razor Burn

You may experience mild irritation, known in the scientific community as Pseudofolliculitis barbae, the first time you try a hot towel shave. This won’t always be the case. The skin on a man’s face will begin to develop a resistance to the itching, burning, and bumps that often show up after the first few treatments.

If anyone wishes to try this at home but does not own a special heating cabinet, a vegetable steamer works well. Always remember to remove the hot towels with a pair of tongs once heated and then wave them around for a few seconds to make them a tolerable temperature that won’t cause a burn to the skin. Of course, they do sell steamers that were created for this purpose online. This is a great option for anyone who plans on continuing this procedure for years to come.

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4 Critical Steps For An Ectomorph Workout

How many Calories

Are you eating enough calories? So many ectomorphs get this wrong, they think they can follow the same diet plan their buddies in the gym are following and that’s why they are not seeing weight gain.

The ectomorph has to eat more per pound of body weight than the average guy. There is some debate on the exact number but here is a good place to start.

The skinny guy should multiply each pound of body-weight by 20-24. So if you weigh 150 lbs. times 20 equals 3,000 calories a day.

This is where you should start, and if you don’t see weight gain at this level than start adding 150 calories a week until you do.

The other part of this equation is the diet break-down. Now most people would limit the carbohydrate intake so the diet based on percentages of calories a day would be 45% protein 30% carbs and 25% fat. Because the average guy is scared that carbohydrates will put on body fat.

The ectomorph doesn’t have to worry about that because of a high metabolic rate. So for the ectomorph I would start with a 40% protein 40% carbs and 20% fat. This should aid in packing on weight and muscle.

You can always make adjustments to this as you see how your body responds.

How much sleep is right

Too many weight lifters under estimate the importance of rest and sleep. They put so much concentration on their training they end up hurting their gains because of lack of rest.

When you are sleeping your system releases natural growth hormones that help build and repair muscle fibers that get broken down during your workout.

Without this very important process that only happens when resting, the less you rest the less you gain.

Of course the other side of the coin is too much sleep. Because an ectomorph has such a high metabolism, it makes it more difficult to gain weight and muscle. Getting a solid 8-10 hours is sufficient rest to help your gains.

Once you start to go over this amount, you risk hurting your gains.

Remember you need to eat a lot of calories a day and you need to eat often. When we are sleeping we are not eating. If you sleep too long your body will start needing fuel to survive, remember that fast metabolic rate?

While you are over sleeping, that is more than 10 hours your body is looking for energy to keep going and muscle mass is what it is going after.

So you have to maintain a healthy balance between calorie intake and resting to make sure you are getting the optimal muscle building process.

Full body workout

Something that happens far too often for ectomorphs is following a workout that just doesn’t address the needs of a skinny guy.

The ectomorph will not benefit from a workout you find most bodybuilders doing these days. It’s not their fault they just don’t know any better.

They go to the gym and follow what ever workout their buddies are doing. They see their friends packing on muscle each week and they can’t figure out why when they look in the mirror after months of training they see the same body they had when they started.

This is what makes most skinny guys give up, they believe that they just can’t gain muscle, end of story.

But it is just a matter of using the right exercises in combination with the right amount of reps and sets. You see, an ectomorph body type responds to compound exercises and a full body workout.

Compound exercises allow you to get the most joints and muscle groups to work at the time. An example of a compound exercise is the squat. Think of all the joints and muscles involved when doing a squat.

You have your hips, knees, and ankles involved, and at the same time your quads, glutes, back, hamstrings, and core are involved, and that is not even counting all the small stabilizing muscles that are connected.These are the types of exercises that an ectomorph thrives on. When you do a full body routine with compound exercises you will start to see muscle gain.

Less is More

What do we mean by less is more? Well this is a very important point to understand if you are a skinny guy. Because just like the skinny guy who is doing the wrong exercises by following his buddies he is also working out as long as they do.

The problem is the ectomorph frame is not designed for a lot of stress. Your buddies might be putting in 2 or more hours during a workout and they might be doing this 4-5 times a week.

This is a disaster for the skinny guy. Because your frame and bone structure is smaller and frailer the amount of stress this type of workout will put on your body will assist in hurting not helping in any kind of muscle gain.

That’s why for the skinny guy less is more. Your body will thrive on a 45 minute routine doing a full body workout with compound exercises like stated above 3 times a week.

Your rest periods between sets should also be longer than the average guy. If you have only been resting for 30 seconds between sets while trying to keep up with your buddies you have probably noticed that you can’t keep up with the rep level.

Rest longer and make sure you are getting between 7-10 reps on each exercise for 3-4 sets.

Forget about what your friends are doing and don’t think of it as some kind of competition. You have to come to terms with your body type, when you do and start working out according to your body type you will quickly see gains.

And isn’t that really what you want. And think of it this way, how great is going to be when you are gaining muscle quickly and working out half as much as your friends. Soon they are going to becoming to you for advice on muscle building, and working out how sweet is that?

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Gestalt Therapy And Hypnosis

The Gestalt approach to therapy can be termed “phenomenological-existential” as it is concerned with an awareness of the here-and-now, working away from concepts and towards pure awareness (Clarkson, 1989). By the client becoming aware of their thoughts, feelings, etc the goal is for the individual to achieve insight into the situation under examination. As Yontef (1993) writes, insight is gained by studying the phenomomenological focusing, experimenting, reporting, and dialogue of the client. The philosophy behind this approach is that most people do not function in the world based on how the world, including themselves, is, but through a filter of self-deception, whereby one does not have a clear picture of oneself in relation to the world. Living that is not based on the truth of oneself leads to feelings of dread, guilt, and anxiety (Yontef, 1993).

The historical antecedents of Gestalt therapy are the experiences of its co-founder, Fritz Perls. Trained as a psychoanalyst, Perls rebelled against the dogmatic style of Freud’s approach (as had other notable founders of schools of psychotherapy, Jung and Adler. In the preface to the 1969 edition of “Ego, Hunger and Aggression” Perls wrote of this period of time as follows, “Started seven years of useless couch life.” (Perls, 1969)), and incorporated aspects of holism into the belief that ultimately the individual is responsible for creating his or her existence.

Additionally, the early decades of the 20th century are notable for their refutation of Newtonian positivism and its replacement with phenomenology. These two themes were then combined within the scaffolding of Gestalt psychology to produce an approach centred on the individual’s relationship to their existence. The structure that Gestalt psychology offered was that perception should be considered as the recognition of patterns and relationships between items in the perceptual world which fulfils the central human need of giving meaning to perceptions, experiences and existence (Clarkson, 1989).

Reductionist approaches could neither account for the richness of perception, and its immediacy (for example, see Koffka, 1935; Gibson, 1966), nor take into account the importance of the observer. This led Perls to the idea that the actual awareness of an individual is more trustworthy than an interpretation of any data that a person might provide a therapist with and is primarily a description of movements between ‘figure’ and ‘ground’. The figure is the item of attentional focus at any one time, and the ground is the remainder of perceptual awareness. These movements, or ‘cycles of experience’ can become disrupted by being incomplete or unresolved and it is this ‘unfinished business’ which Gestalt therapy attempts to address. These ideas probably did not constitute a therapeutic approach until 1951 when Perls opened the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy, despite the fact that the first recognisable Gestalt therapy book was published in the 1940’s (Perls, 1969).

Accompanying this combination of ideas, based on the thinking of Gestalt psychologists, philosophers (e.g., Lewin, 1952), and politicians (e.g., Smuts), was the fundamental concept of the person as basically healthy, striving for balance, health, and growth (Clarkson, 1989). The unfinished business referred to earlier is seen as an obstacle to these processes, restricting the person’s ability to function fully, often termed by Gestalt therapists as ‘dis-ease’. Van de Riet (Van de Riet et al., 1980) encapsulates the idea that dis-ease is a consequence when people do not experience themselves as being psychologically and physiologically in balance with their environment.



“As action, contact, choice and authenticity characterize health in gestalt therapy, so stasis, resistance, rigidity and control, often with anxiety, characterize the state called ‘dis-ease'”

The stasis, resistance, rigidity, and control prevent graceful flow through cycles of experience.

Having briefly outlined the core of Gestalt therapy it is necessary to consider some of the techniques that Gestalt therapists use in order to consider how they might be incorporated into hypnotherapy. Although there are techniques that are closely associated with a Gestalt approach, there are two caveats we must bear in mind. First, as Berne (1970) noted, gestalt therapy does use any techniques exclusively:



“Dr. Perls is a learned man. He borrows from or encroaches upon psychoanalysis, transactional analysis, and other systematic approaches. But he knows who he is and does not end up as an eclectic. In his selection of specific techniques, he shares with other ‘active’ psychotherapists the ‘Moreno’ problem: the fact that nearly all known ‘active’ techniques were first tried out by Dr. J. R. Moreno in psychodrama, so that it is difficult to come up with an original idea in this regard” (Berne, 1970: 163-4).

Second, that in Gestalt therapy, technique is considered secondary to the relationship developed between the therapist and the client, as Resnick (1984) writes:



“every Gestalt therapist could stop doing any Gestalt technique that had ever been done and go right on doing Gestalt therapy. If they couldn’t, then they weren’t doing Gestalt therapy in the first place. They were fooling around with a bag of tricks and a bunch of gimmicks” (1984: 19).

Based on these two caveats we might argue that anything of an ‘active’ nature which is incorporated into hypnotherapy would constitute Gestalt, or alternatively that without explicit training in the Gestalt client-therapist relationship there is nothing we could do which would be Gestalt. However, as the spirit of Gestalt therapy is very much identified by its use of specific techniques that is the approach that will be taken in the following discussion.

The techniques that are associated with Gestalt therapy are closely related to the idea that clients should want to work towards self-awareness through a mastery of their awareness processes. This is in contrast to patients who firstly are actually seeking relief from discomfort, although they may claim that they wish to change their behaviour, and secondly clients who expect that relief will come via the efforts of the therapist. Thus, Gestalt therapy is “an exploration rather than a direct modification of behaviour…the goal is growth and autonomy” (Yontef, 1993). The techniques are modifications and elaborations of the basic question, “What are you experiencing now?” and the instruction, “Try this experiment, or pay attention to that, and see what you become aware of or learn” (Zimberoff & Hatman, 2003).

Perhaps the most well known of all techniques that are identified as Gestalt is the empty chair. This is where clients project their representation of a person or an object, or part of themselves into an empty chair and they then present a dialogue between what is projected into the chair, and themselves. In some cases the client moves between the chairs, but either way, the idea is that inner conflicts become expressed and so the client heightens their awareness of them. This in turn forces the client to take responsibility for their difficulties so that they can make choices to resolve the sources of unfinished business (Stevens, 1975). As Becker (1993) writes, this is the whole point of Gestalt, to “take people who are conditioned and automatic and put them in some kind of aegis over themselves.”

Similar to the empty chair, another common technique is known as topdog/underdog. A dialogue is performed between two aspects of the client’s personality, the topdog representing the introjecting demander of perfection, expressed by “should” and “must”, and the underdog, which is a manifestation of resistance to external demands. Through the dialogue “resolution, compromise, understanding or permanent divorce becomes possible” (Clarkson, 1989). This is attained by the individual becoming aware of their internal battles, which often lead to feelings of guilt, anxiety, and depression.

The Gestaltist focus on awareness is not confined to awareness of cognitive processes, such as dialogue, but also physiological processes through a process termed bodywork. This involves the client consciously noting where they experience tension in particular situations, or how their pattern of breathing changes. Once aware they can learn strategies to reduce these reactions, which have produced both physical and mental discomfort.

As Zinker (1978) writes, “this may include the person’s awareness of his body, its weight on the chair, its position in space, its minute sounds and movements.” Here the individual is taking responsibility for their body and taking charge of choosing how they want to react. Sometimes these tensions are based on a preoccupation with earlier circumstances. If the client is not responding to the current circumstances then they are seen as projecting the past to the present, so old patterns of responding, rather than new, experimental approaches are dominating their life (Parlett & Hemming, 2002). Working to release the physical manifestations of those old patterns can lead to greater engagement and awareness of one’s thoughts and feelings (Zimberoff & Hatman, 2003). This approach is also known as establishing sensation function (Clarkson, 1989) and is considered useful for clients who have become ‘alienated from their senses’ or those with narcissistic attributes who have ‘experienced it all’ (Clarkson, 1989).

The importance of bodywork is made clear by Becker (1993) who suggests that physical expressions are closer to truth because the mind is engaged in deception and sabotage: Perl’s basic assumption was that the body and its total processes are somehow anterior to and bigger than the mind. Gestalt conceives of the mind as an interference, as a way of blocking the total momentum of the organism in some way. Not only that, but the mind is not even the noble part of the organism that we always thought it was. For most people the mind and the creations of the mind work against the body. They work against the best interests of the total person.

In line with other psychodynamic approaches, Gestalt therapy includes dream work. The Gestalt position is dissimilar to Freud, in that Perls did not think of the unconscious as an inaccessible region of the mind which dreams could provide access to if interpreted correctly – Freud’s ‘royal road to the unconscious’ was Perl’s royal road to integration. His view was more in line with Jung, who saw dreams as existential messages for the dreamer. In dream work the client is typically asked to relate the dream in the present tense as if they were experiencing the dream in that moment. From this the client develops an awareness of the existential message and how it consists of projected parts of the self.

The above descriptions of some of the techniques associated with Gestalt therapy should neither be considered exhaustive nor exclusive. As cited earlier, Resnick (1984) amongst others clearly believes that Gestalt therapy is not and cannot be tied to particular techniques, it is about the relationship between the client and the therapist.

An important part of this relationship is that the therapist is acting to guide the client towards greater self-awareness, responsibility and ownership of emotions, thoughts, sensations etc in order to complete any ‘unfinished business’ so that s/he may move smoothly through cycles of experience. The experienced therapist is able to adapt to the particular client in order to achieve this, relying on a wealth of techniques and skills. This essence of Gestalt therapy allies it more closely with cognitive behavioural approaches than typical psychodynamic methods because it relies less on interpretation of the client and more on their active participation. It is perhaps this that makes it possible to incorporate aspects of Gestalt therapy into hypno-therapeutic practice.

Interestingly Levendula (1963) suggests the view that a Gestalt therapist would be in a more advantageous position if he would combine his approach with hypnotic techniques. For example, the Gestalt therapist teaches the increasing of awareness through experimental exercises. The hypnotherapists can achieve this much more easily by directing the patient’s attention to become sharply aware of an idea or sensation or memory which thereby becomes a “bright Gestalt” while the rest of the perceptual field recedes into a background. The hypnotic state itself corresponds to the Gestalt-background principle, and the Gestalt formation becomes more or less an automatic function of it. …the combination of Gestalt therapeutic principles with hypnosis enriches both approaches.

From this it is clear that Gestaltists are being advised to incorporate hypnotherapy into their practice. The following discussion will consider whether hypnotherapists can introduce aspects of Gestalt therapy into their work.

One of the central tenets of Gestalt therapy is that clients experience events in the present, that is they re-enact past events in the present. By re-living them they can focus on their experiences, both psychological and physiological and thus gain understanding. Awareness was considered “the key to unlock insight and ultimately bring behaviour change” (Zimberoff, & Hartman 2003). Bringing the experienced past into the experiential present is one important property of hypnosis.

Through hypnotic age regression, working with dreams etc clients can re-experience events that have occurred at some other time as if they were happening in the here and now. This is not merely a cognitive reliving of a copy of the event, but a fully nuanced resurrection of the experience. As Zimberoff, & Hartman (2003) state, “Keeping the client’s awareness on concrete detail is a constant in hypnotic age regressions, because it promotes presentness emotionally and viscerally (emphasis in original). Of equal importance is that the client’s awareness can be focused on different aspects of their experience through repeated re-experiencing of it, allowing for a detailed, and concrete re-living of the experience in all its original strength and from physiological and psychological perspectives. This then fulfils Rosen’s (1972) view that “Patients move best when they are moved” (emphasis in original).

It is clear that the Gestalt concern with realistic, present, re-experiencing of events is an important aspect of hypnosis. The concerns of Gestalt therapy with direct insight, rather than insight through interpretation would be a novel addition to hypnotherapy. To include this perspective is a philosophical and conceptual shift rather than a technical one and depends on the therapist’s own preferences. However it is quite possible to achieve.

Hypnosis is also useful in intensifying aspects of an experience, by directing the client to pay closer attention to particular details. For example, someone who wishes to stop smoking might be asked to strongly feel the sense of relief and strength from being able to take deep breaths of fresh, clean air. Greenberg and Malcolm (2002) have demonstrated that success in using such techniques as the empty chair are at least partially determined by the degree of emotional arousal experienced during the use of this technique. Here we can envisage that the client can be asked to imagine a dialogue, or in the case of multiple actors in the re-lived scenario, a conversation, where they can concentrate on aspects of themselves or others that are blocking their ability to resolve past issues.

Many hypnotic techniques are relatively passive in that the client is asked to view an event, rather than to participate in it, but there is no conceptual reason why this more active, almost didactic approach could not become a more integrated aspect of hypnotherapeutic practice. Indeed, in clients who are able to speak whilst hypnotised it might allow the therapist even greater understanding of the experiences that the client is reliving, and for the therapist to take a more active, flexible role in directing the client’s interactions.

As described earlier, Gestalt therapy makes use of experimentation in order for client’s to experience new sensations, and to become aware of old patterns of responding. For this to work we are effectively asking the client to suspend disbelief, for example to suspend the idea that they cannot say something to their parent. This may be difficult for some clients, especially where they have developed strong conscious strategies to protect them from predicted negative outcomes. Hypnosis, by inducing an altered state of consciousness, may be able to circumvent these strategies, allowing the client to explore options in a safe fantasy world that is experienced as vivid and real. S/he can then explore conversations with others, actions etc that may not be considered options when in a non-hypnotic state.

As suggested earlier, this active participation of clients is not common, but there is no reason why clients who have strong powers of visualisation cannot be directed under hypnosis to engage in experimentation. Usefully as a single scene can be replayed many times under hypnosis it allows the client to perform a variety of experiments and to compare and contrast the resultant emotions etc. Naturally they can also be directed to pay close attention to the details of these new experiences, so that they can be vividly recalled post-hypnotically.

As Gestalt therapy is primarily concerned with the client’s willingness to take responsibility, and the therapist’s ability to develop novel ways in which the client can come face-to-face with aspects of their life they have projected onto others, or denied control of, the main way in which hypnotherapy can incorporate aspects of Gestalt technique is twofold. Firstly hypnotherapeutic practitioners must be trained in Gestalt conceptual philosophy so they fully understand their role, and have the intuition and flexibility to carry it out in a range of situations and across a broad spectrum of clients. Secondly, just as Freud selected patients who were willing to accept his fundamental law of psychotherapy, perhaps the hypnotherapist must be selective at consultation with clients who show a motivation to change and a willingness to take responsibility for that change. Without these two features hypnotherapy cannot truly address “the key problem of people in our times…inner deadness” (Clinebell, 1981).



References

Becker, E. (1993). Growing up rugged: Fritz Perls and Gestalt therapy. The Gestalt Journal, 16(2). Available at http://www.gestalt.org/becker.htm

Berne, E. (1970). Review of gestalt Therapy Verbatim by F. Perls (1969). American Journal of Psychiatry, 10, 163-4.

Clarkson, P. (1989). Gestalt counselling in action. London: Sage.

Clinebell, H.J. (1981). Contemporary growth therapies. NY: Abingdon Press.

Gibson, J.J. (1966). The senses considered as perceptual systems. NY: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Greenberg, L.Sl. & Malcolm, W. (2002). Resolving unfinished business: relating process to outcome. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 70(2), 406-416.

Koffka, K. (1935). Principles of Gestalt psychology. NY: Harcourt, Brace & World.

Levendula, D. (1963). principles of Gestalt therapy in relation to hypnotherapy. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 6(1),22-26.

Lewin, K. (1952). Field theory in social science: Selected theoretical papers. London: Tavistock Publications.

Parlett, M. & Hemming, J. (2002). Gestalt therapy. In W. Dryden (Ed.) Handbook of individual therapy. London: Sage.

Perls, F.S. (1969). Ego, hunger and aggression. NY: Vintage Books (first published in 1942).

Resnick, R.W. (1984). Gestalt therapy East and West: Bi-coastal dialogue, debate or debacle? Gestalt Journal, 7(1), 13-32.

Rosen, S. (1972). Recent experiences with Gestalt, encounter and hypnotic techniques. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 32, 90-105.

Stevens, J.O. (1975). Gestalt Is.Utah: real people Press.

Van de Riet, V., Korb, M.P., & Gorrell, J.J. (1980). gestalt therapy, an introduction. NY: Pergammon Press.

Yontef, G. M. (1993). Awareness, dialogue, and process: Essays on Gestalt therapy. Highland, NY: The Gestalt Journal Press.

Zimberoff, M.A. & Hartman, D. (2003). Gestalt therapy and heart-centred therapies. Journal of Heart-Centred Therapies, 6(1), 93-104.

Zinker, J. (1978). Creative process in Gestalt therapy. NY: Vintage Books.

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Arborist and Tree Stress Treatment

When a human suffers from an illness it is easy to detect because humans can communicate their discomfort to a doctor. The same thing does not apply to plants and trees because of their inability to communicate. Diagnosing tree problems requires professional expertise. Thus is anyone is looking for tree treatment then there are experts that can do this job. In this way you can easily take care of the fungi and pest related issues that are affecting the health of a tree.

The longer a plant or a tree’s ill-health remains undetected greater the risk that recovery period will be long and eradication from illness will be a stressful one for the tree. This is a job that can be handled by a certified arborist. A certified arborist will identify the root cause of the problem by determining whether the problem is a new development or an issue from the past that has flared up again. Pathology, entomology, climate horticultural practices, soil science, botany and the knowledge of trees are some of the areas which are needed for the proper diagnosis.

To avoid tree stress plant care is very important. Things like good soil, watering them and taking out the unwanted weeds basic essentials of good care. Steps like a yearly health diagnosis for trees and plants will go a long way in ensuring that your trees and plants remain healthy.

One of the important area is mitigation during tree construction. From the beginning of the project when you are constructing your home there should be a presence of an arborist who will actually identify the soil condition. This way soil compaction can be measured. There are lots of things like the damage roots, tree bark, automobiles and bulldozers can ruin the soil. Thus it would be better to hire the services of an arborist who will be completely responsible to ensure that after the trees and plants have been placed there would be no issue that would lead to ill-health.

Trees that are in stress and are sick are more likely to be infested with diseases and insect pests. Plant and tree sickness can arise due different environmental reasons such as excessive watering, little watering, excessive fertilizers, grade changes, soil compaction and ill-adapted plant varieties among others. The best arborists will advise you that the simple way to keep trees and plants healthy is to help them remain stress free. This way they have a better immune system that helps them fight diseases, pests and other infections.

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