After a busy few weeks I decided to take a breather myself and have the weekend off! After wondering what to do with my time, It dawned on me that I have a boat and it moves, ha! So I scooped the dogs up (Sophia is in USA at the moment otherwise I'd have scooped her up too) and set sail down the Macclesfield Canal. After getting stuck a good few times due to the low water levels because of all this sun and very little rain we have had, I found a beautiful spot somewhere past Bollington near Macclesfield, this will do nicely for the weekend! I have some little boat DIY jobs to do and some admin work to finish so I'm not technically "off, off" but the change of scenery is bloody great!
Last Friday I ventured to Blackpool for the first time in a good while, the sun was shining, half of Scotland took to the beach, and hen parties patrolled the pier. I, however, had other motives.
I made my way to Blackpool Tower, and up to the ballroom... No, I've not been asked to be on Strictly Come Dancing yet, my mum would LOVE that though.
I was invited down by Making Space, to be part of their "Celebration Of Happiness" event.
Making Space are a health and social care service looking after people with complex mental health conditions, dementia and learning difficulties.
I was part of the relaxation zone with colouring in, and massage by the window overlooking the sea for anyone that got a little overwhelmed with busy event.
It was a great celebration and you can find out more about Making Space and the amazing work they do here
I was chuffed to be invited down to the Manchester Music Creative Collective last Wednesday. They hold monthly events, brimming with Manchester's music industry folk, up and coming artists, established acts, DJ's, you name it!
I was asked to join the panel and give a talk about keeping yourself tip top, fit & healthy in this crazy music business black hole. As some of you may be aware, I'm a musician myself, I worked in a very well known recording studio for 11 years, have been playing gigs since the age of 14 and still gig and DJ weekly, so I was buzzing to be able to chat about my two favourite things, rock n roll holistic's!
Mental health is a massive subject at the moment, especially in music, and especially in men. It's great to see the taboo that is mental health being talked about so openly.
I think there's a bit of a stigma with musicians, cool dudes in bands, people think "how can they be depressed, they get to play cool gigs on stage and look well cool and be famous! They have nothing to complain about, their life is well better than mine!" however, the reality is, mental health problems can hit anyone at anytime, even the wealthiest, instagram happy most healthy looking people. There's actually a lot of stresses and pressures within the music industry, touring and gigging isn't easy, financial panic, constantly around drugs & alcohol, trying to keep your head up can be hard. The best advice I can give? TALK! If you're feeling rubbish, speak to your band, your manager, tour manager, they're your family, especially when you're on tour. Try and eat well, drink a little less booze (if possible!) and allocate a tiny portion of your day to you, go for a walk, a swim, a run, 10 minutes headspace meditation, anything!
This event was great and it's something I'm extremely passionate about, I also set my massage chair up and did some 10 minute treatments with everyone there, it was lovely to meet and chat to everyone after.
Look forward to doing more of this kind of thing soon!
Some exciting things going on this month, including a new home for the boat! Directly opposite on the other side of the canal. The boat is now on Victoria Pit Marina, backing on to a beautiful field, with views for days. With private access and car park for clients and literally 30 seconds up from the old spot. I've been here a month now and couldn't be happier!
It's only been 2 months since my last blog post and we've gone from knee deep in snow to 20 degrees sunshine, the canal is SO NICE in this weather, boat life is as beautiful as ever and treatments are going great!
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week 2018 so I thought I would write a few words. It's so so good to see people talking about their own experiences, experiences of friends & loved ones, offering a loving hand, a shoulder to cry on and letting everyone know that it's ok to talk!
I totally understand how important it is to look after yourself, there is no right or wrong answer or cure, you do what feels good for you. Exercise, eat well? A nice walk, socialising with friends? Colouring in.. Anything!
I'm going to set myself a little task for the following month - I'm going to meditate (using the amazing Headspace app) twice a day, morning and night and I'm going to start a gratitude diary, writing 4 simple things I've been grateful for that day. It's the little things!
I'll do another blog post in a month and let you know if I'm walking on the canal water! I'll share the gratitude diary with you too ! :)
What weather we're having! I've got to say, I do love it! The boat is covered in snow, I arrived back there last night after being away for a few days and practically had to dig my way in! The wind was so strong it felt like I was going to be launching Take A Breather With Chris into space. Lola didn't seemed fazed either!
The fires still on keeping everything toasty, however due to the accessibility and the wind, I'll be carrying on with my treatments on the water next week when the weather has calmed down a little.
In the meantime, I'm going to make the most of being snowed in and decorate! The kitchen and bathroom have been done, just the lounge to do now. I love it!
Lola is having a ball too....
The first of my monthly mail-outs is going out this weekend too, there will be a different offer each month, you can sign up from my homepage :)
Stay safe, keep warm.
Love Chris x
Yesterday was lovely! A 50th birthday party pamper day for 7 amazing ladies. They all had 30 minutes each ranging from Indian Head Massage, Hopi Ear Candling, Reflexology and Reiki. Food and drinks downstairs too. Great day!
Pictures by @suedean1202 (instagram) - Happy birthday Sue, thanks for having me!
Hey! I really need to keep these blog posts regular, sorry - It's been a busy few months!
My last blog was posted September 27th 2017 titled "What's Going On?", I had just come out of full time employed and delved into the world of being self employed, and guess what.. I LOVE IT!
So what's been going on since I left full time employment at the recording studio? Here's a quick recap :)
- Reflexology - I have just finished a 12 week VTCT Level 3 Reflexology course and I loved it so much! I've literally just handed in all my papers this week. 12 weeks, 100 hours of case studies and 2 physiology & anatomy papers later (which I got 77 & 82% on, really chuffed!). I've learnt so much doing this course, about the human body, how it works, and how everything is linked to the feet. It's a must have treatment to try if you have never had it before, and above all else, it's SO relaxing!
- Swedish Body Massage - As one course ends, another one starts! I have just started a 3 month ITEC Level 3 Swedish Body Massage course, there's lots of work to do and I'm getting stuck right in. I have to do more physiology & anatomy exams too as it's a different examining body to the Reflexology one, darn! Oh well - it's all learning hey! Also, my girlfriend and family are loving it as they got so many Reflexology treatments during my case studies, now they get a million full body massages too!
- Corporate On-Site Massage - This is a cool one! To keep myself busy I've been doing some corporate massage work, going to businesses doing on-site treatments for employees and their employers. I'm down in Liverpool this coming week setting my massage chair up in a staff canteen, that'll be fun. I think this is a great idea for busy stressful places of work, I really enjoy this!
- Make A Ditty With Chris! - As well as being a holistic therapist, I also teach youngsters the guitar and have done for the past 8+ years. The lovely gang at the ace Boho Utopia creative cafe in Withington, Manchester have asked me to hold a fortnightly kids group guitar session. The first one was last week and it was so much fun! Classes of 5, ages 5+ and we had such a good time jamming, making some noise and getting youngsters enjoying music from a young age. The next one is Sunday 28th January and there is just 1 space left if you know anyone that would like to come and take part - here's the facebook event link for more info -
- Treatments On The Water - This is a biggy! I'm extremely pleased to announce that I now have a business license for my beautiful narrowboat so I can now officially do my holistic treatments from here, SO exciting! It took a while waiting to get permission from the council, sending over business plans, having safety checks/examinations but everything is now ready to roll! Watch this space :) There is now a "Treatments On The Water" tab on my website with full info on what to expect when coming to my boat for a treatment, it's honestly the best location for a relaxing treatment!
That's about it for the time being I think?! (Ha!) Plenty to keep me going - as I type this I'm just getting ready to head off to the Lake District where I'll be doing a days First Aid training. This really is a learning year!
Please do feel free to share my Treatments On The Water tab from my website and tell your friends, spreading the word organically is the best thing and recommendations go a long way. Thanks! I'll keep you posted on what happens next :)
It's been a while since my last blog post and I'm going to start making these a regular thing! I have so much going on at the moment, I'm really finding my way in the world and it's so exciting to see how it is shaping!
I've recently made the decision to go full self employed, jump out of the rat race and do my own thing and it feels like the best decision I have ever made. This means more time to do all the wonderful treatments that I love, more time to learn and more time to relax!
It's always daunting to break away from the safety blanket of regularity but since moving on to my beautiful Narrowboat I've been craving a non linear life. Each day is different! As some of you may already know, as well as being a Holistic Therapist, I'm also a musician that writes and records in a band, we play lots of shows and I also teach little kids guitar, which is just beautiful! Every day really is different and I feel so lucky and blessed for this!
What's next? The rest of this year will be spent doing lovely treatments and spreading the word of Take A Breather With Chris! 2018 kicks off with a bang where I start training in Swedish Full Body Massage Level 3 which is going to be a wonderful addition to my available treatments. I'm also going to be training in Reflexology next year too!
If you are thinking of booking in for a treatment or know a friend that you think would love to check it out, please get in touch as I would LOVE to hear from you.
Many many thanks, onwards!
Love Chris x
Last week I took part in a beautiful days workshop of working with Tibetan singing bowls and sound healing ran by a wonderful lady called Szilvia Gardian. As I'm also a musician, sound and sound therapy really interest me, I think it's amazing how different sounds vibrate and resonate with our bodies energies. It has been mentioned that Bob Marley (amongst others) was known for recording his music in a different frequency and vibration of 432 hz, which is mathematically consistent with the universe, helping us feel the music on an emotional level.
I love my new handmade singing bowl and can't wait to start incorporating it into my treatments, thank you Szilvia!!
How does Bob Marley like his donuts? With JAM IN!!
Love Chris. x
It was great to be part of the Chelford Wellbeing Fair last weekend! Massive thanks to Emma and Helen for having me, and all the hard work they put in. This was the first event and it was a huge success. A beautiful day full of beautiful people.
Really chuffed with all the new clients I have made!
Here's to next years event!
Hey! Firstly I would like to apologise for the radio silence via my facebook page/website blog lately. I've been so busy buying my first home, and it floats!
I'm settled now, so I'm back and absolutely loving it. It has been a plan of mine for some time now, which has somehow become a reality, i'm really really chuft to bits. Lots of things to chip away at but I've had a wood burning stove fitted yesterday which I'm so excited about, I'll show you once I've tiled it! (once my step dad's tiled it i mean..) and I have have a great Solar Panel system being fitted in April meaning I can generate all my electricity from that beautiful sun we're all gifted with!
More importantly, Lola my little dog absolutely loves it, she's made friends with all the other Narrow dogs and even the Canadian Geese!
I'll keep you updated on my little adventure via this blog, and I'm back busy taking bookings so if you would like to book in for a treatment just give me a shout :)
Hey you guys and hopi new year! :)
I thought I would write a few words about the beautiful Hopi Ear Candling treatment as it's been one of my most popular treatments lately with such wonderful results! I think it's my favourite. As I'm a musicianI'm very keen in keeping my ears tip top.
I know a lot of people get worried at the thought of sticking things in their ears and some are under the illusion the ear candling treatment is like ear syringing.. it's not! It is a non invasive soothing treatment promoting complete relaxation with lots of health benefits. I'll talk you through one of my Hopi Ear Candling Treatments so you have a better idea what to expect.
An ear candling treatment will begin with the client getting comfy and cosy on the treatment couch, lying on whichever side you prefer to start with. The candle (I only use Biosun candles) is a hollow cylinder type tube made from woven cotton together with Pure Beeswax, Honey and herbal essences of Sage, St. Johns Wart and Chamomile, no rubbish! The candle is lit and placed in the ear comfortably, a beautiful wood burning/crackling sound will be heard and as the candle burns down, the smoke will enter your ear. There is a filter in the candles so only the smoke can pass through, don't worry! Each ear takes around 10 minutes each (depending how blocked you are) and I love to do Reiki whilst I'm holding each candle in place. Once each side is complete, you will be asked to lie on your back and a full 30 minute face/head/ear acupressure massage will take place, this will help clear all the toxins and flush away any nasties.
This beautiful treatment has so many benefits helping things from colds & flu and sinus problems, to vertigo, fluid behind the ears, easing excessive/compacted wax, soothing tinnitus and much more! It leaves you feeling balanced & energised and once you have tried it you will want it again and again!
Here's a link (click HERE) for you to have a look into the full details of this wonderful treatment via the Therapy Directory website.
If you have any questions don't hesitate to get in touch via email or leave a comment below :) - firstname.lastname@example.org
It's World Mental Health Day today so I thought I'd write a little something up as I'm a strong believer in treating your head right. Mental health is something I feel very strongly about, although I think personally I'm very lucky to have very good mental health, but I really do try to look after myself and my mind. I totally understand how the black dog can affect us all, and how it can be extremely hard to shoo off.
I'm a very busy chap and like everyone else I do get stressed often with work, the busy everyday things life throws at us, relationships, money, traffic, all the regular little things that build up and turn into big things, very big things and this is something that everyone will worry about about and have to deal with in their life at some point or another, I've also had my fair share of "humongous things" chucked at me as well, just like everyone else, I've witnessed loved ones pass and seen people I care for so much battling with depression and anxiety, and not being able to help anymore than I already have. I think that's why I feel so passionately about it, I like helping.
For me personally, to compete with the busy life I lead I try to exercise often especially swimming, I love a daily swim to start my day!! Yoga, meditation and plenty of sleep (when I can!), regular massage, acupuncture and Reiki, cold showers give me a proper buzz and I love good food! This is starting to sound like an ad in the lonely hearts column ha!
I think the point I'm trying to make with this post is that I think it's amazing to see people talk openly about mental health, this is something I've never seen talked about so openly before, I see friends opening up on social media followed by positive comments from their friends, comments from other friends suffering with the same things, offering advice and things that seem to help them and and I think it's just beautiful. It makes you realise how common mental health issues are and that there's nothing to be ashamed of by talking about it, in fact talking about it is the first and best thing that can be done to help tackle it, manage it and beat it.
If you're struggling with mental health or really worried about a loved one please check out the official website for World Mental Health Day and their help links here:
If I can help in anyway then feel free to ping me an email also! - email@example.com
The mind is absolutely amazing, let's look after it.
Busy day? Clear your mind and give yourself a good sleep. I often go to bed thinking about a million things and then end up lying there for a while! Some nice essential oils in the diffuser, trying to avoid scrolling through my phone (we're all human!) and some stretches usually help me!
I found this great little read about some breathing exercises that help you unwind, relax and hit the hay. The full article can be found here and you can see the technique below. NIGHT!
How The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique Teaches You How To Fall Asleep
- Make sure your posture is such that you are not restricting your ability for deep breathing.
- Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth behind your front teeth. Try to keep it there through the entire breathing sequence, even during the exhale.
- Begin by exhaling completely.
- Inhale through your nose to a count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale through your mouth to a count of eight.
- Finally, complete the sequence three more times.
This breathing technique may cause you to feel light-headed at first but becomes a powerful sleep and relaxation aid with practice. It is not only useful at bedtime but is appropriate to use during times of stress and anxiety throughout the day.
So why is this breathing technique a natural tranquilliser? The slowing of your breath, filling your body with oxygen and forcing you to focus on your breath in the moment allows your body to relax enough to welcome sleep. Doing so reduces the stress and anxiety we often feel when we can’t fall asleep.
You would be surprised how many close friends I know that suffer with stress and anxiety. It's very common and nothing to be ashamed of. It just needs to be managed, we live in a time where everything is fast, rushed, intense and there never seems to be chance to relax and give yourself time out whilst thinking about work, relationships, money, we just need to remember to slow down, look after ourselves and realise nothing has to be rushed. Take a step back and look at a particular situation and deal with it in your own time. Just remember, it happens to more people than you can ever imagine, some may just not show it, so you're not alone.
Here's a great article from MindBodyGreen on how Reiki can help deal with stress & anxiety.
Look after yourself. x
Just finished a brilliant Thai Foot Massage course with me mam! So interesting, can't wait to start adding it to my Take A Breather treatments! It's a beautiful hour long treatment, so nice!
It's Mental Health Awareness Week! I'll be running the Manchester 10k this coming Sunday in aid of C.A.L.M (www.thecalmzone.net), a superb local charity that help people felt depression! I'll also be doing the Great Northern 2 Mile Windermere swim in June and the Great Manchester 1 mile swim in July raising as much money for this great charity.
Alternative/complimentary therapies are a great way to help relax, clear your head and help fight any unwanted demons that may be lurking.
Reiki healing is becoming an increasingly accepted presence in hospitals/clinics being effective for pain, anxiety and depression relief.
Check this article out - http://psychcentral.com/lib/reiki-healing-and-mental-health-what-the-research-shows/
Don't suffer in silence!
This video is amazing! Below it is also a quick 60 second sound clip of how to create a state of coherence.
"Easily create a state of coherence in about 60 seconds by releasing stress and stopping draining emotions such as frustration, irritation, anxiety and anger. When you are in a coherent state, your thoughts and emotions are balanced and you experience ease and inner harmony."
Download this clip HERE
Being a bloke, working as a Holistic Therapist, who also goes for regular massage treatments I thought this article from my friends at Bali Health Lounge was a nice little read.
I also try and raise as much money as possible with my sponsored swims/runs for local based charity C.A.L.M which is a great charity aimed at preventing suicide in young males, the single biggest killer in men aged under 45 in the UK!
I'd actually say my client-base is pretty close to 50-50 male/female!
I think my main point with this post is, I, knowing full well as I've been there, know what it's like for a chap not wanting to talk about health and looking after yourself, as it's not very "manly". It is though isn't it? It is manly! Looking after yourself mentally & physically is something everyone should be doing, male & female. End of.
Check the article here: http://www.balihealthlounge.com/men-spas-myths/