BEREAVEMENT AND LOSS – Part 1 of 7

The issue of Bereavement and Loss comes up in my practice on a fairly regular basis and so I decided to polish up this article that I wrote a while ago and re-present it as a series of blogposts.

In Part 1, I will look at bereavement in regards to the animals that share our lives.  In later sections I will go on to explore Bereavement and Loss itself in more depth, including the ‘Grief Cycle’, followed by some steps that you might find helpful for anyone you know who is struggling to deal with a loss that they have experienced.

I recently met with a networking colleague of mine, Helen Lloyd, who is setting up a new business in Yatton called Pet Angels Parlour.  You can also find her on Facebook.  This is what Helen says about her work:

“Pets are part of the family, and just like family members, their passing needs to be treated with the same level of respect and care. Often, pet cremation is not handled with the sensitivity and compassion that owner’s desire, which is why we do what we do.”

Helen and I are both passionate about supporting people in times of bereavement and loss.  For me this is not only around the death of a loved one (as you will see below there are many other forms of Loss that we can experience during our lifetime), though this is often the most common interpretation and it’s certainly the focus of Helen’s work.

I strongly believe that people also need support in the period of time leading up to their loved one’s passing.  In fact I recently shared a post on my Facebook page about ‘Anticipatory Grief‘, which is a little talked-about and much misunderstood phenomenon.

Being a pet guardian can often bring with it another element, that of having to decide if it’s time to have our animal put to sleep.  This can be such a difficult and painful decision and carries with it a huge weight of responsibility, and yet it can actually be an amazing gift to our animal friends.

Even just living with an aging pet and allowing them to grow old gracefully can be a challenge, but also a privilege.  If you find yourself in this situation please remember there is support available.  You do not have to go through this alone.  For example I can offer Reiki to you and your animal, to support them as they experience the challenges of their senior years – pain, stiffness, declining energy and health – and also to be there for you as a listening, non-judgemental, understanding ear, and to offer energy balancing which will help to keep you grounded and centred.   I also use Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT, or ‘tapping’) which can help in dealing with emotional pain, limiting beliefs and fears around death and dying.

If this is something you would like to explore, please contact me for an initial, free consultation.  There will be no obligation to make a booking, it’s just an opportunity for you to ask any questions you might have and to see if what I offer might be a good fit for you and your animal.  My contact details are:

robyn@equenergy.com

07980 669303

If you would like to take a look at my website, you can find it at:

www.equenergy.com/

You can read the whole of this article here

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Case study of a dog with a spinal condition (Part 4 of 4)

In the previous 3 posts I’ve shared what happened at a recent zoopharmacognosy (self selection) session with a canine client of mine, Willow.  The session was offered via Skype by Rachel Windsor-Knott of My Animal Matters.  Having asked Willow’s owner to fill out a detailed consultation form Rachel then sent a box of samples and, during the call, described how to offer these to Willow.  Rachel’s selection of herbs and oils was spot on, and Willow worked with everything in the box.

Rachel also recommended that Willow’s owner offer her Coconut oil in addition to the remedies to make sure that she was choosing the macerates for their herb content, rather than for fats (see further information in Part 3).  Willow proved to be very keen on this and her owner realised that it has also been helping her skin.  (Willow had had a tendency to lick at her paws causing redness and broken skin but this has now cleared up.)

Rachel added Spirulina to Willow’s selection of remedies.  This is helpful in cases of anxious behaviours and joint problems.  It is detoxifying and helps to stimulate the immune system.  It’s also a great supplement for senior dogs or those who are a little run-down as it is rich in protein and nutrients.  Willow proved to be very fond of this too!

Following the initial session, Willow’s owner continued to offer the remedies, particularly the Peppermint, Marjoram Sweet and Violet Leaf oils, the Comfrey and Arnica macerates and the Rose water.  To these she then added the Coconut Oil and Spirulina.  She shared this message with us when her box of remedies arrived:

Willow was so excited when your parcel arrived and was ripping off the bubble wrap with me! She’s loving the arnica, comfrey, violet leaf (rubs on side of head with it and mouthing/chewing the cloth) and marjoram on her back, more than the others… She is much more relaxed and softer… 

Rachel had included small sachets of Devil’s Claw and Barley Grass which Willow took for a few days. (Devils Claw is good for arthritis, inflammatory pain and musculoskeletal issues.  Barley Grass supports animals with anxious and hyperactive behaviours and those with skin conditions.  It is rich in nutrients, particularly magnesium). Her owner then sent us this message:

Not keen on devils claw today so offered barley wheat grass … then offered spirulina… Lucky I put a towel down, specks of green everywhere! … Still wanting marjoram on her back and generally sleeps with either violet leaf/peppermint. 

Willow is twitching now, she hasn’t done that for a while.

Throughout this whole process I was also offering Reiki to Willow to help her body enter into it’s Rest and Repair mode.  She can tend to be an anxious dog who is always on the alert so the Reiki helped her to relax so that her body could heal and so that the oils and other remedies could work effectively.  Several of the remedies she chose were also supporting her on this emotional level.  This is a picture of Willow after one of our Reiki sessions:

In our fifth session, Willow’s owner said that had she not seen it for herself she would not have believed the change in her dog over the last month.! From having been very wobbly on her back legs and walking with a rather odd, wide-legged gait, scuffing her toes, Willow now almost looks normal when she walks.  She had lost some muscle tone but is slowly building this up again as she regains strength and feeling.  She now knows when she needs to go outside for toileting and so there have been no further accidents in the house.  Her owner is overjoyed!  When she’d first been given the diagnosis from the vet she had thought she might soon have to say goodbye to her beloved dog whereas now it seems that Willow has been given a new lease of life!

If you’d like to know more about how these therapies could be used to support an animal in your life please get in touch:

robyn@equenergy.com

07980 669303

For Reiki and META-Health information you can see my website:

www.equenergy.com

For information on Zoopharmacognosy (self selection) see:

www.myanimalmatters.co.uk

 

(You can read the whole article here)

Case study of a dog with a spinal condition (Part 3 of 4)

In the last 2 posts in this series I’ve described a zoopharmacognosy (self selection) session offered by Rachel Windsor-Knott of My Animal Matters to one of my canine clients, Willow.

Having offered all of the remedies that Rachel had sent – of which Willow accepted every single one – we then put each remedy on the floor and watched to see what she would do.  She lay down with her jaw parallel to the Peppermint oil.  Throughout she had kept returning to this cloth and Rachel suspected that, as she was inhaling rather than licking, she was using it for it’s clearing properties, more than as a pain killer.

As Willow was lying there she began to twitch gently, as if she was dreaming, and she did appear to be asleep. (During the session she had also shown blinks, yawns, licking, chewing and stretches as she worked with the oils, processing and releasing).

Rachel recommended continuing to offer this selection to Willow, particularly the Peppermint, Marjoram Sweet and Violet Leaf oils, the Comfrey and Arnica macerates and the Rose water.  She also suggested adding rice bran oil and / or coconut oil* to Willow’s diet to ensure that when she chooses the macerates this is done solely for the herb content rather than the fat.  (Fat is essential for nerves so she might be choosing these remedies for this as well, particularly as she’s on a dry food diet which can result in low levels of healthy fats.  Coconut oil is also antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral so helps with infections.  The vet had said that this is a possible cause for the lesion in Willow’s spine so this oil might be beneficial in this way too.  It is also good for the skin and coat, and supports the thyroid.)

The day after the session Willow’s owner posted this message:

Hey! Just wanted to say – Wow!! Willow’s legs have improved dramatically! After only one session! So I’m very hopeful and can’t wait to continue on with it. 

Less collapsing … she also seems more relaxed and affectionate and her muscles are softer. She is always tense and alert being the alpha dog and protects the house… this morning seems a bit tense/back to normal but no collapsing yet, plus she told us she needed to go outside for a poo (she has been having a lot of accidents so we have to make sure she goes out regularly) so she is definitely feeling her back end and legs again. 

Thanks again! 

Rachel replied: 

That’s amazing. Which makes total sense with the peppermint in particular as it’s able to stimulate new nerve pathways.

Next week I’ll share further information on how things have been progressing for Willow since this session.

 

*Please note that fats should not be offered to dogs who suffer from pancreatitis

 

(You can read the whole article here)

Case study of a dog with a spinal condition (Part 2 of 4)

Last week I started sharing a little about a recent zoopharmacognosy (self selection) session with a canine client of mine.

Rachel Windsor-Knott, of My Animal Matters, sent a box of samples to Willow’s owner and, via Skype, talked us through how to offer them and what signals to watch for.

Having offered some essential oils, we then moved on to the 2 macerates that Rachel had thought would help Willow: Comfrey and Arnica.  Willow devoured these, lapping up all that Rachel had sent.  (Comfrey – also known as ‘knit bone’ – is good for fractures and also helps in cases of soft tissue damage.  It eases inflammation of the stomach, too, so can be helpful in easing the side effects of pain killing medication.  Arnica helps with bruising, muscular injury and inflammatory pain.  It is also an immune system stimulant.)

Rachel then suggested offering the Rose and Valerian Root waters.  Willow licked and chewed at the bottles so her owner poured some out and again she lapped these up and wanted more.  She seemed to have a slight preference for the Rose water.  (Rose is used in cases of anger and resentment, hormone balancing, feelings of rejection and emotional wounds, trauma and unwanted memories.  Valerian root is a muscle relaxant and sedative which helps in cases of anxious behaviours.)

We then moved on to Marjoram Sweet.  This was on a cloth and again Willow showed interest.  Her energy come up and she appeared quite playful.  She approached her owner which made Rachel think she might want to have the oil applied.  Rachel gave instructions for Willow’s owner to rub the cloth on her hands and offer these to Willow.  Willow accepted this so her owner gently rubbed her hands first on Willow’s chest, then her neck and shoulders and on down to her back.  Willow then turned  round and presented her rump and back for the oil to be applied there too!  (This oil is an antispasmodic, helps to ease stiffness in the muscles and is also very comforting in cases of grief.)

Lastly there was a cloth with Violet Leaf oil.  Willow showed great interest in this, chewing at the cloth.  (This oil is very supportive when there is anticipation of pain.  It is comforting to the heart and helps those of a nervous disposition.)

Next week I’ll talk about how we drew the session to a close and how things progressed for Willow.

 

(You can read the whole article here)

Case study of a dog with a spinal condition (Part 1 of 4)

I’ve recently been working with a canine client, Willow, who has been experiencing loss of strength and sensitivity in her hind legs.  The vet diagnosed a lesion, within her spinal canal but outside of the spinal cord, causing compression at the T7 vertebra and resulting in weakness and loss of sensation.

Over the next 4 weeks I’ll describe how Willow’s owner, another therapist and I have worked together to support Willow and I’ll also share how she’s doing now.

I began by taking a history of Willow’s condition and reading the vet report.  Having done a basic META-Health analysis I felt that, in addition to the Reiki that I would be offering, she would benefit from a zoopharmacognosy (self selection) session and so I recommended Rachel Windsor-Knott of My Animal Matters, particularly as she now offers consultations via Skype.

Willow’s owner went ahead with this straight away, contacting Rachel, filling in the consultation form and booking in a session, which I was also able to attend.

Rachel had put together a box of oil and herb samples that, having read the vet report and Willow’s information, she thought Willow might find helpful.  She started by asking the owner to offer the Ginger essential oil (warming, soothing and analgesic).  Willow sniffed and accepted the oil – a gentle ‘yes’.

Rachel then moved on to Peppermint and Birch (on cloths) both of which Willow sniffed, seeming to favour the Peppermint.  (Peppermint is an anti-inflammatory, a digestive stimulant – often selected by animals taking strong painkillers – and helps in cases of nerve damage as it is clarifying and stimulating.  Birch is good for inflammatory pain, muscular aches and trapped nerves.)

Next was German Chamomile which Willow again accepted.  (This oil is good in cases of anxiety and tension and can help to support inflamed tissues.)

Next week I’ll cover some of the other remedies that Willow selected including macerated oils, flower water and some more essential oils.

 

(You can read the whole article here)

Positive thinking – is it always a good thing? (part 4/4)

In my work I pay close attention to people’s beliefs and their self-talk.  Often the beliefs were created around a trauma they experienced at some point in their life.  This is a natural survival instinct, where the mind tries to make sense of what happened and to help us to avoid similar painful situations in the future.  In that moment, and possibly for some time afterwards, this can be helpful in keeping us safe, but if it then starts to cause discomfort, or even dis-ease, then it is no longer of benefit to our wellbeing.

Self-talk is very powerful and sadly it’s often our worst critic!  Many people speak to themselves in ways they wouldn’t dream of talking to their family or friends.  Although you might not be consciously aware of that little voice in your head, a part of you is still listening and believing whatever you’re telling yourself.

Remember that:

            so:

So, in summary:

  • Be Positive
  • If you can’t be positive in this moment then be Aware
  • Use that awareness to help you Rediscover your positive

 

I love holding the space for people to explore whatever is going on for them so that they can look for ways to move closer to their own love, wisdom and power.  Each client is unique but they are all amazing, wonderful people with so much to give – no exceptions!  They just need to reconnect with this truth.

Using META-Health I work with clients to discover what their symptoms are showing them about what isn’t working well in their lives and how they can then turn this around.  Where they are feeling stuck we can use a combination of energy therapies to help shift things back into flow, allowing the body to bring its own healing processes back on line.

If this is something you would like to explore for yourself, please get in touch.  My contact details are:

              email:              robyn@equenergy.com

              mobile:           07980 669303

You can also see more on my website: www.equenergy.com

 

(You can read the full article here.)

Positive thinking – is it always a good thing? (part 3/4)

Last week I looked at the benefits of being ‘selfish’ but how does this relate back to what I said at the beginning about Positive Thinking?

To me it’s about being open and honest with ourselves and – where it’s appropriate – with those around us.  If you’re having a challenging day, admit it!  Don’t just try to put on a brave face if inside you feel like crying or tearing your hair out.  Instead, explore what you’re feeling and what it’s telling you.  An uncomfortable feeling means that something in your actions or your thoughts is not being true to your deepest self.  Is there a need there that you’ve been ignoring?  How could you do things differently so that you can address the need?

Looking at things this way means that you can take responsibility for your own feelings, and also for addressing them from your own power and wisdom.  Your body really does know what it needs, and you can access this by learning how to listen to the signals that it gives you.

This kind of ‘selfishness’ means that we no longer need to use behaviours to try to get others to meet our needs.  Instead we can take care of ourselves and give permission to others to be ‘selfish’ in their turn.  The wonderful paradox is that we all then have more capacity for unconditional love and support for those around us!

When we can view things from this open, honest, ‘selfish’ perspective then we can objectively look at our thoughts and where they’re coming from.  We can also have a deeper understanding of how they influence our interpretation of events and shape our beliefs.  With this awareness we can explore our thoughts to see which ones serve us, and how we can build on those, and which ones do not serve us.  Becoming aware of the unhelpful ones means that we can start to, gently, interrupt the negative pattern by looking for a thought that makes us feel better and practising that instead.

 

If you’d like to talk about anything that I’ve raised here, please get in touch:

            email:              robyn@equenergy.com

            mobile:           07980 669303

You can also see more on my website: www.equenergy.com

 

(You can read the full article here.)