Single Mum-dom, From Where I Am.

Bringing up a human on your own is no small feat.

Two years and eight month is one hell of a force and this is just the beginning.

It’s a precious time. I’m inspired by other wonderful mothers reminding me every moment with our children is golden.

Through all the inspirational social posts and unforgettable moments with my daughter the gritty reality of being a self-employed single mum exists, and that is not always so precious.

It can be lonely and isolating, boring and frustrating and near impossible to work in the evenings (as a yoga teacher) without enduring a logistical nightmare. It’s tiring, uncertain and scary. Social activities (other than play dates) can be challenging and dating is a nightmare, thus far.

I’m thankful, but then there are those days.

Days when.
I just really feel alone with it all.

She is the child screaming that won’t get in or out of the car.
Getting us both ready in the morning can take hours and that’s if I work like an absolute machine.
The one with the really snotty nose, unbrushed hair, one shoe on (because she just keeps talking them off!)
As she screams “I am not your friend” at the top of her voice I take a deep breath as a little part inside me screams, squirms and struggles.

The one that twats me, full force (it’s not so hard) in the supermarket because I put the broccoli in the trolley instead of passing it to her first, then she breaks down.
Then she falls asleep at 4pm, wakes at 6pm and won’t fall back to sleep until 11pm, with me – believe me I aim for routine – but things don’t often, or ever go as planned with a toddler.

It is just a phase and each is pure magic.
Writing these moments down, as I re-read them they sound like child play and I think. “How did I feel so low over that.”

Raising a child alone was not something I was ready for. I’d not change it for anything. It’s incredible, she is the best and most important person in my life and brings me so much joy.

As I remind myself, “I’m exactly where I’m meant to be.”

Honestly, in the next moment as she tips me over my edge with what it retrospect would be the smallest of things at the time I’m thinking “how the very fuck am I here”.

I’m the mum that counts to five hoping it will work (it rarely does).
The mum that let’s her child watch nursery rhymes, and in desperate times Peppa Pig if it means that she eats what I’ve made and I get a minute to brush my teeth, check my messages or just stare at a wall for a second in silence happy that she is eating her food.

The mum that gives my child all the experiences I possibly can. The mum that has no qualms (anymore) if she climbs into bed with me every night, it’s lush (even if the first thing she does in the morning is cry or refuse to wake up when we have no time at all before leaving the house).

As we sit on a field, or beach, or the garden for hours dancing and singing or role play I see her cool little character beaming out at me and I’m filled with so much love I forget all the screams and exhaustion.

The mum that’s proud to sit and play, anywhere at any time, when I have the capacity too.

The mum that accepts sometimes I will be on my phone when she is around, sometimes I do have to tell her “babe mummy needs to work”, sometimes I will have to put my stuff first.

We don’t plan to be single mums so the responsibility of a child 24/7 is intense.

I’m for ever adjusting life, plans, my emotions and my relationships with others. Accepting changes as they come and planting new seeds with hope.

Understanding that people, even those close to me, might never fully understand.

Being a single mum won’t prevent me and my daughter from from having amazingly experiences in life. Recently I felt the strain, the financial restrictions – from time to time a misunderstanding gaze of someone who judges me in the street and I feel like shouting “I have her all the time. Don’t judge me in this moment for being on my phone, or rolling my eyes or handing her a vegan sausage roll because I didn’t have time or the capacity to make a packed lunch.”

But of course I don’t, I swallow my thoughts and know my own truth.

It’s tough and it’s unexplained and really unless you’ve been through it, you have no idea how many plates us mums (single or not) are having to hold, how tired we are, how many times we’ve cried simply because we feel overwhelmed, unsupported, misunderstood or unheard.

How many people we try and keep ‘happy’ or how many people we upset in the decisions we make, which are our decisions to make.

How hard it is to carry other peoples anger – this is one of the hardest for me.

I’m over what happened to me, in my separation, and wish those who loved me would let it go too and stop feeling hating someone for what happened to me.

It was hard for me and I’m sure others to let go of the idea of a ‘happy family unit’, I mourned it for a long time knowing I had to commit to a new life which put so much onus on me.

It’s easy to be stuck with grief, to hold onto the toxic emotions we find in these circumstances. Even in grief we can feel isolated.

Your not the only person going through what you are going through.

I’m thankful for the groups I’ve found in organisations like Women’s Aid and support I received from Changing Lives in Newcastle upon Tyne. I’m thankful for the mothers I know. I’m thankful for the journey.

There are so many layouts of single mum-dom.

Many I’ve not even tasted yet. Some I hope I never have too.

There’s so many single mums out there.

If you know a single mum don’t expect her pot to be full.

In fact, a lot of the time she likely to be running on empty.

If you are a single mum who like me, struggles from time to time.

Know that you are stronger than you know and have so much knowledge inside you to pass down to your child.

Be part of your community, attend classes and well-being activities with your child, do those things that will fill both of your pots when ever you can.

Lindisfarne Festival 2019

Just goes to show the power of community.

After two years Shanti Bee running activities at Lindisfarne Festival and loving every minute of it, when asked again, of course I said yes.

Lindisfarne festival brings about 4000 + campers together up the coast in Northumberland. This year the Healing Area grew significantly hosting therapies, workshops, DJ’s, bands, stalls and a vegan café!

Alongside running the healing area this year I also took on the role of Décor Manager, co-ordinating indoor and outdoor décor for the festival.
It was a big job, so I reached out to creatives in the community and formed a team of ten, with another twelve volunteers who got involved in the hands on work we set about getting creative.

The Vikings and Queens theme for 2019 inspired our ideas.

In Norse mythology Yggdrasil is known as ‘The tree of life’, with this in mind I set a brief of a mystical wood. We came together as a small team of 6 to start and decided upon a group of trees to represent our ‘Norse Woods’.
Also an inspired idea was the Viking and Queen portraits you find as you enter the festival.

Artists Flo Atkinson and Frances Coles painted these stunning portraits.

All around the festival you might of seen stencils of selected Norse Symbolism on fencings by Chris Flemming – on the seating’s, inside some of the tents and all over 100’s of metres of Scrim which surrounded the festival.

We made over 100 of metes of Rag bunting as part of Shanti Bee Community activity days. That’s a lot of rags!

We also did the décor for the two main tents; the Main Tent and the Beer Tent.

We named the main tent ‘Valhalla’, a majestic, enormous hall located in Asgard, ruled over by the god Odin and the beer tent ‘Freyjas Field’, a meadow or field ruled over by the goddess Freyja where half of those that die in combat go upon death, while the other half go to the god Odin in Valhalla.

In these tents you will not miss the decor, crated with the Viking Gods Odin and Freyja in mind.

75% of the decor was made using reused fabrics, woods and other materials – with everything being created from scratch, apart from all the disco balls!

A huge thanks you to artists Flo Atkinson and Fran Coles, Emma Pace, Chris Flemming (IDa4) and Tara Jayne Robson the décor team.

The decor project has been a huge and very successful community led project. We had such a fantastic time and it’s given me a whole new wave of energy for the work I do at Shanti Bee.

Community is one of the most important things to me and the community around Shanti Bee in the run-up to the festival was something else. I was blown away by the passion and capacity people have to give when part of a creative and highly collaborative community driven directive.

About Shanti Bee

In June 2015 Shanti Bee established as a CIC and moved into an office space in Broadacre House, offering ‘pop up’ treatments two days a week. I’m so thankful for that space.

A year later to a shop front on Newbridge Street attached to Chilli Studios – we learnt so much here.

In March 2017 we formally opened our doors in Charles Street Community Centre and have loved every minute since. What started as a pop-up project offering health therapies and yoga has become so much more.

As our vision and capacity grows the principle that mental health can be improved and developed alongside our physical health using holistic health practices remains.

The work I did for Lindisfarne as Shanti Bee has reinforced to me the importance not just of community projects, shared community well being spaces and accessible alternative health options but has reminded me how much I love seeing people come together and the magic that happens when we do.

A mutual space in which well-being is the shared interest is an invaluable asset to any community – community and well-being go hand in hand.


I think vulnerability finds us, we don’t go looking for it.

Unless you’re a thrill seeking adventurist – but that’s not my journey right now.

When we are made to feel hurt, feel fear or are put at risk an acceptance of where that leaves us in our soul, that feels to me like vulnerability.

I’m in a process. I hold on, let go. I struggle and create aversions. Find distractions. Hold on some more. Accept. Let go and fight it.

It’s a can of worms of thinking I opened in my mind the other night, so thought I’d share.

We have an innate capacity to love, what ever we go through and come to be.

I see so many warriors of love, strong people and in that love is a sacred vulnerability. But we don’t all see vulnerability as something sacred.

As warriors of any any cause we meet places of fear through no fault of our own. Much of what we face we have to face alone.

In my vulnerability I sat with fear, for some time and wondered why it was there. Everything felt raw and became an introspective experience. I knew it was temporary, how superficial it’s claws were. My spirit was too strong to be held by this emotion.

We are vulnerable fragile humans – each of us. I wish we could all see that.

Knowing my life could be taken from me. That was a vulnerability I had never felt. How someone, I let so close could, without hesitation or warning do so much damage.

In this moment I am vulnerable.
A little broken.

I read a status recently that said something on the lines of “Love like you’ve never been hurt.”

It left me angry and lead me to writing this.

Don’t devalue my experience I thought. I will love as I am, carrying what ever I choose too.

Our experiences don’t define us they help explain us, help us remember a path best not re-visited.

I’ve never felt as vulnerable as I have in the past three months. Vulnerability has been raw and scary. It’s filled with insecurities. Floored me at times in understanding my place in the world.

Made me feel fragile.

Every part of me felt shook. Routine has disappeared, what even was it?

Maybe I needed to be here. To be still, to find my soft edges under my armour.

I feel better now. Better now that the court case is almost here. Better now I might have some routine back in my life. Better now I can maybe talk about things truthfully and not have to feel like I’m living on the edges of every situation I’m in. Better now I’m rebuilding things my way.

It’s complex, that goes without saying but I made a choice to keep every part of my spirit whole and I’m glad I did.

Domestic violence hurts on so many levels.

I wanted to share this because I know I’m not the only one. Because it’s not right and because it helps me, to share it.

Sometimes we just have to be what we are in each moment and dealing with that alone can be enough.

It is shocking how many women tell me they have been in violent relationships.

Too many.

Why Chair Yoga?

I guess you could say I have been a pioneer in the teaching of Chair Yoga. When I started teaching in this way back in 2004 it was pretty unusual here in the UK. I was teaching in gyms and community settings and felt passionately that Yoga needed to be for everybody.

Not everyone could get up and down off the floor in a regular class. I began by adapting yoga poses for sitting on a chair. Gradually I stepped out of the frame of postures and became more interested in exploring useful functional movement carried out with awareness. Finding ways of moving which helped people to relieve tension in their mind and body and gave them a feeling of wellbeing. I have been exploring this approach with different groups ever since, deepening my skills in befriending our mind and body. So you are in safe hands.

Since I began offering Chair Yoga there have been major developments in neuroscience and somatic psychology. There is an established link between ‘Adverse Childhood Experiences’ (ACE study) and the trilogy of chronic fatigue, chronic pain and chronic illness. Trauma creates nervous system dysregulation. We are all touched by trauma to some degree, whether it is single event, childhood or the stresses of modern life. But for some people, their life is severely disrupted by PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) or chronic illness which is a symptom of the underlying trauma.

I have been motivated to learn more about nervous system regulation as I had chronic fatigue as a young adult. I felt my life had been shunted into a railway siding. It was a long and painful experience.

After much personal healing, study and training in trauma and the application of Polyvagal Theory, I now hold safe spaces for people to learn about how to regulate and build capacity in their nervous system. I offer trauma informed yoga & neuro-sensory exercises, compassion and mindfulness in a gentle weaving of movement, relaxation and breathing.

There is always time for sharing and supporting each other as we know that connecting with other people as well as ourselves is all part of the healing.

It may be called Chair Yoga, but there are always a variety of options. Standing, sitting on the floor or lying down on a mat, beanbag or sofa. There’s no right or wrong way, just the way that suits you best in that moment.

Here are some words from members of the group.

“Gentle, unassuming and powerful. You’re incredibly skilled and I really felt your loving energy, coming from a place of great compassion and presence” Lisa

“Thank you Sally for a wonderful life affirming session. I am in awe of your approach and sensitivity. I feel very blessed to be part of a very special group that you have created and nurtured” Ellen

“Sally addresses individual problems within the small group setting in a warm and caring way, encouraging a mindful approach in everything we do” Ann

We’re are friendly, open group and newcomers are always made very welcome. So do get in touch with Sally on 07738238317 to introduce yourself.

To read about Sally’s training and experience see

Sally Roach: Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher

Me, Myself and Mamma.

It’s taken me a long time to write this, because everything kept changing.

Don’t get me wrong the changes are positive but it’s true what people say – NOTHING can prepare you for having a child.

Family, friends, pets and other influences aside, as stripped-back individuals we all share and inherent and universal desire to belong.

My head is about half in everything at the moment. If my full attention is with anything I’m lucky. Peggy, who is now five and a half months old always has at least half of me.

Although I was prepared for the commitment a baby would require, I didn’t anticipate quite how much of my personal headspace she would take up and how my insight into and sensitivity of things could shift so dramatically.

In discovering pregnancy a woman will make a huge shift in thinking. What the hormones do to the brain can have a massive impact on your mental health. For me, the hormones continue to be my biggest challenge.

I’m beginning to feel a little more normal now Peggy is becoming a little person, procrastinating a little less and feeling more and more confident in myself again.

I guess I didn’t really change that much, even though throughout my pregnancy and following the birth I felt like a completely different person.

It’s so hard to explain pregnancy, the rollercoaster of emotions you feel and being a mamma but I’d like to try my best.

My first trimester was highly emotional. I was excited and anxious, full of energy then depleted. My body chemistry changed and with it I felt a loss of control in my ability to know myself.

I probably underestimated how much being pregnant in a new relationship would affect my maternal self and mental state in those first testing few months.

The main thing I remember from that first stage was my comfort barriers tightening. I’m normally a great communicator but at times I’d feel incapable of understanding my own emotions never mind be able to tell even my partner how I felt.

I managed to eat well – it’s so important. I filled my body with loads of fruit and vegetables and iron high foods and I kept a regular yoga practice, which I think kept me sane.

As someone who had a regular practice before pregnancy it was OK for me to keep my practice up, however you do need to be cautious. If you’re new to yoga doing a course is possibly one of the best things you could do.

I read that two-thirds of pregnant women experiences back pain. Pelvic tilts and regular movement of the spine can offer relief, especially during the second half of pregnancy when you are heavier.

Exercise during your pregnancy will also help an easier birth and help you bounce back after.

My only real craving was samosas with salad cream, but I’m not even sure if that was a craving or just a great idea, oh and beer, a cold refreshing lager was often on my mind. Thinking back, I did eat a lot of samosas. Oh and meat, how could I forget. Towards the end of my first trimester I craved lasagna after about ten years of being a veggie!

I’ve not eaten it since but like most things with pregnancy, you just have to go with what feels right.

I drank alcohol from time to time too. More and more there is strong research to say that such a small amount of alcohol goes into the blood and therefore milk, so as long as its just a wee tipple I think it’s OK. I take the same line with breastfeeding.

My second and third trimester brought about more physical challenges.

Over my pregnancy I gained about two and a half stones – a stone of which was Peggy. It’s not a huge amount, but as a teenager and into my 20’s I went through years of eating disorders so weight gain brought up some fairly challenging emotions.

Again, yoga was a lifeline, keeping me active, mindful, helping me stay in a positive mental state and shifting the other aches and pain I faced in later pregnancy.

More and more I felt more like I was becoming a ‘mother’. At times though I felt like my identity as ‘Rosie’ was disappearing. Where did being a mother leave me as the yoga teacher, the friend, the sister and the girlfriend?

Towards the end of my second trimester I felt something change as I accepted ‘I am a mother but that’s not what defines me’.

I opted for a water birth.

I was at home when my waters broke – moving between the bath and my yoga mat with the pre-labour contractions. Another part of pregnancy I was entirely unprepared for. Those eight or so hours in the lead up to my waters breaking were probably the worst. Some raspberry leaf tea my sister bought me, posh bath bubbles and my yoga mat were saviours at this point.

I was only in the pool two hours, so I had an extremely short and easy birth. I really sympathise for women who endure a much longer birthing period as those two hours were testing. I grunted a lot and either wanted people to get me something or get out of my way.

She was born at 8.58am, Peggy Rita Scott. On the drive home Peggy drifted into her first car nap so we swung by the pub for a cheeky celebratory Guinness.

Until it happened I didn’t fully comprehend the changes my body would undergo during pregnancy, in fact it was only post pregnancy that I really felt it, as my body slowly felt its way back to how it was before.

Living as a family brings new challenges most days.

As much as I try to avoid gender biases, I’ve feel I’ve almost been programmed to be a ‘mother’, subject to messages my whole life. I also feel a maternal instinct and breastfeed which gives me a certainty with Peggy. My partner has to endure more screams and scowls, again another thing it’s hard to anticipate and to work through together.

Fathers have it tough. For them it’s on the job training and it takes a huge amount of strength and patience.

Co-parenting is also no easy task. Going from a fun filled happy-go-lucky duo to a haphazard tired trio is a huge dynamic shift. We talk a lot, we argue, we try to give each other space and we aim to support each other in having and living out dreams.

Looking into the eyes of someone seeing everything for the first time is incredible, sharing that moment with someone you adore is another level of fulfilment.

You need energy day and night. You don’t prepare for weird bladder problems or the huge amounts of hair loss following birth, you don’t realize quite how demanding babies can be, or how your agenda will be governed by feeding the baby and chores.

You can’t imagine the adorable moments where you stare at your little one for hours because nothing else matters more, or the way they make you feel the first time they reach for you with both hands.

Nobody warns you that having the copper coil might reduce your milk supply. Nobody tells you how draining breastfeeding can be and how wrong it can go. Because nobody can – it’s so different for each woman.

Sometimes I just want my old lifestyle back, but that’s OK. I feel justified in wanting this.

I now just need to tweak life from time to time, to make room for the on-going changes, a shed load of toys and story time.

The magical moments already outweigh my momentary selfish desires.

I’m proud to be on this journey. Mothers all around me are authentic inspirational women, massively multi-dimensional and this inspires me every day.

Be around those who support and inspire you and your baby and be ready to be there for others, as a parent community is so important. A close friend said to me “Bringing up a baby is the job of a tribe”.

Never lose yourself in the process of loving someone else, not even your child.

Rosie xx

Mamma, Yoga Teacher, Holistic Therapist, Director of Shanti Bee

What is Reiki?

and what will it do for me….

Reiki is a very gentle technique that supports the natural flow of energy through the body.

With hands on or hands off options available, the practitioner creates a safe space where you can relax and allow your body and mind to do what they need to. Reiki is practiced over clothes and can be done in a seated or lying position depending on your preference. Any problem areas can be focused on, or a general treatment covering all of the main body systems can be given.

People experience reiki differently – you may feel heat or cold, tingling, pulsing, you may see different colours, or you may just feel very relaxed! Reiki is suitable for everyone so come along and give it a try.

Previous reiki clients have said:

• It was blissful – I felt so cared for and relaxed

• It was a really different experience, I preferred it to a massage. I’ll definitely have it again

• I felt so relaxed, it really helped me switch off

• It’s like my head went to a totally different place. Amazing!

• It was quite emotional, but really helpful and it brought some things together and made sense of them.

• Thank you! I’d definitely have reiki again.

Is it OK to Think During Savasana?

Community embodies common purpose.

I remember the first time I practiced Savasana at the end of a yoga class led by a teacher. I wasn’t expecting it as I thought it was just something specific to my yoga video (ask your parents, kids). I’d just come out of Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) and was counter-posing when the teacher said we could make our way into relaxation whenever we were ready. I looked around and people were putting on their socks and comfy jumpers, some of the participants even had blankets! All I had was my cardigan so draped it over myself and laid, as instructed, like a starfish on my mat. The incense was still burning, the candles were lit and the lights dimmed. Ahhhhh, bliss! I felt safe, nurtured, cocooned and most of all, relaxed! How was that possible when I was in a room full of people who I didn’t even know?!

Savasana fast became my favourite part of the practice and the lingering smell of incense in my hair and on my cardi helped me to get back to that state of pure bliss in between classes.

But, after a while, I started to become too familiar with the practice of relaxation at the end of the class and instead of being in a state of peace, my mind started to wander- I’d started to take my Savasana for granted. It was like the novelty had worn off for me. As soon as my head hit the mat I would think: what am I going to eat for dinner? Did I respond to that Email? Where is my life going?!

Coming out of Savasana I realised that I’d cooled down, my breath had softened and I felt kind of relaxed. But had it really worked? Had my chattering mind hindered my experience of relaxation? The answer is, no. I had still experienced all of the physical benefits of the practice: my body had become still, rested and cool and I had connected with the Earth by lying down on it. My stress levels had lowered as, even though I was thinking, I wasn’t getting stressed about my thoughts as I knew they were just thoughts the same way as sometimes when you’re dreaming, you’re aware that you’re sleeping.

Each time a thought came into my mind I let it go. It took me a little time but after a while I’d catch myself thinking and rather than getting caught up in that thought I would just observe it. Observing a thought isn’t the same as thinking it. It’s like watching someone else think, and you wouldn’t get stressed about someone else’s thoughts, would you? So because I wasn’t stressing out about the thoughts in my head my parasympathetic still managed to kick in along with my rest and digest and so on.

So, is it ok to think in Savasana?

If you’re skipping from one thought to the next and just literally lying down lost in the busy thoughts of your chattering mind then the only benefit you’ve experienced is cooling down from the physical practice. Your muscles probably haven’t had a chance to relax as, if you became stressed by your thoughts you can bet your bottom dollar you were tensing up and if you were tensing up, your adrenalin would have been having a party that your parasympathetic wasn’t invited to.

This isn’t beneficial, as all of the energy that you’ve worked to stimulate in the asanas would have been used up by following the path of your thoughts, which can be exhausting. If this sounds like you don’t worry. Definitely don’t create more stress by trying really hard not to think during Savasana.

Just acknowledge your thoughts and observe them instead of following them. If it helps, try letting your thoughts form into an image and see yourself looking at that vision. This way you can isolate yourself from the thought and avoid using up energy by being part of it, therefore you prevent yourself becoming stressed about its content. Realising that the mind is separate from thought is the practice of being mindful. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have to think but it allows you to not always be so thoughtful. Looking up the definitions of both mindful and thoughtful really helped me to grasp this concept so it might help you too.

So, the next time you’re in Savasana and that sense of failure floods over you as you realise you’ve spent the last few breaths lost in thought, congratulate yourself as you have just separated yourself from that thought long enough to realise you were thinking it in the first place.

Cristal Yoga

Lindisfarne Festival 2017

We come to your festival to what we do best – Kick ass, spread some love and balance your chakras.

Shanti Bee is excited to be at Lindisfarne Festival this year, offering a huge range of Complementary and Alternative Health Activities.

Family, friends, pets and other influences aside, as stripped-back individuals we all share and inherent and universal desire to belong.

At a festival the party is sometimes non-stop, on your feet the whole weekend. This year at Lindisfarne, why not try out some ways of balancing all those energetic high moments with some healing treatments and fun workshops.

In the Shanti Bee Healing Area you will find experienced therapists offering Complementary Health Therapies such as Deep tissue massage, Relaxation massage, Reflexology, Indian Head Massage, Reiki, Acupuncture, Cupping, Kore therapy, Crystal healing and Mizan therapy.

There will also be Tarot and Rune readings and Bach Flower remedies in the Tipi.

In addition to the wide selection of Complementary Health Therapies, which will all be offered at affordable rates, we are offering free workshops throughout the festival from a dedicated workshop space.

Workshops include Yoga, Morning Mantra sessions, Mindfulness, Contact Juggling as a meditation, Hula Hoop, Laughter Yoga, Drum Circle workshop and evening Five Rhythms meets Live Rhythms sessions.

At Shanti Bee we are all about radical, natural self-care. We advocate alternative health practices that engage us to stay balanced and in tune with our mind and body, to help us to see the changes we need to make to live to our optimal health.

Sadly modern societies feed a tendency towards imbalance in us all. Overworking, over and under eating, a lack of play, community, creativity and ceremony. Our increasing disconnections from the natural world only add to the imbalance, sometimes leaving us feeling disconnected and in some cases unstable.

To find this ‘balance’ we should begin by becoming more attentive to our behaviours, desires, emotions and feelings, getting out in mother nature and playing. A festival like Lindisfarne is the ideal setting to get into nature and into ourselves.

We’d love you to come along to see us at Lindisfarne. There will be a full timetable of activities release closer to the event but for any more information about us in the meantime please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

The Benefits of Low Cost, Long Term Therapies

Since July 2015 Shanti Bee has established itself as a leading proponent of consistently low cost therapies, as well as offering many donation-only health and wellbeing events in the North East.

Because of their ongoing commitment to offering low cost therapies, which are targeted at the real income levels of the different clients they see, a number of individuals with ongoing health issues, both mental and physical, have been able to work long-term with the therapists and therefore benefit fully and properly from this policy approach – I am one of these individuals and I want to take time here to outline why Shanti Bee’s policy is beneficial and in what way.

One of the health issues I manage is fibromyalgia; this is a long-term, painful condition with many challenging side-effects, amongst which are low mood, lack of restful sleep, poor concentration and lack of stamina. Stress and disrupted sleep exacerbate the condition and the current mainstream medical approach can only treat the symptoms from a ‘management’ point of view, rather than being able to resolve the condition. Many of those suffering from this condition face years, not months, of struggle with this condition which impacts many aspects of a person’s wellbeing, functionality and social relationships.

For the newly diagnosed this can soon mean a cocktail of painkillers, sleeping medication and antidepressants; a shrinking work, family and social life, poor mobility and an ongoing burden of physical pain. The cognitive psychological therapies and pain management courses which can be accessed (after a long wait), by some sufferers through the NHS have a somewhat uneven impact in alleviating symptom-load plus pain levels and successful employment of these approaches varies from individual to individual.

Over time it becomes apparent that supplementary and other pathways must be found to help alleviate the symptoms if sufferers are to have anything like a good quality of daily life. In my time I have practiced yoga and paced exercise, seen a nutritionist and radically altered my diet, tried many alternative health approaches as well as experimenting with an expensive array of supplements and alternative practices which I hoped would resolve a difficult condition which in short time had thoroughly disrupted my health, energy and wellbeing. Unknown to me at the outset this was a situation which was not easily going to lend itself to either management or resolution.

One of the best therapeutic supports for this condition I discovered was reflexology; this is a non-invasive treatment which can be hugely helpful in alleviating stress and encouraging relaxation whilst at the same time targeting specific focus points in the body through pressure points in the feet. In the hands of an experienced reflexology practitioner who has both a well-developed intuitive touch and the right professional training it can be hugely relieving of pain and discomfort.

However unless I was able to access low cost therapies on a long term basis with a therapist who operated a sliding scale, I was often confined to what my limited income could stretch to, or the occasional cycle of community funded sessions which might or might not be hosting reflexology treatments. Many times I would have to give my medical and treatment history over and over to a new and different practitioner who I might see for only a limited number of sessions.

Often in these situations the practitioners are either students or newly qualified practitioners and although this is an important part of a community’s alternative health culture and practice, sufferers with long-term health issues who are reliant on funded community alternative health treatments don’t always benefit from the attention of mature, well-qualified therapists. Unfortunately many individuals with long-term health issues have incomes and savings which have deteriorated in direct proportion to their ill health.

This is why Shanti Bee’s policy has proved so valuable and important; with well qualified and experienced practitioners on the team (as well as welcoming newly qualified therapists) many of us in the client role have been able to form consistent, regular, informed and sustained relationships with the therapists we see and who treat us for the health challenges we face. Communication, shared knowledge and reciprocal trust grow in such an environment and the therapist is able to work with increased understanding of the client on every level in terms of how their condition affects them, both physically and psychologically.

To date Shanti Bee have successfully supported sufferers of both long-term physical and mental health conditions and are continuing to build and develop this practice.

Currently Shanti Bee is located in the East End of Newcastle and I would encourage all those interested to view the events and activities calendar and to make time for a visit – not only to find support for your own wellbeing, but to help grow a culture of mutual support for all those involved in the Shanti Bee initiative, practitioners, participating clients, and the overall community in which it is housed.