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15 minute soothing, pampering self-massage practice

This guided bodywork and body awareness practice is designed to gently stimulate the nerves involved in social connection, feeling safe, and rest and digestion. The self-massage will also release oxytocin – the calming, feel-good bonding hormone.

This practice is especially good for those living alone during lockdown, or anyone missing social contact with those they love.

In designing it, I used polyvagal theory (about the nerve pathways involved in social connection that informs my craniosacral practice) and drew on some elements of trauma therapy techniques, including EMDR and EFT to help soothe and settle you in your body.

It includes a facial massage, so if you have a favourite moisturiser, or fragrant massage oil, you may enjoy using that. Why not light a candle or an essential oil burner to make it feel extra pampering? You may want to experiment with using all of parts of this routine each day, or when you notice your stress levels rising.

I offer these kinds of body awareness exercises, guided visualisations and other resilience tools, as part of my online wellbeing coaching sessions during lockdown.

Resilience worksheet

Worksheet 1
Strategies, Strengths, Resources and Insights

This is a great worksheet for helping you discover what supports you through difficult times.

With thanks to Dr Chris Johnstone who taught me this resilience tool many years ago; I have been using it with clients ever since.

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