Andrew Mason explains ‘Jyotish’

Andrew Mason, author of Jyotish, Rasa Shastra and the upcoming title Vedic Palmistry, explains the concept of ‘Jyotish’ and what to expect from the book in the video below.

In the video, Mason discusses planetary portraits, signs and houses and remedial measures.

To view Andrew Mason’s video on Rasa Shastra, please click here.


Titles by Andrew Mason

Rasa Shastra

An authoritative account of Asian Medical Alchemy, this book explores the herbo-mineral-metal based medicines used in these ancient healing traditions. The first resource of its kind, it provides exhaustive insight into the history of alchemy’s search for immortality, the variety of minerals used, and production methods.

Click here to read more.

 

Jyotish

A complete introduction to Jyotish, or Vedic astrology, with sample charts and clear explanations. Mason provides all the information needed to be able to understand this system of astrology. He also introduces Jyotish’s sister sciences, Ayurveda and Vaatsu, and shows how they interact.

Click here to read more.

 

Vedic Palmistry

Compact and concise information on how to determine health implications and life events using palmistry and Vedic wisdom.With a discussion of introductory level astrology and its integration with palmistry, no prior knowledge is required. An essential guide for anyone interested in Vedic wisdom, Ayurveda or yoga.

Click here to read more.

Travels with My Book – Homeopathy and Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Guide for Practitioners and Families

Mike Andrews, author of Homeopathy and Autism Spectrum Disorder, has written an article for us on his experiences since his book was published, and how homeopathy is used in other cultures. 

Since the publication of my book in June 2014, I have received many invitations to lecture both at home and abroad. I had expected to lecture in the UK and to give presentations both locally and nationally, however, the publication of my book raised my profile internationally in unexpected ways.

Continue reading

Trauma-Sensitive Yoga: Q&A with Dagmar Härle – Part Two

In the second part of our Q&A with Dagmar Härle, she discusses how therapists can use trauma-sensitive yoga with their clients, and how to adapt their style of working with someone who has experienced trauma. You can read part one of the Q&A here

 

Why is it important that yoga teachers and therapists have an awareness of what positions might be potentially triggering for someone who has experienced any form of trauma?

Using yoga in the beginning of the process, we want to offer resources and foster self-efficacy and self-esteem. Offering postures with legs wide open like in happy baby where we lay on our back, holding the toes in our hands or buttocks unprotected like in a downward facing dog, for sexual traumatized people we have to be aware that those asanas can trigger. But avoiding these poses in the long-term doesn`t solve or heal because the patient cannot make new experiences like “I now can tolerate poses I couldn`t weeks ago”.

 

Holding people in their comfort zone ultimately doesn’t help them, or let them develop. It’s a matter of timing. Offer “safe” and easy asanas (always being aware that we don`t know what triggers may be) in the beginning and start to open up while the person makes good experiences and gains resources.

 

How important is flexibility or creativity in teaching style when working with people with a history of trauma?

Offering choice needs creativity. Flexibility is needed when an asana or breathing technique triggers and you want to offer another possibility.

 

Are there any disadvantages to using yoga with those affected by trauma?

The only disadvantage I can imagine is when trauma survivors don`t get a “trauma sensitive” yoga, e.g. when the one who offers yoga for this sensitive target group is not well trained. For instance we don`t touch people, we don`t direct people but use inviting language and offer choices instead of seeking the perfect form for the postures. In recent times, yoga has become very ambitious and the models on the internet and in books show asanas in perfection. For trauma survivors whose experience was that something or someone had control over them and their life in the moment, it could lead to pressure that they either try to please the teacher/therapist because it was significant to please the perpetrator and therefore will go over their limits instead of sensing their body and being in contact with themselves or they will dissociate and feel nothing, they just sustain and wait until it’s over like a traumatic situation. So aiming for a perfect form can erode important therapy goals like self-efficacy, sense of self and self-control. When we do yoga in a trauma-sensitive way we let people decide how they want to practice an asana.

 

Several studies show that exposure therapy is not only better tolerated, it also improves the effect of the therapy. And we should not forget, that a lot of people benefit not only in having less PTSD symptoms like hyperarousal, dissociation and numbness, hypervigilance, concentration problems, sleeping disorders and avoidance of trauma related triggers but many report that they take more care of themselves, they start to like their body instead of hating it and have (generally speaking) more quality of life. So there are many good reasons to combine trauma sensitive yoga with trauma therapy or to make use of yoga in general therapy as well.

 

Lastly, what do you hope readers will take away from your book?

When trauma therapists read my book I hope they learn the tools to make trauma therapy more tolerable and safer for the patients as well developing ideas for themselves on how to stay resilient and healthy. I also wish that it becomes clear how important language is: we can send therapeutic messages while teaching yoga asanas more effectively when we are aware of our wording. I also wish that readers start to bring the body into therapy using elements of trauma sensitive yoga for finding resources in the body.

 

Finding resources means that we seek postures or breathing patterns which help trauma survivors to calm down, sense their body in a safe way as well as end dissociation. Those positive experiences not only let trauma survivors feel more in control and self-confident, it also strengthens the relationship to the therapist because he or she is able to offer tools that work. Using trauma sensitive yoga for body related exposure means that we guide our patients into an asana and when it starts to get difficult we do not always support avoidance but support patients to explore the difficult sensations and emotions. For instance, if a patient senses constriction in the chest, restricted breathing and upcoming fear in a forward bend we suggest that he stays, if possible, a bit longer, observing what happens in the body and emotionally as well as reminding him that he has full control over the process and can lift his upper body whenever it’s getting too intense.

 

We do not force our patients but we also do not encourage avoidance because they will not gather new experiences like being able to face the fear and sensing, for example, that the constriction lowers and the fear decreases.

 

For trauma sensitive yoga teachers or those who want to learn how to work with trauma survivors, I hope they find a lot of inspiration, as well as examples of postures and language, in order to guide trauma survivors safely.

 

If you would like to read more articles like this and hear the latest news and offers on our books, why not join our mailing list? We can send information by email or post as you prefer, and please also tell us about your areas of interest so we can send the most relevant information. You can unsubscribe at any time.


Titles by Dagmar Härle

Trauma-Sensitive Yoga

Trauma-sensitive yoga is a body-based intervention for treating emotional responses to trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder. This book explains why yoga is a useful approach for trauma therapy and shows how to use this method in one-to-one and group settings. It also includes useful examples of non-triggering asanas and breathing exercises.

Click here to read more, or to buy the book.

Trauma-Sensitive Yoga: Q&A with Dagmar Härle – Part One

In the first part of our Q&A with Dagmar Härle, she discusses her background as a therapist, and how those who have been affected by, or experienced trauma, can improve emotional and physical well-being by participating in ‘trauma-sensitive’ yoga. Click here to read part 2 of the Q&A.

 

What led you to become a yoga teacher and a trauma therapist? What inspired you to combine the two?

I practiced yoga for many years and eventually I wanted to learn more, and get a deeper understanding of yoga and its philosophy. Therefore, I completed first a kundalini and later a Hatha yoga teachers training course and began teaching yoga classes. It was a perfect combination and helped me to stay balanced and resilient in my work as a coach and therapist, and I learnt mindful tools that I could teach to my clients.

 

I started trauma therapy training about 15 years ago in somatic experiencing, as I had so many clients who suffered from various symptoms due to trauma (especially trauma beginning in childhood), and I realised that I needed tools to work with clients who had such experiences. My studies of psychotraumatology at the University of Zurich deepened my knowledge and experience of working with those with trauma, but still there was a missing piece. So many patients couldn’t tolerate trauma exposure – they either dissociated or reacted with overwhelming sensations and emotions.

 

Yoga is a perfect training for the nervous system because there exists calming as well as activating poses and breathing techniques, and it has become obvious to me that yoga is a perfect tool to support patients in self-awareness, self-efficacy and self-control. I started with mindful yoga groups for patients and then I eventually brought yoga into therapy. Going to the Trauma Center and learning from David Emerson and Jenn Turner the TCTSY (Trauma Sensitive Trauma Center Yoga),

I was reassured in my way of using choice as an important way of supporting self-control and self-efficacy to the patients. In practice, for instance, you can execute a side bend with both arms stretched or one arm stretched while the other arm may hang loose or you sit on a chair and bend forward putting your hands on your knees or you go deeper perhaps until your hands reach the floor. It`s always the choice and under control of the patient.

 

What effect does practising yoga have on emotional and stress responses?

Yoga offers asanas-postures as well as pranayama-breathing techniques to either calm down or activate the nervous system, or in other words, activate either the parasympathetic or the sympathetic branch of our nervous system. Understanding that trauma survivors suffer from both – overwhelming sensations and emotions (sympathetic branch) as well as dissociation and shut down (parasympathetic branch, or more exact, the dorsal vagal part of it) helps to let clients know that they can benefit from yoga because we can offer them the tools for both. Learning the tools to stop dissociation and to be able to handle overwhelming emotions and sensations has an important effect on self-efficiency and self-worth.

 

Why is it important to connect, or reconnect, the body and the mind after someone has experienced trauma?

Dissociation includes a disconnection with the body. Trauma survivors often have difficulties to sense their body or parts of their body: either parts are numb or simply “not there”. To be able to control stress reaction, one needs to be aware of those reactions in the body in order to calm them down at their very beginning. Not being connected with the one’s body takes away the possibility of controlling overwhelming stress reactions. Dissociation does this even more.

 

During dissociation, we can say that the “brain goes blank” – what this means is that the cognitive functions are shut down. Someone experiencing dissociation will not be able to process what is going on and will therefore have difficulties distinguishing a dangerous situation from a safe one. This can bring trauma survivors not only in a helpless state, but it also hinders learning because in a panic attack the cognitive functions are shut down. Reconnecting with their body gives trauma survivors the opportunity to control the stress reaction, which leads to better cognitive functions and enables learning to distinguish safe from unsafe situations or persons.

 

In Trauma Sensitive Yoga, you write that yoga can help clients find safety in their bodies. Why is it important to their recovery to find a level of safety within their bodies?

Emotional reactions take place in the body. Experiencing the body as an unsafe place means it either freezes and doesn’t take one to a safe place and/or is easily overwhelmed with uncontrollable sensations and emotions. It is key that the result of the experience is that you can trust your body.

 

How can people take the lessons they have learnt from practising yoga and apply the techniques in everyday or stressful situations?

First we work on interoception which means that I support them to sense their body, for example: weight, contact, muscle tension or stretching as well as relaxation after a tension. I offer various possibilities in order to give the patient ideas as to what he or she can possibly sense. The next step is to provide choice. I show variations in a pose, and using their interoceptive capabilities he/she learns eventually to make choices due to their sensations, for example, in a side bend the person can either stretch both arms or let one arm hang loose and by testing both variations in an interoceptive way, the person starts to feel what he or she prefers.

 

When patients gain experience and are able to make use of their choices, they learn which tools help them to become calmer as well as what helps them to stay connected and end dissociation, which they can then use in everyday stressful situations.

 

If you would like to read more articles like this and hear the latest news and offers on our books, why not join our mailing list? We can send information by email or post as you prefer, and please also tell us about your areas of interest so we can send the most relevant information. You can unsubscribe at any time.


Titles by Dagmar Härle

Trauma-Sensitive Yoga

Trauma-sensitive yoga is a body-based intervention for treating emotional responses to trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder. This book explains why yoga is a useful approach for trauma therapy and shows how to use this method in one-to-one and group settings. It also includes useful examples of non-triggering asanas and breathing exercises.

Click here to read more, or to buy the book.

Andrew Mason Explains ‘Rasa Shastra’

Andrew Mason, author of Rasa Shastra, Jyotish and the upcoming title Vedic Palmistry, explains the concept of Rasa Shastra and what to expect from his book in the video below.

In the video, Mason provides details of the materials used in Rasa Shastra, how he became interested in Vedic alchemy and explains the correlation between Rasa Shastra and Ayurveda.

 


Titles by Andrew Mason

Rasa Shastra

An authoritative account of Asian Medical Alchemy, this book explores the herbo-mineral-metal based medicines used in these ancient healing traditions. The first resource of its kind, it provides exhaustive insight into the history of alchemy’s search for immortality, the variety of minerals used, and production methods.

Click here to read more.

 

Jyotish

A complete introduction to Jyotish, or Vedic astrology, with sample charts and clear explanations. Mason provides all the information needed to be able to understand this system of astrology. He also introduces Jyotish’s sister sciences, Ayurveda and Vaatsu, and shows how they interact.

Click here to read more.

 

Vedic Palmistry

Compact and concise information on how to determine health implications and life events using palmistry and Vedic wisdom.With a discussion of introductory level astrology and its integration with palmistry, no prior knowledge is required. An essential guide for anyone interested in Vedic wisdom, Ayurveda or yoga.

Click here to read more.

Saints, Sages and Ordinary People and Their Encounters with Aromatic Plants

An Invitation to Read: SEVEN SCENTS: Healing and the Aromatic Imagination by Dorothy Abram

     SEVEN SCENTS: Healing and the Aromatic Imagination is an invitation to enter the lives of individuals who have been transformed through their interaction with sacred fragrant plants.  I examine the historical lives of saints, sages, and ordinary people whose encounter with aromatic plants provided the means and method to heal the crisis of a divided mind.  Just as smell retrieves memories from the distant past, the power of the aromatic imagination constructs reality in the present.

The book begins by studying the origins of the repression of scent as an authentic source of knowing in Western society.  The consequences of that rejection for identity are tremendous: we live with this loss.  Echoing Western philosophy from Plato onwards, Freud claimed that, in fact, the evolutionary repression of the sense of smell was a necessary act that initiated our humanness.  Freud explained that by renouncing a four-footed stance in favor of a two-footed posture (that prioritized vision as the dominant sense for survival), humans repressed the sense of smell.

This profound absence continues to leave its trace in our lives today.  Yet, the sense of smell cannot be rejected in our pursuit of human wholeness. Questioning the emotional costs of such an act for contemporary society, this book proposes that reclaiming an aromatic imagination has the potential to heal this fundamental division in the senses.  Paying particular attention to the socio-economic setting that promotes such divisions within, this book seeks to locate and to elucidate the necessary attributes of an aromatic imagination.  Fragrant plants appear in cultural and historical settings worldwide and at various historical moments whereby we may pay witness to the power of reclaiming scent for contemporary consciousness.

Beyond theory, we must consider the lives and cultures that demonstrate the power of the aromatic imagination for what they may teach us.  In this way, we witness its power to unify and heal.  I examine seven fragrant plants and the people whose lives were transformed through their engagement with these fragrant sources.  These seven plants include:

  • Sandalwood (Santalum album)
  • Lotus (Nymphaea caerulea)
  • Neem (Azadirahcta indica)
  • Terebinth (Pistacia terebinthus)
  • Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
  • Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi)
  • Jasmine (Jasminum officinale)

The chapter on sandalwood tells the story of a female sage in 19th century India who healed a problematic case of madness through her use of fragrant sandalwood.  We would not have known about this powerful aromatic healer had she not entered the life of the mad priest of Kali, Ramakrishna.  Her healing method reminds us that, in addition to the physical upset, illness is a story—a narrative—that is constructed to make sense of experience.  It is the aromatic imagination at work.  The narrative that this female sage offered Ramakrishna enabled him to reform his identity from mad priest to divinely inspired saint.  Because they lived in a culture that honored spiritual insight and religious experience, they were named great teachers and creative geniuses.

The chapter on lotus (blue water lily) examines a traditional biblical narrative from the perspective of shamanism.  This is an unusual framework with which to analyze the book of Job.  The focus on the lotus opens new approaches to understanding that are not available without taking the plant and its meaning in the narrative into account.  In fact, it enables the reader to recognize Job as a shaman; that is, as a healer of humankind who gains his expertise through his successful underworld journey and the power of magical plants.  Analysis of this scented water plant reveals the emotional significance of Job’s journey.

The study of the pungently scented neem tree offers a fascinating inquiry into ambivalent states of mind brought together through interaction, inhalation, and ingestion of the leaves of this sacred tree.  It offers powerful lessons in healing through states of mind that must accompany the botanical cures for true healing today.  Highlighting the smallpox epidemic in India and the goddess called Sitala Mata who was believed to be in charge, neem demonstrates the power of faith to bring about healing.   The aromatic imagination heals the divided mind.

The passage of Abraham’s recuperation under the fragrant terebinth tree in the biblical book of Genesis sets the stage for a new look at the ancient tale and often studied story of the near sacrifice of Abraham’s son Isaac by the command of his God.  That is how we are often told this story: that the sacrifice was a God-given command to test Abraham’s faith.  However, by looking at the cultural context in which the act was nearly accomplished and by examining the Hebrew words used, the reader comes to a very different understanding that makes sense of this cruel request.  This evidence also demonstrates the quality of consciousness that Abraham achieved under the terebinth tree resulted in a compassionate ending to the episode.

Similarly, the chapter on fragrant tulsi narrates the specific qualities of plant, mind, and action that are required to bring about an altered state that expands consciousness.   Examining a maiden rite still held in India today, this chapter reveals the use of scents to describe emotional states of expression and achievement of unified consciousness.

Spikenard is well-known from the New Testament as the fragrant oil that Mary of Bethany used to “anoint” Jesus’ feet in the gospel of John.  By examining the original Greek text, we discover that Mary’s actions were directed toward Jesus, the man, in a profound and intimate gesture of relaxation and aromatic healing.

The chapter on jasmine examines this fragrant flower for use in healing epilepsy in the 19th century and in aromatherapy today.  In both situations and at both times, the scent of jasmine facilitated the physical control of symptoms and management of the disease.

In addition to their fragrant scents, all of these plants have psychoactive potencies that were employed in the healing practices described in this book.  But, it is the story that accompanies the botanical treatment by which healing is truly secured.  That story is different in each context where it appears.  However, in all the cultures and contexts that I examine in SEVEN SCENTS, the story pays witness to the achievement of a spiritual level of awareness.  That achievement is brought about through inhaling the scents of these sacred plants in a narrative cultural context.    Whereas the individuals in these chapters require healing from a conflict and crisis of consciousness—the divided mind—aromatic healing demonstrates a unification that is witnessed across cultures and historical eras.  This is the aromatic imagination.

Clearly, such diverse origins necessitate the location of a common underlying crisis; something that traces back to the origin of our shared humanity. I propose that the repressed sense of smell may finally have achieved its reappearance and vindication in the aromatic imagination.

We are healed with scent.

Jyotish: Extract

To mark the release of Andrew Mason’s book, Jyotish, we have released an extract from the book. In the extract, Mason discusses the background of astrology and introduces Jyotish.

Click here to read the extract.

To read more about Jyotish, please click here.

If you would like to read more articles like this and hear the latest news and offers on our books, why not join our mailing list? We can send information by email or post as you prefer, and please also tell us about your areas of interest so we can send the most relevant information. You can unsubscribe at any time.


More Titles by Andrew Mason

Vedic Palmistry

Compact and concise information on how to determine health implications and life events using palmistry and Vedic wisdom.With a discussion of introductory level astrology and its integration with palmistry, no prior knowledge is required. An essential guide for anyone interested in Vedic wisdom, Ayurveda or yoga.

Click here to read more about Vedic Palmistry.

 

Rasa Shastra

An authoritative account of Asian Medical Alchemy, this book explores the herbo-mineral-metal based medicines used in these ancient healing traditions. The first resource of its kind, it provides exhaustive insight into the history of alchemy’s search for immortality, the variety of minerals used, and production methods.

Click here to read more about Rasa Shastra.

The Art and Practice of Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine: Extract

To celebrate the release of The Art and Practice of Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine by Nigel Ching, we have released an extract from the book.

Click here to read the extract.

This textbook is a complete diagnostic manual for students of Chinese medicine. It covers how to collect and collate the relevant information needed to make a diagnosis and clearly describes the various diagnostic models in Chinese medicine.

Click here to read more about the book or to purchase a copy.

If you would like to read more articles like this and hear the latest news and offers on our books, why not join our mailing list? We can send information by email or post as you prefer, and please also tell us about your areas of interest so we can send the most relevant information. You can unsubscribe at any time.


Other Titles by Nigel Ching

The Fundamentals of Acupuncture 

A fantastically readable guide to Chinese Medicine, this illustrated textbook covers the basic foundations and principles of acupuncture and TCM. Nigel Ching covers everything from the theories of yin and yang to point functions and needling techniques.

Click here to read more about The Fundamentals of Acupuncture.

Weaving the Cradle: Raising Awareness of Infant Mental Health


By Monika Celebi

Over the last year I have spent many hours editing and writing ‘Weaving the Cradle’, a book on facilitating groups to promote attunement and bonding between parents, their babies and toddlers. The book, whilst celebrating best practice, is a response to the harsh cuts in the social and health budgets in this country and abroad.  It aims to raise awareness of the importance of infant mental health and to the great contribution parent-baby groups can make. It is my opinion that these groups should be available to all families who need and want them.

 

Research of the economic benefits of early intervention to support the mental and physical health of parents and babies is overwhelming (WAVE Trust with Department for Education 2013). Babies’ brain-architecture is formed in the crucial period of the 1001 Critical Days (Leadsom et al. 2014, Cross Parliamentary Manifesto). There are strong links between the babies’ environment, their relationship with the primary care taker (in most cases the mother), and their mental well-being. If the mother suffers, so usually does the baby (UNICEF, 2014).  A stressful situation, such as moving house or a traumatic birth, can contribute to the development of depression. A depressed mother, who is also isolated, will struggle to fully engage with her baby. This parent may interact less, or be less friendly to her baby, or feel terribly guilty for having ‘bad’ thoughts. Studies put the percentage of women with mild to moderate postnatal depression or emotional difficulty within the first year at 20 – 30 % of mothers. Fathers, by the way, can get depressed too.  There are also clear links between babies’ early experiences and later educational achievements (WAVE Trust, 2015).

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An Integrative Approach to Treating Babies and Children: Extract

To celebrate the release of An Integrative Approach to Treating Babies and Children, edited by John Wilks, we have released an extract from the book.

Click here to read the extract. 

 

Working with babies and children is most successful when therapists have a complete understanding and overview of all appropriate treatment options, and the effects of early influences on child health and development. This book shows therapists how to consider these factors in order to work more effectively within their individual areas of expertise. This book also offers helpful advice for working within multidisciplinary teams. Illustrated with case studies and including examples from current research, this book is a valuable resource for therapists from diverse disciplines.

 

Click here to read more about the book, or to purchase a copy.

Discover more titles by John Wilks here.

If you would like to read more articles like this and hear the latest news and offers on our books, why not join our mailing list? We can send information by email or post as you prefer, and please also tell us about your areas of interest so we can send the most relevant information. You can unsubscribe at any time.