I am a Neuroscience graduate who has always been fascinated by the brain and it's responsibility for our thoughts, mood and emotions, as well as our physical movement, breathing, heart rate and sleep. After teaching science in challenging secondary schools and observing both adults and teenagers deal with stress and personal problems, my interest in how to reduce stress and pursue a happier life continued to grow. However, I visit a few housebound elderly Greenwich residents most Sundays and Janet, a Scottish woman appears to have given up on life, and refuses to celebrate her birthday and Christmas. As her only visitor from the outside world, I didn't know what else I could do for her, and my determination to help her led me into thinking about taking touch therapies and other participatory therapies to the elderly. I finally managed to get Janet to tell me what she really wished for. Her inability to make her wish come true ended up in depression. Her dream is to visit her childhood town in Scotland before she dies. However this needs to be coordinated between health facilities in London and Scotland and not as straightforward as the usual travel arrangements. She would also need a carer to accompany her. This got me thinking of a Last Wish programme as well. I hope she hangs in there till Last Wish is set up in the not too distant future to enable us to make her last wish come true. Funding for this will be sort after once the Touch Therapies Project is up and running.
My vision is to take these alternative therapies to care homes, encourage social interaction, engagement and work towards the eradication of loneliness and boredom, and the improvement of mental health.
My vision is also to assist people in tapping into their own healing process and to restore wholeness and well-being at the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels of the person. We are aiming for a deep relaxation response, reduction of pain and anxiety.
My vision is to produce and sell my own range of health products including bath salts, massage oils, face masks and scrubs to enhance the 'feel good' experience.
My ambitious vision is also to set up a Last Wish Programme for the elderly to grant them their final wish that they are unable to grant themselves which will get them saying 'I'll die happy!''
The money raised will go towards buying all the equipment needed and to pay the therapists working with me.
Although two therapists have been secured, I plan to increase the number of therapists and the range of activities we offer.
We plan to help those willing to help themselves through alternative practices to improve their health, well-being and quality of life. We do this through modalities that have been used throughout history and have been extremely effective in providing healing. Many of our elderly in homes have limited funds. Our subsidised provision makes it possible for senior citizens in and around Bexley and Greenwich to feel less isolated. They need the healing power of touch as well as the encouragement to be mobile to maintain good health. At the heart of our work is our philosophy of care, the Eden Alternative, where we encourage social interaction and engagement with our music and craft therapies, and work towards the eradication of loneliness and boredom and the improvement of mental health.
Touch Therapies Improve immune system function
Touch therapies reduce the levels of cytokines, molecules that heighten or reduce inflammation. High inflammation causes depression, Asthma and other diseases. These therapies go beyond just feeling good and helps to fight colds and flues by boosting the immune system. A 30 to 45 minute massage session once a week can help tame depression and kick out colds.
Crafts can alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, depression, loneliness and even dementia, according to research.
In the UK, craft clubs are emerging that are specifically aimed at boosting mental health. Cultural activities encourage gentle movement, reduce social isolation, and lower inflammation and stress hormones