A look at the various options for healing from the experiences of Andrew Yiallouros...
I was flat footed when I was younger so my mum took me to a specialist at Hadley Wood Health Care in London. He turned out to be Marcus Webb, married to the daughter of Jan De Vries (who is a very famous alternative practitioner) and he expertly helped me. He recommended a long series of massage and physiotherapy to stretch out my muscles and realign my misaligned body (due to a breach birth, being very fast growing and now very tall, as well as flat footed); and so my love with alternative therapy was born! From then I flirted with yoga, meditation and other treatments but when I had a bad bicycle accident when I was in my early twenties where I couldn't walk or dress myself, I also tried a lot of therapies. However, it wasn't until I found myself working reception in my mid twenties, quickly promoted to manager, at Triyoga Soho (and later Primrose Hill), that my experiences really took off! Following this as a manager for another holistic centre in Chiswick, over those two years I must have had nearly every treatment there was available. Certainly by now, I think I have had every major therapy available.
Being, as it was, that I had to try all the treatments as part of the job (either for free or at a discount) and, later, I had to interview prospective candidates and their treatments, I have had Swedish, deep tissue, sports massages, the Bowen Technique, The Grinsberg Method, The Feldenkrais Method, The Alexander technique, Biofeedback, kinesiology, iridology, Lomi Lomi, Balinese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Burmese, ayurvedic, Thai yoga and thai massage, Vitamin therapy, yoga therapy, Osteopathy, physiotherapy, Chiropracting, Cranialsacral, homeopathy, reflexology, reiki, accupuncture, energy healing, chakra rebalancing, crystal healing, accupressure, tibetan healing, myofacial release, sound healing, lymphatic draining, spiritual cleansing, flower essences and remedies, herbalism, naturopathy, nutriton, aromatherapy, shiatsu, some wierd thing with numbers, another wierd thing with pyramids and the list goes on!
In particlular, cranialsacral therapy, accupunture and reiki are the three therapies that sorted me out after my accident and that I would recommend to everyone. At the time I was a complete disbeliever in the power that any of these therapies could have. But they really worked. I became a reiki practitioner, it was such a powerful experience. Now I also do energy healing, accupressure and Thai Yoga massage, but like every good practitioner, I mix it all up and incorporate strands of other systems. That's a good tip to find a good experience in any of the therapies, look for the experience and the fluidity that comes with learning and age. You also have to look through the cheese and the bull and find someone who actually knows their stuff and is down to earth.
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Reiki is an energy healing system that believes it is realigning you with the universal energy that pervades reality. If you find a good practitioner, you will definitely feel something. It can be hot, cold or buzzing. When I had it, it was a buzzing feeling and I heard doors slamming in my head and a bizarre experience of falling. Cranialsacral feels like you are being conned in the beginning. You lie there and the practitioner puts their hands on you and you feel like they are not doing anything at all. But, as you fall asleep (which normally happens very quickly) you can feel the very subtle moevments they are performing. It was very very delicate conscious, but in that semi conscious state as I fell asleep, it felt like my whole body was being moved like a ribbon in the wind. As for accupuncture, everyone knows about that, but what many don't know is that it is the therapy with the most science that backs it up; there are tons of studies that show it works.
My favourite other therapies are Thai Yoga massage, accupressure, shiatsu, the more Asian side of things; I'd recommend them to anyone. I also had a really powerful experience in the Grinsberg Method, sound healing and in a Vietnamese Blind massage we had in Nha Trang. Thai yoga massage is a mix between stretching, manipulation, strokes and accupressure. Accupressure is similar to accupuncture but uses hands, fingers and knuckles instead of needles. Shiatsu is similar to that and you can read about the blind massage in our travel section. But Grinsberg! Wow! The therapist massaged an old cut I had on my toe that was now a scar. It was a cut I had recieved when I was about 6 years old. I had forgotten this memory but as she massaged the scar, I remembered it: I remembered having just cut myself and crying and my sister comforting me and telling me big boys don't cry and I remember sucking up the tears and being a big boy for my sister. What I had also forgotten is I had never cried since this moment. Not even when my puppy (who I adored) died. As she massaged this cut, this memory came flooding back and so did the tears and I sobbed like a little baby on that therapist couch!
It was amazing, and I was sitting there apologising saying I don't know why I'm crying! Ever since then I went from abnormal (not crying ever) to normal (crying when it was appropriate!). Go check it out and any of the therapies I mention, just try to find a good practitioner, but be open minded! If you are closed minded, then stay away from the more cheesy or spurious sounding therapies; it won't really work if you don't believe in it (true for a lot of things!). Check out our other article "Do Alternative therapies work?" for more information...
I only do my healing treatments now for people who really need it, who cross my path, but send me an email if you are interested and we'll see what we can do!
"I've been to some of the most expensive doctors in the world, and in one session you fixed my back!"
"Andrew's Shamanic healing is one of the most powerful treatments I've had."
"I am so spaced out now...I feel amazing!"
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