THE CARERS PROJECT AT BREATHE
The Carers project at Breathe, the counselling service for Platfform was a fantastic project
available to anyone with caring responsibilities. Carers accessed counselling and a therapy of their choice which included Shiatsu, Reflexology, Indian Head massage, Mindfulness and Reiki.
We had a great response from a diverse group of carers who are in need of support in their lives to carry on doing what they do for their loved ones.
Platfform is a brilliant mental health charity doing some amazing work whose core values are holistic and compassionate and who see our societal structures failing us .
Here is some feedback I recieved from my time on the project.
‘The sessions introduced me to a therapy that I have never tried before, which turned out to be the most relaxing experience ever! It was wonderful to have a bit of me time and actually feel like I was being pampered. Sarah was very friendly and calm, which made me feel very much at ease.
My life is, at times, incredible stressful and hard and can really get you down, the shiatsu massage made me take the time to relax and focus on just me, not something you get to do often as a double carer. I look after my elderly father and severely learning impaired daughter, I have had to give up work just to be able to keep my head above water.
Through the Breathe program I finally feel back on more of an even keel, I now realise the benefit of having me time, I really hope to have more shiatsu massage privately if I can afford it as I now know how beneficial it is to my physical wellbeing and mental health.’ (Sarah )
‘I have thoroughly enjoyed my shiatsu sessions with Sarah. Sometimes it felt stressful to make the time and prioritise myself but it was always worth it. Sarah understood that I have many commitments and worked with me to organise my sessions around everything else. For that hour of my session I felt totally and utterly relaxed and this feeling lasted for a longtime after. Sarah always made me feel welcome, relaxed and worthy of her time and the sessions have helped my physical and mental health’. (Sally)
‘Thank you so much for my 8 shiatsu sessions at breathe. As a carer for my husband and daughter I don’t get much time to myself or for relaxing, your sessions were invaluable in bringing me both. In your sessions I found myself breathing properly, learning how to let go of physical tensions and It was most importantly Me time from the moment I stepped into the room! Once again thank you ‘(Helen)
‘The shiatsu was something that helped bring me back into my body, become aware of my own tension, energy (or lack of) and helped me tune back into my own needs for good food, sleep and hydration. ………Our sessions where a chance for me to unhook from all of that and allow my body some time to be cared for and for my mind to have a rest. I am indebted to you for the kindness you showed as well as the skill of your treatments, which were wonderful. I really hope Breathe will be able to continue this work for carers as it is so very much needed. It was very much about ‘me’ whereas counselling always gets hijacked by concerns over my daughter. I’m really grateful to both you and Breathe for offering this to me, just the ticket and I hope there’ll be another opportunity to do more with you in the future. Many thanks!’ (Jenny)
‘I recently attended a number of free shiatsu sessions with Sarah as part of the Breathe Carer’s Project. It was lovely to have that bit of time that was just for me and no-one else, I don’t get many of those moments. The shiatsu was amazingly relaxing and really helped me to de-stress for a while. It was a very grounding experience. Sarah has a relaxing way about her and really seemed to understand the complications of life as a carer. She put up with me missing sessions with no notice, having to rearrange sessions and turning up to some with my son in tow. She even showed me a few pressure points that might help my son with his anxiety and they worked too.The Carer’s Project was a wonderful idea, I really hope that they run it again and maybe I will get the chance to experience shiatsu with Sarah again.’ (Sharon)
During the lockdown in 2021 I worked at The Seren hospital in Brigend as part of the unique wellbeing team there I will be delivering Shiatsu on the ward to patients rehabilitating from Covid. This was such an amazing opportunity to work in an NHS setting, We had arts projects, mental health provision, movement, yoga and bodywork in the wellbeing team helping patients recover quicker so they could be discharged and finally go home.
The project went really welll and the response was overwhelming. Elderly patients who have mostly never had a massage in their lives before being so open to trying it and loving the benefits of nurturing touch, some quotes from them below. The staff on the ward have been so supportive and encouraging of my work too.
‘it feels like a hug’
‘it feels like your hand is taking all the pain away’
‘my body feels light as a feather’
‘can I have another dose please?’
Senior nurse :
‘wowed is the word, one of our patients who is quite restless, changeable and very bored following the Shiatsu session was glowing, and said it was incredible,but what was excellent was that his mood and his fidgeting just wasn’t there and that lasted for the weekend. He remembered it and it was a really effective therapy for him. It made me realise that I wish we had more of that in hospitals because that’s much more effective than any medication. It stopped the escalation of behaviours due to dementia and boredom’
I am working at Brynawel house which is an alcohol rehabilitation centre with clients in recovery ,facilitating wellbeing sessions. The programme has mindfulness and DBT as its core practice and I am facilitating sessions which explore embodiment practices . Mindful movement, self massage techniques, Shiatsu stretching , Breathwork and Guided meditation offer different ways to experience our bodies in the present moment and open pathways into body awareness .
One to one shiatsu sessions offer clients a space to meet themselves in a held and nourishing treatment augmenting their healing and recovery.