26 January 2007

Wellbeing Week!

About:
Wellbeing week is an event that takes place every year at SOAS. A range of alternative lifestyles or activities are offered, the range goes from ayurveda and acupuncture over hypnotherapy and a laughter workshop to Qi Gong and Reiki! Also, there is music (ie a Chinese orchestra) and free vegan food from the Hare Krishna Society at lunch times!

My experiences:
_ Aromatherapy: I (and several other people) didn't know that you actually have to sign up for the taster sessions (the workshops are for everyone) and by the time we got there, all slots had been booked. At least I still have my sister Helga who is a nurse and a certified energetician in training!

_ Yoga: I have tried it for the first time in my whole life and I have to say that I was positively amazed at the effects! I cannot remember the sankrit word for the style of yoga. It was supposed to be Ishta but since the instructor didn't turn up, another one jumped in and did what she said is also known as "furniture yoga" because you can do it at home, in the bus, at work with chairs, a wall... It felt good (afterwards) to stretch your muscles and tendons and the relaxation session at the end was a good round-off. I felt so relaxed, I fell asleep easily and had a peaceful sleep. All the time there was this sound like so. peeing, similar to the one at the toilet in the Karlsplatz Opernpassage in Vienna. I was wondering all the time what the hell that was. I only realised later that it must have been a tape by the instructor. And when she said the empty-your-brain part, a voice in my head kept screaming I WANT SUSHI! (you are not supposed to eat two hours prior to the start of class).

_ Head Massage: Unfortunately couldn't make that due to uni but I can still leave that to treat myself while essay writing!

_ Homeopathy: Came in late for the intro because directly from a tutorial but right in time for the taster's session! Got prescriptions for my burn and also the stress. I still have to get the remedies.

Gower Street Practice:
Had an appointment at the doctor's because of my change in need for sleep (that would make a cool slogan!). Been sleeping 10-14 instead of 6-8 hours a day and still feel sleepy after that. It actually keeps me from doing my coursework. This has been like this since New Year (Nancy will remember that I slept through most of my 21st birthday)! The trip turned out to be pretty useless, as the doctor did not give me the feeling of taking me seriously and didn't even so much as touch me! So I suggested it might be the stress of the whole moving abroad thing but also sth else and she said "Ah! So you left your family behind..." in a that-explains-everythine sort of voice (actually, my family was part of the reason why I left Vienna), that it was due to the lack of sunlight in the UK (that I do believe; I have come to that conclusion myself though, so no news). Her main theory was my lifestyle. She recommended I should go to bed early (she emphasised this thrice even though I replied twice that I could not do that due to my delayed circadian rhythm), set several alarms (I've already got two) across the room so I have to get up (been there, done that; usually return back to sleep after turning them off), drink a glass of milk before I go to sleep (I do not drink pure milk) and I shall not take any stimulants like food, coffee, tea or alcohol (actually, I believe the last two to be INDUCING sleep, if it's not black or green tea). Then she asked me if I tried any sleeping medication and I answered that I don't like taking tablets. She mentioned "Night Owl", a sleeping pill that I don't need to be worried about. I added that it is actually the swallowing part which prevents me from taking any such medication. She then emphasises my lifestyle again and that there is no single pathological explanation for more sleep and sends me off with the advice to do "brisk exercise", like "brisk walking" for example (I tell her that I walk to SOAS and back pretty much every day and basically, to everywhere else in London if it is within 5km and she, having an answer for everything concludes that I must have gotten used to that) or go to the gym (I do can actually go to my volleyball again). To satisfy me - because I must not have seemed convinced - she eventually offers a blood test for which I have to take a note where all the substances which are to be checked are marked to UCL (University College London) Hospital where it will be done. When I read through it after I had left the practice, I noticed that the iron level is not going to be analysed (as I have heard, too little iron may cause sleepiness). *exasperation* This is not really encouraging for future consultations!!!

Conclusion:
I believe it is really important to be open for new things and if a week like this was initiated by the City of Vienna or alternative medicine practitioners' associations with free tasters & workshops, more people would try this out every now and then!

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