Smoking Cessation

The traditional and commercial methods for smoking cessation do not work for everyone. Many of our clients have tried one or more of the following methods: cold turkey, reduction of the number of cigarettes per day, nicotine patches or gum, e. cigarettes, acupunture etc. What we offer them instead is a one-off hypnosis session that goes to the heart of the problem. And, we are pleased to say that the majority of these clients are no longer addicts and are no longer tempted to smoke, even in the company of other smokers.

If you are a smoker, and you feel ready to give up, please get in touch with Paul our resident counsellor and hypnosis specialist. His fee includes, a 60 minute telephone consultation, a 2 hour hypnosis session at his healing studio in Portimao, and finally, 2 telephone calls to monitor your progress and inspire you to keep up the good work.

In our experience most clients just require one hypnosis session, but some clients do require additional sessions of combined counselling and hypnosis to support their individual cessation process.

Fee: lockdown price until the end of 2020 = 75,00 euros (normally 150,00 euros). Additional 1 hour treatments = 50,00 euros.

Contact: (+351) 910 665 601 English speaking Hypnotherapist Algarve

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A Large-Scale Effectiveness Trial of Reiki for Physical and Psychological Health

The Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine (December 2019) published the outcomes of a trial into the effectiveness of Reiki. Here is the transcript of that report.

Objectives: The main purpose of this study was to measure the effect of a single session of Reiki on physical and psychological health in a large non clinical sample.

Design: The study design was a single arm effectiveness trial with measures at pre-and post-intervention. Settings: The study took place at private Reiki practices across the United States.

Subjects: Reiki practitioners were recruited from an on-line mailing list to participate in the study with their Reiki clients. A total of 99 Reiki practitioners met the inclusion criteria and participated in the study. Reiki practitioners were instructed to give a flyer to each of their Reiki clients that contained information about the study and invited the client to complete a survey before and after their Reiki session.

Interventions: Trained and certified Reiki Masters conducted the Reiki sessions in person, with each session lasting between 45 and 90 min.

Outcome measures: The well-validated 20-item Positive and Negative Affect Schedule was used to assess affect, and brief, single-item self-report measures were used to assess a wide range of physical and psychological variables immediately before (pre) and after (post) the Reiki session.

Results: A total of 1,411 Reiki sessions were conducted and included in the analysis. Statistically significant improvements were observed for all outcome measures, including positive affect, negative affect, pain, drowsiness, tiredness, nausea, appetite, shortness of breath, anxiety, depression, and overall well-being.

Conclusions: The results from this large-scale multi-site effectiveness trial suggest that a single session of Reiki improves multiple variables related to physical and psychological health.

The power of hypnotherapy

I have helped my clients overcome a range of issues that have impacted their everyday lives, and in some cases for many years, e.g. addictions to smoking and certain foods, weight loss, phobias and fears and building confidence and a better future.

What is different about hypnotherapy as a treatment tool, compared to other solutions such as counselling, a weight loss programme or drugs, is that it can take away the power of the issue very quickly or eliminate it altogether.

For some people this can be after one therapy session or maybe two or three. The length of time it takes really depends on how receptive the person is to the therapy, and whether there are other side issues such as lack of confidence, depression, or unresolved feelings such as anger.

I am not trying to discredit the power of other solutions. I also use counselling in my therapy work too, and have seen great successes through weight loss programmes, and prescribed medication.

What is important here is that I take an holistic approach to the treatment. For example, when I sense that a client has a lot of stress in their body, I sometimes suggest a full body massage or a Reiki treatment, in addition to the hypnotherapy. And after both sessions they normally feel much lighter, both in mind and body. One client actually told me after she had had both, Reiki and Hypnotherapy, that she felt like she had been on a mini holiday.

Hypnotherapy is in fact like a holiday for the mind. The hypnotic induction totally relaxes the body and in turn, the conscious mind. And, whilst their conscious self is less busy with worrying thoughts and opinions etc, this frees up their subconscious mind to absorb the positive intentions and suggestions provided by me. These intentions have been formulated from the client’s own wishes for their future. My aim is to use their exact words, so that what they hear is familiar and thereby more powerful.

So, if you are looking for a holiday for your mind and body please do get in touch. We offer a brief complementary telephone consultation so that we can assess what your needs are and from there, offer therapeutic suggestions for treatment.

Contact: 910 665 601, or

The benefits of having regular treatments such as therapeutic and relaxing massage.

Many of our clients are seeking alternative ways of keeping healthy and fit, both physically and mentally. Some come with a long term problem regarding mobility, balance, the over use of certain muscles and joints, as well as debilitating conditions such as sciatica and scoliosis. Others simply come to see us for the release of body tension and general relaxation.

Those who do require therapeutic intervention, normally through mobilisation therapy, receive at least three to four treatments over a period of four to six weeks. The body has its own physical memory of incorrect posture or positions of the hips or shoulders. And so, this is why we suggest regular treatments so that the body continues to remember the correct way of standing and moving etc. Otherwise it will continue to remember the old ways, the ways that have been causing problems in the body.

When the body finally learns the correct positions, we then suggest regular maintenance, a few times a month. This can be through a standard massage technique to keep the body tension free. Massage also helps to maintain a healthy metabolism and blood circulation. And of course it feels fantastic, like having a mini holiday.

And those clients who just seek relaxation and pampering from regular massage will also the feel the benefits of frequent treatments. Again, the body and the mind may forget what it feels like to feel free of tension and be relaxed. For example, we have quite a few clients who have regular massage and a few in the beginning could have benefited from more regular treatments, maybe bi-weekly.

One client for example, who works with computers all day and everyday, had such a lot of tension in his shoulders. We would spend quite a lot of time just softening up the neck and shoulder muscles and tissues before he began to feel any benefits. After a few random sessions, we suggested to him that he comes once a week for a while. He did do so, and this meant there wasn’t such a big build up of tension. And then we could give equal time and attention to other parts of his body. Finally, with our guidance, he started to conduct some exercises at home in order to keep his shoulders and neck muscles moving and flexible.

Here is a more comprehensive list of the physical and mental benefits of regular massage treatments.

  • reduced muscle tension
  • improved circulation
  • stimulation of the lymphatic system
  • reduction of stress hormones
  • relaxation
  • increased joint mobility and flexibility
  • improved skin tone
  • improved recovery of soft tissue injuries
  • heightened mental alertness
  • reduced anxiety and depression.
  • support for the mind and body following an illness.

Whatever reasons you have for seeking regular massage, our therapists are on hand to discuss with you, which kind of therapy will suit your body, at this moment in time. Please call us on 910 665 601 for a complementary telephone consultation.

Grief: how to support a friend or colleague who is grieving

It isn’t a comfortable experience in being around someone who is grieving for a loved one. We somehow want to make life good for them again, but instead we might feel lost for words and uncomfortable in not knowing how to support them.

It is a common myth that the bereaved don’t want to talk about the person they have recently lost.  Whereas in fact they are often happy to discuss their loved one even though they may end up crying. Allow them to cry and express their feelings, don’t try to stop the flow by offering a tissue straight away. Don’t be afraid to show your own feelings. This will show them that you care.

Don’t let your own worries about what to say stop you connecting with them. This might mean picking up the phone,  or going to visit them. Sending a text isn’t quite the same as hearing your voice or seeing you in person. They will probably be quite happy to have a distraction from their loss and so feel free to talk to them in the way you normally would; this could be about your shared interests and the people that you both know. Maintain the relationship by inviting them out to where you would normally go together, they may say no, but they will probably appreciate your efforts.

There is nothing to be said of course that will make a difference to their loss but there is lots you can both say to best serve your friendship. You could be very honest and admit that you don’t know what the right thing to say is. You can then follow this up “How can I help?”. Ask them if they want to speak about the loss or the person they lost.

Grief doesn’t have a blue print that fits all of us. Therefore we need to understand that people experience this emotion in many different ways, and at different times.

Some people just feel very numb for quiet a few days after the loss. The tears, if they come, may hit them at the funeral or there might be a trigger further on, e.g. a piece of music playing on the radio, or seeing a photograph of the deceased. Others may not  be able to stop crying for many days. But the way they experience grief is right for them, and so try to be understanding and don’t stop their process.

Being around someone who is in distress can be very draining and so it is important to recharge yourself. You might need to share what you are feeling with another friend, as well as taking time out for yourself.

At Natural Joki Flow we offer a counselling service for a range of issues, including grief and loss. If you or someone that you know are struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one please do call us on 910 665 601 for a free, initial consultation. This can then be followed up by regular face to face sessions, or through video chat on social media.

Holistic Therapy, Healing and Life style

Socrates, the 4th century philosopher famously said “The part can never be well unless the whole is well”.

This philosophy sums up our approach to our therapy work with clients, i.e. looking at the bigger picture and this includes life style, diet, general health, previous injuries/operations, and examining the whole body. Although it is important to pay attention to presenting symptoms we shouldn’t be totally guided by them – they can be misleading if they are a side symptom of something bigger elsewhere in the body.

We are seeing many of our clients taking an holistic approach to their own healing, i.e. they are waking up to the fact that relieving the painful symptoms in their lower back or shoulder by taking pain killers isn’t an ideal long term solution to getting well. This especially applies to those clients who are experiencing side-effects from the medication, or are now experiencing other symptoms in the body, often because of a misalignment. This is often a result of not receiving a physical treatment soon enough.

Photo by cottonbro

Further good news is that quite a few of our clients are becoming more aware that the current trend to look good, young and be super-fit is a superficial one. So instead of setting a goal to look like the latest super model or football hero they are attending classes that are beneficial for both their physical and mental health. They attend our Reiki classes and those of our colleagues who offer Yoga and Meditation courses. Many are also seeking advice from us about their diet, e.g. we have researched over the least few years the benefits of certain minerals and vegetables to boost energy and the immune system.

Photo by Elly Fairytale

Finally, many clients have been taking extra care in the work place to balance the time spent between doing activities that cause tension build-up in their bodies and those that free up the mind and body.

Socrates certainly knew what he was talking about all those centuries ago and we believe all of us have the capacity to find our own holistic way of living, working and enjoying good health. And once you have found your own methodology we are pretty sure others around you will notice and will conduct investigations into finding their own.

Indian Head Massage

The History of Indian Head Massage has its roots in South Asia/India. For the families who still live in villages this tradition is still maintained. For example, family members and their friends give each other regular massages, that is, from children to grandparents/senior adults.

Everyone is involved. And although the roots of this tradition are being lost in the bigger cities due to more hectic lifestyles, you can still find a ‘massage man’ offering such treatments on the street for a few rupees.

In other countries across the globe this treatment is finding its way into health spas, hairdressers, and is given as an alternative form of massage in centres that conduct regular Swedish or Japanese style of massages.

Some of the benefits of Indian Head Massage are:

* Increases the supply of fresh oxygen and glucose to the brain.

* Relaxes the nervous system and reduces fatigue caused by
the stresses and strains of daily life.
* It can help to induce sleep.
* Energises the body and mind.

Ideally this treatment is conducted whereby the Therapist has skin contact with the client.  Oils can then be used for ease of movement across the skin. But if the client doesn’t have time or isn’t going directly home to shower after the treatment, the whole session can be conducted fully clothed. But, which ever way the treatment is conducted it is still effective for relaxing the mind and body, and giving the whole system an energy boost.

Copyright: Parrot Castle

Fees: A full 50 minute treatment is 45,00 euros
Express treatment for 20 minutes is 20,00 euros

To book your treatment with us at Natural Joki Flow please call us on 910 665 601.

Mental health benefits of massage therapies

We have seen over the years the benefits massage therapy can have for our clients, not just physically but mentally too. For example, a full body massage provides much-needed relaxation for anyone but for someone who has been suffering from depression or another mental health condition, the neuro-chemical effects of receiving a massage can enhance their ability to (a) cope with day to day life and  (b) relaxes them enough to benefit from other therapies that will promote their healing and growth, i.e. counselling and psychotherapy and other physical therapies.

Several clients, who up until their massage treatment, and interestingly this was mostly men, had never really opened up to anyone about their emotional health. A good illustration of this point is the experience of a male client: we will call him Dan for this example. Dan hadn’t been touched by anyone for months, he was divorced, lived alone and didn’t have many close friends. It isn’t surprising to us that during his first massage session he began to cry, and not just a little, he bawled away like a baby. We don’t say ‘baby’, to belittle his emotional state, but it felt like it was deep emotion, raw, just like you might hear from a baby that is hungry for food or affection.

This is a good illustration that our emotions are stored in our body, and in this man’s case very deep in the tissues of his body. And thanks to the non-judgemental approach of our massage therapist this man felt safe enough to come back for further sessions.

It also illustrates the importance of feeling our emotions and sharing that experience when it happens, rather than burying the feeling/experience as in the case of Dan. We are pleased to say that Dan went on to have a series of counselling sessions to work on emotional material that was blocking his ability to form a deep and meaningful relationship.

Depression – is it really holding on to the past?

Depression can affect any of us at any time. Hopefully for some of us it is a short interruption to our normal mental health pattern and we can then get back on with our lives. But for many it can be a daily struggle to get motivated to get out of bed, get showered and dressed, and even preparing breakfast can feel like a tall mountain to climb.

I recently read a face book post, possibly taken from the work of Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, that stated, ‘Depression is living in the past’. Yes, it is partly as the mind can replay moments from the past that can weigh us down in the present moment. But I personally believe the condition is more complex than that. I have met a number of people in my therapy work and I think that this glib statement, (although well intentioned) would make them quite cross, as they are not the kind of people who dwell on the past very much.

If you think for a moment how overwhelming feelings can be, they can hit us out of the blue and pretty much affect everything in the present moment.  Some people need hours or days to internally process what has happened and others might immediately call a friend/loved one to listen to what is going on for them. It really depends on the emotional temperature and personality of the depressed person.

Living with Depression can be about living in the moment. For example, if we have come to a place in our lives whereby we have become more aware of what we are feeling in the present moment, and then get on with the rest of our day, the sad feelings may not change immediately, but they may not stop us from conducting our lives. Taking this a step further, when we notice the black mood is there again, we can stop in our tracks – acknowledge it, examine where it can be felt in the body, and then move on.

I call this process ‘becoming an observer’ and is something I do with my therapy clients. If they can become curious during our therapy sessions, the learning from their time with me can then be practiced outside of the therapy space. And, as I suggested earlier, observing and moving on may not change the feelings themselves, but it may make them less potent and allow one to live a life. It is also important to note that there may not be a smile on your face but you are learning to live with the feelings that in the past may have kept you in bed and off work.

Counselling and Transactional Analysis

Transactional Analysis, also known as TA, was founded by Eric Berne, who developed concepts, language and methods for understanding the process of human behaviours.

The most well known concept from TA is the ego-state model.  An ego-state is a collection of related behaviours, thoughts and feelings.

One of the many ego states can be triggered by a situation in our life, e.g. a friend comes for dinner and accidentally drops a wine glass. We can respond in a number of ways to that incident of course, e.g.

Adult ego state: rational thinking, and a practical reaction to the incident.

Parent ego states: behave in a way that reminds us of our own parents’ behaviour (i) a critical parent might say “you stupid man, why can’t you be more careful?” or (ii) a nurturing parent might say, “gosh, are you ok? did you cut yourself?”.

Child ego states:  respond in a way that a small child would, (i) Adapted child, whereby the behaviour is an extreme reaction to something quite trivial, e.g. having a trantrum about the prized glass, and (ii) Free child, a playful approach to the incident, e.g. you get two straws so that you and your guest can drink up the spilt wine from the table.

At times we might think, feel or behave in any of these ego states, even moving from to another and back again. The direction of movement depends on the level of self awareness a client has of their own internal models of behaviour. For example, if their old pattern is to react in a critical way they can begin to learn that their nurturing self, or adult self, is the best ego model to remedy the situation rather than inflate it.

The short-longer term aim of the therapy is for the client to become more and more aware of their predominant roles and that in time they begin to make choices in particular ego states, that support the relationship with one’s self and others, and give less attention to the more destructive choices.

One way of doing this is to discover a client’s Life Script. The belief is that our life script contains all that we believe about ourselves and the world around us.  From the earliest period of childhood we receive very precise instructions about what we can do and what we can’t, which often becomes the “script” for our lives, e.g.  as early as five or six, we see the world through the prism of our life script and ignore what doesn’t fit the picture. This prevents us from seeing the variety of choices that life has to offer. The role of the TA therapist is to help their client to identify their script beliefs and, if necessary, work on ways to modify them.

Transactional Analyis is ideal for clients who want to explore how their individual personality has been shaped by their experiences.

It can also help improve communication techniques and change damaging repetitive patterns of behaviour. Both elements will help clients to build healthier and stronger relationships.  It is also an ideal technique to resolve conflict, confusion and tension within relationships – with family, partners, friends, colleagues and bosses .

Transactional Analysis was always traditionally offered as a long-term therapy but nowadays is used as a short-term treatment, which could appeal to those who want a solution-focused therapy.

If you are interested in this approach to therapy please call our resident counsellor, Paul on 910 665 601.

He offers a free telephone consultation to establish what it is you want to work on and will recommend a course of action that supports your current needs.