Out Now! 6 Essential Oils You Can’t Do Without

Out Now! 6 Essential Oils You Can’t Do Without

Out Now! 6 Essential Oils You Can’t Do Without

Yes, they are delightfully fragrant, however essential oils also possess hard-working properties that provide effective solutions to help with beauty care, housework, gardening, and – of course – your health. Better still, you don’t need a whole pharmacy cabinet full of them! Six key oils will do it all.



  • The multipurpose powers of six indispensable essential oils: tea tree, lemon, lavender, peppermint, rosemary cineole and damask rose
  • Effective remedies to alleviate common conditions from anxiety and insomnia to high blood pressure and arthritis
  • Pampering treatments including massages, baths, lotions and face masks
  • Miracle solutions for your home and garden, such as how to keep rooms clean and fragrant, despatch cat and dog fleas, banish moths from wardrobes, and eradicate bugs from your plants!


Essential Oil Winter remedies:


We ask them to be on duty 24/7, whether it’s raining, windy, freezing, or a heatwave, without looking after them. It’s no wonder that they are the first to show signs of ageing. It’s not too late to put things right.


In a small bowl, mix 3 tbsp powdered French green clay and 10 drops lavender essential oil with a little warm water to make a thick paste. Apply this to the back of the hands once a week, rubbing it in with circular movements. Rinse in clean water.


Mix 10 drops lemon essential oil and 1 tsp macadamia carrier oil. Pour a little of the preparation into the palm of your hand, then warm it by rubbing your hands together.

Using the thumb of one hand, massage the palm of the other, pressing down firmly and working from the centre outwards. Now, take your wrist and massage the back of the hand, working towards the fingertips.

Finish by massaging each finger, one after the other, from the fingertips down to the wrist. Use this massage only at night, as lemon essential oil can increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Do this for four minutes.




Apply 2 drops tea tree essential oil four times a day to the nostrils, throat, and chest area for two to three days.
Dilute 2 drops tea tree essential oil in 1⁄2 tsp honey, and let this melt in your mouth.
Do this four times a day for two to three days.


Mix 4 drops tea tree essential oil, 4 drops lemon essential oil, and 2 tsp macadamia carrier oil. Using 10 drops of this mixture, gently massage the neck, chest, and top of the back four times a day, until the symptoms subside.


To avoid any risk of infection or germs spread by bedclothes, prepare this disinfecting solution by mixing 2 ml lemon essential oil with 1 ml rosemary cineole essential oil, and use it as follows. Soak the sheets, pillowcases, and nightclothes in warm water plus 10 drops of the essential oil solution for half an hour. Then launder them in the usual way, but add 4 to 5 drops of the solution to the fabric conditioner compartment. If washing by hand, add only 2 drops of the solution to the last rinse.



One small action can gain you a full night’s sleep. Pour 2 drops lavender essential oil onto each pillow before going to bed.


Mix 200 ml (63⁄4 fl oz) water, 200 ml (63⁄4 fl oz) Isopropyl alcohol 60%, and 30 drops lavender essential oil in a spray bottle. Shake before each use, and spray every morning after airing the room.


Take 2 limes and 3 clementines (organic if possible), and cut each of them in half. Stick 3 cloves in each of the halves. Place them in a pretty dish or in an empty fish bowl, then pour in 10 drops lemon essential oil. Put your pot-pourri close to a heat source, such as a fireplace, radiator, or in sunlight.

6 Essential Oils You Can’t Do Without:

The best aromatherapy oils for health, home and beauty and how to use them

Essential oils possess hard-working properties that provide effective natural solutions to help with beauty care, housework, gardening, and – of course – our health. Better still, you don’t even need a whole pharmacy cabinet full of them! Just six key oils will cover all your needs. 

This book presents the six oils you can’t do without – tea tree, lemon, lavender, peppermint, rosemary cineole and damask rose – and reveals their multi-purpose powers. Discover effective remedies to alleviate common conditions from anxiety and insomnia to high blood pressure and arthritis, plus pamper treatments including massages, baths, lotions and face masks. 
There are also magic formulas and miracle solutions for keeping rooms clean and fragrant, banishing dog and cat fleas, ensuring your plants stay bug-free – and a whole host more! 

Healing Crystals for Women: Must-have crystals and their benefits for every stage of life

Healing Crystals for Women: Must-have crystals and their benefits for every stage of life

Welcome to the
world of crystals

When you enter the crystal universe you discover a fascinating new world that brings joy and personal fulfilment. As female practitioners of lithotherapy, or crystal healing, we felt it was important to write a book for women who love crystals and want to work with them. These stones have a gentle power that can be used in myriad everyday ways to enhance femininity and well-being throughout the four stages of life – childhood, adolescence, adult life and motherhood, and later life. Using and handling these stones encourages happy emotions, and their effects can also boost intuition and enhance personal development.

As a general rule, several healing crystals are recommended and it is exciting to try them one by one or together to discover which work best with which season, with which state of mind or to achieve the healing effect desired. There are also crystals that are best held in the hand to enrich meditation or contemplation.

– Catherine Mayet & Nathaëlh Remy

Healing Crystals:

5 Questions & Answers

1. What is a healing crystal? 

A therapeutic or healing crystal is a mineral which, depending on its properties, produces a beneficial effect. The healing qualities of the crystals featured here have been recognized since ancient times and acknowledged by certain visionaries such as, in the Middle Ages, the German Saint Hildegard of Bingen. Since then, their properties have been further studied and evaluated as professional lithotherapists have recorded their own experiences and reactions. The beneficial effects of crystals can be emotional, invigorating or spiritual, which is why crystals are described as ‘therapeutic’. In the event of illness, healing crystals can be a helpful addition to conventional medical treatment but should not be used as a substitute.

2. How do they transmit their powers?

There are several different hypotheses. Everything that exists on Earth, such as sound, light or colour, vibrates to a particular wavelength. Crystals resonate as a result of their colour, structure, the trace elements present during the original crystallization process, and the sum of their experiences since their formation. Crystals are also composed of minerals that humans need to replenish the body’s mineral content. It is believed that a subtle transmission of power from the crystals will redress any mineral deficiencies in the body. The process occurs via skin contact with the crystal and also across electromagnetic fields. The vibrational resonance between a crystal and an individual facilitates imperceptible exchanges of information.

Meeting clients in the mineral store where we worked taught us some interesting and surprising things. For instance, we noticed that children aged under seven often experienced the power of crystals quite naturally. Some highly sensitive and receptive people retain that ability to communicate with the mineral world as they get older. However, most people say they feel nothing, most probably because they are not sufficiently capable of listening to their bodies. Wanting and deciding to hone this sense makes individuals aware of their own responsiveness, developing their capacity to communicate with crystals. It also helps people become less judgemental towards themselves and towards those who lack this responsiveness. In this way emotional or energy imbalances can be resolved. This is why we generally suggest using crystals directly on your skin to enhance and feel their effects, and to encourage the transfer of their mineral power.

3. What different types of crystal are there?

Crystals are chosen for their beauty and their rarity value. Usually, they are carefully removed from rock and never suffer any kind of mishandling (other stones may be extracted using dynamite). Their weight can vary from tens of grammes to hundreds of kilos for Amethysts or huge blocks of Rock Crystal. They can be admired in museum displays, at mineral fairs and in stores that sell minerals or gems for export. The largest mineral fair in the world is the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase that takes place annually in winter at more than 40 venues in Tucson, Arizona.

Mineral specialists from throughout the world can be found there. In France, the Mineral and Gem International Show is held each June in a pretty Alsace village called Sainte Marie-aux-Mines.

Semi-precious or precious stones, such as Diamonds, Rubies, Sapphires or Emeralds, are sold in jewellery shops. These gems are highly prized for their beauty, rarity, purity and quality. They will be cut and ground into forms that can be used in jewellery. Their weight is minuscule and is measured in carats (1 carat = 200 mg or 0.2 g). Set decoratively in jewellery as conspicuous symbols of power or wealth, these stones are offered as tokens of love and fidelity on occasions such as an engagement or wedding. However, semi-precious stones such as Amethyst,
Turquoise, Jade, Rose Quartz and Moonstone are being used increasingly in jewellery workshops.

4. How should I choose a crystal?

Whether it is a spontaneous purchase or chosen for health reasons, you should let your heart guide you. A crystal must resonate with its user, as this creates a special bond. You have to follow your instincts and buy a crystal that pleases you. The amount of enjoyment and wonder people get from a crystal will vary according to each individual’s personality.

5. How should I use a crystal?

You can hold the crystal in your hand – during a walk, for instance – or attach it to yourself with special sticky tape (available from pharmacies) that doesn’t irritate the skin. You can also put it in your pocket or in your bra. Contemplation or simple meditation will help you to get in touch and commune with the crystal. For some people, this can be a very rich and surprising journey of self-discovery. Focusing on the crystal, you can experience it and absorb its light, colour and form.

If you forget to take it with you, you can visualize it or conjure it up in your imagination. Scientific studies now show that in this context the brain does not differentiate between imagination and reality.

At night, the mind is at rest but the body gets the chance to cleanse and regenerate itself. This is a good time to use a crystal, particularly over the long term. Whether you’re doing this for yourself or a child, it’s a good idea to place the crystal under the pillow or in the pillowcase so that it can have a subtle effect on the mind.

Healing Crystals:

For every stage of life

For Babies

Sleep problems

Night terrors and nightmares


An infant can suffer significant fears and anxieties at bedtime. A large piece of raw Rose Quartz placed under the child’s bed at head level will encourage peaceful sleep and will drive away night terrors. Green Aventurine relieves sadness, while Blue Chalcedony calms tearfulness. Imperial Topaz brings joy and comfort. Each of these crystals should be worn next to the skin on a necklace or pendant or secured under a stomach band. Lapis Lazuli gets rid of nightmares and should be slipped beneath the bedsheet of a baby, as should Turquoise, which combats sleep disturbances in young babies.

For Teenagers


When teenagers become ‘hooked’


Some young girls – those who are emotionally fragile or unsure of themselves – may have a tendency to copy other people. They follow the crowd or, to try and look more grown-up, may drink alcohol or smoke, or may compensate by overeating. Others escape reality by shutting themselves off in the virtual world of video games, where they can lead their lives at one remove from reality. In such cases, Amethyst can help the withdrawal process and Lapis Lazuli will calm extreme urges. Black Tourmaline further protects against electromagnetic radiation, provided it is regularly cleaned and recharged.

At Work

Organization & Burnout

Stop feeling overloaded

Black Tourmaline could successfully organize the work of a government minister – and even prioritize the tasks! Don’t forget it. This crystal is ideal for rediscovering your sensitivity and responsiveness, as it balances the dark ‘yin’ principle. It can be slipped into a pocket, worn close to the heart or put under a pillow. Red Garnet energizes and maximizes the little strength remaining at the end of marathon days. It can be used in the same way as Black Tourmaline. Turquoise develops the organizing abilities that every woman has. Keep it with you day and night in any form you like. Invigorating Imperial Topaz will help you to confront everyday stress; it is best worn on a bracelet. In our daily routine, the unexpected can seem like a wild beast that has to be tamed. When faced with unforeseeable events and the emotional tension they bring, consider Rose Quartz, which will help you keep an open heart and mind. It will stop you from sinking into bitterness or anger. Rhodochrosite has much the same effect. It will give you an energy boost if you are tired. These crystals should preferably be worn next to the skin on a necklace, pendant or in donut form.

Black Obsidian brings a sense of where the happy medium lies. This idea draws on the notion of yin and yang, which corresponds with the duality of everything: for instance, the white and the black, and yang activity and yin repose. The two sides are constantly changing. The priority is to avoid excess and maintain balance. Black Obsidian reorients us. Beware of burnout – literally burning up energy until it is exhausted. It is essential to be able to draw a line, even though it is true that life sometimes overloads us with responsibilities that have to be taken on whatever the cost.

Falling in Love

Break-up (your choice)

A time for self-reflection

You have to take your courage in both hands to make the break. But then a new companion
– guilt – appears! Making a fresh start is never easy. 
Red Jasper will help you to remain objective about the decision you have taken. If the situation has reached this point, it is because the relationship was no longer working. Lapis Lazuli helps you breathe when you’re overcome by the spiral of events. Chrysoprase allows you to keep your objectives in mind so you can move on without looking back. Black Tourmaline relieves any guilt by lifting your mood. Rose Quartz calms the emotional stress caused by a stream of memories. Morganite brings peace of mind when break-ups mark the end of a difficult relationship. Turquoise will guide you on a new path and can renew anyone’s optimism. Lastly, Imperial Topaz will shed light on what the future without your partner looks like.


Mood swings and anger

Blame the hormones

Orange Moonstone controls levels of oestrogen and progesterone. Amethyst lifts low morale caused by reduced hormone production and helps you to stay in control. To halt mounting anger, try Chrysoprase. Lilac Lepidolite puts you in a good mood and promotes harmony. Rhodochrosite helps settle disputes. Blue Chalcedony relieves frustration. Each one can be worn on a necklace, pendant, bracelet or in donut form, or slipped into a pocket. Use them together, too, as you wish.



All sorts of fears

The school of life never ends. Having to abandon your usual way of doing things and move on and start learning again is not easy. Mastering new skills such as managing crutches or a frame, or finding your way around new places such as a care home is even harder. Tiger’s Eye helps you to take the plunge and decide to make the change. Carry it in your pocket or wear it on a necklace, bracelet or in donut form. To embrace new things despite a quite understandable fear of change, Red Jasper is recommended. This crystal will give you the strength you need. Wearing Rhodochrosite will fill you with love that lasts and keeps you positive. To free yourself from recurring or periodically negative emotions, choose Morganite and wear it in your bra.  

The most effective crystal for deep-seated fears is Black Obsidian. Have it with you at night in its raw form or on a necklace or in donut shape. It can be combined with a bracelet or pendant of Rhodochrosite, whose gentleness will fill your heart with tenderness and give you the confidence you lack. You could also hold a ball-shaped piece of Rose Quartz and keep it with you for as long as necessary. It is a good idea to combine Black Obsidian with Black Tourmaline; using the two crystals together will restore balance where it is needed. Wear them on a pendant, necklace or bracelet.

Fear of death is understandable and reasonable. ‘Death is a new sun’, said the Swiss- American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, who was a specialist in support for the dying and a renowned author. Certain crystals, such as Citrine, are specifically recommended to encourage a new state of awareness and to relieve this natural and universal fear.

This article has been extracted from new book Healing Crystals for Women by Eddison Books

Healing Crystals
for Women

Must-have crystals and their benefits for every stage of life

Catherine Mayet & Nathaëlh Remy

Temper tantrums, teenage tiredness, infertility, anxiety during pregnancy, hot flushes … Each new milestone in life brings its own challenges – and crystals can offer a helping hand to see us through. This practical guide presents the 20 essential therapeutic crystals every woman needs – plus 10 ‘bonus’ crystals to extend the range of healing possibilities – with clear advice on their beneficial properties, crystal selection and care, and how to use them for maximum effect. Each crystal carries its own energy, which can be used to rebalance emotions and soothe body, mind and spirit.

Whether laid on the skin, worn as jewellery, used in meditation or simply placed close by, these miraculous gemstones can bring untold benefits to transform your life every step of the way.

Publication date: 1st November 2018
ISBN: 978-1-85906-423-8
Price: £13.99

(PS – You can use the ISBN to
order from ANY bookshop!)






Catherine Mayet is a qualified graphologist, bioenergetician and geobiologist. She currently practices as a lithotherapist (crystal healer), privately and in workshops. She is also a practitioner of Tipi (Technique for the sensory identification of unconscious fears).

Nathaëlh Remy is a lithotherapist who is also trained in Ayurvedic and Shantala massage, therapeutic treatments based on elixirs, Reiki and numerology. Crystals are, for her, an essential gateway into the spiritual world and personal development.

Publication date: 1st November 2018
ISBN: 978-1-85906-423-8
Price: £13.99

(PS – You can use the ISBN to order from ANY bookshop!)


Catherine Mayet is a qualified graphologist, bioenergetician and geobiologist. She currently practices as a lithotherapist (crystal healer), privately and in workshops. She is also a practitioner of Tipi (Technique for the sensory identification of unconscious fears).

Nathaëlh Remy is a lithotherapist who is also trained in Ayurvedic and Shantala massage, therapeutic treatments based on elixirs, Reiki and numerology. Crystals are, for her, an essential gateway into the spiritual world and personal development.

Autumn 2018 New Releases

Autumn 2018 New Releases


Tarot & Oracle
Alternative Therapies

The long, hot summer is over, and autumn has arrived along with a great new selection of titles from Eddison Books.

With the year that has already given us The Good Food Good Mood Cookbook, the fantastic Moon Oracle and Healing Body Meditations, we are excited to present this season’s books.

Tarot & Oracle


27th SEPTEMBER 2018

Inspired by the beauty of nature and the Celtic Ogam tree alphabet, this oracle will help you gain new and profound levels of awareness about yourself, your relationships and where you are headed.

The Spirit of Nature Oracle
ISBN: 9781859062753 |  £24.99

Contains 25 stunning cards which depict the trees that make up the Celtic alphabet. The Spirit of Nature or Green Man is present in every image – sometimes obvious, sometimes hidden – inviting you to enter his world.

In the practical book, discover tree lore, myths and symbolism, understand the deeper meanings of the spreads and integrate their messages into every aspect of your life.

“This is modern druidry
at its best …”
Fred Hageneder, author of The Spirit of Trees and The Heritage of Trees

The Spirit of Nature Oracle
ISBN: 9781859062753 |  £24.99
Out 27th September 2018


18th OCTOBER 2018

A unique and powerful divination system offering an introduction to Native American wisdom and a
journey of self-discovery.

White Eagle Medicine Wheel
ISBN: 9781859062456 |  £24.99

Let yourself be guided by the Animals, Elders and Totem cards for problem-solving, healing, developing your intuition, finding harmony in your life and more.

Two respected authors teach you how to communicate with the various sacred archetypes and forge a spiritual connection with the majesty and mystery of the animal world. 

White Eagle Medicine Wheel
ISBN: 9781859062456 |  £24.99
Out 18th October 2018


8th NOVEMBER 2018

Allow the love and grace of the angels of light into
your life and find the strength and focus to meet
your challenges.

Angels of Light
ISBN: 9781859061701 |  £22.99

A beautiful feminine oracle including 52 angel cards offering guidance, insight and acting as protectors,
helpers and healers.

Includes a very practical book profiling the angels along with accompanying prayers, affirmations, card layouts
offering clarity and direction in your readings and actions
throughout the year. 

Angels of Light
ISBN: 9781859061701 |  £22.99
Out 8th November 2018


6th DECEMBER 2018

Whatever your question, doubt or worry, the 2,000-year-old wisdom of The Celtic Tree Oracle provides remarkable guidance and insight in today’s hectic world. 

The Celtic Tree Oracle

ISBN: 9781859063828 |  £22.99

Within this box lies the secret language of the Celts. Discover this ancient method of communication and means of divination.
This pack includes 25 beautifully illustrated tree cards, a record
sheet and pad.

Each letter embodies the spirit of a tree or plant in the Celtic Ogham (tree) alphabet, here represented on a richly decorated card. This is a bestselling classic work, now reissued as a deluxe edition due to popular demand. 

The Celtic Tree Oracle

ISBN: 9781859063828 |  £22.99
Out 6th December 2018

Alternative Therapies


18th OCTOBER 2018

Relieve stress and tension and return the body to optimum health with this practical step-by-step manual.

The Reflexology Manual
ISBN: 9781859064221 |  £14.99

Clear illustrations show how all the internal body structures and organs are mirrored in the reflex points on the feet and hands, while a step-by-step guide explains how to perform pressure and massage techniques to give a full-body treatment and alleviate a variety of debilitating disorders. There’s also a special section on incorporating chakra work and colour therapy into reflexology sessions, for those who would like to take their practice further. 

The Reflexology Manual
ISBN: 9781859064221 |  £14.99
Out 18th October 2018
More from The Manual Series:


1st NOVEMBER 2018

This practical guide presents 30 essential therapeutic crystals every woman needs.

Healing Crystals for Women
ISBN: 9781859064238 |  £13.99

The book includes clear advice on each crystal’s beneficial properties, plus selection and care and how to use them for maximum effect, with targeted advice for all four stages of womanhood:
infancy, teenage years, adulthood and later life.

Aid sleep, soothe stomach pains, alleviate anxiety, deal with challenges at work and in love, boost fertility, tackle the
menopause – and more! 
Includes handy Q&A section, guidance
on using crystals with chakras, plus quick-reference crystal charts. 

Healing Crystals for Women
ISBN: 9781859064238 |  £13.99
Out 1st November 2018

Good Food Good Mood in the News – Free recipes!

Good Food Good Mood in the News – Free recipes!

We are so delighted to present the excellent recent press for our inspirational cookbook

Good Food Good Mood by Lina Bou

Absolutely Mama, March 2018 

Absolutely Mama, May 2018 

Absolutely Mama, May 2018 

Vegetarian Living Magazine, May 2018 

Vegetarian Living Magazine, May 2018 

Vegetarian Living Magazine, May 2018 

Vegan Living Magazine, April 2018 

Families South West Magazine, January 2018 

Happiful Magazine, June 2018 

Get the book!

Discover nutritional therapist Lina Bou’s recipe for healthy living, with this inspirational cookbook for the modern lifestyle.

Cooking isn’t just about eating the right foods – it’s
about being inventive, having fun and enjoying a healthy relationship with what you eat. Whether you’re looking for tasty brunch ideas, delicious dinners, energizing snacks or mouthwatering sweet treats, Lina shows you how to make simple, nutritious vegetarian meals (suitable for all!) easy enough for anyone to rustle up with the minimum of fuss. There are also suggestions for vegan alternatives, plus recipes free from gluten, dairy and sugar – the most common intolerances. All recipes feature a health-benefit key, indicating at a glance whether they help improve your immunity, boost your energy, balance your hormones, and more. And there’s advice on sensible detoxing, too.

ISBN: 978-1-85906-410-8

Find Lina on Instagram

An Introduction to The Tui Na Manual

An Introduction to The Tui Na Manual


Tui Na: Massage To Awaken Body And Mind 

This clear, step-by-step guide introduces Tui Na, a Chinese system of therapy that uses massage and manipulation to relieve pain, release tension and treat common ailments.

Clear illustrations outline the meridian energy channels and qi (life energy) points, while step-by-step photographs demonstrate each technique. Ideal for improving sporting performance, alleviating executive stress or simply invigorating body and mind, Tui Na can be used on friends, family or colleagues, at home or at work, and is suitable for any age, young or old.

A Note From The Author

I discovered Tui Na during my own personal quest for a therapy to relieve crippling pain.

As a child I suffered from a degenerative disease that affected my hip. While living in Indonesia for four years, I discovered the healing powers of deep oriental massage, and trained as a massage therapist. As the years went by, standing and walking even for short distances caused me pain. In 1987, Western medicine could only offer me painkillers and a hip replacement operation.

But instead of going to hospital for surgery, I travelled to China to learn Tui Na. The skilful, patient doctors of traditional medicine gave me the treatment and tuition that I needed and opened a wonderful new chapter in my life.

At that time, few people in the West had heard of Tui Na, although acupuncture and herbal medicine were available. So extraordinary was Tui Na’s effect on me, it became my mission in life to bring it within the reach of everyone in the West. I studied, worked and travelled back to China time and again to learn Tui Na and acupuncture from Chinese doctors in hospitals and clinics in Shanghai, Weihai, Xi’an, Beijing and Jinan.

In response to a growing interest in Tui Na and acupuncture, I established the teaching side of the BODYHARMONICS® Centre, where we run regular training courses. Over the decades, I have trained hundreds of students in Tui Na and acupuncture (www.bodyharmonics.co.uk).

I have treated many people with disabling conditions where other forms of medicine could do little to help and have found that there is a real alternative to living on painkillers or having surgery. Tui Na has changed my life and the lives of many of my patients, and also my students and their patients. I hope that it can do the same for you.

Maria Mercati is an internationally renowned teacher and therapist in Tui Na, Thai massage, acupuncture and Indonesian massage. Having trained extensively throughout Asia, she founded BODYHARMONICS®, an integrated approach to therapy which blends Chinese, Thai and Indonesian treatment methods to promote health and harmony.

Tui Na massage applies pressure to the meridians and specific points on them called ‘qi-points’ or acupressure points. Acupuncturists call them ‘acupoints’. Tui Na affects the flow of qi so that it moves freely, evenly and powerfully around the body. The distribution and intensity of qi within your body have profound effects on all aspects of your well-being – the emotional, intellectual and spiritual, as well as the physical.

Chinese medicine views all disease as caused by weakness, imbalances and blockages in the flow of qi. When your qi-flow is balanced you feel full of energy, stress-free and able to cope with the pressures of daily life. You will be free from stiffness, aches and pains, and so full of vitality that you ‘sparkle’. Hopefully, most of us have experienced this wonderful feeling of well-being at some point in our lives. The secret of Chinese medicine is how to maintain it.



Many physical and emotional factors disturb the flow of qi in the body, and these can be divided into two broad categories: excesses or deficiencies. Excesses, common in the Western lifestyle, include stress, overwork and general overindulgence, while common deficiencies are poor diet, insufficient exercise and lack of sleep. Pressure to cope with deadlines, be successful and achieve status within a peer group can create an imbalance between the output necessary to reach your goals and the input that will restore mind and body. Such an imbalance can lead to overconsumption of sugar-rich foods and stimulants such as coffee or fizzy drinks to enhance the ‘output’. Alcohol, recreational drugs and even too much sex can be substitutes for relaxation.

In the Chinese view, extreme emotions negatively affect organ function and qi balance throughout the body. It’s healthy to experience emotion, but too much excitement can overstimulate the flow of qi, causing feelings of restlessness and insomnia, for example, while holding on to worry, feelings of anger and frustration can lead to depression. These relationships are explained in chapter 2.

All excesses and deficiencies are disruptive to the qi-balancing process. In contrast, good sleep, relaxation, regular exercise, good diet and happy relationships all promote and strengthen the smooth flow of qi.

Although the ideal is to create balance and harmony in every aspect of our lives, this can be extremely difficult to maintain. Tui Na is a powerful way of helping to achieve that balance and harmony.



Tui Na works holistically to promote qi-flow throughout the body. A practitioner will ask questions about a patient’s health and lifestyle, while observing their physical condition. This will reveal their qi, jing, shen, blood, body fluid and yin/yang status (see pages 16–17) so that appropriate meridians and qi-points can be the focus of the Tui Na treatment.

For musculoskeletal pain, the practitioner palpates the painful areas to identify the most affected meridians and the qi-points that must be used for the treatment. During the massage, feedback from the patient on what feels good, or painful, guides the practitioner to the qi- points and the amount of pressure to use.




Throughout China, Tui Na is practised from cradle to old age. Babies and younger children do not have fully mature meridian systems, and additional points and techniques have been developed for them. It is a very safe therapy: if pressure is applied in the wrong place, for example, it may not achieve the desired results
but no harm will be done. Massage treatment may not be suitable, however, for people with certain serious health conditions (see page 62 for contraindications).

In this book, wherever a treatment described is contraindicated for certain conditions, it carries a caution note.

Tui Na’s unique techniques that focus on the meridians and specific qi-points make it particularly effective for treating muscle and joint pain resulting from sports injury, wear and tear, arthritis or any other cause. All massage therapies aid relaxation, but, in addition to relaxing the muscles, Tui Na also manipulates qi-flow in the meridians and their qi-points to balance the underlying energetics of the body to achieve healing and regeneration.


Tui Na has the power to boost energy where there is qi and blood deficiency, as well as to clear blockages that have caused qi and blood stagnation.

Tui Na is excellent for a variety of ailments and conditions, including stress-related disorders. It also boosts vitality and well-being, which in turn stimulates the immune system and improves general health.

This book shows you useful techniques to help relieve pain and the symptoms of many common ailments. However, it does not replace professional healthcare and you should always consult a qualified practitioner or doctor if symptoms persist.



The massage is best given through cotton clothing to facilitate its effectiveness. Traditional Tui Na techniques do not require the use of oils. The room should be warm. During the massage, the receiver either sits on an upright chair or lies on a massage couch, depending on which part of the body is being treated. Chapter 5, page 82, explains preparing for treatment in more detail.

To be effective, many Tui Na techniques are vigorous and need to be applied with reasonable pressure. If there is a significant problem, they will initially feel slightly uncomfortable or even painful. This discomfort will ease as the massage progresses and more qi and blood are brought to the affected area to remove stagnation. After the treatment, the tissues and muscles should feel relaxed, invigorated and less painful.

Uniquely, Tui Na, with its focus on meridians and qi-points, stimulates the entire musculoskeletal system, while also supporting healthy function of all the internal organs. Since Tui Na rebalances qi-flow, the mind and the emotions will also be affected. In most cases, a Tui Na treatment will leave the recipient feeling rejuvenated and relaxed. The massage can sometimes release blocked emotions, with the effect that the receiver may feel ‘weepy’ or emotional after the treatment. If this should happen, the Chinese way is to acknowledge these emotions, and then to let them go.

This book explains the Chinese view of health and the causes of disease, and shows you how to give a holistic whole-body Tui Na treatment to a partner, as well as techniques for treating common ailments and conditions. Chapter 2 explains the theories of traditional Chinese medicine and how these differ from the Western medical approach.

In Chapter 3, the twelve meridians and their energetic relationships (and the two ‘extraordinary’ ones used in Tui Na) are illustrated and explained, with clear descriptions to enable you to find the qi-points – the points on the meridians where qi can be most easily manipulated.

Chapter 4 concentrates on the basic techniques used in Tui Na massage. It starts with soft tissue techniques: applying either static pressure or pressure with movement to the body tissues, in order to improve qi and blood flow to strengthen the body and remove stagnation. These soft tissue techniques include pulling, pushing, squeezing and kneading. The second part of chapter 4 deals with joint manipulation techniques, which are similar to those used in osteopathy and chiropractice but give the added benefit of regulating qi and blood flow. You will need to familiarize yourself with all the techniques so that you can apply them when they are used in the treatments in chapters 5 and 6.

The whole-body routine presented in chapter 5 provides step-by-step instructions for giving a Tui Na treatment to a partner. The routine starts with treatments on the neck and shoulders, and then works on the arms, back, legs and feet, ending with Tui Na on the trunk and head.

One of the strengths of Tui Na is its application to muscle and joint injury, as described in chapter 6. This chapter also presents treatments for some common ailments and conditions, and Tui Na that is particularly suitable for infants, adolescents and the elderly. There are some techniques and qi-points that you can use effectively on yourself. These are described in a self-massage routine, which, used daily, will increase your energy levels, boost your immune system and promote health and well-being.

This has been an Excerpt from The Tui Na Manual by Maria Mercati.

Buy it here: https://amzn.to/2L3GMGA

Price: £14.99
ISBN: 978-1-85906-411-5


Tui Na: Massage to awaken body and mind

Maria Mercati

This clear, step-by-step guide introduces Tui Na, a Chinese system of therapy that uses massage and manipulation
to relieve pain, release tension and treat common ailments. Clear illustrations outline the meridian energy channels and qi (life energy) points, while step-by-step photographs demonstrate each technique. Ideal for improving sporting performance, alleviating executive stress or simply invigorating body and mind, Tui Na can be used on friends, family or colleagues, at home or at work, and is suitable for any age, young or old.

Price: £14.99
ISBN: 978-1-85906-411-5

Take Control of Your Posture with The Alexander Technique (Podcast)

Take Control of Your Posture with The Alexander Technique (Podcast)

After 10 years of back pain, Richard Brennan discovered The Alexander Technique and was pain-free after 6 weeks. 

Now an Alexander Technique expert, Richard Brennan teaches people to take control of their own posture. In this interview he talks about his latest book ‘The Alexander Technique Manual’ 
Richard Brennan explains what the Alexander Technique is, and shares the story of how Alexander first developed the technique.
The Alexander Technique is a way of moving, this includes everything from simply walking, to running in playing football and tennis.

Watch here!

Listen to stories about people with long term pain healed without surgery, get some great excerpts from the book. Special sections on playing sport, reducing stress and tension and pregnancy and back pain.

Download to listen on the go.

Subscribe so you never miss an episode!

We publish a new podcast every 2 weeks on interesting Mind, Body, Soul and Health topics

Read the interview

Steve:   Hello and welcome. My name is Steve Nobel and today I’m speaking with Richard Brennan on his book, the Alexander Technique Manual. Now, Richard has studied the Alexander Technique since 1983, and has been teaching full-time since 1989. He travels widely, giving talks and courses on the technique. He’s a director of training at the Alexander Technique Centre based in Galway, Ireland, and he’s a leading figure in helping people resolve back and neck problems. His belief is the root cause of most back pain lies in poor postural habits. He is the author of this book, the Alexander Technique, and we’re going to speak with him now. So welcome to you, Richard.

Not everyone’s heard of the Alexander Technique. Can you just give a description of what is it, and what’s it broadly for?

Richard:             Yeah. It’s quite a profound technique, but very simply, throughout our lives, we develop postural habits, and we go about our activities with far too much tension in the body. It’s a technique where I make people aware of the tension and gives you a tool to let that tension go.

Steve:   Brilliant. How did it all begin?

Richard:             Well, Alexander was an actor, a reciter in the 1800s and he developed a voice problem. Onstage, he started to lose his voice, and he tried everything, medication, exercise, but nothing seemed to help. Then, he realised it was something he was doing himself, so he studied himself. He looked and recited in front and saw that he was pulling his head back with quite a lot of force, which was depressing the larynx, and affecting his voice.

When he was able to see it and change it, his voice became perfect again. He went back on to the stage and he started getting on with reciting again. Then, his fellow actors started saying, “Well, I’m getting the same problem as you,” so he started helping his fellow actors. Then, doctors got wind of it, and then, doctors started sending him patients that they didn’t know what to do with.

Steve:   Amazing. In the book, there’s a section here that says ‘Taking Responsibility’. “Many people carry on for years enduring unnecessary pain, not realising that anything could be done for them. We need to face up to the fact that we have to take responsibility for our ailments, and not expect other people to have all the answers.” Of course, modern medicine, people go there for the pill and the bit of solution, don’t they? But this asking us to take more responsibility.

Richard:             Yeah. I mean people don’t advocate responsibility on purpose. They just don’t realise that they’re doing something to themselves, which is causing the pain. I am a pretty good example of that because I had managed back problems and sciatica for about seven years, and it just got worse and worse and worse. My father is a doctor. He couldn’t do anything. All the surgeons couldn’t do anything. Then, I turned to alternative therapies, and they didn’t do anything, either.

Then, I realised it was the way that I was sitting. I was a driving instructor at the time and it’s the way I was sitting in the car, which was exacerbating the problem. I would go to someone like a chiropractor, they put me back into place, and then, I would go back into my old habits, and the back pain will be back within two days. It’s only when I realised what I was doing and was able to change the way I was sitting that the actual pain went for good.

Steve:   Is posture a major problem for a lot of people, do you think?

Richard:             Absolutely. Absolutely. The main reason is everyone goes to school. Everyone is bending over a desk between the age of five and the age of 18, so there’s a lot of postural habits that get … You go into a classroom, everybody is actually bending their back as they’re writing, and then, they just think that’s normal after … It’s actually 15,000 hours at school plus homework. That’s a lot of time in a basically bad posture.

Steve:   And a lot of people, of course, me included, sit at a desk for long hours of the day over a computer or looking at a computer so, again, Alexander Technique is very useful for that. What kind of problems happen with this? Or was it kind of just manifested in many, many types of ways?

Richard:             Well, the most common is back problem, 49% of the population in the UK and most of the Western world, 49%. That’s nearly one in every two people have some sort of back problems every year.

Steve:   Wow.

Richard:             That’s huge. But it can cause breathing problems, like people get asthma, and people get other … And that is posture-related, too, but those are the knee problems, hip problems, ankle problems, and a whole range of shoulder, neck problems. It’s vast. Arthritis is another postural, you know, after years of misusing the body, arthritis sets in, which is basically wear and tear, so we’re wearing ourselves out before time.

Steve:   So back pain, you mentioned, is universal. I have suffered with a lower disc problem. I had a MRI scan. They said it was a problem between the fourth and fifth vertebra. I’m not sure if it was cartilage or whatever. That kind of produced sciatica, which comes and goes, here and there, which is incredibly painful, as you’ve mentioned you have it. If you’ve got this kind of condition, is Alexander Technique something that once you’ve got it, you can actually alleviate?

Richard:             Well, you know, when I had my back problem, there was no MRIs in those days. This was back in 1980s, ‘1, ’82. I had an x-ray, they injected radioactive fluids into the spine. They took x-rays and there was no disc left between L4, L5 and S1, so all the three bottom vertebras was completely worn. What they did was they said, “Look, what we need to do is remove what’s left of the disc, and then, fuse the last three vertebraes.” Says, “You’ll never be able to bend again, but at least you’ll be out of pain.”

I actually signed up for the operation. It was only after to talking my father, who is a GP, he said, “Whatever you do, don’t have the operation because I am seeing the people afterwards, and they’re usually worse,” so I cancelled the operation. Eventually, when I got around to doing the Alexander Technique, within six weeks, my back was absolutely fine …

Steve:   Wow, that’s incredible.

Richard:             … and I haven’t had a day of back ache since.

Steve:   I mean that’s incredible, isn’t it? Do you think that this is something that really should be in every office, in every school room?

Richard:             Yes, I do. I do. Because, you see, we’re spending a vast fortune on the National Health Service. A lot of it is posture-related. So if you caught it early, when the children were at school, you can have a much healthier population. That would save billions, absolutely billions.

Steve:   Gosh.

Richard:             And people ignore it. 49% of the population has back pain. What are we doing about them? We’re just producing more and more painkilling drugs.

Steve:   Someone should have a word with the government. I’m not sure they’re particularly listening, this particular government.

Richard:             Well, I’ve tried over here in Ireland, and the politicians are just … They’re too busy.

Steve:   Right. Another massive area the book covers is stress. Now, I’m sure most of the listeners to this podcast are no strangers to stress. I’ve worked in the city for 10 years. It’s high-pressure environment, work, money, going home, the mind doesn’t stop thinking. For me, stress is also not just a physical thing, but it’s also a mental, an emotional thing. How can Alexander Technique impact all those levels?

Richard:             Well, one of the major principles of the technique is the body, the mind, and the emotions, and the spirit are not separate, but they’re intuitively connected with one another, okay? When I stress myself, if I feel stressed, the muscles are also going to be stressed. If I release the muscle tension, you will feel less stress. It’s as simple as that. If someone would come to me, I would work with them for 10 minutes. They would come in in a stressed state, and then, they would leave after half an hour completely unstressed. So you work on the physical, but most people will feel the benefits emotionally and mentally as well. They go out feeling calmer.

Steve:   And stress again, the NHS must deal with a lot of stuff around stress, surely.

Richard:             Sure. A lot of mental issues are stress-related.

Steve:   Coming back to posture, I’ve done yoga and Pilates and martial arts, and they all have their own view on posture. What does Alexander Technique say about it? Is anything radically different than yoga, Pilates, and martial arts?

Richard:             You can apply the Alexander Technique to yoga, and you can apply the Alexander Technique to aikido or Qi gong or whatever. It’s something you actually apply to an activity, so it’s not an activity in itself. You can’t go and say, “Well, I’m going to go and do my Alexander Technique,” like, “I’m going to go and do my yoga.” It is an awareness technique and the philosophy behind the technique is we all started with perfect posture.

Go and look at any three-year-old, they are moving beautifully. They are standing straight. They’re not standing up straight. They’re not tensing their body. They just stand straight. That posture is already inside us. All we need to do is to let go of the muscular tension that’s actually pulling us down into ourselves, and then, the perfect natural posture just comes through.

What you do with the technique is you don’t do anything. You stop doing something. You stop doing your postural habits, and then, when you stop doing your postural habits, the right posture is there already. We have a whole series of postural reflexes, which are just dying to work if we let them.

Steve:   Now, the book comes with a whole range of things. One of the things I was really interested in, which I was surprised at, was when it comes to walking. I would have thought that walking, naturally, we have a good posture. Is that not so?

Richard:             No, not at all. Not at all. When children walk, they actually walk fairly straight. If you watch your child walking towards you, they’re very upright and they’re very straight. But if you go to a shopping market or shopping mall, and you watch people walking down the corridor, they’re actually walking kind of like a pendulum. They’re going from one side to the other side, just like if you’re walking when you get off a boat. What you’re doing there is actually walking, you’re pulling yourself down into a hip, and then, you lift a leg, and then, you pull down into the other hip, and you’re just wearing your hips out.

Steve:   Another one that was very interesting, a lot of people drive. You’ve got to listen to this. Now, you say car seats cause back problems. What can we do about driving?

Richard:             Well, I use a wedge. I put a wedge on the seat. You see, I was a driving instructor, so it was the seats in the car that gave me my back problem, because I was sitting 10 years pretty much all day in the car seat. Then, I realised that the car’s slope back, the seats slope way back, maybe as much as 15 degrees. So I just get a wedge and I put it on the seat and I make the chair flat. I don’t know how old you are, but if you went back to the 1950s, all the cars had kind of bench seats and they were much more L-shaped.

Steve:   Yeah.

Richard:             Now, our car seats, because of the shape of the car, they’re more V-shaped. So you need to get back to an L-shape kind of seat because that’s much better for your posture.

Steve:   Now, I’m a writer and you say in the book, “It’s amazing how many people hold their pens when writing, and how it creates muscular tension.” What can we do about writing?

Richard:             Well, Alexander has his own school. He actually formed his own school because he said, “We teach children lots of things, but we don’t teach them how to hold the pen.” The computer, you’re taught Java, you’re taught Microsoft, but you’re never taught how to sit at the computer, so you’re missing the basic thing. You’re actually looking at the way you do something.

Steve:   A good friend of mine is an Alexander Technique teacher, and I used to work with him. Whenever I was sitting opposite of him, I always used to sit a bit more upright, or when I was having tea with him, I was always much more aware of my posture. The one thing he told me was about the neck, and I know in your book, you talk about the kind of freedom of the neck. Again, this is a big problem, isn’t it, around the neck that we create all kinds of tensions around the neck, don’t we?

Richard:             Yeah. The head actually weighs about 12 pounds of weight. That’s six bags of sugar. That’s a huge amount of weight. Now, most people carry their head more forward than their body, so the neck is actually under quite a lot of strain, even when you’re sitting watching TV, even when you’re driving, or using computer.

Steve:   What about swimming? Because when I heard about this, I was thinking, when I swim, my neck is kind of in a very strange position, especially doing breast stroke, and I couldn’t think of a way of how I could change that.

Richard:             It’s more you pay attention and you just think of the neck becoming more relaxed. You just think of the neck muscles softening …

Steve:   Really?

Richard:             … and then, you’re not holding the head with so much tension. Now, obviously, if you’re swimming, you have to hold your head out of the water because if you relax your neck completely, your head falls in the water, and then, you can’t breathe. So, obviously, there’s common sense here, but maybe you can hold your head with not quite so much tension as before, so just thinking of the neck muscles softening can help that.

Steve:   Great.

Richard:             There is a guy called Steven Shaw and he specialises in using Alexander Technique for swimming.

Steve:   Now, there’s a whole section in the book on sports. You mentioned swimming. Now, I was a great football fan and very into playing football and tennis. Now, I did have a knee injury from a very young age, right knee dislocated. I wish I would have had some advice like this when I was a young kid. I had endless problems with my right knee. What can be done about things like football?

Richard:             Well, I’ll just give you a story of my son. He was a keen tennis player, and he ran a lot. Every time he played tennis, he’d sprained his ankle. He had some Alexander lessons from me, but also from somebody else as well. They worked out that actually it was the way he would run differently when he had his shoes on, so what he did he started playing tennis barefoot. Then, he went to the Royal College of Art in London and he designed the shoe called the VivoBarefoot Shoe. When he was wearing these, he never got any problems with his ankles. He realised it was the way he was reacting to his shoes that was causing the problem, so just becoming aware of that.

Also, when you have Alexander lessons, your whole body is just much freer anyway, so when you go and play tennis, or football, or horse-riding, you’re not so likely to be injuring yourself.

Steve:   This principle applies to playing musical instruments. I didn’t realise that many musicians gave up their careers because of aches and pains and injuries generated by the way they stand, sit while playing.

Richard:             Yeah, people like Madonna, people like Paul McCartney, quite a few famous musicians. But, just regularly, I live in Galway and the whole musical community, so I get a lot of people coming to me. Just holding the guitar with too much tension for too long can produce a pain in the shoulder, or a pain in the neck. So, again, just teaching them how to sit, stand or whatever and hold their instrument in the easiest sort of way, the pain just go away. The pain just go away. Pain is always a sign that something’s going wrong. If I can find out what is going wrong and change it, then I can eradicate the pain.

There’s an interesting story, actually, of George Bernard Shaw, the writer. At the age of 80, he was riddled with pain. He has pain in the neck, he has major back problems. His hips didn’t work properly, he had knee problems and ankle problems. So he booked a lesson with Alexander, not for any of this reason, but because he had a heart problem and the doctors given him a few weeks to live. So he goes along to Alexander and when he gets to the front door, he can’t even get up the three steps to ring the doorbell. He’s so frail. Everyone would think George Bernard Shaw is just about to die, and he’s on his last legs.

Anyway, he eventually gets into Alexander’s teaching room. Alexander takes one look at him and said, “Look, I can’t do anything for you unless you promise to come every day for three weeks.” After the three weeks, George Bernard Shaw writes a letter, says, “Dear Mr. Alexander, I just want to thank you because all my aches and pains have gone and the doctors can’t find the angina anymore. I’m walking five miles a day and swimming every morning, which I haven’t been able to do since I was 14.”

Steve:   Incredible.

Richard Brennan:             Yeah. “However, you have left me with one problem I didn’t have in the first place. Now, that I’m three inches taller, none of my clothes fit me anymore.” Then, he went on and lived for another 14 years. The only reason he died, he fell out of a tree while he was pruning it, so he’s up apple trees at the age of 94.

Steve:   Incredible. I didn’t know.

Richard:             Yeah, I know. I know.

Steve:   Well, this is going to appeal to some people, I’m sure: Pregnancy and childbirth. Now, there are some great images in the book of a woman with a great bump in front of her. Of course, this puts a great strain on the human body, doesn’t it?

Richard:             It does, it does. Yeah. Again, when someone did childbirth or in pregnancy, the more tension that they have in their body, the harder the pregnancy is going to be, the harder the birth is going to be. Someone who has a more relaxed body is just going to have an easier time there. Also, back problem is a really big problem with people who are pregnant. A lot of pregnant moms get back problem and the Alexander Technique can actually definitely help with that.

It just gives people an easier time. It doesn’t matter whether you’re pregnant or whatever you do. It just helps you to move through life with greater ease.

Steve:   It’s a beautiful book, Richard. Who is it really aimed at? Is it aimed at anyone?

Richard:             Pretty much. Anyone who wants to be more conscious of what they actually do. Anyone who wants to improve something. You might be a musician want to improve your playing, you might be a runner who want to have better performance, or you just might want to improve the way you sit at the computer. If anyone wants to improve something, or if they have any aches or pains and they don’t know why they’re getting them, this might throw some light on them.

Steve:   Richard, thank you so much. Now, if anybody interested in Richard’s work, do check his website, alexander.ie and, yeah, Richard, thank you so much for your work. I’m sure it’s touching many people brilliantly.

Richard:             Okay. Thanks, Steve.


Richard Brennan is the director of the Alexander Teacher Training College in Galway, Ireland. He lectures extensively throughout Europe and the US, and has been teaching the Alexander Technique for over 25 years.


This highly effective technique for releasing muscular tension throughout the body teaches new ways of sitting, standing and moving that put less stress on our muscles, bones and joints. This step-by-step illustrated guide shows you how to move with comfort and ease and relieve and prevent common aches and pains, simply by taking control of your posture. By adjusting the way you do things you can avoid putting your body under strain, and achieve
a more relaxed muscular system. Let go of tension, and discover a new sense of lightness and well-being in
your day-to-day life.

Price: £14.99 RRP
ISBN: 978-1-85906-408-5