“There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom”
– Anais Nin
Alison is a Vancouver hypnotherapist, a leader in integrated holistic healing modalities, a gifted multi-lingual educator and communicator, writer and deeply sensitive empath. Alison began her studies at McGill University in Montreal where she was born and raised. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and Drama in the top 10% as a Faculty Scholar followed by a post graduate Diploma in Education as a secondary school teacher in 1991. Alison is fluent in English, French and Italian.
Alison furthered her life skills training after being diagnosed with a rare cancer in 1999. Facing a very uncertain prognosis, Alison was able to regain her health by combining the very best Western medicine had to offer along with alternative holistic therapies that included acupuncture, herbal and nutritional supplements, meditation, hypnotherapy, consciously altering her behaviour and language patterns and a great deal of study and research.
Alison finished top of her class as a Master of Clinical Hypnotherapy at the Crossroads Training Institute with over 250 hours of study completed over the extended one year program in 2007 and maintains her certification as a member in good standing of the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association and the National Guild of Hypnotists. She acquired her certificate in HypnoBirthing® -The Mongan Method prenatal education from Coastal Academy of Hypnotic Arts also in 2007 and maintains her certification as a registered practitioner of HypnoBirthing®. Alison completed her certification as an NLP™ practitioner with Master Trainer Harry Nichols in 2008. In 2009 Alison acquired her levels one and two certifications in Heart Resonance Therapy (energy healing) with Dale Kobialko and most recently in 2009 and 2010 she has completed all requirements as a facilitator of PSYCH-K® Basic and Advanced work with certified Advanced PSYCH-K® instructor Sandra Wallin. In 2009 Alison trained with Lynsi Eastburn, author of the breakthrough book It’s Conceivable! and received her HypnoBirthing® Fertility Therapy certification through the HypnoBirthing® Institute.
Alison has also completed studies as a specialist in Hypno-Anesthesia and Pain Management, Time Line Protocol and Skilled Helper.
Alison is able to integrate these processes into a distinctive and highly effective action plan based on the individual needs and wants of her clients. For some clients that may include using only one of the preferred modalities, such as only hypnotherapy or only NLP™ or only PSYCH-K® and for others it may include a combination of two or more techniques. Also note that any and all modalities used may change from session to session, so if clients prefer, they may choose to change it up and try something else the next time around. This flexibility and choice offers clients maximum control over their healing and growth process and allows for the unique exploration of individuality free from any pressure. Clients are encouraged to learn, heal and grow in their own way and in their own time. Those clients who are less sure of themselves or who prefer to follow specific advice on how best to proceed are also free to ask for help in determining what would work best for them.
By successfully regaining her health, continuing her studies, tapping into the assistance offered by the higher self through deeper conscious awareness and embracing life one precious moment at a time, Alison is able to share her unique perspective on health and wellness helping to guide her clients to learn, heal and grow in their own extraordinary ways. She also explores health and healing as a writer both on her blog attached to this website as well as in articles published on several websites and health directories such as Ezine Articles and Selfgrowth.com.
If you want younger, better looking skin, think beyond the sunscreen (but use that too) and tinker with your diet. “Good nutrition is a fundamental building block of healthy skin,” says Leslie Baumann, MD, a dermatologist in Miami Beach. The natural ingredients in food help do everything from speed the pace of exfoliation to protect skin from the UV damage that causes brown spots and wrinkles. Here, 7 everyday foods that are guaranteed to make you glow.
1. Romaine Lettuce
Why You’ll Glow: Six leaves provide more than 100% of your DV of vitamin A, which revitalizes skin by increasing cell turnover. The mineral potassium in romaine “gives skin a refreshing boost of nutrients and oxygen by improving circulation,” says Lisa Drayer, RD, author of The Beauty Diet.
Health Bonus: That same serving of romaine contains 45% of the DV of vitamin K, which a recent study shows activates a protein that supports vascular health–making a future with bulging leg veins less likely.
Why You’ll Glow: Eating red helps keep skin from turning red. Volunteers who consumed 5 tablespoons of high-in-lycopene tomato paste daily for 3 months had nearly 25% more protection against sunburn in one study. Even better, skin had more collagen, which prevents sagging. Another reason to toss an extra tomato into your salad: German scientists report that higher skin levels of this antioxidant correlate to fewer fine lines and furrows.
Health Bonus: Research suggests that lycopene may also lower your chances of heart disease: In one study, women with the highest levels of it had a 34% reduced risk.
Why You’ll Glow: A cup has up to 130% of the DV of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that boosts production of collagen fibers that help keep skin smooth and firm. More C may mean fewer fine lines too: Women with lower intakes were likelier to have dry, wrinkled skin. Early research also shows that ellagic acid, an antioxidant abundant in strawberries, protects the elastic fibers that keep skin from sagging.
Health Bonus: Strawberries may lower your risk of cancer by inhibiting the development of malignant cancer cells. In one study, people eating the most strawberries were 3 times less likely to develop the disease.
Why You’ll Glow: Quercetin, an antioxidant in the peel of many varieties, provides hefty protection from the “burning” UVB rays that trigger skin cancer. A few offering the biggest dose: Monroe, Cortland, and Golden Delicious.
Health Bonus: Eating two or more apples a week for 1 year reduced the risk of dying from heart disease by 15% in one study of 34,000 healthy postmenopausal women. Whatever variety you choose, be sure to eat the peel, the source of nearly all the antioxidants.
Why You’ll Glow: Lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants found in eggs, more than quadrupled protection against the UV damage that leads to lines, brown spots, and cancer in one study on women. Skin was also markedly softer, firmer, and better hydrated.
Health Bonus: Eating just one egg a day significantly increases blood levels of lutein and zeaxanthin (but not cholesterol), which may stave off macular degeneration by protecting the retina from light damage, finds a study in the Journal of Nutrition.
Why You’ll Glow: “Eating a handful of almonds every day boosts levels of vitamin E, one of the most important antioxidants for skin health,” says Baumann. You’ll get a surge in moisture too–a boon for those prone to dryness.
Health Bonus: Though nuts are high in calories, women who ate them at least twice a week were less likely to gain weight than those who rarely did, in a new study of over 50,000 women.
Why You’ll Glow: These nuts are storehouses of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat that’s a key component of the lubricating layer that keeps skin moist and supple. A 1/2-ounce serving of walnuts provides 100% of the recommended daily intake of ALA.
Health Bonus: Eating walnuts at dinner may deliver better shut-eye. Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center discovered that walnuts contain melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep.
More Skin and Beauty Tips from Prevention
[photo credit: Getty Images]
Acupuncture is a traditional medicine that’s been practiced in China and other Asian countries for thousands of years. Its proponents say it can do everything from relieving pain to bringing a general sense of wellness. Others think the only benefits you get from acupuncture are in your head. Recent studies have found that both sides may have a point. Acupuncture can be effective for certain health problems, such as some types of chronic pain. But how it works is something of a mystery.
Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points on the body. The methods can vary, but the most well known type in the United States is the insertion of thin metal needles through the skin. At least 3 million adults nationwide use acupuncture every year, according to the latest estimates.
Acupuncture is part of a family of procedures that originated in China. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the body contains a delicate balance of 2 opposing and inseparable forces: yin and yang. Yin represents the cold, slow or passive principle. Yang represents the hot, excited or active principle. Health is achieved through balancing the 2. Disease comes from an imbalance that leads to a blockage in the flow of qi—the vital energy or life force thought to regulate your spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health. Acupuncture is intended to remove blockages in the flow of qi and restore and maintain health.
Researchers don’t know how these ideas translate to our Western understanding of medicine, explains Dr. Richard L. Nahin of NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. But the fact is that many well-designed studies have found that acupuncture can help with certain conditions, such as back pain, knee pain, headaches and osteoarthritis.
“In many research studies, it’s clear that if you’re comparing acupuncture to usual care, the acupuncture group almost always does better,” Nahin says. The problem, he explains, is that when researchers have compared acupuncture to carefully designed “control” treatments, the picture becomes more complicated.
Well-designed clinical trials need control groups—people who get a sham or simulated treatment called a placebo. Placebos might come in the form of a sugar pill or a saline injection. They give researchers something to compare the real treatment with. But designing a placebo for acupuncture is a challenge.
“I don’t really think you can come up with a great placebo needling,” says Dr. Karen J. Sherman, an NIH-funded acupuncture researcher at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle.
For example, when researchers have compared inserting needles with just pressing a toothpick onto acupuncture points, they’ve often found both treatments to be successful. But Sherman questions whether these are really controls. Many traditional acupuncturists would consider them true treatments, too. The important thing, in their view, is to hit the right spot, not necessarily how deep you go.
Another option for a placebo would be to test a different location. But Sherman says that would be inappropriate for treating pain because acupuncturists traditionally needle tender points. “To me, there’s no place on the back, if you have back pain, where you can say you have a great control,” Sherman says, “so I don’t think that’s a really solid idea.”
Further complicating things is that acupuncture treatments are about more than just needles. “There’ll be needles,” Sherman says, “but there’ll probably be other things they do in the course of the treatment. Acupuncturists will talk to you in a particular way. They might give you dietary advice or exercise advice that stems from a non-Western theoretical construct. They’ll try to engage you in your own healing. They might give you a different model for thinking about your health.”
“It’s hard to design placebo-controlled studies of acupuncture when we don’t understand what the active component of the intervention is,” explains Dr. Richard E. Harris, an NIH-funded researcher at the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Treatment for pain is the best-studied aspect of acupuncture. Many parts of the brain are connected in the processing of pain, and how much pain you feel partly depends on context. “If a person has an injury in battle, they might not feel it,” Sherman explains, “but if they have a similar injury just walking down the street, they might just think it was dreadful.”
“If you look at some of the data, what you find is that sham acupuncture and true acupuncture both produce some pain relief in whatever condition they’re looking at,” Nahin says. “But while both treatments turn on areas of the brain, they turn on different areas of the brain.”
Harris and his colleagues, in studies of fibromyalgia patients, have found differences at the molecular level as well. “We were able to show that sham acupuncture and real acupuncture both reduced pain in fibromyalgia patients equally,” he says, “but they do it by different mechanisms.”
If acupuncture truly works by a different mechanism than sham acupuncture, Harris says, then they’re not the same thing, even if they both help relieve pain. Harris and others are now trying to get to the bottom of what acupuncture is actually doing. Their ultimate goal is to see if other treatments might pair well with acupuncture to reduce pain better than either alone.
Should you try acupuncture? Studies have found it to be very safe, with few side effects. If you’re thinking about it, talk to your doctor. “We tell people they really need to talk to their primary care provider and discuss whether acupuncture is a viable option for them,” Nahin says. “While you could go to an acupuncturist independent of a medical practitioner, we feel that an integrated approach to care is always the best approach.”
“Find somebody who’s dealt with your problem before,” Sherman advises. “Talk to the practitioner about your specific situation and then see if it’s something you can live with because it might not be the right treatment for you.”