'How are you?' It's the polite greeting we use without much thought. But maybe we should be asking 'How is your wellbeing?'
Neuro Hebrides invites you to get in touch with your whole self, by attending their Wellbeing Open Day today (Saturday 12th May) from 10am until 4pm at Grianan Day Centre, on Westview Terrace, Stornoway.
The aim of the day is to promote positive health and wellbeing and inspire people to come and view the resources on offer locally.
There will be a range displays, workshops and demos on offer including mindfulness, acupuncture, sitting yoga and cognitive behavioural therapy to name but a few.
Everything is free and Neuro Hebrides has use of the Grianan Centre for the day. All are welcome to attend, including families, and people can come and go as they please as well as drop in or out of what is of interest to them.
Wellbeing is about the mind and body being comfortable, healthy and happy. For people with a long-term illness, this can seem out of reach, but complementary therapies can benefit a whole range of conditions.
Session 1 from 10am - noon will have manned table-top displays by local core services, who can provide assistance and support to those living with a neurological condition, including:
Local Specialist Neuro Nurses (Parkinson's, MS and Epilepsy), Western Isles Community Care Forum, Tighean Innse Gall, NHS Western Isles Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, TEC Team and Nutrition & Dietetics Spcialist.
Allan and Kirsty MacRitchie from Stramash will be on hand with a lunchtime cooking demonstration, 'Food for Thought' between noon – 1.30pm to demonstrate the importance of eating well for good brain health. As part of this they will be offering tasters from a range of wholesome recipes.
From 1.30pm - 2pm there will be a workshop on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). CBT is an evidence-based psychological therapy that looks at recognising negative thinking and then changing your thought patterns. It works on the principle that thoughts, feelings and behaviour are connected. CBT is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for the treatment and management of both depression and anxiety. CBT also has proven benefits for a range of long-term conditions including pain management.
Session 2 will run in the afternoon from 2-4pm and will also have manned displays along with demonstrations of complementary therapies, relaxation methods, reflexology and acupuncture.
The British Acupuncture Council notes the possibility of relieving neuropathic pain through acupuncture which can stimulate the nervous system and make the body produce pain-relieving endorphins. Acupuncture is thought to promote the release of neurochemical messenger molecules and improve muscle stiffness and joint mobility.
Local professionals will also be available between 2pm – 4pm to talk about Mindfulness and Self-Management. Mindfulness has been around for thousands of years from its origins in Eastern meditation. It helps you look at what is happening in the present and obtaining enjoyment from what is around you rather than rushing from one task to the other
Mindfulness is also about recognising physical sensations and this helps you to become more in-tune with how you are feeling. It is a way of observing experiences and teaches you to pay attention on purpose without judging how you are doing. Mindfulness Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (MCBT) is recommended by the NICE guidleines as being as effective as medication in preventing depression, with none of the side-effects.
From 2pm there will be light exercise sessions including Sitting Yoga and Nordic Walking. Nordic walking uses specially designed poles which emphasis the use of the upper body and legs. A trained leader will be available to assist those interested in trying out the activity thbat can aid those with neurological conditions.
A Sitting Yoga session from 2pm – 2.30pm will offer a taster of this gentler style of yoga, which can be adapted for those with various health conditions and can involve doing movements at a slower pace to avoid any balance problems. The benefits of yoga are well-documented, with an increase in energy, mental alertness and the ability to manage your emotions. And on top of that, it’s been found to manage fatigue, strengthen muscles and help to maintain dexterity in hands and feet.
A Yoga Therapist will also be available in the afternoon. Yoga Therapy entails yoga postures, breathing exercises and meditation to improve mental and physical health.
A Companion Bike will also be in action to trial out between 3pm – 4pm. The bike is suitable for all regardless of age or mobility and enables people who may have balance issues, sight or coordination problems to participate in cycling.
Staff from Befriending Lewis will also be around in the afternoon. The service was set up in November 2015 and supports those who many be struggling with isolation or loneliness on the island.
The Centre for Independent Living will be available to access throughout the day too. The Centre is a joint initiative between NHS Western Isles, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and the third sector, funded through the EU RemoAge Project which looked at those who are vulnerable and living alone in remote parts of Northern Europe. The dedicated space within Grianan is set up like a home environment, so you can see first hand the range of technology and adaptations available and try them out in a safe environment.
Neuro Hebrides said: “We have aimed to make the day as inclusive as possible. We hope there is something of interest to all who are able to come along and we are particularly keen to encourage those who are younger with a neurological condition to access the Open Day, because our aim is to provide a support network for all ages and their carers.”
Neuro Hebrides' 'Welcome to Wellbeing' Open Day will run from 10am until 4pm on Saturday 12th May at Grianan Day Centre, Westview Terrace. Grianan is an accessible centre, with disabled facilities and onsite parking. A light lunch and refreshments will also be provided.