Tag Archives: stress relief

Yoga Nidra: How to relax when you’re too stressed to meditate

Hi everyone,

I haven’t posted here in a while but now I am feeling inspired again!

I wanted to share with you a technique that helps me relax even when I am too stressed to sit still and meditate. I suppose you know the feeling you get when you have overworked, overstressed and/or had too much coffee and the gap between your current state of mind and sanity just seems to big to cross.

In these situations, I like to do Yoga Nidra, which consists of lying on your back, breathing and focussing on one body part at a time. It sounds simple but the effect is unbelievable. It makes me feel more relaxed almost instantly, and the day after practicing has a somehow magic and detached feeling to it. It’s perfect for people with very active minds that tend to drive them crazy.

I highly recommend this Yoga Nidra guided meditation that I have used many times because the instructor’s voice is so beautiful and relaxing:

(If the video doesn’t show, find it here.)

This meditation was created by the people at Blooming Lotus Yoga and you can find even more audios over at their website.

It took me some time to complete the full guided meditation without falling asleep – that’s how relaxing it is! Try it and let me know how you feel afterwards! And feel free to post links to other great Yoga Nidra resources and audios if you know any!

Thanks for reading and take care,


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Shaking off stress and trauma, literally (looks like exorcism, but is fun)

I am always trying to find new ways of helping myself, and this time I have discovered probably the weirdest but most fabulous self-help method you have ever heard of. It’s called TRE, or “Tension & Trauma Release Exercises” and was developed by David Berceli, Ph.D. It may look like exorcism because it involves a lot of uncontrollable shaking, but read on:

TRE is a simple technique that uses exercises to release stress or tension from the body that accumulate from every day circumstances of life, from difficult situations, immediate or prolonged stressful situations, or traumatic life experiences (i.e., natural disasters, social or domestic violence). TRE is a set of six exercises that help to release deep tension from the body by evoking a self-controlled muscular shaking process in the body called neurogenic muscle tremors.

(Taken from the TRE website)

To put it more simply: You do a series of physical exercises that cause your body to tremble and shake, sometimes mildly, sometimes wildly. It’s not you who does the shaking, it’s your body. This makes this technique so fascinating to me – when I do the last TRE exercise which you do lying down, my hips sometimes shake so intensely that it feels like driving on a pot-holed road or dancing samba involuntarily. (I watched some videos on YouTube about TRE and saw that people in TRE workshops shake all over their bodies, which I haven’t experienced yet.)

Snowy Owl, shaking off stress (?)

Snowy Owl, shaking off stress (?)

What I find most fascinating is that developed this method from the knowledge that mammals have a natural way of releasing trauma and tension by letting their bodies shake after a stressful event, and that humans must have this mechanism, too. This means that humans don’t actually have to suffer from the consequences of trauma and stress for the rest of their lives, but that we are born with a natural physical process that helps us get over trauma. In his book (see below), Berceli writes that during an attack in one of the war zones he lived in, he noticed that the children around him were shaking all over, while the adults weren’t. They later admitted they had suppressed the shaking in order not to let the children know they were afraid and scare them evon more. He concludes that we are socialized out of letting the natural shaking mechanism happen.

2 and 1/2 weeks of TRE: My personal experience

I had read and watched some fantastic testimonials about TRE by people who had been scarred by war, either as army veterans or civilians, and reported almost immediate relief, so I hoped that it would be the “magic cure” for me, as well. It wasn’t quite like that, but still worth it. Here’s my conclusion after two and a half weeks of guinea-pigging myself with TRE:

I feel much lighter in my hips and legs, and I can move much more smoothly, flexibly and beautifully. During the first week of TRE I also took part in a dance workshop and noticed these improvements in my moving every day. Once or twice, I felt also happy and relieved emotionally after a session, but mostly it was just a physical experience, so that on a few days, I felt bored and actually read or watched TV while I let my body do its thing!

The week after, I noticed feeling more volatile than usual. I was also frustrated that the shaking wasn’t reaching my chest and throat, where I have felt a heavy weight for years, in connection with feelings of hopelessness, life being pointless, and all my efforts, my life and the world going down the drain. This stayed the same, while my lower body became lighter and “smoother”, which was a very strange mix of sensations.

In the last few days, I tried relaxing more and allowing the shaking to come into my upper body. Relaxing my muscles and breathing deeply helped, so that yesterday I suddenly felt like it was okay and safe to let go of control over my body, and a sensation of well-being arose. When I woke up today, I was simply content, with a warm feeling inside my chest. I enjoyed watching the wind move the trees and grass, and for once I didn’t feel pessimistic or slightly depressed. It wasn’t a great euphoria, but simply a good feeling, and I thought: This is so wonderful. Money can’t buy this. And: I’m looking forward to my next TRE session! Yippee!

David Berceli has developed this method to help masses of people affected by traumatic events like war or natural catastrophes who don’t have the means to seek psychotherapy. It’s being used more and more widely by individuals with other types of trauma and stress, too, and the greatest thing about it is that it’s quite simple, you can learn it from a book and do it by yourself without professional help. It’s worth a try, don’t you think?

The book: You can find the TRE exercises in the book “The Revolutionary Traume Release Process: Transcend Your Toughest Times” by David Berceli. (Paperback and kindle versions available)

The website: www.traumaprevention.com

Photo credit:
“Shake a Tail Feather” by Ingrid Taylar. CC license CC BY 2.0. No changes were made to the photo.

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Let me give you a headache – you’ll feel much better afterwards.

Last week, I have been guilty of waking people up in the middle of the night, and of giving them headaches.

As this energy work thing I’m doing works across the distance, people from many different countries request sessions. Some of them live in far-away time zones, so they are still asleep when I work on them… and sometimes they wake up, feeling irritated or somehow changed right at that time. (This is a side effect of energy work in some people; it’s part of the processing that happens before they feel a release.)

There was also a lady who I gave a headache with one of my sessions. Sorry :(

Luckily for me, my clients are very happy about the pain and nuisance I sometimes create for them, because then they know „this stuff“ is working! Especially so when they experience pain, upset, or simply an emotional shift right before they receive my e-mail telling them I just did their session. :)

(I hope this doesn’t scare you off. Most people tend to feel the release without many emotional ups and downs.)

So here’s two clients’ recent energy work experience with me – first, Minca from Slovenia:

“A lot is happening at the moment, very powerful emotionally, I feel as I could tell exactly when you have performed the sessions, as both times I felt incredibly strong emotions in my heart. I feel much lighter now, with focus and clear goals. Thank you, again!”

And here’s Jacquie from Canada:

“In the past 24 hours [after the session] – I felt a huge shift in my energy. My thoughts/anxieties around my issue went from a 10 to a 2 and I fully expect it to be a 0 shortly. I had few emotional hours but they passed quickly and clarity has taken hold now.“

I like my work :)

Have a great week,


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How a woman got over her fear and took a big, scary step towards her truth

I’m proud of having been able to work with a very brave woman recently: Jessy Paston runs Jessography, a business that is all about helping people heal through the power of therapeutic photography. She also founded Jessography Unmasked, a blog and community where people open up about their mental health issues to overcome the social stigma that is still attached to this topic.
When Jessy asked me to do an Emotion Code session for her, she was feeling scared of being as open as she wanted to be about her own mental health issues:

“For some time now I had realised that fear was holding me back. I want to do so much but I was standing in my own way. When I identified what it was, I had no hesitation in contacting Julia again as she had helped me in the past. After she did my energy reading and sent me my report, I was fascinated to read where my barriers where and what other feelings were present. I felt lighter and much braver.“

What I’m so excited about: After our session, she felt inspired and courageous enough to share her own „unmasked“ photo and message, opening up about her own emotional struggle:

„As a result, I shared my therapeutic photography project Unmasked on my Jessography facebook business page – something I was terrified of doing but I was pleasantly surprised. There were so many words of support and encouragement, I felt stronger in myself.
Since then, I keep finding myself being braver and more assertive in many different aspects of my life, not fearing anything anymore.
Thank you Julia, you have yet again helped me and I am eternally grateful to have you in my life.”

When I saw the photo she had posted on the Jessography Facebook Page, I was beyond impressed and even jealous of her for being so free and brave! You’ll understand why after this:

Jessy and her photo from her


„To be fully congruent and regain balance in my life, I need to tell you something.

I am Jessy, I suffer from depression and at the moment, I’m back on the happy pills. I have good days and bad days but I’ve not stopped being who I am. It is an illness which gets the better of me at times, like now but I’m still me.

Now I know more than ever I am on the right path for my life’s purpose because I know not matter how ill I get, I can help myself. It is now my turn to help others and be there for them through my counselling and therapeutic photography.

Nothing has made this more clear to me than helping out a really good friend over the past few months who has depression for the first time.

Here is a photo from my Unmasked project done a couple of years ago (for more info, visit http://jessographyunmasked.wordpress.com/) and I am publicly posting it here because I have been putting on my ‘happy’ mask again, pretending everything is fine.

This is my way of Unmasking again, being open and honest, not only to you but to me too. I know some of you will be uncomfortable with this which is fine and I am expecting a lot of people to unlike my page and stop contact.

Please know this though, just because someone has depression, it doesn’t make them a lesser person. The more we know about mental health illnesses, the more we learn and the less stigma there will be and the more we can do to manage things.

Thank you x“

Wow. I think Jessy’s being so open about this is helping other people with similar challenges A LOT.

I was blown away when she wrote to me that my energy work helped her take this step! And I’m grateful to her for letting me contribute to her and her mission of healing through photography.

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Talk to your subconscious (and get answers!) with muscle-testing. I’ll show you how.

As I explained in this post, muscle-testing is an integral part of The Emotion Code. We use it to find out which emotional imbalances are contributing to a person’s problem.

But even if you don’t practice the Emotion Code, muscle-testing can be a valuable and fun tool in your daily life.

What is muscle-testing?

Muscle-testing is widely used in kinesiology and is an integral part of the Emotion Code, as well. To my knowledge, muscle-testing isn’t scientifically proven, so read & try this with a critical and open mind. (I say this because it works for me and many others, but I don’t like it when people in energy work talk about how it’s all proved by „quantum physics“ etc. even though they don’t know anything about it.)

The basic assumption here is that the part of your mind that keeps your body alive and functioning, the subconscious mind, has stored everything you have ever experienced, even if you (with your conscious mind) think that you have forgotten those past events – be it a trauma or where you put , and you can get answers from it with muscle-testing. Muscle-testing works on the assumption that „your body will normally be drawn toward positive things or thoughts and repelled by negative things or ideas.“ [1] With muscle-testing, you can only get „yes“ or „no“ as an answer. The simplest way of asking your body is the so-called Sway Test. [2]

How to do the Sway Test

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your hands by your sides, in a place where you are undistracted. Now, make a statement that you know is true, like saying your name: „I am Julia.“ Or say a word that you feel deeply positive about, feeling into it without distraction. Give your body a few moments and see what happens. Your body will sway forward noticeably. It’s as if it wanted to get closer to or was attracted by the positive or true thought you have presented it with.

Now, say something that you know for certain to be untrue, like „I am John“ when your name isn’t John. Or speak a word or thought you feel very negatively about, like „war“. Feel the emotions that come up and let the notion of war fill your mind. In a few moments, your body will sway backward, as if it were repelled by that negative thought.

Don’t try to force it. Just let your body move if and when it wants to. It’s important that you stay focused on the statement you are thinking of and get out of the way for a few seconds so your body can give you an answer. [3]

For some people, this will work instantaneously, others need practice. Don’t give up! It won’t take that long to learn it. Hint: I have noticed that the sway test and other ways of muscle-testing don’t work well or at all when I’m dehydrated, so try drinking a glass of water and see if anything changes.

What can you use it for?

Apart from muscle-testing being an important part of using The Emotion Code, you can also simply play around with it by testing out statements where you’re not completely sure about your feelings: „I like the guy/girl I had a date with last week“, „I love my job“, „I’d like to go visit my relatives this weekend instead of just staying at home with my boyfriend, watching TV“. This can be really interesting, especially when you are trying it on areas of your life where you tend not be honest with yourself.

It’s also fun to use it with decisions that won’t make a big difference in your life. Martha Beck describes how she uses it in grocery stores to pick the fruit and vegetables that her body desires: She simply buys the ones her body sways towards! [4]

Warning: What not to use muscle-testing for

Muscle-testing is a great resource but it’s not 100 % reliable, especially when you’re testing stuff you are emotionally invested in (you might sabotage the test result). So don’t take the result as the ultimate truth and don’t use it for the following things:

  • Making important decisions („Should I get a divorce?“) – It’s a complex question (and what does „should“ mean anyway) that you need to use your heart and head for.
  • Finding out if X is the perfect mate for you. It doesn’t work, I’ve tried. (The guy who I got a yes on once is SO not the perfect guy for me!)
  • Winning the lotto („Is 5 among the winning numbers this week?“) or in betting, gambling, etc. Muscle-testing helps you get answers from yourself about you, but not about the future (it’s not even decided yet).

Have fun practicing and swaying, and let me know what the experience was like for you!

Until next week,

Julia x

[1] From: The Emotion Code: How to Release Your Trapped Emotions for Abundant Health, Love and Happiness, by Dr. Bradley Nelson, 2007, p. 33
[2] From: The Emotion Code: How to Release Your Trapped Emotions for Abundant Health, Love and Happiness, by Dr. Bradley Nelson, 2007, p. 28-33
[3] From: The Emotion Code: How to Release Your Trapped Emotions for Abundant Health, Love and Happiness, by Dr. Bradley Nelson, 2007, p. 33-38
[4] From: Finding Your Way in a Wild New World: Reclaim Your True Nature to Create the Life You Want, by Martha Beck, 2012, p. 75-76.


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Do you need an emotional makeover?

Have you ever been unhappy with how you look? If you have, you probably simply gave yourself a makeover and were alright again (or needed another one).

But what about how you feel on the inside?
Have you ever considered giving yourself an emotional makeover when you felt bad for too long (by seeing a counsellor, psychotherapist, or just someone you trust)?

It’s somewhat taboo to talk about how bad we feel, and to seek support to help us sort out our emotional life. Many people tend to only do something about their emotional turmoil once the pain gets unbearable and they don’t see any way out of their misery.

This is like only doing something about your looks when you’re smelly and dirty, your clothes torn and your hair full of lice. No-one lives like this if they don’t have to! The difference is that feeling like a mess is socially acceptable (as long as you hide it), while looking like a mess isn’t. It’s a pity we can’t see our emotions – I think we wouldn’t neglect our feelings so much if we could.

First things first: If you do feel that abysmally bad, it’s best to see a mental health professional. I’m not advocating that energy work with the Emotion Code is a replacement for psychotherapy – it’s not. It’s simply a complementary way of activating your body’s and psyche’s innate healing ability.

But if you do want to give it a try, it’s a very interesting experience and a different way of getting an emotional makeover:
In the Emotion Code, we work with a concept called „trapped emotions“ as the main root of our suffering. Dr. Bradley Nelson, the creator of the Emotion Code, explains what those trapped emotions are:

„As you live through the days and years of your life you are continually experiencing emotions of one sort or another. Life can be difficult and emotions can sometimes feel overwhelming. All of us experience negative emotional extremes at times. Most of us would rather forget some of these challenges, but unfortunately, the influence of these events can stay with us in the form of trapped emotions.

Sometimes, for reasons that we do not yet understand, emotions do not process completely. In these cases, instead of simply experiencing the emotion and then moving on, the energy of the emotion somehow becomes “trapped” within the physical body.

So instead of moving beyond your angry moment, or a temporary bout with grief or depression, this negative emotional energy can remain within your body, potentially causing significant physical and emotional stress.

Most people are amazed to find out that their “emotional baggage” is more literal than they had imagined. Trapped emotions actually consist of well-defined energies that have a shape and form. Although they are not visible, they are very real.“

(From the book „The Emotion Code: How To Release Your Trapped Emotions for Abundant Health, Love and Happiness“ by Dr. Bradley Nelson, p. 5)

Wow! When I first heard about this, it seemed like a foreign concept, but I was open to trying new things – especially because I had nothing to lose: When a friend introduced me to the Emotion Code about three years ago, I was in deep despair and had lost all hope because I was unemployed and just couldn’t find a job. We were talking on Skype and she kindly did a session with me right then.

I can’t tell you how relieved I was after that – I felt light and hopeful for the first time in a while. I felt new self-confidence and that I WAS capable of changing my own situation for the better. And I was hooked – I wanted to know more about The Emotion Code, this powerful tool that had helped me out of my bleak state of mind. So I got the book and started practising obsessively.

Long story short: After working on all the emotional turmoil that I was going through, I decided that this would be a great way of helping other people, too, and after quite a few Emotion Code sessions to work on my fears and doubts about this, I started Energy Sessions.

I am so happy that I have found the Emotion Code and was able to help myself and other people with it. However, when I explain to others how it works, they often misunderstand, especially with those who have never heard of energy work at all. That’s why I’d like to use the next few weeks to delve into all the most fascinating aspects of the Emotion Code. After all, it enables you to help people even across continents – this still blows my mind!!

Next week, I’ll explain what muscle-testing is and how YOU can do it yourself and use it to get answers from your subconscious! Stay tuned!

Talk to you next week,



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The weird things I do to other people (and they pay me!!)

I keep getting questions on what this whole energy work and Emotion Code business is all about. I understand – this thing about releasing people’s inner blocks with long-distance (!!) energy work sounds rather nebulous. I’ll try my best to explain it all here.



1. What kind of strange things do I do during an Emotion Code session??

Say a client writes to me because they want help with their high anxiety. They give me their first name, age and how high they rate their problem on a scale from zero to ten, with ten being the most intense. Having this info, I just need two more things:

A magnet: 

The thing I’m seemingly balancing on my thumb is a magnet: a normal fridge magnet is enough, nothing fancy!

The Emotion Code book (by Bradley Nelson):

Emotion Code book

The Emotion Code book (I’m holding the German version here)

The most important part of the book is the so-called Emotion Code chart. It lists sixty „trapped emotions“ (blocked energies, see explanation below) that might contribute to any problem a clients comes to me with:

The Emotion Code chart

The Emotion Code chart


What are trapped emotions? The basic assumption in the Emotion Code is that we go through traumatic experiences and cannot fully process the emotions we experience there, so they get stuck (“trapped”) in our bodies as negative energies („trapped emotions“) and interfere with our lives emotionally and physically.


The session

When I do a session, I connect with the client on an energetic level: I don’t have to do anything, just focus on them and check via muscle-testing if I have a connection with them. They need not be in the same room or chat with me on Skype for this to work. (How does this work? See #2)

What’s muscle-testing? Muscle-testing is a way to get answers from a person’s subconscious. If my client were in the same room as I, I’d muscle-test them by asking them to hold out one arm and resist me while I press down on that arm and ask them a question. If I asked „Do you like filling in tax forms?“, their arm would probably be weak and not able to resist me – this is a No. If I asked, „Do you like sunny weather?“, their arm would probably stay strong – this is a Yes. Equally, I can find out which blocked energies contribute to the client’s issue by using this method.

But my client isn’t in the same room, so what do I do? Since I have established an energetic connection with them, I can simply muscle-test on my own body (I use a different method than the one with the arm, though) in their place.

Finding and releasing trapped emotions

When I’m connected, I ask via muscle-testing if it’s okay to do a session for them at this time, and then I start by asking: Does this person have a trapped emotion that is contributing to their high anxiety? If I get a yes (again, on the muscle-test), I test to find out which emotion it is on the Emotion Code chart, and ask if there’s anything else there is to know about this emotion (like, at what age it became trapped). If not, I release it by sliding the magnet down my main meridian three times, with the intention of releasing the emotion from my client. (According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, a meridian is a path of energy flow through the body; the main meridian goes from the upper lip back over the head down to the end of the spine.) I repeat this for the duration of twenty minutes and release as many blocked energies from my client with regards to their issue. During the session, I have taken notes on which emotions I have released, so now I just have to finish the session report and remember to cut the energetic connection between me and my client!

2. HOW and WHY it works

All I can say is that we all seem to be somehow energetically connected, which is why it’s possible to help other people who don’t even live in the same country as me. The whole thing about using a magnet and sliding it down the main meridian seemed weird to me, too (although other energy work techniques also work with elements from Traditional Chinese Medicine, like meridians), and of course Bradley Nelson, who created the Emotion Code, gives an explanation in his book.
BUT: I am not aware of any scientific proof of the effectiveness of energy work. I simply did it only for myself for a while, and then decided I wanted to help others, too. I became a certified Emotion Code practitioner and have received a lot of positive feedback from my clients who live all over the world. To me, it’s not so important HOW it works, but THAT it works.


3. What happens after a session?

People have different reactions to a session and you can never tell beforehand what it will be. Some experience an immediate positive change in their emotions, some feel emotional ups and downs before they get better, and for some the change happens slowly and subtly. There is no guarantee that there will be a change, but mostly, I get positive feedback, like this one:

“Wow! I have been surprised by how effective this treatment was. The problem I asked Julia to focus on for me really appears to have shifted in the last few days: amazing as this is something that’s bogged me down for years and years! Thank you so much!”
- Lotte, UK

There are more reports on what people experienced after their sessions on my website.
See? I promised you this would be weird! Still, I hope I was able to make a little clearer what an Emotion Code session looks like. If you have any questions, just post them in the comments! :)


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