Posted on April 13, 2015 by in

January 2015 Newsletter

Hello Everyone
The New Year has started and often this brings great hopes for change and growth, and there might be goals and resolutions that we wish to fulfill. For many a new year means a new beginning and chance to live life to the fullest. Here at Novara we are also getting ready for an exciting 2015.

Our vision has always been to provide you with a range of services which support your health and well-being. We believe that as we go through the cycle of life, with changing experiences, emotions, challenges and opportunities, our body and mind can be strengthened through nourishment, encouragement and care. As our days fill up with numerous activities and appointments, we sometimes forget how important it is to take the time to look after ourselves, and to see what we can do to protect our well-being and prevent low energy levels, stress related symptoms and injuries or chronic illnesses.

Within Novara we divide our services into three strands, Therapies & Coaching, Integrated Health and Classes, and each strand can provide information, assistance and encouragement to help you maintain or regain your physical and mental health.

In this newsletter we aim to:

1. highlight the key features of each strand

2. explore the power of preventative and curative care; and

3. provide you with an outlook for exciting workshops and classes in 2015.

1. The Novara Centre Three Strands

Therapy / Coaching

We understand that there are times in life that are difficult, challenging or frightening, when you need support but might fear taking the first step.

Within Novara we offer you a safe, confidential place to talk about your life and anything that may be confusing, painful or uncomfortable. Seeking therapy allows you to talk with someone who is trained to listen attentively and to help you improve things, and it is our principle that the quality of the relationship between client and therapist is crucial to the success of the therapy.
We offer appointments to people of all ages and at any stage in life and you can find out more about our therapy team by exploring the profiles of our therapists.
New to our team of excellent therapists, we welcome Lara Gallagher, Kirsty Kirkwood and Eugene Ryan. Between them they offer therapy to individuals and couples, and Lara is also specially trained in adolescent psychotherapy.


There are several ways of looking after your physical and mental health and the many benefits of regular practice and physical activity are hard to ignore. If you want to feel better, have more energy and perhaps even live longer, a class practice can be your first step. And the benefits of exercise are yours for the taking, regardless of your age or physical ability. In our beautiful Victorian building right on the seafront in Bray our practitioners will guide you through the class and ensure that you can work within and towards your own abilities and enjoyment.
The different classes within the Centre complement each other in many ways. For example: If you have completed the 8 week Mindfulness Course, but would like to deepen your practice, you can join our Mindful Meditation Class on Sunday evenings to integrate a regular meditation practice into your week. Or you can participate in a Gentle Chi Gung &
Contemplation class with beautiful movements from a standing position and guided visualization which then leads into yoga nidra – deep meditation.
If you have attended one of our Yoga classes and have focused on building up your strength, flexibility, relaxation and opening your heart, you might feel that Pilates is the perfect addition to continue strengthening the deep intrinsic abdominal muscles, protect your back and learn about the proper alignment of the spine, head and shoulder blades. All exercises are developed with modifications that can make a workout safe and challenging for a person at any level. If you would like to find out more please contact us or visit

Integrated Health

We have a range of integrated health services, so that you can find the support that best suits you. They are a complementary and people focused treatment, delivered in an individualized and well-rounded approach to health care.
Below we have featured three of our many services within the Integrated Health strand and you can read more about each as well as our offers of Massages, Shiatsu and Reiki at

Acupuncture: According to Traditional Natural Medicine, the aim of acupuncture is to restore the body’s equilibrium, mind, body and spirit matrix, by supporting the flow of Qi- an ‘energy’ or ‘vital force’- and restore the body’s natural balance. The acupuncture process involves inserting the use of fine needles under the skin at specific points in the body’s network of energy channels. The technique is simple, highly effective and efficient and most people feel significant improvement after their first session of acupuncture.

Amatsu: Its fundamental principle is that good health is based on balance within the body, in the mind, in what we eat and drink, in how we use our energy and in our interaction with the world around us. The techniques used are designed to achieve balance in the body and to free blockages which can be the source of illness. The Amatsu practitioner works with your ligaments, tendons and muscles to bring the skeletal body into alignment. Amatsu is effective in treating a very wide range of physical conditions.

Homeopathy: Is a gentle, yet highly effective system of medicine, which uses naturally occurring substances in the form of remedies to stimulate the body’s own healing power. The results, although gentle, can be powerful and long lasting. It is suitable for everyone, even sensitive patients, from pregnancy, childhood and adolescence to adulthood and older age.
2. The Power of preventative and curative care

With the New Year come aspirations for a healthier lifestyle, and several studies show that within ourselves we have the power to prevent or postpone illnesses, chronic diseases and injuries. We can take action to strengthen our physical, mental & emotional well-being.

So what can we do to protect our well-being?
If you are a passionate yoga practitioner, you have probably noticed some of the many yoga benefits – maybe you’re sleeping better or getting fewer colds or just feeling more relaxed and at ease. But if you are new to the practice an article by Susan Bernstein published in might be of interest to you. The article summarizes several studies which indicate that besides building up your muscle strength, flexibility and perfecting your posture, regular practice can help reduce pain associated with Arthritis and increase physical function. Yoga also gets your blood flowing. More specifically, the relaxation exercises you learn in yoga can help your circulation, especially in your hands and feet. Yoga also supplies your cells with more oxygen, which function better as a result.

In a study conducted by Dr. Wayment and colleagues at Northern Arizona University (2011), researchers examined the extent to which people are able to have a “positive impact on their health, both physical and psychological, by what they do.” Results suggested that there are five key ways mindfulness training increased physical and mental health:
• It strengthened the immune system and physiological responses to stress and negative emotions.
• It improved social relationships.
• It reduced stress, depression, and anxiety and increased well-being and happiness.
• It increased openness to experience, conscientiousness, and agreeableness and reduced negative associations with neuroticism.
• It led to greater psychological mindfulness, which included an awareness that is clear, non-conceptual, and flexible; a practical stance toward reality; and present attention to the individual’s consciousness and awareness.
Journal of Happiness Studies (12 (4): 575-589)

And finally, did you know that being grateful can lead to lower blood pressure, less anxiety and depression, and fewer addictions? In Robert Emmons book Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier (Houghton Mifflin, 2007) he summarizes the findings from studies to date and says that those who practice grateful thinking “reap emotional, physical and interpersonal benefits.” People who regularly keep a “Gratitude Journal” report fewer illness symptoms, feel better about their lives as a whole, and are more optimistic about the future. We can make Gratitude a regular habit in our lives by asking ourselves questions such as:
• Who in our live has given inspiration, love, motivation, support or guidance and have we taken the time to acknowledge and thank them?
• Have experiences or places affected us emotionally, intellectually, physically or spiritually?
• Can we see a positive in negative situations in our lives?
• Do we express gratitude daily?
3. Workshops and Classes to look out for in 2015

2015 is an exciting year for us, as we not only welcome new practitioners to The Novara Centre, but also have an array of workshops and classes planned throughout the year.
In addition to our weekly timetable which you can view at we have several interesting workshops and classes highlighted below:

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction – An 8 Week Course
The Programme is evidence based and designed to develop skills for healthy emotional, mental and physical well-being, and to support integrating Mindfulness into daily life to help reduce stress and deal with anxiety more effectively. We learn to identify the causes of stress and to make wise choices in order to live in a more positive and peaceful way.

Date: 20th of January to 10th of March
incl. a day retreat on Sunday 1st of March from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm
Date: 26th of May to 14th of July
incl. a day retreat on Saturday the 4th of July from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm
Time: 7:00 pm to 9.30 pm
Facilitated by Anne Twohig (January) and by Kathryn O’Halloran (May)

A Day of Mindful Living
This day of Mindful Living offers people a wonderful opportunity to recharge and refresh. It is a day for you, a day of peace and stillness. The workshop will include a variety of mindfulness practices and is suitable for those who already have an established mindfulness practice as well as beginners.

Date: 26th of April
Time: 10:30 am to 4:30 pm
Facilitated by Anne Twohig

Baby Massage Course
Over 4 weeks you can learn some beautiful strokes and see your baby squeal with delight. Some of the main benefits are: deeper sleeping, relaxing, bonding, boosting the immune system and it is wonderful for colic. You can relax afterwards with other parents / carers over a cup of tea and take in the views of the sea!

Dates: 14th, 21st, 28th of January & 4th of February
Dates: 11th, 18th, 25th of February & 4th of March
Time: Wednesdays from 11:30 am – 12:30 am
Facilitated by Yasmina Lenehan

Active Birth Workshop
This workshop is aimed at helping expectant mothers and their birth partners to prepare for labour and birth. Participants can expect to leave the workshop feeling empowered and excited about the journey ahead. The workshop will be led by doula and yoga teacher Jan Duffy and facilitated by the Novara Centre’s pregnancy yoga teacher, Lara Dunlea. More details will be available on the Novara Centre’s website in the coming weeks.

Please visit our website if you would like more information on any of our three strands or contact us by phone 01-2761745 or email We are always happy to answer your queries with no obligation to make an appointment or a booking. Follow us on

We look forward to sharing part of our journey in 2015 with you.
Wishing you all health and well-being.
The Novara Centre
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
Henry David Thoreau