Archive: Health and Wellness

Let Love In…with Hypnosis


At some time in our lives, we create a protective wall around us because we have been hurt and are afraid. We create a mask to prevent people from seeing how wounded or vulnerable we actually are. We are afraid others will find we’re “not worthy” or “loveable” And, we begin to believe what we tell ourselves.

These feelings are based on irrational fear, so we push others away. We like to give the impression we are strong, confident and in control of our lives and we “don’t need anybody, thank you very much”.

From time to time, the mask may begin to slip, because holding it in place is exhausting.

No matter how long you have lived with this habit or pattern of telling yourself you’re not “good enough”, now it’s time to reconnect with the inner goodness you were born with and celebrate your innate capacity to love and “be loved”.

Through hypnosis, anything is possible. And when you’re ready, I can help you.

Click here for more information or to make an appointment or free consultation with Master Hypnotist, Mary McCandless, Cobourg Centre for Hypnosis.


In Control of Incontinence ~ With Hypnosis


Incontinence. There, I’ve said it. It’s hard to talk about an overactive bladder, let alone experience it.

Although times have changed from when such things were not discussed, incontinence still remains a bit of a taboo.

For a while now, you have been concerned about a problem you have had with incontinence and this has caused you great embarrassment and inconvenience. You think you’re the only one, but in truth, the loss of bladder control is quite common, especially as women get older.

It may range from dripping, occasionally leaking urine, not only when coughing unexpectedly or heaven forbid, sneezing! Or, having it creep up on you when you are away from home (perhaps standing at the bank machine) and a tidal wave hits and you are trying to be … so still, holding your breath, clenching, unable to move, let alone find a bathroom.

Is there a cure for incontinence, other than medication and invasive surgery? Is there a natural remedy to overcome your urinary incontinence, other than strengthening the pelvic floor muscles? Absolutely!

The British Medical Journal indicated that 86% of women with overactive bladders who participated in a recent study reported that after repeated sessions of hypnotherapy, their symptoms had disappeared completely or considerably improved. In other words, hypnosis was a successful treatment for 86% of the participants in the study.

Hypnosis refers to a natural peaceful, meditative state of focused concentration in which positive suggestions are introduced into your subconscious mind. Within this state, the subconscious mind is easily accessed to directly effect change at a very deep level. This can literally change your thoughts, feelings, perceptions, habits and how you behave and react in any situation.

Learning how to access your own inner healing resources will enable you to find a way of controlling your bladder and begin to heal your body on all levels.

Hypnosis has been shown to be safe, gentle and effective. From day one, you will experience lasting, positive changes in your stress and your confidence. Your mind will become calmer and clearer, you will feel happier and healthier, releasing stress and anxiety and restoring confidence in yourself and in control of your bladder.

To learn more about how hypnosis might help you, schedule a complimentary consultation or an appointment with Master Hypnotist, Mary McCandless at, (905) 377-8585 or at

Mary McCandless is a Master Healer and an NGH Certified Master Hypnotist/NLP & Certified Hypnosis Instructor residing in Ontario.


Looking outside, everything is vibrating with new life as the snow has finally disappeared. The magnolia tree has begun the resurgence of fuzzy buds, reminiscent of pussywillows. The redbud tree is starting to pink up, the daffodils are indeed beginning to surface through the chicken wire and the clematis, I thought was dead, shows signs of resurrection. Ah, Spring, when a young girl’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love…of gardening.

Searching the garden for anything that will give me an excuse to get out and “root and snort”, there it is. The sign. A teeny, weenie violet is the first to show its sweet little face, right there in the middle of a pile of decaying leaves.

As I head inside to gather my tools, I hear my beloved JO (the Infection Control Specialist) reminding me, “Put something on your feet and don’t forget your gloves!”

Like my sister, my Mother and her Mother before her, I am happiest in the garden. It is my sanctuary. I just can’t wait to get my hands in the dirt, feeling the warm soil between my fingers. Gloves?

Well, in truth, a well-fitting pair of garden gloves, whether they come from the dollar store or the local garden center, allows the same feeling of closeness with nature, but helps protect you from all the germs present in the soil. Germs?

Just think, some animal in your neighborhood has used your lovely garden as a litter box and many intestinal worms are now call it home. Yuck! My beautiful garden doesn’t feel quite so inviting.

While gloves cannot protect your hands 100% from these ever present germ hitchhikers, they may spare your tender skin from ten minutes of being scrubbed with a brush to get the dirt out from under your nails. Yes, we’ve heard of scraping a bar of soap with our fingernails to help prevent the collection of dirt, but who really does it?

What kind of bugs are we talking about? Well, we’re talking about lots of different gut pathogens (disease causing germs) that come from the feces (poop) of wild and domestic animals; squirrels to chipmunks, raccoons to birds, cats to dogs.

There are also parasites present in dirt, like pin worms and toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is a parasite very dangerous to pregnant women that may infect the baby. Pin worms on the other hand are often discovered in children who like to eat dirt.

Skin scratches from rose bushes and other thorny vegetation can readily become infected with various dirt carried pathogens.

Gardening is good exercise and a great stress reliever, but don’t neglect to keep your hands and feet clean. Yes, your feet. Shoes are a must as well.

Cracks or wounds in your feet allow germs and tetanus can get in. Tetanus is not fun and lockjaw is unattractive. Tetanus is infection of the nervous system with a potentially deadly bacteria which may remain inactive in the soil, but can remain infectious for more than 40 years.

Germs found in dirt can contaminate wounds that you may get in the garden, especially if you step on your rake, not to mention being hit in the head.

But, perhaps the best reason to wear gloves and shoes is to maintain your manicure.

For a healthy and happy “diggin’ in the doit” kinda day; grab a bottle of water, sunscreen, take your hat and gloves and go outside. Breathe deep, sing loud and enjoy what nature has to offer.

And, if your garden is overflowing with things to share, call me.

Pediatric Hypnosis

Hypnosis for Children

Children work very well with hypnosis and creative visualization, especially the younger ones. They already understand the world of imagination and they experience their world through colours, pictures, and daydreaming easily achieving the relaxed state necessary to work with the subconscious mind.

Children learn what they live. Anxiety and lack of self-esteem experienced in childhood can have a lasting effect on the rest of their lives. Stress abounds in our ever-changing world and pediatric hypnosis is an effective way to stabilize your child in her/his development, helping them to grow into healthy and happy individuals.

Some of the applications of Pediatric Hypnosis will help them to outgrow night time bed-wetting (enuresis), regardless of their age, while building confidence and self-esteem. Hypnosis for children is excellent for those who experience “bullying” at school.

Behaviour modification and letting go of habits is also helped significantly through hypnosis with children.

Learning skills such as focusing in school, enhanced memory, instilling a sense on motivation, releasing fear and feeling confident about examinations and tests are all possible through Pediatric Hypnosis.

Learning issues associated with ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) is normally treated by the medical profession with drugs, sometimes controversially, too much so. We are quick to label a child who is different. However, there are also some natural alternatives available.

Hypnosis can help teach focusing tools, reinforce social skills, build up self-esteem, manage anxiety symptoms associated with ADD/ADHD and manage anger.

Alleviating performance anxiety related to sports and special skills, are also achievable through hypnosis.

Hypnosis for children is also effective in helping with insomnia or night anxiety (fear of the dark, monsters, etc.) which may keep them from going to sleep. It is also excellent for helping them overcome other fears (medical or dental visits and preparing them for needles).

Children will also benefit from hypnosis as changes in their lives occur; changes in living space, family separation, first day of school, new schools, puberty, etc.

Children’s issues can involve a wide range of significant “others” in their lives; parents, siblings, rivals, teachers, etc.

As a Master Clinical Hypnotist, I teach children self-hypnosis or self-relaxation which helps them feel in control. I also provide a short reinforcement CD for play at bedtime, instilling the foundation that, I can do anything.

For more information on how hypnosis can change your life or the life of the child you love, click here.

Questions are always welcomed by

Natural Cures for Insomnia ~ What Direction Should the Head of My Bed Face?

“I don’t sleep well. Which direction should the head of my bed face? Does this really make a difference?” Absolutely!

As a Master Healer and Hypnotist, this is one of the most commonly asked questions when people consult me about their inability to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

Ideally, when sleeping, your head or the head of the bed, should be facing North. North represents quieting the mind, allowing self-introspection and promotes the warm, restorative, safe feeling that comes with a time of deep sleep or hibernation.

If necessary, the head of your bed can rest in front of a North window, as long as the window remains covered at night. If this is not possible, then the direction of the East is your best second choice.

Placing the head of your bed in the East, represents creativity and the beginning or start of absolutely everything. The mind is percolating. Consequently, your mind is more active and will not be able to quiet itself easily.

The conscious mind is basically your ego or critical mind which definitely needs to be quieted to enable letting go of the day and encouraging deep, restorative sleep.

When the head of the bed is the direction of the West, it keeps outside experiences or celebrations present and your conscious mind busy and eliminates the ability to rest.

The South is one of the most undesirable locations for the head of your bed to face. With your head facing South, your mind is always working, always doing something and you will awaken feeling exhausted.

Something else that is important when considering where to place the head of your bed, is to make sure it is not directly in front of the door to the room.

The constant flow of energy through this doorway will not enable you to rest. AND, having your feet facing the door is known as the “coffin” position or the ultimate “rest in peace” position.

If it is necessary to face a closet, make sure the closet remains closed at night. Why? Remembering that everything has energy, your closet and its contents, no matter how organized it is, will jumble your mind.

If you suffer from insomnia or the inability to quiet your mind and sleep soundly through the night, click here for Sweet Dreams! Questions are always welcomed by

BALTIC AMBER Healing Properties


The Healing Power of BALTIC AMBER ~ Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Asthma, Allergies

Baltic Amber has a powerful healing vibration which absorbs negative energies, purifying the aura. It carries with it the wisdom of the ages, as well as a few bugs, seeds and debris trapped within it from another time.

Although not a crystal, this organic, fossilized resin from ancient pine forests is excellent for those suffering from seasonal allergies or asthma.

It is also most effective in the treatment of allergic respiratory problems (especially those induced by the love of your furry friends.)

Wearing a Baltic Amber necklace will significantly lessen the suffering when visiting a home where little kitty faces reside. However, if your love remains with man’s best friend, it is good to remember that it has proven helpful to dogs suffering from kennel cough.

As a Master Healer, my experience has shown that wearing Baltic Amber around the neck helps reduce the swelling of glands, sore throats, chronic tonsillitis, thyroid and vocal cord conditions. It is particularly effective for people that use their voices to make a living, public speakers, actors, singers, public speakers, etc.

The healing properties of Baltic Amber include reducing inflammation, making it a natural remedy in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatism. It is also recommended highly for teething babies. If used for this purpose, MAKE SURE the necklace is made properly with a knot between each bead, in case of breakage.

In the fall and winter months, Baltic Amber brings us the warmth of the sun, connecting us with the light and enhancing our health. It’s solar energies will help those who become depressed during winter months, offering protection to those with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or other depression based on light deprivation.

Baltic Amber’s warm and comforting energy is also helpful in the treatment of depression and anxiety. It can help one develop a sense of self-acceptance and self-worth. Baltic Amber is often carried to help with addictions.

When recovering from illness, injury or surgery, Baltic Amber helps us connect to our own inner strength, strengthening the immune system and encouraging the body’s own natural healing powers. As well, it readily speeds our metabolism, stimulating and cleansing the digestive system, liver, gallbladder, kidney, spleen and intestinal tract.

Author and crystals expert, Judy Hall, recommends “holding a piece of Amber above your head and imagining it slowly melting, pouring a protective coating around your aura to seal it.”

Amber warms to the touch. So when it begins to look dull or feels cool to the touch, simply cleanse it under lukewarm running water to release the negative energy. Some choose to place it in the sun to enhance its inner power. However, leaving it in the sun for a long period of time may cause it to become brittle and break.


What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is so much more than a candle that smells like apple pie. Or a room deodorizer that promises to eliminate the smell of kitty litter, last night’s fish dinner, your son’s well-love hockey equipment or the lingering scent of cigarette smoke. Today, artificial “aromatherapy” scents created to mask a smell, can quite often be far worse than the offending odour.

True Aromatherapy is a gentle but powerful healing art that uses therapeutic-grade, pure essential oils in a way that can positively affect our physical, emotional and mental health.

Pure essential oils naturally occur in different parts of a plant; the blossom, fruit, leaf, stem, bark, wood or resin. Through a complicated and often expensive process, these precious oils are captured like a genie in bottle.

Centuries ago, pure essential oils were the foundation of medicine, blended to treat to illness and disease. Over the years, synthetically produced colognes, perfumes and pharmaceutical products, which are produced more easily and inexpensively, have grow in popularity. While modern science has been able to duplicate the fragrance of some essential oils, it has been unable to duplicate the benefits.

I think of it like homemade chicken soup versus cheap packaged chicken soup, where it’s obvious the chicken has merely walked through it.

Massage and inhalation are the most effective methods of introducing these wonderful natural gifts from nature into the human body.

As the skin is our largest organ, massage is a good way and probably the most pleasurable way of benefitting from essential oils. It brings about a feeling of relaxation and relieves aches and pains by manipulation of the soft tissues of the body, while the essential oils stimulate the body to heal and nourish itself.

Essential oils take approximately half an hour to be absorbed and it is important to remember that they should never be used directly on the skin. Lavender essential oil is the only exception..

Not all essential oils can be blended together. A professional Aromatherapist creates a blend, taking into consideration the properties of the oils and your health; high/low blood pressure, heart/kidney condition, possible pregnancy, etc. The blend is then combined with a good-quality carrier oil, cream or lotion to introduce the oils into the skin. Essential oils must never be taken internally.

Aromatherapy and some Homeopathic remedies, however, do not mix, so it is important to discuss this with your Aromatherapist.

Each essential oil has its own healing properties. Sandalwood, for example, has been shown to have positive effects on anxiety, insomnia, laryngitis, bronchitis, fluid retention, asthma, bladder infection, eczema, balancing female sex hormones, impotence, etc. Well-known as an aphrodisiac, it is important to know that it will render birth-control pills null and void.

Aromatherapy works well as an adjunct to other types of treatment. Every holistic therapy will be strengthened in its effectiveness when pure essential oils are part of the treatment.

The Aromatherapy treatment I like best is warm cookies from the oven. It makes me think of my Grandma Kerr and her delicious sugar cookies. But perhaps, it’s really the scent of Vanilla, comforting, relaxing, tranquilizing. Hmmmm…maybe time for a trip to the kitchen.

How to Use Essential Oils and Precautions

Before embarking on Aromatherapy at home, there are several important things to know.

The following is a general guideline on “How to Use Essential Oils and Precautions” from Master Healer & Hypnotist, Mary McCandless,

Aromatherapy Massage is a healing art and probably the most pleasurable way of benefitting from essential oils. It brings about a feeling of relaxation and relieves aches and pains by manipulation of the soft tissues of the body. Essential oils stimulate the body to heal itself, nourishing the body, while adapting to each individual’s needs.

4 – 7 drops of pure essential oil mixed with 15 mls (1 Tablespoon) of a botanical Base/Carrier Oil is enough for a full body treatment. Add 1/2 of the carrier oil first, then the essential oils, then the remaining carrier oil. Never blend more than you will use at one time.

Essential oils must NEVER be used directly on the skin. Lavender essential oil is the only exception.

Essential oils need to be blended with a Base/Carrier Oils which are considered “fixed oils” which have no Bht or Bha. A “fixed oil” is a compound of Glycerol and a fatty acid. They are normally derived from vegetable or animal (emu) sources. Each carrier oil comes with its own healing properties.

Examples of common Carrier Oils are Jojoba Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Safflower Oil, Carrot Oil, Calendula Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Borage Seed Oil, Canola Oil, Coconut Oil, Corn Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Hazelnut Oil, Olive Oil, Peach Oil, Rose Mosqueta Oil, Sesame Oil, St. John’s Wort Oil, Wheatgerm Oil, Sunflower Oil, Soybean Oil, Avocado (Pear) Oil, Aloe Vera Gel, etc.

Aloe Vera Gel is the ONLY carrier that should be used for anyone who is suffering from liver problems.

Baths ~ For a wonderfully relaxing experience at the end of a busy day, there is nothing like a warm bath with essential oils to help you ease the stresses of your life.

Just add 4 – 7 drops of pure essential oil to a Tablespoon measure, then fill the spoon with the carrier oil of your choice and add to a full tub, stirring just before getting in. Soak for at least 15-20 minutes. The oils need time to absorb into the body to restore a healthy balance, while promoting smooth and healthy skin. Choose the pure essential oil or blend according to your needs – relaxing, invigorating, uplifting, etc.

Inhalations ~ Aromatic essential oils can alleviate respiratory discomfort. Fill a large bowl with hot water and add three drops of pure of essential oils. Put your head over the steam and cover both your head the bowl with a towel. Breathe slowly and deeply until relief is felt. Pure essential oils attack germs but do not do damage to tissues.

Placing three drops of pure essential oils on a tissue or “hanky” is an excellent substitute for more direct inhalation if you are away from home. Or, simply place the tissue in your pillow while sleeping.

Compresses ~ Compresses can be made more effective when essential oils are used. Add a few drops to water with aloe vera gel and soak the liquid into a cloth bandage. Essential oils can also be added to a salve or poultice before being placed directly on the affected area and covered with a bandage.

Vapourising ~ Vapourising essential oils during illness will help to kill airborne bacteria and stop germs spreading. Essential oils have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.

This is also an excellent method for room freshening or creating a soothing atmosphere for relaxation or meditation. Spraying a fine mist of pure essential oils into the air with an atomizer (without heat) is also effective.

A Ceramic Oil Diffuser or Oil Warmer uses a little tea light at the base to heat the essential oil(s) you place in the dish on top. It is important that you add these essentials to a little water. Of course, you again must be careful that the bowl remains filled or it will burn, leaving a real mess. Plus, you don’t want to leave it unattended, especially around children, pets or open windows.

A Reed Diffuser is the latest home fragrance system that offers weeks of fragrance without a flame. This is a very subtle form of diffusion and can be used to diffuse both essential oils and fragrance oils. The reeds absorb the fragrance to the top and disperse it into the room. The recommended ratio of base oil to fragrance is 80% base and 20% fragrance.

For a Steam Room or Sauna, apply 4-6 drops of therapeutic essential oils to the steam outlet or drop onto the rocks of a sauna.

Candles are also great for pure essentials as long as you don’t get oil on the wick. After the candle has been lit and a melt pool has been created, carefully, add the essential oil of your choice to this area. Remember, essentials do burn! Again, you don’t want to leave a candle unattended or around children or pets. And don’t forget to use beeswax or soy candles which are non-toxic, and non-carcinogenic.

All these ways require constant attention.

A safer, more effective way is to use an Electrical Diffuser that uses a simple pad you wet with oil. These are used by many professional spas and health care offices and need no special attention, but do require that you re-apply the oil frequently.

Precautions for Use of Essential Oils

  1. Keep out of reach of children.
  2. Not for internal use
  3. Do not use undiluted on the skin
  4. Avoid contact with the eyes. Should essential oil get into the eyes, rinse thoroughly with cold water for 20 minutes.

Toxic Oils ~ Anise, Mugwort, Pennyroyal and Wintergreen essential oils are incredibly toxic oils and should be avoided.

Semi-Toxic Oils ~ Birch, Cassia, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Clove, Fennel, Lemon, Thyme and Eucalyptus essential oils can become increasing toxic as the body will accumulate it, if used repeatedly over time.

Pregnancy ~ DO NOT USE essential oils during the first three months of pregnancy. Citrus oils are considered safe after that period, however, it is still recommended to AVOID THE FOLLOWING: Basil, Camphor, Chamomile, Eucalyptus Globulus, Geranium, Sweet Birch, Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Clove Bud, Fennel, Hyssop, Juniper Berry, Marjoram, Myrrh, Peppermint, Rose, Rosemary and Sage essential oils.

High Blood Pressure ~ Anyone with high blood pressure should NEVER use Hyssop, Rosemary, Eucalyptus Globulus, or Thyme essential oils.

Low Blood Pressure ~ Anyone with low blood pressure should NEVER use Lavender or Ylang Ylang essential oils.

Epilepsy ~ If you suffer from epilepsy, DO NOT USE Camphor, Fennel, Hyssop, Rosemary, Peppermint, Eucalyptus Globulus or Sage essential oils. These could provoke an unwanted epileptic reaction.

Cancer ~ DO NOT USE Lavender, Eucalyptus Citronella or Eucalyptus essential oils in conjunction with chemotherapy in the treatment of cancer.

Children and Babies ~ DO NOT USE Peppermint (Mentha Piperita) or Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus Citronella or Eucalyptus Globulus) essential oils on children under 3 years of age.

Sensitive Skin ~ These essential oils MAY cause irritation to sensitive skins: Black Pepper, Cinnamon Leaf, Clove Bud, Citronella, Ginger, Nutmeg, Fennel, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lemongrass, Melissa, Orange, Peppermint, Pine Needle, Rosemary and Thyme.

Exposure to Sunshine ~ DO NOT APPLY these essential oils to the skin before going out in the sun or using a sun bed: Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Lemongrass, Mandarin and Orange. Clary Sage and Cedarwood essential oils may also result in photosensitivity.

Homeopathy ~ Eucalyptus Citronella, Eucalyptus Globulus, Peppermint and Rosemary essential oils should be AVOIDED if taking homeopathy remedies.

Visit for 100% pure essential oils and therapeutic blends.

Personal one-on-one Consultation is available for custom healing blends by email, telephone or Skype. Questions are always welcomed.

Master Healer’s Aromatherapy products are blended by Mary McCandless, a certified Aromatherapist, to balance, stimulate, relax, invigorate, restore and rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit.

Only 100% pure, therapeutic essential oils are used in the creation of Master Healer products.


Overcoming Fear with Hypnosis

“Look into my eyes.” These words immediately transport me back to Saturday afternoons spent watching horror movies with my Dad, downstairs in the family room.

Terrifying B-movies, where a Svengali-type character with an enormous black hooded cape and matching black eyes, hypnotically induced a fair young maid to succumb to the shadows of the inner cape.

“You are getting veeeery sleepy.” This veeeery bad Transylvanian accent would cause me to curl up even further into the corner of my chair. Penetrating eyes with VERY expressive eyebrows (similar to my tax accountant) would cause the heroine to fall into a deep meditative trance against her will.

Of course, there was the obvious, more realistic Twilight Zone version, when someone would swing a pocket watch before a willing victim, a swirling pattern would take over the black and white screen. The sound of a ticking clock would fill the room, transporting them back in time to another place to discover the truth about the events leading up to the car crash.

To a ten year old, it was all unbelievably alarming. Imagine having the ability to take control of someone, discovering the deeply hidden secrets in the recesses of their mind. At this point, I would discover my Dad had fallen into a deep sleep of his own on the couch.

Little did I know that in the course of my life, I would become a professional Hypnotist. Often, when someone discovers this, one of the first things they say is, “Don’t look at me.” Obviously, they saw the same movies as a child.

In truth, under hypnosis, you will never do anything that you wouldn’t normally do in your life, nothing you aren’t comfortable with, nothing that goes against your moral compass. No whistling Dixie, no clucking like a chicken, no removing your clothes unexpectedly, no succumbing to the inner cape.

And no, you have no need to worry that you will reveal your Interact pin number, you stole something as a child or your sexual proclivities. If questioned under hypnosis, you may actually choose to lie, which is the reason sessions are not admissible in a court of law.

Some people are afraid they will become unconscious and will not be able to be revived, forever lost in the abyss. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Although in a deep meditative trance, you are totally aware at all times of what is going on around you, fully “awake”, capable of making decisions. So if the fire alarm goes off, hopefully, you would have enough sense to get up and follow me out the door.

My first experience with hypnosis came about as a result of an experience I had when I was in my early 20’s.

I was newly married and visiting my husband’s family for the first time in Ann Arbour, Michigan. Anxious to fit in, when his sister and her husband suggested it would be great fun to see one of the most popular movies of the summer, I agreed. It wasn’t until we were approaching the theatre that I realized the movie was Jaws.

I had seen the trailers with severed limbs floating down through the water and I knew myself well enough to know that this was definitely NOT for me. Unfortunately, after much cajoling, I gave in to peer pressure. From the beginning, I knew it was a mistake. It was indeed off the chart horrifying.

The day after the movie, it was decided we should go for a swim in the lake. As the others rushed ahead, I found myself trepidatious about going into the water. Willing myself in, my feet attempted to move through the uneven floor of muck, seaweed, old pieces of wood and discarded bottles, which only increased my anxiety.

Again, my “friends” told me I was being silly. There definitely was nothing to be afraid of, especially in Lake Michigan. I could not be convinced.

The joy that I had once experienced was gone. I was unable to go into the water.

From the age of four, I had spent my life in love with water and spent as much time in or on it as possible.

As a child, my summer afternoons were spent in minnow school at the Apple Valley Racket Club swimming pool, also know as my Uncle John’s backyard in Saegertown.

My parent’s summer home was on Lake Shawanaga in northern Ontario. And, as my Father’s daughter, I became an avid angler. I knew what was in that lake and how to catch it; if I had my lucky lure, patience and held my mouth right. There were rumoured to be Muskie in that lake!

Still, I was not prepared for Jaws. At the end of the movie, I had to be pried from my seat where I had spent the last two hours tucked into a ball with my hands over my face weeping. Everyone else thought it was hysterically funny; blood, floating body parts. To this day, even writing about this makes me ill.

For the next few years, I struggled to even ride sitting on the bow of the boat, “dragging a worm” as we trolled the lake after supper. I remained always on the alert for something that might be waiting to get me.

One day as we rounded the bend into unfamiliar territory, we came to a dead stop. Our boat had hit something and I almost fell into the lake from my perch atop the bow of the boat. My heart stopped. I was terrified to even look overboard. Hidden just below the surface, an enormous rock loomed menacingly; my fear overwhelmed me. My love of fishing was gone.

Swimming became impossible. My Father, a bit of a Paul Bunyan type, attempted to help me get into the water. He had taught me how to swim and assured me that I was safe with him there. He would jump in and float about making funny faces and laughingly declared himself, “fish bait”. It made no difference.

As I tried to move down the ladder from the dock, I found myself shaking uncontrollably and retreated. Even swimming pools became a nightmare.

At some point, I found myself in the office of a Hypnotist. I don’t really remember how this came about or who he was. However, after a few exercises to engage my imagination and quiet my conscious mind, I was ready.

It all seemed pretty easy. And, as I became more and more relaxed, positive suggestions were introduced to help me overcome my fear. I left the session feeling peaceful, calm and hopeful.

The next time I visited the lake, I managed to get down the stairs on the dock and into the water, but was still extremely frightened. After another visit to the hypnotherapist, I was able to not only enter the water, but swim about without my “fish bait” present.

All in all, hypnosis became an extremely positive experience. One that enabled me to return to something I loved.

While studying to become a hypnotist, I noticed a significant difference in how I feel about myself. Through hypnosis, my self-esteem improved, I no longer need the approval I so desperately sought in my young years and the fear of not being good enough implanted at an early age, no longer has any power over me.

It’s a quiet thing. No brass bands, no angel choirs, just a subtle knowing.

As a Master Hypnotist, I’ve had the opportunity to help others overcome their fear of dentists, heights, flying, public speaking, as well as fear of success and many other unusual fears too numerous to mention.

I’ve also helped people manage their feelings of anxiety and stress, lack of confidence, worthlessness, abandonment, grief and their experience of pain.

My own experience and that of my clients, continues to fuel my enthusiasm for helping people heal naturally through hypnosis.

And as for Jaws, I say “Bite me.”

Sinus Infection Relief with Reflexology

I can’t believe the number of people I meet who suffer from sinus infections on an on-going basis. This time of year seems particularly difficult with all the extra cold and flu bugs flying around.

Touching your nose is probably the most common way of infecting yourself with other people’s cooties. Washing your hands is the best way of preventing infection.

Most folks will eventually head off to their doctors in search of the ultimate cure or antibiotic, which will really have little positive effect. After all, we’re almost always talking about viruses that are not affected by antibiotics.

There are ways to help those who suffer from sinus issues. Natural ways. I’m not talking just about snorting salt water, although some people have found that helpful to evacuate mucus from the sinus passages.

The sinus area is very, very narrow and allows viscous (thick and sticky) mucus to get trapped, forming an excellent place for bacteria to grow.

The hot steam vaporizers of my childhood, thought to help move things along, are a thing of the past as we have learned that they too are an excellent place for bacteria to party.

Taking a hot shower or bath with an essential oil blend created to open up your sinus is always good, or my Mother’s favourite, bending over a sink of extremely hot water, breathing deep with a towel over your head. It’s good for the sinus and your complexion, if you don’t pass out. Aromatherapy massage oil for sinus relief also provides an effective way to get to the root of the problem and can be applied directly to the neck and face.

What is one of the BEST ways to clear and heal your sinus? Your feet hold the answer; actually the tip of your big toes.

Whether you have a cold or a chronic sinus condition, a good Reflexologist will be able to identify this imbalance and help to relieve the symptoms. Normally, you will notice a difference by the time you have finished your first treatment. Depending upon the severity of the condition, additional sessions may be necessary.

Reflexology is actually based on the science that there are reflexes in your feet, hands and ears that correspond to every part, gland and organ of your body. By working these areas, the body is helped to be brought into a healthy balance. In this instance, clearing the sinus and stimulating your immune system to fight infection.

Besides, when you’re feeling rotten and sorry for yourself, what could be nicer than to have someone with knowing hands, massage your sweet feet?

It will help you relax and sleep better which is important. After all, your body heals itself best when you’re asleep.