How To Be The Best Teacher I Can Be

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How To Be The Best Teacher I Can Be

It's easy to fall in love a little with your Touch for Health Instructor. They know so much and are so good at helping people feel better. And they have enabled personal growth and development in their students. What's not to like?

Here in lies the issue.

Like everyone we instructors have our blind spots. We do our absolute best at all times and try to cover all bases but we are also human. It's impossible to see things from the students' perspective and so in order to be the best we can be we need to hear what our students have to say.

I have been teaching for many years and became a Touch for Health Instructor in 2008. Like all instructors, after every class I ask for feedback. It's been so positive. Students talk of how brilliant they feel, how much they have learnt, how they can't wait to start helping friends and family, how much they loved the food etc. etc. This is music to my ears and lovely to hear. Except ...

The reality is that this sort of feedback doesn't always help me be any better. Of course it's nice to know what went well and I'll keep doing the things that are working, but what would REALLY help me be the best I can be would be to have some insight in to what I could have done differently and until now I don't think I've been getting enough of that sort of input, despite asking for it.

As I'm asking for something and not receiving it I figured I must be asking in the wrong way. So I changed tack. Firstly, I sought some mentoring from my lovely friend and education specialist Jackie Lysaght in Ireland and with her help I felt able to try different ways of soliciting feedback. In my latest class, Level 4 TFH I did a preliminary feedback exercise early on in the class where the students learnt the huge value of giving and receiving feedback from someone who only wants you to be the best you can be. I also revamped my evaluation form to make it look a little more enticing and changed the questions so that they really pointed towards what I wanted to know. I offered the possibility of adding a drawing instead of writing and, importantly,  I gave plenty of time within the class for the students to fill them in.

It worked like a charm. Now I have understanding of what I could do better and my students of the future will reap the benefits. So thank you to everyone who has ever given me loving, positive feedback and to all those who have ever shed light on my blind spots.

 

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Why I Love Teaching Touch for Health Kinesiology

Why I Love Teaching Touch for Health Kinesiology

I love teaching Touch for Health! Of course I have a passion for the material and the ethos – who doesn’t? But I also love Touch for Health because it gives so much scope to have fun and be creative.

We all know that children learn best through play and activity, when they aren’t aware that what they are doing is part of the learning but just feels like playful fun. I wanted the same feel in my TFH classes so I try to have plenty of playful activity at each level.  Now when I prepare my resources for a weekend workshop I have a whole selection of materials to help us with our learning – wool, stickers, marbles, coloured card, wooden wheels, string, coloured pens, flash cards, cartoon drawings, music, giant post-it notes - anything at all to help make learning fun and interactive.

For example, I was inspired by an eTouchforHealth Newsletter from Earl and Gail Cook. They used coloured wool to trace out the meridians and I now use this idea as the basis for a large part of a Touch for Health level 2 Class.  In pairs the students take five minutes or so to stick the appropriately coloured meridian on each other using sticky or surgical tape. We can now see how all the meridians look. When we all stand in a circle in meridian order we can see that the meridians run in a continuous flow, one starting where the previous one ends. We can also clearly see the colour patterns, the Yin and Yang aspects and so many other features at a glance. This is a really simple example of how a fun activity can really enhance learning. Students soon find it all falling in to place and easy to grasp without much effort – but lots of tape!

Naturally, all the information is then reinforced in other ways, particularly for the auditory learners and those who would like to take notes to ensure that all learning styles are catered for.

The possibilities for playful learning within the TFH synthesis are enormous. I encourage everyone to tap in to their creative selves not only in class but also when they begin to help friends and family to reach their goals and improve their health. Being creative intrinsically results in being open to the possibilities - which is what TFH is all about!

Books and Resources

Books and Resources

When I started out as a Kinesiologist there used to be a supplier in the UK run by the late Ann Holdway. When she retired she was very supportive as I began to set up my shop and I shall be eternally grateful to her for that. Initially I only sold wall charts to my students who wanted them for their study and later for their clinics. Soon other teachers began to buy from me too and the whole thing grew quite organically until before long the catalogue became quite extensive.

One thing that I really love about running this online shop now is that I get to make contact with so many practitioners and students throughout the country and the world. I have supplied materials to America, Greece, Dubai, France, Switzerland, Holland, well all over really.

I have tried to put things in the shop that are otherwise difficult to find and/or are really useful for anyone interested in Kinesiology. If there is an item that you don't see in the catalogue do get in touch and I will do my utmost to source it for you.

Expanding the Four Realms Workshop

Expanding the Four Realms Workshop

I'm very excited to tell you that the first workshop of Expanding the Four Realms was a resounding success! It was wonderful working with a great bunch of people (thanks guys!). We all really enjoyed working with the new protocols. I particularly liked how the students began to be creative with their balancing - and boy were they creative! Of course finger modes were a big hit. They add an extra dimension to a balance enabling us to get to the nub of an issue and short cut to what the body really wants. Finger modes make muscle monitoring even more exciting.

Top Tip for Emotional Stress Relief

Top Tip for Emotional Stress Relief

You know that feeling when you are  stressed out, or when the same thoughts are going round and round your head without getting anywhere? Like if you have had an argument and you keep replaying it in your mind, when you hear something horrible on the news or when you just have a worry you can't get out of your head. Well here's a fantastic tip from Level 1 Touch for Health to help you with it... It's so simple it doesn't seem possible.

Hold two points half way between your eyebrows and your hair line (or where it should be!) with either the thumb and two fingers of one had or two fingers from each hand and hold them very gently with only a slight tugging of the skin. While you are doing this think about the issue and you'll see that before long your mind begins to wander and you can't think of it any more - which is strange because a moment ago you couldn't think of anything else! The problem isn't resolved (now that would be a miracle) but the emotional stress has been released.

Actually this isn't rocket science. If you think about it these are the points we hold or rub when we are particularly stressed out so we already know how to do this. In Touch for Health they are called the Emotional Stress Release points - and they do exactly what it says on the tin!

Spring is in the air

Spring is in the air

Spring is finally here - I think... As I write it's actually cold windy and raining heavily. However, I will not be put off! The warm spring weather will return by the end of the week. Spring is a wonderfully productive time of year. It's the time when all the plans we have been mulling over during the winter slowly begin to blossom just as all the buds which appeared on the trees during the colder months now begin to burst in to life. I started thinking about building a new website this winter and here I am in spring putting the final touches on it, writing my first blogs and reaching out in to the big wider world.

I learned so much about the seasons and how they connect to the Chinese 5 Elements in Touch for Health Metaphor training and it makes perfect sense as a way of explaining the rhythms of life. It also releases me from the need to be productive during the winter months. For me Spring is a time to bring out my ideas while the summer is about enjoying the fruits of my labours. So I'm off to put this finishing touches on my website so that I can enjoy the sunshine and the garden in the height of the summer!

If you want to learn more about the TFH Metaphors and you have completed levels 1 and 2 of the TFH Foundation join my next Metaphors class on 25th and 26th September

Balance

Balance

I have been thinking a lot about balance lately. Why do I call a consultation a balance? Well, it's all about balance isn't it? Nothing is 'wrong' or 'negative'. Everything has it's place, everything has a value. Everything needs to be in balance. Following the ancient principles of yin and yang we cannot have the positive without the counter balance of the negative. Look at the yin and yang symbol. The two sides are co-dependent. Without each other they cannot survive. In practical terms this means that any negative emotion should be respected and honoured, no matter how unpleasant, for doing so can only bring about balance. The trick is to not stay in a negative state. To allow the energy to ebb and flow, to move forward.

In my clinic I often see people experience a whole range of emotions during a session. From anger to grief to fear to joy and back again. All of them revealing themselves at the appropriate moment. They come and they go and in welcoming them in an equilibrium is soon found and the Yin and Yang elements soon find harmony again.