Evidence-Based Body & Mind Treatments
For Persistent Pain, Anxiety, Stress and Trauma Relief
£50 per hour (concessions available if you’re on a low income)
‘I met Spike for my anxiety problems. I appreciated her emphasis on building the feeling of safety and stability alongside the tension release. It struck me straight in the middle of the first session: I suddenly felt safe! It was so important not to focus only on the trauma release but also building new safe ways.’ – Helena
‘I liked Spike’s gentle, caring and intuitive approach. She clearly has got a lot of experience and I feel confident to recommend her to anyone who wants to work with not only trauma but also learn about how to tune better to the body. I think this can potentially be a life-changing opportunity and I am so happy I gave it a go.’ – H A, London
Body and Mind Treatments for Persistent Pain, Anxiety, Stress and Trauma
Massage can provide a useful short term fix for nagging pain and stress, but if you’re looking for longer term solutions to create more ease and vitality in your mind and body, we can work together using a number of other evidence-based approaches to bring relief.
The main aim of these sessions is to regulate your nervous system and to give you strategies to soften and release distressing symptoms, as well as tools to grow more inner resources and a lasting sense of wellbeing. Your nervous system is highly adaptive, no matter what has overwhelmed you, and no matter for how long. We’ll begin by identifying what it is that you want to change, and how you would like to feel. A first session often includes some initial information relevant to your needs, such as a brief explanation of over and under-activation in your nervous system, which is a key component in understanding anxiety and overwhelm, or a chat about current pain research, which is also immensely hopeful.
Then, depending on your preferences, we’ll explore a number of resources. These could include positive neuroplasticity practices; lighter or deeper touch treatment, tension release exercise and/or body mapping to help you tune into your own unique nervous system patterning and to discover ways to bring it into more balance. See below under ‘Key Methods’ for more information on approaches I use. Sometimes clients have a clear idea of what they’d like to learn or experience in a session; at other times we’ll simply follow what’s most alive in your mind, body and emotions on the day. You can either just book one stand-alone session, or a series of sessions. Many people find that a series of 4-6 sessions gives them a good basis for change.
‘Spike is very in tune with the body and nervous system, and also has such a depth of understanding around the brain, mental health and how it all links with the body in a way that I have not experienced with other practitioners.’ – Joy B.
TRE® (Tension, Trauma and Stress Releasing Exercises):
David Berceli’s Tension Releasing Exercises are a remarkable tool to release chronic tension and anxiety. The exercises are suitable for most people, and the natural tremors can help with persistent pain, overwhelm and insomnia as well as simple day to day stresses and strains. I am a Certified TRE® Provider. See TRE College for more information on this amazing technique.
‘Can TRE help with pain? The experience of the TRE community is a resounding yes.’ – Steve Haines, TRE College
‘Neuroplasticity’ is the term for new connections being made in your nervous system. Research shows that good habits of thinking, feeling, moving and behaving promote beneficial, positive changes in the structure and function of your neurons: the better we feel, the more sensitised we become to feeling better. We can learn to get good at feeling good!
‘Internalizing positive experiences, pausing for one or two dozen seconds to sustain, open to, and absorb ordinary experiences of gratitude, accomplishment, or caring will literally change your brain over time. Yes, you have to do the work – but it’s a sweet job! And it takes only a few minutes a day.’ Dr Rick Hanson
I received Professional Training in Positive Neuroplasticity from Dr Rick Hanson (author of ‘Buddha’s Brain: the Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom’) and I continue to study this simple but profound technique. The key aims of positive neuroplasticity are to learn how to take in more of the good, to build inner resources and resilience, and ultimately to change how your brain works in order to create a more lasting and fundamental sense of wellbeing.
‘A strong, refined, detailed and coordinated representation of information from any given region of your body is, by its fundamental nature, anti-pain.’ Michael Merzenich
Learning how to feel safer in your body, more grounded, stable and content, is an essential element of my approach, no matter whether your pain is emotional or physical. I will offer you simple, pleasurable practices that will build resources and give you ways to stay calm and connected even through the toughest times. Together we can explore how your brain is currently mapping your body, and how to refresh the signals to create a richer, more nuanced and ultimately healthier experience of yourself.
‘Our bodies know they belong; it is our minds that make our lives so homeless.’ – John O’Donohue
I trained with NOI Group in approaches to persistent pain; with Dr Rick Hanson in Positive Neuroplasticity; with Steve Haines in Tension, Stress and Trauma Release Exercise (TRE), and with Ralf Marzen in Embodied Trauma Healing. Several other practitioners working at the cutting edge of neuroscience, biomechanics and trauma relief have also provided additional training and mentoring to me throughout my practice. I only use techniques that I have found to be effective both for myself and my clients, and that are grounded in evidence from neurophysiology, which ensures they have a sufficiently robust rationale.
My background in adult education, mental health awareness workshop delivery, yoga teaching, meditation and advanced bodywork all contribute to my approach. But I have also experienced severe anxiety, overwhelm, and shock and developmental trauma myself. I’ve been through the fire, and these days I’m largely healed as a result of the techniques I now share with my clients. Alongside my essential skills and experience, it is this insight through experience and awareness of our shared humanity that I believe is the most helpful and crucial component I bring to the work.
‘It is not our expertise, but rather the wisdom gained from our own suffering, vulnerability and healing that enables us to be of real assistance to others.’ – Frank Ostaseski
‘Sessions with Spike have been more impacting on my well-being than I could have imagined. The first session I arrived for TRE (Tension Release Exercise) I was in a really dysregulated state. Spike made me feel understood and at ease right away, and by the end of the session I felt so safe in my own body, I wanted to cry tears of relief.’ – JB
‘I called Spike a magician on our third session, as just her presence and getting me to become more embodied brought me to a completely different – more pleasant and regulated state.’ – Anon
‘What I especially love about the TRE® (Tension, Stress and Trauma Release Exercise) I learned with Spike, is you can quickly and easily do the exercises on your own, and the benefits are felt very quickly.’ – E Longfield.
‘I would highly recommend Spike to anyone looking for support around physical and mental health needs.’ – K Bailey
‘You were a massive godsend when I was very unwell, and feeling very vulnerable. Thank you.’ – M Thompson.
‘I had one session of body work with Spike after a bad period of insomnia and have slept really well ever since! It was so nice to feel supported and it also helped to soothe my anxiety too. Highly recommended!‘ – E Vallerini, Hastings.