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Alzheimer's disease: Music, meditation may improve early cognitive decline

So this month I did some Dementia Training with Walsall Council and A Company called Mindful Gifts who specialise in gifts for people with Dementia.  

I found it a heart wrenching yet hopeful piece of training.  It highlighted how horrific an illness it is, but also how many new ideas are helping support people with Dementia and their families.

I was even more inspired to come across this article as I have been working with Music as a source of healing and inquiry these past few weeks!

See below for more...

Meditation and music listening programs have shown promise in improving measures of cognitive and memory in adults with subjective cognitive decline, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.





Man Beats Depression Medication With Meditation


Man Beats Depression Medication With Meditation

Story about a man who fought depression with meditation rather than medication. Meditation itself is very powerful, and this is a great example. 

"he now lives his life medication free thanks to the mental peace he achieves through meditation. He says years ago he was able to stop taking his depression meds when he discovered the ancient mindfulness practice..."

Click Here For Full Article

To find out more about meditation and how Cherish Healing can help you, click here...



Bridget Jones's Baby: 5 tips to stop baby envy

Oh Bridget


Last night I fell asleep feeling like a piece of crap.  I just closed the door after saying good night to my boyfriend and burst into tears soon as I new he was out of earshot.


I have just come out of a year riddled with countless days of depression.  I’ve been feeling good lately and thought I was I was free.  But last night my black dog paid me a visit. 


At the time I tried to find the thread of how and why it was triggered.  But it’s a bit like trying to remember a dream once you wake up.  The harder you try the more elusive that thread becomes.


I’ve got a few ideas. 


One is the watching of Bridget Jones as she gets pregnant and ultimately makes a huge transition in a life that has revolved around dating, dieting and drinking.


Bridget is loveable because she is us.  The damage, the quest for love, the career and the lies we tell ourselves in pursuit of a happy and fulfilled life.


Although I’m not 43, I’m 36 and similarly many friends are married, with the house, children and it stresses me out when I think about it. Deeply.


In my blue periods I may not sit around drinking wine to emotional love songs, I mainly hide under my duvet with Netflicks.  But the pain, shame and temporary releases are not that far off.


Persistent negative thoughts can include the fear of leaving things too late and subsequent  problematic births, or in fact no pregnancy at all.  As a woman born into an Indian household motherhood is all I have seen.  I know from my other ‘spinster’ friends that to be a happy human woman is not defined by children or men.  In fact it’s adventure that drives these women, thank god for friends like these.


Jealousy and Envy are the too foes I hand my control over to at times.  It’s something I am quite ashamed of, but my awareness about this helps me manage a tiny bit better.  I often tell myself that things may look peachy on the outside but there is always more to the picture than those perfect social media posts and hash tags.


How I make peace with this, is that I don’t.  It’s like a longing that is sometimes thumps quite deeply in my chest, or other times it pulses along.  I give myself permission to grieve this life when it’s loud and take joys in the freedom in my spinsterhood by following my dreams instead.


One of those dreams is to connect with people who are feeling bad and help them feel better, simply put.



So if you are ‘on the shelf’ (what a horrible term) remembering you life has incredible value, capacity for many adventures yet to come and to fuck what the movies tell you - create your own story!


Top 5 tips for marriage/child envy


1)   Listen to a YoutTube of a baby crying and realise you don’t have to deal with that

2)   Remind yourself your dreams/bucket lists and start action planning them

3)   Let the sadness be its ok acceptance of what is going on knowing ‘this too shall pass’

4)   Watch animals, the freedom of a bird in the sky or the way cats stroll around as if the devil may care.  The animal kingdom has so much wisdom to offer us

5)   Keep yourself physically fit; if you do want children this is a good way to start investing in them, looking after you is the number one priority. It’s not Selfish it’s Self care people!



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Holidaying with Anxiety

So this year I have had 2 holidays.

One with the boyfriend and the other with a friend (and her friends). Both lovely and hard as hell.  

The fact that you are on holiday sometimes feels a bit backwards, that you should automatically enjoy yourself because it's a holiday, because thats the idea right? You may see holidays as an escape  from stress, but when the holiday becomes the source of stress then what?  

This is living with anxiety and depression. The fun never stops.  

I have been 'there', and have mined some gems to share with you.

1) Choose your travel partner well. Do you like to plan, or are you more spontaneous?

I get a serious case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) when traveling, so planning a little helps me deal with this.  A little research can go a long way.  For those who are more spontaneous a new set of possibilities can arise, be sure to match your travel partners well. This way at best you can come to a compromise if they differ BEFORE HAND, so that each persons expectations are managed and best met. 

2) Let the people know your state

Things are getting better but I still find it hard to share my beautiful truth. My name is Preya and I experience depression, anxiety and worse. By letting the lead organiser know, they can keep in mind certain aspects of triggers when planning. They may also understand if at times you need a little time for yourself, without causing a big issue. I have a traffic light system, Green - I'm ok, Amber - I'm not, and Red - things are not good at all.  This scale helps me internally track my emotions, and if I need self soothing and help I'll do my best whist in amber to stop the downward spiral to Red. 

3) Find some alone time - Holiday's can get intense at times 

Whilst on the epic 80 mile coastal walk I found time to walk at my own pace, and also dip out at times where I felt too challenged or tired. I totally honoured this feeling.  Alone time can take many forms, often when folks would be hitting social spaces, I'd take an early night and listen to podcasts. 

4) Take some time to meditate 

Guided meditation on YouTube, a lovely view or even at the foot of your bed in a quite space whilst others are out.  Where ever, and however you can find yourself some time to check in , warm up , and meditate.   Here is a meditation playlist that may help

5) Self soothing tools

For me lavender on my pillow, podcasts, raw energy bars are a few!  What kind of self care tips help you whilst on holiday? To give you an example - lavender on a tissue, on top of my pillow helps with the constant changing of beds.  It makes me think of babies who have their blankey, what ever works for you.                                                                                                                                                                                

 6) Hydrate and try to sleep well.

These are oldies but goodies...


If you have any other holiday calm tips or ideas please post below!

Signing off for now, 

Preya x


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Yoga May Be The Medicine Aboriginal Communities Have Been Looking For


Yoga May Be The Medicine Aboriginal Communities Have Been Looking For

A lovely article that shows that yoga is for everybody and has lasting benefits for those who practice it..

"One night, “a spark went off” in his head. “I didn’t have the courage to kill myself, but I didn’t have the strength to live,” Terrance told The Huffington Post Canada in an interview. “I thought ‘OK, I need to do something about this.’" Terrance was...."

Click Here For Full Article


Yoga saved my life: three people share their stories


Yoga saved my life: three people share their stories

Three lovely stories that tell us how yoga has helped people in life..

"At a time of difficulty last year I found comfort in yoga. I went through a period of torturous insomnia that left me wide awake every night until 3am, begging for my brain to switch off. I’d heard that yoga could help so started going to a local class. Immediately, I felt better. I loved how slow and methodical it was, and the fact that teachers discussed mindful and positive thinking. These were all things I’d heard little about before. Gradually, as I de-stressed and learned to relax, my sleep improved. I even used to go through the poses in my head before bed, which always helped me drift off..." 

Click Here For Full Article



How to support a friend who is struggling with their mental health

It's great to be able to help people going through a hard time, and it can be painful to watch the ones you love suffer be it with a physical of mental health issue.  I came across this article and was impressed with how simple and useful it is. I hope you manage to gain from it too.


My lovely Twitter friend Marian sent me the kindest message the other day, ending with this postscript. I cried. This is someone who truly understands! Personally, I find that my anxiety robs me of all perspective, and an unanswered message can send me into a total tailspin. If someone has taken the the time to think of me, failing to answer their question makes me the worst person in the world. I’ll lie awake thinking of how I couldn’t help someone with their work problem, wondering whether a PR is fuming because I’ve failed to reply to a series of emails pitching a hair-loss product, my breath becoming shallow and rapid as I realise I don’t have the words to tell a well-intentioned pal that I really, really don’t want to go for a “cheering-up bowling session”. The best way to show love and support is to get in touch and say, “I love you, I’m thinking of you, I expect nothing from you. I’ll be here when you want to talk, whether that’s tomorrow or in 10 years.”


Once upon a time, the greatest thing to give, and the worst thing to receive, was the scented candle. Then Diptyque and Cire Trudon were invented and we actively ask for candles for Christmas. The new heir to the bad-gift throne is unsolicited advice. I’m a total hypocrite, because I’m full of it. When on form, I can bore on about bars in Manhattan and haircare until you want to hit me in the face with my own Mason Pearson. But unsolicited advice about dealing with the hell in my head is the least favourite thing in the world. It’s always offered with such love but, when you’re in the depths of despair, you can’t help but feel as though someone has underestimated the problem if they think it can be solved with meditation, gratitude lists or valerian tea. When you say, “This will fix you” to someone who is suffering, to our ears it sounds like, “I cannot deal with you as you are right now.”


I come from a long line of nervous silence-fillers, so I understand how frenzied small talk often streams from us, as we try to plug a gap in a cavernous, swirling vortex of quiet. But I’ve been on the other side too and, on bad days, I feel as though I’m trapped inside Everybody’s Talkin’ by Harry Nilsson. My ears are full, I’m overwhelmed and I just want to escape to sun and sea. If you don’t know what to say to a suffering friend, you don’t need to say anything, or provide them with any activities. Just be present and wait until they’re ready to talk. (And do not suggest that you go bowling. I cannot stress that enough.)


Watching a loved one suffer is horrible and I know that my friends and family sometimes feel completely powerless because they’re not sure how to make me feel better. But I’ve been through bad patches that I haven’t even told them about and they’ve seen me through it with kindness, stupid jokes, pictures of puppies and impromptu barbecues. If you’re in someone’s life, making them laugh and feel loved, you’re helping. We’ll never be able to find enough words to tell you what that means and how grateful we are. Thank you. We love you.' 

To read full article click here





Client Contirbutor Article : Depression and Loss of Libido

Sex for most people can be a good indicator of health and balance, when things are out of kilter we are impacted in many ways.  See below for a taster of an article written by Roo First on this very personal and honest take on her experience. 

'When you’re feeling really down, sex is normally the last thing on your mind. Add certain medications into the mix, and it can be a downright no-go. I had been warned a loss of sex drive was a side effect of taking antidepressants, but I guess you never really think that the side effects are going to affect you, do you? What are the chances? 1 in 10’000? 1 in 100? 1 in 10?'

Click here for more 

If you would like to talk about how Reiki or holistic therapy may help with Depression click here and get in touch



Hope .. Along The Backwards Slippery Slope


Hope .. Along The Backwards Slippery Slope

Depression can be so lonely and feel as though you are fighting alone. However as this article shows you are not alone and here have the chance to read how other people struggle. Although at times it may feel like two steps back to make one step forward, however finding the strength and inner confidence to face this depression is the important aspect.


Cherish Relaxation CD


Cherish Relaxation CD

After much deliberation,  luckily much support from friends (and in fact requests from clients), I am proud to announce the launch of Cherish Relaxation!

This 7 track CD gives you an introduction to meditation, key points for meditating and several guided relaxation tracks.


Nature And It's Beauty


Nature And It's Beauty

Run through the leaves. Jump in muddy puddles, bathe in the sun and enjoy all aspects of nature and all its rejuvenating power of natures energy.



Power of Accupuncture



As a therapist I find it an essential to get regular treatments, keeping myself nourished is a priority and I have an open mind to practices old and new.

I hold a cherished space for 5 elements acupuncture in my heart, as it was duringsaid treatment in Australia where an eureka moment led to me changing vocations and retraining as a therapist.

To be honest it was bit of a surprised at the time.  I was working at a wellbeing retreat in Australia and I kept on hearing about 5 Elements and this amazing therapist Neal over and over, the majority of the other therapists and senior management went to him so I though what better recommendation that that?

It was only after I had booked in for this 5 elements treatment that I realized it was acupuncture. I don’t want to be a pincushion I thought, (regressing to horrors of immunisation for trips to India where as a child I’d walked out of many a surgery to avoid the dreaded jab!) Luckily Neal’s recommendations were too strong and I managed to talk myself around and had several amazing treatments.

What is5 Elements Acupuncture?


Well it’s a form of therapy that involves using needles and herbs to balance the body. ‘In Chinese philosophy the belief is that our health is dependent on the body’s motivating energy (Qi) moving through a series of channels which flow beneath our skin. It is this Qi which becomes out of balance and is corrected through the insertion of needles.’According to Chinese theory, we’re made up of the 5 Elements:Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water.

They’re our creative and controlling energies and ideally should all be in balance. Your therapist diagnoses problems by evaluating your colour, sound, odour or emotion. This enables them to put together a treatment that will treat what Element you represent. This ancient system enables the body/mind/spirit to heal itself, as far as nature will allow.

So my treatment was part of a swaps with a colleague of mine Manjeet Ark, she’s getting her end of the deal next week!

Manjeet is actually a qualified pharmacist and medically trained so it’s reassuring that she has a foot in both allopathic (western mainstream medical practices) and eastern treatment knowledge. Manjeet practices acupuncture from private clinics in Birmingham and we had shared banter a few times across the reception desk at Barefoot Birmingham where I teach meditation. We got talking about treatments and before I knew it we both had dates in the diary.

On the day I turned up and I went into the elegantly designed room, which was welcoming and began the session. I personally think to get the best out of treatments is to be as open as possible and give yourself permission to be vulnerable in trusted hands. Manjeet made me feel at ease and had a real sense of care as I share my personal and private information. From topics such as relationships, my womanly cycle down to my bowel movements!


It was insightful just to talk and to reflect, and before I new it I was on the table receiving needles to my back. Manjeet kept the conversation flowing which was a welcomed distraction from the idea that pins were being inserted into my body. Did it hurt…? Yes a bit, but hey I’m a brave lady and it was much less uncomfortable that you may think. I then had some herbs and moxibustion treatments done. This was new to me and very exciting. Just watching the smoke to the herbs flow upward and away from the body was therapeutic in itself. I also got given some moxa to work on some self-healing at home. I love treatments with a bit of sustainability and shared knowledge.


The treatment was over after more needles and chat, I felt totally fine and cared for which was lovely, feeling pretty immune to any dramatic effects of the treatment off I set.

That was until I left to pay in a cheque at the bank and pick a few things from the high street and felt myself feeling as if I was floating. It was an amazing feeling of lightness, open heartedness and deep deep calm. I got given a discount at a shop and event got asked out on date in this state! Luckily I had cleared my diary so I could rest after the treatment and had a few hours deep sleep followed by a hot yoga session to cap off my night.

All in all I feel that there are a number of ways to address your health and rebalance the body. I think the value of the treatment and consultation is massive.  Often it’s time for reflection and self care that people neglect, making a point (pardon the pun) to priorities your nourishment is super important, if you’re a therapist or not.

Seeing what you are drawn to and allowing yourself once in a while to be given a helping hand is a brilliant idea, but then again I would say that wouldn’t I ;-)

For more information on Manjeet check out her website with this link