The Shiatsu Guy Presents… Aimee Hartley – Transformational Breathwork

the shiatsu guy podcast - aimee hartleyWelcome to Episode Three of The Shiatsu Guy Presents… Podcast! With Aimee Hartley


In this episode Simon interviews Aimee Hartley, a transformational breathwork facilitator and yoga instructor, about her discovery of transformational breathwork and her journey with the breath. Including breathing as a practice, the forthcoming breathing revival and her personal mission to transform schools!

You can download the podcast episode fromiTunes and Stitcher Radio or play right here in the browser

If you enjoy the podcast please subscribe, share with your friends and colleagues and if you feel so inclined we’d really appreciate a review!


Links for the book we discussed in this episode:

Perfect Breathing: Transform Your Life One Breath at a Time by Al Lee and Dan Campbell




How to find or get in touch with Aimee

The Breathing Room –

Inspiration Space –


The Shiatsu Guy Presents… Podcast is un-sponsored by you!

We’ve decided to keep the podcast sponsor and ad free by utilising Patreon as a way for our listeners to pledge their support to the project!

Patreon is a bit like crowd funding for artistic projects, you can pledge as much or as little as you want, starting from as little as $1 per month or per episode and you can even decide to cap your contribution at a monthly max…

If you’d like to support The Shiatsu Guy Presents… Podcast you can pledge your support at


Many thanks in advance!

Please leave any comments or suggestions below

The Shiatsu Guy Presents… The Podcast

**It’s LIVE!!! Launch date was the 1st of April 2016!!**


I’ve been a keen consumer of podcasts for some time now and have become inspired to start my own… So a new project for 2016 is to launch my very own Podcast!The Shiatsu Guy Presents podcast

It will be a health and wellbeing podcast with a slant towards the business side of being a therapist or health professional.  The plan is to share people’s personal journeys of how they found their path, what they’ve learned and where they’re going…

I already have a number of interviews lined up and have a growing list of people I would love to feature!

If you’d like to be featured please see the bottom of this post…

The plan is to launch on the First of March 2016 with a number of episodes recorded and ready to go!

So at the moment I’m busy getting everything set up at the backend, scheduling interviews, fine tuning my questions, getting to grips with the technology, the technique and the finer aspects of the concepts I want to explore.

My guests will generally be interviewed on an audio only Skype call unless they are local Londoners and want to do an in-person interview instead.

And I will also be including some shorter episodes where I explore a specific topic, give an over view or review of something that I use and value myself… I’ve got some ideas but working out what exactly will be part of the journey!


The Shiatsu Guy Presents - podcastFuture Podcast Guests…

This will be an audio only Podcast exploring the SuperStars of the Natural Health Field!

My guests will require basic equipment such as this headset and mic:

Or if they want to go really high quality, this bad boy:


A decent broadband connection is also essential…

If you’d like to be interviewed please outline what you do and pop an email over to

And if you’d just like to listen then please subscribe to updates from this blog so that you get sneak peaks in advance, find out first when we launch as well as getting regular updates!


I’m quite nervous pressing the publish button but here goes!

Can Meditation and Yoga Help Relieve Social Anxiety?

This is a guest post by Dan Fries:

Dan Fries is a science writer and published author in the field of translational oncology. Dan’s work has been featured in journals such as Cancer Discovery and Cancer Research. His contribution is exploring the natural health approach to relieve social anxiety and panic attacks. Find out more about Dan’s mission at 


Have you ever felt a cramping sensation in your gut or beads of sweat forming on your forehead when you enter a room full of people? Clearly, anxiety is killing your professional as well as social life. Fear, stress and anxiety are in the driver’s seat and you end up being a passenger who is traveling into the depths of the unknown.

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown” – H.P. Lovecraft.

Yoga and Meditation to beat social anxietyThis quote tells us that it is normal to have slight fear, as it is in human nature to be afraid of unforeseen circumstances. But you need to be focused, disciplined and dynamic to overcome and fight this fear. The problem begins when this fear becomes intimidating and persistent, and starts to take control of your everyday life.

Slowly this leads to anxiety disorder, worry, a state of overly-uneasiness, etc. which if left unchecked can require medical treatment. That is where yoga and meditation can help. Of course, yoga and meditation alone are unlikely to be your only treatment options. Both of them should sync with each other and then only after consulting a specialist or a doctor. The medical practitioner can guide and help you to know what kind of anxiety disorder you are having – OCD, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), to name a few.

Symptoms of Social Anxiety

  • Having obsessive and uncontrolled thoughts related to past traumatic experiences
  • Feeling uneasy, scared and panicky
  • Tendency to repeatedly wash hands
  • Waking up from frequent nightmares
  • Having problems getting sound sleep
  • Sweating hands and feet
  • Frequent heart palpitations

Relieving Social Anxiety Through Yoga

The regular practice of yoga can assist you in staying relaxed and calm in your day-to-day life. It can give you the energy for facing events as and when they occur without being restless. The practice of yoga consists of a complete package of body postures (asanas) and breathing techniques (pranayamas).

Yoga Postures for the relief of Social Anxiety

Yoga postures or asanas can help in getting a healthy body and mind. Stress and negativity are released from the system through the following postures –

  • Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
  • Shirshasana (Headstand)
  • Janu Shirsasana (One-Legged Forward Bend)
  • Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
  • Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
  • Marjariasana (Cat Stretch)
  • Setubandhasana (Bridge Pose)
  • Hastapadasana (Standing Forward Bend)
  • Paschimottanasana (Two-Legged Forward Bend)
  • Adhomukha Shavasana (Downward Facing Dog)

Once you’ve finished the yoga postures, you need to lie down so that your body and mind can get a few minutes of relaxation. This flushes out the toxins in the body which are the major cause of stress for your biological system.

Breathing Exercises to relieve Social Anxiety

Proper breathing techniques can help free your mind from unwanted clutter and thoughts. This avoids the breeding of anxiety and keeps the mind fresh. You can try the following breathing methods –

  • Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows Breathing Technique)
  • Kapalbhati Pranayama ( Skull-Shining Breathing Technique)
  • Bhramari Pranayama (Bee Breathing Technique)
  • Nadi Shodhan Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing)

Meditating Your Way To A Relaxed Mind

meditation for anxiety and stressMeditation is a great technique for relaxing a mind which is distracted. It provides a sense of peace and calm. You can observe that with daily practice your mind gets involved with petty and insignificant things. Plus, meditation can help you to avoid worrying or getting anxious about the unforeseen future.

You will most likely be familiar with the term ‘adrenalin rush’. This occurs when you are too anxious or scared about a potential threat. For example, at the time of an adventure ride, your adrenalin levels would be higher than usual, leading to a faster heartbeat. It could also make your muscles tense and your body sweat profusely.

Various scientific researchers have shown that regular practice of meditation can lower the stress hormones. A study was conducted by the Department of Psychology of the Standard University for the participants of social anxiety disorder. They underwent a two-month meditation training which resulted in reducing their anxiety and transforming their thoughts to a more positive outlook.

Supplements For Controlling Stress And Relieving Anxiety

Did you know supplements are one of the best options for taking control of your anxiety and stress? You could, for instance, try the nootropic supplement of Phenibut, which is available in tablet as well as powder form. This supplement is not only safe; it has already been used by people for several decades. Phenibut is a derivative of the brain chemical GABA but is able to pass the blood-brain barrier more effectively, it is one of the most significant neurotransmitters in the human body. It effectively calms the hormones related to anxiety and stress and brings a positive change to the mood and confidence of the user.

Summing It Up

Social anxieties and stress can be traumatic and create majorly off-putting experiences in your life. With the regular practice of yoga and meditation, you can minimise the negatives and hopefully kick them out of your life. However, if they are still persistent in your life, you can take mood and memory enhancing supplements to counter their ill-effects and reduce it safely and gradually. So go ahead and enjoy a stress-free life!


Thank you to Dan Fries for this guest blog post!


If you have suffered in the past or currently suffer from stress and social anxiety we would love to hear about how you’ve managed to relieve it. Have you been successful using meditation and yoga or other types of natural therapies, or have you been successful in taking supplements to cope?

Please leave a comment below, we love to hear from our readers!


The Differences between Northern and Southern Style Thai Yoga Massage

“The body is precious. It is our vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care”. As quoted by one of the greatest people of all time, Gautama the Buddha.

The Buddha has, in his own way, been a part of how Thai Yoga Massage was developed and evolved over the centuries.

But before we explore the different styles of Thai Massage, let’s look a little more deeply into its origin.

Thai Yoga Massage’s roots lie in India and the flower bloomed in Thailand. Jivaka Kumar Bhacca is the founding father, and is now known in Thailand as the Father of Medicine. An Ayurvedic doctor renowned for his knowledge of herbal medicine, his exceptional medical skWat Pho - Thai Massageills and for providing medical care to important people during his day, including the Buddha himself.

While Thai Yoga massage’s principles came from the Buddhist schools, its basic practices and techniques evolved in India, China, Thailand and South East Asia and have since spread throughout the West over the past 20 years or so.

Within Thailand two distinct forms evolved, giving us its two main styles, Southern and Northern Thai massage.

For us to be able to fully appreciate these two styles, we’ll first look at their similarities and then their differences.

First, Southern and Northern styles both recognise Jivaka Kumar Bhacca as its founding father, originated in India along with Buddhism, some 2500 years ago.

Second, both styles came from two elements. The ‘Royal Style’ and ‘Common Style’ of Ancient Thai massage.

The Royal style is called ‘Nuat Rajchasumnak’, meaning; providing the receiver with great respect and courtesy by the practitioner.

The other, which is the Common Style is called ‘Nuat Chaloeyseuk’, meaning; manipulate tense and tight muscles due to intense labour occupations.

Wat Pho - Thai Yoga Massage - Sen LinesAnd last, they both include combinations of stretches and muscle manipulation as well as giving pressure to the 72,000 Thai Sen lines and energy points of the body.

Now for the differences between the Northern and Southern styles of Thai Yoga Massage

The Southern style is known as “Folk Thai Massage”, it is taught in Wat Pho temple in Bangkok and its has been largely influenced by Chinese medicine. As a result it’s more focused on the powerful work on energy lines and pathways, opening energy channels and giving deep Chinese acupressure. A good invigorating choice for someone who wants to feel strong and be full of energy.

While the Northern style is known as “Royal Thai Massage”, mainly taught in Chiang Mai and has a greater Indian influence. Unlike the Southern style, it has more of a focus on slow, yogic stretching techniques and done in a gentle rhythm way found in Ayurveda and Yoga. Perfect for those who want to unwind and relax after a long day of hard work, or to release tension from tight muscles.

Depending on the receiver’s needs and personality, both styles have their own unique and special way of conditioning the body and providing relief for muscular tensions, stress and body pains due to overactivity.

Simon studied the Northern style of Thai Yoga Massage at Muditha Thai Yoga school, but the southern style shares some similarities with Japanese Shiatsu Massage.

If you’ve enjoyed this blog post please see our two other posts on Thai Yoga massage, specifically the benefits for Office Workers and for Sports People.

Please comment below and share you’re experience a if Thai Yoga Massage. Perhaps you’ve visited Wat Pho temple or received Thai Yoga massage yourself.

Please subscribe to keep up with future blog posts

Thai Yoga Massage TestimonialI felt refreshed and relaxed for days after the massage

I had a 90 minute full body Thai Yoga Massage from Simon and I felt very relaxed all the way through the session. First of all the room was set up well, it was warm and relaxing music was playing. He made sure I was comfortable and relaxed.  I really enjoyed the experience and made my painful knee much better by applying careful massage around the area. My neck and shoulders felt much better the next day, and overall I felt refreshed and relaxed for days after the massage. I can highly recommend Simon, he knows what he is doing!!

Andrea T London. UK

Yoga in South East London – Sydenham and Forest Hill

Vinyasa Flow Yoga in Honor Oak Park
New Vinyasa Flow Yoga Class in Honor Oak Park with Francesca

Yoga in South East London – Sydenham and Forest Hill

If you’re interested in looking after your physical and mental wellbeing, there isn’t much that comes close to a good Yoga session! (other than a Shiatsu of course)

There are a growing number of excellent yoga teachers holding a variety of yoga classes in South East London.  Below is a list of local yoga classes in SE23 and SE26

New Vinyasa Flow Yoga Class in Honor Oak Park

Possibly the first Vinyasa Flow class in the SE London area is with Francesca at the Honor Oak Pub on Monday evenings from 6.45 until 8pm.

The first class is free and you can get a discount for block booking your classes.

Vinyasa Flow Yoga seems to have come from nowhere to be an increasingly popular style, known for it’s flowing form (as the name implies). So if you haven’t tried it out yet then now is your chance, before the classes get too full!

email: to ask any questions or to book in your first yoga class.

Four Highly Recommended Teachers:

Kate McKenzie – Yoga

kate mckenzie yoga teacher,singer & performer. healing,creativity and discovering true potential through sound and yoga classes are informed by an eclectic 


Group yoga classes in Sydenham, London SE26. … “I think you’re one of the best yoga teachers I’ve come across and your precision and attention to detail is …


Yoga SE23 SE26
Yoga Classes in Forest Hill and Sydenham, South East London

Bright Yoga – Home
A relatively new yoga teacher to the area, offering a range of classes and styles in convenient locations. Styles include: Hatha, Vinyasa Flow and Dynamic power yoga, all with a focus on technique, moving from one pose to the other… generally keeping things dynamic and flowing

Yoga in South East London – SE23 Forest Hill, Honor Oak, Sydenham.  YogaClasses in Forest Hill, Honor Oak & East Dulwich 


07868 740 419



Anna Ranprem, Anna Browne, Kundalini Yoga, South East London My name is Anna Ranprem and I teach Kundalini Yoga in Forest Hill, London. Kundalini …

Other Yoga teachers and classes in South East London


Yoga in Forest Hill. THURSDAYS. 7.00 – 8.30 pm – Mixed Ability. Friends Meeting House. 34 Sunderland Road Forest Hill London SE23 2QA see a map of the …


Iyengar yoga classes in South London, improve flexibility, stamina and sense of well being.

St Georges church, Vancouver Road, forest hill, London SE23 2AP

07809 758244


Oaktree Yoga is based in Honor Oak Park and Forest Hill (close to Catford and Sydenham), South London SE23 (close to SE6 and SE26) offering ashtanga …


Rachel is an Astanga Vinyasa, Vinyasa Flow, Hatha yoga teacher and Sport and Remedial Massage Therapist, based in South-East London with classes in …

Forest Hill Methodist Church

Normanton Street, London SE23 2DS

07887 601111


Private practise (One to One Yoga) at home: Border Road, Sydenham SE26 Do call or email to book or for more information.


Feb 22, 2013 – The Sydenham & Forest Hill Community Yoga Association are now …Cathy Tincknell also has classes in Penge on a Saturday morning.


Yoga classes are available at LA fitness Sydenham. Discover the updated studio timetable here and try us today!


Purna Yoga London offers asana classes, workshops, retreats teacher trainings, privates, nutrition guidance, meditation, philosophy and a whole lot of joy!


Weekly Hatha Yoga class in Forest Hill, every Monday 19:30-20:45, at f h space. …Junction, as well as the new East London Overground line go to Forest Hill.

9 Havelock Walk

London SE23 3HG

07977 968887

Yoga is great for helping manage a range of physical conditions, improving strength and flexibility, releasing tight muscles, calming the mind, improving sleep and generally boosting your health and energy levels.

If you’re new to yoga it’s a good idea to try out a few classes or different styles of yoga to find out which suits you best and to find a teacher whose teaching style fits with your preferred learning style.  Hopefully the list above will give you a bit of a start in finding a great yoga class in South East London.

Yoga Sydenham and Forest Hill
It’s a great idea to support your Yoga Practice with Shiatsu treatments

Shiatsu for Yogis and Yoginis

If you’d like to support your yoga practice then Shiatsu can be a great way to do that. Shiatsu massage can help your body adapt to the new exercises, increase flexibility, deal with past injuries more quickly (sometimes our bodies need to manifest old injuries before we can move through and resolve them) calm your mind and get rid of stress.

You might like to try a Shiatsu massage when you first start yoga or when you come back to yoga after a break, to help your body adapt to the new movements.  Shiatsu is great for helping with musculo-skeletal issues, such as fallen arches, misalignment, scoliosis, twists in the spine, muscle imbalances and referred pain due to injuries or weaknesses.

Or if you’re pushing your yoga to the next level Shiatsu can help to improve your flexibility by safely stretching beyond where you can take yourself (we all have different kinds of resistance even if we should be physically able to get there) by releasing tension in the muscles as well as adhesions in the connective tissue.

Yoga is like a physical ‘Psycho-Analysis’ and Shiatsu can help with the reflection and resolution.

You might just want a one-off Shiatsu, occasional maintenance treatments or regular sessions depending on your budget, time constraints and what you’re facing in your work, life-style and physical/emotional/energetic health.

Whatever your needs Shiatsu can provide the support and nurturing you require!

If you’d like to have a shiatsu with me (Simon, The Shiatsu Guy) you can contact me on 07951 621 308 or

I have clinics in 4 London locations and I can do home visits in Forest Hill and Sydenham (Crystal Palace and Honor Oak too… and South East London in general usually works. but I might have to charge a wee bit for travel)

So give me a call today for a free consultation!