Last month, we posted a blog about ‘team resilience’ following the launch of the Liverpool University Hospital’s Culture Awareness Programme for LUHFT Leaders. If you missed it, you can read it by clicking here.
As well as ‘team resilience’ one of the other learning outcomes from the Culture Awareness Programme is the importance of self-care.
Last Friday, we welcomed an international leading authority in Authentic Indian Head Massage, Kush Kumar. Kush very kindly accepted an invitation to gift his time to work with staff across the Trust offering a workshop on an Introduction to Indian Head Massage.
To paraphrase Ghandi, he said that it was important to meditate one hour everyday unless you were busy, then you should meditate for two hours.
Indian Head Massage, as you would expect from the name, originated in Indian and dates back thousands of years. Based on India’s Ayurvedic culture, it is a combination of gentle and deep tissue massage techniques that targets the head, neck, shoulders, and face to promote relaxation, release tension and reduce stress. It achieves this through working on the body’s mental, physical and emotional states.
The aim of the session was to gift staff with the ability to do the basic self-care on themselves, family and friends - and so those that attended were in for a real treat!
Kush (incidentally, Kush means happy and Kumar means prince) was taught Indian Head Massage by his grandfather at the age of 6 and has been learning, and teaching, ever since. His work as CEO of the Think Tree Hub takes him into universities, colleges and private institutions all over the world.
Kush, said: “When I was asked to gift my time to deliver a couple of sessions for staff I was only too pleased to do so. I am well aware of how difficult these last couple of years have been for NHS staff all over the country; and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.
“Making time for yourself is important, even more so when you are busy and under pressure. To paraphrase Ghandi, he said that it was important to meditate one hour everyday unless you were busy, then you should meditate for two hours. Of course, that isn’t practical in a fast-moving NHS environment, but during the session I was able to demonstrate how different you can feel by just taking a few minutes out, to close your eyes and to focus on breathing.
“The simple practical techniques I demonstrated promotes psychological and emotional good health. What’s more, it is even better if staff use these techniques to care for each other. It promotes teamwork too.”
One of the valuable lessons I took from the session is that it is important to be mindful of yourself, otherwise you run the risk of burnout.
One of the staff members that attended was St Paul’s staff nurse, Maria Wilson. She said: “It’s all too easy to put everyone and everything before yourself when you are rushed off your feet; however, one of the valuable lessons I took from the session is that it is important to be mindful of yourself, otherwise you run the risk of burnout. You can’t help others if you are not in the right place.
“I honestly didn’t think I would be given the time to attend, but I am so grateful that my managers allowed me. Even walking into the room at the start of the session my mind was back in clinic. I felt tense. However, by the end of the session I was so relaxed and ready for the rest of the day.”
We would like to thank Kush and our amazing volunteer therapists who helped on the day for making our staff feel special and cared for.
If you would like to know more about Kush and his company, click here.