To keep you updated on all kinds of meditation techniques and the science backing them, this blog is open for anyone to contribute!  If you'd like to write a piece for inclusion to the blog, contact Kellie here!

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Gaia Vince @ 5x15 - Hacking the nervous system

“The pathway for everyone spiritually, no matter what their religion, is through the nervous system.” 

  -  Dr. Peter Van Houten, M.D.

Neuro theology is the study of the impact that spiritual practices have on the brain and nervous system and also the influence of the brain and nervous system on the spiritual practices that we choose. One practice in particular has a profound effect on the nervous system which during recent studies has been shown to improve the symptoms of many diseases.

One evening I was sitting in bed with my partner as she was reading this book called ‘Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made’ By Gaia Vince. Which from my understanding (as I haven’t read the book yet) is a travelogue/science journal about her perspective of life on Earth and consequently our future as we enter into, what many scientists are declaring as, the Anthropocene, The Age of Man. A Highly interesting subject and judging by my girlfriends raving review I will most certainly be reading it.

Due to it being such an interesting subject I decided to google the author. I think the first link that appeared was a TEDx talk about Vagas Nerve Stimulation(VNS). The Vagas Nerve, very briefly, is one of the main ways the organs of the body communicate to the brain. There are mechanisms to explain signals traveling from the brain to the organs via the Vagas Nerve. The signal travels from the brain to the spleen; here it is converted from electrical signals to chemical. The chemical signals activate a white blood cell called the T-cell which responds by making another chemical called Acetylcholine. The Acetylcholine targets the Macrophages. Now, bare with me, we’re getting to the point… The Macrophage then makes something called Tumour Necrosis Factor(TNF). The Acetylcholine is the switch that turns off the TNF production. The over-production of TNF is the cause of many autoimmune diseases therefore learning how to flip that switch to ‘off’ is a breakthrough. We still do not know why TNF is over produced however we’re on a path to reversing the debilitating effects of over production.

VNS is a treatment for many conditions, pioneered by Dr. Kevin Tracey, MD, whereby a bioelectronic device is inserted under the skin near the Vagas Nerve thereby stimulating the nerve and enhancing the signals between brain and body.

I had never heard of Vegus Nerve Stimulation before and to my surprise within the first few seconds Gaia mentions a string of diseases including Rheumatoid Arthritis, a condition which for the past couple of years has affected my life dramatically, therefore immediately my interest is spiked. She goes on to explain a case study in which her friend has undergone this new treatment in the trial stage, which attenuated the disease severity. Then to spike my interest further meditation is mentioned, a practice which I have been interested in for years however never obtained regularity with on a day-to-day basis. What was interesting was that meditation can also stimulate the Vagas nerve and the link between VNS, Mindfulness Meditation and being able to acquire such an effective treatment through a mind-body practice. RA is one out of a long list of conditions that can be treated by stimulating the vagas nerve which include: Epilepsy, Depression, Anxiety, Diabetes, Chrones, Asthma and Ezema to name a few.

There are many health benefits attributed to meditation, it is one way in which we can obtain a healthier connection between mind and body. 12-15 minutes a day has been found to be the minimum amount of time to begin gaining benefit and will improve cognitive function within 4-6 weeks. Meditation offers a holistic way to significantly improve our physcological and physical well-being without prescribed pharmaceuticals and we should be jumping at that chance for the possibility of treating ourselves without side-effects.

So, if you’re interesting in giving meditation a try then come along to the Falmouth TM & Meditation group. You can find out about meet-ups by emailing Kellie Gilmour on or by visiting:

I will leave some links here for studies on VNS and meditation. 

Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation Modulates Default Mode Network in Major Depressive Disorder,” A study on transcutaneous Vagas Nerve Stimulation indicates a significant improvement in sufferers from depression.

Alterations in Resting State Functional Connectivity Link Mindfulness Meditation with Reduced Interleukin-6: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Mind body practices to help improve pain

Written by Reis Hinchey

Get Grounded.

We all know what it feels like to have our head in the clouds. Sometimes it can be stormy, our heads filled with anxious, racing thoughts; or perhaps you feel high on life, spinning in the dizzying heights of new dreams and ambitions that you wish to manifest.

Either way, our heads can’t stay in the clouds forever. In fact, to diminish negative thought patterns and to allow new, exciting adventures to pour into our lives, we first need to get our feet firmly on the ground. So, what does it mean to be grounded?

When you are ungrounded, you may feel anxious, tired, on edge and as if you are pushing against the flow of life. Everything you are trying to achieve may not be going your way, and you may feel as if you are hitting your head against a brick wall. On the other hand, when you are grounded you can expect to experience feelings of happiness, contentment, relaxation and be able to see and approach situations calmly and with clarity.

Furthermore, it has been found that grounding can have many health benefits. Studies have found that:

‘Grounding appears to improve sleep, normalize the day–night cortisol rhythm, reduce pain, reduce stress, shift the autonomic nervous system from sympathetic toward parasympathetic activation, increase heart rate variability, speed wound healing, and reduce blood viscosity.’ Journal of Environmental and Public Health.


So, how can we get grounded? Try this 30 second exercise you bring yourself back down to earth…

To start simply stand, bare feet, with both feet firmly planted on the floor, arms relaxed by your side. Close your eyes and imagine big, chunky tree roots growing out of the soles of your feet and into the earth below. Then, imagine these same roots growing out of your fingers and pulling you down towards the earth’s core. At the centre of the Earth, imagine a ruby red crystal, the melting, molten core pulling your body down into the ground, cradling you with its glowing warmth. Feel the pull from your fingertips, and you feet, grounding you in the here and now. You may feel a tingling sensation in your hands and feet. Try this exercise for thirty seconds at first, or longer if you wish.

When you are ready to return to your day, begin to wiggle your fingers and toes, before gently opening your eyes. How do you feel?

This technique is easy to incorporate into day to day life, and works especially well when you may feel yourself getting stressed or anxious. It is quick and simple; within thirty seconds you can bring yourself back to a much more rational mind set. You may also notice its immense physiological effects on the body, instantly slowing down a racing heart rate and giving you back your breath. So, what are you waiting for? Let your worries fall away. Grow roots, grow strong.

By Jadine Hocking for ‘Go Meditate.’


If you would like to get grounded why not pop along to Falmouth TM & Meditation Group

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Or contact Kellie Gilmour via

Free Your Body, Free Your Mind.

After a hard day at work you go home feeling tense, tired and sluggish. You started the day with a spring in your step, yet somehow the stresses of the day have left you with a slump in your shoulders. You collapse onto the sofa, cramp in your neck as you scroll through your Facebook feed and envy everyone else’s ‘perfect’ looking life.

Rewind. You finish work, and although tired, you step out into the fresh air with a spring in your step as you put in your headphones and blast your favourite upbeat, feel good playlist. You can feel the weight of the day on your shoulders, but know that you are soon to set yourself free. You bounce in the door, plug in your speakers and let the bass burst through your heart and soul.

And then you dance.

‘You dance like no one is watching.
You dance like you just don’t care.
You dance like rain has fallen,
And feel the wind flowing through your hair.
You dance as a free spirit,
You dance as a one man band,
You dance with energy flowing through your veins,
You dance as only you can.
You dance with a mind wide open,
You dance with a heart that glows,
You let go of all limitations,
And feel a stirring in your soul.
You free you body, you free your mind,
You ignite passion from inside,
And all that stress and all that worry,
Has nowhere left to hide.’

And you are free. Free from all expectations, limitations, stress, worry and strain. And most importantly, you are alive again.


Believe, it or not. This wild, playful, crazy outburst is a form of meditation. Most people think meditation is something about controlling the ‘monkey mind.’ In fact, it is the complete opposite. Meditation is about letting go of all control. Meditation is something beyond the mind.

Osho’s Nataraj meditation is exactly this. ‘Nataraj’ is the ‘energy of dance’ and this practise is based on letting go of the ego, and instead simply becoming the dance. To give this one a go, you can download the meditation music from here and try the three stages for yourself…

1. With your eyes closed, dance around for 40 minutes as if no one is watching. Do, be, feel whatever you need to, let the dance take over you.
2. Keeping your eyes closed, lie down and be silent and still for 20 minutes.
3. After the 20 minutes, get up and dance around again for 5 more minutes in celebration, liberation and joy!

A study in 2015 looked at the effect of Osho’s Nataraj meditation on stress and cortisol levels. It was found that after 21 days of Nataraj meditation, participant’s serum cortisol levels had reduced significantly. This suggests that dancing meditation produces anti-stress affects within the body. So, dancing around like a lunatic is actually good for you!

When we learn to relax, let go and get playful, we learn that life isn’t what it seems. Life isn’t about bills, paperwork, deadlines or achievements. Life is about having fun. The magic happens when you let it happen; when you stop seeing everything as a chore and you consciously choose to change your perception. And then suddenly, life becomes a breeze. You realise that you cannot change anything outside of you, but you can change you. You can change how you view the world, and in doing so, the world becomes a much brighter place.

In doing so, you start to laugh at life’s twists and turns as you realise you are simply on one big crazy, rollercoaster ride. Do you sit tense, rigid and tight lipped, constantly fighting the flow? Or do you throw your hands up in the air and say ‘hell, what a ride!?’

By Jadine Hocking for ‘go meditate!’

To find out more about how to let your hair down, why not come along to Falmouth TM & Meditation Group?

You can contact Kellie Gilmour via or visit:

Facebook: Falmouth TM & Meditation Group

The Magic of Mindful Walking

Meditation. A cross legged, ‘ohhmming’ practise right? Not entirely true. Many of us think of meditation as simply sitting quietly with our eyes shut. However this is not the case. There are many forms of meditation, each with their own list of benefits and some which will suit more than others. As summer approaches, and you’re at work gazing out at the blazing sunshine perhaps the last thing that you want to do is go home, sit down and meditate.

So, why not try walking and meditating? Also known as mindful walking or ‘Kinhin’ in Buddhist practise, this form of meditation allows you to be out in nature whilst becoming consciously aware of the environment around you - as you may have guessed we keep our eyes open for this one! To give it a go, first start by simply standing still and becoming aware of your body and how it feels. Do you feel any tension anywhere? How are your feet feeling against the ground? How is your posture?

Bring your weight into your heels and notice any subtle movements that are keeping you standing upright. Bend your knees slightly and bring your weight into your hips, making this your centre of balance. Next take a few deep breaths, allowing your belly to fully expand as you fill it with lots of lovely, fresh air.
When you are ready, begin walking at a slower pace than usual. As you walk really feel the contact your feet have with the ground… I like to think that I am ‘kissing the earth with my feet.’  With each step, feel the roll from your heel to toe and enjoy the gentle rhythm. Keep your focus soft, looking ahead and notice all the beautiful things around you. Perhaps, you see a tiny caterpillar, a tiny, glittering cobweb or something more intricate and concrete, like the multitude of artwork the cracks in the pavement create.


In fact, this practise may even be a great way to begin enjoying your commute to and from work. As your step off the train or climb out of your car, take a few deep breaths and ground yourself before starting the practise of mindfully walking to work. You may be amazed at the magnitude of marvellous discoveries you make; how many things you’ve previously been unaware of that now seem so obvious in this new state of mind. If your mind wanders to a train of thoughts at anytime, acknowledge them without judging and then simply bring your awareness back to your feet and your breath.

Not only will you begin to notice all the tiny, beautiful things that we are surrounded by in our everyday lives but there are also many benefits to this practise. Mindful walking can…

- Get you out of your head!
- Help you get to know your own body and appreciate how truly amazing it is.
- Help to slow you down, in a fast paced world.
- Improve your concentration.
- Increase your awareness.
- Improve your ability to live in the present moment.
- Connect you to your environment and the great outdoors.

It has also been scientifically shown to reduce levels of mental stress. This was shown by a study in 2011, which looked at the effect of mindful walking on psychological stress, measured by Cohen’s Perceived Stress Scale (CPSS). The results found that when compared to a control group, the group assigned to mindful walking experienced a reduction in psychological stress and an improvement in their quality of life.

So, what are you waiting for? Get outside and get walking!

I guarantee that you will come back with a smile of your face, and a bounce in your step.

Happy walking wanderers.  

Link to Research: CLICK HERE

By Jadine Hocking for ‘go meditate!’

If you are interested in finding out more about mindful walking or meditation why not come along to Falmouth TM & Meditation Group. You can contact Kellie Gilmour on for more details or visit:

Facebook: Falmouth TM & Meditation Group

Brain Waves and Meditation

Over the past few years, meditation has become increasingly popular. Is it simply because celebrities are endorsing their new ‘yogi lifestyles’ and its becoming the ‘in thing’ to do? No. There is a lot more behind this rise. With stress levels at an all time high, conventional approaches are simply masking the symptoms of toxic stress, rather than preventing it. As new scientific research continues to emerge, confirming that meditation is a ‘useful tool’ for preventing the problems associated with stress, we are realising that meditation is becoming a must. We cannot sustain mental and physical health and well-being in the environment that we have created for ourselves. It’s time to shake things up around here.

So, is meditation some ‘airy fairy, happy go lucky, hippy’ trend? No. Meditation not only alters our biochemistry and plays a huge role in the mind/body connection, but it also has the power to change our brain waves. So, what are the different types?

Firstly, there’s the gamma waves (40-100Hz). These are the fastest brain waves and are used for learning and processing information. However, too much gamma activity can lead to anxiety.

Then there are beta brain waves (12-40Hz). These are associated with our normal, everyday consciousness and when at an optimum level, we can think clearly, solve tasks and think logically.

Next there are the Alpha brain waves (8-12Hz). These are present when day dreaming and feeling relaxed. This is the frequency between our conscious and subconscious mind.

Next on the list is Theta. These brain waves are mostly present during sleep or deep mediation and include dreaming, vivid imagery and intuition.
Finally, there are delta waves, the slowest and lowest frequency (0-4Hz). These are experienced during very deep, dreamless sleep which is important for healing.


So, which meditations are doing what?

There are three main areas of meditation which are referred to in most scientific research: focused attention, open monitoring and self transcending.

Focused attention is bringing your attention to the environment around you, perhaps the temperature of the room, your breath and clearing your mind. You may have experienced this at the end of a yoga class. Research has shown during focused attention type meditation, the brain produces gamma/beta type waves.

Open monitoring is what is seen to be as the ‘mindfulness’ approach; the person disengages from interacting with thoughts and simply acknowledges their feelings, thoughts and emotions. This form of mediation is simply ‘observing’ to create calm and space, rather than getting caught up in a train of thoughts. During mindfulness type approaches, research has shown that the brain produces theta waves.

Finally, ‘self transcending’ is when we access a calm, tranquil state of mind that is present within all of us, always. Transcendental meditation is part of this category. This is when we experience deep reflection and transcendence. During this form of meditation the brain produces alpha waves.
As you can see, we have the power to put our bodies into a restful, healing state at any moment we choose. Anytime, anyplace. All we have to do is learn to tap into the power of meditation. In an interview with Bob Roth (CEO of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace), he was asked about which form of meditation is best. He stated that ‘I think that people should learn them all’ as each technique has different positive benefits to gain from.

Interestingly, learning to cultivate certain types of brain waves can even increase performance in activities such as sport and creativity. During sporting activities we start out in beta mode, but move into alpha and then eventually theta. Research into sports science has found that alpha brain waves come just before peak performance. Similarly, it has been found when we are being creative or feeling ‘in the zone,’ perhaps writing a song, doing a painting or any other artistic from it is thought that we are tapping into our theta brain waves and having a burst of what seems to be creative genius!
So, perhaps you want to improve your overall health and well-being? Prevent a build up of toxic stress before it all gets too much? Or maybe you want to unleash your inner creative spirit? I suggest you give mediation a go, and keep going until you find the one that suits you.

Link to Research:

1. CLICK HERE (brain waves) 2. CLICK HERE (sports/creativity)

By Jadine Hocking for ‘go meditate!’

If you would like to give meditation a go, why not come along to Falmouth TM & Meditation group. You can contact Kellie Gilmour at

Or visit:

Facebook: Falmouth TM & Meditation Group

What is Loving Kindness? (Metta Bhavana)

Love. They say it makes the world go round. But what is exactly is this thing we call love? For most of us, this word immediately brings up thoughts of romantic relationships; perhaps the feeling of floating through life with a new partner by your side, or more toxic feelings associated with a painful breakup. But what if we took a step back and looked at the broader picture?

Love is all around us. It could be love for a child, a friend, a colour, a song or simply loving and accepting yourself. Love is a feeling, that can be felt for just about anything or anyone. It simply sits in our heart and given the chance it can grow, expand and shine light to others. Think about it, what have you felt love for today? Have you shared this love with others?


The Loving Kindness (Metta Bhvana) meditation is a great way to plant seeds of love and compassion and begin to let these radiate through you in your everyday life. ‘Metta’ meaning ‘love’ can be cultivated (Bhavana) within your heart, and by doing so you can experience many of the positive benefits such as:

- An increase in positive and a decrease in negative emotions
- A decrease in chronic pain
- A decrease in migraines
- An increased sense of empathy
- Increased social connection
- Decreases in biological markers of ageing

So, loving kindness can have a positive impact on our emotions and our physical health? Yes. A study in 2013 looked at this link and found that positive emotions, positive social connections and physical health all affected each other in an upward spiral, hooray! In the study there were two groups: a loving-kindness meditation group and a control group. The results were measured by baseline vagal tone (a physiological indicator of well-being), and found that the loving kindness meditation group showed an increase in positive emotions.

How to practise loving kindness..

.1. Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and begin by focusing on feelings of peace and love within yourself. Let this feeling grow within you, you may wish to visualise it as a golden light, or perhaps and green glow and let it flood throughout your body. If you prefer you can use a phrase such as ‘May I be well and happy’ which you can repeat to yourself.

2. Think of a good friend and all of the qualities that you love about them. Imagine sending love to them, spreading the glow from your heart to theirs, or again using a phrase such as ‘May ‘friends name’ be well and happy.’
3. Think of someone neutral to you. You may not know them very well, perhaps just someone you pass each day. Imagine sending these feelings of love to them, either through visualisation of by again repeating the phrase ‘May ‘name’ be well and happy.’

4. Think of someone who you really dislike, a.k.a an enemy. Now imagine sending love to them using the same techniques. This may be the hardest stage to do, but it will get easier with time.

5. Finally, think of all four people together, extending your love to all of them, and then expanding this love to your town, your county, you country and so on until it covers the whole world. Imagine love spreading to everyone, everywhere and relax into this feeling. When you are ready you can gently open your eyes.

Loving kindness can also be applied to situations in everyday life. For example, have you ever come across someone who just seems to be seething anger from every bone in their body? Instead of retaliating, and letting them wind you up try imaging sending love to them instead. Note how good you feel, letting their anger go and bringing light to the situation instead…You never know, perhaps all they needed was a little love.

By Jadine Hocking for ‘go meditate!’


If you would like to practise cultivating love and compassion why not come along to Falmouth Tm and Meditation Group? You can contact Kellie Gilmour @

or Visit:

Facebook: Falmouth TM & Meditation Group


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