Your Body of Light

A Day of Taoist Meditation for Emotional Balance and Spiritual Awareness

Ilkley Happiness Centre, 23 June 10-5.00

Led by Nick Hudis with Kalyani Ma Mukti

Empty yourself of everything
Let the mind rest at peace
The ten thousand things rise and fall while the self watches their return
They grow and flourish and return to the source.
Returning to the source is stillness, which is the way of nature.
The Way of nature is unchanging.
(Lao Tse: Tao Te Ching)

In these words Lao Tse the legendary father of Taoism describes the flavour of Taoist meditation. Taoism, the indigenous  spirituality of China, is a beautiful mix of deep spirituality, philosophy, shamanic influences and practical life and health skills.  The ultimate aim of Taoist practice is to “return to the source”: to reconnect with, embody and live from the deep unchanging core of our being.  To put it another way, the Taoist seeks oneness with the Tao. But what is Tao?  Tao is the infinite, unmanifest wholeness from which being and form arises.  Tao is also the “way,” the natural unfolding of things as they are.  Taoist practice is therefore about a deepening experience of openness, spontaneity, intimacy with ourselves and with life and attunement to the way of nature.

You do not have to be a Taoist to benefit from Taoist meditation. Who would not wish to let go of the conflicts, contradictions and tensions of life and relax into openness and spontaneity? The practices we will be working with in Your Body of Light are simple everyday tools for managing your emotional climate and your energy resources.  For those who follow a spiritual path, they are also gateways to profound realisation.

I am always hearing people say “I’m no good at meditation”.  For those of you who struggle sitting on a cushion counting breaths and trying to stay mindful, Taoist meditation will be a refreshing surprise.  These are active meditations working with movement, breath, rhythm, sound and colour to engage the monkey mind rather than fight it. Taoism is the way of nature, so these practices draw on our natural abilities and our innate sense of pleasure and sensuality to lead us into deep awareness.

In Your Body of Light we will explore four Taoist meditation practices:

Ocean Breathing.  A simple and beautiful moving meditation in which we attune our physical breath with the yin-yang pulsation of the vast ocean of qi or life breath that surrounds us. People who really believe they cannot meditate will be delighted how deep they can go with this practice.

Inner Smile Meditation. This meditation uses our innate ability to smile, to feel and respond to warmth and love in order to go deep into our heart.  Through Inner smile we embrace our whole being with total self acceptance and experience the body-mind from a place of oneness and openness.

Healing Sounds. This active practice engages the different vibrational frequencies of each of the Chinese five elements (Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal) , through sound, colour and movement. The aim is to release stuck emotional energy and awaken the creative power of the elements.

Zuowang.  This meditation is usually translated as “sitting and forgetting”  but I prefer to call it “sitting in openness and letting go”.  That’s all there is to it really.  there is no where to go, nothing to do, nothing to change, nothing to work on.  Just sit and watch the “ten thousand things rise and fall”.  I used to do this spontaneously as a child and was admonished for wasting time…. little did they know!

I really hope you will be inspired to join Kalyani and I for the Your Body of Light workshop.  Please get in touch on or 07891579364 if you would like to book a place.  your investment will be £70.

And two last things.  First another quote from Lao Tse which beautifully expresses the simplicity and naturalness of Taoist meditation:

In the pursuit of learning, every day something is acquired
In the pursuit of Tao, every day something is let go of.

And last of all why the name Your Body of Light?  Well that is a surprise and you will have to come to the workshop to find out.

Posted by: Integra Massage | March 17, 2013

Clinical Application of Neuromuscular Touch and the Eight Vessels

There are just two places remaining on the NMT/8 Vessels workshop in June.  And there is a £50 discount if you sing up and pay in full before April 24 (When I go to California for a 10 day retreat with Shakti Malan).

Someone said to me:  “This workshop sounds really exciting….but how can I use it in the clinic?”.  Well here are some ideas.

How often does it seem that your patient feels great for a while after a bodywork treatment but then the problem creeps back? The bodywork treatment has relaxed soft tissue, improved blood circulation and realigned the structure, but the underlying energetic patterns have not been shifted.

Why?  Because the stuck patterns are written into a very deep  and hidden level of the body-mind.  In Oriental terms they could be said to stuck at the threshold between the yuan qi and the ying qi, between the unmanifest and the manifest.  Regular bodywork is unlikely to reach this level.  Nor are most TCM treatments, even so called root treatments because they operate at the ying qi level of organ imbalance.   I call these  stuck patterns “Core Contractions”.  Here’s what I said about core contractions in an earlier post:

Some contractions are hardwired into our being.  These are our core contractions formed in our early years. Wilhelm Reich coined the term “Body armour” for this kind of contractedness.  He believed we armour against feelings we can’t deal with or have been taught are shameful.  

Core contractions manifest in your body in three linked dimensions.  Physically, as areas of tension; emotionally as held in  feelings; and mentally as beliefs, often linked to memories.  Tension in the buttocks may suppress a feeling of anger linked to a belief about lack of self worth arising from being made to feel shameful during toilet training as infant.

Core contractions are often expressions of deep rooted archetypal  fears such abandonment.  After all being born itself is a pretty big abandonment.  And perhaps the deepest core contraction is the sense of alienation from the Tao or the Divine that is the nature of the human condition.

The NMT/8 Vessels protocols are specifically designed to address the core contraction/yuan qi level.  I created them because I was looking for something to do after routine bodywork and fascial release to pulse the effects of the treatment right down into the bone marrow, the jing/essence and the source qi.

I find the NMT/8 Vessels work is particularly helpful in the following situations:

Complex long standing musculoskeletal conditions that do not make sense in ordinary TCM or western diagnosis.

Patients who are highly sensitive physically or emotionally who cannot cope with regular bodywork or needling.

Patients with emotional issues, particularly boundary issues including abuse.

Fibromyalgia, ME, chronic fatigue.

Posted by: Integra Massage | March 6, 2013

Neuromuscular Touch and the Eight Extraordinary Vessels

3 day post graduate bodywork workshop with Nick Hudis, creator of Integrated Tissue Release and Tranceformational Bodywork.


7-9 June 2013, Whitley Bay

Integrated Tissue Release is based on five forms of touch: Fascial, fluid, articular, neuromuscular and and emotive.  Of these, neuromuscular touch  (NMT) works most directly with the “energy” of soft tissue.  On this workshop we will develop solid grounding and subtle refinement in NMT  We will also explore the Eight Extraordinary Vessels (an ancient Taoist map of the energy body)   Nick Hudis in fact first became interested in the Eight Vessels when he realised that most of the “power sites” he was intuitively touching were located on these pathways.

We will specifically cover:

  • How the energy body interfaces with  soft tissue via neurology, qi pathways and other subtle reflexes. How to tune into, release and re-educate stuck patterns.
  • How to go beyond “technique” through subtle “live” pressure on power sites which engages with the dance of the tissues” through touch awareness of defensive, nutritive and source (wei, ying, yuan) layers of qi.
  • How ancient Taoist mappings of the Eight Extraordinary Vessels differ from the TCM understanding and offer a  potent tool for deep bodymind transformation.

The course is suitable for bodyworkers and acupuncturists.  It provides an entry point into the Integrated Tissue Release system but also offers significant new material for existing students.

The course is led by Nick Hudis, founder of Integrated Tissue Release and Tranceformational Bodywork and stream leader for bodywork at the Northern College of Acupuncture.  Nick has developed his unique integrated east-west approach to bodywork over twenty years of clinical practice and teaching.  He is well known for his clear in depth presentation and inspirational teaching style.

The course will take place in Nick’s home in Whitley Bay.  Places will be limited to six students to ensure close personal attention. Cost £250.00.  £100 deposit on booking and early bird price £200 if you pay in full before April 24th. To register please contact Nick on 07891579364

Posted by: Integra Massage | January 23, 2013

Releasing Emotional Blockages with Deep Massage

Releasing Your Core Contractions With Tranceformative Bodywork

Try an experiment with me…..  Close your eyes and take a couple of minutes to let your awareness run down through your body from top to bottom.  As you do just notice anywhere you are holding tension, anywhere that feels not comfortable or odd, anywhere that is difficult to feel, anywhere that brings up images, memories or thought stories…..

What did you feel? Familiar things? The soreness after your Pilates? That old niggle in your neck?  The way you are only easy with one leg over the other.  Unfamiliar things? Vague “not-rightnesses?” A barely felt flutter of anxiety in your throat? Recall of a difficult conversation?…

You are tuning into the many layers of contraction in your body. We’ve all got them. Mostly lurking beneath consciousness.  They are a defence mechanism. We respond to stresses by closing down and armouring up.  We contract against the cold, wind, pain,  illness,  fatigue, insult,  a shameful memory, trauma, abuse…. Some of these contractions are short term. Some crop up in habitually in response to specific emotions or situations.  “Putting on a brave face” on a disappointment may be in fact be a mask of tension.

Some contractions are hardwired into our being.  These are our core contractions formed in our early years. Wilhelm Reich coined the term “Body armour” for this kind of contractedness.  He believed we armour against feelings we can’t deal with or have been taught are shameful.

Core contractions manifest in your body in three linked dimensions.  Physically, as areas of tension; emotionally as held in  feelings; and mentally as beliefs, often linked to memories.  Tension in the buttocks may suppress a feeling of anger linked to a belief about lack of self worth arising from being made to feel shameful during toilet training as infant.

Core contractions are often expressions of deep rooted archetypal  fears such abandonment.  After all being born itself is a pretty big abandonment.  And perhaps the deepest core contraction is the sense of alienation from the Tao or the Divine that is the nature of the human condition.

Our core contractions are a straightjacket that squeezes the life out of us restricting our breath, blocking pleasure, cutting us from our true feelings and closing down our energy centres.  Working to release core contractions offers the possibility of greater physical vitality, freedom from stuck emotional patterns and spiritually, openness to our true non-dual nature.

The Taoist tradition places particular emphasis on releasing core contractions through qigong and meditation practices and I hope to be presenting some of these practices in workshops at the Happiness Centre in the near future.  Bodywork is another powerful approach to working with core contractions.  Tranceformative Bodywork is a system of deep massage I have developed specifically for this kind of work.

Tranceformative Bodywork draws on a wide range of traditional and modern understandings including Integrated Tissue Release, Taoist and Tantric bodywork, Reichian and Gestalt psychology, Eriksonian Hypnotherapy and shamanic practices including Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage.

The goal of this work is to encourage free flowing life energy through awareness, transformation and integration. Every session is a unique journey in which the receiver can meet themselves, confront and let go of the layers of contraction they are holding in their tissues and re-experience themselves as whole and truly present.

The sessions are usually two hours. We share verbally initially and may use psychotherapeutic techniques to bring issues and feelings into awareness but the transformational work is done primarily through touch and breathwork. The quality of touch may be intense and challenging where blocked energy is contacted, at other times nurturing and supportive, sensual or ecstatically expansive. Each session passes through four phases of creating safe and sacred space; opening awareness; releasing blocked energy; integration and awakening.

Do please get in  touch to explore further how Tranceformative Bodywork can help you and check out my deep tissue massage


website.  I can be contacted on 07891579364 or


Posted by: Integra Massage | January 23, 2013

Vervain – The Magical Post Viral Tonic


Verbena-officinalis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Herb of the Month

Vervain – The Magical Post Viral Tonic

This winter has brought some particularly nasty viruses leaving many people with the classic post viral symptoms of fatigue and low mood.  I’ve clients who have been “not right” for weeks and one who spoke of the “90 day cough”.

As ever Nature has help for us and most particularly the herb Vervain, Verbena Officinalis.  Know as the wizard’s herb in Welsh, it is a truly magical herb.  it was sacred to the ancient Greeks and central to the beliefs and rituals of celtic druids.  The druids used it for divination, believing its soul could cross between worlds.

It is a perennial with toothed, pointed leaves and tiny purple flowers.  It is now rare in Britain outside herb gardens but it is easy to cultivate.

Medicinally it has anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, antibiotic and anti-viral properties.  It is also protective to the liver.  Herbalists regard it as a nervine which means it is a soothing nourishing tonic to whole nervous system; a mild bitter tonic which means it regulates the digestion and a diaphoretic which means it mobilises our “wei qi” or defensive energy to fight off infections.

Vervain is widely considered to be the best herb for post viral recovery because not only does it improve physical symptoms, it is a great mood enhancer.  For post viral symptoms I often combine it with respiratory herbs like Angelica or Licorice, energy boosters like Siberian Ginseng and Rhodiola and other nervines like St John’s Wort.

The other area where Vervain is so useful is with premenstrual syndrome and peri-menopausal symptoms.  Herbalists believe that it helps to increase progesterone production and balance the effects of estrogen dominance. Its action appears very similar to the famous Chinese Herbal formula Xiao Yan Wan, Free and Easy Wanderer. I could not imagine treating PMS without Vervain.

You can make vervain tea, or take the tincture, but best of all come to see me for a herbal consultation to get a formula tailored to your unique needs.  My herbal supplier, Rutland Biodynamic, make a Vervain tincture with fresh organic plants that is extraordinarily potent.  You can call me 07891579364 or email me to takethings further.  Check out my herbalist practice on my web site too.

Posted by: Integra Massage | December 4, 2012

Integra Massage Gift Vouchers

A Luxurious Massage: The Perfect Gift……..What more caring gift could you give to a loved one or close friend than an hour long luxurious healing massage given by the skilled hands of a true professional?Between now and Christmas Nick Hudis is offering gift vouchers at a specially discounted rate for the following treatments:

Integra Relaxation Massage. This is a beautiful full body massage derived from traditional Hawaiian and Ayurvedic massage techniques,which promotes deep relaxation, alleviates stress and balances the emotions. Read more

Integra Hot Stones Massage. More therapeutic and dynamic than a typical spa style stones massage, this type of massage evolved in the hot springs of Japan. The stones are used to massage deeply into the tissues rather than just being placed on the body. Read more.

Special Discounted Prices

The charge for these treatments is usually £44 to £47.  However we are delighted to be able to offer these special prices for gift vouchers until 31 December 2012. The more vouchers you buy the less you pay!

One Voucher £40.00
Two or three vouchers £35.00 per voucher
Four or more vouchers £25 per voucher

The vouchers can be redeemed at any of our clinics in Newcastle, York or Ilkley.  They are valid for 12 months so your friend can enjoy their session as and when they choose.

How to Get Your Vouchers

Its easy to get your vouchers.  Email Nick at, or call us on 07891579364 quoting “integra gift vouchers” and let us know how many vouchers you would like,  which sort of treatment and the name of the person you are gifting the voucher to. We will send an online invoice that can be paid by card or paypal.  as soon as your payment as been received we will send your vouchers as PDF files that can be printed off from your computer.

Terms and Conditions
1. This offer expires on 31.12.2012.
2. cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.
3. The voucher can only be exchanged for the stated treatment.
4. The voucher can only be redeemed by the person named on the voucher.
5. Maximum two vouchers per named person.
6. The vouchers are intended as gifts. The person named on the voucher must be different to the person purchasing the voucher.
7. The voucher is valid for six months until 24.6.2013

Posted by: Integra Massage | July 29, 2012

New West Yorkshire Men’s Circle

Heart of Man

Awareness, empowerment, brotherhood, wellbeing, ritual and sacred sexuality for men 

Reclaim the Masculine

West Yorkshire Men’s Circle

Sept 19, Oct 10, Nov 21, Dec 12.


0789 1579364

The Heart of Man West Yorkshire men’s circle meets on a Wednesday evening about once a month at a private address near Otley 8.00-10.00.

Each meeting offers men a space to share in brotherhood, to talk and listen, and to receive teachings. This autumn our focus will be on connecting with the energy of the King: the most fundamental archetypes of the mature masculine defined by the Jungian writer Roger Moore. The King expresses our connection with the Sacred, our sense of deep purpose in life and our ability to inspire and bless through our giftedness.

The circle will be lead by Nick Hudis, a well known complementary therapist who has a life long involvement in self development work and a passion for men’s work.

Dates: Sept 19, Oct 10, Nov 21, Dec 12.

Cost: £10 per session. £35 for the four session paid in advance. (please ask about low income concessions)

For more information please contact Nick:


Posted by: Integra Massage | January 31, 2012

How to treat colds and flu naturally htt

How to treat colds and flu naturally

Posted by: Integra Massage | January 30, 2012

How to treat colds and ‘flus naturally

Andrographis paniculata, Botanischer Garten Berlin

Image via Wikipedia

How to treat colds and ‘flu’s naturally.

I promised this article a while ago, but life has been full.  The last few weeks, its seemed like everyone has got a bug.  I too found my nose streaming on Friday, although by Saturday afternoon I was fine again.  I am not going to give you every possible natural solution to colds and ‘flus, but a few key ideas that will do more for you than vitamin C and Ecinaecea.

The best time to act is at the first hint that you are going down with something.  If you wait too long, and the invader really gets dug in, its harder to drive it.

And driving it out is just what we have to do.  To the ancient Chinese (and other traditional medical traditions) colds were indeed invaders that got past our wei qi, the outer line of the body defensive energy located just below the skin. The main strategy for treating an invasion of this sort in its early stages was to mobilise the “home guard” to drive it out again.

Traditionally, sweating therapy was the treatment of choice for the initial stages of acute infections.  Hot baths, saunas or sweat lodges together with sweat inducing teas were used to raise body temperature and open the skin pores.  The idea is that by raising body temperature and increasing circulation, the body’s natural defences would be mobilised to fight of the invader.

This is of course why we get a temperature when we have a bug.  The raised temperature is the body adjusting itself to the optimum state for the immune system to function. We have all experienced the sequence of chills, where the body is trying to heat itself up followed by sweat and burning as it reaches it peak.  Often the body will go through several waves of temperature rises before it finally deals with the bug.

In many ways then the approach of suppressing the raised temperature with paracetamol is working against the immune system.  Sweating on the other hand works with it.

The procedure is simple.  At the first sign of a bug, drink a cup or two of herb tea and either retire under the duvet with a hot water bottle or into a hot bath until you break a sweat.  Then rest.  You can do this a couple of times a day.

There are a lot of herbs you can use that have a diaphoretic or sweat inducing effect.  Ginger and peppermint and cayenne are the most easily available.  Yarrow, elderflower and lemon balm are all effective too. Lemon balm is good for children, because it tastes nice and is mild acting.

A particularly powerful herb, much favoured by settlers in the pioneering days of America, is boneset, or eupatorium perfoliatum.  This is the one to bring out for the really big ‘flus.  It has a complex range of diaphoretic, expectorant, anti-viral, anti inflammatory and immune enhancing effects.  Dose is 1-2 teaspoons of dried herb steeped in boiling water for 15 minutes and drunk hot. You can also take 2-4ml of tincture in hot water.  For a bad ‘flu, have a dose every hour.

Another herb I would not want to be without is andrographis paniculata. This herb is widely used in Asia and the Far East.  To me, andrographis actually delivers where echinaecae only promises.  Research has shown it to have powerful immune enhancing and anti-inflammatory effects.  It is also a good general detoxifying tonic to the body.  It is very bitter and can be a bit hard on the stomach.  I tend to add a little ginger or angelica to it to warm it up.  I suggest the tincture, 2ml every hour in the acute phase of a cold or ‘flu.  You can also use it long term as an immune builder.

Two other herbs worth mentioning are licorice which has wonderful soothing effects on sore and inflamed throats and lungs.  And eyebright which is an effective astringent to dry up streaming mucus membranes.

A Chinese doctor in Glasgow gave me the following inhalation recipe, claiming it was 100% effective for all respiratory infections:

5cm piece of fresh ginger, head of garlic, large bunch of spring onions, all minced and simmered in 1L of water for 10 minutes with a tablespoon of vinegar.  Use as inhalant.  It will keep several days.

And here’s a recipe for oinion syrup that is wonderful for chest infections:

Slice a strong tasting onion very thinly. layer it in a bowl with plenty of brown sugar. put a weight on it and leave overnight. Pour off the resulting syrup and store in a jar or bottle.  Take a spoonful regularly.

You can obtain all the herbs memtioned from Bristol Botanicals

Thank you for reading this.  Do please visit my website and I wish good health!


Posted by: Integra Massage | November 7, 2011

Helping a talented athlete prepare for the Olympics

Integra Massage is proud to be sponsoring a talented local athlete in her bid to repesent Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics.

We will be providing regular sports and therapeutic massage to 26 year old, triple jumper Yasmine Regis to support her in her ambitions.  Yasmine,  who lives in Whitley Bay, is currently ranked number 1 in the UK and 16 in the world for her sport. She is training for the Olympics at Gatehead Stadium with Peter Stanley who coached Jonathan Edwards to success. Yasmine has recently returned to the UK  after completing an English degree in Texas.

Athletes who get proper massage regularly can see great benefits in terms of injury prevention and enhanced preformance.  Over the years we have developed a unique and sophisticated approach to sport massage and we are proud to be able to offer this serivice toYasmine. She is an amazing young woman.  As well as being an elite athlete she puts a lot into the community by working with disabled and disadvantaged children. Yasimine’s dedication is proof to the world that however tough it is in Britain at the moment, we are right on top when it comes to talent and achievement.  I hope that other businesses will follow our lead and offer her sponsorship and support.

Read more about our approach to sports massage

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