Releasing trauma through exercise

first_imgMembers of the Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies took part in trauma release exercises (known as TRE). A medical doctor frustrated with medicine’s lack of dealing with trauma and stress effectively, has introduced trauma release exercises, known as TRE.Dr Melanie Salmon returned to South Africa seven years ago, after working in the United Kingdom for 30 years. It was there that she met Dr David Berceli, an American doctor, and the founder of TRE. Dr Berceli worked in Lebanon for eight years, and here he had to deal with many people going through traumatic circumstances.Dr Salmon said: “He found that when people are traumatised, they would shake, but not fully. He then studied animals, and discovered that animals in the wild, when going through a traumatic event, would shake so much, that they would tremor. After this tremor, he found that the animals will be without stress or anxiety. That’s when he developed the exercises to help people’s bodies shake naturally. It is safe, and through this exercise, years of stress can be released. I was very interested in this, because I know stress and illnesses are connected. It takes three months to recalibrate stress, and people can get their health back on track.”Her explanation for why people are diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer, for example, is because of all the years of built-up stress. It signifies the end stage of a stressful life, she said. Doing these exercises can be preventative but it can also benefit those already diagnosed, for the condition not to get worse.Dr Salmon was introduced to the Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies, and because of their initiatives to work towards a safer Bonteheuwel, Dr Salmon thought it would be ideal to teach the members of this club the exercises. “These are simple exercises, and it helps with emotional and physical challenges. It’s easy to teach also, as one does not need to know the culture or even the language of the person you are teaching it to.“We are working with the Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies for six weeks – teaching them how to do the exercise. We wanted to work with Bonteheuwel, because we want to break the cycle if violence. I believe violence is perpetrated because people are so stressed out. With TRE, it reduces the level of tension, and a person practising it, would, rather than lash out, behave in a non-violent way. This exercise is deep relaxation, and reaches the psoas muscle, which can’t be reached with massaging, as it is situated behind one’s organs. The idea is that once the ladies are trained, then they will pass on this skill to others in the community. The effects of this exercise is immediate, and the balancing of the nervous system takes about three months of exercise. I have been working with schools on the Cape Flats for three years now, and this exercise has proven to, in some cases, cure Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and bed wetting,” Dr Salmon said.Chairperson of the Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies, Soraya Salie, said she feels “lighter from within”, since starting this exercise programme.“We carry so much weight around with us, because of trauma. Apart from the physical and emotional benefits of TRE, we also find it to be educational. One of the things I have learnt is that the body remembers all the trauma it experiences – from the foetal stage up until your current age. We are very excited also that the Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies will be used as a resource for the Bonteheuwel community,” Ms Salie added.Dr Carin-Lee Masters, a clinical psychologist who writes the Help is at Hand column in the Athlone News (See page 11), said TRE is widely known in “healing circles” to effect emotional and physiological shifts in the body and mind through “tremoring” the body.“In my view, TRE has to do with releasing anxious energy stored in the cells of the body and memory related to a traumatic event. According to some researchers, TRE can make significant shifts in somebody who has been through a traumatic experience. Many people attest to this. I would at times, recommend it to patients if they need to do bodywork, but I would not recommend it as a treatment on its own. I strongly believe that a few sessions of bodywork is not enough to be able to process somebody’s traumatic and psychological experiences. To have somebody you trust over time, who supports you in a non-judgemental relationship and holds a space for your thoughts, feelings and fears can be vitally important to an individual’s healing process.” .last_img read more

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Western Cape Pelicans victorius

first_imgWestern Cape Pelicans players celebrate victory against Limpopo in their Softball Premier League semi-final match. Western Cape Pelicans players celebrate victory against Limpopo in their Softball Premier League semi-final match, at Turfhall on Saturday. The Western Cape side went on to beat Gauteng South 10-3 in the final.last_img

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City dam levels reach 81,7%

first_imgCape Town 180907 Theewaterskloof dam now has almost four times as much water in its system as it did back in March.Cape Town dam levels pass the two-thirds mark standing at 66.7% full Picture Ayanda Ndamane African News Agency ANA The dams supplying the City of Cape Town are 81,7% full for the first time in years. Collective water consumption for the past week of 12 to 18 August 2019 has decreased by 105 million litres per day from 608 to 503 million litres per day. The daily consumption has decreased considerably and water users remain within the daily allocation of 650 million litres per day.Meanwhile, Western Cape dam levels have risen above 65%. Currently, the average level for the province is 65.7%. Last year at this time the level was 53%.last_img

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What the Water Remembers

first_imgToni Stuart, from Muizenberg, Afeefa Omar, from Bellville, and Pieter Odendaal and Lwanda Sindaphi, from Observatory, will take part in What the Water Remembers.Pictgure: Lindsey Appolis. A multilingual poetry production that explores our personal, historical, socio-economic and spiritual relationships to water in Cape Town will debut at the Open Book Festival on Wednesday September 4 at the Fugard Theatre, at 6pm.Poets Pieter Odendaal, Lwanda Sindaphi, Toni Stuart and Afeefa Omar join forces with director Jason Jacobs and singer Babalwa Zimbini Embo Makwetu to explore our relations to water in What the Water Remembers.The production is the result of a collaborative process that included workshops with various experts, visiting bodies of water and writing poems. The project forms part of Odendaal’s doctoral studies at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane on how spoken word poetry can help us to respond to social and ecological change. Tickets cost R50. Book through Webtickets under Open Book Festival.last_img read more

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School celebrates 50 years of education

first_img The school is undergoing some work to make it better for the pupils. The school is undergoing some work to make it better for the pupils. After 50 years, Rio Grande Primary School is stronger than ever, having even survived a freak tornado back in 1999. The school, the second primary school in the area, opened on January 27 1970 to accommodate the people who had been moved from District Six to Manenberg under the apartheid era Group Areas Act. At the time the school ran classes in shifts, one in the morning and one in the afternoon as there were more pupils than the schools in the area could accomodate.Back then the prefabricated school had a staff complement of 27 and three classes per grade. Five pupils who attended the school now teach there. Situated in an area between the turf of two rival gangs, pupils at the school are often witness to violent gang fights and shootings.Deputy principal Kader Barendse said over the years pupils’ attitude towards education had changed and so had their behaviour. He said that because pupils knew corporal punishment was now illegal, they misbehaved more often, and teachers had to find alternative methods of discipline. Challenges over the years have included drugs and gangsterism at the school which the youth easily fell into as it was so readily available for them in the area. Shahieda Mohamed, who has been a teacher at the school for more than 40 years, said the children’s academic performance had dropped over the years and that many came from homes where one or both parents were drug users.Over the years, however, the school’s systemic results had improved and last year the school came third in the inter-school athletics after having participated for 20 years. She added that being situated in the middle of the gang warfare was traumatising as pupils had to run for cover when they heard shooting and struggled to get back to their academic routine after the shooting ended. Teachers, she said, also needed counselling to deal with the trauma associated with working in these conditions.“Many of our classrooms have bullet holes in them and the windows too. Now we have fencing and burglar bars so our school doesn’t get broken into and vandalised so often,” she said. Outlining what the school did to try to uplift its pupils, Ms Mohamed said they organise school tours and also have a feeding programme for those who need it.In 1987 the school started taking 50 pupils on tours — first to Oudtshoorn, and later to Johannesburg and Durban. They do this every second year and in 2018 they went to Sun City as well. This is made possible by raising funds throughout the year and asking parents of 50 deserving children to pay the bare minimum. They also give 20 children from each class porridge, food, and snacks as part of their charity drive every day. In 1999 the school survived a freak tornado which left many homes roofless and street poles and trees damaged in the area. “Over the years the staff has really shown so much passion and have never left or stayed away. They are passionate and hardworking and they are the ones who keep the school together with the community,” said Mr Barendse. The school also hosts concerts every year to showcase the pupils’ talents. “This is a community school. Parents know that they can talk to us about anything and we will help them as far as we can and we always make sure to follow up,” he said. Ilhaam Du Toit, who attended the school in 1987, said that she wishes the school the best for the future. “Keep going, the children are always your first priority irrespective of their circumstances at home so keep that up. Love the children as best you can,” she said. 1 of 2center_img Grade 1 teacher Shahieda Mohamed with deputy principal Kader Barendse.last_img read more

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NCAA turns up pressure on North Carolina over bathroom law

first_img Published: September 13, 2016 4:52 PM EDT Updated: September 13, 2016 4:53 PM EDT RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The NCAA’s decision to pull seven championships out of North Carolina ratchets up the pressure on this college sports-crazy state to repeal its law on bathroom use by transgender people.Unlike the recent one-time cancellations by the NBA and various rock stars, the move by college sports’ governing body could make moderate and conservative voters question whether the price tag for the law has finally become too high.Economic development officials said the effect of the NCAA’s action goes well beyond the $20 million the canceled 2016-17 basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis, lacrosse and golf events were expected to bring.“College sports is part of the fabric of North Carolina. It’s part of the culture. I can say with confidence that there’s no other state in the country that loves its college sports more than North Carolina. That’s why it hits so hard and feels so personal,” said Scott Dupree, executive director of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, which was coordinating four of the events being moved.The law passed in March requires transgender people to use restrooms in schools and other public places that correspond to the gender on their birth certificate. It also excludes gender identity and sexual orientation from statewide antidiscrimination protections.The Obama administration is suing the state over the measure, calling it discriminatory. Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and GOP leaders are defending it as a means of protecting people’s privacy and safety.On Tuesday, Democratic lawmakers urged McCrory and leaders of the GOP-controlled legislature to call the General Assembly into special session to repeal the law.“This General Assembly and its extremist leadership are playing with people’s livelihoods and the well-being of communities all across our state,” said Sen. Mike Woodard of Durham.But with eight weeks to go before Election Day, legislators in campaign mode and no regularly scheduled session until January, the chances are slim the Republicans will act. The GOP leaders are committed to costly court fights over the law and contend that passing the measure was the right thing to do. The GOP has veto-proof majorities in both houses of the legislature.GOP House Speaker Tim Moore didn’t respond to messages seeking comment, and the office of Republican Senate leader Phil Berger said he was traveling and unavailable. McCrory, who is locked in a tight race for re-election, didn’t reply to emails.Michael Bitzer, a political scientist at Catawba College, said it will be hard for moderate voters who are passionate about sports to ignore the law’s repercussions.“The blowback may be building up even more with this decision,” he said.Mac McCorkle, a Duke University professor and former Democratic consultant, said the NCAA’s announcement reinforces the idea that McCrory has allowed the situation to get out of control.“Put aside the liberal and conservative arguments about the pros and cons,” McCorkle said. “It’s a mess. It’s a continuing mess and governors are held responsible for messes.”McCorkle said the removal of men’s basketball tournament games from Greensboro hits hard because college basketball is the “civil religion” in the state that’s home to UNC, Duke, N.C. State and Wake Forest.The Greensboro area was expected to receive a $14.5 million infusion from the tournament games, as well as $1.6 million from the soccer championships in December that are being moved, said Henri Fourrier, CEO of the Greensboro Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. The four soccer, baseball, lacrosse and tennis events being removed from Cary will deprive the area of about $2 million, Dupree said.Greensboro, Cary, Raleigh and other North Carolina cities are seeking to host scores of other NCAA events over the next six years that could be worth tens of millions of dollars.The NCAA hasn’t decided what to do about any North Carolina events beyond the current academic year. But NCAA president Mark Emmert said Tuesday: “It would have been impossible to conduct championship events in the state with that law in place that lived up to the values and expectations of the member universities and colleges.”The Atlantic Coast Conference, which has its football championship scheduled for December in Charlotte, could be next to act. The championship game, held in Charlotte since 2010, is the last marquee college sporting event left in North Carolina during the 2016-17 season.The conference has a regularly scheduled meeting this week in South Carolina, and ACC Commissioner John Swofford said the bathroom law is on the agenda. Swofford said in a statement Monday night: “It’s time for this bill to be repealed as it’s counter to basic human rights.”Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, a Christian conservative and strong defender of the law, called the NCAA’s decision “extortion.”Previously, musicians including Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam canceled concerts, while the NBA decided to move next year’s All-Star Game out of Charlotte. The game was expected to generate $100 million.“Everybody should be concerned about lost revenue, but I don’t put a price tag on our women and girls of any kind,” Forest said. “It’s extortion and it’s shameful extortion. It’s just unbelievable to me to think that these entities would think that it’s OK to invade the privacy or security of a woman or a girl in a shower or a locker room.”Brandon Smith, who works in risk management for a Charlotte-based bank, said he was against the law when it passed. “Once the financial aspect is taken into account, the state will change its stance,” he said. “It’s a matter of time.” Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. SHAREcenter_img NCAA turns up pressure on North Carolina over bathroom law Author: Associated Press last_img read more

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Graduates walk out on Pence at Notre Dame commencement

first_img SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Dozens of graduates and family members silently stood and walked out Sunday as Vice President Mike Pence began his address at Notre Dame’s commencement ceremony.Pence, the former governor of Indiana, was invited to speak after Notre Dame students and faculty protested the prospect of President Donald Trump being invited to become the seventh U.S. president to give the commencement address.Pence spoke briefly of Trump, praising his speech to the leaders of 50 Arab and Muslim nations earlier in the day in Saudi Arabia. Pence said the president “spoke out against religious persecution of all people of all faiths and on the world stage he condemned, in his words, the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews and the slaughter of Christians.”Trump has faced harsh criticism for his anti-Islamic rhetoric during the campaign, as well as his administration’s legal battle to impose a travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries.Earlier in the ceremony, valedictorian Caleb Joshua Pine urged a “stand against the scapegoating of Muslims” and criticized Trump’s push to build a wall along the Mexican border.Cassandra Dimaro and her parents were among those who walked out. Dimaro told the South Bend Tribune that it was a show of solidarity “for those of us impacted by the policies of the Trump administration.”Pence didn’t comment on the walkout, which was expected, but he did allude to clashes at campuses elsewhere that have derailed appearances by controversial speakers, such as conservative firebrand Ann Coulter at the University of California at Berkeley.“This university (Notre Dame) is a vanguard of the freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas at a time, sadly, when free speech and civility are waning on campuses across America,” he said. Published: May 21, 2017 2:26 PM EDT Pence meets with DeSantis in Tampa to discuss COVID-19 Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. Member of Pence’s staff tests positive for virus Author: AP Recommended Graduates walk out on Pence at Notre Dame commencement SHARElast_img read more

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Healthy competition

first_imgI should point out the irony contained in your report of the comments of Alasdair Douglas (London ‘boosted’ by foreign competition), in which he spoke of the fillip to London from foreign competition. He is reported as saying that EU attempts to introduce a single contract law could undermine the ‘English brand’. Surely the reverse is the case. The so-called ‘attempts’ by the EU are to introduce an ‘optional’ sales law regime targeted at consumers and SMEs with the aim of facilitating cross-border trade and commerce. It will be an ‘option’, which the parties can freely choose to ignore. This is surely exactly the sort of competition that the English brand should relish, to show its star quality at the high end of the market with which the City is rightly concerned. Any optional EU sales law will have to compete for its own place and level. Indeed it may, as our justice secretary has said, be an ‘Esperanto fallacy’; but then Esperanto never undermined the English language. There is just a chance that such an optional instrument on European sales law with the right contents (and this is what we should be concentrating on) could deliver a boost to our flagging European economies in terms of additional trade. Surely that is a competitive boost worth having. Diana Wallis, solicitor, former MEP, former vice-president of the European Parliament, Swanland, East Yorkshirelast_img read more

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Happy with McNally

first_img Obiter wonders. A regular survey by the website libdemvoice.org seems to show the star of justice minister and peer Tom McNally (pictured), who steered the legal aid bill through the Lords (a somewhat chequered performance at the dispatch box, Obiter, recalls), to be on the rise. The survey asks members to score their satisfaction with senior Lib Dems’ performance. Of the 500 respondents in August, just 3% were ‘very dissatisfied’ with Tom’s performance, and 7% were ‘quite’ dissatisfied, giving him a net satisfaction rating of 36%. That is somewhat short of a reassuring half of all members. But it is still up from his 23% standing in June. Hence Obiter’s guess that rank and file didn’t like the legal aid bill, but for some obscure reason have made their peace now the measure is on the statute book. Still, 44% had ‘no opinion’ – something to build on for Tom’s opponents. Or maybe members, with time to reflect, just blamed deputy PM Nick Clegg – his net satisfaction was somewhere behind on 21%. Did the fight to protect legal aid from the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act get under the skin of Liberal Democrat rank and file? Or are the party’s activists just quick to forgive? last_img read more

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Effective extradition and rights must be combined

first_img Jago Russell is chief executive of Fair Trials International The Gary McKinnon case has again caught the attention following the home secretary’s recent announcement on extradition reform. Though the facts and politics of this case are compelling, McKinnon’s case is far from typical and represents the tip of the iceberg. McKinnon’s extradition was refused, but more than 1,000 extraditions did go ahead last year. Only eight of those were to the US; with 999 under the EU’s fast-track extradition law, the European Arrest Warrant (EAW). Many of these cases are for minor crimes where the financial and human cost of extradition is clearly disproportionate. It is now widely recognised that these need weeding out and there are initial suggestions that the EU court will rule on this in the coming months (see the recent advocate general’s opinion in the Radu case). Sadly, the problems with the EAW do not end there. We have seen people extradited – both years before their trial even starts and to serve sentences imposed after grossly unfair trials. At the heart of the problem is the assumption that all EU countries fully respect basic rights – apparently meaning countries can extradite without asking too many questions. This may be diplomatically convenient but it is naive at best. Thankfully, the EU has finally started to work to improve respect for defence rights in Europe, with current negotiations on an important law to guarantee suspects and defendants access to a lawyer. I am also hopeful that the EU court will soon take the opportunity to make it clear that countries must not extradite where there is a real risk that it will result in a human rights violation (Radu). The UK has also said it will work with the rest of Europe to build support for improvements to the EAW, as a condition of remaining part of it after 2014. Given all of this the US might, understandably, be annoyed that it is so often in the headlines when it comes to extradition reform. In practice, the much vaunted inequality in the wording of the treaty might not be causing problems, but there is at least one issue that needs tackling. The growth of international business and communications means many alleged crimes can now be tried in more than one country. These ‘forum’ decisions have massive implications for defendants: either they defend the case at home, without excessive disruption to work and home life; or they are shipped off to a foreign country and an alien legal system, often to be considered a flight risk and detained pre-trial. For now, forum decisions are being decided by prosecutors behind closed doors. This has resulted in suspicion that the US is using its diplomatic weight to exercise long-arm jurisdiction over cases that should be tried here. It is equally possible, of course, that the UK is just less willing to spend the time and money prosecuting certain cases. Either way, as the home secretary announced, the best response is a more transparent approach to forum decisions with a back-stop power for the courts to refuse extradition where it is clear that the wrong decision has been made. The home secretary also decided that, in future, she should not be asked to reach difficult and controversial decisions in individual cases like McKinnon’s. In principle, this is right. Such decisions are best made by independent courts in a transparent fashion after hearing all the evidence. However, if this safeguard is to be effective, courts cannot shy away from using the power where appropriate or place unreasonably high evidential hurdles for defendants. Sadly, in the EAW context, where there is no political involvement, the courts have not been willing to bar extradition on human rights grounds out of concern for the comity which underlies our extradition arrangements. The devil will be in the detail, but the reforms outlined by the home secretary could combine the effective extradition arrangements we need with safeguards for basic rights. last_img read more

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