Wellbeing Nature’s therapy D EMENTIA FRIEND Zuzi Tracey-Burner is not only making memories with her customers, but also reminding older people of special occasions from the past. Now living at Kings Worthy, she grew up in Slovakia ‘amongst nature, playing in the meadow, foraging in the woods with my Dad, decorating cakes with my Mum, using flowers and herbs, gardening and socialising outside’, childhood recollections which are treasured. She started Say It With three years ago after working with several nursing homes as an activity organiser, often with residents who were living with dementia. “I would go outside and bring a bit of nature through plants and flowers to those residents who couldn’t join us in the garden. I soon found they really enjoyed the sensory, colourful and stimulating experience of being in the garden or H ABOVE: Working with flowers. making something with seasonal flowers indoors,” said Zuzi. Additional courses in flowers arranging and horticulture therapy have complemented how she works. It comprises three strands which combine design with her love of nature: she runs floral cafes where people come along enjoy a creative class with refreshments and companionship, she works on site for care homes, and finally, focuses on wedding flowers at weekends. Say It With is growing with this mixed offering as more people discover just how stimulating it can be to work with people and flowers. “Ironically many older people who are living with dementia remember something special like their wedding bouquet, that is why I love working to create memories which will be very important when people grow older.” Mind over matter YPNOTHERAPIST Paul Hill is gaining business in and around Winchester, and finding that now that the darker evenings and long nights are approaching, people want to find out more about how to tackle Seasonal Affective Disorder. Paul (pictured) has come to his latest career via a path which included 30 years working as a mortgage broker and qualifying as a remedial sports massage therapist. He said: “You often find people tell you things when they’re relaxed and this is something I noticed working in massage. When the body is relaxed and undergoing treatment, the mind also relaxes. The obvious example is that ladies tell hairdressers all sorts of things for precisely this reason. “My work as a counsellor included hypnotherapy and I found it to be the most interesting area. It is all about self esteem for 95 per cent of the patients I work with. The goal is to stop them responding to ‘negative noise’ or thoughts which clutter up the mind and affect everyday wellbeing.” Paul is unusual in being a hypnotherapist who is happy to travel: “Hypnotherapists generally prefer patients to come to them, but I believe that if someone is anxious, the last thing they want is to go to a new house and meet a stranger. It depends on the patient.” Paul encourages people to learn breathing techniques to reduce stress and for overall wellbeing he encourages the use of ‘Positive Affirmations’ and to practice an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ focusing on the joy of successes achieved. Resident 29