B-limey, Auntie Jude!

When I was in England last year, updating and upgrading my clinical hypnotherapy and past-life/regression techniques, I caught up with my long-lost nephew, Richard, whom I had last seen when he was a typical gangly 15-year-old. He is now a strapping 35-year-old, with a heart of gold and full of life. Or rather, he was.

He had a traumatic accident while on holiday recently and nearly drowned, caught in the tail end of Hurricane Ivan. As a result, he was suffering from disturbed sleep patterns, nightmares and flashbacks, stress and depression. He went to his doctor who prescribed anti-depressants but also advised counselling.

This coincided with my recent visit to England. Richard and I spoke at length on the phone and he said that, for him, counselling meant men in white coats. “I don’t want them, Auntie Jude,” he said, “I want you.” I helped him to stop smoking last year with hypnotherapy – “50 to nought in one session,” as he loves to tell his astounded mates. Sure enough, hypnotherapy gave some valuable insights, and was enough to persuade Richard to come to the Algarve for some further treatment – and that is where the fun began!

For the first few days, he chilled out. Sensibly, he had not brought his mobile phone with him, or a watch. In the evenings, we would talk at length about all sorts of things – life, death, what happens after death, religion, relationships, sex, the lot. Much of what I discussed with him was a revelation, challenging his beliefs, pushing the boundaries. Often he would say, “B-limey, Auntie Jude, that’s weird!”

As he regained confidence, of course, he wanted to go out and play. It was great for my image, having a handsome toy boy on my arm – then he would ruin it all by calling me Auntie Jude! He dragged me to the Casino at Vilamoura, where I have not been for many years. Last time I was there, I think I put a five escudo coin into the slot and pulled a handle; now, the machines take a minimum of a five euro note and, for that, you get a few pushes of a button – B-limey, times have changed!

It helped having someone explain how these new-fangled machines worked, but it didn’t help me win a thing! Then we went into the gaming room. Richard said he had never been asked to pay an entry fee before – I’m told the four euros is a government tax. Minimum stake at roulette was five euros (B-limey Auntie Jude, that’s heavy!), but we played anyway. It reminded me why I don’t go there very often – I love gambling!

We went out to sea too, on board Trésor, the Champagne Cruises motor cruiser. The weather was perfect, the ocean a deep blue, vanishing into the horizon somewhere in the distance. If you have never seen the Algarve from the sea, do it. It gives you a totally different perspective from when you are hurtling along the motorway or stuck behind a tractor on the EN125. With Peter at the helm and a glass or three of champagne, it really was “B-limey Auntie Jude, this is magic!” Just being out at sea blows away all the cobwebs and the natural energy really does recharge the batteries. Looking at the coastline, you can see the nice developments – and the not-so-nice ones – along with the inevitable cranes dotted along the cliff tops. “B-limey, there’s a lot of building going on, Auntie Jude!”

I had arranged for Richard to have some cranio-sacral work done with my experienced therapist friends here. A session on dry land was followed by one in the water – a testing experience indeed, for someone who almost drowned not so long ago. We sat by the pool and watched as a young girl with multiple sclerosis moved around the pool, releasing traumas trapped at various levels in her system. I pointed out that the therapists supporting her were doing just that – supporting – not pushing or pulling, and the girl herself was not swimming, yet she was moving all over the pool.

He went in, and it was amazing to see him visibly relaxing, then starting his own process of un-knotting the many traumas that had accumulated. Just like the girl, he was all over the pool, then stopping to let things settle before taking off again. Afterwards, we sat and watched the next patient doing her thing. “B-limey Auntie Jude, that was weird!” Richard said. “I’ve never felt anything like that before!”

And, finally, there was one more task – to get rid of Richard’s allergy to cats, something which causes him to reach for an inhaler. Another strong session of hypnotherapy dealt with those issues, and the following morning he stroked my neighbour’s cat – who had popped in to say hello – without any problems at all.

For Richard, who had never experienced any complementary therapies before, it was a whole new world, but he was open to it and responded well. And for me, well, I learned things too. I realised that there are many things to do right on my own doorstep – even the Champagne Cruises boat is parked at Vilamoura now – and that, actually, I had lots of fun.

“B-limey, Auntie Jude, now that is a result!” And, yes, in case you are wondering, Richard has given me full permission to tell his story.