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The University of Southampton
Doctoral College

Body-Mind Connection

Body-Mind Connection

Throughout the Festival of Doctoral Research, we have a selection of events which will focus on the Body-Mind Connection and how this complex interrelationship between our minds and bodies plays a part in your life and your PhD.

The Body-Mind Connection means that our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes can positively or negatively affect our biological functioning. In other words, our minds can affect how healthy our bodies are! On the other hand, what we do with our physical body (what we eat, how much we exercise, even our posture) can impact our mental state (again positively or negatively). This results in a complex interrelationship between our bodies and our minds.

The Body-Mind Connection Sessions

The sessions taking place during the Festival of Doctoral Research are:

Book Qigong Space

Yuan Qigong

Carmen Dolz is a fully qualified Ren Xue practitioner, Yuan Qigong teacher and Yuan Ming therapist. She will be talking about Ren Xue and Yuan Qigong as well as give a practical Yuan Qigong session.

Ren Xue is a holistic approach to enhancing and uplifting life. Founded by Yuan Tze, REN XUE includes two distinct disciplines. Yuan Qigong, the first discipline, helps individuals find greater peace and harmony through a contemporary Qigong practice. Yuan Ming Medicine, the second, offers healing techniques that can diminish the effects of injury and illness.

Ren Xue is a life cultivation philosophy to better understand the natural laws of life. Its underlying theories on Qi (life force), consciousness & totality will be outlined & discussed, as well as human nature & behavioural patterns.

Both Ren Xue & Yuan Qigong are practical tools for building up & maintaining health on all levels - physical, mental & spiritual. 

Who: Open to all doctoral researchers and University Staff

Book your space via Eventbrite.

About Carmen Dolz

Carmen Dolz is a holistic therapist based in Brighton (UK). Born in Spain, she came to the UK nearly three decades ago when she started exploring the world of natural therapies. She became a Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner in 2009 and since then she has qualified as a REN XUE practitioner and Yuan Qigong teacher, as well as a Yuan Ming therapist. She also holds two diplomas in the health-related field: one in reflexology and one in natural nutrition to further complement and help her clients and students find balance in a holistic way.

She offers 6 week Yuan Qigong courses for people who are seeking a practice that combines and focuses on all aspects of life: physical, emotional and mental.

She also offers one-to-one therapy sessions as well as Jin Shin Jyutsu workshops and Yuan Qigong retreats in the UK, Spain, and South America. 

She has started getting used to working online via zoom for distance learning. She finds life is all about going with the flow. 

Find out more:


Book Qigong
Book Dance

Dance Session with Innov8 Dance and SUSU

Come and join us to ‘dance your PhD’ with teacher Amanda Watkinson from Innov8 Dance. During the session we’ll do a gentle workout exploring tensions and lightness in our body. We’ll work that PhD stress out and have fun. We’ll practice ballet plié, chicken dance and roll about on the floor. We’ll help you discover the untold aliveness and joy that are lurking behind that stress. In partnership with SUSU.

Who: Open to all doctoral researchers

Book your space via Eventbrite.

About Innov8 Dance

Innov8 Dance Company is a contemporary dance company based in Winchester that trains once a week and offers performance and workshop opportunities to its members. Innov8 are committed to performing high quality dance works in and around Winchester and getting involved in the local community.

Book Dance
Book Alexander Technique

Alexander Technique

Feel physically and mentally great! Alexander Technique lessons will provide you with greater freedom in movement, breathing, circulation and improve your postural organisation by releasing old postural habits of over-tension. The Alexander Technique is suitable for anyone who wants to improve their general functioning and performance in everyday activities or for anyone who suffers from conditions such as:

Finn will be holding two 1-hour workshops (repeated).

When: Thursday 16 May

Session 1: 10:00 - 11:00

Session 2: 11:30 - 12:30

Who: Open to all doctoral researchers

Book your space via Eventbrite.

About Finn Kellow-Webb

Finn has over 10 years Alexander Teaching experience. He runs 3 practices and has contributed to pain relief with AT research studies with Southampton University, gives workshops and keynotes on the Alexander Technique. Significant long-term benefits from Alexander Technique lessons for low back pain have been demonstrated by a major NHS study published by the British Medical Journal.

Book Alexander Technique
Book RedSchool

Red School

From an Oscar winner film to period policies for organisations, it seems like the taboo around menstruation is being opened for conversation. Elaine Rose Leela is a Menstrual Cycle Awareness Coach and is currently working toward her PhD research, exploring the effects of moods and well-being throughout the whole of the menstrual cycle. She says ‘as we witness the seasons and cycles of nature, so to can we witness our natural cycles month by month. Have you ever experience feeling on top of the world, or been a social butterfly, and a few weeks later you are wondering why you can’t even be bothered to return messages, or are angry in your friendships? Sobbing “what’s wrong with me?” Well there’s nothing wrong with you, you are perfect in every way. You just haven’t learnt how to listen and respond to the power and wisdom of your menstrual cycle.’

This session will be an interesting exploration, introducing Mindfulness and Positive Psychology to show how we can bring together our intellectual capacities and body intelligence to practice Menstrual Cycle Awareness.  Using this body-mind approach, we can learn how to harness and utilize our menstrual cycle for achieving more with less effort and reaching and embracing our full potential. 

The workshop will be an interactive investigation into how we can use our moods to our advantage by learning, when to slow down, when to be productive, when to let creativity flow and when to edit and analyse.

Who: Open to all, doctoral researchers, University Staff and University Students


12.00: Lecture with Q+A

13.30: Tea and Coffee with Elaine 

14.00: Workshop

15.00: Event closes


Book your space via Eventbrite.

Book Red School
Book Relexation Technique

Relaxation Technique

Come along to one of the Relaxation Technique Workshops with Jules Calvert and learn about a range of stretches, self-massage, breathing and mindfulness techniques. Jules’ workshops will equip you with a range of skills to tackle all areas of life including coping with new life experiences, stressful situations and anxiety. Her positive mind-set tips can help to improve confidence, self-esteem and self-belief.

Who: Open to all doctoral researchers.

Book your space via Eventbrite.

About Jules Calvert

Jules is a qualified teacher and play therapist. She spent several years working on the psychiatric ward and hospital school at Great Ormond Street Hospital where she trained and learnt about the value of relaxation techniques and guided imagery to support mental health and boost confidence. In more recent years Jules has completed further training in this field and is a qualified 'Relax Kids' and 'Just Relax' coach. She works with groups of adults and children between the ages 2-100!

Book Relaxation Technique Workshop
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