Date Published: 26-May-2011
When Nicole Lordan goes shopping with her two sons Dylan aged four and a half and Jonah, who is nearly seven, she crosses her fingers that they won’t start misbehaving in the supermarket aisles.
She has even more reason than most parents to want her kids to behave themselves, because Nicole runs courses called Relax Kids, which are all about helping children to become more relaxed and patient, improving their concentration and attention span, and assisting them in dealing with stress.
“I pray I don’t meet parents if they are clients of mine,” laughs Nicole, adding swiftly that her own boys aren’t always angels: “They are kids.”
In any case, her courses are not about producing ‘perfect’ children.
“It’s more about confidence and relaxation – what you can give them for life.”
Nicole, who is based at the Indigo Holistic Centre in Tuam, is the only practitioner in the West of Ireland offering courses in Relax Kids, a programme which was set up in the UK by Marneta Viegas, who had worked as a kids’ entertainer and felt something needed to be done about the increasingly hyperactive behaviour she noticed among young people. Using her knowledge of yoga, drama and storytelling, she developed storybook CDs to calm children and help them sleep.
It resonated with parents, and although her business plan was subsequently rejected by the Dragons on BBC’s Dragons Den for being socially rather than financially driven, she has since gone onto achieve international success, developing courses and products to help children’s emotional and creative development.
Relax Kids is now taught in schools in the UK as well as in schools in America, Dubai, Holland and Spain, with a special Chill Skills programme devised for ages 7-13.
It’s all pretty new here, but Nicole, who is trained as a Relax Kids teacher in London, is hoping that schools here in Galway will be receptive to these courses, which help to focus kids. Already she has given courses in schools around Tuam, and now she is hoping to spread the message and technique across the West of Ireland.
Nicole would like to see the course – aimed at young people aged between four-and-a-half to 13 – incorporated into the school day the same way that swimming, music or Irish dancing classes are.
Each course lasts for eight weeks and involves a combination of storytelling and exercises, stretching, breathing, and peer massage as well as positive affirmations, discussions on emotions, healthy living, mood management, visualisation and relaxation.
The programme is about having fun but also learn skills that will help them for years to come, says Nicole.
Swiss born Nicole lives just outside Athenry with her Irish born husband Noel and any clichéd notions that exist about Swiss people being staid don’t apply in the case of this woman.
She’s warm and witty, with a tiny stud in her left nostril and her sense of fun would work a treat with kids. But, as you might expect from a Swiss native, her fun and lightness is tempered with a sense of order.
“Kids love routine,” she continues, “so they know what’s expected.”
This highly qualified massage therapist, reflexologist, relaxation coach and teacher of the Relax Kids technique began her career by studying business. She worked in that area for a time, during which she went to America to learn English and the French speaking part of Switzerland to learn French.
Having caught the travel bug, she became a flight attendant with Swissair.
That was nearly two decades ago, “when travel was good”, she laughs.
Nicole had lots of free time, during which she started getting interested in complementary therapy so she undertook a massage course.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Appeal for information following Portumna crash
Date Published: 08-May-2013
Gardai are appealing for witnesses following a single vehicle crash at the Portumna bridge this morning.
The road from Nenagh to Loughrea reopened shortly after 11 this morning following the completion of a technical exam.
Four men were travelling in a van when they hit the Portumna bridge around 6:30 this morning.
Gardaí, ambulance and two units of Portumna fire services rushed to the scene, and one of the men was taken to Portiuncula hospital in Ballinasloe.
He is being treated for head injuries, which have been described by Gardaí as serious.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Portumna Garda station on 09-097-42060
President Higgins among GMIT’s first ever honorary fellowships
Date Published: 10-May-2013
GMIT is to honour seven outstanding individuals including President Michael D Higgins with Honorary Fellowships at a special ceremony later this month.
It’s the first time in the 40 year history of the Institute the Governing Body of GMIT has decided to award honorary fellowships.
The GMIT Honorary Fellowships will be conferred at the g Hotel in the city this day two weeks Friday 24 May at 2.30pm in front of 200 invited guests.
Galway commuters hold their breath as LRC intervenes in bus strike
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway commuters are holding their breath as there has been a potential breakthrough in the Bus Eireann dispute, as both sides have agreed to talks at the Labour Relations Commission.
The LRC intervened this afternoon, on day two of strike action that has seen 95 per cent of bus services disrupted across the country.
The LRC’s Director of Conciliation Services, Kevin Foley, says the National Bus and Rail Union and the company have agreed to meet for mediated talks at 8 this evening.