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Welcome to The Haven Blog. Most entries are related to specific illnesses or conditions with self help tips. Please feel free to add what has helped you or useful resources for us all to share. For any further enquiries please call 01364 654954. Looking forward to hearing from you!

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Shamanic Healing

By Alexis Walsh

Shamanic Drum

Contrary to what many people believe Shamanism is not a religious practice, it is instead an Earth based spiritual path. At the very core of Shamanic practice is a strong relationship with nature and a deep understanding of the delicate balance in the very fabric of our daily lives.

Shamanic Healing can benefit you in many different ways depending on your life circumstances and what is needed. Shamanism has its origins worldwide amongst the Indigenous people, sometimes known as – “The First Nations” they have deeply rooted within their culture the knowledge and wisdom of how to live and work in harmony and balance.

Their healing practices are truly inspiring. Shamanic Healing Ceremonies work to restore harmony to the mind, body and soul using various techniques and tools that are of a spiritual nature. The body vibrates to various frequencies that generate a sense of wellbeing, vitality that suggests we are healthy and radiant; this energy is generally felt rather than seen.

Sadly, with the pace of our modern world a sense of wellbeing is rather more difficult to achieve. I am trained in the traditional Shamanic Healing practices that have their origins in the North and Central American Indigenous populations. In the last 10 years I have been on a committed path to go deeper into understanding the role of a Shaman and how we can integrate their knowledge and wisdom into a modern world.

If you have not yet experienced a Shamanic Healing, a very beautiful ceremony that focuses totally on your health and wellbeing, perhaps you are not sure how it could help you? Then take advantage of this summer offer and book a free one hour consultation in either June, July or August to discuss exactly what would be the right ceremony for you and your personal circumstances ... Right Now!

Call reception on 01364 654 954 to book your session, I am available most of the week and look forward to taking you on your own unique, spiritual journey.

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The Metamorphic Technique

By Vicky Rippin

The Metamorphic Technique

The Metamorphic Technique is extraordinary for personal transformation and releasing limiting or negative patterns that can hold us back.

During the session, the practitioner contacts the points on the feet, hand and the head that correspond to the prenatal time and our time in the womb. The belief is that during these formative months, our patterns of being become established and are later played out (often unconsciously) in our lives. By working on the prenatal time, the practitioner allows for the recipient's inherent life force to loosen and release the patterns of behaviour that no longer serve us.

Whereas people might seek therapy because they want to be free from their symptoms, they have Metamorphic Technique sessions because they want to transform their lives. Sessions can be done on a massage couch or chair. Gentle, feather-like touch is applied to specific points on the feet, hands and the head. We contact these parts of the body as they are extensions of centres of our communication with the world; moving, doing, thinking. Most people find the sessions soothing and relaxing.

Every session is a unique experience. The practitioner giving the session "gets out of the way" of the unique expression of life force that is within you. The inner intelligence that governs this life force knows best what needs to shift in your life in order to move you on. People often report a sense of greater inner freedom, ease and flow; a sense of ‘coming home' to themselves.

As their resistance to life melts away, the shift in their consciousness is matched by changes in their circumstances. They might embark upon a change of career, alter the place where they live, or find themselves in a new relationship. Often old habits drop away, past hurts are let go off and a new increased confidence arises. The sense of inner authority is strengthened and they find the power to follow this inner voice to make decision based on what feels right.

The best way to understand this life changing process is to come and experience it for yourself. I offer sessions of Metamorphic Technique at £45 per hour but I am offering the first session for £35 until the end of June. Please book with reception on 013634 654 954 or email

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It's the little things that count

By Ilias Sachpazidis

The Little Things

"Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” - Mother Teresa

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” - Mother Teresa

Living in an era of ‘more’, grandiose actions and spectacles and promotion of the law of the jungle (the survival of the fittest) we are progressively losing our attention to the little every day things and constantly chase 1st place.

That partially leads to prolonged stress as we remain in a constant ‘fight & flight’ mode increasing the production of stress hormones and further supressing the ‘rest & digest‘ activity of our nervous system.  On top of that it strips away the power we have to help and empower ourselves.

So no more big words and straight to the little things!

  • The Breath of Life

Breathing is one of the most fundamental functions of not only our physical existence but our psychological one as well. Several studies have shown not only how improper breathing (shallow, quick, chest breathing) can perpetuate chronic stress but also how it can lead to it.

On the other end of the scale much research has focused on the therapeutic merits of breathing. Effectively reversing the aforementioned in addition to giving and rhythmic massage to the internal organs (helping with digestion and elimination), helping regulating the cavity pressures of the body.

Breathing is also a very powerful way for the body to regulate its pH (the level of acidity-alkalinity) – ever thought about why hyperventilating people need to breath into a bag to reverse the shock??

So, a very simple and quick exercise you can do to re-educate your body and mind to be aware of appropriate breathing is to lie on your back, put one hand on your belly and one on your chest and make sure that only the belly hand is moving up and down with your breath. It might be slightly difficult to begin with but it definitely will get easier quickly and that will also make you more aware of your breath generally as not breathing properly will stand out a lot more.

  • Posture

Everyone knows that posture is immensely important for the movement and function of the bones and muscles and progressively more people are becoming aware of its effects to the internal organs.

Same as above its directly linked with psychology and lot information about someone can be obtained by the way the hold their bodies.

What can you do to remind yourself on day-to-day basis is:

1 - Start from the top down! Looking at screens all the time predisposes us to allow the head to fall forward, forcing the neck muscles to over work and strain themselves as well as to potentially compress nerves either at the top of the neck or the bottom going to the upper extremities. So all you need to do is to tuck your chin in, ever so slightly, like you’re trying to make a double chin. That will automatically make the body to readjust the upper back to accommodate this demand. It will probably be tiring at the beginning as your muscles have weakened over time due to the lack of use but, like breathing, it will become progressively easier.

2 - Computer work: Follow the rule of the 90s! That is to say 90-degree angles (right angles). So when you are sitting working on your computer adjust your working area so you will have 90 degrees on your hips, elbows, straight back and ideally have the screen on eye level. Maybe consider investing in a kneeling chair, which will help you to maintain a straighter back and prevent from overly compressing your discs.

3 - When you’re lifting things from the floor but also from the trunk of your car try to be aware of your back and avoid doing the lifting from the back. Use your legs, bent down from the hips and keep the back straight, or at least as straight as you can. When you’re lifting incorrectly not only you’re increasing the pressure in the discs up to 300%, (if standing is 100% pressure) but also you’re putting an extra load on the muscles as they lose their optimal leverage, which in turn compresses the joints.

  • The Art of Eating

Digestion of your food has started from the very moment it enters the mouth. Not only does the biggest part of the mechanical breakdown of food happens there but the action of salivary enzymes starts breaking down the food further.

So don’t rush eating!! Besides the very well known benefit of eating slower, weight control as you don’t over eat as easily, it also plays an important role in preparing the food for easier and more effective digestion and absorption. That includes smoothies and Nutribullets etc, make sure that you do not swallow the semi liquid substance straight away but chew it 5-6 times so you get the benefit of the salivary enzymes.


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Gratitude physically changes your brain

By Matthew Mannning


Why is simply paying attention to the good things in your life so powerful? A new brain imaging study investigated this question with fascinating results.

A team of researchers from Indiana University recruited 43 people suffering from anxiety or depression. Half of the group were assigned a simple gratitude exercise - writing letters of thanks to people in their lives - and three months later all 43 underwent brain scans. During these brain scans the subjects participated in a gratitude task in which they were told a benefactor had given them a sum of money and were asked if they'd like to donate a portion of the funds to charity as an expression of their gratitude.

Those who gave away money showed a particular pattern of activity in their brains, but that wasn't the most interesting part of the findings. The participants who'd completed the gratitude task months earlier not only reported feeling more gratefulness two weeks after the task than members of the control group, but also, months later, showed more gratitude-related brain activity in the scanner. The researchers described these 'profound' and 'long-lasting' neural effects as 'particularly noteworthy.' The result is interesting for neuroscientists but it's also potentially useful for the rest of us.

It suggests that the more practice you give your brain at feeling and expressing gratitude, the more it adapts to this mind set. You could even think of your brain as having a sort of gratitude 'muscle' that can be exercised and strengthened. In short, practicing gratitude seems to kick off a healthful, self-perpetuating cycle in your brain.

Counting your blessings now makes it easier to notice and count them later. And the more good you see in your life, the happier and more successful you're likely to be. Shawn Achor, a researcher at Harvard University, says: "Something as simple as writing down three things you're grateful for every day for 21 days in a row significantly increases your level of optimism, and it holds for the next six months. The research is amazing." Other studies show that gratitude increases willpower; helps keep you calm, and can even boost employee morale.

What do you have to be grateful for today?


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Finding Happiness Now!

By Jem Friar


In our modern society, one of our primary goals is the pursuit of happiness but it seems that the way that most of us are attempting to do so is fundamentally flawed. In fact, the pursuit of happiness can actually fuel our discontent in this present moment because we think that happiness is something that we can only experience in the future after we have achieved or obtained something from outside of ourselves. There is, however, a much more fulfilling approach which I will call finding happiness that I hope to give you some clues to in this article.

Did you know that there is an International Day of Happiness on March 20th that was created by the United Nations? In 2011, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which recognized happiness as a “fundamental human goal” and called for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all peoples.” So, on an international level we are recognising how important it is to support everyone to be happier but how easy is it for people to realise that goal? The challenge is that we have been conditioned to believe that we will find happiness if we accumulate money, buy certain things, or achieve fame, power and success.

However, this experiment in pursuing happiness through materialistic gain has not proven itself to be effective or long lasting at all. In the last 50 years, even though our standard of living has increased by 3x, our happiness levels (as ascertained by subjective questionnaires over the same period) have actually decreased! So why do we still blindly attempt to find fulfilment through things and attainments? As I see it, the main reason that we are still trying to become happier in this way is because we are facing a constant barrage of advertising that is telling us in very convincing ways, that this fallacy is true. It has become a cultural belief – “more is better and will make us happier” that few people have stopped to question.

Having this belief is, in fact, really destructive both on the individual and planetary level. On the individual level, it encourages us to believe that we are not good enough and to be constantly attempting to become enough by this fruitless pursuit. On the planetary level, our consumerism based society is constantly attempting to manufacture more products to meet the ever increasing demands but at massive environmental and social cost, (especially in many poorer parts of the world.) Plus the desire to always increase our GDP by producing more on the national level makes no sense when you consider the fact that we live on a planet with finite resources.

There are, of course, other reasons that we are not finding happiness including the lessening of our social connections, the amount of fear based and negative media that we are subjected to, reduced levels of good health due to poor diet and lack of exercise and the unfortunate way that our brains are wired to pay more attention to the negative or dangerous things in our environments than the positive. Sometimes we struggle to be happy just because we don’t know how to become happier or we believe that we cannot become happier because of our past experiences or our genetics.

So let me state for the record – pretty much anyone can become happier if they practice certain happiness habits and if they learn new ways of perceiving and relating to their reality! I am not making that statement glibly either or just by referring to my own experience from supporting lots of clients to live in better balance. There is in fact a lot of new scientific proof and research in positive psychology and neuro science to confirm this. There is also more great news about happiness that has been uncovered by these new sciences. Happiness is an enabler. Happier people have better health, longevity, relationships and energy levels. They are also more productive, successful, creative, resilient in the face of challenges and of course, more fun to be around. Being happier isn’t just about smiling more. If you become happier it will have numerous valuable and positive effects on your life, as well as on those around you.

So, before I give you an amazing key that will enable you to increase your happiness levels, there are 3 things that you need to understand about happiness:

  1.  Happiness is a choice.
  2.  Happiness is a skill and a practice that can be learned.
  3.  It is solely up to you to make choosing and being happy a major priority in your life – no one else will or can do it for you!

There are several remarkably effective practices that can increase your daily levels of happiness and positivity that I go into in more depth in my Choosing Happier book but for this article, I would really like to extol the value of perhaps my favourite one and that is gratitude. The “Gratitude Attitude” Consciously practicing gratitude was found to be one of the most effective ways to increase happiness levels in numerous positive psychology experiments. In fact, simple daily gratitude exercises were often found to be even more effective than anti-depressants for people suffering from depression (plus these exercises have no side effects!) Gratitude is particularly potent because it reverses the conditioned sense of lack that comes from believing in the more is better paradigm.

When we believe that we need to have more to be happy we continually focus on what we do not have or have enough of. By contrast, if we consciously practice gratitude every day, our focus is turned to the abundance of things and people that we already have in our lives that are so easily overlooked and forgotten. The impact of such a daily practice is a natural increase in happiness and contentment with who we are and what we have. The following exercise is a very simple but powerful way to increase your capacity to be grateful and thereby experience more abundance and contentment in your life.

The 3 Gratitudes Exercise

Keep a journal next to your bed and as soon as you wake up, think about and write down at least three things that you are really grateful for in your life. Make this the first priority of where you turn your attention to and put off thinking about anything else until after you have written down these three gratitudes. These may be small and simple things such as being grateful for the good nights sleep that you have just had, or they could be big things such as a holiday that you went on. Think of different things to write down each day. I challenge you to try this exercise for the next 30 days and to see what happens. You may be surprised how much such a simple activity can change your experience of life. Committing to trying this exercise could even be a great way to celebrate the International day of Happiness. If you have any great ideas about how you would like to celebrate the day, then tell us about it on the Ashburton Haven’s Facebook page.

Jem Friar works at Ashburton Haven Clinic and is a coach, alternative therapist and author. He has helped thousands of individuals and groups attain greater health, well-being and happiness over the past 27 years. His latest book, “Choosing Happier – how to be happy despite your circumstances, history or genes” is being published on the 28th March, 2017.

The book goes into the whole topic of happiness and how to actually be happier in much greater detail. It also covers a whole range of questions and recommended practices that will enable the reader to actually become happier. Jem has also designed the “My Happiness Journal” to accompany the Choosing Happier book to make it much easier for readers to go through the many exercises and questions, as well as to practice exercises such as the 3 Gratitudes. This journal can already be purchased on Amazon. For more information go to www.choosing –

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Introducing our latest Haven Practitioner : Alexis Walsh

By The Haven Team

Alexis Walsh

Please join us in welcoming Alexis Walsh from:

A Breath Of Shamanic Wisdom - Shamanic Healing Ceremonies:

  • - Blessings 
  • - Ceremony
  • - Shamanic Counselling
  • - Extraction & Soul Retrieval 
  • -Ancestral Patterns  
  • - Spiritual Life Paths  
  • - Releasing Trauma
  • - Spiritual Life Coaching  
  • - Working with your dreams  

How can Shamanic Healing help you?

By looking at specific Ancestral Patterns within your family history, you can understand some of your own present challenges, and what to do about it. Spiritual Life Paths (understanding how a past life influences your current life) Soul Retrieval is a very beautiful ceremony that helps restore your balance, vitality and trust in experiencing life.

Shamanic Healing Ceremonies work to restore harmony to the mind body and Soul using various techniques and tools that are of a spiritual nature. I use a drum, feathers, a flute, a rattle my breath and my voice.   The body vibrates to various frequencies that generate a sense of wellbeing, vitality that suggests we are healthy, radiant.  My clients have felt a sense of joy return.  They are able to understand on a deeper level what is needed to restore balance to their lives. They are also able to take more responsibility in their lives.      

I specialise in many areas of Shamanic Healing; I am trained in the traditional Shamanic Healing practices that have their origins in the North and Central America. In the last 10 years I have been on a more committed path to go deeper into understanding the Role of a Shaman and how we can integrate their knowledge and wisdom into a modern world. I draw on some of the very grounded teachings of the “First Nations”indigenous populations to support individuals experiencing significant change.

My approach will revitalise you to move towards a more desirable state of “Balance"  I will mostly be available on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and prices will vary according to the length of your visit.

(I can also make time Thursday, Friday or Saturday, however, by prior arrangement only.)

  • Spiritual Life Path - 120mins - £80
  • Shamanic Healing Consultations - 90mins - £60 

The above costs include an initial telephone conversation before the session and a follow up via e-mail after each session should you need it. Reduced rates offered when booking a series of 4-6 sessions.        

If you would like to ask me any questions about Shamanic Healing sessions or discuss your individual needs before booking an appointment, 

please call me direct on:  07800 594 777 or 01805 625532

or drop me a line at:

I look forward to welcoming you on a spiritual journey...   Alexis

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Experience your fullest potential for Pregnancy

By Nicola Renovich

Pregnant Parents

With Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Formulas, Nutritional, Supplements and Lifestyle advice we can help you give yourself the best possible chance of success. You are likely here because you’ve been trying to conceive for a while and tried adjusting your lifestyle, done all the tests, added some supplements to your diet and it’s still not happening. Or you may be pregnant already but have had problems in the past and would like to do what you can to optimize your chances of a healthy pregnancy.

You may be about to give birth and would like to prepare yourself and your body to increase your chances of a natural smooth delivery. Whatever stage you are at in this exciting journey to motherhood is one where acupuncture can help. Fertility Acupuncture has been shown to increase your chances of successful IVF. Acupuncture in the last few weeks of pregnancy has been shown to increase your chances of a natural delivery with less likelihood of induction or intervention.

If you are overwhelmed by advice and information we can help you sift through it and using tools like Chinese Pulse Diagnosis and Tongue Diagnosis, we can help pinpoint what is likely to be standing in your way to obtaining your goals, and help you overcome those obstacles. Using nutritional and lifestyle advice, Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Formulas we can help rebalance your body to get you back to optimum health and optimum fertility. Each conception is a miracle and we never have control over it.

However we can help you give yourself the best possible chance of conceiving and the knowledge that you have done everything possible to make this a reality. Our Practice has helped many people just like you and the results have been outstanding. Women who thought they didn’t have a chance of conceiving naturally have gone on to do so. Pregnant women with complicated health histories have gone on to have great birth experiences.

The following is a list of some of the conditions that we regularly see in our clinic:



-Unexplained Infertility

-Male Infertility (low Motility / Sperm Count / Morphology)

-Recurring Miscarriage

Many women experience none of these conditions and just wish to increase their chances of healthy conception, pregnancy and birth. As part of your treatment you will be given a list of recommended supplements and doses. You will also be asked to take your basal body temperature daily and chart this. This information is very useful for creating the ideal treatment plan and tailoring the Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs to you and your menstrual cycle.

Please call us 01364 654 to book your Acupuncture appointment with Nicola on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

120mins for Initial Consultation/Treatment - £60

75mins for Follow up Appointments - £45

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Women need more sleep than men because their brains are more complex

By Matthew Manning

peaceful sleep

Women everywhere are happy that science has proven what they've known all along: they need more sleep than men because their brains work more complexly.

It may not seem like too much more, but women on average need 20 minutes more in bed every night to make up for the loads of extra processing they do. According to research, the brains in females tend to be wired to successfully juggle several tasks at one time while male brains suffer in this capacity.

This is in no way a comprehensive description of all male versus female brains, but merely a conclusion of the average brain supported by research. The study in question involved 210 middle-aged men and women whose sleep patterns and daily schedules were examined to determine cause and effect.

Professor Jim Horne, director of the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University, says: "The more of your brain you use during the day, the more of it that needs to recover and, consequently, the more sleep you need.

Women tend to multi-task and so they use more of their actual brain than men do. Because of that, their sleep need is greater. A man who has a complex job that involves a lot of decision-making and lateral thinking may also need more sleep than the average male - though probably still not as much as a woman."

If you’re suffering with Insomnia, please remember we at The Haven can help by way of Massage, Acupuncture, Reflexology or Bowen Technique… just call us on 01364 654 954 to discuss how we can help you best or drop us an email at


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Does the Weather affect your Health?

By Matthew Manning


I've long been intrigued by the effect of weather on the health of my patients. Whilst some thrive in very warm conditions, others are adversely affected. Some seem to benefit from the cold whilst others really struggle with it. Whilst there is not an a great deal of research on the subject, there is an increasing awareness that barometric pressure does affect our health...

* Blood pressure: just as its name implies, our blood moves through our bodies using a pressure system created by the heart. It stands to reason that this pressure would be affected by the air pressure around us. When barometric pressure drops, so does your blood pressure. For some, this might mean a feeling of dizziness or blurred vision.

* Headaches: in a study published in the journal 'Internal Medicine', researchers asked migraine patients to keep a headache diary for one year. After comparing these diaries with the barometric pressure changes noted at a nearby weather station, they found a direct correlation between lower atmospheric pressure and the onset and duration of migraines.

* Joint pain: researchers at Tufts-New England Medical Centre in Boston surveyed 200 patients with knee osteoarthritis and found a link between changes in barometric pressure and ambient temperature and changes in knee pain severity. It's not clear why a falling barometric pressure would exacerbate joint pain and arthritis, but studies such as this one confirm that they do.

* Blood sugar: diabetics who use an insulin pump to control sugar levels should also be careful. The American Diabetes Association conducted a study on the relationship between the effectiveness of insulin pumps with variations in air pressure and found that decreases in air pressure "may cause trapped air in the pump to form small bubbles that affect the delivery of insulin and the amount actually being delivered." I've known people who've had broken bones and years later always know when it's going to rain because that bone aches.

Maybe your grandmother used to say that she knew when a storm was coming because she could "feel it in her bones." It turns out that she may not have been as crazy as you thought! Is your health affected by the weather?

Please call us on 01364 654 954 to book an appointment with our Therapists, a massage at any time of year is hugely beneficial, releases toxins and rejuvenates both the body and mind

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Introducing Vicky Rippin

By Haven Clinic

Vicky Rippin

I have had a passion for healing for as long as I can remember and always enjoyed helping people to feel better. About 14 years ago I began to train in various techniques to help me with my mission. I am a qualified massage therapist, reflexologist, dru yoga teacher and metamorphic technique practitioner. I am also training to be a psychotherapist.

I like my client to feel fully nurtured and supported in their healing journey and have really enjoyed working at the Haven where the rooms are cosy, comfortable and peaceful. With soft lights and gentle music creating the nurturing environment I will endeavour to sooth away your aches and pains, whether they are of a physical or emotional nature. Together we can discover which type of treatment or session will be best for you at that particular time. I will give a brief description below of each thing I offer to give you an idea.

Massage: I am trained in various massage techniques and over the years I have developed my own style and can work deeply or more gently according to your needs. I offer a full body massage or can focus on specific areas. My top and tail massage is a popular choice for a general relax and boost; first I massage your face and head and then your feet and lower legs, this entire massage takes place with you lying on your back so is a great choice for someone who wants a pamper but finds lying face down uncomfortable. I use aromatic balms and oils to aid the healing process.

Reflexology: I begin the reflexology treatment with a foot soak and scrub using a mineral rich exfoliating balm that I make myself. The absorption of the minerals through the feet aids the relaxing and detoxifying processes. Then I will work on specific points and meridians on your feet, ankles and lower legs. Reflexology can be used as a general balancer or to help with specific problems such as infertility, asthma, IBS, constipation, menstrual problems, migraines and many other things.

Dru Yoga: Dru Yoga is a very gentle yet powerful form of yoga focusing on releasing emotional and physical blocks through flowing movements and breath work (pranayama). I am not currently teaching any classes but am available for one to one sessions of therapeutic yoga.

Metamorphic Technique: This is an incredibly powerful technique and as the name suggests is deeply transformative. I decided to train in the technique after my life changed dramatically for the better after having a course of sessions. During each session I would experience a blissful state of deep relaxation and would have profound and symbolic dreams afterwards and my life began to change as I transformed on a fundamental level. The technique involves a very gentle stroking on specific areas of the feet, hands and head, the areas corresponding to the time between conception and birth.

The theory is that events and energies that occur during those early days and that are unknown to our conscious minds will have major influences on our lives, including emotional and energetic blocks. The metamorphic technique allows and encourages our own innately intelligent life force to move in the way that is best for us, enabling us to flourish as the blocks dissolve away. The session lasts for one hour and takes place fully clothed lying on a couch and sitting on a chair.

Feel free to contact me to discuss what would be most suitable for you. I look forward to meeting you and being part of your healing journey.


Metamorphic Technique: £45 - 60mins

Reflexology: £40 - 60mins

Foot & Leg Massage (footscrub incl): £40 - 60mins

Head, Face and Feet Massage: £40 - 60mins

Holistic Massage : £40 - 60mins

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My approach to Craniosacral Therapy

By Hannah Wisby

Mum cranio

Resting in heart-full stillness, I combine skill, awareness and compassionate presence to facilitate your return to health. Every Craniosacral Therapist brings their own unique qualities to their work. It is clear to me that my meditation practise, personal healing journey and life experiences contribute to the skills I bring to each session. I aim to bring the whole of who I am and what I have to offer in every moment, to pay attention to both the particulars of your personal story, and to the deeper aspects of your Being.

The Biodynamic Approach

Thankfully I found a modality that gives me effective tools to help me do this. Trained in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (BCST), my approach is fundamentally distinct from some more functional Biomechanical styles of CST and Cranio-Osteopathy. * BCST is a heart-centred, holistic approach, which “acknowledges the deepest foundations and wholeness of the human system.”1

The Craniosacral Biodynamic approach:

• Recognises the importance of the client-therapist relationship and the quality of the holding field provided by the therapist

• Encourages client orientation to inner resources to ensure that processing and integration can occur in a safe and easeful manner

• Emphasises the sentience of the human being, and recognises each individual as an expression of the creative life principle. Interwoven with the fabric of existence, we “are not separate from the vast forces at work throughout the universe”1

• Honours and listens to the intelligence inherent within the human system (i.e. is ‘client led’), assisting inner release and resolution to occur, rather than applying external force or pressure in order to fix problems

• Acknowledges the significance of embryological development and pre- and peri-natal experience (i.e. our earliest emotional and relational experiences) in forming both the physical framework and the experiential basis of who we are throughout life BCST is a tool for deep inner transformation, helping you to settle beneath the layers of physical tension and the tumultuous waves of everyday mental and emotional experience, to be nourished from the inside.

* For an overview of the difference between Biodynamic and Biomechanic forms of CST, I encourage you to watch this short and simple video by Micheal Shea, one of the leading BCST teachers in the world. 1 Karuna Institute website

I’m available at The Haven on Mondays and Tuesdays, please call 01364 654 954 to book your appointment today. I very much look forward to meeting you!

With love,


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Shiatsu and feeling Stressed and Anxious

By Frances Rayner

Shiatsu for Stress

What happens when we get stressed or anxious?

Long ago, then sabre-toothed tigers were predators, stress was useful - the adrenaline triggered our fight-or-flight response and would have saved our lives. Nowadays, stress typically describes a condition that occurs when the pressure exceeds our ability to cope. If the stress cannot be released physically, we feel out of control and the impact on mental and physical well-being can be profound.

Stress in the workplace during 2003 accounted for more days off than the common cold, a total of 178 million days, costing the country £13 billion. Anxiety is a state of inner turmoil, often accompanied by over-thinking and nervous behaviour and can manifest in the body. It can be a sense of dread about something unlikely to happen, such as imminent death. Anxiety is a feeling of fear, worry, and uneasiness, usually generalised and unfocused. It is often accompanied by restlessness, fatigue, problems in concentration, and muscular tension.

How can Shiatsu help with feeling stressed?

Shiatsu offers supportive, attentive touch, essential for healthy human development and especially helpful in stress-related conditions. Breathing exercises allow physical and emotional stresses and tension to be released. Gentle holding and stretching techniques allow muscles to relax, and the heart beat to slow down. Anxiety is often then reduced, and your mood can lift.

Often the stresses are not going to go away but Shiatsu can help you to look at situations differently, and guide you towards attitudinal or lifestyle changes, focusing on what can realistically be changed.

Shiatsu can be very supportive in situations of stress and anxiety. It provides a safe space to be deeply listened to, and the opportunity for peacefulness and quiet. It supports physical calming and relaxation of the nervous system - without any side effects. Shiatsu treatments promote clarity of thought and creativity which can help in decision making, especially important in times of stress or transition.

How Shiatsu has helped some individuals Annie and Ella both received Shiatsu treatments:

"I think I had forgotten to let my body relax properly. The session reminded me to settle and pay some attention to how it feels." Annie

"It was a really wonderful experience. Very gentle but reached all the spots that needed it. Most relaxed I have been in ages." Ella

Text taken from 'Shiatsu and feeling stressed and anxious' leaflet, produced by The Shiatsu Society. For more information about the Shiatsu Society please visit

Frances Rayner is available here at The Haven on Friday afternoons, please call us on 01364 654 954 to book your appointment.

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5 Ways to build resilience every day

By Matthew Manning


Resilience is the process of effectively coping with adversity - it's about bouncing back from difficulties. The great thing about resilience is that it's not a personality trait: it involves a way of paying attention, thinking, and behaving that anyone can learn.

Here are five ways to build resilience:

1. Nurture relationships. Have a range of positive, supportive connections within and outside your family. If you don't, take steps to improve the situation. Join a club, local group, volunteer group, or an evening class.

2. Find meaning in difficulties. When faced with adversity, see if you can discover some positive way in which you can deal with the challenge. People often report improved relationships, greater consciousness, or appreciation of life in the face of great difficulties.

3. Be optimistic. Try to shift your negative thoughts to more positive ones about the future. Hope and optimism are a choice. Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable. You can't change the fact that very stressful events happen, but you can learn to change your response to them. The tiniest of changes counts.

4. Be decisive. Make decisions and take action rather than hoping things will get better one day. If you're not good at this, read about how to improve this skill or ask a trusted friend to help. Not making a decision is in itself a decision.

5. Accept that change is part of living. Expect things to change and adversity to occur, rather than pretend all will always be well. Change is part of life. Your goal is to cope effectively rather than avoid loss or pain.

When it comes to resilience, flexibility is important. Discovering ways to adapt to the changes that life throws at you makes you more able to cope. What simple action can you take to begin increasing your resilience?


If you would like some extra help, then Amanda De Groot could do so with E.M.D.R....find out more here:

Amanda is available primarily on Wednesdays and Saturdays but is often available during the rest of the week too, please ring us on 01364 654 954 to make an appointment

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The Fascia-nating body

By Ilias Sachpazidis


The Fascia-nating body

With the term fascia, it has been described as the soft tissue component of the connective tissue system that permeates the human body and forms a body-wide tensional force transmission system. The fascia is essentially made up of collagen and elastin fibres (as well as reticulum, which is immature collagen) bound together for a variety of tissues. You see fascia as the white fibrous stuff between the layers of muscle that makes up the meat of a fine steak when you try to separate it. It enwraps everything and anything in the body and it is argued that every part of us is fascia of a different form, for example bones are considered to be fascia that have been calcified and became thicker.

Stretching can be aimed towards different parts of the body and as with everything else, different aims require different actions.

It is recommended to perform stretching that involves motion to avoid isolating parts of the myo-fascial system. For fascial fitness there is a distinction between two kinds of dynamic stretching: fast and slow. Many people might remember the fast variation, as it was considered part of physical training in the past. For decades the bouncing kind of stretching was viewed as harmful in general but its benefits have been confirmed by recent research. Even though stretching immediately before competing can be counterproductive, it appears that in the long run, frequent use of such dynamic stretching can positively affect the architecture of the connective tissue, in that it becomes more elastic when correctly performed (Decoster et al. 2005).

Before starting such a dynamic stretch the muscles and tissues must be warmed up. Abrupt and jerky movements should be avoided. The acceleration and deceleration of the motion should be gradual and wave-like and the motion itself should be smooth and flowing.

To maximise the effects of dynamic stretching you can combine a preparatory counter-movement that is a brief motion to the opposite direction of the stretch just before executing the stretching motion.

When doing slow dynamic stretching it’s preferable to keep long myofascial chains as the aim.

This is to avoid isolating muscles and try to find and engage with the longest possible myofascial chain. By doing this you incorporate large areas of the fascial network at once. The movements can be spiralling rotations and/or sideways or diagonal movement modifications.

Manual treatments have found to be particularly beneficial for the facial system. One of the main ways to accomplish that is with the use of High Velocity- Low Amplitude thrusts (commonly known as the cracking techniques) as Kappler and Jones (2003) stated:

“As the barrier is engaged, increasing amounts of force are necessary and the distance decreases. The term barrier may be misleading if it is interpreted as a wall or rigid obstacle to be overcome with a push. As the joint reaches the barrier, restraints in the form of tight muscles and fascia serve to inhibit further motion. We are pulling against restraints rather than pushing against some anatomic structure.”

Also osteopathy in the cranial field has been promoting the concept of fascia as cranial manipulation techniques involve great attention to intercranial dura (meninges that anchor and surround the brain and spinal cord).

Ilias is our resident Osteopath, he works on Fridays and also offers Deep Tissue Massage.

Please ring us on 01364 654 954 to book your Fascia-nating appointment with him today!

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How your emotions affect your risk of Flu

By Matthew Manning

sick as a dog

In 2003, Dr Richard Davidson and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin investigated the impact of emotions on flu risk. They asked 52 participants to recall the best and the worst times of their lives while having a brain scan. Next, the volunteers were given a flu vaccine and had their flu-antibody levels measured six months later.

Those who experienced particularly intense negative emotions (according to their brain scans) had fewer antibodies. In fact, the subjects who felt the worst made 50% fewer antibodies than those who were less upset by their painful memories. Davidson said, "It's absolutely likely that positive emotions can improve your immune function. People with negative emotional styles would be more likely to develop the flu." The risk of catching a cold had also been linked to emotions. Dr Sheldon Cohen and colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University studied over 300 healthy volunteers. Each was interviewed over two weeks to gauge his or her emotional state, with scores for positive categories (happy, pleased, or relaxed) and negative categories (anxious, hostile, and depressed).

Then the rhinovirus, which causes colds, was squirted into each participant's nose, and they were interviewed daily for five days about any symptoms. This showed that those scoring in the bottom third for positive emotions were three times more likely to catch a cold than those in the top third. Dr Cohen said, "People who express more positive emotions are less susceptible to upper respiratory tract infections than people with a negative emotional style. "I have spent most of my career and personal life trying to avoid or overcome bad things. I spend a lot more time now thinking about what I really want to do with my life, and where I'd like to go with whatever years remain."

Come and see our Nutritionist for Dietry advice, keep the body invigorated and stimulated with regular massage with either Shiatsu, Reflexology or Deep Tissue Massage, amongst many other relaxing methods.

Alternatively, a session or two of EMDR or Kinesiology can help keep on top of those emotions and keep your mental strength up...not to mention Hypnotherapy


Please call us on 01364 654 954 to book your appointment with any of our Practitioners

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Introducing Amanda De Groot

By The Haven Team

Amanda De Groot

Amanda De Groot is our latest addition to the team and will be offering the following therapies, mostly on Wednesdays and Saturdays:

  • EMDR Therapy
  • Holistic Massage 
  • Usui Reiki  
  • Indian Head Massage

My history is training in both physical and mental health nursing. As I am interested in Holistic wellbeing, I continued training in psychological and complimentary therapy. I worked with massage, looked after children in Foster Care and worked many years at Hospice as a complimentary therapist in palliative care.

At The Haven, I will be offering EMDR Therapy, Aromatherapy and Holistic Massage, Usui Reiki and Indian Head Massage with the aim to help my clients feel better, have more energy and experience total relaxation as well as guide them to a place of peace, free from pain.

In regards to my qualifications; I have level 3 in Holistic Massage/Physiology/Pharmacology. I’m a Reiki Master in level one and two of Usui Reiki as well as trained and qualified in Indian Head Massage, Aromatherapy Massage and Palliative Care Massage with Manual Lymphatic Drainage when it comes to Bodywork.


I am also a trained and accredited Mental Health Professional and E.M.D.R Practitioner. E.M.D.R stands for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing.

It is a powerful psychological treatment method developed by the clinical psychologist, Dr Francine Shapiro.
E.M.D.R is a way of allowing the mind to process information quickly and fully leading to lasting change and peace of mind.

I have found this therapy ideal for many situations in particular where people may have become 'stuck within' after a sudden trauma, which may have developed into a phobia / fear / anxiety or losing general confidence. An example is surgery, violent incidents, childhood abuse and P.T.S.D. The aim is being able to face the future more confidently.


I will be mostly available on Wednesdays and Saturdays and prices will vary according to the length of your visit…


 - Aromatherapy Massage      90mins - £55 / 75mins - £45 / 60mins - £40

 - Holistic Massage                 90mins - £55 / 75mins - £45 / 60mins - £40 

 - Indian Head Massage         60mins - £40 / 45mins - £35

 - Usui Reiki                            60mins - £40 / 45mins - £35

 - EMDR Therapy                   90mins - £60 / 60mins - £45    


If you would like to ask me any questions about my therapies or discuss your individual case before booking an appointment, please call me on 07580478670 or ring the Haven desk on 01364 654 954 to arrange an appointment.


I look forward to meeting you all!


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What is Diabetes?

By The Haven Team


Diabetes Awareness Week – World Diabetes Day falls every year on 14 November 

What is Diabetes? 

Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose in your blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly.  This is because your pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin, or not enough insulin, to help glucose enter your body’s cells – or the insulin that is produced does not work properly (known as insulin resistance). 

What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 Diabetes?*

 There are three major types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. All types of diabetes cause blood glucose levels to be higher than normal, but they do this in different ways 

- Type 1 Diabetes 

Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, but is most commonly diagnosed from infancy to the late 30s. With this type of diabetes, a person’s pancreas produces no insulin. It occurs when the body’s own defence system (the immune system) attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. What causes the immune system to do this is not yet completely understood, but we are funding research to find out. 

- Type 2 Diabetes 

Type 2 Diabetes is by far the most common type of diabetes – in the UK over 90 per cent of people with diabetes have type 2. Type 2 diabetes usually affects those over 40, or 25 if you’re of South Asian descent. However, it is becoming more common among young people due to lifestyle. The symptoms of type 2 Diabetes are not always obvious and, unlike with type 1, they can take a long time to develop. People with type 2 diabetes either don’t make enough insulin or don’t make insulin that the body can use properly. The cells in the body become resistant to insulin, making a greater amount of insulin necessary to keep blood glucose levels within a normal range. Eventually, the pancreas can wear out from producing extra insulin, and it may start making less and less. Type 2 can usually be managed through diet, exercise, and self-monitoring blood glucose, at least in the first few years following diagnosis. However, type 2 Diabetes is a progressive condition, and most people will need to take tablets and/or inject insulin after living with it for five to 10 years. 

LADA - (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults)

 Up to a third of people who were initially diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes actually have latent autoimmune diabetes of adults (LADA), sometimes refer to as type 1.5. People with LADA have features of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes – their immune system attacks the cells of the pancreas that produce insulin, but they may also develop insulin resistance. The destruction of the insulin producing cells is much slower in LADA than in type 1 Diabetes. A blood test is needed to tell the difference between type 2 Diabetes and LADA. Some people can manage LADA on diet, exercise and tablets in the initial months or years following diagnosis. However, most with move onto insulin therapy at some point. 

Gestational Diabetes:

Gestational Diabetes usually only affects women during pregnancy. This type of diabetes affects about two to five per cent of pregnant women. Pregnant women produce large amounts of hormones, which can cause the body to become resistant to the effects of insulin. By the time a woman reaches the end of the third trimester, her insulin requirements have tripled. If the pancreas is unable to match this increased demand, blood-glucose levels start to rise. In most cases, blood glucose returns to normal after pregnancy. However, women who have had gestational diabetes have a higher risk of eventually developing type 2 diabetes.  Symptoms of Diabetes  3.5 million people diagnosed in the UK and a further 549,000 who have the condition but don't yet know it, most of us know a friend or family member living with diabetes.   

Most common symptoms of Diabetes include: 

- Going to the toilet a lot, especially at night.   

- Being really thirsty.     

- Feeling more tired than usual.   

 - Losing weight without trying to.   

- Genital itching or thrush.   

- Cuts and wounds take longer to heal.   

- Blurred vision.     

If you have any of symptoms of Diabetes, you should contact your GP. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have Diabetes, but it’s worth checking – early diagnosis, treatment and good control are vital for good health and reduce the chances of developing serious complications.  

Managing your Diabetes  

This will involve support from family and friends, perhaps reaching out to a Counsellor too as diabetes and other chronic conditions are often linked with depression, stress and anxiety relating to the implications of living with the condition.   Meditation and light exercise will help, as will receiving detoxifying, therapeutic Massage therapy that will help alleviate both the mental and physical aspects. 

Nutrition and Herbal Medicine can give you invaluable advice on getting the right nutrients, while giving pointers on maintaining a healthy diet.  Acupuncture has been used for many years in dealing with chronic pain and other chronic conditions like diabetes as it

This can help to re-direct energy flow and restore harmony to the body. In so doing, patients may feel more relaxed.  Acupressure Massage is another technique that involves placing pressure on strategic points in the body to produce similar effects to acupuncture.   

 References: * 

Look after yourself and book a session with our Nutritionist Corrine Cole to discuss your tailor made healthy eating plan

For more information or to make a booking please call reception on 01364 654954

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How can Shiatsu support back pain?

By Frances Rayner

Back pain

Do you ever suffer from a dull, constant ache in your lower back?

Or do you have burning tension in your upper back or neck?

Does a sudden, sharp pain make it hard to move?

Back pain is the main cause of long-term sickness in the UK, responsible for more than 15 million lost workdays in 2013.

The most common causes are:

- Strained muscles or ligaments

- Wear and tear

- Bad posture

Shiatsu can be very helpful in these situations, as it can relax and "re-educate" muscles, and release the physical or emotional blockages that are contributing to the pain.

Typical reasons for booking a Shiatsu treatment include:

- For deep relaxation

- To reduce stress

- To gain relief from symptoms

- For emotional support

How can Shiatsu support back pain? Using touch, Shiatsu harmonises and stabilises the back so that it can let go of tension and the consequent pain. Treatment will revive and revitalise the area, reintegrating weak zones and improving the connection between different areas of the back. You might be given a simple exercise to do at home. Where it is not possible to alleviate all the symptoms, Shiatsu can help you tap into the emotional resources needed to cope with the situation.

How has Shiatsu helped some individuals?

Whilst you may be much helped by Shiatsu, each person will respond in different ways to the treatment. Stephen Wilberg spent seven years crippled by back pain. "I think the cause was just wear and tear. I've always been in the bike trade and I think continually lifting heavy bikes had just taken its toll. It was really bad - I used to walk around hunched up. Anti-inflammatory drugs and osteopathy only even provided temporary solutions." Stephen visited a Shiatsu practitioner once a month for four months and was astounded by the results. "It's not like other therapies, which just treat the damaged area. It goes from head to toe. The first time I went, I felt I could jump over a car when I came out, I felt that good. I've now been off painkillers for a long time." After two treatments and undertaking some recommended stretching exercises, his back pain had gone. He still attends monthly treatments for health maintenance and for what he calls top-ups.

If you wish to book a Shiatsu session with our Shiatsu practitioner Frances Rayner, please ring us on 01364 654954 and Frances will be very happy to help.

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Introducing Frances Rayner

By The Haven Team

Frances Rayner

Frances Rayner began her Shiatsu studies at The Devon School of Shiatsu in 2009 and established a practice in Cornwall before re-locating to Plymouth in 2013. She runs introductory Shiatsu workshops in Plymouth and teaches Reiki Levels I, II and III. Frances can be contacted at

What is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu is a form of therapeutic bodywork that supports individuals in moving towards greater health and well-being. It is a unique Japanese healing art that uses the power of touch to enable each one of us to heal at the deepest part of our being. Gentle pressure applied across the body induces deep relaxation and promotes a sense of well-being, peace and tranquillity. The techniques used in shiatsu are both simple and profound. Other forms of bodywork and massage can fulfil the need for touch, but Shiatsu is particularly effective.

Background to Shiatsu

Shiatsu was developed in the 1950’s alongside other forms of therapy such as Reflexology and Reiki. Whilst the actual creation of Shiatsu is relatively recent, the philosophy behind it is thousands of years old. Like acupuncture and other oriental therapies, Shiatsu works upon the body’s energetic system through the network of meridians (energy pathways) that relate to the functioning of the internal organs, as well as our emotional, psychological and spiritual states. Vital energy (or Ki in Japanese) flows through the body in a series of channels that are like rivers and canals. For many different reasons, Ki can stop flowing freely and this then produces physical symptoms, psychological or emotional disturbances, or simply to a feeling that things are just not quite right. The concept of the body as an “energetic” organism comes from ancient Chinese thought. By stimulating the acupuncture point and meridians, Shiatsu helps to harmonize the body’s vital energies and bring them back into balance. The Oriental model offers a wide range of options for understanding a symptom and Shiatsu as a therapy treats each individual uniquely and holistically

What happens during a Shiatsu treatment?

The treatment usually takes place on a padded mat or futon at floor level, or on a table, although it is possible to receive Shiatsu sitting in a chair if you are unable to lie down. You remain fully clothed throughout the treatment. Each treatment lasts approximately one hour. The first treatment is slightly longer to enable me to take a detailed case history to develop a complete picture of your health. Depending on your constitution and general energy levels, I use a variety of techniques to improve your energy flow. These can include gentle holding, pressing with palms, thumbs, fingers, elbows, knees and feet on the meridians and where appropriate, more dynamic rotations and stretches.

What clients say

"I received Shiatsu from Frances yesterday, and since then I have felt refreshed, invigorated and less tense. Her use of touch is effective in identifying points of pressure and relieving that pressure. Her style of Shiatsu is calm and focused, and her gentle approach allowed me to express my feelings and achieve a state of peace and contentment. I would recommend Frances’s treatments to anyone, regardless of gender, age and occupation.” John, Leeds.

“I have had several different therapies over the last few months but I can honestly say that the shiatsu session with Frances has been the most beneficial. She is a great practitioner and I am a delighted and happy client in a lot less discomfort than I was a few hours ago.” Alex, Cornwall.

"I felt more relaxed after 15 minutes of Shiatsu than after 1 hour of deep tissue massage.” Joanne, Plymouth.

Introductory Shiatsu Day - October 2016

Would you like to experience this dynamic form of oriental hands-on healing? This introductory course gives you the opportunity to give and receive shiatsu, and learn a simple back routine that you can give to friends and family. Saturday 29th October, 10am - 5pm, The Quaker Outreach Centre, 74 Mutley Plain, Plymouth, PL4 6LF. £95 per person (£50 deposit to be paid by20th September). If you would like to book a Shiatsu treatment or book a place on the above course, please contact Frances Rayner on 07940 865 994 or 01752 292 935.

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Acupuncture at The Haven Health Clinic

By The Haven Team


The Haven Acupuncturist Nicola Renovich has a new Acupuncture Facebook Page ‘Ashburton Acupuncture’. On this page you can receive information about recent Acupuncture research and conditions that Acupuncture can help with. Feel free to visit this page and get in touch if you have any questions. To visit this page click here or contact Nicola on 07981 887909. Appointments are available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays 9 – 7.30pm.


Background to Acupuncture

Acupuncture is widely recognized for its effectiveness in pain relief including neck and backache. It is however becoming more recognized to benefit a range of illnesses and symptoms, from migraines, sinus congestion, arthritis and digestive disorders, through to more general feelings of ill health such as nausea, lethargy or low energy. Due to it’s relaxing effect on the nervous system it is considered very beneficial for stress related conditions such as I.B.S, anxiety or depression. Some people without disease or symptoms choose acupuncture to enhance their feeling of well-being and maintain a balanced state of health.

Acupuncture is often used in the treatment of a variety of conditions and in conjunction with western medicine. Increasingly women are choosing to have acupuncture for fertility, in conjunction with IVF treatment, and to support them throughout pregnancy, for pre-birth treatment, labour and after giving birth. Nicola has been working for the last ten years primarily specialising in fertility, pregnancy and pre-birth acupuncture. For more information about fertility or pregnancy acupuncture please visit For bookings please call The Haven on 01364 654954.

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6 Easy Steps to a Blissfully Relaxed State of Mind

By Matthew Manning

6 easy steps to a relaxed state of mind

1. Make time. It can be hard to make time, but it's worth it. You'll probably need an hour, but any time you can spare is fine. Make sure you won't be distracted during this time.

2. Wind down. The first step is to wind down from the fast pace at which life is so often lived nowadays. Very simple activities that allow your mind to wander free will work for this. Cooking a familiar meal, listening to music, taking a walk - you'll know what works best for you. The mind needs space to expand.

3. Find positive emotions. Use your memory to locate positive emotions. Focus on a good moment in your life. It doesn't have to be anything major. Simply a nice smell, the sense of satisfaction of a small job well done or even a memory from years ago will do. Focus in on that memory for a while and let the emotion wash over you. Explore it for as long as you like.

4. Give thanks. Consider one or two things in life that you are grateful for. They could be anything, but people often choose relationships, such as family and friends. Or perhaps it could be your health, or even someone who did you a small kindness recently. Let your mind dwell on that feeling for a while.

5. Wave at negative thoughts floating past. When letting the mind float free, sometimes it ends up on negative thoughts. Try to notice these and let them go. It is important not to push them away, but just to notice them and accept them - just as you might wave at an acquaintance as you pass them in the street. Then gently refocus your mind to a positive thought or something you are grateful for.

6. Deep focus. After a time, you will probably start to enter a more peaceful state of mind. Here it feels like you have more time ... and that time is your own. Now you have a choice. If you enjoy being like this, then carry on. If you have something meditative that will maintain the state, then now is the time to turn to that. Open a book you've been meaning to read, start a journal, draw a picture or whatever it is you are in to. But, if you do choose an activity, make sure it is one that does not disrupt the state of deep focus. Try to maintain the sense of deep focus for as long as you can - even if you focus on nothing more than enjoying the moment.

Try these six steps a few times a week and see how it makes you feel...

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A Short Exercise for Healing Negative Emotions

By Matthew Manning

Healing negative emotions

I'm struck by the number of people asking for help or advice about dealing with negative emotions such as anger, fear, hurt, guilt, etc. and thought that this short exercise might help. If you've suffered a great deal of emotional pain and hurt in the past, you may well be carrying around a heavy burden of anger and resentment against those who hurt you. Sometimes these feelings may have turned into anger and hatred against yourself - self-hatred, for example, is a common cause and symptom of depression. Let it go. Remember that the resentment you feel is producing harmful chemicals in your body and is probably affecting your view of the world as a whole. It doesn't alter the past in any way. Make a decision to release yourself from the past. If you can, forgive those who have hurt you. They were probably unhappy and confused themselves. By forgiving others, you are helping to heal yourself - and you're creating space in your life for more positive people to come in. You may not initially feel like forgiving, but what is important is your willingness to forgive.

This short exercise, practiced once a day, will almost certainly help you on that path: "Sit and close your eyes. Remember a situation in which you felt hurt, anger, fear, guilt or any other similar emotion. Put yourself back into that situation as if it were happening here and now. "Recall the details involved: how you felt, how your body felt. Now think of one person you would most like to tell about your feelings, but have been unable to. Imagine them there with you - visualise them clearly in every detail. Then imagine talking to this person and being able to freely and openly express whatever it is that you felt. Try to get the feeling you are actually talking directly to this person. "Examine how you feel in telling them. How do you see them reacting? Is it how you thought they would, or different? Now, however you have seen them reacting, change that to the opposite. Examine the differences you feel in yourself and their changes. Compare the two. "Now see yourself telling them and imagine that they react simply with love, forgiveness, understanding, sympathy - or whatever you would most care for in the situation. "Hold that image for a while, and then release it."

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Massage helps treat the most common Mental Health Problem

By Matthew Manning

Massage for mental health problems

Just five sessions of Swedish massage is enough to improve the symptoms of anxiety, according to new research published in the prestigious "Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. Levels of cortisol - known as the stress hormone - were also reduced. People who took part in the study also saw reduced depression symptoms.

Swedish massage is the type of deep-tissue massage that people are most familiar with. The study was carried out on 47 people with generalised anxiety disorder - known as GAD. People experiencing GAD are in near-constant anxiety. With negative thoughts clouding their mind all day, it can be very hard to function normally. GAD is typically treated with therapy and/or medication. For the study itself, a group given Swedish massage was compared with another group in which people received light touch. Both groups had the massage or light touch twice a week for six weeks and each therapy session lasted 45 minutes. The researchers found that massage reduced anxiety, along with cortisol and depression symptoms, in comparison to the light touch condition.

This latest research could be a step up in the evidence for massage therapy. Professor Mark Hyman Rappaport, the lead researcher, said: "These findings are significant and if replicated in a larger study will have important ramifications for patients and providers."

If you wish to book a massage with one of our therapists here at The Haven, please contact us using the following details: 01364 654954 and we will book a treatment for you based on your individual case and requirements.

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Discover Shiatsu...

By The Haven Team


Shiatsu... what is it? A dog? A martial art maybe? Actually, it’s one the the oldest and fastest growing complementary therapies in the UK! Ideal for treating back and mo- bility problems plus general wellbeing, Shiatsu is a traditional Japanese therapy. Its history spans centuries, yet many of us simply don't know just how helpful it can be. Dr Hilary Jones, top TV medic from ITV’s Daybreak show explains: “Shiatsu is a traditional hands-on Japanese healing art. It can help in a wide range of conditions - from specific injuries to more general symptoms of poor health. Shiatsu is a deeply relaxing experience and regular Shiatsu sessions help to prevent the build-up of stress in our daily lives.”

So what actually happens during a Shiatsu treatment? Shiatsu practitioners use touch and comfortable pressure. They release tension and de-stress in the areas where you most need it by using:

pressure on acupuncture points

joint mobilisation

manipulation techniques

Shiatsu is ‘hands on’ yet not intrusive. There are no needles, no oils – plus there’s no need to un- dress! Each session is tailored to suit your needs. As well as offering targeted relief for many conditions and illnesses, Shiatsu encourages deep relaxation so it’s ideal for switching off and de-stressing. In fact, research shows that 60% of people who receive regular Shiatsu sleep better. Perfect for today’s hectic lifestyles!
In Japan, Shiatsu is a matter of lifestyle – most people â€¨have regular treatments.

“Shiatsu is often recommended by health professionals,” explains Samantha Haywood of the Shiatsu Society UK, the country’s leading association for Shiatsu professionals. “In the UK, we’re still catching on to the amazing benefits Shiatsu can offer.” Indeed; some results are amazing; literally life changing. In Bedfordshire, Suki Goodier was struggling with daily medication for pain management for 14 years following a car crash. “After three Shiatsu sessions, I was down to just one or two painkillers a month. Nothing else works for me.”

Clearly, Shiatsu can be powerful, yet it isn't as well known as other complementary therapies. The Shiatsu Society UK is working hard to change this. The organisation is passionate about encouraging more people who try – and benefit from – Shiatsu. “Everyone can use our website to find their local, qualified practitioner” says Samantha Haywood. “Using a practitioner from the Shiatsu Society (UK) assures you of professional, expert attention.” Now’s the time to discover Shiatsu.

If you wish to book a Shiatsu session with our Shiatsu practitioner Frances Rayner, please ring us on 01364 654954 and Frances will be very happy to help.

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Combat Stress by Writing a Journal

By The Haven Team

Journal writing

Keeping a journal can act as a useful substitute for therapy if the individual isn’t ready or unable to access help. The therapeutic benefits are many, from reducing stress, increasing creativity, resolving disagreements with others to promoting self-knowledge. Even a few minutes per day can help immensely.

Many of us censor what we say. We even censor what we think. Often we don’t even admit to ourselves that we are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Writing down our problems can lighten the burden. To work through our feelings, we need to know what they are. There is no better way to learn about our feelings and thoughts than to write them down. Sometimes, our thoughts and feelings are so confused we often cannot make sense of them until they’ve been laid out, one by one, untangling them from our emotions until a solution or reason why emerges. There is no right way. The point is that you can write anything and express your feelings freely. Just pick up a pen and paper and start writing about the how you are currently feeling. Don’t force yourself to write about traumatic experiences, just see where the process takes you. Forget about spelling and punctuation. One tip might be to destroy what you have written. Bury it. Burn it. Tear it up into tiny pieces and scatter it to the wind. Knowing that no one else will have a chance of reading it might encourage you to be much more honest. It can also be quite liberating to be freed from those thoughts once they’re physically separated from you in this way.

Journaling should be all accepting and non-judgmental. It is probably the cheapest therapy you will ever get. Best of luck journaling!

Alternatively, if you wish to book a therapy session, our Kinesiologist Ali Ashby would be happy to help. You can contact Ali Ashby through The Haven using the following contact details: 01364 654954.

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Overactive Thyroid - Natural Treatment

By The Haven Team


Dear readers

My name is Corinne Cole. I have been working as a Nutritionist-Herbalist at the Haven Health Clinic since last November. Although I can help and treat various conditions and illnesses, I specialise in the treatments of gall and kidney stones, weakened immune systems and my big favourite, the treatment of an over-active thyroid.

It is my favourite because, like many people, I suffered the consequences of an over- active thyroid. If you are in this situation, you may be familiar with symptoms of itchy skin, weight loss, tremors and palpitations, feeling unusually hot and extreme fatigue. Your thyroid guides the speed of your body's metabolism. When it becomes over-active, it produces more hormones, telling the rest of the body to go faster and therefore making you feel as if you are running marathons back to back every day.

From these symptoms, doctors will administer a blood test to check thyroid levels (TSH, T3, T4). Be encouraged to ask for a complete test of your blood levels as often the liver function will be struggling too (and ask for a copy of your results to take home). Usually based on thyroid results alone, the suggested treatments will be : beta-blockers which block the effects of the excess thyroid hormones; anti-thyroid drugs (methymazole, propylthiouracil (PTU)) which actually interfere with the thyroid gland's ability to make it’s hormones. The latter is usually very effective at controlling hyperthyroidism within a few weeks, but apart from side effects, hyperthyroidism will come back as soon as treatment is discontinued. So it is often a lifetime treatment with radioactive iodine treatment being offered as an alternative. And of course, if that doesn't work there is the last resort of surgery where the thyroid gland is removed, and hormone replacement therapy will have to be taken (thyroxine) for the rest of your life. Has anything positive been achieved? I was not convinced it had, and for that reason, I refused all conventional treatment and went all out for nutrition and herbal treatment.

Once you start your natural treatment, you will start feeling better within a few weeks as thyroid hormones levels go down. But this treatment aims at resetting your thyroid in the way it should function and so it could take at least 6 months to bring the hormone levels back to normal for a lasting effect. That means they will stay normal even when you stop the herbal treatment and even when you go back to eating a normal healthy diet.

I did it on my own and it is certainly worth doing. You can be well again and drug free. You will need dedication and firm determination but you can do it. If you decide to commit to this, I will be happy to come along side you to help and encourage you.

God bless you all.

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Peachy Sunrise Juice

By The Haven Team

Peachy sunrise juice

Peachy Sunrise Juice

We all love the summer. Summer is about a slower pace of life. It is about summer holidays, getting together with friends and family and of course, the longer sunny days.

So why not enjoy this sunshine with a Peachy Sunrise Juice. It is a great juice to start the day with a gorgeous rosy, orange glow.

To make your own Peachy Sunrise Juice you will need:

• 3 x Peaches

• 2 x Carrots

• 1 x Apple

• 1 cup of fresh Redcurrants


For other amazing juice recipes and to learn how to effortlessly adopt the routine of regular juicing in your life to boost your health & vitality, Jem Friar’s book “The Juice Habit Made Easy” can be bought on Amazon at:

It’s £7.97 as a Printed book but only £1.99 as a Kindle book.

Have a lovely Summer!

The Haven Team x

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Looking after your Skin this Summer

By The Haven Team

Looking after skin this summer

Looking after your Skin this Summer

Summer is finally round the corner, with longer days and lots of sun exposure – we all long for this time of year! However, this is the time when your skin needs a bit of looking after. Sun exposure is the number one cause of premature skin ageing and overexposure may lead to skin melanoma.

For safer sunkissed skin…follow these tips:

1. Exfoliate and moisturize your skin regularly, getting rid of those dead skin cells and replenishing the natural oils needed to protect it.

2. If sunbathing, stay out of the midday sun. It is at it’s hottest between 12 – 3 and you are likely to burn. Always use sunscreen, the higher the SPF, the better. Please also remember your sunnies and a well brimmed hat!

3. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Carry water with you everywhere you go.

If you do get sunburnt, try some of these home remedies:

-Add a few tablespoons of baking soda to your bath – it creates an excellent soothing remedy.

-Dilute apple cider vinegar with water and either take a cool bath or use a washcloth to apply it gently onto the affected areas.

- Aloe Vera and Cucumber are also a known soothers, cooling and rejuvenating the skin with natural healing properties.

The summer months don’t mean that you have to hide indoors; you can have a great time while protecting your skin and preventing premature aging, dark spots and rough skin texture. The younger we are when we start looking after our skin, the healthier and more vibrant we are in later life.

Enjoy your summer!

With love, The Haven Team

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Lemons and their Zesty Goodness!

By The Haven Team

 Lemons and their Zesty Goodness!

Lemons and their Zesty Goodness!

The health benefits of lemon that have been known for centuries include its immune boosting ability and its qualities as a digestive aid.

It combats infections:

Did you know that freshly squeezed lemon juice can help boost your immune system and get rid of that cold? It contains high levels of vitamin C, an impressive 187% of the daily value per serving and as such, is a great infection fighter!

It aids digestion:

Lemon juice helps the stomach to produce an acidic environment and it also helps our liver with bile production, which is an essential acid that is required for digestion. Taken first thing in the morning, it helps to kick-start the digestion process for the day. Lemon juice will also help to reduce symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn and bloating.

So have a glass of warm water with freshly squeezed lemon juice first thing every morning, on an empty stomach. It will help flush out toxins, boost your immune system and help your digestion. It reduces stress too, due to its effect on adrenals. While it is so refreshing and quenches thirst, it is advised to always consume it diluted as it can damage the enamel on your teeth.

For more helpful advice and guidance regarding your diet... please get in touch for a consultation with our Nutritionist - Corrine Cole. With love, the Haven Team x

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Chia Seeds

By The Haven Team

Chia seeds

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are growing fast in popularity. Aztecs and Mayans used to use these tiny black and white seeds to boost their energy.

Where do they come from? From a plant relative of the mint called Salvia Hispanica, native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. They really seem to be worthwhile having around. They help with your cravings by making you feel full for longer, they have heaps of nutrients and can be added into just about anything. They are also known to increase endurance, and are very high in protein, fibre, magnesium, calcium and mainly – Omega -3 Acids (Chia seeds contain more than salmon!).

Why don’t you try adding them to your morning cereal, salads or soups, to baked goods, even putting them in your yogurts and smoothies. They can also be used to thicken sauces and casseroles as they bulk up a little when soaked.

They can absorb a lot of water, which means that they help you feel full for longer. They have a crazy texture. Not dissimilar to poppy seeds but once water is added, they turn into slime. I understand why some might be put off.

So improve your iron intake and get your stamina with chia seeds. They are an excellent addition to your diet and can only make you healthier.

Beware, as with any super foods, long-term excessive use should be consulted with your nutritionist.

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Be Mindful

By The Haven Team

Bamboo leaves

Be Mindful

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle

Did you know that practicing mindfulness has been proven to bring many health benefits to the body? Mindfulness means to be conscious of life as it happens. Mindfulness is the way towards consciously feeling whatever we choose to feel. It's Buddhist roots go back more than two thousand years.

Give it a go:

1. Be aware of your breath. It allows you to come into the present moment.

2. Notice your thoughts and feelings. Try to stop worrying about the future. Next time you catch yourself thinking negatively, notice your thoughts and gently bring yourself back to your body – to your breath. Feel the sunshine on your face.

3. Notice your actions. Make daily chores your meditation practice. Instead of following your racing mind, try to focus on the task at hand. Shower. Sip your morning coffee.

4. Spend 5 minutes in quiet each day. Concentrate on your breath. Observe your thoughts and feelings without judging them. Let them pass. If your attention gets diverted, return to your breath.

Be kind to yourself while you practice - it is a process. Practice patience with yourself as your mind starts to wander.

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Let's celebrate May!

By The Haven Team

Lets celebrate May

Celebrate the month of May!

May is upon us and we are now officially in between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. There is a sense of renewal at this time of year, with longer days and the growing warmth of the sun. So this week, have some fun celebrating this lovely time of year! Here are some ways to embrace this season:

1. Spend some time in nature: Go outside; take a walk in the sunshine. Walk barefoot on the grass – it is excellent for our health and psychological wellbeing. Mark the occasion with a bonfire.

2. Write down appreciations for yourself and others. When we pay attention to what we already have, we are open to receiving and more gifts start appearing.

3. Make a commitment to something in your life. What do you really want out of life? Who are you? Although this may be tricky to answer, it helps open up new possibilities and change our mindset.

However you mark this month, let it be a time to rediscover the beauty of the divine within you!

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Creating Positive States of Health for yourself

By Matthew Manning


Medical researchers at the Institute of Heartmath, led by neurochemist Dr Glen Rein (with whom I worked over 30 years ago), published a fascinating report in the Journal of Advancement in Medicine that showed how positive and negative thinking can affect your immune system.

They monitored the amounts of salivary immunoglobulin A (s-IgA) after each person in the study thought about 'care and compassion' or 'anger and frustration'. s-IgA is a part of the immune system and is found in the saliva that can neutralise the bacteria that enter your mouth, from food for example. A high level of it indicates a strong immune system, whereas a lower level indicates a weakened immune system.

The Heartmath scientists discovered that 'care and compassion' produced a stronger immune system than 'anger and frustration'. They found that just five minutes of 'care and compassion' caused the immune system to be elevated for five hours, whilst five minutes of 'anger and frustration' depressed it for five hours.

It's a great demonstration that you can create positive states of health by thinking positively.

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Know Your Purpose? It Could Save Your Life

By Matthew Manning

group outside a skyscraper

A recent meta-study in the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health looked at the impact of having a "higher purpose" can have on health. Some 136,265 people participated in 10 different studies.

A significant association was detected between having a higher purpose in life and reduced mortality from all causes and specifically from cardiovascular disease. The participants were 67 years old, on average, at the beginning of the studies, and they were followed for seven years. During that time, more than 14,500 of them died and more than 4,000 suffered cardiovascular events such as heart attacks or strokes.

Analysis of the data, which includes adjustments for other known factors such as smoking, showed that a higher sense of purpose was linked to a reduction of about 20% in mortality from all causes, as well as a lower risk of cardiovascular problems.

This is a very significant difference, and this knowledge should encourage us to help people find their purpose. It's not just nice to have one - it can actually save lives!

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Introducing Julie Best-clark

By Julie Best-Clark

Julie Best-Clark

I am very pleased to be joining the Haven following the Easter break.  I am an Integrative Counsellor/Psychotherapist having trained in London. My aim is to bring together effective approaches incorporating a variety of therapeutic models such as relational therapy, psychodynamic, attachment theory, person centred and neuroscience.  This will also depend on your individual needs.  My experience also covers body psychotherapy and energy work. 

I have been working in this field for the past few years in private practise and working for the NHS.  I also have 10 years experience of working with women and children who have been affected by domestic abuse.

My original training was in Homeopathy and I have practised this for 18 years, seeing adults and running a children’s clinic.  I will be offering this and also reiki treatments.

To chat with Julie or to make an appointemnt please contact us at the Haven Health Clinic on 01364 654954.

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By Kate Hoskin

Kate Hoskin

I first discovered Reiki the beginning of 2015 when I was quite poorly. I had hit rock bottom with an awful illness that had knocked the stuffing out of me, not great with a young family to look after!

Receiving Reiki had such an effect on my wellbeing and recovery that I had to discover more.

 I am very passionate about getting Reiki ‘out there’ and have trained to become now a fully certified and insured Usui/Holy Fire Master practitioner.

My background prior to my Reiki journey was very much into alternative therapies. I travelled to various countries working and meeting wonderful people. I have been on various healing workshops, I have a diploma in colour therapy, I am a certified practitioner in horse massage and I am currently studying Indian Head Massage and Tibetan Buddhist meditation.

Trying to describe Reiki to someone who knows nothing about it...well that is a bit tricky…it is something you feel, something you experience.

Reiki is…calming, relaxing, safe and a space and time completely for you. 

If you would like to know more about Reiki or to speak with Kate, give us a ring at the Haven on 01364 654954.

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8 Great Remedies for an Anxious Mind

By Matthew Manning


1. First, slow down. When we are anxious, everything speeds up - our thoughts race, our heart pounds, our breathing accelerates. This makes it difficult to think clearly and make healthy decisions. At the first sign of things speeding up, move a little slower and see what else you can do intentionally. Slow things down.

2. Come to your senses. Anxiety lives in our minds and often manifests in the body. When we're anxious we're not connected to where we are. Take a few moments to connect with your five senses. It will help to bring you back into the moment.

3. Be mindful of a simple task. Life is full of simple tasks: walking, eating, answering emails, gardening, cooking. When we're anxious, we feel out of control. Being mindful of a simple task helps remind us we're in control of our choices. Choose a task and imagine it's your first time doing it. Dip into the richness of your life.

4. Do a reality check. Anxiety often stems from fear about events that haven't taken place. Our minds are very creative and powerful and often tell stories that aren't true. When you have a catastrophic thought, ask yourself, "Is this thought absolutely true?" Chances are your worst fears are just that - fears, not facts, not the reality of what's happening.

5. Release the critic. Not only is anxiety painful enough, but we often get hit with a second round of self-critical thoughts. A simple question: Do the judgements make you more or less anxious? The answer is almost always, more. When you notice the self-critic, see if you can interrupt it by dropping into your heart and saying, "May I learn to be kinder to myself."

6. Channel your anxious energy. Not all anxiety is bad. Like most mental events, anxiety lies on a spectrum. If your anxiety isn't severe, you can actually channel that energy into something productive. If you're nervously waiting to hear some news, get active - go for a brisk walk, clean, organise, or garden instead.

7. Lie down and look up. This is an age-old trick: a natural experience of mindful awareness sets in when we just lie down, look up at the sky, and watch the clouds. Experience the nature of how all things naturally come and go.

8. Listen. As an experiment, take the day and set an intention to listen. Listen to the sounds of leaves in the wind, of children playing, or someone speaking to you. When we pause and listen, we can get back in touch with the simplicity of life, and anxious thoughts start to recede.

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Spring Clean Yourself with Energy Healing

By Judith Peplow

energy healing woman

How Can Energy Healing Help Me?

Just as we can look after our physical body by eating well and exercising, we can also look after our inner self, our mind and our emotions.  One way of doing this is by having energy healing.  Our mind and emotions have a massive impact on our physical health so it is important to take care of them. 

Energy healing can be seen as general maintenance, you do not need to be ill to have healing.  Just as you would take your car into the garage for a service sometimes it’s good to give yourself some care and attention. Healing can relax and revitalise you on all levels. What better time to do that than in the Spring?

The main healing modality I work with is Vortex Healing® which is like light energy, using many frequencies to transform and revive you with lasting results.  The energy will follow intention so can work where it is asked to and where it is most needed.  In this way it can be used like a laser to focus on a particular issue or problem. Most of all it feels very lovely to receive!!

When used with focus energy healing can help us to let go of excess emotional baggage and past problems.  Having energy healing is like spring cleaning the house, clearing away unwanted debris and clutter.  It can help us to get over trauma and loss from bereavement or relationship break ups, for example.  It can give us a fresh perspective on current problems, clearing the mind and calming the emotions so we feel more able to cope and sort things out.  It can work on changing unwanted habits and behaviour.

Energy healing nourishes the physical body.  It can be channelled to strengthen and re-energise the body during or after illness.  The energy helps combat infections.  It can release trauma held in the body from past injuries or accidents.  Its relaxing and revitalising effects can support the immune system.

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Introducing Corinne Cole

By Corinne Cole


"My name is Corinne Cole and my passion is to use foods and herbs as remedies.

Our body is a very sophisticated creation, slightly different for each of us. If we choose to, we can learn what works for our body and build a foundation of health and wellbeing.

What we eat, drink and do with our time is what makes our lifestyle. Our
body is sensitive to it and will either feel good or react by giving symptoms.
We can learn to listen to these symptoms and work back to the cause. This information gives us a choice.

We can make a change for our health if we wish to or ignore our symptoms and feel unwell. Over time, if we ignore our symptoms the body can produce an illness. I believe it is worth thinking about how much we would like to be healthy, feel good, enjoy vitality and be happy.

It is possible you know! And sometimes it only takes a few changes in what we eat, in how we organise our time to avoid high stress level, or create a lifestyle that enhances rather than depletes our health.

I am a nutritionist-herbalist. If you want to create a healthy lifestyle, I'm really happy to help you." Corinne

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My Passion for Osteopathy

By Ilias Sachpazidis


"My name is Ilias Sachpazidis and I would like to introduce myself as the new osteopath of The Haven Team.

By combining my passion's for science, health and the desire to help people, I began my studies at the Institute of Medical Laboratories in Athens. I later studied Osteopathy in the UK and graduated from the European School of Osteopathy having broadened my knowledge and technique.

My passion for the inner workings of the body lead me to further study visceral osteopathy (it has to do with the internal organs) and expand in cranial osteopathy (a.k.a. Craniosacral therapy). That provides me with a comprehensive way to help people to heal on multiple levels.

Osteopathy is a form of manual treatment of the body administered by a fully qualified  osteopath. The treatment ranges from gentle mobilisation of muscles and joints to adjustment of joints when needed and were appropriate. Cranial osteopathy is the very gentle palpation of subtle motion of the cranial bones and pelvis of the client, aiming to help balance their motion and equalise the movement  of the fluid that bathes the central nervous system (cerebrospinal fluid).

In addition to this osteopathy can also be directed to the internal organs which can help with the relationship between the organs and the musculoskeletal system .Visceral osteopathy can be beneficial for gut imbalances such as IBS.

The benefits of osteopathy are multifaceted and range from general alignment of the body to eliminating aches and pains that arise from the body's attempt to compensate too many factors at once. Symptoms my vary from headaches to pain in various parts of the body and  to internal problems. Osteopathic treatment is applicable to people of all ages and fitness levels. It’s also a good treatment for pregnant women.

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Want to Look and Feel Younger? Meditate Daily, Say's New Study

By Matthew Manning

woman meditation back to

Researchers report that apart from reducing blood pressure and heart disease risk, Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique and lifestyle changes can slow cellular death too.

A new study has examined what happens at the level of DNA, showing that TM increases telomerase gene expression which may contribute to cardiovascular and ageing benefits. Specifically, it was found to activate two genes that code for telomerase - which adds molecules to the ends of chromosomes or telomeres - protecting them from deterioration.

For the trial, the participants included 48 men and women with high blood pressure who were recruited and studied at Howard University Medical Centre. Half were assigned to a group that learned the TM technique and received a basic health education course. The other half were assigned to a group that focused on significant lifestyle modifications such as weight reduction, reducing salt intake, engaging in regular physical activity and moderating alcohol.

After 16 weeks, both groups showed significant increases in telomerase gene expression and reductions in blood pressure.

"These findings are very encouraging for prevention. They show that Transcendental Meditation and lifestyle modification can contribute to heart health," said Robert Schneider, one of the researchers.

"The result is valuable new information, relevant to both cardiovascular disease and to the molecular mechanisms involved in Transcendental Meditation," added John Fagan, Professor of Molecular Biology in the report published in the journal PLOS ONE.

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6 Things to Get Resolute About!

By The Haven Team

inspiration - man and sky


1.More self- love: catch yourself in those moments of judgement and self -blame…  acknowledge that you are doing your best. Put right what was put asunder. Go forwards in grace and ease.

2. Add in your random acts of kindness; from smiling at your neighbours, holding open a door for someone or complementing a friend, random acts of kindness benefit everyone.

3. Keep hopeful; in times of doubt “pick yourself up” with a special treat; visit a loving friend, take yourself on a new trip or adventure or simply repeat loving thoughts to yourself until you feel better.

4. When things aren’t working out the way you want it’s worth remembering that a closed door is the wrong door. Something better is waiting for you.

5. Trust in the process of life; knowing through difficulties come ease and that the natural ebb and flow; ups and downs are all a part of the journey.

6.Make your dreams a reality. Focus on what you want and let it run through your mind each day; enjoy the images. Feeling’s, thoughts as if they are happening right now!

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Friendship, Health and Healing

By Matthew Manning

group of friends

Friends play a vital role in our healthy development and well-being in every stage of our life. But did you know that chatting with your best friend or laughing uncontrollably with your mates is actually beneficial to your health? Here are six reasons why your friends are 100% good for you!

1. Live longer. Positive friendships have an impact on our health and can lead to longevity. A 10-year Australian study found people with a solid group of friends were 22% more likely to live longer than those who had fewer friends to count on. Keep your friends close and make the time to reach out and get together.

2. Stay in shape. If you're looking to keep fit, then having a close friend can help you achieve it. A study of 1,000 women found that those who work out with friends train longer, burn more calories and go to the gym more often. Coordinate your exercise or fitness plan with your friends.

3. Prepare for challenges ahead. In a University of Virginia study, students were taken to the bottom of a steep hill with a weighted backpack . Each person was asked to estimate the steepness of the hill. Some students stood alone and others were next to friends. Those who were in the company of friends gave lower estimates of the incline, and the longer the friends had known each other, the less steep the hill appeared. With friends at your side, things don't seem so tough!

4. Press the "relax" button. In many studies, it has been found that loneliness increases the production of cortisol, a stress hormone that can lead to high blood pressure and low immune function. When those lonely moments strike, make sure to contact a friend. Surround yourself with people who care about you in order to lower your stress levels and start relaxing.

5. In sickness and in health. When illness strikes, it's even more imperative to have a strong support system. A study of over 2,000 breast cancer patients in China found that strong friendships and a high quality of life were the most important predictors of both cancer recurrence and survival. Being ill is difficult enough to start with; make sure to let friends and close ones in during those trying times. If you have a friend who is sick, go that extra mile for them.

6. Don't worry, be happy. Happiness is something that most people aspire to, and close social ties have a lot to do with it. A study which followed 5,000 individuals over a period of 20 years found that when one person becomes happy, their friends also reap the joyful benefits. In fact, one person's happiness triggers a chain reaction of happy - up to three degrees of social connection. When you are having a great day or are in a wonderful mood, be sure to share with your friends and spread happiness all around!

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5 Ways to Manage your Energy and Create Vibrant Health

By The Haven Team

feet up reading books

When we look at the reasons behind a cold or a backache or digestive problems it’s often revealed that we’ve been stressed for a period of time. Work or family life has become too full and we haven’t had any time to recover and replenish ourselves. Maybe it’s become too difficult to relax when we do have space or we are unable to sleep well.

Managing our energy is essential if we want to stay healthy. It’s easy to do and just takes a bit of planning. And don’t worry about the time!!!! You may be amazed to find that by managing your stress levels you start to feel like you have more time.

1 Make space; it’s all too easy with current lifestyles to over stretch our energy by simply packing too much in! Be sure to have at least 2 evenings during the week where you are doing nothing except relaxing at home.

2 Find your personal de-stress techniques and make it a part of your daily life. This could be an hour in the gym, a swim, a 20 min meditation, a walk around the block, a long hot bath, pranayama (deep breathing), prayer, lying on the floor with your feet up the wall, a repeating mantra…. the list is endless… find yours and use them…  schedule them into your diary… one each day!

3 Take a regular massage. No matter how often; weekly, fortnightly, monthly, 6 weekly; your body will prepare for the session and happily release stress for you regularly through this ancient practice of deep-relaxation.

4 Detox. Eat lots of green vegetables or take green vegetable juices. Eat quality foods and drink plenty of water. It’s important to have treats and eat the foods that you love whilst maintaining your health through a diet full of nutritional food.

5. Rest is an essential component to bringing our bodies back to a place of balance. This does not mean gardening or taking the children to clubs… allow yourself some time for stillness outside of your sleep time.

Lie on the sofa with a good book or some sweet music. Watch an uplifting film, enjoy some slow yoga followed by a 20 minute relaxation. Play a meditation or relaxation CD.  Let the body be still and you will begin to notice how your energy recovers.

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Ginger Found to be 10,000 times Stronger Than Chemotherapy in Breast Cancer Rese

By Matthew Manning


A new study published in PLoS reveals a component within ginger known as 6-shogaol could be up to 10,000 times more effective than conventional chemotherapy in targeting the cancer stem cells at the root of breast cancer malignancy.

Stem cells are at the root of a wide range of cancers, not just breast cancer, and are sometimes referred to as "mother cells" because they are responsible for producing all the different "daughter" cell types that make up the tumour colony. While cancer stem cells only constitute between 0.2 and 1% of the cells within any given tumour, they have the seeming "immortal" ability to self-renew, are capable of continuous differentiation, are resistant to conventional chemotherapeutic agents, and are tumourigenic - they are capable of "splitting off" to create new tumour colonies. The cancer stem cells within a tumour must be destroyed if cancer treatment is to affect a lasting cure.

The new study titled, "6-Shogaol Inhibits Breast Cancer and Stem Cell-Like Spheroids by Modulation of Notch Signalling Pathway and Induction of Autophagic Cell Death," identified powerful anti-cancer stem cell activity in 6-shogaol, a pungent constituent of ginger produced when the root is either dried or cooked. The study also found that the cancer-destroying effects occurred at concentrations that were non-toxic to non-cancerous cells - a crucial difference from conventional cancer treatments that do not exhibit this kind of selective cytoxicity and therefore do great harm to the patient.

It was in evaluating the last mode of 6-shogaol's chemotherapeutic activity and comparing it to the activity of the conventional chemotherapy taxol that the researchers discovered an astounding difference. Whereas taxol exhibited clear cytoxicity in the one-dimensional (flat) monolayer experimental model, it had virtually no effect on the spheroid model, which is a more "real-world" model reflecting the 3-dimensionality of tumours and their stem cell sub populations. Amazingly, this held true even when the concentration of taxol was quadrupled.

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5 Mood boosting foods

By The Haven Team


It’s natural when we feel sad or depressed to reach for comfort foods; fatty, sugary, processed foods; foods like pizza, cheese sandwiches, crisps and cake! Unfortunately nutritional advice is that these foods will not help lift our spirits or change how we are feeling.

The food we eat is linked to our moods, emotional state and our behaviour. Science has proved many times over that adding more micronutrients to our diet and reducing sugar and unhealthy fats really does boost our emotional state.

Here’s 5 foods to improve your mood according to science:

1. Healthy Fats.

Polyunsaturated fats (in particular omega-3 fatty acids) play a vital role in the brain by modifying inflammation. Neuro-inflammation is associated with depression.

Omega-3 fats are found in high quantities in oily fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel and can also be found in oysters, walnuts and seeds.

2. Tryptophan.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid required to produce serotonin. Serotonin is thought to produce mood stability.

Foods that support tryptophan include seeds, nuts, cheese, oats and meats.

3. Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is important in activating the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin.

Vitamin D is found mostly in oily fish and some dairy products. The best source is sunshine.

4. B vitamins.

B vitamins play an important role in producing brain chemicals that regulate mood.

The best way to get adequate B vitamins is to have a healthy and varied diet. For those who avoid meat products B12 can be difficult to find and is usually taken in nutritional yeast or fortified products.

5. Fermented foods.

Cultured and fermented foods promoted a healthy gut and a more positive mood.

Try yogurt, kefir, fermented vegetables, sauerkraut and pickles







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Osteoporosis; What can cause it and what can heal it.

By The Haven Team

Skeleton - Womans body

Our bones are at their most dense in our 20’s and after the age of 35, bones gradually loose their density as a natural part of aging. This happens slowly and increases as women go through the menopause. Our bones are continually growing and changing as old bone is broken down and new bone is formed. We can help this process by eating healthy foods to promote bone growth and taking regular weight bearing exercise.

 Factors that can decrease bone growth.

  • Long term use of corticosteroids used in treating allergies and inflammation
  • Long term use of oral Contraceptives can each folic acid B9 from the body. Folic acid lowers homocysteine which aids the prevention of osteoporosis.
  • Aromatase inhibitors in breast cancer treatment. Aromatase inhibitors lower estrogen levels in the body. Estrogen is essential in bone growth.
  • An overactive thyroid gland disturbs the balance of bone minerals and causing deficient vitamin D in the body and loss of calcium through excretion.
  • Low levels of testosterone possibly caused through prostrate irregularities or cancer. Testosterone is another hormone essential in bone growth.
  • Digestive disorders which decrease your ability to absorb nutrients.

Adding more nutrient dense foods.

As with much scientific research, the results of which nutrients help with the building of bone is still inconclusive. We know that Vitamin D and Calcium are the main nutrients required for bone health but there are many others required for bone synthesis that are needed in the body so our best bet is to improve our overall nutrient intake and to make sure we have sufficient quantities of Vitamin D and Calcium.

By reducing sugar, wheat and other  “anti-nutrients” and increasing pure foods ( organic meat, fish, vegetables and fruit) you can triple your nutrient intake overnight!

High quality foods supply greater amounts of essential minerals and vitamins. For example studies show that eggs from pasteurised chickens have twice as much vitamin E and double the amount of omega 3 fatty acids as commercial eggs.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is the most significant nutrient necessary for the absorption of calcium. Vitamin D and calcium work together to slow down or even reverse osteoporosis.

Vitamin D comes from two sources. It is made in the skin through direct exposure to sunlight, and it comes from the diet. The body's ability to produce vitamin D from exposure to sunlight and to absorb calcium and vitamin D decreases with age. Getting enough vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and also helps the kidneys break down and incorporate (resorb) calcium that would otherwise be excreted.

Foods rich in Vitamin D.


Oily Fish such as sardines, salmon, mackerel

Liver, Pork

Foods rich in calcium.


Oily fish such as Sardines, salmon, mackerel

Dark leafy greens eg. Spinach, kale and spring greens.


Dried fruit


Weight Bearing Exercise and Movement to Increase Bone Growth

Short bursts of high impact exercise are the most effect ways of stimulating bone growth. By creating a series of tremors through your body, your bone generates new bone growth. E.g. a short run, weight lifting or rebounding (using a mini trampoline).

If you are new to exercise you could start with power walking or walking quickly up and down stairs. Plus for when you’re feeling less energetic, its great fun to roll around on the floor sending little tremors through your bones. Also a weight bearing activity.

Aim for 20 min’s a day or 1 hour 3 times a week. Your general health will benefit too!!



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5 Ways Creativity Improves Your Health

By Matthew Manning


Before Western civilisation turned art into a commodity, it's purpose was for honouring the spirits of the universe and healing the body and soul. Art moved us beyond our fears of the unknown, allowing us to integrate our life experiences in order to live fully and in harmony with the earth. Today, we are not so different from our ancestors. Stress over our fears disconnects us from our source - the endless well of inspiration that only our imagination can tap. Being creative is something we should all try, and these are five of the best benefits of creating:

1. It will make you better suited to be innovative. When you practice being creative in a non-stressful, self-expressive way, you'll be more comfortable when you are doing a task that involves serious pressure. When you become more inclined to think out-of-the-box on a side project, you are more likely to generate new ideas in the work environment.

2. It will reduce your risk of depression and chronic stress development. Creative expression is linked to the healthcare practice. Health is beyond just fighting off disease and ailments. Holistic health - which encompasses the physiological, emotional and social health - is a true assessment of one's health. When you express yourself creatively, you improve your odds of coping with tough life situations. By getting it out on paper, canvas, in an image, through movement or through music, you are coping, so you will be less likely to develop depression or stress-related illnesses which arise from lack of self-expression.

3. It can improve your self-image and self-awareness. Creative movement has been shown to improve self-image in women going through breast cancer treatment. A study of women undergoing treatment and practicing art as a coping mechanism for their disease found comfort and a positive form of self-expression in dance. Creative dance, as in dance where they moved and told a story through the movement, caused positive effects, including improved coping skills, better attention and appreciation for self and body and an easier transition back into normal life.

4. It will improve your immune function. Researchers at Teikyo University in Japan wanted to see if listening to classical music would positively affect the immune function and anti-inflammation in mice. After exposing mice to music by Mozart, Enya and random sound frequencies, they saw the Mozart-listening mice had better functioning immune systems than the other two groups.

5. Ballroom dancing is being shown to delay mental decline in older adults. As we grow older, the inevitable slowing down of our brains is going to happen. Ballroom dancing has been shown to increase mental sharpness in people of all ages. As you lead and follow with a dance partner, you are teaching your brain to pick up on quick changes. This keeps your mind clear and sharp and, in turn, trains it to stay sharp.

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Pineapple Surprise

By Jem Friar N.C

pineapple juice


1/3 Pineapple

1 x Apple

1/4 Cuecumber

1/2 Lemon

A cup of Parsley


Remove the pineapple skin before juicing. Push the parsley through the juicer using the apple.

For more information on juicing and detox please give us a ring at The Haven Health clinic on 01364 654954 and ask to speak with Jem Friar.

Some Health Benefits of Pineapple

  • Fresh pineapple is a storehouse for several unique health promoting compounds, minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.

  • Pineapple is a rich source of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber like pectin.

  • Pineapple fruit contains a proteolytic enzyme bromelain that digests food by breaking down protein. Bromelain also has anti-inflammatory, anti-clotting and anti-cancer properties. Studies have shown that consumption of pineapple regularly helps fight against arthritis, indigestion and worm infestation.

  • Fresh pineapple is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin; vitamin C. Vitamin C is required for the collagen synthesis in the body. Collagen is the main structural protein in the body required for maintaining blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones. Regular vitamin C intake boosts immunity and reduces inflammation in the body.

  • In addition, Pineapple is rich in B-complex group of vitamins like folates, thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin and minerals like coppermanganese and potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids and helps to control heart rate and blood pressure. Copper is a helpful cofactor for making red blood cells and Manganese aids detoxification.

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What We Can Learn About Living From Jackie Collins

By Matthew Manning

Like many of us, I had watched the novelist Jackie Collins on television just a couple of weeks ago, so the news of her death recently came as a shock. She'd seemed so vibrant and glamorous, yet she was close to the end of her fight with breast cancer that had first been diagnosed six-and-a-half years ago. In one of her last interviews, on September 14, she said that she had told few people about her diagnosis other than her three daughters, and did not regret her decision.

"I did it my way, as Frank Sinatra would say," she said. "I've written five books since the diagnosis, I've lived my life, I've travelled all over the world, I have not turned down book tours and no-one has ever known until now when I feel I should come out with it."

It is often people like Jackie Collins who actually teach us how to live. Whether it is her, or one of my patients, here are five of the most important lessons that I have learned:

1. Maintain gratitude in spite of challenges. Despite sometimes being almost immobile, many of my patients towards the end of their lives, are still thankful for every day because they are acutely aware that tomorrow is not guaranteed. Each small task is a victory to be celebrated as a blessing.

2. Memento mori. We often forget, especially when we are young, that we are mortal. The truth is that tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us. The time to do the things we want to do, say the things we want to say, and achieve our goals is now. Every moment we lose to doubt or insecurity is a moment we will never get back.

3. It is as our mind wills it. Most of my patients see themselves as people living with a potentially life-threatening disease, rather than as people dying from it. Illness, while certainly limiting, does not stop them from living their life.

4. Sometimes, the battle chooses us. Too often, we give up without a struggle and accept what comes our way. But whatever life throws at us, we have to stand up and fight back. A useful mantra for all of us is, "Make sure you are the one who throws the last punch before the fight is over."

5. There is joy in each and every day. We spend so much time focusing on what we want but don't have - that which we feel we deserve but has somehow been denied us. Ultimately, life is what we make it and it's up to us to seek out the joy in it.

It sounds like Jackie Collins followed these lessons, as do many of my patients. "I refuse to mourn people, because everybody dies," she said recently. "Death and taxes, you can't avoid either."

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Boost Your Immune System with Natural Antibiotics

By Matthew Manning

honey, tumeric, garlic, ginger

Antibiotics are used to treat and prevent bacterial infections. They have also become one of the most over-prescribed medicines today. This is dangerous because overuse and misuse of antibiotics leads to antibiotic resistance. Hippocrates said, "Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food."

Many foods act as natural antibiotics and are effective in treating many health issues. Unlike prescription antibiotics, most natural antibiotics also fight viral and fungal infections - and they don't kill off the 'good' bacteria required by the body. Here are some of the top natural antibiotics:

1. Garlic. This is a natural antibiotic as well as an antiviral and antifungal agent. A 1999 study published in the journal Microbes and Infection found that the sulphur compounds known as allicin in garlic act as natural antibiotics. It also contains a host of vitamins, nutrients and minerals that are beneficial to overall wellness - and it also helps to kill intestinal parasites.

2. Honey. A 2014 study presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society found that honey has the ability to fight infections on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance to it. To get the antibiotic benefit of honey, always use raw, organic honey.

3. Turmeric. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and, according to a 2009 study published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, the antimicrobial activity of curcumin against helicobacter pylori showed positive results. In addition, it helps to prevent bacterial infections in wounds.

4. Echinacea is a natural antibiotic that can treat wounds and bacterial infections. The herb also strengthens the body's defence system so it can fight several infections. Do not take this herb for more than a week or ten days. It may not be suitable for people with autoimmune disorders.

5. Ginger's natural antibiotic property helps prevent and treat many health problems caused by bacteria. Fresh ginger has an antibiotic effect against food-borne pathogens like salmonella. It also has an antibacterial effect on respiratory and periodontal infections.

6. Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) is a natural antiseptic as well as an antifungal and antiviral agent. In fact, it is reported to be effective against more than 800 forms of viruses and bacteria, more than 100 strains of fungus and many parasites. In addition, GSE is high in antioxidants, which boost the body's natural immunity.








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5 Foods for a Healthy Heart

By The Haven Team


Heart disease is the No. 1 Killer in America.

The good news is that 90% of the time it can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle. Eating these foods will also help you lose weight, gain energy and stimulate brain function!!

1. Eat Plenty of Fiber.

Fiber is the roughage that comes with vegetables, fruits, beans and nuts.  It supresses appetite, improves your blood sugar and cholesterol, decreases inflammation and slows aging.

The challenge is to eat a lot of it; around 30gms per day. This amounts to

3 cups of vegetables

2 pieces of fruit

2 handfuls of nuts and seeds

½ to 1 cup of beans

2. Enjoy Healthy Fats.

Fats from seafood, extra virgin olive oil and nuts all improve your heart health. As do fats of avocado, seeds and dark chocolate. These fats are essential for brain health and help reduce inflammation in the body.

3. Switch to high quality protein.

Commercially produced meat and dairy is loaded with hormones and pesticides. Instead choose wild seafood such as salmon, sole and shellfish. For poultry and eggs, focus on free-range, organic-fed options.

Love red meat? Aim for grass-fed, organic beef, pork and lamb.

4. Spices and Herbs.

Spices and herbs like garlic and ginger, sage, rosemary, basil, curry spices and hot chilli all help reduce arterial plaque and increase your metabolism whilst lowering inflammation.

5. Drink in goodness.

Start by checking your daily intake of pure water (yes that’s water with nothing in it!). Aim for 1 ½ to 2 pints per day, drunk throughout the day. Reduce coffee and black tea to a minimum; 1 – 2 cups per day (preferably tea or one of each). Coffee is a very strong stimulant and therefore could be thought of as a drug and therefore taken in small quantities only. Black tea has more caffeine but is less stimulating and easier on the body.

Smoothies and Juices are packed with nutrients and as well as being delicious are cleansing for the blood and therefore relaxing for the heart. Check out our blog for recipes or order a copy of The Juice Habit Made Easy by Jem Friar, our resident Detox Expert. 

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Breast Cancer and Nutrition

By Matthew Manning

Cancer and Nutrition Book

Whilst there are many books about cancer and diet, it is rare to come across one written by a doctor. But a new book, "The Breast Cancer Cookbook" by Professor Keshtgar, a surgeon at London's Royal Free Hospital, changes that. His book contains recipes for cancer prevention and the improvement of survival rates. Many of my breast cancer patients tell me that their consultants are sceptical or dismissive of the benefits of diet, so this book is a breath of fresh air!

He says that as a consultant breast cancer surgeon, he knows first-hand the impact of this illness on women and their families - but it isn't just about luck. 

"I have become increasingly convinced that diet and lifestyle play a part in the development of breast cancer. Making changes really can reduce your risk. Numerous studies now show the risk of many different cancers is undoubtedly influenced by diet, particularly whether you eat enough fruit and vegetables. 

"This impact is made starkly clear when you consider that in the West, breast cancer is three times more prevalent than in Eastern Asia. But when populations migrate from areas with low breast cancer risk (such as Japan) to areas of high breast cancer risk (the U.S.) their risk of developing the disease soon rises to that of the host nation".

Studies now show as many as nine per cent of cancer cases could be prevented by dietary changes, he says. 

"A major study led by my colleagues at the University of Westminster focuses on the effects of diet and lifestyle on the recurrence of breast cancer. They are co-ordinating the largest dietary study to date of UK breast cancer patients, analysing the diets of more than 3,000 sufferers from 56 NHS hospitals.

"Three years into this five-year study, there is strong evidence to suggest that breast cancer recurrence rates can be reduced - and survival rates improved - when patients adopt a healthy lifestyle".

"The effects of diet are long-standing; it doesn't just happen within days and months. But if one changes the actual habit over a long period of time, it's another factor that we can at least use in the prevention of development of cancer".

If you would like to learn more about Breast Cancer and complementary support, then please give us a ring at the Haven Health Clinic and we will introduce you to Matthew Manning, our specialist in Breast Cancer and Healing.

You can phone us on 01364 654954.

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Creating Sacred Space for Healing in your Home

By Matthew Manning

Alter - credit to Kristin Glenewinkel

Our lives are so busy and noisy that we often forget about the healing power of silence. When we're out in the world, it's not usually possible to control the noise level. At home, we can usually turn down the noise, but why not take it a step further and create a sacred space of peacefulness and healing?

You can start to create a sacred space by following a few easy steps:

1. Decide what "sacred" means to you. Do you need a space for meditation, spiritual connection, or yoga? To me, sacred means uplifting, peaceful and spiritual.

2. Dedicate a spot in your home that can become sacred. It doesn't have to be a whole room. It can be a corner of a room, the top of a dresser, or any other space you can find. When you are there alone it's sacred. When your family is in the space it's just as sacred, but in a very different way.

3. Create your own altar. Find personal items that are meaningful to you. They might be things you've found or brought back from a trip. They might be items that you've been given. They can symbolise the importance of getting back out into the world and finding gifts in places you didn't expect to find them.

4. Surround yourself with inspirational icons. Fill your space with meaningful quotes, spiritual symbols, calming music, plants, and any other items that uplift your spirit. Connecting with our spiritual selves opens up an amazing well to drink from when stress comes our way.

5. Create a ritual. Once you've created your sacred space, how will you honour it? Will you use it to meditate for a few minutes every morning? Will you just sit, with your eyes closed, enjoying a few minutes of peace and quiet? Your ritual can be simple or complicated but, whatever you decide to do, make it meaningful to you.

Take a few minutes to bring peacefulness and healing into your home by creating sacred space. It's not hard to do and has huge rewards....

Photograph by Kristin Glenewinkel

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How to Bring Zen into your Daily Life

By The Haven Team

sitting meditation

Slow down and drink tea

This can be a very Zen activity; the Japanese are famous for their tea ceremonies. Pick some lovely herbs from your garden and enjoy the sweet aromas while taking time out. Lie on the sofa and sip gently, taking deep long breaths whilst clearing thoughts. 

Yoga and meditation

Just a few minutes each day especially in the morning, can transform your day. Relax your body/mind/spirit by taking a few minutes of silent postures or simply sitting.  A great way to set you up for the office or the school run!

Surround yourself with friends and family

Talking your day through whilst cooking dinner with friends and family is a great way to discharge before the evening’s activities. If you’re single, gather your chosen tribe and invite them to dinner before the pub/ cinema / theatre.


All movement will wake up the body and release stress returning you to your natural state of Zen. Do what you love! Put on your favourite music and dance around the room; take a brisk 10-minute walk around the block; a relaxing swim after work or a long hike across the Moor. As you move let your thoughts go, creating space in your mind whilst releasing and relaxing your body.



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Autumn Fresh Juice

By Jem Friar

blackberry juice

This juice is great to make late Summer or Autumn when blackberries are in abundance and the orchards are full of apples and pears.


2 x Apples

2 X Pears

2 cups of fresh Blackberries

All fruits can go straight into your juicer. Put the Blackberries in first. If you are not using a centrifugal juicer then the pulp can be re-fed through your juicer.

If you would like more advice on juicing or detox please give us a ring at The Haven on 01364 654954.

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Give Your Feet A Treat; It's World Reflexology Week !

By By Judith Peplow MFHT

When you think about how many miles your feet carry you every week, don't you think its time to give your feet a treat?  21st-27th September is World Reflexology Week so what better time to benefit from this wonderfully relaxing treatment.

Reflexology is surely one of the most relaxing of all complementary therapies.  When the body becomes deeply relaxed it starts to heal itself.  Reflexology reduces stress and considering that long term stress can reduce the functioning of your immune system by up to 50% it can also benefit the immune system and help to maintain good health.  

In reflexology the body is mapped out as 'reflexes' on the feet so applying pressure to these reflexes can help the whole body. In this way it can help a wide range of health conditions.  Clients have reported improvements in digestive conditions such as IBS and colitis, sleeping better, pain relief and easing of tension, and hormonal balancing.  Clients have also noticed a reduction in anxiety, feeling more balanced emotionally, increased energy levels and generally feeling much better in themselves. Reflexology is known for rebalancing the body and mind.

Please visit our Facebook Page to enter our Free Prize Draw and for information on our latest promotions.

If you would like more information about reflexology, to speak with Judith or to book and appointment please call us at The Haven, on 01364 654954.

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Joint Support for the Colder Weather

By Joanna Swift

bowen / joanna

With Autumn upon us, many people find the season brings with it the onset of aches and pains. Colder weather and less activity can trigger joint stiffness and discomfort. This year, instead of accepting pain as the inevitable outcome of the colder months, you could find the Bowen Technique a help.

A Bowen Technique treatment is gentle, subtle and relaxing. Joanna uses gentle pressure with thumbs and fingers on precise points of the body to perform Bowen’s unique sets of rolling-type moves, which stimulate the muscles and soft tissues of the body. It is believed that the Bowen Technique prompts the body to reset, repair and balance itself and clients report the experience of pain relief, improvement of function and recovery of energy.

Please ring us at the Haven if you would like to book in for a taster session or to speak with Joanna. Ph: 01364 654954.

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Life. Is. Busy.

By Hannah Wisby RCST, BCST

against the clock (stress)

Quickly, we move through the days, the months, the years.

Quickly, we must do what has to get done.

Quickly, we try to grasp happiness.

What would it be like to slow it down, just a little?

(“If only!” I hear you cry!!)

Our frantic nervous systems try to keep up with the seeming endless list of jobs and the pace of modern life, at much expense to our health and vitality. Even when we want to rest, we can’t. The momentum drives us on, and it can be hard to switch off. Or else we collapse in a heap of exhaustion, unable to really enjoy quality time with ourselves and loved ones.

Stress, tension and anxiety are ‘natural’ consequences of a nervous system pushed to its limits time and time again, and it can spin us ever faster if we don’t find a way of breaking this cycle of activation. It’s important to find ways to nourish ourselves and to deeply rest and reconnect. We all have our own ways of doing this – going for a walk, having a bath, reading a book snuggled up in bed with a cup of camomile tea. Sometimes we can look after ourselves – but sometimes we can’t. Sometimes, we simply can’t remember how to relax, how to feel the ease and peace that we once knew was possible… and it can be debilitating, and extremely upsetting.

If this is reflecting how you feel, I offer you support in the midst of it all. I offer you a safe place to share and explore what’s going on, and a helping hand guiding you back to yourself. Using the gentle touch of Craniosacral Therapy I help your nervous system to slow down, to ground, and to reorganise.  There is a way out of the cycle…

To speak with Hannah or to book your first Craniosacral Therapy; please give us a ring at the Haven on 01364 654954


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8 Steps to A Heavenly Bath and Peace-filled Sleep

By The Haven Team

Bubble bath and Woman

1. Convert your bathroom into your personal spa.

Turn off the phones and turn down the lights. Light 3 or 4 candles and place them around the room. Select some soothing music.

2 Run your bath

Select a warm to hot temperature. Up to 95 degrees F is recommended. Hotter baths can actually irritate your nervous system.

3. Add Salts

Sprinkle Epsom salts into your tub as it begins to fill. Read our blog on Epsom Salts for more information:

These salts will soothe aching muscles, ease cramping, relieve stress, increase circulation and even detoxify your skin.

4. Add Suds

Pour in some bubbles and luxuriate; try Neil’s Yard Seaweed & Arnica Foaming Bath or an Organic scent free bubble Bath like Lavera. Add essential oils like lavender and rose or lemon and grapefruit. The scents will take you to a deeper place of relaxation.

5. Exfoliate Well

Before getting into your bath, use a soft brush or an exfoliating mitt and gently buff to get rid of dead skin cells. Make long sweeping circles towards the heart, up the legs and up the arms. This will reveal soft plump skin.

6.Lie Back and Indulge

Now its time to lie back and fully indulge. Enjoy a soothing herbal tea or a health-full smoothie or juice. Take some deep breaths and let your lungs fill with the sweet aromas. Let your mind become spacious, as you receive the music and relax.

7. Soft and Fluffy

Yes drying off on luxury towels and wrapping in a warm cosy gown is all part of the Spa Treatment!!

8. Drop Into Bed and Slumber peacefully






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Epsom Salts; what's it all about?

By The Haven Team

Epsom Salts

Epsom salt is a naturally occurring mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate, both of which are easily absorbed through the skin. Magnesium plays a number of key roles in the body including reducing inflammation, helping nerve and muscle function, and preventing the clogging of arteries.

Sulfates help with the absorption of nutrients, easing migraines, and flushing toxins. They also help strengthen the walls of the digestive tract.

Some other positive effects of Epsom Salts:

Ease stress and promote relaxation.

Stress drains the body of magnesium, and given that most of us are under chronic stress, our bodies are magnesium deficient.

When Epsom salt is dissolved in warm water, the magnesium can be absorbed through the skin to help replenish magnesium levels in the body. Magnesium helps promote a feeling of calm and relaxation. It also increases energy and reduces irritability. Epsom salt baths can help improve your sleep and concentration.

Detox the Body.

The sulfates in Epsom salt flush toxins and heavy metals from the cells helping the body eliminate these substances.

Soften and soothe your skin.

If you have dry, itchy skin or a more serious condition like eczema or psoriasis, Epsom salt baths can help. The mineral-rich bath water can help soften and soothe skin. They can help keep skin soft and prevent wrinkles. Just rinse off any salt after your bath and apply moisturiser afterwards.

Ease muscle pain.

Epsom salt baths can reduce inflammation and ease pain, which makes it a great treatment for sore muscles and migraine headaches.



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How to continue Functioning During Stressful Times

By The Haven Team

Happy woman thumbs up

Why is it you may ask that some people are able to smile and bear some of the most difficult of life’s problems whilst others fall apart whilst burning the toast!

Resilience is ones ability to roll with the ups and downs of life; to remain functioning during trauma and stress.

While it’s true that resilience comes more easily to some, here are some common practices that will foster resilience, helping you to roll with life’s vicissitudes.


A daily practice of gratitude tunes you into looking for positive things. It programs you to look for the things that are still right when everything around you is wrong and falling to pieces. Write yourself a list of things you are grateful for in your life. Share your top three with a friend or post them on Facebook. This will uplift you and take you towards more positive experiences.

Make connections

Socially connected people are more resilient. Make it your goal to build your tribe of positive, like -minded people. Schedule calls and Skype sessions to stay connected so that your friends know what’s happening in your life. Then, when things are tough, you will have all the support that you need.

Get Help

It’s ok to accept help. That might be child care so you get a night off each week or some therapeutic support. Don’t wait until you’re burned out to get support. Find ways to balance your life with help so that you get your needs met on a regular basis.

Set A Goal

Creative people who achieve their goals are the most resilient. Find out what you want in one area of your life and go and get it. If you don’t decide the direction of your life, someone else will!!

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Summer Rolls with Almond Butter Sauce.

By The Haven Team

Summer Rolls

Here’s a great quick recipe to fulfil your summer urges for refreshing, hydrating foods. These rolls are full of healthy vegetables, creamy avocado, healing herbs, sweet mango and a few pinches of chilli (if you fancy a bit of spice)!!

Ingredients for almond butter sauce:

¼ cup natural almond butter

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons tamari

2 tablespoons water

¼ teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)


Ingredients for the rolls:

6-8 wraps, about 6 inches diameter; choose from tortilla, rice or wheat.

1 large carrot, peeled and julienne cut

1 English cucumber, ends trimmed off and julienne cut

1 cup thinly shredded purple cabbage

3 large green lettuce leaves (stems removed)

1 mango, peeled and pitted, then sliced into thin strips

½ avocado, pitted and thinly sliced

¼ cup each loosely packed fresh basil and mint

a few pinches of chilli flakes, to taste



1. For the sauce, process all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Thin with water if desired, then transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

2. For the Rolls; Lay each wrap on a plate and fill on one half (leaving some wrap clear to the sides, then wrap over each side and then the top.


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5 Very easy ways to bring some movement into your super busy day.

By The Haven Team

stressed mum

1 Set your alarm 10 minutes earlier and do a 10-minute workout. Yes, it counts!

2 Buy a jogger and run with the kids; they'll love it. 

3 Talk to your partner and let him or her know that you need at least one hour, three days a week for your fitness. He will be very happy to see your body shape up!

4 Use your lunch break to do some quick exercises. e.g. 5 star jumps/ 5 high kicks plus a forward bend, side stretch and back bend (10 mins) or take a mini- jog around the block.

5 Live an active lifestyle with your children: go on walks, play ball, hike, canoe, climb and swim.

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Traditional Thai Yoga Massage

By Jem Friar

Jem Thai Massage

Traditional Thai Yoga Massage is an ancient healing art, which originated in India, about 2500 years ago.  It reached Thailand in the 3rd Century BC with Buddhism, & has, to a large extent, been maintained in its traditional & spiritual form in the Buddhist Temples since then.  It is understood to be a physical application of loving kindness (Meta).

What is Thai Massage?

Thai massage is a unique & dynamic, whole body massage, which is both relaxing & invigorating. It is a very powerful & beneficial treatment for both physical & emotional problems, enhancing levels of general health & well being. It can improve your vitality, energy levels, posture, flexibility, as well as being helpful with many specific ailments.

How does it work?

Thai massage works on the body's energy system by stimulating the 10 main energy lines, the Ten Sen. Blockages in the flow of energy result in aches, pains, sickness & dis-ease.  I use hands, elbows, knees & feet to apply strong acupressure to points along these lines, in combination with gentle stretches & moving you through various Yoga positions.  This releases blockages & frees your body's own natural healing potential, thus restoring balance and health.

To get the most benefit from your treatment:

A Thai Massage can be for 1/1½/2 hours. It is practised slowly, thus allowing you & the practitioner to enter a meditative state. The treatment takes place on the floor, on a padded surface & is done with your clothes on.  For this reason, you will need to wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing.  It is recommended that you do not eat for 2 hours prior to receiving a treatment and that you leave yourself some free time directly afterwards to appreciate and assimilate the sense of peace, inner harmony and vitality which this massage creates.

About Jem Friar

Jem began his Thai massage training in N. Thailand in 1989. He has visited & lived in Thailand many times since & has continued to train & practise with several Masters. He has also trained & qualified in Sports/Remedial/Relaxation Massage, McTimoney Chiropractic, Spineworks & Reiki.


Please give us a ring at The Haven if you would like to chat with Jem or to book a treatment: 01364 654954.

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Growing Herbs for Medicine

By The Haven Team


Is there anything more rewarding than picking and eating your own home - grown produce? Herbs are so easy to grow and delicious in cooking or refreshing as teas. Plus they have been used throughout history for medicinal purposes. Here are some of our common and easy to grow herbs and their properties.


Dill is a carminative. It eases gas pains, bloating and settles the stomach. Nursing mums may want to drink dill tea to increase breast milk and those women who have a late or scanty period can drink a cup or two to bring on a period.


Fennel acts as an excellent digestive aid to relieve abdominal cramps, gas and bloating. Fennel seeds help to loosen congestion and make coughs more productive. Fennel also calms the dry, hacking cough of bronchitis.  


Peppermint's antispasmodic effect calms nausea and helps prevent gas and bloating and can be used in the treatment of I.B.S.

Peppermint is a first herb of choice for treatment of colds and flu because it acts to relieve multiple symptoms at once: congestion, headaches and muscle aches, nausea and fever.


Sage is an excellent digestive herb when used for seasoning on meals of rich meats and fowl. It’s also great for colds and fevers and is often taken as a tea. Sage has excellent antibacterial and astringent properties and is used in gargles for sore throats, gingivitis and sore gums.


Thyme is one of the best herbs to use as a cough and cold remedy addressing all your cold symptoms in a holistic way. Thyme acts both as an expectorant to clear the lungs of congestion whilst calming coughing spasms.

Thyme tea will settle the stomach, help you sleep, soothe a sore throat, relieve aches and pains, and encourage your body to sweat, helping to eliminate toxins and bring down a fever.


Rosemary has a long herbal tradition as a herb that improves concentration and memory. Plus It’s one of the best hair tonics available. 

Whether you are worried about hair loss or just want healthy hair, rosemary extracts used in shampoos and herbal rinses will work wonders. Rosemary essential oil stimulates hair follicles and circulation in the scalp, encouraging healthy hair growth and slowing hair loss.











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Help for Hay Fever.

By The Haven Team

lady with cold

Those of you that suffer hayfever (around 10 million in the U.K) will know that this apparently simple and very common allergy can be really unpleasant, exhausting and even debilitating. It can keep you home when you would rather be out enjoying the sun, waylay any plans of camping and make driving or operating machinery hazardous.

Grass pollen which is just about to flower, is the biggest trigger affecting 95% of sufferers, so we are now moving into the height of the hay fever season.

In Chinese Medicine the Triple Warmer and/or Lung meridians are indicated and treated for hay fever. Both of these key meridians are related to our boundaries both physical and emotional so it makes sense to say that hay fever is born of and further creates a heightened sensitivity.

Be gentle with yourself. Realise that you are more sensitive at this year-time. Here are some ways to take care of yourself; there is a lot you can do that’s easy and even fun that will alleviate stress and reduce symptoms helping you to feel much better. 

Choose the things that feel good to you and remember there is always therapeutic help to support your system whilst it’s under pressure. Complementary medicine has a long history of benefit for Hay fever sufferers. Give us a call at the clinic if you wish to discuss anthing or to make an appointment: 01364 654954.

General Self help

Generally the pollen counts peak at between 9 a.m. and 12 midday. Then they lower until about 5 p.m. when they rise until about 7 p.m.

1) Keep windows closed at peak times and take your walks in the afternoons.

2) Wear sunglasses. This can keep pollen out of the eyes and soothe them when they are sore and tired.

3) Rinse your eyes in cool water when you get home and shower regularly to wash off pollens… especially after walks and when coming home for the evening.

4) Hay fever can make you very tired whether you take medications or not. So make sure you get plenty of sleep.

5) Like most things, hay fever is worse when we are stressed. Meditation, deep breathing and yoga will all help with symptoms.

Simply lying on your bed in a dark room listening to your breathing can be a great replenisher.

To Clear Sinuses

Fill a bowl with hot water, put a towel over your head, then hold your face over the steam and breathe. Add Eucalyptus oil for maximum cleansing.

Stretches and Exercises

In Chinese Medicine twists regulate the triple warmer meridian, relieving symptoms and strengthening your resilience. Try these two easy twists (if you have a yoga practice you can try out all the ones that you know).

1) Standing with your feet under your hips, bring the tips of your middle fingers together, palms flat to the ground. Elbows at shoulder height. Keeping this position with the arms, twist the upper body to the left as far as you go and turn your head to look over your left shoulder. Breathe deeply. Return to centre. Repeat to the right side.

Repeat the whole exercise 6 – 8 times with deep breathing.

2) Lie flat on your back and bring your knees to your chest and flex your feet (push your heels away). Take your arms out at a 90 degree angle making a T shape. Now press your arms into the floor as you take your knees to the left. Let your knees rest on the floor. Breathe deeply into your chest. Your right arm may rise a little. Aim to bring the arm back towards / into the ground. Repeat to the right.

A useful Stress buster and Replenisher

Lie on your back in a dark room, eyes closed. Take a deep breath into the chest, hold the breath in for a second or two then open the mouth and let go. Let your breath find its own way out. Listen to the out breath and when there is no breath left inside wait, the breath will return of its own accord. Let the breath fill up the lungs beginning the cycle again.

Help from foods and supplements.

Honey and Proppolis

Taking local honey or proppolis in the months leading up to the hay fever season will help to immunise you.

Before and during the season :

1) Reduce histamine levels by eating plenty of magnesium and methionine-rich foods. Good sources are sunflower seeds, nuts, oats and leafy greens.

2) Eat cabbage, onions and apples regularly. These foods are good sources of quercetin, a natural antihistamine.

3) Eat plenty of purple berries, such as blueberries, blackberries and elderberries, for their anti-inflammatory benefits. Try making a refreshing fruit smoothie with frozen blueberries, or add a spoonful of elderberry jam onto your morning cereal.

4) Drink peppermint tea. Peppermint contains a substance called rosmarinic acid, a powerful antioxidant that blocks production of allergy-producing leukotrienes.

5) Ensure you’re getting plenty of immune-boosting nutrients. Vitamin B6 and zinc play an important role in balancing histamine levels and supporting the immune system.

6) Increased sunlight in the summer results in higher levels of pollution in urban areas, causing the immune system to react. A good all-round antioxidant supplement can increase your resistance. Try one that includes vitamins A, C and E, selenium and zinc.

7) Food intolerances can sometimes make symptoms worse. Try limiting common culprits such as wheat and dairy products for a couple of weeks to see if symptoms begin to improve.

8) Omega-3 oils are one of nature’s best anti-inflammatory nutrients. Include oily fish in your diet at least twice weekly, and supplement with a good quality fish oil or flaxseed oil.

9) Remember to avoid foods  that contains histamine, the obvious being red wine.



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Introducing Joanna Swift our New Bowen Practitioner

By Joanna Swift


"I have always been interested in complementary therapies and at one of life’s crossroads, decided to leave my career as an events organiser to follow my dreams of becoming a therapist. I trained initially in Holistic Massage and Anatomy with Devon Academy then built on this foundation by studying a Diploma in Clinical Aromatherapy.

I enjoy combining the two techniques to tailor treatments to suit my client’s physical and emotional wellbeing, aiming to reduce stress and aid relaxation, whilst reducing aches and pains. A range of health concerns can be targeted with specific essential oil blends.

My interest in the Bowen Technique started when my mother underwent a course of Bowen treatment which made a huge difference to an on going condition. Intrigued by how such a dramatic change could be brought about by such a gentle therapy, I went on to study the Bowen Technique with the European College of Bowen Studies.  I regularly attend CPD courses each year to develop my knowledge and skills. I have found that the Bowen Technique can have long lasting results for a wide variety of conditions and my clients report feeling relaxed and more aware of their posture after even the first treatment.

I am always happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have before booking a treatment."

If you would like to speak with Joanna, please give us a ring at the Haven and we will arrange it for you: 01364 654954.

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Dealing with Water Retention

By The Haven Team


Many people don’t realise that they have water retention! At the end of the day, if you feel your legs or feet are swollen and you can’t get your ring off your finger, chances are you have some water retention. There may also be mild swelling of the hands, abdomen, breasts and face.

Reasons for Retaining Water:

1 You may be consuming more salt than your body needs.

2 You may be dehydrated. It may sound contradictory, but when you are dehydrated, your intelligent body goes into survival mode and retains water “in fear of drought”. 

Resolving Water Retention:

1 Reduce/eliminate salty foods and processed foods that usually are loaded with “hidden sodium”.

2 Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Around 1 - 1 1/2 liters is a good amount. (More if you drink coffee).

3 Eat foods that are rich in potassium: dark leafy greens, potatoes, squash, yogurt, fish, avocados, mushrooms, and bananas. Increase your intake during difficult periods by juicing greens or making delicious green smoothies. Sweeten with apple or banana for a delicious and nutritious snack.

4 Celery: Unlike processed/table salt, organic sodium from celery is an excellent food that helps reduce water retention.




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10 Good Reasons to Detox

By The Haven Team

detox with writing

1 Remove toxins from the body.

In our society we have all endured long term exposure to toxins. They are in the foods we eat, the air we breath, the fabrics we wear and the water we drink and wash in. Put simply, toxins area byproduct of how we have chosen to live and our bodies are continually dealing with this. Taking a simple diet, juice fast or by fasting, we give a bodies an opportunity to release toxins at an accelerated rate, clearing some of the toxins we’ve been storing. 

2 Prevent Chronic disease and pain in the body.

Because of the overload of toxins coming into the body (our bodies are simply not built to deal with so much at once!), our bodies have to store it. Over time this stored toxic waste can come disease. Toxins are responsible for many kinds of cancers, neurological diseases, heart disease, strokes and many unknown aches and pains in the body.

3 Boost Immunity.

Regular detoxing is known to boost the immune system, helping us to fight disease.

4 Loose weight.

Toxins affect the body’s natural ability to burn fat, leading to weight gain. Detoxing rids the body or the toxins stored in fat cells and increases metabolism.

5 Slow premature aging.

Detoxing rids the body of free radicals and heavy metals partially responsible for aging. Detoxing helps to increase nutrient absorption including antioxidants and vitamins that help fight disease

6 Improve our quality of life.

Our bodies don't function very well when they're loaded with toxins. We may have joint pain, headaches, digestive disorders, sleep problems, and lack of energy. Detoxification can ease depression, lethargy and many uncomfortable health issues.

7 Improve mental and emotional clarity.

Detoxing improves our mental and emotional states. We can deal with the stresses of life more easily when we are clear and grounded. We can make better decisions, analyze more accurately, and see things differently.

8 Increase energy.

By releasing the toxic load on your system, detoxing gives you more energy, more clarity and more zest for living.

9 Improve skin quality.

Diet and environmental toxins undeniably affect skin. Detoxing improves acne, and strengthens hair and nails, and produces a natural, healthy glow.

10 Restore balance to our body's systems.

Our digestive, nervous, and hormonal systems are designed to work together to achieve optimum health. When we are overloaded with toxins, these systems are not able to work so efficiently and we can get sick, develop allergies or experience emotional or mental distress. Detoxing gives our body a rest and brings our internal systems back into balance.

If you would like more information about how to detox please read our blog: or give us a call at The Haven on 01364 654954 and ask for Jacqueline or Jem.

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8 Self- Help Tips to Beat Depression

By The Haven Team

Depressed Man

What is depression?

Everyone at some point in their lives has experienced depression. This can range from mild bouts of sadness and feeling like life is just not worthwhile, to more serious depression which returns regularly or is continuously present.

The symptoms of depression vary widely from feeling agitated and restless to stuck or numb. You might get tearful easily and feel low-spirited much of the time. Low confidence and self- esteem may mean that you stop going to events that you usually enjoy.

You may have difficulty sleeping or be sleeping longer hours. You may have no appetite for food or be “comfort eating”. Negative thoughts pervade and you may think thoughts like ‘what’s the point’ or ‘I can’t’ or ‘I’m no good’.

You are not alone. Statistics from the Mental Health Foundation show that 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year.

8 Tips To Help You Beat Depression

1 Walk: Preferably over some hills, or by a stream…. Let the natural world soothe you. An added bonus is to listen to the sounds around you, listen to your footsteps and let your thoughts go. Enjoy a welcome reprieve from negative thought patterns!

2 Make an easy adjustment to your diet.The last thing you want to do when you are depressed is go on a special diet and deprive yourself of comforting foods! However you can easily add foods that will cleanse your system and give you more energy. Try adding more green vegetables and salad to you meals or go for home juicing with vegetables and fruit. Super smoothies are packed full of goodness; try our Raspberry Smoothie or help yourself to some nourishing herb teas

3 Drink Water; we need around 6 – 8 small glasses per day, drunk throughout the day. This will help the electrolyte balance of the body, give you more energy and make you feel better.

4 Encourage yourself; one small step at a time and let these steps be a triumph. You did the washing!!! Give thanks!  You got off the sofa! Well done! Planted some herbs!! Hurrah; went to work, gave yourself a day off, rested, moved…..Whatever steps you made to feel better are positive steps and you can thank yourself.

5. Get help. Ask a good friend to listen to your story over a cup of tea. Go see a therapist. Go to a group healing or a Yoga or Tai-Chi class where the energy can help to support you. Go to group therapy. Find yourself community.

6. Give your mind something else to do! Involve yourself in activity, study, reading or conversation…. Anything that takes you out of the “hamster wheel” of negative thinking will help you to feel better.

7. Rest is a great healer. Allow yourself early nights, afternoon naps and weekend lie-ins. Enjoy your bed time. Give yourself clean sheets, a clean room and a lovely smell such as lavender or rose (in a spritzer or burner). Make your bedroom a haven of relaxation.

8. Find a dog or cat friend. Animals give so much love and joy and can be a real tonic especially if you’re feeling lonely. Ask a neighbour if their dog needs walking or contact one of the various charity’s that give a dog (and their owners) a holiday.

And remember, if you want some help you will find all of our therapists supportive and experienced in treating depression. Give us a ring at The Haven for a chat on how we can help you: 01364 654954.




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Herbal Tea; An Easy Way to Improve Health and Vitality

By The Haven Team

lemon and ginger tea

Drinking herbal tea is a safe and easy way to support yourself and your family. Herbal teas have some wonderful healing properties and contain many vitamins and minerals essential to healthy living. Buy tea loose tea for making pots and mixed tea combinations or if you prefer there are a wide selection of hearb tea bags, both combinations and single teas. Heres a few worth having in your cupboard:

For expelling gas:

  • Aniseed
  • Parsley
  • Dill
  • Caraway
  • Fennel
  • Ginger

As a “pick me up”:

  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint
  • Basil

To supress appetite:

  • Thyme
  • Fennel
  • Wheatgrass

To stimulate digestion:

  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves

To stimulate bowels:

  • Liquorice
  • Cascara Sagrada

Vitamin C:

  • Comfrey
  • Fennel
  • Rose Hips
  • Oregano
  • Coltsfoot
  • Elder Berries
  • Strawberry leaves

Vitamin A:

  • Fenugreek
  • Comfrey
  • Capsicum
  • Dandelion
  • Catnip

Vitamin B12:

  • Alfalfa
  • Kelp
  • Dulse
  • Comfrey


  • Parsley
  • Fennel
  • Nettle
  • Burdock Root
  • Garlic
  • Strawberry leaf

Calcium :

  • Coltsfoot
  • Dandelion
  • Nettle
  • Kelp
  • Fennel
  • Chamomile

Potassium :

  • Coltsfoot
  • Comfrey
  • Kelp
  • Garlic
  • Chamomile
  • Peppermint

Magnesium :

  • Dandelion
  • Kelp
  • Peppermint
  • Parsley
  • Garlic




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Raspberry Smoothie

By The Haven Team

Raspberry Smoothie

The sun is shining, there's a smile on your lips and your thoughts drift to long refreshing drinks by the pool side in exotic locations.  Here's a great recipe to fuel your day and give you a taste of the tropics! Just wizz these ingredients in your blender and top with fresh fruit and mint. Yumm!

  • 1 small banana
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 tsp. maca powder
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 cup filtered water

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Beginning Exercise

By The Haven Team

older couple exercising

Whether you are recovering from illness, exercising for the first time or getting back into exercise after a break, exercising can be tough.

Sometimes it may hurt you to move or you may hurt afterwards. This can make you question whether exercise is indeed working for you; you may feel discouraged or simply give up.

Exercise is an important part of health. Just make sure it’s the right kind and the right amount for you at this time. Here are 7 tips to get you started (or restarted!)

  1. Start slowly. Your body will respond best to a gentle approach. Go for brisk walks, swim for 10 min’s in the pool or begin with a 15 min easy routine in the gym. Depending on how that feels you can pull back a little or increase a little for the next time. You should feel invigorated, perhaps tired and maybe a little achy as you begin to use your muscular system, your lungs and your heart again.
  2. Breathe. Breath is the ‘oil to your mechanics’ it fuels your body for movement. Enjoy deep relaxing breaths as you move. Breath is a good guide. If it becomes ragged or challenged, it’s your marker to slow down or stop until the breath recovers.
  3. Believe in your ability to improve. Your strength and agility will quickly increase if you take a moderate pace and listen to your body.
  4. Trust yourself. As you befriend your body, you will notice which exercise leaves you feeling better and which does not. Keep doing that which makes you feel well.
  5. Monitor your progress. Keep extending your exercise slowly according to what your body can do. So five minutes becomes 7 minutes the following week or 5 repetitions become 7 repetitions. Listen inside to what your body can do and never force or strain to reach a target, rather let go and thank yourself for all you have done.
  6. Warm your muscles. Exercise in a comfortably warm room or wrap up well for walks. Wear layers so that you can adjust your temperature as it goes up and down. Keep moving in swimming pools and make sure your muscles are warm before stretching them out.
  7. Drink water. Have some water with you and drink during your exercise routine. If in the pool have water before getting in and directly afterwards. Our body's need water to hydrate. If your muscles are aching excessively it may mean that you are dehydrated. There is no fixed amount that’s best for all, and it depends on fitness levels and how much exercise you do but as a guide make sure you have around a litre when you are starting out.

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Spring Clean Your Life with Energy Healing

By Judith Peplow

healing - face

How Can it Help Me?

Just as we can look after our physical body by eating well, exercising and having massage so we can look after our inner self. One way of doing this is by having  energy healing. Our inner self includes our emotions, our mind and our energy  system. Of course the outer and inner are not separate and nurturing one undoubtedly benefits the other. 

Energy healing can help us to let go of excess emotional baggage and past problems.  Having energy healing is like spring cleaning the house, clearing away unwanted debris and clutter.  It can help us to get over trauma and loss, from relationship break ups or bereavement, for example.  It can give us a fresh perspective on current problems, clearing the mind and calming the emotions so we feel more able to cope and sort things out.  It can work on changing unwanted behavioural habits, such as anger or anxiety.

On a physical level, energy can be channelled to strengthen and re-energise the physical body during or after illness.  It can help combat infections or release trauma held in the body from past injuries or accidents.  Last but not least it can relax and revitalise you on all levels.

The main healing modality I work with is Vortex Healing® which uses Divine Energy and Consciousness to bring about transformation and lasting results.  The energy follows intention so will work where it is asked to and where it is most needed.  Most of all it feels very lovely to receive!!

Please give us a ring at The Haven Health Clinic: 01364 654954 to book your appointemnt with Judith Peplow.

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Put a "Spring" In Your Step

By The Haven Team

happiness 2

As the sap rises so does our energy and we may begin to feel up-lifted in our bodies and our mood. This is a big change from winters stillness; when we “curl up” and “hibernate”. It requires a “shift of gear”. We may find ourselves opening up to social events and then wanting to close down again and wrap up in the comfort of our homes. This is all perfectly normal as we make the transition from Winter to Spring.

In Chinese Medicine it is said that the change of the season is an excellent time to have a treatment or a short course of treatments. This is to help the body integrate the new energy coming in.

We are very happy to support you with this change at the Haven. Give us a ring on 01364 654954 and choose from our wide range of therapies.

Self Help Tips


Spring is the most creative time of the year and bringing more creativity to our lives can help us flow with the Spring-time . Enjoy cooking, knitting, collage, painting, creating new work plans, creative play with children. Anything that gets your creative juices flowing will bring happiness and fulfilment at this year-time.


The Spring energy is strong and outward in character. To be in harmony with this energy our bodies need more exercise than at other times of the year. All movement is good. Do what you enjoy or try something new; Yoga, tai-chi, circuit training, swimming, tennis, squash. Go for a power walk or take a run round the block. Your body will reward you with a release of pleasurable endorphins, higher energy levels and a clear mind.

Express Yourself

Sing, dance and say what you’re thinking! The spring energy is all about communication and expression.


Get involved with a collective project. Spring is very much about collaboration and community.

If you would like help with bringing yourself more fully into the Spring then please give us a ring at the Haven on 01364 654954. Our experienced practitioners will be happy to help.

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7 Foods to boost Your Immunity that you may not know about!

By The Haven Team

lady with cold

We all know about lemon, honey and ginger for fighting colds and boosting immunity. Here are some  delicious alternatives to tempt your taste buds whilst fighting infections.

Brazil Nuts

Just one ounce contains your daily recommended dose of selenium. Selenium boosts your body’s production of cytokines. These small proteins are helpful in clearing viruses. Studies suggest that people low on selenium experience more lung inflammation during colds and flu viruses.


Natural yogurt is full of beneficial bacteria which lives in the gut and blocks the replication of viruses once they enter the body. Choose an organic variety with no added sugars.

Sweet Potatoes

Full of beta carotene Sweet potatoes convert into vitamin A in our bodies; supporting our immune system and helping in the rebuilding of mucus membranes. Sweet potatoes are also a source of virus-fighting vitamins C and D. Sweet potatoes are lovely in soups (add lots of greens for detoxification) or cut into wedges with a little olive oil in the oven.


The amino acid cysteine, released from chicken during cooking, chemically resembles the bronchitis drug acetylcysteine, which may explain the results. The soup's salty broth keeps mucus thin the same way cough medicines do. Added spices, such as garlic and onions, can increase soup's immune-boosting power.


Selenium, plentiful in shellfish such as oysters, lobsters, crabs, and clams, helps white blood cells produce cytokines—proteins that help clear flu viruses out of the body. Salmon, mackerel, and herring are rich in omega-3 fats, which reduce inflammation, increasing airflow and protecting lungs from colds and respiratory infections.


In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Mushrooms – particularly shitake, reishi and maitake are recommended to fight respiratory ailments. Recent western studies show that all types of edible mushrooms can fortify immunity. Lightly fried they make a great breakfast alternative.

Red bell Peppers

High doses of vitamin C are crucial to curing colds and viruses. Bell peppers have a very high vitamin C content and are delicious eaten raw.


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Detox and Recharge

By The Haven Team

detox green juice

Spring is the best time to detox. As the sap rises so does our energy, supporting us to make changes or reduce our food intake.

There are many ways to detox and plenty of information on the web regarding specific diets. Like everything around health and wellbeing, it’s very individual and what works for one person may not for another.

There are more intensive methods like fasting (drinking water only) or taking a liquid diet… this could be anything from juice to nut milks or soups. Softer methods reduce the amount of food that we eat or reduce the toxic foods substituting healthful foods.

Why Detox

We lead toxic lives! Some toxins are simply due to the by- products of our bodies natural metabolic processes which accumulate over time, whilst others we take in from the environment;  in the air we breathe, the foods we eat, the medicines we take and our skin products and cleaning products.

When we eliminate these toxins; our bodies get a rest and begin their natural healing processes. If we eliminate food completely this process of detoxification or cellular re-generation is speeded up.

Some benefits of Detox

  • Improved strength and vitality
  • Weight Loss
  • Immune system Boost
  • Clarity of Mind
  • Emotional Relief
  • Improved functioning of the Digestive System
  • Reduction in Cholesterol levels

A Simple Detox Diet


Lots of green vegetables, some root vegetables, rice and grains (except wheat) plus a little white meat like chicken or fish (no skin)

Around 2- 3 litres of water plus 2 large glasses of grapefruit juice twice daily.


Wheat, bread, sugar and dairy products plus all processed food (anything from a packet or a tin), salt, pepper and spice.

This diet is a simple and easy way to detox the body whilst eating well.  It allows you to detox slowly whilst going about your daily life in the usual way. Because it is a slower method of detoxification, you will need to do it for a month to 6 weeks to really feel the benefits.

Juice Fasting

This is a quicker and more radical way to detox. You will need to take time off work and be prepared for some quick detox symptoms. If you juice fast for more than 4 days you will break addictions… so it’s really worth considering.

If you want support with this kind of detox; you can go on a retreat with a full program and a team of staff to help and if you want to detox in the privacy of your own home, there are specialists happy to come and stay with you. If you would like to know more or to book a personal detox, please give us a call at the Haven on 01364 654954.

Theraputic Support

All massage and body work therapies are a great support during your detox. They help to move the Detox through your body; stimulating lymphatic flow, gut movement and general circulation. They also help remove detox symptoms such as headaches and neausea. If you would like to know more about how massage can aid your detox, please give us a call at the Haven on 01364 654954.




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8 Ways to Reduce Stress

By The Haven Team

grandmother and children

Power Down

Turn off the phone, the broad band and all the electrical equipment that can be switched off and enjoy the silence. Silence is calming for the heart and food for the soul.


A cluttered home is clutter for the mind. Spring clean, clear out, give away and enjoy the smooth flow of energy through your space.


Make time for what makes you happy. Spend time with family and friends, play with your children and grandchildren. Do the things that matter to you and enjoy life.

Harness Your Mind

Notice when you are worrying or anxious. Listen to your thoughts and when they are creating distress…. change them; Take some deep breaths and bring a positive thought to mind or remember a time when you felt good, a situation or person that made you feel happy.


When life feels bleak, go for a walk; listen to your steps and feel your feet on the ground. Enjoy the sounds around you, the breeze, sun, sky, clouds. Open your eyes ‘wider’ and experience your surroundings. Let your shoulders drop and your arms swing. Enjoy the natural rhythm of your steps and forget everything!

Leave Work at Work

At the end of the day when you get home consciously let go of your work. This might also be your job as a mother or householder. If there are things on your mind write them down to come back to in the morning… now pour yourself a glass of your favourite drink and sit in a comfortable armchair. “The evening has begun and It’s yours to do as you will!”


Our bodies are designed for movement. This is how we detox and regenerate. Go to a class, run at the gym, take a walk, put on some music and dance around the room. Run, skip, shake, jump, stretch…..  just 10 min’s will make a big difference.

Relax in the Healing Balm of Nature

Immerse yourself in the healing balm of Nature. Go to the wild and wander along a river bank or stomp across the moor. Let your senses soak up the atmosphere; breathe in the fresh air and let your mind rest and your heart open. 

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“Get Yoga’d Day” - Support & Inspiration For Your Healthy New Year’s Resolutions

By Jem Friar

Yoga - meditation on mat

If you, like a large number of other people (about 45% of the UK) made a New Year’s resolution to become fitter or healthier, you have possibly not given up yet, although maybe you are starting to crumble a bit in the face of having to keep to your commitment.  By the end of January the statistics suggest that only 64 % of everyone who has made such a resolution will already have given up!

So this year, to help support the local Ashburton community to stay focused & inspired, Jem Friar (a practitioner at The Haven, who has been practicing Thai massage for 26 years) & Emily Katsuno & Yasmin Kay (a couple of fantastic local Ashburton yoga teachers) have created the “Get Yoga’d Day”. This is a day of Yoga & Thai Yoga Massage, which will be on Saturday 21st February.

If you have ever wanted to try Yoga or Thai Yoga massage – this is the day! And if you already practice yoga or have already experienced Thai massage & you love them then come along anyway – it will be a fun & transformative day.

The day will consist of:

  • Taster Yoga Classes
  • Thai Yoga Massage Demo
  • 15 minute Thai Yoga Massage taster sessions
  • Meditation & Pranayama Class
  • Chai Tea
  • Fresh Juices & healthy snacks
  • And probably an inspirational movie at the end of the day too

Yoga Classes only £2 per class or £10 for the day. Come for a lesson or two or come for the whole day.

If you feel too lazy or unfit to do yoga, then try the Thai massage & have yoga done to you!

Thai Yoga massage will be £5 for a 15 minute sessions (& there will be full session discount vouchers available for those who attend any part of the day).

(Book in advance to confirm your space in classes or turn up & join in if there is space)

So whether you would like some New Year’s resolution support or you would love to try Yoga & Thai Yoga massage in a light hearted & enjoyable environment, then Get Yoga’d is for you. It promises to be an inspiring, revitalizing, relaxing & fun day.

The Get Yoga’d Day will be on Saturday, 21st February from 10am-6.30pm

At: The Kush Yoga Center, 4 Station Cottages, Ashburton, Devon TQ13 7EF

For bookings, please call the Haven 01364 654954 and ask for Jem

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Winter Warmer – Hot Stone Massage

By Judith Peplow

hot stones 2

With the ground looking decidedly frosty in the mornings what could be better than having a hot stone massage to really warm you up?  Hot Stone Massage dates back to ancient India and China and was more recently used by Native Americans.  So how does hot stone massage help you? 

The stones used are smooth basalt volcanic stones which retain the heat well.  They are heated up in hot water and then used with aromatherapy oils to massage the body.  Apart from feeling completely luxurious the advantage is that the heat goes deep into the muscles and fascia allowing them to soften and relax.  The heat relaxes muscles more quickly and more deeply than ordinary massage and soothes the nerve endings. The combination of these things eases muscle tension and relieves pain.  The heat warms the skin allowing better absorption of therapeutic oils and the effect of heat on the body is deeply calming.

If you are suffering from tension in the back, neck or shoulders then you could try the legendary ‘Back Melt’.  This massage treatment uses the hot stones to literally ‘melt’ the muscles and when they are warm and pliable deep tissue massage techniques work on areas of tension.  The heat from the stones prepares those areas for deeper work making treatment more effective and less painful. The treatment continues alternating hot stone massage and deep tissue massage to leave your back, neck and shoulders feeling amazing.

Hot Stone treatments are 90 minutes or 75 minutes.  For further details contact the Haven and ask for Judith Peplow.

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Winter Wind-down

By Hannah Wisby

January; a time of long dark nights, crunchy grass and slippery pavements, of cowering in doorways against the sheeting rain… A time when the urge to hibernate creeps upon us: The warm nest, the peaceful cave, the deep dark burrow underground beckons…

And yet so many of us mistake this call as a lethargy, a low mood, a ‘simply-can’t-be-bothered-with-it-all’, and we can feel like something is just WRONG! Rather than trying to fix or change, to push or pull, or simply collapse in a state of melancholy, entertain – if you will – the notion that these are but symptoms, calling us back into the rhythm of things. This is a time to be still. To be content with the little things. To give ourselves as much time and space to rest as we can, given the continual ‘demands’ life often places on us. We can’t really truly hibernate – but we can slow down and take the opportunity to go inside ourselves, into the inner depths, to the stillness at the very core of our beings.

This is the natural, cyclical way of rejuvenation – out of which, in due time, the seed will sprout, the flower will bloom – and the sap will rise once more. Until then I invite you to embrace the dark times, and renew yourself…

Written by Hannah Wisby, Craniosacral and Massage Therapist at The Haven.

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Quick tips for Beating the Common Cold

By The Haven Team

winter woman with mug of hot drink

Alongside hot honey and lemon, here are some great tips for boosting immunity and staying well plus some excellent rhemedies for if you catch cold. Happy winter!!

Reduce your Stress Levels

Reducing stress boosts you immunity and it's twice as easy with the right support. Enjoy a weekly massage or choose from any of our wide- ranging therapies. Our practitioners are all skilled in removing tension and boosting energy levels, vital for our bodies defence system.

Choose from Shiatsu Massage, Holistic Massage, Reflexology, Acupuncture, Craniosacral therapy, Yoga therapy, Kinesiology and more…. Give us a call on 01364 654954 and we will be happy to advise you.

Vitamin D         

Your body needs Vitamin D to activate your immune system so get out into the light for at least 15 min’s each day. For maximum benefit, turn your head to the sunlight and soak it up through the glabella (centre of your brow).  This is said to uplift the soul!

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is water soluable which means your body doesn’t store it so you need to replenish it every day. Enjoy the delights of fruit with your breakfast; choose from oranges, mango, papaya, strawberries, pineapple or kiwi (all high in vitamin C) or add some extra vegetables to your meals; red and green bell peppers are high in vitamin C, also kale, broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts will help with your daily intake.

During a cold your body uses more vitamin C. Some people go for 1000mg, 3 x daily or you can simply snack on the above throughout the day.


Probiotics help you to produce virus fighting antibodies and aid in vitamin absorption. You can take a supplement or enjoy in foods such as miso, kimchi, sauerkraut or kefir.

Grapefruit Seed Extract

Grapefruit seed extract has been found to be antimicrobial which means that it kills microorganisms or inhibits their growth. This is a brilliant supplement during a cold, and if you catch your cold at the beginning Grapefruit seed extract can eradicate symptoms fast. Take it 3 times a day in water until your symptoms pass.

Sleep more

If you’re feeling “under the weather” then give yourself a minimum of 8 hours sleep each night. There is an old wives saying that 1 hour before midnight is worth 2 after. Chinese Medicine supports this view that we benefit from sleeping before 11pm when our Liver and heart need to rest as the blood is carried back from the limbs to nourish these organs.

Recipes to boost your immunity or rid you of the winter cold:

Immunity Juice

  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 inch-thick round horseradish root
  • 1 orange
  • 5 inch knob of ginger
  • 2 inch knob of turmeric
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 stalks celery

Parsley is great for clearing infections, horseradish will get your sinuses moving and garlic is an antiviral. The cucumber will help you absorb the juice and the oranges and lemons are a good source of vitamin C.

Vegetarian Immunity Soup.

If you eat meat, chicken broth with some of these herbs will also do a great job!

  • ¾ teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed
  • ½ tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrots, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 1 ¼ pieces astragalus root (about 15 inches total)
  • 5 cups mushroom stock
  • 1 tablespoons tamari or low sodium soy sauce
  • Salt
  • 1 cups broccoli florets,
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions

Heat olive oil over medium heat in large pot. Add onions, garlic, and ginger and sauté until soft and translucent.

Add shiitakes, carrots, astragalus root and mushroom stock. Bring to low boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

Add tamari and adjust seasoning if needed. Add broccoli florets and cook 2 minutes. Remove astragalus root pieces. Garnish with scallions before serving.

And remember, if you’re wanting help with your immunity and energy levels, please give us a ring on 01364 654954. We are very happy to advise you (it’s our job and we love it!).








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Superfoods: What are they and how can they be of benefit?

By The Haven Team


Superfoods are foods which have a very high nutritional content giving us more health and energy. It’s good to include as many superfoods in your diet as possible.

If you would like more advice on diet or wish to find out if you have any allergies or intolerances then please give us a ring at the clinic and we will be happy to make you a booking with one of our Kinesiologists. Call us on 01364 654954.

Here are some of the most common and easy to buy superfoods.


Valued for its high levels of antioxidants, some nutritionists believe that if you make only one change to your diet, it should be to add blueberries.

Die-hards claim blueberries can help protect against heart disease and some cancers, as well as improve your memory.

They are low in calories and high in nutrients, including phenolic compounds with an antioxidant capacity significantly higher than vitamins C or E.  Antioxidents have a detoxifying effect on the body preventing disease. 


Pomegranate and its distinctive ruby-red jewel-like seeds have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.

Pomegranates are a low calorie food that is great for snacking. They are also packed with antioxidants. Eating this juicy red fruit has been shown to reduce risk of breast cancer, reduce cholesterol, and fight cell damage. Pomegranates are also effective for controlling diarrhea.

Pomegranate juice is delicious (avoid brands with added sugar) or add pomegranate seeds to cold dishes and salads. It's a healthy and appetising way to increase the nutritional value of your meal."

Goji Berries

Goji berries have been used in Chinese medicine for more than 6,000 years. These shrivelled red berries are said to boost the immune system and brain activity, protect against heart disease and cancer, and improve life expectancy.

Dark Chocolate

Believe it or not, chocolate is a healthy treat, as long as you choose wisely. Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids, antioxidants that have been shown to lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, and boost overall heart health. Choose chocolate that is at least 70 percent cacao or cocoa to optimize the antioxidant power and health benefits. If you want to avoid sugar altogether enjoy Cacao (raw chocolate) instead. You can eat this in the form of Cacao nibs or use the powder for delicious smoothies and cakes.

Oily fish

Interest in the health benefits of oily fish started when researchers observed that Eskimos, who eat mainly oily fish, had fewer heart attacks and strokes than average.

Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines are said to help against cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, age-related vision loss and dementia.

The benefits of fish are so well documented that the NHS suggests that we all eat at least two portions of fish a week, including one of oily fish. Oily fish – such as salmon and fresh tuna – is also particularly high in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which helps to lower blood pressure and improve blood lipids both of which help to keep your heart healthy.

Green leafy vegetables

Green leafy vegetables are so readily available and so highly nutritious, however most people do not eat enough of them. Studies continuously confirm that populations that eat a diet high in green leafy vegetables run a far lower risk of heart disease and cancer. Fresh raw green leafy vegetables contain high doses of chlorophyll, easily digestible proteins, enzymes and a wide range of vitamins and minerals. These particular vegetables act as mini-transfusions for the blood, a health tonic for the brain and immune system and a cleanser of the kidneys. Try any of the following: rocket, spinach, dandelion greens, kale, watercress, parsley, lettuce, endive, chicory, broccoli sprouts and mustard sprouts.


Spinach is filled with antioxidants, including vitamin C and beta-carotene, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin — a duo that acts like sunscreen for your eyes and guards against macular degeneration. One cup of fresh spinach leaves also provides almost double the daily requirement for vitamin K, which plays an important role in cardiovascular and bone health. And of course you can't forget that spinach is a great vegetarian source of iron, which keeps your hair and nails strong and healthy. Use fresh spinach leaves as a base for salad or sauté it and add to an omelet.


Brocoli can help combat cancer, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It contains many nutrients, such as folate, soluble and insoluble fibre, vitamins C and A, and calcium, which are needed for numerous functions in the body.

Green Tea

Green Tea has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to treat everything from headaches to depression.

The leaves are supposedly richer in antioxidants than other types of tea because of the way they are processed.

All types of tea (green, black and oolong) are produced from the Camellia sinensis plant using different methods. Fresh leaves from the plant are steamed to produce green tea, while the leaves of black tea and oolong involve fermentation.

Green tea is alleged to boost weight loss, reduce cholesterol, combat cardiovascular disease, and prevent cancer and Alzheimer's disease.


Recent evidence-based research suggests garlic may be effective against high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cholesterol, colds and some cancers.


Although the leaves have always been eaten, historically the beet root was generally used medicinally for a range of ailments, including fevers, constipation and skin problems.

More recent health claims suggest beetroot can help lower blood pressure, boost exercise performance and prevent dementia.

Beetroot is rich in nitrates. When ingested, scientists believe our body converts nitrates into nitric oxide, a chemical thought to lower blood pressure


Seaweeds are the most nutritionally dense plants on the planet as they have access to all the nutrients in the ocean. They can contain up to 10 times more calcium than milk and eight times as much as beef. The chemical composition of seaweeds is so close to human blood plasma, that perhaps their greatest benefit is regulating and purifying our blood system.

Honey and Bee Pollen

The Egyptians wrote about it back in 5500 B.C., the Indians used it for their religious ceremonies in 1000 B.C. and even the Babylonians have been noted to use it in their medicinal practices. The western world actually discovered the benefits of bee superfoods by accident during an investigation of native Russian Beekeepers who regularly lived past 100 years of age who ate raw honey, rich in bee pollen, every day.

Fruit and Nuts

Fruit and nut’s are high in anti-oxidants that fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals are a natural occurrence through metabolism however extra free radical load can be put on our bodies by external factors including pollution, cigarette smoke, radiation, burnt foods, deep fried fats and cooked foods. If our body is overloaded and cannot process these compounds they can create disease such as cancer. Therefore anti-oxidants fight cancer.









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7 Ways to Stay Healthy in the Colder Months.

By The Haven Team

Happy Couple Winter

Drink plenty of Water

It’s all too easy to dehydrate in the cooler months as we reach for a cup of tea instead of a glass of water. Keeping our water intake up is essential to good health. Try some herbal tea’s which are less dehydrating than black tea or coffee. Plus enjoy warm water with a twist of Lemon (very detoxifying) or add ginger (warming) or honey for an energy boost. And did you know that honey also boosts your immune system!

Keep Warm

It may sound obvious but it’s common for people to rush out of the house without adequate clothes.

Wear a warm vest… something right next to the skin in a natural fiber such as cotton, light wool, hemp or bamboo.

The Chinese are very aware of their “Kidney health.” They wear Kidney warmers all through the cold months. These thick felt belts keep the lower back (and Kidneys) extra warm. You can get yourself a Kidney warmer (online) or simply wrap a warm scarf around your waste.

Eat Well

As the cold weather arrives, we find our diet naturally changing from the light salads of summer to heaver, richer food. Enjoy earthy nourishing foods like root vegetables, meat stews and long bakes. Plus eat lots of green veg. so that the body can detox and recharge.

Sleep Long

Sleep more. As the cold weather and the longer nights come in, it’s natural for our bodies to want more rest. Think of winter as a time for stillness and reflection. Let yourselves sleep early and wake a little later.

Move regularly

We move less in the winter months but it’s still essential to take a little exercise to help our immunity and keep oxygen and fluids moving through the body. We need to physically move in order to detoxify and keep our circulation healthy. Enjoy one or more of the following: walking, swimming, dancing, sport, cycling, running, rebounding, yoga, tai-chi, Polates, Zumba. It’s so easy nowadays with so many classes to choose from!


Your gut is responsible for over 60% of your immune system so maintaining a healthy digestive system is essential to good Immunity. For more information on gut health see our blog

Complementary Theraputic Help

By reducing stress and addressing gut health and Immunity we give our bodies the support we need to be well during the cold months. Here at the Haven our health practitioners have a wealth of knowledge and techniques to support you. The following treatments are especially good for digestion and immunity: Kinesiology, Acupuncture or Shiatsu Massage. Just give us a ring at the clinic and we will be happy to advise you on treatment: 01364 654954.

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Healing Our Gut

By The Haven Team

Gut Ache

It’s common knowledge that an unhealthy gut can cause stomach pain, gas, bloating or diarrhea. All of which would probably be given an Irritable Bowel Syndrome or leaky gut diagnosis by your G.P.

What you may not be aware of is that because 60-80% of your immune system is located in your gut, imbalances can lead to hormonal imbalances, autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, eczema and other chronic health issues.

So how can we heal our gut? What can we do for ourselves to improve our gut health and what therapeutic support is available?

Therapeutic Support

Thankfully there is plenty of therapeutic support available for gut health.

Here at the Haven, we have therapists who will consult with you on your diet and support your gut to heal.

Our Kinesiologists will test you for food intolerances and make suggestions for what particular foods will benefit you while you are healing. Plus Kinesiology will work directly with your gut encouraging better function and general healing.

Our Acupuncture and Shiatsu therapists also work with the gut by stimulating and clearing obstructions from the meridians (energy channels which move through the gut and around the body, providing the energy for proper functioning.)

Our Massage therapists can also benefit your gut functioning by relaxing the mind and body and gently massaging the gut to improve functioning.

General Food Advice For Gut Healing

Foods that heal

Foods that are particularly good for the gut are bone broths, pasture-raised meats, organically grown vegetables, healing fats and naturally cultured or fermented foods.

Bone Broth

Bone broth is an extremely healing food. Full of soothing gelatin, easy to digest, full of easily absorbable minerals, this is a gut-healing staple

Healthy Meats

Healthy meats, from pasture-raised animals are nutrient-dense and can be especially healing for the gut when the cuts include bone and fat and are slow-cooked or braised.

Healthy fats

Absolutely essential to gut health, healthy fats are vital to our health. Natural fats including saturated fat are good for us. This includes butter, ghee, tallow and lard, pure olive oil, avocados and coconut oil. These fats should be plentiful when supporting your gut towards better health.

Fats to avoid

Avoid processed, trans fats, oxidized cholesterol and refined polyunsaturated fats (vegetable oils like corn, cottonseed, canola and soybean oils).

Fermented Foods

Fermented or cultured foods are critical for gut health. They are easily digested by the body and have a probiotic content encouraging positive bowel flora to develop.

Fermented foods are yoghurt, sauerkraut, chutneys and preserved fruit. Soya sauce, tamari, fish sauce or drinking water kefir, kombucha or beet kvass.

Restoring Healthy Gut Bacteria

Take a probiotic supplement that contains beneficial bacteria such as bifid bacteria and lactobacillus.

Supplements and Vitamins that Help Repair the Gut Wall


L-glutamine is an amino acid taken as a supplement. Other key nutrients include zinc, omega3fish oils, vitamin A, C and E, as well as herbs such as slippery elm and aloe Vera.

Reduce foods that negatively impact the gut:

Reduce foods that irritate the gut such as alcohol, caffeine and drugs and foods, which cause inflammation such as gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs and sugar. Reduce hard to digest grains and legumes and anything you find gives you indigestion or makes you feel bloated after eating.

Please give us a ring on 01364 654954 if you would like more advice or to book an appointment.


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7 Reasons to Reduce Your Coffee Intake

By The Haven Team



Most of us like to enjoy the occasional Coffee. We love the rich roasted taste and the “pick me up” feeling it gives us. But for many people coffee becomes an addiction, a way to get an injection of energy when needed or a regular treat throughout the day as we sit at our keyboards.

Like many things coffee is (usually) fine in small amounts. Good quality coffee is a source of antioxidants like chlorogenic acid which may aid weight loss. Studies show that it can improve alertness and may reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, gallstones, kidney stones and liver cirrhosis.

Taken in larger doses, coffee has been found to be harmful. Below you will find some hard facts about overconsumption of coffee. So how much is overconsumption? Well like everything, it depends on who you are, your health levels and your general constitution. As a general rule of thumb 1 or 2 coffee’s per day is plenty for your body to process.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you will benefit from reducing your coffee intake:

Do you experience heartburn, indigestion and stomach upset on a regular basis?

Do you get headaches if you don't have caffeine?

Do you have problems falling asleep and / or wake up during the night?

Do you feel agitated or tired if you don't have a caffeinated beverage in the middle of the day?

For those who want to know the facts:

1 Coffee and Hydrochloric Acid.

Drinking coffee on an empty stomach stimulates hydrochloric acid production. This is the acid that we need to break down food in the stomach. If we produce too much through over consumption of coffee then we are likely to not be producing enough when we need it. Undigested food will cause bloating, gas, IBS symptoms.

2 Ulcers, IBS, Acidity

Many of the compounds of coffee which are acidic can irritate and weaken the lining of our stomach and digestive tract leading to IBS, gastritis, ulcers and Crohn’s disease.

3 Heartburn Problems

Coffee relaxes the oesophageal sphincter, which should be closed after food has passed through into the stomach. If this sphincter remains open, we get acid reflux or heartburn.

4 Coffee as a Laxative

Many people know and use the laxative properties of coffee to deal with constipation. However by stimulating the movement of the colon, the stomach will empty quickly often passing through undigested food, which creates difficulty in absorbing nutrients. This also increases irritation and inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract.

5 Mineral Absorption

Coffee affects iron absorption in your stomach and particularly our kidneys ability to retain calcium, zinc and other essential minerals.

6 Acrylamide in Coffee

As coffee beans are roasted at high temperatures Acrylamide is formed. The darker the roast the higher the levels of Acrylamide are likely to be. This is a carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substance.

7 Stress and Tension

Drinking lots of coffee will promote the release of the stress hormones cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine. These chemicals increase your body’s heart rate, blood pressure and tension levels – putting us into a “fight or flight” stress response.

Coffee also affects our nervous system by interfering with our neurotransmitters, which help us to regulate mood and stress levels.

Help with Reducing Your Coffee Intake

As with reducing any kind of drug, It’s useful to put something in its place. Here are some things that will make cutting back easier and benefit your overall health.

1 Rest more: you are probably going to feel tired to begin with although once your system regulates you will have more energy.

2 Exercise if you don’t already. 20 mins a day or 3 times a week is a good focus but anything you can do will make a difference. Choose things that you enjoy. All movement is good. And if you don’t like to exercise then at least encourage yourself to walk a little each day. Exercise is essential for your body to function well.

3 Drink more water. This will significantly improve your health and whole wellbeing. It gives you energy and regulates your nervous system and endocrine system to balance mood and vitality.

4 Snack during the day if you need to. Sometimes we reach for a coffee because our energy is dipping. Take snacks with you. Fruit, nuts, oatcakes or any other healthy snacks that give energy.

Complementary Medicine can Help

If you want help with reducing or giving up coffee, complementary therapies can help. Your therapist can help you find out more about what you body needs to recover, help you to de-stress and detox and advise you on foods and supplements that heal. Give us a ring on 01364 654954 if you would like to discuss how therapies can benefit you.


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Health and How to have More of It by Hannah Wisby

By The Haven Team

jumping man - happy

For many, health can be elusive and mysterious, for others something they work hard at every day. For others, health can be something they take for granted - something that 'just comes naturally'. So what exactly is this thing called 'health' - and how can we foster it in our lives? 

I am the Craniosacral Therapist at The Haven, and have seen remarkable results treating clients with a wide variety of physical and emotional concerns - from structural injuries, sciatica and migraine, to stress, anxiety, and deep emotional pain. But what I find even more exciting is that clients often report feeling inexplicably 'better', 'happier', 'more like myself again', 'more alive'. So what is this all about?

Craniosacral Therapy (CST) has its origins in the work of Dr William Sutherland, an osteopath in the early 1900s. He made a revolutionary discovery through close observation and palpation of the body; that the bones of the cranium (head) moved as if by their own volition in a breath-like motion, and that this movement was connected to the health of the client.

Through the development of CST we now know that the entire body expresses these subtle, coherent, and rhythmic fluctuations as one holistic organism. This has been termed 'primary respiration', and is understood to be the expression of intrinsic health. As my teacher, Franklyn Sills, states:

“An ordering principle called primary respiration manifests as a vital life force, or biodynamic potency, in the human body. This potency manifests in the fluids of the body and orders and integrates all cellular and tissue function from the moment of conception until death.”

Ponder for a moment the implications of this, if you will. We each have an encompassing system of health which organises our entire mind-body system; including, but not limited to, the cardiovascular system, nervous system, skeletal system etc. Primary respiration is constantly maintaining the best possible balance and homeostasis - even in the most desperate circumstances. 

However, we do also encounter difficulty and disease throughout life, and as this is rarely fully processed and resolved at the time, it is stored and held within the body. What often results is a complex web of interrelating compensations, experienced in a variety of ways with seemingly unconnected symptoms. Consequently, primary respiration can be overworked or locked up, and the expression of health is dampened down, incoherent, or vague. 

Treatment using Craniosacral Therapy therefore focuses on supporting and strengthening primary respiration in a nurturing, gentle yet direct manner, and assisting the client’s own 'embodied potency' (life force) to transform and release the old conditional patterning as a natural, integrated, expression of health - literally from the 'inside-out'.

This allows the client’s system to come back into greater balance and ease, organised around a free-flowing central axis, correlating to the spine and central nervous system. Primary respiration is then free to express in an unimpeded breath-like motion which radiates throughout the body. Not only does this help the whole body-mind system to function more optimally, smoothly, and coherently - it also feels good!

So you see, health arises from within and is our natural state of being. This means that whatever your personal circumstance, it is always possible to deepen your experience of vitality, inner peace and well-being. 

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Banana Skins and Happiness Coaching By Tim Moorey

By The Haven Team

Tim - Happiness coach
Happiness coaching is all about helping you to find your smile, to find your giggles and to find your laughter. It’s about who you are now and who you want to be. The good news is everyone has an abundance of smiles and giggles. It is one of the reflexes we are born with!

Our daily lives are full of ups and downs, lefts when we expect to go right and Sat Navs that send us up windy country lanes. Sometimes it’s hard to find a laugh or even a smile when it seems things are not going how we expect. It's easy to get into a spiral of life happening to us rather than us being part of it.

Of course we all slip occasionally on a banana skin and curse the fall, the trick is, instead of spending precious time dwelling, we need to get back on track, back in flow. Slipping on a banana skin has always been the staple diet of any slapstick comedy despite its obvious health and safety slur! Maybe there is a message in this, maybe we can smile and laugh more.

A wise person once said that "a smile is the birth of a laugh." Another wise person said "Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face."

You will easily find happier ways to experience everyday situations and events, and feel the flow of success and wellbeing.

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Trigger Point Therapy

By The Haven Team

judith - massage

Trigger Point Therapy – How can it help?

Trigger points are one of the commonest causes of pain in the body. They are small bands of contracted muscle that shorten muscles and cause localised and referred pain. They may cause weakness, numbness or a tired and heavy feeling in the muscles they affect. They can be caused by injury, overuse or repetitive strain. Releasing them can give instant results increasing mobility and relieving pain.

In a recent case history I treated Mr M, a professional musician, a jazz and rock drummer. He had undergone an operation on his left shoulder 4 months previously to remove a spur of bone and repair a torn tendon. He was in a lot of pain and could not lift his arm above shoulder height. After one treatment working on trigger points he was able to lift his arm above his head again and put his jacket on without using his other arm to do it. He also noticed a significant reduction in pain. After 4 treatments his arm and shoulder was ‘95% better’. He had much greater range of motion and had recovered a lot of the fine control of his arm movements, a vital factor for a jazz drummer. He had no more pain and only felt muscle weakness in his arm. After 6 treatments he was still pain free and the weakness had gone so he decided to come once a month for maintenance, to stretch and loosen the muscles and prevent any trigger points returning as a result of repetitive strain from drumming.

Clients have reported improvements in stiff necks, dizziness, headaches, migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, repetitive strain, sore shoulders and pain in other parts of the body after receiving trigger point therapy. If you have been suffering pain, loss of mobility or muscle weakness why not give trigger point therapy a try.

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Indian Champissage (Traditional Indian Head Massage)

By Jackie Lake

head massage

Champissage includes massage of the shoulders, upper arms, neck, scalp, face, ears and energy balancing. It is a treatment that is carried out through clothes in a seated position making it ideal as a lunch-hour therapy, quick energiser or an end of week wind down.

This method of head massage is the brainchild of Narendra Mehta, who having been totally blind since the age of one, developed a highly sensitive power of touch. In 1978 he travelled to India to research the traditional head massage that had been practiced there for over a 1000 years. At that time in the UK very few massage therapists worked extensively on the scalp and Narendra was able to develop the unique treatment that is widely offered today.

A Champissage treatment can provide relief from aches and pains, stress symptoms, insomnia, promote hair growth, soothe, comfort and rebalance your energy flow which gives you a deep sense of peace, calm and tranquillity.

A nutritious hair and scalp oil can also be applied at the end of the massage at no extra charge; although this is optional.

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Energy Healing ~ An holistic approach to health

By Judith Peplow

face massage

Just as we can look after our outer self, our physical body, by eating well, exercising and having massage so we can look after our inner self. One way of doing this is by having healing. Our inner self includes our emotions, our mind and our energy system. Of course the outer and inner are not separate and nurturing one undoubtedly benefits the other. Having energy healing is like spring cleaning the house, clearing away unwanted debris and clutter. We all carry excess 'baggage' and it can feel like such a relief to leave it behind.

People are drawn to come for energy healing for a wide range of reasons. Some people come just to relax or to clear and calm their mind. It can strengthen and re-energise the physical body, especially during or after illness, and can help combat infections. It is very good for helping us to let go of trauma and can help us to get over emotional loss. It can bring clarity and help us to deal more effectively with problems. It can help us to let go of past problems. It can work on clearing the roots of emotional issues and in this respect can be seen as non-verbal counselling. Where such issues are resisted they become suppressed in a person’s system causing energy imbalances which may eventually manifest as physical illness. Healing works on a very deep level to bring these issues to the surface, allowing people to accept and let go of them. It can release conditioning allowing unwanted habitual behaviour, such as anger, fear or anxiety to be changed. The release of issues and conditioning makes us feel lighter and clearer and brings us back to the truth of who we really are, breaking down the illusion that we are separate from life.

I work mainly with Vortex Healing® energies which follow active intention so can focus directly on specific problems or issues, whatever is required by you on the day. When you come for a session I will talk to you about what you would like to gain from the treatment and when we have agreed what to focus on you can lie down. You remain fully clothed and will be made warm and comfortable. I will rest my hands gently on the body while you relax and enjoy the lovely energy. I often rest my hands on the head but may move to other parts of the body if they require attention.

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Craniosacral Therapy

By Hannah Wisby

baby cranio Early conditioning and the pre-natal journey

It is widely recognised that our early years are deeply influential, shaping our core experience of ourselves, our relationships, and of life itself. The further we go back in our personal history, the more profound and all pervasive the effect of any experience we encounter, as our physiology, as well as our mental and emotional structures, are shaped within and around these experiences.

As such some of our most formative experiences occur whilst we are in the womb (pre-natal experience), during the birthing process, and in the first few weeks after birth (peri-natal experience). Many therapeutic schools of thought have developed to understand and find ways of working with this early material. Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (BCST) is one very powerful yet ease-full and nurturing way of navigating this territory when it arises. The beauty of BCST is that your mind-body system is in charge of the speed and depth of the process, so everything happens within a safe, resourced context and can be easily integrated.

In my therapy practise I regularly find that clients issues can be traced back to their pre- and peri-natal experience. Often issues that arise at such an early time are so intrinsic to our world view and self identity that we hardly realise it could be any other way. For example, a lack of self worth and well-being may never be questioned. States of hyper-arousal and nervous system activation (later manifesting as e.g. depression, stress or anxiety) are so ingrained that this ‘is just the way things are’.

Similarly physical difficulties can have pre- and peri- natal origins. Our body stores its experience in cellular memory, so both our physical and emotional history shapes body structure, causing compensations, sensitivities and weaknesses. For example a tendency for headaches may originate from compression during the birth process or to the extreme pressure changes experienced during caesarean section, and may be coupled with difficult emotions such as anger, fear or frustration.

This territory is very sensitive, but also very potent to work with. We are relational beings, and our views of ourselves and the world are formed within relationship. As such, the quality of the ‘holding environment’ is crucial both for the little one and for the adult. Reassurance is one of our basic human needs; other primary needs are for acknowledgement and unconditional acceptance. We are all looking for these needs to be fulfilled in our relationships with others throughout life, and when they are met, we find we can settle and relax in ourselves and within relationship.

"When an infant and young child feels met at these levels by primary caregivers, a sense of basic trust is maintained, an inner sense of safety and security is experienced over time, and a continuity and cohesiveness of being are also experienced at the core of the developing self-system."1

This has a profound effect on the felt sense of well-being throughout life. If these needs have not been met, ‘relational wounding’ is likely, and the healing of these issues needs a safe holding space of reassurance, acknowledgement and unconditional acceptance* in order to fully transform.

Also of particular significance are certain key developmental pre- and peri-natal events such as conception, implantation, the formation of the neural tube, the first heart beat, birth, and parental bonding. Each of these events, and how they are experienced, imprints us in specific ways. For example, birth can be an empowering ‘rite of passage’ that ignites our zest and joy for living and being in the world. However, it can also be experienced as confusing, painful, or dis-empowering, resulting in a sense of futility, resentment, or resistance towards ‘life’. This can have an effect on the person’s world view, as well as on their relationship to self and other (parents, partners, peers, children, authority figures etc).

Life strategies and ingrained belief systems are often based on early experience. Yet nothing is fixed, everything has the potential to transform and heal. BCST can assist the little one within each of us to find resolution and well-being even in the midst of extreme trauma, providing a safe and compassionate holding field for hurts to be seen, met and released…

"It is as if the individual dissolves, returns to an embryonic state, and reforms on our treatment table."2

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By The Haven Team


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Sciatica: Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Sciatica is a common type of pain affecting the sciatic nerve, a large nerve extending from the lower back down the back of each leg.

What are the symptoms of sciatica?

Common symptoms of sciatica include:

· Pain in the buttock or leg that is worse when sitting

· Burning or tingling down the leg

· Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg or foot

· A constant pain on one side of the buttock

· A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up

Sciatica usually affects only one side of the lower body. Often, the pain extends from the lower back all the way through the back of the thigh and down through the leg. Depending on where the sciatic nerve is affected, the pain may also extend to the foot or toes.

For some people, the pain from sciatica can be severe and debilitating. For others, the pain from sciatica might be infrequent and irritating, but has the potential to get worse.

Seek immediate medical attention with any symptoms of progressive lower extremity weakness and/or loss of bladder or bowel control.

What causes sciatica?

Sciatica is caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. A slipped disc is the most common cause of sciatica.

Additional common causes of sciatica include:

· Lumbar spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back)

· Degenerative disc disease (breakdown of discs, which act as cushions between the vertebrae)

· Spondylolisthesis (a condition in which one vertebra slips forward over another one)

· Pregnancy

Other things that may make your back pain worse include being overweight, not exercising regularly, wearing high heels, or sleeping on a mattress that is too soft.

Sciatica diagnosis

In diagnosing sciatica, a doctor will take your medical history and perform an examination of the back, hips, and legs in order to test for strength, flexibility, sensation, and reflexes.

Other tests may include:

· X-rays

· MRI scans

· CT scans

· Nerve conduction studies to determine the health or disease of a nerve

Sciatica treatment

Treatment for sciatica focuses on relieving pressure and inflammation. Typical sciatica treatments include:

· Medical treatments. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, or oral steroids, to relieve inflammation.

· Epidural steroid injections. Steroids, with their strong anti-inflammatory effects, are delivered at the origin of the inflamed sciatic nerve roots.

· Physiotherapy. This treatment helps to prevent further episodes of sciatica.

· Surgery. Surgery may be warranted if the sciatic nerve pain is severe and has not been relieved with appropriate manual or medical treatments.

Sciatica outlook

Although sciatica can be very painful, it is rare for the disorder to cause permanent nerve damage. Most sciatica pain syndromes result from inflammation and will usually get better within a few weeks.

Complementary Help

Most forms of complementary thereapy can alleviate and often erradicate your sciatica. All forms of massage are helpful particularaly Deep tissue Massage, acupressure Massage and Shiatsu massage. Acupuncture and Cranio-sacral therapy can also effectively treat this condition.

 Please give us a ring at the clinic if you would like to discuss options; 01364 654954

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The Healing Journey

By The Haven Team

happy mature couple

Many illnesses involve a similar healing process and all illnesses benefit from addressing your overall health. Here are some tips that have helped many people get through:

1.Knowledge is Power: Understand your body and get better results.

2.Use our experience: Stay on track by following our recommendations.

3. Take regular exercise; walk, swim, stretch.

4. Improve your Nutrition: eat quality foods & drink plenty of water.

5. Get adequate rest : good sleep helps your body to make needed repairs.

6. Adopt Healthy Habits: stop smoking, reduce drinking and loose weight.

7.Reduce emotional stress: live in the present and learn to forgive and forget.

8.Remain hopeful; healing is a process that takes time.

9.Stay optimistic.

At the Haven Health Clinic we are always available for chats and advice. Give us a ring on 01364 654954.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis; A Case History

By The Haven Team

shiatsu 1

Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive disease. That means there is no known cure and treatments are used to slow its progress, prevent disability and alleviate pain.

R.A is an Auto-immune disorder and as such is very sensitive to stress. Stress can have a negative impact on circulation, triggering infections which produce pain and discomfort. This leads to further acceleration of the disease.

The good news is that there is plenty of treatment available to alleviate symptoms and often give times of complete remission when the disease is not active.

Treatments are geared towards stress relief and detoxification of the tissues whilst promoting circulation; encouraging blood and lymph flow, lowering blood pressure and inducing relaxation.

How Complementary Therapy can Help

Massage with lymph drainage, Physiotherapy and Shiatsu are obvious choices as they do this whilst manipulating the tissues to detox and mobilising the joints. Acupuncture and herbal medicine also in promoting circulation and detoxification will have a similar effect. All of these therapies deal well with stress release, inducing deep relaxation.

By eliminating the toxic residue around the joints, promoting circulation and relieving stress; aches and pains are relieved, degeneration of the joints is avoided and mobility is restored.

A Shiatsu Case Study

7 treatments over 5 months.

Presenting Symptoms

Ms S suffered from Rheumatoid Arthritis. It had originally started 5 years previously during her marriage break-up. It was currently not at its most acute, but her symptoms included stiffness and discomfort in all her joints which restricted her movement — this was worse from her hips down, she had a constant nagging ache in her knees, her left side was worse than her right and she walked very stiffly.

Her hands also could be badly affected, and her fingers frequently ‘locked’. Acute phases were triggered by emotional/physical stress. The symptoms were always worse just prior to and during menstruation. She had two large non-painful ganglia on the backs of her wrists. She took anti-inflammatories, particularly when her symptoms were acute.

Ms S looked pale, with a ‘greyness’ about her and she had pronounced dark rings around her eyes. She had a bent, hunched posture that ‘protected’ her chest area; her right shoulder was higher than her left. She had particularly weak legs. Her energy was low, especially in the mornings. She also suffered frequent mouth ulcers. Her menstruation was irregular, she experienced PMT when she was very irritable, and she had painful cramps at onset of her period.

Personal Situation

Ms S was a divorced Moslem single-mother, aged 32. She and her daughter (5) lived with her parents. Her ex-husband had recently contacted her demanding access to their daughter — the first time in 5 years — and this worried her. She was studying for final university exams. She was worried about the future, family, and her performance — never felt she was good enough. She easily became emotional and panicky under pressure. She used to plan rigidly, but for the last 5 years has worked day-to-day, deliberately not planning.

Treatment Aims

To increase Ms S’s mobility and reduce her discomfort. Her energy flow needed improving to open her shoulders and chest and deepen her breathing, and to increase her overall energy levels. In Traditional Chinese Medical Terms both her Kidney and Spleen energy needed strengthening and her energy flow smoothed to help both her arthritis and her PMT.


All treatments incorporated joint mobilisation work and Kidney warming. I worked acupoints to help her leg strength, her joints, and strengthen her Spleen and Kidney energies. I also recommended acupoints for her to stimulate herself, which she did twice a day.

The first few treatments caused an increase in her stiffness immediately after the treatment, as her body wasn’t used to being mobilised ... but after a couple of days this stiffness lessened and her symptoms were improved. By the 2nd treatment she already reported a big difference in her leg strength, as she had been working the points I recommended daily. Her knee pain had lessened and her mobility in the morning was better. At the third treatment she again reported improved movement and less pain. Her ganglia had also reduced in size and she had more energy.

After the next couple of treatments her energy was much better and her stiffness much improved. Her knee pain had gone completely and her hands were much better — the joints just sticking slightly, but no pain. Her daughter had to be rushed to hospital and she had a family funeral the previous week, and she would have expected this to have triggered a worsening in her arthritis, but it didn’t ... she felt surprisingly calm and ‘in control’. Her ganglia decreased by 50% in size.

By the 7th treatment I noted that her mobility had improved a lot. The 3rd finger on her right hand was still locking, but there was no pain. Her hip mobility was pretty much what you’d expect in a healthy person’s and she was looking calm and well.

Ms S kept diary of her condition and attitudes during the 6 months of treatment. Her findings were:

• Mobility much improved, stiffness nearly gone, no longer problem in mornings;

• legs much stronger; walking easier;

• Period now regular; PMT less irritable; doesn’t exacerbate arthritis; flow lessened from 7-5 days.

• Emotional crises have stopped exacerbating arthritis;

• feels calmer; mentally stronger; able to deal with crises, and ex-husband’s access demands;

• More positive about self-worth; feels able to stop worrying about future — looks ahead positively;

• For last month she had taken no medication;

• She had had no mouth ulcers in the last 4 months.

Several factors helped Ms S’s condition: finishing her university degree (achievement); acceptance for teacher training (future/self-worth); support of family. Shiatsu gave support and helped to balance her energy, which allowed her to take control of own health and mental attitudes. She worked very hard using acupoints and monitoring their progress and effect. She was keen to continue treatment as she felt it was having a positive effect.

I continued to treat her on a regular basis — mainly monthly, but with a few gaps — until I moved away from the area in December 2001. During that time she had no acute phases of arthritis. She did have a few ‘blips’ where some of her symptoms worsened slightly, always around times of stress: for instance when she went to teacher training college, she experienced some increase in the size of her ganglia and some increased stiffness, especially in her knees, but this was short-lived. She found her school placements extremely draining of her energy, but didn’t notice significant deterioration in her arthritis. She really learned to breathe and open up and enjoy the shiatsu treatments.

The emphasis of the treatments changed to emotional support and stress relief. In late 2000 she got a job which she enjoyed though found stressful, and in 2001 bought a place of her own for her and her daughter, which was a huge decision for her. She also started to think about ‘boyfriends’, which was a side of her life she had not thought about since her marriage broke down. Ms S changed a great deal in the time I knew her: she really blossomed and became much more positive about herself and her future, and her arthritis no longer dominated her life.

If you would like more information or to make a booking please ring the clinic on 01364 654954 


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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

By The Haven Team


We all love to enjoy food and have special treats. It’s all a part of living life to the full so it can be very discouraging to take on special reduced diet plans because of bowel problems.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a blanket term for many bowel irregularities which cause pain and discomfort. The NHS approach to curing I.B.S is to reduce stress and make dietary and lifestyle changes.

Complementary medicine has a high success rate of treating I.B.S. There are a whole plethora of therapist’s who can help plus plenty of easy ways to support yourself.

Baseline Self Help

1 Drink plenty of water. (Around 1 ˝ litres per day)

2 Eat plenty of roughage. (Leave skins on your veg and include cereals and pulses in your diet.)

3 Exercise regularly.

4 Rest and relax.

Simple stretch to support your colon

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and point your toes inwards slightly

Join your hands behind you, interlacing the fingers, palms together.

Lengthen your arms down and stretch your arms away from the body opening your chest.

Take several deep breaths here.

Now soften your knees and fold forwards at the waste bringing your arms upwards as if you are trying to bring them over your head.

Breathe deeply.

Breathe in to come back to standing, release your arms. Breathe deeply

Repeat several times.

Complementary Help


Kinesiology is very successful in treating I.B.S. Your Kinesiologist will work to find out the cause of your IBS and then treat you accordingly. The problem behind your symptoms can be physical, nutritional, emotional, mental or spiritual in origin.

Kinesiology can find out exactly which foods are problematic and help to clear allergies and food intolerances. Kinesiology can work directly with your colon including great techniques for releasing the valves in the colon and generally getting the colon working smoothly.

Shiatsu and Acupuncture

Shiatsu and Acupuncture work directly with the affected meridians and organs. In this case the colon is indicated and often the liver. Your practitioner will find out your individual diagnosis and treat you accordingly.

Massage and Aromatherapy

Enjoy a relaxing massage; great for relieving stress and tension, a well-known trigger for I.B.S. Ask your massage therapist to massage your belly (they often know great gut massage but rarely offer it unless requested.)

Aromatherapist’s will blend oils that soothe digestion and promote relaxation.

Essential Oils

Essential Oils are powerful allies for I.B.S sufferers. It’s worth remembering that they are strong medicine so seek advice on quantities and ask a professional Aromatherapist or herbalist before taking internally.

Topical application: You can apply the essential oil directly on the belly, particularly around the navel to relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

Internal consumption: You can consume a drop or two of palatable essential oils like peppermint essential oil.

Some of the essential oils that can be used to relieve irritable bowel syndrome are as follows:

Clary sage essential oil will help regulate bowel movements and relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

Anise essential oil is antispasmodic and antiseptic in action. It helps relieve the digestive tract of harmful micro-organisms responsible for irritable bowel syndrome.

Cinnamon essential oil is also known for its anti-septic properties. It also helps relieve irritable bowel syndrome if the cause of the affliction is a microbial infection.

Other essential oils that can be used are ginger and fennel essential oils.

Use lavender essential oil to relieve mental depression and tensions. It helps ameliorate your mood and makes you feel elated.

Other essential oils that can be used to relieve stress and thereby, irritable bowel syndrome, are neroli, rose, sandalwood, and frankincense essential oils.

Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicine is a great way to improve your digestion and calm I.B.S. Your herbalist will work with a combination or herbs to support your constitution whilst alleviating symptoms.

They may also suggest some teas and individual herbs to work alongside your tinctures.

Herbs are strong medicine and it’s good to consult a qualified herbalist rather than taking combinations of tinctures from your local health shop. However taking herbs as occasional tea is a safe and easy way to improve your digestion.

1.) Chamomile (Matricaria recutita). This is a time-honoured soothing digestive herb. It helps dispel gas, soothe the stomach, and relax the muscles that move food through the intestines. Many people use it also as a sedative. It makes an excellent bedtime tonic for an upset stomach. Mix it with peppermint for a tasty, effective tea to treat indigestion.

2.) Peppermint (Mentha x piperita). Any member of the mint family is good for indigestion, so if you don’t care for the taste of peppermint, try lemon balm (Melissa officinalis). Mint acts as a muscle relaxant and can calm an overactive digestive tract. Because peppermint can relax the valve between the stomach and the oesophagus, it can worsen heartburn. If this is one of your symptoms, don’t use peppermint.

3.) Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis). The root of this herb soothes the digestive tract’s mucous membranes. It’s also a mild immune-system stimulant, good for those whose indigestion may have a viral or bacterial cause.

4.) Angelica (Angelica archangelica). The fruit, leaf, and root of this herb stimulate digestion; help dispel gas, and calm nerves. It’s especially good when bloating or cramps are part of your indigestion. You might see it included with other bitter herbs, such as dandelion, in commercial bitters preparations.

5.) Ginger (Zingiber officinale). Ginger stimulates digestion and dispels gas. It also helps move food through the intestinal tract and reduces irritation. Studies show it can prevent motion sickness.

6.) Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare). Fennel relieves gas and stimulates the digestive tract. If you expect to eat a vegetable that you have trouble digesting, such as cabbage, try adding fennel seeds to your recipe.

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Anger Awareness week

By The Haven Team

pink boxer

We come from a culture of “stiff upper lip”. Most of us grew up with the understanding that to express emotion, especially anger was not welcome. In Chinese medicine and in modern western understanding of health, we know that the mind and emotions have a direct effect on the body and on our health. Kinesiologist’s warmly refer to emotion as e – motion: energy in motion and understand it as the foundation for good health.

Today we have a plethora of therapeutic support to help us release emotion and basically get our energy moving well. Anger In Hispanic cultures it’s natural to shout, to raise the voice in a debate and to be effusive when emotive. This is a natural part of that culture. In British culture we have learned to “be nice”, so we habitually apologise (for feeling angry) and “dum it down” with cake, alcohol or T.V. If we don’t express our anger then it will build up and lead to “explosive” anger expressed in other circumstances or unexpressed it becomes disease of one kind or another.

Ways to move your anger safely.

1 Own it: If you are in a situation that makes you feel angry – own it. State to that person or people that you feel angry. Start your sentence with I. Owning our anger can be very empowering.

2 Move it: Any exercise will move your anger (and other emotions) through the body. Do something you love and enjoy it.

A Dancing is particularly good for moving anger as it’s creative, expressive and social.

B Marching vigorously, swinging the arms and lifting the knees is a great way to move emotions.

C Stretching, Yoga, Chi-Kung, Tai-Chi can be as effective as aerobic exercise such as boxing, running and climbing…… there’s so much choice we might wonder why we don’t do it.

D The Wood Chopper This is a great exercise designed specifically to move anger and get our energy moving well: i. Stand with your feet hips width apart, join your hands together in-front of you. ii.. raise your arms up high as if you’re swinging an axe. iii. Bend your knees and let your arms swing down quickly whilst making the sound HA from your belly. This is a very strong mover for anger The Ha sound also works well on its own so you can do it in the car if you need to!

3. Sound it:

A Go for a walk and scream into the sky.

B Singing will move your emotions (and change your mood). Sing an old song you love or put on some music and sing and dance along.

C Chanting focuses the mind (eliminates negative thought) and brings a blessing from the many billions of practitioners that have energised that chant from the beginning of time.

How complementary therapies can help break the Anger cycle.

Chinese medicine in the form of acupuncture, tuina or shiatsu work to rebalance anger in the body by balancing the five elements and thus the 5 emotions. They release tension in the muscles and tissues which left unchecked will lead to more anger. Breaking this cycle is really important. Kinesiology and core process psychotherapy can help you to understand the root of your anger and clear it from the body. All body work eg holistic massage, aromatherapy, reflexology, deep tissue massage and craniosacral can help release tense muscles relaxing mind and body and breaking the anger cycle.

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Winter Berries for Colds and Flu

By Clare Shippey Bsc (Hons)


The Equinox has passed and the chill of Autumn can be felt in the air. The leaves are turning and the berries are ripening. Many trees are festooned with bright autumn offerings at this time of year. It is now, as the season changes and the warmth of summer leaves us, that coughs, colds and flu become most prevalent. Some of the berries that are ripe at this time of year have long been used to help ward of coughs and colds and support the immune system as we enter the winter months. Of them, Elder, with its clusters of deep purple almost black berries, and Rose with its plump scarlet hips are two of the most useful. Both are important herbal remedies with a long history of use and still found in the modern herbalist's dispensary.  


The Elder (Sambuccus nigra) is a common tree found throughout Britain. There is evidence that Neolithic people ate the berries and the Ancient Egyptians used them medicinally. Its primary use now is in the treatment of upper respiratory infections and for the prevention of coughs and colds. Taken at the onset of flu, extract of Elderberries has been demonstrated to reduce symptoms to three or four days. It has also been shown to be effective in helping inhibit the spread of viruses through the body as it strengthens the cell membrane. The viburnic acid it contains induces perspiration and is especially useful in cases of bronchitis. The berries ripen in August and September. Once picked they can be dried and stored for use in winter infusions or used fresh in teas or made into cordial, syrups or added to jams and jellies. Elderberry Rob is a traditional cough cordial that used to be official and is still widely used in France and Holland. If taken under the guidance of a herbalist elderberries may be prescribed in many different forms, such as tea, tincture or syrup.


The fruits or hips of the Wild Rose or Dog Rose (Rosa canina) are the most commonly used rose species in Herbal Medicine. It is found growing wild in woods and hedgerows and flowers from June to July, and fruits from late August to November. The hips should not be picked until after the first light frost. Rosehip tea is commonly used in the treatment of colds and influenza primarily because of it's high vitamin C content. It is said to contain four times as much vitamin C as black current juice and twenty times as much as oranges. The shells of the hips can be crushed and made into a sweet and pleasant tasting tea, or as with elderberries they can be made into a syrup or added to jams and jellies. The tea is excellent if you're feeling run down and taken cold it's particularly effective at quenching thirst in fevers. So with the nights drawing in and the colder weather on its way, now is the time to start wrapping up and think about taking Rosehip tea or Elderberry syrup to help ward off winter coughs and colds.


Barker, J; 2001, The Medicinal Flora of Britain and Northwestern Europe

Hoffmann, D; 2003, Medical Herbalism

Kress, H; 2011, Practical Herbs

Phillips, R; 1983, Wild Food

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10 Top Tips to Keep Your Back Healthy

By Jacqueline Lawes


1 Drink plenty of water.

Warm water with a touch of lemon is warming and cleansing and great in the cold weather. Drink your cold water at room temperature (chilled water is not so good as the body has to use energy to warm it back up to body temp.). Herb teas are fine and bring fluid to the system but they don’t replace plain water. Our bodies are made up of around 70 % water and as we use it for processing, we need to replace it.  

2 Walk.

This is the safest form of exercise if you have back problems and will loosen and strengthen your spine. Wear walking boots for undulating terrain or trainers for town walking. If your back aches when you get back, do the following exercise:  

3 Do this simple exercise to loosen the back.

Lie on the floor on your back, with your feet on the floor, knees up. Feet are hip width apart, knees balanced above the feet. Arms about 30 degrees from the body. Palms facing the ceiling.   Stage 1. Gently tilt your pelvis by rolling your lower back into the floor. Now tilt in the opposite direction lifting your lumbar from the floor and pushing down towards the tailbone and buttocks. Take deep breaths as you do this. Make your rolling slow and easy (no push). Let your breath fuel the action.   Stage 2. Relax the back completely and gently roll your head from side to side. Just as far as it easily goes. Again let deep breaths fuel the action.  

4 Detoxify.

Help your body to detoxify by eating lots of alkalising foods. These foods help your body to detox and let go. This is also essential if you wish to lose weight. Load up on vegetables, especially greens, low sugar fruits such as lemons, limes. grapefruit, avocados and berries. Choose organic where possible - it has around 25% more nutrients than non-organic food.  

5 Reduce Stress.

This is the biggest cause of back problems. Stress upsets the hormonal balance of the body creating an acidic environment which in turn can create disease. Find what works for you. Enjoy a relaxing massage or go for a swim, walk by the sea or lie in a hot bath with yummy oils. Join an exercise class or a yoga class. Sit quietly for 5 mins to begin each day or on returning home from work to release the working mind and move into family time.  

6 Bad backs at work.

Get up from your sitting position every hour and walk around the room. (This can be very good for the mind also.)   Quick exercises to loosen the back whilst working at a desk (breathe deeply throughout): Rotate the shoulders a few times Stretch your arms up to the ceiling Stand up, soften the knees (feet under hips) and rotate your hips in circles (both directions)    

7 Yoga

Yoga is one of the finest systems to keep mind and body relaxed and toned. It will strengthen your back and relax your mind. In a general class, let your yoga teacher know about your back and listen to your own body relaxing when you need to.  

8 Tai- Chi,

Chi Kung and Chinese Yoga All of these systems will strengthen and open your spine. Again talk with your teacher about what’s happening with your back.  

9 Therapeutic Support

If you are already in pain, you will benefit from enlisting help. There are many good therapists who are experienced at working with back problems. Choose a therapy and a therapist that suits you and then have a course of treatment. Your therapist will advise you on your initial program. Shiatsu Massage, Tuina Massage, Holistic Massage, Cranio-Sacral therapy and Acupuncture are all stress busters and back balancers.  

10 Sleep  

Your bed. We heal and repair in our sleep. The little discs between each vertebrae swell up when we take the weight off the spine. This is essential for the health of your back. Make sure your mattress is supporting your back. Do you feel supported and better for going to bed? Check that your pillows support your neck. If you’re uncertain, talk with your therapist or an ergonomic back specialist.   Sleeping Position. It’s advisable to sleep in the recovery position. This is on your right side with your top leg forwards (prop with a pillow under your knee if this is more comfortable). Your pillow should support your neck to be in line with the rest of your spine. Your head needs to be able to rest easily in this position. This position also calms the heart and aids sleep.  

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New Haven Practitioner: Hannah Wisby

By Hannah Wisby

Hannah Wisby


My Name is Hannah Wisby, and I would like to introduce myself as the most recent addition to The Haven team of holistic therapists, having recently relocated to the area. I offer Swedish massage and Craniosacral Therapy, and am deeply passionate about the work I do, having witnessed the remarkable difference these therapies can make to people's lives (as well as to my own) in so many ways. I feel strongly that everyone can benefit from receiving massage, and not only as a way of relieving those familiar aches and pains.

 Massage deeply nourishes and revitalises your whole 'being' - your body, your mind, and your emotional experience of yourself. It can assist recovery from physical injury and helps to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as being a wonderful complement to detox and fitness programs by aiding circulation, stimulating the lymphatic system, and encouraging the body to release toxins held within the muscle tissues.

Craniosacral Therapy is less well known yet has even wider ranging benefits. It has its roots in Cranial Osteopathy and is growing in reputation as the clinical results and applicability of this extremely gentle yet profoundly effective therapy is fully appreciated. It has become most well known for the treatment of pregnant women, babies and children, but is equally beneficial to people of all ages and states of health. The Craniosacral Therapist attunes to the subtle rhythmic movement of fluids and tissues within the body to facilitate and enhance the bodies natural capacity for self repair and return to optimal function. As such clients often report a general experience of greater vitality, relaxation and well-being, and find Craniosacral Therapy to be a wonderful support in their lives. I have found it to be very effective at resolving shock, anxiety and stress related issues, as well as structural misalignment, physical injuries, and recurring pain (e.g. headaches).

Craniosacral Therapy can also be used to treat hormonal imbalances, low energy, conditions related to the nervous system, and is particularly useful after surgery or during major life events. As with massage, Craniosacral Therapy need not only be turned to as a remedy for ill health. Many of my regular clients have found Craniosacral Therapy to facilitate a deepening of their experience of their bodies as well as their relationship to themselves and the world around them. In this way, regular Craniosacral Therapy can empower and assist your journey of self-discovery and consequently significantly improve your quality of life.

I hope I have inspired you! You can find out more about me and the therapies I practice through The Haven website, and by picking up my leaflets at the clinic.  I would be honoured to work with you and to assist you in what ever way I can. I hope to meet you soon! 

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By The Haven Team


Migrane Awareness Week

1 – 7/9/13

According to The National Institute of Neurological Disorders, more than thirty million people in the U.S. suffer from migraine headaches. That means that there is a migraine sufferer in twenty five percent of households.

The American Academy of Neurology says migraines range in severity and often come with a variety of symptoms from pulsating and throbbing pain, light and sound sensitivity, to nausea and vomiting. There are a variety of triggers, including:

- Fluorescent lights
- Coffee
- Dehydration
- Smoking or alcohol abuse
- High blood pressure or hypoglycemia
- Vitamin B or D deficiency or mineral imbalances
- Reaction to food additives such as MSG, sugar, colorings, or preservatives
- Oral contraceptives or prescription medication
- Food allergies or intolerances

Drug therapies are really useful to reduce symptoms and get people through this painful experience. Unfortunately they are beset with side effects.

Natural treatments

There are lots of ways to treat and prevent migraine headaches with natural remedies including acupuncture, shiatsu, aromatherapy, herbs, reflexology and supplements.


This is probably the single most important thing you can do for yourself. Drink plenty of water. Aim for 1 ˝ litres per day and more if you drink coffee or black tea. Keeping yourself hydrated is a key to warding off headaches of any type. If you are unused to drinking water it’s important to increase slowly so that your cells can once again get used to the uptake of fluid.


Hydrotherapy is easy, and it works. Contrast showers help with many ailments. Stand in water as hot as you can stand for two minutes (this increases blood flow to the skin), then as cold as you can stand for two minutes (this sends blood to the core of the body).

Alternate back and forth for 20 minutes to increase blood flow and circulation, bringing nutrients to organs and carrying away toxins.

Another way to use water to help with a headache is to put your feet in very cold water and a hot rag on the back of your neck. This helps bring the blood down out of your head, by sending it to your feet.


Regular, gentle exercise helps to reduce tension and ward off stress, a well-known trigger for many migraine sufferers. Exercise also triggers the release of endorphins, which act as a mild sedative.

Find something that you love doing. Its best to have a combination of aerobic exercise (swimming, walking, running, sports) and stretching, opening exercise (yoga, pilates). Yoga also aids relaxation and moves the meridians (energy lines). Side stretching and forward folds are particularly recommended for migrane prevention.

Beware that intense exercise can actually trigger rather than prevent migraine, so don't overdo it.

Shiatsu and Acupuncture Treatments

Chinese Medicine is a recommended therapeutic support for migraine sufferers. It works by treating the energy imbalances in the meridians and supporting the person constitutionally to make a shift into a more stable energetic pattern.

Put simply Migraine sufferers have a pattern where their energy (and blood) rushes upwards and gets stuck in the head. The liver and gallbladder meridians are indicated which can cause biliousness and sickness as it affects the stomach energy. Your practitioner will work to calm the yang energy, steady and ground the yin and disperse any internal imbalance whilst strengthening your constitution.

Working acupressure points with your fingers and thumbs can help alleviate pain as well. You will find points online or in books, or ask your local Acupuncturist or Shiatsu practitioner.

Aromatherapy and Massage

Relaxation is a great preventative for Migraines which means all the massage that you enjoy will help. Aromatherapy, employing natural plant and tree oils has a further healing affect. Peppermint and lavender are used most often, but rosemary, eucalyptus, sandalwood, and basil often work well also. Try them in a burner at home or put a little on your pillow at night.

Supplements and Herbs

It’s important to get advice from your local herbalist or qualified health professional before taking herbs or supplements. They will be able to advise you on how much and how often to take this strong medicine. Always drink a glass of water with your supplements.

Riboflavin (vitamin B2)

Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, is found in certain foods and supplements. It helps protect cells from oxidative damage and is involved in energy production.

How it helps: Riboflavin is an effective preventive treatment for migraines. It has been widely reported to significantly reduce the incidence of migraine headaches when consumed at high levels (400 mg per day), although it doesn't seem to help reduce the pain or length of a migraine once one occurs.

Researchers recommend taking riboflavin with a B-complex supplement, since riboflavin increases the absorption of other essential nutrients, including iron, zinc, folate, vitamin B3, and vitamin B12. In addition, vitamin B1 can help increase levels of riboflavin.

Best food sources: Liver, lean beef, lamb, venison, whole grains, tempeh, yogurt, low-fat milk, eggs, almonds, crimini mushrooms, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and spinach. Store food away from light, which destroys riboflavin.


Because our bodies can't make magnesium, we must rely on dietary and/or supplement sources to get it -- and magnesium deficiency been directly linked to migraines in a number of major studies.

How it helps: Magnesium helps relax nerves and muscles and transmits nerve impulses throughout the body and brain. In addition, magnesium helps prevent nerves from becoming overexcited. In short, this mineral aids in the prevention and reduction of migraines.

If you take magnesium supplements, use chelated forms (such as magnesium citrate or magnesium oxide). This means that the magnesium is connected with another molecule in order to aid its absorption.

Best food sources: Pumpkin seeds, spinach, Swiss chard, wild Alaskan salmon, halibut, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, amaranth, quinoa, soybeans, and black beans.

5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)

5-hydroxytryptophan is a substance produced by our bodies from the amino acid tryptophan. Collaborative research between Harvard Medical School and Natural Standard suggests that 5-HTP may be particularly effective in reducing both the severity and frequency of migraine headaches.

How it helps: 5-HTP increases the body's production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in blood vessel regulation. Low serotonin levels have been associated with migraines, so 5-HTP supplementation appears to help by correcting the imbalance.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant nutrient that's especially important in blood vessel health. Our bodies are able to make CoQ10, and we can also get it from dietary and supplement sources.

How it helps: CoQ10 increases blood flow to the brain, improves circulation, and protects cells from oxidative damage. It also helps stabilize blood sugar; low blood sugar is a major trigger for many migraine sufferers.

Best food sources: Food sources of CoQ10 aren't well documented, but this nutrient can be found in fish and organ meats (especially liver, kidney, and heart) as well as whole grains.


Feverfew is a bushy, aromatic herb plant related to daisies and widely used by herbalists and practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for preventing migraines and other types of headaches.

How it helps: Feverfew helps alleviate the throbbing pain associated with migraines by reducing inflammation, especially in the blood vessels in the brain. It also has minimal side effects. It can help quell vomiting and nausea in migraine sufferers who experience those symptoms.

Caution: Be sure to talk to your herbalist before taking feverfew (or any herbal remedy). And don't take it if you're pregnant or planning to get pregnant.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fats are anti-inflammatory substances that are abundant in many food sources, especially fish, nuts, and seeds.

How it helps: Omega-3 fatty acids protect brain cells and reduce inflammation, which may help to reduce the pain associated with migraines. In addition, omega-3s appear to be beneficial in reducing the frequency and duration of migraine headaches.

Best food sources: Wild Alaskan salmon, tuna, herring (not pickled herring), mackerel, rainbow trout, halibut, Pacific oysters, sardines, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds. Omega-3 fats are somewhat fragile and are easily damaged by exposure to heat, light, and oxygen, so store foods properly and avoid overheating (especially frying) when cooking.

To book a session with one of the Haven Therapists: Call now on 01364 654954. If you're not sure which therapy you would most benefit from call Nicola the Clinical Director on 01364 652220 who will be happy to discuss your circumstances with you. 

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