The Full Story
Integrative Health is a collaborative approach to health and wellbeing. The focus is on understanding the individual as a whole; what is going on within them, the effects of their behaviours and lifestyle choices, and the impact of the environment around them.
It combines conventional (western) medicine, coaching and lifestyle modification, and the wisdom of a range of complementary practices to deliver a personalised treatment plan for the whole person, developed around what really matters to them.
My personal practice combines Lifestyle Medicine and Mind-Body Medicine.
Lifestyle medicine recognises the important role that complex lifestyle factors such as nutrition, activity, sleep, self-care practices and social connection play in the development and experience of many chronic conditions. It uses evidence-based recommendations to support behaviour change to improve health and wellbeing. For many patients, lifestyle factors are major contributors to illness. Research on the role of sleep, stress management, relaxation, exercise, and nutrition has grown enormously over recent years.
There is overwhelming evidence for the benefits of different lifestyle changes for people with many long term physical and mental health issues. More and more healthcare professionals and patients are starting to embrace the importance of lifestyle interventions and the offer of a new hope that many conditions can be prevented, reversed and better managed.
Mind-body medicine is an approach to health and healing that recognises the intricate connections between our thoughts, our emotions and our physical state and uses a range of therapeutic modalities to support us in bringing ourselves back into balance and harmony.
"The natural healing force within each one of us is
the greatest force in getting well"
The body is wonderfully designed to heal, to repair and to keep itself in harmony and our mind is pivotal in controlling these processes. Unfortunately, modern stresses and lifestyles frequently do not offer an optimal environment for this to occur and things get out of balance. My practice uses mindfulness and clinical hypnosis to help you learn how to bring back and maintain that balance.
Hypnosis is similar to the mental state many people enjoy during meditation. It is a state where your conscious, thinking brain is at its quietest and the imaginative, inventive brain is at its most resourceful. Hypnotherapy uses this state to help you alter your embedded thinking patterns in specific areas to address different issues.
It is very helpful in a range of conditions such as anxiety, chronic pain and irritable bowel syndrome. You remain fully in control throughout and are able to choose to accept the therapists suggestions, or not; and you can bring yourself out of the hypnotic state at any time. I often use it in combination with mindfulness training and will usually teach my clients self-hypnosis to practice at home to really embed the benefits. The strongest benefits are often seen over time and with dedication and practice at home. It is my aim to equip you over as few sessions as possible with techniques and practices you can use at home.
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and how we feel, to be fully engaged in what we are doing. It is a skill we are born with but somehow lose as we exit childhood and spend much of our day wrapped up in our thoughts about the past or worries about the future.
Learning to come back to a more mindful state has been proven to improve mental health as well as productivity, relationships and many physical health conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and high blood pressure. We use meditation to formally train our brains to be in a more mindful state, accepting, non-judgemental and curious. It is a skill you can learn and one that grows with practice. Many people describe the experience as 'waking up' to their surroundings, their body and their life.