Drink your way to better health by Lesley Painter


Do you have regular daily bowel movements? If you’re not drinking enough water the answer is probably no. When we become dehydrated our bodies draw water from the bowel back into the bloodstream, drying the contents of the bowel and slowing the movement of the stool through the large intestine. If your bowel movements are irregular or sluggish, or your stool is dark and difficult to pass, you probably need more water!

Our bodies are made up of around 60% water. We need water for energy, for our brains to function properly, to maintain a healthy weight, for regular bowel movements, and to maintain a healthy blood pressure. We lose water every day through our sweat, breath, urine and poo. If we don’t replace it regularly throughout the day we can become dehydrated.

Our joints are surrounded by synovial fluid which cushions and protects them, and around 70-80% of joint cartilage is made of water. Similarly, the discs between the vertebrae of the spine are made up of fluid which is partly water. If you suffer with joint or back pain, make sure you avoid becoming dehydrated as these important fluids will become depleted and make your pain worse.

For those taking medication it’s especially important that we’re drinking enough water.  Most drugs and their metabolites are eliminated from the body in urine or bile (secreted by the liver and stored in the gallbladder) so we need to support our kidney and liver function to flush these from our systems, and drinking enough water is one way of doing that.

What are the signs of dehydration?

  • Joint pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Brain fog
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Itchy or dry skin
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dizziness

6 tips to increase your water intake

  1.  Try to drink a minimum of 1.5 litres of plain (filtered if possible) water every day. If you exercise you’ll need to drink more.
  2.  Drink steadily throughout the day, not just in the morning and evening.
  3.  Buy a 500ml reusable water bottle and take it with you wherever you go, and aim to get through 3 refills by the end of the day.
  4.  You might find you need to go to the loo more often but this will be temporary while your bladder gets used to this amount of liquid.
  5.  If you don’t like water or find it boring, you can add slices of lemon, lime, cucumber or ginger root to it.
  6.  If you like a hot drink in the morning, make a cup of warm water and squeeze the juice of half a lemon into it (add a slice of ginger root if you like) – this helps to improve your digestion and liver function, and can be counted in your water intake for the day.

Lesley Painter, Colonic Hydrotherapist and Nutritional Therapist

Age regression with Clinical Hypnotherapy by Haylee Ford

Haylee Ford joined us at CHHC recently. Haylee is a certified and accredited clinical Hypnotherapist with over ten years of experience treating clients with a wide range of different issues. Ranging from anxiety, stress, depression, weight difficulties/eating disorders, and even helping smokers to quit.

She is also imminently completing her psychotherapy training which will soon be available as part of her services. As part of Haylee’s Psychotherapy treatments, she will be offering cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), Dialectical behavioral therapies (DBT), and talking therapies, using a person-centered approach.
Here Haylee provides an overview of Age regression therapy and how it can help you.

Age regression therapy utilizes hypnotherapy to allow access to your subconscious mind for causative events in your longer term memory of your present life.

These causative events created unhelpful emotional residues, limiting beliefs and/or
programmed behaviors which will be addressed with specific age regression therapeutic
techniques during the sessions.

Through Hypnotherapy, you will learn to reframe situations using your own inner wisdom.

The outcome is to resolve your presenting issue, achieve beneficial changes and/or
healing in you.

What is Age regression suitable for?

It is suitable for clients presenting with relevant indications for hypnotherapy, including many emotional, mental, behavioral, and habitual issues, such as:
● Emotional pain of anger, sadness, guilt and regret arising from challenging life situations
● Relationships issues with family, partner, friends and colleagues
● Confidence and self-esteem issues
● Fears, phobias and anxiety etc

Haylee Ford, Clinical Hypnotherapist




Gut Sense by Caroline Shaw, Colonic Hydrotherapist

Our identity tends to be locked in our head, where our main sense organs are located; sight, smell, hearing, taste and the command centre for the nervous system – our brain. The brain controls, thought, memory, emotion, touch, motor skills, vision, breathing, temperature, hunger and every process that regulates our body.

Is it any wonder that we often feel like we are walking heads? The rest of our body servile to the needs and demands of this ‘top heavy’ centre of attention?

It’s almost as though we have a disconnected relationship with the rest of our body, formed by our perceptions and experiences. As a child I remember; counting the moles on my legs and wondering, if I joined the dots, what shape might emerge? My mother saying that my arms were too long when she knitted me a jumper. Looking at my face in the mirror and studying the scar left after I had fallen downstairs.

Like most people, my connection with the rest of my body was one of its external, physical appearance. What was going on under my skin was a complete mystery.

Usually, it is only when we suffer injury or feel pain that a channel of communication is opened with that part of our body. But then, more often than not, it is a negative one;

Annoyance that it has let us down in some way

Fear that we don’t know what’s going on

Frustration that we can’t get better

Resignation that there is nothing we can do

Another way of perceiving our body is to understand that each and every part of us, internal and external has a massive and significant role to play in our total universe. Our feet, for instance, carry us every day, balance our weight and give us a sense of connection to the ground. This is truly remarkable and deserving of much praise, love and attention!

If you were to study T’ai Chi, for instance, one of the first principles you would learn would be to drop your centre of attention from your head into your Tan T’ien. Your Tan T’ien is your centre of gravity. It is located in your abdomen and is the source of your vital energy.

You would learn to move from that point, not your head. You would feel, from that point, how your weight distribution flowed through your legs into your feet and down into the ground. You would feel and become aware of tension in your feet, that inhibited the flow of that energy, making you feel disconnected and ungrounded. You would feel how when you softened and relaxed, your feet opened and you were ‘rooted’.

It is possible to shift your ‘point of view’ of reality from your head to any part of your body. All it takes is a little time and imagination. It is then, only a small step to opening up a dialogue with your internal organs. Ask your heart how it is, what it needs, listen. When we do this, we begin to understand that our brain, rather than being the director of communication, is the receptor, receiving information from every part of us and trying to make sense of it.

We now know that our long tube of gut which stretches from the esophagus to the anus is embedded with sheaths of neurons, some 100 million neurons, more than in either our spinal cord or peripheral nervous system. This mass of neurons forms the enteric nervous system and helps us to ’feel’ the inner world of our gut. Because this enteric nervous system relies on the same type of neurons and neurotransmitters that are found in the central nervous system, some medical experts call it our ‘second brain’.

Interestingly, the primary visceral nerve, the vagus, carries most of its information from the gut to the brain and not the other way round. Every day we pick up messages for our gut, that can include not only physical sensations like indigestion but also emotional feelings. Our gut can transmit to us a sense of well-being and happiness as well as stress, anxiety and even depression. Understandably, problems in our gastrointestinal tract, GI, can make us anxious and depressed but also anxiety and depression can make GI problems worse.

This ‘conversation’ between the brain and digestive system is pivotal in our understanding of health and disease. We now know that the gut and brain not only communicate through the nervous system, but also through hormones and the immune system. Microorganisms in the gut help regulate the body’s immune response.

Medical researchers exploring symptoms such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, autism, anxiety, depression and Multiple Sclerosis are also looking at what is happening in the person’s gut. They are also examining how problems such as ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn’s disease, for example, can affect the brain.

One of my first major body awakenings occurred when I had a colonic. Before that treatment the default for my digestive system was constant discomfort. It was so constant it was normal. Gas, indigestion, constipation, bloating, were my companions. I didn’t question it because it seemed like it had always been there. After my colonic, I felt peace in my digestive system. The turbulence dissipated. This was so remarkable it was almost miraculous. Then I realised if I ate certain foods, my stomach and gut might protest, if I ate other foods, it would be quite content. I began to learn what my gut wanted me to eat. All I needed to do was listen.

But listening to my gut, gave me information beyond my dietary needs. I began to hear what made it stressed, and how that stress also contributed to my symptoms. I began to hear just how stressed I was.

As I listened to my gut, I made changes to my diet, but also significant changes to my life and lifestyle, which included introducing a daily practice of T’ai Chi and meditation. I moved my centre of gravity from my head to my Tan T’ien.

My body then ceased to become the fearful, separate ‘other’. I realised how my thoughts and patterns of behaviour were totally interconnected. I realised how my body was trying to do its very best for me, even under the most adverse conditions! It just needed a bit of help.

We are coming to the end of Spring and entering Summer. The extra warmth these months bring is conducive to a healthier diet. Now is an excellent time to embark on a de-tox, however short and allow your body and mind to reap the benefits! Choose good quality, alkaline foods, and refresh your gut with a colonic.

From June 1st we are having to increase our prices for a Colon Hydrotherapy treatment, initial and follow-up, to £75.00. The cost of implants and infusions will stay the same. Lesley and I look forward to your next visit!

Here is a reminder of some Alkaline Foods;


Asparagus  Artichokes  Cabbage  Lettuce  Onion  Cauliflower  Radish  Swede  Lambs Lettuce Peas  Courgette  Red Cabbage  Leeks  Watercress  Spinach  Turnip  Chives  Carrot Green Beans  Beetroot  Garlic   Celery  Grasses (wheat, barley etc)  Cucumber  Broccoli  Kale Brussel Sprouts

Fats and Oils

Flax  Hemp  Avocado  Olive  Evening Primrose   Borage


Almonds  Pumpkin  Sunflower


Most Fruits:  Lemon  Lime  Avocado  Tomato  Grapefruit  Watermelon  Rhubarb


Green Drinks’  Veg Juice  Pure water   Lemon water  Lime water  Herbal Tea  Veg Broth Soy Milk  Almond Milk

Seeds, Nuts and Grains

Almonds  Pumpkin seeds  Sunflower seeds  Sesame seeds  Flax  seeds  Buckwheat  Spelt  Lentils  Cumin Seeds. Sprouted Seeds


Raw Honey  Bee Pollen  Bragg Aminos  Humous  Tahini

Caroline Shaw, Colonic Hydrotherapist and Naturopath

Shape Shifting Hormones by Marianne Andrews


Shape shifting is a real thing as we age. No longer is the weight going onto your legs and bum, but more and more it’s morphing onto your abdomen, and becoming a belly where you didn’t previously have one.

Welcome to the perimenopause and menopause!

The massive hormonal shifts of the perimenopause can affect us in many ways, from our moods to our temperature and our shape. It can really affect your quality of life, but the good news is, there is lots you can do to limit the symptoms.

Sex hormones and tummy fat

Progesterone is normally the first sex hormone to start declining. This can cause all sorts of changes, including migraines, hot flushes, dryness, hair loss, anxiety and increased tummy fat.

Our oestrogen levels can start to go haywire too. Oestrogen tends to encourage fat to be deposited on our hips and thighs to begin, but as this hormone declines too, the pattern changes to more of a male-type pattern of paunch type fat.

However, there are two other crucial hormones which relate to weight-gain and these are insulin and cortisol which have a huge impact upon our changing shape.

Blood sugar, stress and weight

During perimenopause many women become ‘insulin-resistant.’ This basically means that your cells aren’t as sensitive to the signals from insulin and no longer allow insulin to take glucose out of your blood and into your cells to be used for energy. Too much sugar builds up in your blood and this can cause havoc with your other hormones and contribute to weight gain.

Cortisol release is triggered by stress. It increases blood sugar levels to give us energy for the stress we are facing. Of course, this used to be running away from a man-eating lion, but now it’s more likely to be because of a red traffic light or a moody teenager!  One bout of stress can take 8 hours to get your hormone levels back to normal. So, if we are bouncing from one stress to another, then they may stay permanently high all day!

And if we’re not running away from that lion, then the energy our body produces will all be laid as fat. Where? You guessed it, around the middle!

How to take control of your blood sugar balance and weight

  1. Cut down on sugar and refined carbohydrates. Watching our sugar and refined carb intake at this age is more important than ever. Try to cut out white foods like white bread, pasta and rice, and replace them with wholegrain varieties instead, but also limit the amount you have of each of these foods.
  2. Eat protein and healthy fats with every meal. Women often struggle to get enough protein and healthy fats into their diet. Both protein and fats not only keep you full for longer but also help to slow down the release of glucose from carbs into the blood.
  3. Cut down on alcohol. Alcohol sadly is not our friend and especially so when we hit perimenopause. Alcohol affects blood sugar and as we age we become less able to detoxify it, which explains those worsening hangovers.
  4. Focus on reducing your stress. The connection between stress and weight gain is very real. There are so many ways we can do this but some of them include making sure we take time for ourselves each day – whether it be a walk in the fresh air, 15 minutes of yoga, or perhaps meditation or journaling.
  5. Track your cycle. This doesn’t mean just track when your period starts and finishes, but your daily symptoms throughout the cycle. This can be eye-opening for many women and can help you to identify patterns. It can also be super helpful for planning activities. There are many apps that can make this easy for you too.

Once you have a better understanding of what is going on and understand the options available to restore balance, then perimenopause and menopause can become enjoyable phases in a woman’s life and they really should be.  For more support then click here for a FREE Better Health Chat with Marianne Andrews, Nutritional Therapist.

Open Day – Saturday 7th May

We’re celebrating the launch of new partnership in Camargue House between Cheltenham Holistic Health Centre and Cheltenham School of Fine Art, by opening our doors to all and offering a fabulous spring open day! 

To experience a little of what we have on offer, join us for  a day of free mini consultations and taster treatments on the ground floor (Cheltenham Holistic Health Centre), and taster art workshops and yoga classes on the first floor (Cheltenham School Of Fine Art).



Cheltenham Holistic Health Centre was founded in 1981, and continues to be the region’s leading centre for complementary health. In September 2021, we were delighted to share our building with Cheltenham School Of Fine Art who now occupy the first floor and use the studio for art classes/workshops and yoga class, and have a fantastic print studio. 

There will be 10 practitioners available for free mini consultations and chats on Saturday 7th May, some will offer a taster treatment.

We’d recommend pre-booking to guarantee your slot. 

Who will be there? 

Jeni HowlandSystematic Kinesiology and AromaTouch Massage

Eric GoodchildAcupuncture

Ric MalkinsonAcupuncture

Stuart WilsonOsteopathy (Structural and Cranial)

Lucy CardenOsteopathy (Structural and Cranial)

John UnderhillAlexander Technique and Craniosacral Therapy

Caroline ShawColonic Hydrotherapy, Naturopathy, Holistic Massage

Lesley PainterColonic Hydrotherapy, Nutritional Therapy

Kerry McKercharRemedial and Sports Massage

Haylee FordClinical Hypnotherapy 

Discounted treatments will be available to those that book an initial consultation on the day. 

The open day will be running on Saturday 7th May between 10am-4pm. Appointments can be booked online, by calling the centre on 01242 584140 or emailing info@chhc.co.uk. 

Anti-Parasites and Covid-19 by Caroline Shaw

Not long ago I was asked by one of my clients whether I had or could get hold of some invermectin. I replied in the negative. As you may remember invermectin along with hydroxychloroquine were touted as wonder drugs in the covid-19 fight by various anti-vaccine groups.

Hydroxychloroquine is approved to treat or prevent malaria. It was developed in the 1940s as a highly cost-effective anti-malarial, it’s been on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines since the list was established in 1977.

Ivermectin is a broad spectrum anti-parasitic, with approved uses in animals and humans. The drug was developed in the late 1970s. In veterinary medicine, it is used to prevent and treat heartworm. In humans, ivermectin is indicated for, among other conditions, the tropical diseases, river blindness and lymphatic filariasis.

But both were given the thumbs down as treatments for Covid 19 as more research emerged. The Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for hydroxychloroquine was withdrawn because of concerning safety issues, such as serious heart rhythm problems and the drug proved ineffective in preventing death from Covid-19. And clinical trials in various countries worldwide, showed invermectin did little to help prevent people from contracting Covid-19 or benefitting them when they did.

But the idea that anti-parasites may help to treat Covid-19 is not as far-fetched as it may seem. Viruses like Covid 19, are microscopic particles and can be compared to parasites since they need to invade a living cell and alter the metabolic machinery of the host cells to keep themselves alive and replicate.As far as the virus is concerned, all it wants to do is complete its reproductive cycle.


The Covid-19 virus is medically novel – that means it is a new, previously unidentified human strain. The coronavirus family of viruses tend to affect animals however, they can also cross-infect into humans causing symptoms ranging from fever and cough to breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death can occur.


Anti-parasites work by targeting specific parasitic agents of the infections by destroying them or inhibiting their growth. But at this stage we just don’t know which anti-parasites may target Covid-19 effectively, if any.


Interestingly, Ed Chuong, an assistant professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at CU Boulder, is researching how exposure to ancient parasites by our ancestors may be helping the response of our immune system today.

“If you look closely at our genome, viruses have been shaping not only our lives but also our biology and evolution for hundreds of millions of years. It’s possible that ancient viral sequences from past pandemics are now lending a hand in helping us fight modern ones.” says Chuong.

Research has revealed that populations, presenting with a higher degree of acquired gut parasitic variety may give a more robust immune response, possibly decreasing the risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms. The presence of any parasitic co-infestation reduced the risk of severe COVID-19, while the presence of hypertension, chronic renal disease, and older age drove up the odds of severe disease. Even after these comorbidities were adjusted for, patients with parasitic infestation had significantly lower odds of severe COVID-19.

There is so much for us to learn and understand regarding how our gut bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi can help or hinder our immune system. Oddly, and I must stress this has no basis in any scientific proof or research, some of my clients suffering ‘Long Covid symptoms’, have responded favourably to anti-parasitic implants administered during their colon hydrotherapy sessions.

Normally, I might advise including an anti-parasitic with a colon hydrotherapy treatment, if the client is experiencing on-going and recurring gut issues such as bloating, diarrhea, fatigue, fuzzy head and stool dysbiosis or/and where they are not responding with normal dietary recommendations. Very often they can trace the origin of their symptoms back to an episode of food poisoning. But for many people, these issues evolved after they came down with Covid-19.

Is the anti-parasitic, which contains, wormwood, walnut leaf and clove bud, helping? Is it the colonic or something else all-together? I do not know. But maybe there is room for more research on this, as the legacy of Long Covid is having a detrimental impact on so many people’s lives.

Caroline Shaw.

Treating the person, not the symptoms – a kinesiology approach with Jeni Howland

Kinesiology is wonderful because it focuses on the WHOLE person rather than treating individual symptoms.

During a session your practitioner will look at ALL the components of your health and wellbeing, such as:

➡️Emotional wellbeing and general stress levels
➡️Physical and structural integrity – bones and joints
➡️Chemical input – skin and cleaning products, medication
➡️Nutritional status – lack and surplus, current food choices, hydration
➡️Electro Magnetic Stress – Bluetooth, wifi, strip lighting
➡️Lifestyle  – work life balance, exercise, hours at work, enjoyment or otherwise

Of course we also want to know what symptoms you are experiencing as these give us clues (like breadcrumbs!) as to the underlying imbalances that need correcting during the session.
We have a range of techniques and muscle tests we can do, but we ALWAYS come back to considering the whole person rather than the symptoms in isolation.
This approach to individual health & wellbeing means that clients who have the same symptoms – let’s say fatigue and low energy – will experience different and UNIQUE outcomes from their first session.
Depending on all of the factors mentioned above and what the body shows us through muscle response testing, one of those clients may be dehydrated and the other may need nutritional support (e.g. enzymes, probiotics) to help them return to normal energy levels.
This WHOLE PERSON approach to health and wellbeing is what sets Kinesiology apart from many other modalities.
You can book an appointment with Jeni Howland on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Cheltenham Holistic Health Centre
If you have questions about how this therapy might help you then contact Jeni :


Has the pandemic put your Fire out? By Ric Malkinson, Acupuncturist

In traditional Five Element acupuncture, the Fire element is all about our relationships with other people: it’s about interaction, communication, sharing, and is connected to fun, joy, and intimacy. When our Fire energy is working in a balanced way, we know just how to be with other people; we enjoy other people’s company, and we’re nourished by those heart-to-heart connections.



The COVID pandemic has impacted on all this. We’ve been told to reduce our social interaction and, literally, to keep our distance from each other. There’s been less physical communication, less hugging, less affection. Mask-wearing has reduced our ability to fully express ourselves, to share a smile. And those communal events we used to take for granted – the music gigs, theatre performances and sporting events, where we all share that powerful glow of Fire energy – came to a complete stop, only recently becoming more normal again.

So after two years of a pandemic, it’s not suprising if our Fire feels low. We may be feeling unmotivated, low on warmth, out of practice at communicating, and suffering with feelings of sadness, depression or social anxiety. The pandemic blues!

In traditional acupuncture, Summer is the season that corresponds to the Fire element – the time of year where light, warmth, activity, and interaction are all at their peak. If those Summer feelings are missing, acupuncture can help: a few treatments supporting, boosting and balancing our Fire energy may be just what we need to bring that spark and that sunshine back into our lives.

Ric Malkinson, Traditional Acupuncture. 


Fasting – could it save your health? By Marianne Andrews


As a nutritionist, of course, I would say that what you eat really matters. As science into this area explodes, what we are becoming increasingly aware of is that not eating is almost as important. Through not eating as often, you create a magical process in the body called autophagy. It’s the genius clean-up function mother nature has given us. What I want to tell you about today is a little bit more about this process and why it matters so much so that you can see whether you’d like a bit of this fairy dust in your body. I’ll then show you exactly how to do it yourself.

Why the cells in your body need a clean-up

Small as they may be our body’s cells are tiny hubs of activity, and just like in our own world, industry creates waste. Each cell contains a nucleus, where the genetic material is stored, and various organelles – tiny “organs” that have a job to do. But things wear out: mitochondria – the cells’ “batteries” – get old and malfunction, other organelles and parts of the cell break down. All that rubbish cannot be left floating around, so there are organelles for waste collection, too: phagophores. These are the bin men of the cell world, collecting all the bits and pieces that no longer work, even mopping up invading microbes, such as bacteria and viruses as they go.

They then take the junk to the lysosomes – the dump –, a little bubble inside the cell, where enzymes break down the waste, recycling what they can. Simply put, proteins consist of chains of amino acids. When an old protein is broken down into its components, those components – amino acids – can be recycled to make new proteins or be used as extra fuel for the mitochondria. In times of famine, this process can even provide nutrients missing from the diet. It is called autophagy, or “self-eating” and it is an excellent thing.

Side-effects of a good clean-up

In addition to providing energy, scientists now think that autophagy may offer some protection against brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Nerve cells are particularly active. Their mitochondria have to work especially hard and as a result break down sooner. Autophagy mops them up before they can do too much harm. Indeed, researchers believe that damaged mitochondria, that have lost their ability to use fat and glucose fuels efficiently, may be behind a whole range of illnesses.

Autophagy does a great job of keeping everything shipshape, clearly, you’ll want autophagy to work properly in your own body.

Is your clean-up switch on or off?

Many processes in the body oppose each other, and there are feedback mechanisms that make them work. Think of this as a bit like a light switch. When one process is happening, the other cannot.

The magical state of autophagy is opposed by the activity of mTor, an enzyme required for growth that monitors the body’s fuel supplies closely.

When you eat, and food is plentiful, mTor is switched on and works in growth and repair mode.

If you’ve not eaten for a while and nutrients seem in short supply, it is switched off, and autophagy kicks in to clean up and extract fuels from the waste like I described earlier.

It’s not as if one of these processes is good and the other bad. As humans, we need both. This genius system evolved to get us through lean times … only there are hardly any lean times anymore.

When there is always plenty of fuel (the food you eat), mTor is working overtime and autophagy hardly gets a chance to kick in. No surprise then, that waste builds up, and you become vulnerable to disease.

Autophagy only works when you are not eating (and have not eaten for a little while), and this is the reason why fasting is so good for you.

How to get yourself into autophagy

The easiest way to make it work is to eat less or stop eating altogether – to fast or to trick your body into thinking that you are fasting. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean that you need to stop eating for a week. Just hours – it’s called intermittent fasting – is enough to trigger autophagy..

The best-known method of intermittent fasting is probably the “5:2 Diet”, made popular by TV doctor Michael Mosley a few years ago. It involves eating just 600 calories on two days a week while eating normally on the other five days (although, in later books, he upped the calorie allowance to 800).

Another way of intermittent fasting is time-restricted eating, in which you stop eating for a varying number of hours within a 24-hour period, aka 16:8 (eating only within an 8-hour window each day) or 14:10 (10-hour window).

In a 16:8 scenario, for example, you would have a late breakfast at 11am and stop eating after an early dinner, thus not eating anything from 7 pm to 11 am the next morning. In practice, this will feel like simply skipping breakfast.

Or, if for you, breakfast is the most important meal, you start and stop early. You would have a good breakfast and stop eating earlier in the afternoon. Studies found that not eating in the evening led to better weight loss results.

Why I love intermittent fasting

A lot of research has been and is being done on intermittent fasting, and the results are amazing. Not only does it promote weight loss – which is, let’s face it, a lot of us secretly want more than anything else – it has also been found to normalise blood sugar levels, reduce blood pressure and total cholesterol. At the same time, those who were well to begin with remained so. Their blood pressure, cholesterol and weight stayed the same.

Foods that trigger autophagy

The ketogenic diet can also promote autophagy, and it has been discovered that there are certain foods and nutrients that can trigger it too.

Good news for coffee drinkers: coffee is one of them. Another is C8 oil. This is an “MCT” oil “medium-chain triglycerides”, a type of fat that occurs naturally in coconut oil, for example. As it is often used in the ketogenic diet, you can now buy it in health food shops and online.

Other foods that contain nutrients to promote autophagy are seeds, fish and shellfish, olives and olive oil, brassica (plants from the cabbage family, such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale and broccoli), mushrooms, blackcurrants, berries, turmeric, ginger, green tea, hibiscus, mint and bergamot (in Earl Grey tea).

Foods that block autophagy

On the other hand, there are foods that block autophagy, such as excess carbohydrates and excess protein, the latter especially from meat and dairy. Resistance exercise or strength training, too, blocks autophagy.

Why not give your body a break from eating now and then and see what it does for your health? Try out intermittent fasting and see which version works best for you. Perhaps you’d also like to give the ketogenic diet a whirl?

When you do eat, stick with real food as that gives you the best chance of stocking up on those vital nutrients that help autophagy work better.

If you would like to learn more or try out fasting or keto with some professional guidance, then click here to book a free 20 minute chat with Marianne Andrews.

Acupuncture for long term health by Eric Goodchild

The Long and Short Of It!  by Eric Goodchild

Well, the 40th anniversary of CHHC last year slipped by unnoticed because we were all so caught up with The Pandemic.
Back in 1981, Wendy Owen and I, newly qualified from the College of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture, rented a suite of rooms by the Library in Cheltenham and opened our doors as the Traditional Acupuncture Centre. Before long we had gathered a number of practitioners from other disciplines to share the premises and 3 years later we moved to Imperial Square and re-named it Cheltenham Holistic Health Centre.

So we are coming up to the 41st anniversary in March, which doesn’t have the same ring to it, so I thought I would celebrate a different 40th anniversay by introducing you to Doreen! ( with her full permission of course)

Unbelievably, Doreen has been a patient of mine for 40 years. She is soon to turn 96 and lives independently and alone in her home of 60 years!

When she first came along she had been suffering from debilitating migraines for most of her adult life. They were severe and frequent, meaning she would spend a quarter of her life in bed and in the dark. She had regular acupuncture treatments over 3 years to reduce her dependency on strong and addictive medication as the migraines began to fade into bad headaches, then mild headaches before disappearing altogether. She hasn’t had one now or 35 years!  She continued to come along for treatments on a regular, but less frequent basis ever since,because she found it made her ‘feel better’ and usually dealt with any minor disorders that occurred.

Now I visit her on a weekly basis to help with a number of symptoms of old age. Aches and pains, digestive problems, sleep and energy.
She is remarkable for her age and as bright as a button!

She is a perfect example of someone who ‘got’ acupuncture and appreciated it’s value on a long term basis to aid continuing good health.

Many patients still mis-associate acupuncture only with pain control. Partly because dry-needling techniques have been widely adopted by Physiotherapists and some GP’s as an additional tool for pain control, the profound value of Traditional Acupuncture as a long-term, life-enhancing therapy can be missed.

I first began a course of acupuncture when I was 24 years old and I still go now. My health is good and I haven’t seen a GP since I was 17, apart from getting a doctor’s signature to confirm I was fit enough to Sky Dive when I turned 60!  It could just be luck of course, but I truly believe that regular treatment has improved my chances of never growing up!