Clinic Fully Open from 12th April

All our practitioners and therapists are now able to practice, are available for appointments and are taking on new clients. We are currently running a virtual reception service from 10am-2pm, where we will pick up calls and emails. Outside that time, please either book online, leave us a voicemail or email us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Our reception room is currently not in use, please wait outside the building, ring the buzzer and your practitioner will collect you.

Subject to the government easing of restrictions, we are hoping that our studio will be back open on 17th May 2021. We will also be opening Reception between 10am-2pm from this date.

Tier 4 Update – Clinic Open/Studio Closed

Due to the new restrictions, our studio has had to close to Yoga, Pilates, Qi Gong and Tai Chi. We continue to be open for most treatments. If you have an appointment, please ring the buzzer to the left of the door and your practitioner will collect you. You can contact us via email or you can book appointments online. We will let you know when we are fully open again. 

COVID Lockdown 2 – Clinic remains open for some practitioners/studio closed

Update: 5th November 2020. We are now only able open for certain therapies as detailed within the Government Guidelines.

These are:

Acupuncture, Cranio-Sacral Therapy, Colonic Hydrotherapy, Foot Care and Osteopathy.

Our Studio and Reception will be closed until 2nd December 2020. Appointments can be made or changed online or via email

We look forward to welcoming everyone back as soon as possible.
Wishing you all well and stay safe.

Coronavirus Update – CLINIC IS PLANNING TO RE-OPEN 4th July 2020

We are pleased to let you know that we plan to re-open from the 4th July.

We will be working within the guide lines given by the Government and Practitioner Governing Bodies.

We will be operating a reduced service to allow for time between clients for cleaning.

Please wait outside to be collected by your Practitioner you will then enter through the main entrance.

Please do not bring unnecessary belongings with you.

Please respect the two metres social distancing rules when waiting for your Practitioner.

Health screening questions will be asked and temperature taken, hands washed or cleansed.

If you don’t have a face mask you will be offered one at a cost £1.00.

You will then be escorted to the treatment room.

When treatment is completed you will be escorted out of the building via the side entrance.

There will be a reduced reception service.

Bookings can be made online or via email or phone.

If you leave a message on the answer phone it will be answered as soon as possible.

Payment should be made directly to the practitioner via bank transfer at the point of booking this will reduce contact within the clinic.

We are looking forward to seeing you all and getting back to a new normal.

Please do email if you have any queries or concerns.



What Is Taiji? – New Class Starting March 2020

What is Taiji?

Taiji  is an exercise and training system for the body and mind, one that is presented in terms of a medical model, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the same one used in Acupuncture.

As a ‘physical movement form’ each posture flows into the next pattern without pause, ensuring that the entire body is in a constant motion,  rhythm and process of transformation. This is ideal for developing  suppleness and flexibility, being sure-footed and highly co-ordinated. It builds increased stamina and muscle strength.

Taiji  also cultivates qualities of mindfulness and is often described as ‘meditation in motion’.  It is practiced through a purposeful spirit with calm, clear intentions guiding the continuity of each movement in a focused way. People also report  that Taiji promotes a certain serenity as it moves moment to moment, softly, slowly and smoothly, embodying a series of graceful expressions. 

This gentle nature is married to more stimulating phases and invigorating techniques that develop over time. As fitness builds with regular practice the movements begin to refine, deepen and cultivate a greater degree of strength, in keeping with Taiji Chuan’s origins as a ‘Soft’ Martial Art. An earlier proto-form was known as ‘Cotton Boxing’.

The movements become ‘Taiji’  when grace and power work in unison, through a harmonised interplay of ‘forces’. This is because the actions  represent the cyclic movements found in Nature…..yielding phases that gather in and root naturally lead to recoiling actions that spring forth, branching out and blossoming gestures that reach fruition in turn overflow and sink once again. These natural movements of Life are entirely resonant with the working of our own body-mind process.

There is a time, a place, a proportion to the whole form of movement. The patterns and order echo the procession of seasonal changes and processes. So at the heart of Taiji lies a natural rhythm, dance like, encouraging a continuous unfolding. Taiji is one continual movement.

That means the movements  are never forced, there is no need to strain; the muscles are lengthened rather than tensed, the joints are opened rather than locked, and connective tissues are coiled through twisting rather than rigidly stretched out.

In concert these factors help create a deep massaging through the whole body to nourish and invigorate the vital substances.

The Taiji Classic texts say Taiji is  practiced for longevity and its associated health benefits. I teach according to the principles of TCM where Chinese physicians might prescribe Qi Gong or Taiji as a special type of ‘exercise medicine’ to augment other traditional treatments such as Acupuncture and Herbs.

Taiji promotes a free flow of circulation, where the vital substances of Qi, Blood & Essence can distribute their rejuvenating properties through the entire network of organs, vessels and channels. An understanding which gives rise to the notion that Taiji is an ‘Internal’ martial art -with an emphasis on intention to ‘marshal’, guide and organise specific patterns of movement through the whole body.

Who can do it

Taiji is low impact and puts minimal stress on muscles and joints, making it generally safe for all ages and fitness levels. It may be especially suitable as an older adult who otherwise may not exercise. If in doubt consult your doctor beforehand for their recommendation.

What do i need

Taiji is inexpensive and requires no special equipment. You can practice anywhere,  indoors or outside. You can do Taiji alone, in groups or practice in a class.

Wear loose, comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict your range of motion and flat-soled flexible shoes/trainers.

The Teacher

Jeff Docherty is a professional member of the ‘Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine’

 He is qualified and insured as an Acupuncturist, Shiatsu practitioner, Meditation teacher, Taiji-Qi Gong teacher.



Jeffs experience in Traditional Medicines began from his time living as a Yogi in Buddhist Monasteries in Sri Lanka and India, where he was introduced to Traditional Practice in the Tibetan enclave of McCleod Ganj, 1992. He was treated and inspired by renowned Buddhist monk, Traditional Medicine practitioner, and former personal physician to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Yeshi Dhonden.

On returning to the UK Jeff began studying TCM in the form of Qi Gong & Shiatsu with Chris Jarmey, well known author and teacher.  Whilst continuing with Buddhist meditation retreats in the Theravadin and Tibetan traditions in the UK, and with further study to become an Acupuncturist.

Jeff learned Sun style Taiji from 1996 with Dave Martin, Head of European operations and honoured student of Sun Jian Yun, the Founders daughter.

Jeff was asked to teach Taiji by Dave after he retired from teaching classes at Cannon Park, Coventry.

Jeff began teaching Qi Gong & Taiji in 2003 and has since worked with NHS projects, Stroud and Gloucester Colleges, a Hospice, Mental Health groups, in ‘deprived areas’, supported housing and currently runs twelve weekly classes locally.

 Jeff is currently planning to start teaching classes at Cheltenham Holistic Health Centre from Spring 2020. Please contact the centre directly on 01242 584140 or email to register your interest. 

UPDATE: A class will be starting on Tuesdays from 17th March 2020, 1.15-2.15pm. Cost £90 for a 10 week course. This will be a closed class to ensure everyone learns at the same rate.

Trial class will be running on 3rd March 2020, 1.15-2.15pm.

Workshops and events from Cheltenham Yoga

We are delighted to welcome Gareth and Chantal from Cheltenham Yoga to the Cheltenham Holistic Health Centre studio.

Here are details of events they are running in 2020.

Yoga for Runners in Cheltenham – Friday 7th February 6-8pm – with Chantal Rafferty – £20

If you run regularly you’ll know the importance of stretching out and working on core stability to help support your body. We’ll explore 2 different practices with emphasis on the physical side of yoga. Contact Chantal to book: 07910 530060.

Yoga Foundation Course in Cheltenham: Starts in February with Gareth Williams & Chantal Rafferty

This is ideal for keen yoga practitioners wanting to deepen their understanding of the tradition and philosophy of yoga including vedic chanting, pranayama and designing home practices. Access will be given to online videos made by senior yoga teachers Dave Charlton and Ranju Roy (authors of ‘Embodying the Yoga Sutra) as additional supports for what will be learnt on the course.

Contact Gareth to book and for further info: 07900 242317


Thai yoga massage workshop in Cheltenham – Saturday 4th April 10am-5pm – with Gareth Williams & Chantal Rafferty

Explore this ancient healing therapy with lots of hands on work! You’ll leave feeling blissed out!

Contact Gareth to book and for further info: 07900 242317


Yoga weekend in Worcestershire – Friday 19th – 21st June – Summer Solstice – with Gareth Williams & Chantal Rafferty

Join us for a lovely weekend of yoga, walking and amazing food (and heated outdoor pool!) for a summer solstice themed weekend!

Contact Chantal to book and for further info:

07910 530060


Yoga and relaxation in south west France – 11th – 18th July with Chantal Rafferty & Gareth Williams

We’re back for our 13th year at the wonderful Les Passeroses. It really is a home from home! The venue is simply gorgeous with lovely rooms, beautiful yoga studio, outdoor pool and amazing chef prepared vegetarian food.

Contact Chantal to book and for further info:

07910 530060


Thai yoga massage practitioner diploma course: Starts in September with Gareth Williams & Chantal Rafferty

This is a 6 month course leaning this wonderful healing therapy. It is followed by case studies and exams to qualify as a practitioner. These courses are such a joy to run as we gain so much from them as our students! What can be more blissful than spending weekends receiving and giving Thai massage! Suitable for any body workers, yoga teachers or simply anyone with an interest in this uniquely Buddhist tradition.

Contact Gareth to book and for further info: 07900 242317


Yoga weekend in Worcestershire – Friday 18th – 20th September – with Chantal Rafferty

Treat yourself to a lovely weekend of yoga, walking and amazing food (and heated outdoor pool!) in a beautiful house in a gorgeous village in the countryside.

Contact Chantal to book and for further info:

07910 530060


Yoga and exploring in Sicily 17th – 24th October with Gareth Williams & Chantal Rafferty

This is going to be a super special trip with a visit to magical Mt Etna, beautiful walks with our private guide, rooftop private dining and lots of yoga of course!

Contact Chantal to book and for further info:

07910 530060



Christmas Survival Guide

CHRISTMAS survival guide

THE FUNDAMENTALS: It’s that party season again! How can you have a great time without either depriving yourself or putting on lots of weight? This Christmas Survival Guide will give you some ideas for what to avoid and what fabulous healthy and delicious choices you can make so that you look good and feel healthy in January.

  1. Don’t try to diet over the festive period. Set a maintenance goal instead. This is more realistic and much more achievable. This will give you the freedom to enjoy yourself without the feelings of deprivation or the pressure to rebel…!
  2. Take low GL dishes with you to parties. There are some fab recipes in the Holford Low GL cookbook that everyone can enjoy.
  3. Make the effort to continue with your exercise programme. If your usual classes aren’t running, choose other options instead e.g. brisk walks with friends and family.
  4. Make good alcohol choices. Avoid creamy or sweet drinks. Try to drink with food as this will reduce the impact of the sugars on your blood stream.
  5. Be gentle with yourself. If you do happen to overindulge, enjoy whatever you are indulging in and then get back on track afterwards.
  6. Normal routine tends to go out of the window over Christmas. However, make sure you don’t forget about yourself and still take the time to plan your food. That way, you will still have the right choices in the house and it will be much easier for you to succeed. At a point where we don’t want to eat the wrong things it is a shame to fail just because that is all we have to hand. This is so easy to avoid just by giving it a few minutes thought and preparation. Give yourself the best chance of succeeding!
  7. Don’t go to a party hungry. If you do, you will be getting and reacting to your body’s urges for sugar.
  8. Drink plenty of water. This will encourage you not to overeat and will also improve how you feel the next day!
  9. Watch your portion sizes – particularly fast release carbohydrates and fats
  10. Have Fun!!

If you feel that you need support with sticking to a healthy diet then Marianne Andrews, our Nutritional Therapist, works with women who are fed up with feeling a shadow of the person they used to know and love. In January she is offering personalised programmes that can help support you on that road to hormonal balance and being in control of your weight.  Click here to book in for a free 20 minute chat.



Healthier Mince Pies – Recipe!

Healthier mince pies – courtesy of Marianne Andrews, our Nutritional Therapist. 









Makes 25

For the filling

1 large apple, like Braeburn, Gala

75g raisins

75g golden sultanas

75g currants

65g dried, unsweetened cranberries

60g other dried fruit (sour cherries, blueberries, mango, apricots – dried but unsweetened)

Zest and juice of an orange

50g coconut palm sugar [or 2 tsp Stevia if you’d rather]

4 tbsp organic butter, cubed

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ground nutmeg

½ tsp ground ginger

For the pastry

150g ground almonds

75g coconut flour

1 tbsp coconut palm sugar

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp sea salt

zest of an orange

115g butter, frozen. Plus a little extra for greasing

1 egg, lightly whisked


Making the filling

Add all of the ingredients above (other than the brandy, if using) into a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir

When the butter is fully melted, turn the heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often.

Take the saucepan off the heat and stir through a Tablespoon of brandy, and decant into sterilized glass jars.

Leave to cool with the lid slightly ajar, then secure tightly and store until you’re ready to use.

Making the pastry

Put the ground almonds and coconut flour in a bowl with the sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in the orange zest.

Grate the frozen butter into the flour and mix together with your fingers till a crumb forms.

Stir in the egg and bring together with your hands to form a dough. Divide the dough in half, wrap each in film and place in the fridge for 1 hour (or overnight).

Pre heat the oven to 175˚C. Grease the moulds of a muffin pan with a little butter.

Remove the dough from the fridge and place between 2 sheets of baking/ greaseproof paper. Roll with a rolling pin to flatten out the dough till it is pie-crust thin.

Using a cookie cutter (or an upturned jam jar – needs to be about 8cm diameter) cut out 25 circles and lightly press into the muffin pan moulds. The pastry can be tricky to work with as there is no gluten holding it together. Be patient. If the pastry splits just push it back together with your fingers and use any pastry scraps to fix it up.

Fill up each pie mould with a heaped teaspoon of the mincemeat. Using the remainder of the dough cut out 25 stars to top each pie.  Bake in the oven for 12 minutes. Leave to cool in the tins, before gently easing them out. Don’t be tempted to remove from the tin when they come out of the oven. They WILL fall apart!



Are You In Perimenopause?

The peri-menopause can be one of the trickiest times for women to get their head around. One minute you’re 30, full of energy to do all the things you want in your life.

Yes, there may be challenges but none of them seem unmanageable. Life – especially when you look back – seemed pretty great. All of a sudden it seems life and age have snuck up on you. You’re just not quite the same person you used to be. You notice you get tired more easily, some days you’re literally dragging yourself through the day, you’ve lost your get up and go for no reason, the weight you used to be able to lose in the run-up to an important event stays stubbornly in place no matter what you try, and you can’t seem to shift that foggy feeling in your brain. But it can’t be the menopause, right? You’re too young…

The menopause actually refers to a time when you haven’t had a single period for at least a year. The run-up to it can last for years and it’s called the peri-menopause. Think of it as the menopause transition. It can take eight to ten years! Women typically start to experience it in their 40s – and often the most obvious signs are that your periods go a little crazy – though for some it can even start in their 30s.

In the peri-menopause, levels of one of the main female sex hormones, oestrogen, rises and falls unevenly. The length of time between periods may be longer or shorter, your flow may be light to really heavy and with worse PMS than ever before, and you may even skip some periods – before they come back with a vengeance.

You might also experience some of the symptoms traditionally associated with the menopause, like night sweats, hot flushes, sleep problems, mood swings, more UTIs like cystitis and vaginal dryness. Around this time, you might begin to notice that weight loss becomes trickier and your digestion gets a little shaky.

The way some talk about the perimenopause, you’d think it was a disease. There’s no need to go to your doctor to get an official diagnosis – although it’s definitely worth booking and appointment, if you notice any of these specific symptoms, as they can point to other problems and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Fibroids are something very common at this time.

  • spotting after your period
  • blood clots during your period
  • bleeding after sex
  • periods that are muchlonger or much shorter than normal

If you are really struggling with your energy levels, it’s also worth getting your thyroid checked, if it hasn’t already been because perimenopausal and menopausal women are at greater risk of thyroid dysfunction. Added to this, thyroid symptoms can mimic menopausal symptoms. The ovaries, uterus, adrenal glands and the brain require adequate thyroid hormones to function.

Whatever your specific symptoms are, a tailored nutrition plan can really help. I know you could Google ‘diet for perimenopause’, but the truth is the answer lies not in fixing yourself symptom by symptom. In the human body everythingis connected in ways you might not imagine. Looking at the whole of you rather than individual complaints is the way forward.

Marianne Andrews, our Nutritional Therapist, is offering free 20 minute calls to discuss your needs.  You can book here or call us at the clinic 01242 584140 to book.