Category Archives: Uncategorised

Relax with Reiki

Reiki is a traditional Japanese method of energy healing well known for its calming and balancing effect to the body physically mentally and emotionally via free flowing chi energy.


Natasha is our Reiki therapist with several years experience and now holds a Masters level 3.


Why is Reiki important and what are the benefits of the treatment?

Everything around us contains energy including us.   Energy (called Chi in the Reiki world) can be absorbed by the energy fields within us through our 7 energy centres in our body.   These energy centres are called chakras.

A blockage of energy (Chi) in any of our Chakras could be the reason for health imbalances, such as poor sleeping, headaches, anxiety, digestive discomforts and other illness. The calming effects of Reiki is very much demonstrated to be beneficial for people suffering with stress and anxiety. By having Reiki treatments, Natasha can indicate where those blockages in the chakra or chakras could be and over time can work to get the Chi free flowing once again.

As a qualified Masters level 3 Reiki Practitioner, Natasha is able to utilise her skills in attunement to work in tune with the body so leading to balance and calm quickly and restoratively.

An attunement is something you get given from your Reiki Master, passed down from teacher to student.   

As the Reiki practitioner gains higher levels of attunement  your treatment will be recognised as more powerful it its sensitivity to the Reiki energys.   A Master practitioner is able to work at a higher/ stronger level as you go through the different stages which therefore makes your treatments more powerful and affective. It heightens your awareness to the energys around you which allows you to continue to receive the benefits of the treatment, between sessions bringing much more calm and balance with greater health in all aspects, mentally, emotionally and physically.

Appointments for Reiki

Reiki session are 1 hour long and you can be treated sitting in a chair or more commonly lying on the couch.  You remain fully dressed at all times and the practitioner will place their hands in specific positions gently on or just above the body chakra centres.   Some people claim that they can feel the energy, others that they see colours and most commonly people very quickly go into a deep relaxed state.

Whilst one treatment will be pleasant and relaxing, regular treatments will enable you to get to achieve deeper lasting benefits.

If you would like to try Reiki for the first time with Natasha, please give us a call and book a session.    Appointment are available weekdays, Saturdays and evenings on Wednesday and Thursdays.

Book an appointment email now or phone 01794 513153

Vegan Varnishes

2019 has really been a year that has seen the demand for Vegan products soar.  And I personally, think that it is a good thing.

We did an audit at the beginning of the year to see what the situation was in clinic and were delighted to be confirmed that we are infact, really very Vegan friendly.

Vegan Friendly Treatments

The area that we were not sure about was all the varnishes, as such products as Shellac are most definitely not Vegan.   But what about Gellux and the other brands that Natasha prefers to use.

Natasha after a lot of research the last couple of months and ringing/emailing the suppliers and companies directly has found out where we are with the products we are using.

Choosing colours last year from a new gel polish company, The Manicure Company, proved to be very beneficial as they are all Vegan friendly and have a massive range of beautiful colours.

Natasha also loves to use Gellux which after research and directly speaking to the supplier, was able to identify that all their products are vegan friendly and cruelty free, with the exception of a small amount of their colours which they were happy to email her the names and their reason for not being Vegan.   A list is kept in clinic and available when you are making your colour choices.   OPI and Shellac are not vegan friendly, and will be phased out and replaced by The Manicure Company and Gellux.   Our regular varnishes (non gels) are from a company called Jessica and these are also friendly.

So you can have your nails painted and enjoy the knowledge that we know that our treatments are cruelty free and Vegan.

Looking towards the eye treatments Natasha has found that the solutions used in tinting, perming and extensions are sadly not completely vegan friendly but after speaking to suppliers this is something that they are looking into and hoping to change in the near future.


Natasha says that she feels she has been instrumental in raising awareness of this and that in future hopefully we will see vegan friendly options to buy throughout the whole ranges.

It really does not seem necessary that any being should be harmed in the need for us to be beautiful.

Please do give us your feedback and let us know your thoughts on this.


Sun Safety and Skin Cancer

Sun Safety and Skin Cancer

The Facts, Prevention and Early Detection

Five Simple Steps to Sun Safety when UV Levels reach 3 or above

Slip, Slop, Slap, Slide, Shade

  1.  Slip on sun protective clothing
    – clothing can be one of the most effective barriers between our skin and the sun
    – clothing should cover as much skin as possible
    – always keep shoulders covered, they can easily burn
    – a closer weave fabric will provide better protection
    – a high UPF rated fabric provides best protection
  2. Slop on SPF 30+ sunscreen
    – no sunscreen provides complete protection
    – never rely on sunscreen alone to protect skin
    – always use a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or above, preferably water resistant
    – Make sure it’s broad-spectrum and carries a UVA symbol (if it has a star rating, use a minimum 4 star)
    – Store in an accessible, cool place and remember to check the expiry date
    – Apply a generous amount to clean, dry, exposed skin
    – apply 20 minutes before going outdoors and once out
    – regardless of the instructions all sunscreens should be reapplied at least every 2 hours (more often if perspiring) and straight after swimming
    – Protect your lips with an SPF 30+ lip balm
  3. Slap on a wide brimmed hat
    – Wear a wide brimmed hat to shade the face, neck and ears.  Legionnaire hats (with a flap that covers the neck and joins the front peak) or a heat (with a minimum 7.5cm brim ) are the most effective.
    – A close weave or UPF rated fabric provides best protection
    – Baseball caps do not provide adequate shade
  4. Slide on quality sunglasses
    – solar UV radiation can be damaging to the eyes, so always wear quality sunglasses
    – overall protection depends on the quality of the lens as well as the design
    – look for the EU CE Mark, which indicates a safe level of protection
    – those labelled with a high EPF (which ranges from 1-10) will provide best protection
    – ensure they are close fitting and wrap around to stop solar UVR entering the sides and top
    – Remember price and darkness of the lens have no reflection on the quality of protection
  5. Shade from the sun when possible
    – shade can provide a good barrier from UV rays
    – Seek shade whenever possible, particularly at the hottest times of the day between 11am and 3pm when UV penetration is strongest
    – Keep toddlers and babies in the shade at all times
    never rely on shade alone, always combine with personal protection measures

Who is most at risk of Skin Cancer?

NO MATTER HOW EASILY WE TAN, WE ARE ALL AT RISK, However those at greater risk typically fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Red or fair hair
  • Fair skin the burns more easily
  • lots of moles and or freckles
  • a family history of skin cancer
  • a history of sunburn
  • a history of tanning or sunbed us


Spark – a workout before our latest review

At the turn of Spring this year, our Spark exercise and wellbeing group got together for a little workout in the sunshine and a review of our weights and measures.

Collectively we have lost 21kgs, 57 cms and flexibility has increased by over 2 standard ruler lengths.

You would be most welcome to join us.  We currently have between 4 and 8 turning up each week and would be happy to add a few more.

Here’s a little video that Eileen and her son Isaac have put together for us.

Apple Cider Vinegar reducing blood sugars and helping in weight loss


The anti-glycaemic effects of apple cider vinegar

By Diana Glaiei Houareau, taken from Only Natural newsletter Spring 2019


For decades, apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been a staple of health food stores and most household kitchens.  Made from twice-fermented apples, it has a distinctive sharp taste that makes a great addition to salads, sauces and casseroles.

During the fermentation of the apples, acetic acid is produced, which is responsible for the tart flavour and pungent odour of vinegar.  Other constituents of vinegar include: vitamins, mineral salts, amino acids and polyphenolic compound.  Raw and unfiltered ACV also contains ‘the mother’, a mix of proteins, bacteria and enzymes (similar to the symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast in kombucha), which is healed as a digestive aid and prebiotic.

Beyond the kitchen, people often consume ACV diluted with water as a daily drink.  The internet is full of reports of people using it as a healthy tonic to help with a wide array of issues from digestion, to detoxification, joint pain and weight loss.  This isn’t a new concept: as far back as 400BC, Hippocrates, the ‘father of medicine’, is said to have used it for its healing properties and to fight infections.  According to the Online Archive of American Folk Medicine, US medical practitioners in the late 18th century treated many ailments, from dropsy to poison ivy, croup and stomach ache, with vinegar.

Modern research does corroborate some of these health claims. For example, that the acidity of vinegar gives it antibacterial properties and that it also acts as a digestive aid (mainly by reducing stomach pH).  Of therapeutic value in the modern world is the research showing that ACV has an anti-glycaemic effect when consumed regularly.

Postprandial effect on blood sugar levels:

Many take ACV diluted in water daily and often just before meals – this is a popular way to consume it as a health tonic.

The consumption of ACV just before or with meals has been shown to slow down the rise in blood sugar after the meal in both animal and human studies.  Indeed, in humans, consuming vinegar before a carbohydrate heavy meal has been shown to reduce blood glucose response by approximately 20 -30 percent  Three separate placebo-controlled trials have corroborated the meal-time anti-glycaemic effects of 20g of ACV in healthy adults.  20g is the rough equivalent of 1 – 2 tablespoons of liquid ACV.

It is not known how vinegar alters meal-induced glycaemia.  One theory is that it might interfere with carbohydrate metabolism and slow down the breakdown of starches into sugars.  But some research suggests that it reduces the gastric emptying rate.

Fasting blood glucose and insulin sensitivity

Not only can ACV blunt the glycaemic response straight after a meal, it has been shown to reduce fasting blood sugar levels too.  In a study by White et al in 2007, vinegar ingestion at bedtime was shown to moderate waking glucose levels in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Further research into the anti-glycaemic effects of ACV have shown that it can improve insulin resistance.

Johnston et al, 2004, showed that following the consumption of vinegar with a high carbohydrate meal, subjects with type 2 diabetes showed an increased in insulin sensitivity.  Another study of type 2 diabetes observed a decrease in haemoglobin A1c levels after the consumption of 2 tablespoons of vinegar twice daily for 2 weeks.  Haemoglobin A1c, is haemoglobin with glucose attached.  It is a measure of longer-term blood sugar levels.  Higher amounts of glycated haemoglobin indicate poorer control of blood glucose levels, and have been associated with cardiovascular disease, nephropathy, neuropathy and retinopathy.  This reduction of A1c happened rapidly (within the first week of treatment) and was sustained during the study period.

Weight loss

Many claim that apple cider vinegar is a weight loss miracle.  Considering its effects on blood sugar levels, this claim could be substantiated  Indeed, in a blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial on healthy adult women, those who ingested ACV with their morning meal consumed fewer total calories that day (200 – 275 less calories).  This was thought to be due to the slowing down of gastric emptying and a resulting increase in satiety.  Regardless of the mechanism, the slower release of glucose into the blood when consuming ACV means that blood sugar doesn’t spike and is less likely to be followed by a sharp drop and subsequent sugar cravings too.  This effect can be very helpful to those trying to reduce their sugar intake and caloric intake in general.

Interestingly, studies in rodents found that acetic acid consumption, the main component of ACV, increased fatty acid oxidation and prevented fat accumulation.  However, there are no human trials to corroborate this.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

The beneficial effects of apply cider vinegar on postprandial and fasting blood sugar levels mean that it could be used as a natural complementary treatment for PCOS.  Women with PCOS tend to have higher levels of circulating insulin and an increase in insulin resistance, which also makes their tissues less responsive to luteinising hormone (which controls ovulation).  Research also shows that women with PCOS are four times more likely to develop diabetes.


Research indicates that daily apple cider vinegar consumption favourably influences postprandial and fasting blood glucose levels and insulin resistance in healthy adults a well as adults with or at risk of type 2 diabetes.   ACV is inexpensive, readily available and a delicious addition to food.  Although studies have used vinegar diluted as a drink, it could also be incorporated into meals as a vinaigrette/salad dressing or on vegetables.  It is worth noting that studies have mostly researched liquid ACV, therefore it shouldn’t be assumed that dry ACV tablet counterparts have the same benefits.

According to most research, the best time and frequency of ACV consumption, for its anti-glycaemic benefits, is to use it at meal times, twice a day.  It has also been used first thing in the morning and at bedtime.  But seeing as ACV is acidic, it may be best to take it before meals rather than on an empty stomach.  The acidity of ACV is helpful to stomach digestion too.  Making sure the vinegar is diluted is also important as it could irritate the throat and erode tooth enamel.

The amount used to confer blood sugar balancing benefits varies between studies, but it ranges between 1-2 tablespoons at each meal.

ACV could confer therapeutic benefits in people with type2 diabetes, insulin resistance, PCOS and potentially in weight management clients.

Data from Public Health England reveals 3.8 million people in England over 16 years had diabetes in 2015, that’s around 9% of the adult population.  According to diabetes prevalence in the UK is estimated to rise to 5 million by 2025.   Type 2 diabetes has been growing at a particularly high rate and is now one of the world’s most common long-term health conditions.

Considering the rise in obesity and type 2 diabetes in the modern world, ACV seems a simple and rather inexpensive natural complementary treatment to help improve blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance and could be easily added to most peoples daily routines.   What’s more ACV is almost calorie free and a great flavour enhancer.


Apple Cider Vinegar available NOW at Natural Wellbeing Centre

Some of you will remember that I used to stock Ostlers Apple Cider Vinegar.  After reading this article and wanting to share it with you, I have also bought a stock of ACV in from Ostlers in Devon.   500ml bottles with the ‘mother’ are available from clinic for £4.25.   Go on, make good use of it now and see the benefits for yourself.


Spring Special Offers – Great ideas for Mothers Day

Spring is here and it’s time for a Special Offer (or two)

This offer might prove to be an excellent idea for Mothers Day Gifts, or you might just like to indulge yourself.  Go on, you deserve it!

Facial with your choice, of Head or Back Massage £58
Enjoy a full facial using natural organic products from Neals Yard and add your choice of Head in the Clouds Massage or a full Back, Neck and Shoulders Massage.

This treatment will last for 1 hour and will cost £58. (Value is £76).   You can buy it as a Gift Voucher which will expire end of May 2019.


or treat yourself this Spring

3 for 2 on any treatments
Select any THREE treatments and may just for TWO of them.  The cheapest of the 3 being the free one.    These 3 treatments can be taken at any time that you wish, as long as they are fully used before the end of May 2019.

To Book

Email me with your details of what you would like or go directly to our payments page and enter your details there to buy with Paypal (Fill in the details of the 3 treatments and pay only for the top 2).

Or phone 01794 513153 and buy over the phone with a Debit card.

Vouchers will be emailed too you and are not transferrable for cash and will expire end of May 2019.


Truffle Hunting with Lee Moreton

Can you imagine meeting a real live Truffle Hunter?  I don’t think you get to do that very often and I can’t quite imagine what the careers advisor thought when this young man  announced that he wanted to be a Truffle Hunter.

Lee Moreton a Foraging expert took us out this last week to meet with his fellow bushcraft friend and expert Truffle Hunter.

There was a group of 9 of us and we set off into the Somerset woods to learn and discover the art of Truffle Hunting.    Before this day I had personally never tasted or touched a truffle and knew that they were expensive and sought after but I learnt so much.



It really is like a sport, you can spend hours upon hours walking the woods with your trained dogs or pigs should you choose and if you know how to have trained your dog and you are quick you will be able to find the truffles.  Well, I guess it’s like fishing, sometimes you are lucky other times you are patient.

The two guys shared their passion and knowledge of the woods and their wild foods, we learnt how to train a dog, some of the dangers of being a truffle hunter (which are many – hence not disclosing the names and images here) and we got to see the hunt in person.

Lee who will never fail to delight you with his wild fire cooking, provided us with a feast.  We ate a 3 course Truffle infused menu, including baked brie with truffle, polenta and partridge and pheasant with roasted root vegetables and a delicious almond and orange cake with roasted stone fruit and truffle honey.  All washed down with bottles of red wine.

The sun was shining, the truffles were shared out and we headed home very happy people, wiser and really looking forward to more days in the woods with these guys.

If you think you might be interested in join us another time, please do email me.  I am already collecting names for an Autumnal day out and will share details when I have them.

Sport Therapy and Remedial Massage

I am so pleased to be able to share with you the great news that Tracy Trowbridge is going to be working from the Natural Wellbeing Centre.

Tracy will be here providing Sports Therapy and Remedial Massage on the last Saturday of the month.

If you want to ‘fix’ something, to stop being in pain, or help you recover after exercise, to prepare you for exercise, or just to feel a deeper more relaxing, longer lasting massage, this might just be the right one for you.

For more details on Tracy and her treatment, please have a read here.


To find out the next available date, to book with Tracy, please email me at



Vegan Friendly Treatments

Just this week I decided to do an audit of our treatments and products to see how much aligned we were with the current fashion of Vegan interest.

I have always been keen to ensure that we work with the best possible products, but had not specifically set out to be Vegan friendly.  It was such a lovely confirmation to discover just how friendly we really are.

See here for more information on our Vegan Friendly Treatments

Learning about Mushrooms with Lee Moreton

When you go down to the woods, you can never be sure what you will find.   When you go into the woods on a late October day you certainly would not have expected to find such a fantastic day as we did.


Our group was formed by 9 wonderful women full of curiosity and Eddie, Claires well behaved little dog.  Lee lead us with his 2 dogs over the stile and into the woods.  Not far in and the aroma of bacon cooking and fresh brewed coffee enticed us to turn right and find the delightful Emma sitting comfortably with her dog, watching the pan of bacon and unsuccessfully guarding the brioche rolls that Eddie made a beeline for.



Lee Moreton of Hunter Gather Cook lead us on a day of exploring the woods for the wild mushrooms that we might find.  We all arrived at the rendezvous point and followed Lee to where we parked up and started our walk into the woods. 

One roll down was still leaving enough for us all to enjoy a lovely a breakfast and a briefing about the day ahead.   

As we walked we started to get out eyes into the habit of finding mushrooms amongst the leafy undergrowth, everyone was keen to find a Cep and I personally wanted to find some chantarelles.  Rare this year apparently.    We discovered a whole host of mushrooms, some known and edible, others not so sure.  We gathered a small sample of the different varieties for later full identification against the plethora of books we had with us.

After some hours, and a good walk we returned to an open sunny space in the woods and sat down to the most delicious lunch you could have imagined to have.

Lee and Emma put together a Cep Capaccio with wild sorel and mushroom dressing, Mushroom soup with truffle shavings, and a delicious Quiche, potato salad and fresh greens.    Followed by a homemade cake, and we were truly stuffed.  


Sitting with full bellies in the sunshine, only our never ending interest and enjoyment of Lee’s passionate sharing of knowledge allowed us to look into the reference books and learn more about the identification of those mushrooms we had found on our day.


Lee said ‘Thank you so much for helping to organise such a brilliant bunch of ladies.  As I mentioned I wasn’t that keen before about trying to squeeze another course in an already mad season but it was an absolutely  wonderful day.    Emma is a star and so happy she could help out at this. You shall be seeing her more again there’s no doubt ‘

Feedback from the ladies of the group was testamount to a great day out.

Just wanted to say thank you for arranging such a lovely day yesterday (didn’t know your powers extended to arranging such fantastic weather as well!!)

I really enjoyed the forage, Lee’s knowledge and Emma as well made it a fascinating day. Food was delicious including the cake.  Thanks also to all the other lovely ladies, all in all a great day. Jane

PS the cep made a wonderful risotto courtesy of Andy!

Thank you for organising a super day yesterday. I was dreaming of mushrooms last night and slept like a baby!  Debbie


Thank you for organising the Mushroom Day with Lee, I thoroughly enjoyed it, lovely people, the weather was kind to us, the lunch was amazing, the information was brilliant, what more can I say.


Had such a great time today…totally shattered now after such a fun-filled day, good company, good food and good weather! Thanks so much for arranging it! Jocelyn


We will definitely be putting on another date or two next year.  Don’t hesitate to get your name on the list early, if you might be interested.