Natural health blogger, features writer, columnist, ex PR
Need some words?
If you need help with educational, instructive, motivational natural health writing aimed at the general public or practitioners particularly, I’m your man (well, woman). Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have 30 years’ experience in natural health as a researcher, writer and clinician so I can write intelligently – I hope, by now – about most health subjects. I have written zillions of words on everything from arthritis and acne to zen supplements and zoo visits for mental health.
Now in my 50s – eek! – I have decided to stop clinic work (June 20) to concentrate more on getting good quality, practical, hopefully life-changing information out to those who need it. My main aim is always to provide easy-to-follow, motivational guidance that can truly help.
I am drawn to research and to questioning the ‘accepted’ view of things usually, but I am very much an advocate of integrated medicine; a blend of allopathic and natural therapies of all kinds is important if we are to get more people well. As an ex PR and communications manager, if I can help practitioners stay in business too, I will. More successful practitioners means more patients getting well.
My favourite type of writing is blogging, which I’ve been doing since 2003 and I have written almost 2000 posts to date. I’ve also been an ad-hoc features writer mainly for FoodsMatter; you can see some of my features below.
As well as a clinician, I’ve been a judge for freefrom foods and non-toxic skincare awards, a columnist for various publications, editor of the magazine for the Nutritional Cancer Therapy Trust, a supplement reviewer and commissioned/co-edited what went on to become Healthy for Holland & Barrett, the leading natural health magazine in the UK. I’ve also written and delivered several wellbeing courses for various organisations.
As the PR for H&B, I regularly placed features and fillers in many of the national glossies to raise awareness of natural health and H&B products. I set up and wrote a motivational newsletter for store employees, then became the senior internal and external communications manager for British Gas Midlands. How did that happen?!
If you want to know more about me personally, check me out here. In the meantime, here are some of my past writing projects – click on the features to read them in full.
Reader Q&A Column Examples (Oldham Chronicle, Saddleworth Monthly etc)
Q: My husband and I have been trying for a baby for quite a while. Someone recently recommended I try reflexology to see if it might help. What do you think?
A: There are lots of reasons why couples might take a while to conceive. And thankfully there are lots of things you can do to speed things up. Certainly, balancing the whole body and especially the reproductive system with reflexology has been helpful for some couples, as has acupuncture and Bowen Technique.
In my experience, it’s best to combine any therapy with a proper nutrient preconception programme from organisations such as Foresight (01243 868001, foresight-preconception.org.uk). At the very least, take a look at books and work by Dr Marilyn Glenville (marilynglenville.com). Often the body won’t allow you to conceive if the body is not nourished well enough and lacks some of the important nutrients.
Don’t Make A Drama Out of It!
For quite some time, I have encouraged people to become aware of how much negativity they allow into their lives via high stress dramas like Casualty and The Bill! Watching things that stress you – even passively – is bad for your health and doesn’t help you maintain a positive frame of mind. Now research is bearing me out.
Twenty volunteers recently took part in an experiment to see what happens to their blood flow (via the brachial artery in the arm) when they watched a comedy film (There’s Something About Mary) and a stressful movie (Saving Private Ryan).
Laughter during the comedy increased blood flow by 22 per cent! After the war film, it dropped by a staggering 35%. So, if there’s a choice between a re-run of Porridge or the news – go for the Porridge every time. Another reason oats are good for you…
Q: I keep getting cracks at the corner of my mouth. Do you know what causes them and how I might get rid of them please?
A: Cracks at the corner of your mouth are usually a sign of vitamin deficiency. You most likely need to take a good B Complex supplement and possibly some iron. You should be able to get both in a general good quality multivitamin and mineral supplement. Foods rich in B2 (the most common culprit) are mackerel, spinach, broccoli and eggs. For more iron, eat almonds, seeds and prunes. Drink lots of water and oily fish.
Don’t be tempted to use Vaseline or cheap lip salves. Most are petroleum based and over time will draw even more moisture out of your lips. Those of you who use them already will no doubt have noticed that you need to use it more and more often. Instead, chose a non-petroleum based one that doesn’t contain mineral oil or simply use a little sunflower oil or honey at night. I’ve also found Weleda Skin Food or their Handcream works wonders.
Blog Posts (started 2003)
Magazine Tips – various publications over the years
If you have to take antibiotics, protect your good bacteria by taking a probiotic like acidophilus and bifido bacteria at the same time. Take the probiotics 2 hours apart from your antibiotics and any herbs, and continue them for 2-3 weeks after your antibiotics stop. Choose a probiotic that contains at least 3 billion live bacteria cells per capsule and keep it in the fridge.
Can’t stand eating breakfast? No time? Try this nutrition-packed smoothie for a great and quick start to the day: Bung a dollop of soya or dairy yogurt, a cup of soya milk and a dash of apple juice into a blender. Throw in a tablespoon each of almond powder, linseeds and flaxseed oil. Add a few walnuts and a handful of frozen berries. Whizz it all together and drink it there and then or take a big swig before you set off, put the rest in a flask and have a bit more on your way and when you get to work. Excellent as a snack later in the day too if you have some left over. Have all your packets of nuts and seeds etc in a drawer near your blender so they’re easy to hand. Even easier – use an Innocent Smoothie and add all the other ingredients to that.
Hot Flushes & Linseeds
A study of 21 menopausal women suffering hot flushes but not on HRT has shown that eating flaxseeds daily can make a real difference. They had 40g of crushed flaxseeds (linseeds) per day and showed an almost 60% decrease in the frequency of flushes over the period of the six week study. Researchers also reported better moods and less joint and muscle pain, chills and sweating. This is probably all due to linseeds’ phyto-oestrogenic effects and omega 3 levels. Get crushing – or try 1-2 1000mg linseed capsules per day.