Last night, lucky ticket holders attended a FREE January Health MOT event, held by Shepton Mallet Chamber of Commerce. Tickets actually sold out, I'm so glad I ordered mine before Christmas- I knew I'd need a pick me up in the new year.
I didn't really know what to expect, but It was a fabulous informative evening - where about ten local health & wellness companies- explained what they do in a short talk, then let guests sign up to 15 minute taster sessions.
I didn't want to overwhelm myself - so I chose ones I'd been dying to try- and grabbed leaflets and business card off the others.
My first session was an INDIAN HEAD MASSAGE with Mobile Massage Therapist Sara House.
She did some wonderful deep tissue massage and pressure point stimulation on my shoulders, neck and head- It was heavenly. Despite being in a busy room, I felt like I'd floated up to the clouds, and literally felt the stress and tension in my head and shoulders melt away. It felt like she was popping bubble wrap, as she worked away those kinks and knots. Amazing, and highly recommended. She can do it with hr portable massage table, and you lying down- or just sat in a comfy chair. She'll visit your home, and also does holistic full body massage, and foot care
Prices are very affordable - from just £30 for 60 minutes and £40 for £90 minutes - I will be booking her very soon!
Call 01749 572310 or mobile 07824 827 090
Next I tried KINESIOLOGY with Paula Cuthbert from Paula's therapies ( working as a mobile therapist and from a base at 'Skn & Tonic salon on Tadley Acres) www.paulastherapies.co.uk
It's difficult to explain what Kinesiology is, but it is a truly holistic treatment, which uses testing muscle strength in the body to assess what the body needs. It can help with headaches, digestive problems, sciatic pain, eczema and all kinds of allergies. It looks at a mixture of things from emotional underlying issues, posture, to diet and nutrition. It takes a few full sessions to see the benefits, but even from a quick 15 minute taster, Paula was able to pin point a few issues in my diet - and that I drink no where near enough water which exasopates my back pain ! She also said I should give up coffee, but I ignored that bit. Going sober is quite enough for now ! lol
She has decades of health, care and healing experience, and a warm and open manner. Thumbs up from me.
If you fancy trying something new - give Paula a call on 01749 347 444
Finally I tried BOWEN TECHNIQUE with Catherine Wilton ( www.balancewithbowen.com)
It is also a holistic healing tchnique, which also involves looking at someone's reflexes, posture and lifestyle. It can include light pressure massage and manipulation.
Catherine was quick to spot that I stood with my knees locked back, which is quite common , but is terrible for your lower back! My shoulders and arms were very tight, and after a short massage I was able to get much more movement in the motion of my left arm- which had been troubling me. Again, it's something which you'd need to have a proper consultation and a few sessions to get the full benefits.
During January & February - Catherine is offering £5 a treatment , so it'll cost you just £35.
My friend, Simone was also at the event. She is a spiritual healer, who works with spirits and guardian angels to heal not only people but also animals. Check out her facebook page Spiritual Healing With Simone @SimoneSpiritHealer
She has special offers running this month too.
Before we left, both of us had to go and chat to Paul Mercer, who has rcently opened up a shop in the centre of Shepton Mallet called 'Intentions'. At the moment, the aromatherapy shop ( in the market square) is open on market days, but Paul also arranges out of hours events - and does alot of work online.
We picked up a couple of complimentary essential oils, and I promised to pop in on friday to check out his myriad of mystical and healing blends, gels and sprays.
I really want to try the 'Serenity Mist' which was created to help people recovering from addictions, there is also a lavender based 'Sleep Mist' which I can't wait to try. Check out www.iauk.me or call 07570 300534 for more information
Other therapists at the event were :
Access Bars Practitioner ( accessconsciousness.com )
Alan Woollard from Merryfield Hypnotherapy
Wendy from Bruton Yoga
Gentle Theraputic Yoga / 1-2-1 sessions / Special Needs/ Children
She also runs popular weekly classes in Shepton Mallet !
Bethany Lass, Holistic Practitioner
Massage / Relfexology/Reiki/EFT/Crystal therapy and more
Charlie from 'A Touch Of Calm'
Chi Nei Tsang ( CNT)/ Thai Yoga Massage / Swedish Massage
Mobile Massage Therapist based locally - wwwatouchofcalm.co.uk
Last time I spoke about my life changing decision to give up alcohol, in August, and how tough it was over Christmas. I have been overwhelmed with support from you lovely readers, many of you deciding yourselves to try a sober lifestyle during what’s now known as #DryJanuary. Good for you! But please be aware that many, in fact most of the benefits of sobriety come after that first , difficult month.
My first few weeks were full of restless night, colds, aches and pains, and residual anxiety. It wasn’t until 3 or 4 months out that the fog began to clear, and I started to actually feel amazing! If this has made you reconsider your relationship with booze, but you don’t feel like giving it up 100%. You might prefer to become part of the ‘Mindful drinking’ movement, championed by online communities like Club Soda. The times are a changing, and responsible drinking ( under 14 units a week ) or total sobriety are now seen as positive and healthy lifestyle choices not as a last resort.
The UK is a little bit behind the rest of Europe, but we’re getting there. Can you believe, last year Germany saw a 40% decrease in alcohol sales- the county which is famous for Oktoberfest beer festival ! I met up with a local entrepreneur who is at the forefront of the alcohol-free drinks movement. Tom Ward, 32 from Evercreech, started his business WiseBartender.co.uk just one year ago. His background in community health, and a keen interest in health and sports, led Tom to invest his own money into the risky start-up. He did his first ever ‘pop-up’ bar in Shepton Mallet last September.
“ I was nervous about how it would be received, but the locals were really supportive. We’ve done quite a few since, and plan to be up at CollettFest and other events in the area over the summer. We’ve been mentioned in the national press, and have booked spots at major food festivals and even the Gin Festival ! Business is booming” says Tom.
The company delivers a wide range of delicious and desirable alcohol-free beers, ciders, wines, and spirits across the UK- with lucky residents of BA4, BA6, BA11 & BA14 getting free delivery on orders over £25. I am a big fan of the Cava - no booze and no calories either, it’s also gluten free and vegan! Follow Tom’s story on instagram @wisebartenderuk.
In other news, I’m obsessed with Shepton Mallet ‘parkrun’, each Saturday morning at 9am, Collett Park. I have only managed to walk round so far, and came an embarrassing 247th out of 252 runners, but I aim to get better each week. The atmosphere is amazing, really supportive and uplifting.
A big thanks to all of the volunteers who turn out in all weather to cheer on the runners.
Please remember to register and print off your code first - Everyone from kids to older folks are doing our local parkrun !
Collett Park, Every Saturday 9am - please register online first and print off your code. Ps. quite a few people just walk to start with :)
All this fresh air, sober living, and exercise has given me a new zest for life and I’m planning to launch my own business later this year. Watch this space...
Thinking of having a 'Dry January' ? It might be the best thing you ever do...
It’s usual at this time of year to make some New Year’s resolutions. For many of us it’s to do with losing weight, quitting an addiction or getting healthy, but it was back in the summer when I made my biggest lifestyle change yet.
On August 2nd, I awoke from another restless nights sleep- weak and shaking with severe aches and pains all over my body. I had a pounding headache, swollen fingers, itchy skin, a dry mouth, extremely painful wrists and and ankles. I was 40 years old, but felt in my eighties!
Despite weeks of fun, cider fuelled festivals, bbqs and events- my anxiety and mental health were worse than ever, and I broke down in tears before calling 111. A trip to my GP, and a series of tests confirmed what I already suspected. I had liver disease. Alcohol related, liver disease. I knew I could never drink again. You’d think my friends would be supportive, yet, as soon as I mentioned becoming ‘sober’, people recoiled as if I had leprosy!
Initially, most thought I was overreacting, as I ‘didn’t drink that much’. In our society, wine o’clock is normal, Prosecco mums are cool, pubs are a respected social institution and tea-totallers are either religious nutters or filthy recovering alcoholics. Ok, so I hadn’t been drinking whisky in the morning or slurping Special Brew on park benches. But my relationship with booze was unhealthy, and even with just the normal summer daytime ciders added on to the midweek bottles of Merlot - I’d been racking up over 80 units a week.
How much booze did you have over Christmas and New Year? Did you even keep track? I was shocked by all the alcohol normalizations and advertising this year. T-shirts emblazoned with ‘Gin-gle Bells’ and ‘Prosecco-ho-ho’ aimed at teenage girls. Everything must be doused in booze 24/7 - bucks fizz for breakfast, wine with lunch,alcohol laced meats and deserts, followed by Champagne and then off to the pub.
TV advertising glamorizes this unhealthy binge drinking behaviour - and I’m the freak?
In 2015 there were 8,758 alcohol-related deaths.There are now an estimated 595,131 dependent drinkers, of whom only 108,696 are currently accessing treatment.
Alcohol misuse is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability among 15-49 year-olds in the UK, and the fifth biggest risk factor across all ages. Liver disease is one of the few major causes of premature mortality that is increasing, and deaths have increased by around 40% in a decade. 70% of violent incidents at weekends, evenings and night are alcohol-related.
Choosing to stop drinking for my health, my family, my relationships and my mental health was brave and It was upsetting to find myself shunned and mocked. If you’re feeling brave - why not try a ‘Dry January’ and even raise money for charity?
Go to www.britishlivertrust.org.uk or join the Cancer Research UK ‘Dryathlon’ www.cancerresearchuk.org. For drink facts see www.drinkaware.co.uk.
I'm a 43 year old, mum of two little boys- currently living in Shepton Mallet in Somerset. I'm the Founder and Creative Director of Radio Shepton, a Stand up and comedian and spoken word performer, and write a regular column for The Wells and Shepton Mallet Journal. Which is the basis for my blog usually. I lived in Swedish Lapland for 7 years until 2014 where my boys were born. My partner and I ran a husky dog sledding business. Before that I was a poet, radio presenter, media lecturer, writer, TV producer, actress and burlesque performer ! I never want my life to be boring :)