The Scar that Won't Heal

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I’m a former scientist and health researcher who, after having chronic fatigue and finding no answers in the current medical system, sought solutions for myself and recovered. What I found out shattered my previous beliefs as it was so contrary to my former understanding; so I decided to use what I have learnt about the real causes of illness and become a body psychotherapist specialising in chronic anxiety, pain, fatigue and stress-related illness. My experience has taught me that is often important to treat both the mind and the body for full health and wellbeing (1).

Many so-called ‘physical’ issues often have an emotional mindbody component. This does not mean it’s ‘all in your mind’ – it means the problems are physical and real but they will respond to emotional healing. My focus, therefore, is especially on these mindbody conditions such as chronic pain or fatigue driven by unresolved emotional issues as identified by Dr John Sarno(2). It is the hidden link where physical therapy meets psychology and it is the best way that chronic pain sufferers can heal effectively. If it is missed then further suffering, sometimes for years, is inevitable. Don’t make the mistakes I made!

As we grow in understanding of how the mind influences the body, it seems that chronic anxiety or pain can be the result of neurological response to trauma getting stuck in procedural (body) memory. When you are young (before your cortex is fully developed around age 7, and especially before 3, when your hippocampus comes online), memory is handled by a deeper brain structure, the limbic system. It is stored there with the associated emotions, sensations and beliefs of a child and may be full of fear, misunderstanding and false information. These ‘body memories’ are unconscious but they still affect your life in myriad ways (3). Thankfully, recent developments in neuroscience have increased our understanding of this process and our ability to heal them. Brain neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to re-wire) enables us to treat the symptoms by activating the memories via sensory stimulation and then neutralise them with desensitisation (changing the neuronal connections). Techniques that I offer include both physical and psychological therapies like intuitive massage, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing – particularly good for trauma). There are many other therapies and approaches but these are the ones that work for me.

So, my approach is to work with the mind and body using a range of treatments depending on your needs. I call it ‘Alchemy’ as it is the ‘art of transformation’, and this is what I hope to do for every client; not just get them back to health, but to be more connected, more in tune with their lives and spirit than ever before. It is a radical departure from most mainstream healthcare… so requires pro-active participation not passivity. Come join me as a fully realised human being.

My philosophy and qualifications

I am a doctor of clinical and medical hypnosis with a special interest in chronic conditions such as Chronic Fatigue, ME and Fibromyalgia; a health researcher for many years at the University of Southampton(4), and a passionate advocate of natural medicine. I have a PhD in the emotional drivers of chronic pain with the Indian Board of Alternative Medicine (IBAM)*. In 2015 I wrote a book about that research and the answers I found: The Scar that Won’t Heal.

Through my own experience and research, I have developed a holistic approach to health and wellness which means I consider the whole person not the issue you have. I also believe health is an ongoing, proactive process not a thing’. Neither is it something you take for granted – it takes commitment and effort. At our first meeting I will do a comprehensive Health Assessment to find out what your issues are. I will then recommend what therapy combination would work best for you.

I am trained in Remedial massage/Sports therapy at the Science of Healing Arts Academy (SHAA, Southampton and London) and also Advanced Clinical Massage (ACM) at the Jing Institute, Brighton which allows me to confidently treat musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. However, as I soon realised that this is sometimes not enough to help my chronic pain clients, I then studied Nutritional Medicine(5) and Nutrition, Stress Management, and Psychotherapy diplomas at the School of Natural Health Sciences (SNHS) so that I could offer a fully holistic therapy. But the psychological element drew me still further.

I have a Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma (HPD**) using CBT-based Hypnotherapy (CBH) which is a highly effective, evidence-based psychotherapy which encourages you to develop your own skills so you can face the future with confidence. In addition, I am a certified NLP Practitioner and Chrysalis Effect Wellbeing Coach specialising in Chronic Fatigue Syndromes such as ME and Fibromyalgia. By approaching the mind as well as the body more significant results can be achieved. Using a step by step, team-based approach you are able to achieve true health and wellbeing and freedom from ME and other Chronic Fatigue-type Syndromes. For more information see my sister site where you can sign up for the online programme if you are interested.

My Story

My path to becoming a therapist began with my own health issues: after experiencing health problems of my own I was forced to seek help outside conventional medicine and, despite being very sceptical, found Traditional Chinese Medicine (acupuncture and herbs) to be very effective after months of pain. This lead me on my own health journey which required re-learning everything I had been taught to believe about health and wellness in my science-based background! I wanted to find an answer and believe I now have. I am not ‘cured’ – healing is a journey and I have much to do, but by making changes to my diet and lifestyle to include living foods2 I have already seen major improvement (in some ways I am healthier than I was in my thirties). I firmly believe there is nothing that cannot be healed. The body is an incredibly complex self-healing organism which we still know so little about. I am just beginning my study of this field and hope to share some of my knowledge with you.

I am a Member of the International College of Holistic Medicine,  the General Hypnotherapy Register (GHR), The Institute of Leadership and Management  (ILM) have accredited my training as a Wellbeing Coach and I have truly walked my talk – for more about me and my story see the video above and my personal site

1. Dr James Alexander; The Hidden Psychology of Pain

2. Dr John Sarno: Healing Back Pain or The Mindbody Connection

3. Dr Mark Atkinson: The MindBody Prescription

4. I was a member of the European GRACE partnership looking at reducing antibiotic use.

5. At Surrey University completing a PG Diploma in Nutritional Medicine 2012.

**The highest UK accreditation you can get in Hypnotherapy

*(but registered in the UK via the British College of Clinical and Medical Hypnosis)