Posts tagged #digestion


Integrative Medicine is an approach that puts the patient at the centre of care and addresses the full range of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental influences that affect one's health and wellbeing. It utilises conventional western medicine diagnostics and treats with evidence-based complementary functional medicine and alternative therapies.

Functional Medicine views the body as one integrated system and addresses the underlying causes of ill health, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both you and your team of practitioners in a therapeutic partnership. It is a personalised approach to preventative care and wellbeing with an understanding that every individual is different; genetically and biochemically unique. 

Through the lens of functional scientifically based medicine the question posed is: “What is the cause of this health challenge?” and “What can be done to restore function?

Lifestyle Medicine is a new branch of evidence based medicine in which comprehensive lifestyle changes (including nutrition, physical activity, stress management, social support and environmental exposures) are used to prevent, treat and reverse the progression of chronic diseases by addressing their underlying causes. The underlying cause of disease can stem from a variety of imbalances. 

The importance of healthy lifestyles in preventing and treating chronic disease is undisputed. Retreat environments provide a unique living laboratory where all aspects of lifestyle can be controlled and studied. Retreat experiences provide a unique opportunity for people to escape from unhealthy routines and engage in healthy practices and activities that lead to immediate and sustained health benefits. 

A health retreat creates an environment with a daily schedule of habits that support optimal wellness. Guided by experts from various modalities, guests are holistically supported towards harmony and homeostasis on all levels - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. 

The body is intelligent and has the capacity for healing and immense vitality when given the right care - this is what a health retreat can provide.

A health retreat or wellness centre provides a holistic living laboratory that supports; 

Gut Health : Emotional Wellbeing : Detoxification : Nutrition : Exercise : Mental Health : Brain Health : Sleep & Rest : Relationships : Spiritual Wellbeing : Social Connection & Community : Digital Detox : Clarity of Purpose

Specific therapies, treatments and consultations address; 

Stress & Anxiety : Inflammation : Digestive Dysfunction : Hormonal Imbalance : Structural Imbalance : Physical Toxicity : Cognitive Health : Toxic Emotions : Trauma : Immune System Imbalance 

I have been an advocate for health retreats since my early 20s and I have witnessed the power and transformation that can take place when staying on retreat. There is no better investment than that of your health, and as one wise yogi said - “health is wealth and peace of mind is happiness”.



During the colder winter months and in our more mature years, its actually very important to eat warm foods. Ancient food philosophies from Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda both espouse warm foods as supporting the digestion and healing the body.

It takes a lot of digestive energy whenever we drink something cold or eat raw cold foods, as the body has to work very hard to raise the temperature of the food or liquid we have ingested, so that the nutrients can then be absorbed. Unfortunately, a great number of people (both young and particularly beyond age 35) already suffer from a weakened digestive system due to our modern day diet and lifestyle.

When eating warmed cooked foods, more energy is available for digestion and absorption of nutrients. In many cases bloating and digestive discomfort is eliminated and the whites of the eyes even become brighter. This was certainly my experience when I made the transition from eating a diet that was mostly raw foods to that of cooked foods, after I had a consultation with a doctor of chinese medicine. At first I was distraught that I was being asked to give up my enzyme rich raw food diet, after all of the information that I had read and personally espoused on raw foods. However, the results I experienced from my warm food trial were so positive that I have continued to honour my own personal physiology, rather than following a food fad that is not suited to me.

It is always important to develop a food philosophy that suits your individual body and mental characteristics. Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine go a step further in that they look at a persons ‘dosha’ or ‘element’ to better understand what types of foods and lifestyle practices will best support.

However, coming back to warm foods, remember to chew well and eat whilst in a relaxed state. Different foods have their own unique properties too. For example; vegetables such as potatoes, pumpkin, squash and carrot are very grounding. Certain spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon and cayenne are very warming. Stewed fruits and honey hit that sweet spot for those with sugar cravings. And small amounts of protein and bone broths heal and repair the gut and body.

Finally, there’s nothing nicer than sipping on warm herbal tea throughout the day and before bed time. So enjoy the nourishing and contented feeling you receive when taking care of yourself in these colder months.