Posts tagged #movement


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”.



I had my first experience of NIA over 12 years ago, and from the moment the class began I was struck by the ease and the playfulness of the journey. As someone that has long danced for the pure joy and exhilaration of it, I loved that this natural approach to movement was beginning to emerge, and I predict that in years to come, freestyle dance studios will be just as common as yoga and pilates classes. 

NIA is a dance class developed by former fitness leaders Debbie Rosas and Carlos Aya Rosas, over 30 years ago. And here below is an excerpt from recent research on the benefits of imagination and movement that I received via a NIA newsletter. 

Science now shows that fitness training through practices like Nia Technique, which integrates our playful nature with functional movement, is reportedly the most effective way to improve strength and conditioning, and in the last 5 years has been a tool used by elite coaches to enhance performance of professional athletes.

Good news! Exercise is more effective with a playful, curious, adventurous mind! Magic happens when we connect movement with imagination, or get into our playful mind-space. Embodied movement occurs when we are less self-conscious and more self-aware. Notice the difference when you move from the shoulders through your full range of motion, and then switch how your mind engages with the movement, this time imagining large broad, powerful wings expanding and filling the room, giving your spirit freedom to soar, sensing dynamic ease! The muscles engage more through your torso, legs and arms as your imagination senses the space surrounding your agile form. Sport psychology and neurophysiology aims to get athletes out of their head, and more in their bodies, improving quality of movement and engaging an instinctive body-mind connection.

Athletes master their structure, but now it is recognised that over thinking can interrupt a person's ability to move with greatest ease, so their imagination is key. Nia says, ‘it’s not how it looks, but how it FEELS that makes a difference.’ When we invite imagery to inspire our movement, our conditioning improves naturally. We choose our wings. And bringing gifts of imagery into our everyday activities gives us the ability to ‘Dance Through Life’.



While we usually only associate food with nourishing ourselves, food is actually only one part of the equation and that's because we are multi-dimensional beings that need to be nurtured and nourished on many different levels. So here is an idea that's “fulfilling” rather than “filling” that was shared with me by a life coach called Janelle Fletcher.

She calls it the nourishment menu and its a circle divided into 8 segments which look like pieces of a pie. It contains 8 things that fill my soul and that I am committed to giving myself either daily or at least weekly – because these are the things that give me more energy as opposed to draining me of my energy or chi. My nourishment menu tops me up, it is relaxing, rejuvenating and replenishing. And after all isn't that what soul nourishment is truly about? 

Your “nourishment” will be different to mine so make it your own. It must align with you and what fulfills YOU - whether that be creative pursuits, walks in the rain, pottering in the garden, snuggling up with a good read, chatting to God, doing something adventurous, planning a trip, ringing a friend, playing loud music, dancing like a maniac or spending time in silence. Whatever your flavour, attend to your soul and quite often the rest will follow. You will be much more inclined to nourish and nurture yourself with whole living foods that make you feel alive and vital. And you will also be much more inclined to nourish your need to breath, move and sweat. All in all, attending to our souls has a lot of positive side effects.