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As a medical student, I was formally introduced to integrative medicine (IM) through a ‘Student Choice Placement’ during the beginning of my second year at the University of Bristol. Out of 60 different projects I chose the one titled “Integrative Medicine for Optimum Health in Later Life”, supervised by Dr Elizabeth Thompson, founder of the National Centre for Integrative Medicine (NCIM). At this point I had been practicing mindfulness meditation for two years, and had felt first-hand the profound impact the practice could have on one’s health. I was curious to explore other aspects of the field of IM, so the project seemed like an obvious choice.
Over the last few weeks I’ve really felt the momentum building around Integrative Healthcare, both here in the UK and overseas where I’ve been meeting with colleagues and speaking at conferences about a variety of topics including Integrative Oncology, Nutrition for Wellbeing and Social Prescribing.It’s so exciting because our community is growing as more and more healthcare professionals and patients are seeking a new model of healthcare that is both compassionate and tailored to the individual. One that at its heart focuses on being, or becoming, well on a mental, emotional and physical level rather than simply fixing a symptom.
On average, men are sicker during their lives than women and at the same time the life expectancy of men is reducing. What can we learn, and more importantly what can we do to support our own health? The WHO is researching different health determinants of men and women and has a particular interest in why there is a gap in gender survival rates. Statistics show that men who become ill are not surviving as long as women. The three biggest health concerns when it comes to men are: heart health, cancer and depression, with disease rates higher than in women.
Why might you try the Alexander Technique?
Those that have come across the Alexander Technique often say it’s ‘something to do with posture’. However, it’s actually something deeper: a pro-active way of dealing with the stresses and strains of everyday life. So why might you try the Alexander Technique? Its effects can be both transformational and empowering. Studies show that it impacts on everything from back pain and muscle tension to freer movement, improved mood, confidence, performance and (yes) posture. Read more from our guest blogger, Henry George (Alexander Technique teacher)
The Impact of Chronic Stress on Your Health and WellbeingMake it your key mission to find enough calm in your life Stress isn't an inherently bad thing. It's a natural response to a situation in which we feel danger and gives us a burst of energy to move out of the...
Nutrition and Women's HealthUse the power of nutrition to optimise hormonal health Women can use the power of nutrition to optimise their hormonal health as they transition from puberty, through the fertile years, perimenopause, menopause and the post-menopausal...
21 December is the Winter Solstice. The word comes from the Latin ‘Solstitium,’ meaning ‘sun standing still’ and there is evidence that our Neolithic ancestors were celebrating the Winter Solstice as far back as 10,200 BC.While the day symbolises the death of the old year, it’s actually a celebration. We’re entering a period of seasonal rebirth and we can acknowledge that all beginnings emerge from darkness.
NCIM is moving in January 2023! We’re very excited about our relocation to the beautiful and peaceful surroundings at Ham Green House in Pill (about 6 miles outside of Bristol City Centre). The move means that we can bring our clinics and our office together under one roof.
Christmas Message from Dr Elizabeth ThompsonThe 'busy' irony I don't know about you, but time seems to speed up for me as we approach the end of the year! Sometimes, just thinking about getting everything done before Christmas can feel...
Mistletoe is among the most prescribed herbal medicine for cancer in Europe, where it is often integrated into conventional oncology treatment programmes.In low doses, mistletoe stimulates and activates the immune system, it modulates the immune response and has direct anti-cancer effects. It helps the innate immune system work more efficiently and increases white blood cells and natural killer (NK) cells. NK cells directly recognise and break down stressed, unhealthy cancer cells and release anti-tumour cytokines. NK cell numbers may be lowered by radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Winter is coming! For some, the thought of being outside on crisp mornings or enjoying the snow, is energising. For many of us though, the thought of winter might give us the shivers or hasten a low mood in anticipation of cold nights, dark days, and cold viruses. Winter has a bad reputation, but it’s time to think differently. We need winter more than we know. When we live, eat and exercise according to the season and pay attention to what our bodies need, we not only prepare for winter but may actually enjoy it!
Exploring the Integrative Medicine model, its principles of health and wellness and core concepts of resilience, balance and vitality. How Integrative Medicine can offer something to patients, individual healthcare practitioners AND the healthcare system in these challenging times. Moving on from a healthcare system focused on illness, heroic intervention and one driven by technology and pharmaceuticals to one that prioritises well-ness, whole-person health, diversity, choice and empowerment. How stress and trauma are often at the root of disease and why we need a trauma informed model of care.