Who am I and what do I do?
I am a therapist, gardener and health writer/ educator with a doctorate in clinical hypnosis and an interest in health and wellbeing of the mind and body . I grew up in London, England during the 1970’s. I had a fairly regular (‘normally dysfunctional’) childhood with some unusual circumstances which sensitised me to the world around me. Because I loved exploring the nature of things I initially studied biological science at university but sadly found a subsequent career in science stultifying and gave it up to find something I loved more. As I had always loved the natural world and gardens I studied the emerging field of garden design and launched myself as a designer in the early 1990s. I have hundreds of gardens under my belt and offer professional gardening and design services to people who love gardens (see the gardens tab). For more specific information on my holistic garden services and prices see my sister site The Outdoor Room.
However, as is often the case, personal events intervened in a surprising way and in my thirties I was struck down with a series of different manifestations of chronic illness including depression, chronic fatigue and various low-grade infections. I determined to find out what I could do to heal myself as the medical establishment offered no hope other than the management of my conditions with drugs that simply perpetuated my helplessness. Then began my journey into healing. I studied Reiki, massage, hypnotherapy, nutritional medicine and now body-centred trauma therapy. I realised that, far from being a benign experience most people come through childhood with some scars. I am truly a ‘wounded healer’. I now run a therapy clinic called Alchemy therapies. See the therapies tab for more details. Alchemy is the art of personal transformation and this is what I offer people – not to just recover from illness but to become a more whole person.
Recently I felt I needed to share my learning and experience with others and decided to write a book ; The Scar that Won’t Heal; Stress, Trauma and Emotion in Chronic Disease. In it I show how the mind and body interconnect with the stress response and to treat one with out the other is destined to failure. I have just completed my second book ‘The World Within: how our microbiome makes us who we are’ which looks at the microbes that live in and on us and how they interact with us on a daily basis. Modern medicine has disregarded centuries of knowledge with its pharmaceutical/ surgical approach which seeks only to suppress symptoms and denies the importance of the mind and spirit in healing. For more information see the Books tab.
I have just completed a PhD in mindbody approaches to chronic pain and disease and developing my own protocol to help people recover. I am trained in wellbeing coaching and a specialist Chronic Fatigue Practitioner with the Chrysalis Effect. But my approach works for all chronic illness as it seeks to uncover the true causes of dis-ease which are similar in most people. I like to talk about this approach and am currently planning a series of speaking events which will cover aspects of my approach as covered in my book and clinic. See the events tab for more details.