Get Healthy, be Happy

A healthy mind and body makes for a happy life. Holistic expert and therapist Gemma Clare shares her top tips to make you feel good.

1.Take care

Take care of yourself by ensuring you practise a good work-life balance. Get plenty of sleep (eight hours is optimum) to preserve good cardiovascular health, energy levels and immunity. Adequate rest and regular nutritious meals containing a balance of fresh fruit and vegetables, protein, carbohydrate and fats will fuel your body and brain whilst giving you enough time to recharge those batteries. Make a weekly plan that takes care of both your mental and physical health.  Create an exercise programme and make time for social interaction to provide a sense of belonging, knowledge and emotional support.

Read more about healthy alimentation

2.Return to nature

Research shows that those exposed to natural environments and wildlife (including natural areas within urban areas) enjoy a higher physical and psychological wellbeing compared to those who are not. These benefits include stress relief and resilience, improved work performance and job satisfaction.  Living beside, or near, a water environment is also thought to increase wellbeing and physical health – research has shown that beach city residents eat healthier, exercise more and smoke less.


Harmful toxins are everywhere. From chemicals such as BPA (used in food packaging), carcinogens in food colouring, dioxin-like compounds (DLCs) in meat and fish, ethanol in alcohol, formaldehyde in cigarettes, drug toxicity from medication, aluminum in deodorants and lead in lipstick. These toxins can build up in your body and cause numerous health complaints, so it’s important to give your body a detox. Indulge in natural skincare brands and organic produce to advance your wellbeing; well-known brands include: REN for cosmetics, Bellapierre for natural mineral makeup and Lavilin for deodorant. Choose organic meat and fish, as well as unprocessed foods such as fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds; these deliver a whole host of physical, mental and psychological benefits including improved mental clarity, mood, concentration, physical performance, quality of sleep and disease prevention.

Read more about detox

4.Au naturel

The holistic approach to healthcare works on a physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual level to relieve symptoms and pay attention to a person’s underlying balance. Holistic therapies can help to improve the body’s energetic flow, encouraging self-healing and optimum wellbeing. There are many different types of natural therapy, from osteopathy to reiki. Scientific studies have shown that aromatherapy, the practice of using natural and essential oils to enhance wellbeing, is a highly beneficial way of optimising a person’s physical, psychological and emotional health; choose your favourite scent or oil with the therapeutic properties you need to enrich your surroundings and mood.

5.Mind over matter

As a result of the demands of modern day life, many people often find themselves in a ‘hypnotised’ state of mind, not really present to what they are doing. Multitasking, or hurrying to complete a task are classic examples. Practising ‘mindfulness’ is a great way to achieve a more relaxed emotional state whilst still remaining alert and focused. There are many different ways people practise mindfulness, including meditation, breathing techniques and paying closer attention to the present moment; thus reducing stress and increasing positivity. Other approaches such as yoga or qigong can also be beneficial. Research has revealed that mindfulness can also improve a range of health concerns such as blood pressure, chronic pain and sleep disorders, as well as psychological problems including addiction, anxiety and depression.
Emotionally, mindfulness aims to transform negative perspectives, in areas such as personal success and self-esteem, into a more balanced and positive outlook.

Read more about stress reduction

Take a spa day

A trip to a spa can be seen as an unnecessary extravagance however, in this sometimes-stressful modern-day age, a well-chosen treatment can provide numerous health benefits that are essential to both body and mind.  Massage will help to de-stress and relax the body, while scrubs and mudpacks are a great way to rejuvenate skin and lift your spirits. Freeing yourself from tension is essential in getting that good night’s sleep you need in order to feel refreshed, revitalised and ready to face the day ahead.At a spa, you are truly spoilt for choice. Treatments such as facials, manicures and pedicures provide a psychological lift, whereas hydrotherapy, massage and heat therapy improve blood circulation and regulate blood pressure.  You can improve your flexibility, breathing and posture by takinga class in pilates or yoga, and don’t be shy – ask your teacher or even your massage therapist for tips on how to livea healthier lifestyle.

Some of the most popular spa treatments and their benefits include:

  • Hot Stone treatment – Very beneficial if you suffer from general aches and pains or fatigued muscles; it can also relieve symptoms of anxiety and even insomnia. Large smooth stones are heated by warm water and covered with essential oils, then used as a tool to massage the body.  The heat from the stones encourages muscles to relax more deeply, allowing for a more effective massage. Stones are also placed on specific pressure points across the body, providing a deeper heat and weight for further relaxation. Your therapist may also include cold stones in the treatment, which will help to alleviate many ailments as well as rejuvenate the body and mind.
  • Acupuncture – A form of ancient Chinese medicine used to treat a range of conditions from headaches, lower back pain and dental pain to infertility, anxiety and asthma. A relatively painless technique, acupuncture can be administered using needles, low-voltage electric current (electro-acupuncture), or through pinpoint massage (acupressure).
  • Dead Sea Mud treatment – Mud from the Dead Sea is rich in minerals such as potassium, magnesium, sodium, bromine and calcium. Applying the mud as a mask can help to detoxify the skin and body, as well as treat various skin ailments including acne, psoriasis, skin rashes and dandruff.  It can also improve certain medical conditions including arthritis, bone and cartilage inflammation, rheumatism, stress, fatigue and sleeplessness.
  • Four-Hands massage – Indulge yourself in the unique sensation of two massage therapists working on your body at the same time using uniquely choreographed strokes. Massage techniques vary, but can include reflexology, deep tissue, Lomi Lomi (a Hawaiian technique) and traditional Swedish massage. Recommended for stress and fast pain relief, the routine can be modified to suit each individual client and the area of their body that needs work.\

See also: Mature Skin Care Advice


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