Healing Health Retreats

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My name is Lucy Dixon, I am currently studying Media Communications at Bath Spa University.  Health, Healing and Nutrition is a passion of mine, so having the opportunity to partake in this retreat and experience a Healing Health retreat on January 20th was very exciting.

When I arrived, I was greeted by Lisa, who gave a very warm friendly welcome, I immediately felt comfortable. Everyone participating in the retreat was given a name label, which I thought was a lovely touch as it allowed for people to communicate with one and other, creating a very calm and relaxing atmosphere for everyone. Although I have practiced mediation and know the basics of health and nutrition, I would still class myself as a beginner with not much experience. I was apprehensive, yet excited about the day ahead.

The retreat started with a brief introduction to the day, and just a chance to get to know everyone. Lisa Barnes whose specialist area is health and nutrition and her yoga teacher who is an experienced energy worker. They explained what the day will involve, juicing, nutritional advice, meditation and yoga. Overall creating a healing and nourishing day for your body and mind. They also noted it didn’t matter the level of your experience and that you would be supported on your healing journey, which immediately put me at ease.

We were given a morning juice – purple/ beetroot juice, as this was part of Lisa’s detoxing regime, designed for the retreat, the juices were given out throughout the day. The fresh juices were a perfect ‘pick me up’ for throughout the day, so revitalising and uplifting. They tasted even better knowing they were not only going to benefit the body, but feed the soul with a wealth of nutrition. Who knew something so healthy could be so tasty?

The highlights of the retreat for me, were the meditation sessions run by Lisa, alongside the wealth of knowledge I learnt from the health & nutrition sessions. The first session was held at the beginning of the retreat to manifest what we wished to achieve by the end of the day. My manifestation was to learn as much as possible and unwind from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and ultimately make time for myself again. Which is what the retreat reminded us all to do … just breath and be at one with ourselves.

Another exercise I found amazing and truly healing was the guided mediation, we did in the afternoon. The meditation was designed to cut your ties to any negative energy you may have in your day to day life, we were guided to picture someone or something which is affecting you from being your authentic self and one by one rid of the ties you have to them. Not completely abolishing it/them from your life but learning how to let go of the negativity surrounding them and the situation. I found it to be a lot easier than expected, as I thought you had to be a really experienced, but anyone at any level can achieve this. I found it to be really healing for my mind and worthwhile.

Overall my Healing Health retreat experience was wonderful. Not only did I feel completely ‘zen’ and refreshed after partaking in the day, I felt as though I learnt so much in just one day. I learnt simple well-being exercises and health knowledge which I can now use in my day to day life. It also taught me to simply make time for myself whether that be in meditation in the morning or treating my body to a juice with an abundance of nutrition, either way it taught me that nourishing yourself in day to day life is a necessity. This one day to course is perfect for anybody of any ability as you are continuously being supported by your peers and the leaders. I would recommend this to anyone who just wants a break from a busy- day today life and a chance to unwind.





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“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” – Buddha.

Self-love is an important thing to have in all aspects of life. Valentine’s Day can be a time of sadness for some who perceive that their life is incomplete, but this should not be a time to focus on what you don’t have, rather than what you do. So, whether you are single or not, this is a great time to practice more self-love.

So what does this actually mean and does it have any benefits, or is it just another hippy mantra??

Having more self-love will lessen depression anxiety, enhance recovery from stress, increase optimism and will help you in sticking to different lifestyle such as changes in exercise or diet. Focusing on the good things in your life and being grateful for them can boost your mood and increase your serotonin levels. 

Serotonin is known as body’s natural ‘Feel Good Hormone’ and in the body it helps to make us feel relaxed, happy, and confident. It also has many other uses such as appetite control, mood and behaviour regulator, it impacts every part of your body.

Other practical things you can do are;

  • Take 5-HTP, a naturally occurring compound that increases serotonin in the body, your feel-good hormone
  • Add raw cacao powder into your diet, yes, it is true, chocolate is good for you.  See the amazing Cacao Energy Balls at the bottom of this page. Not only do they increase energy, as well as being a healthy food source, the raw cacao will also boost serotonin levels.
  • Probably the easiest thing you can do is just go outside and turn off your phone. Going for a walk and taking in fresh air and day light will improve serotonin levels, it helps you to reconnect the nature and gives you a break from all the facebook posts of what we see as ‘everyone else’s happiness’.

Self-love isn’t only about boosting your mood though. There are other ways in which to practice better self-love like, such as becoming more mindful. This means recognising your different feelings and when you are experiencing emotional distress or mental suffering.   Never try and ‘push down’ negative feelings as this does not work.  If you can allow yourself some quiet space and let the feeling come.  Sit with it and ask yourself the question, ‘ I wonder why I am feeling ……..’.  Do not judge yourself or this feeling.  We are supposed to feel many different emotions, not just happiness.  Try and be happy and content wherever you are, rather than just always wanting to get to the end result.

Self-love is also about acting on more of what fulfils you and sometimes this means turning away from saying ‘yes’ to everything and supporting the needs of others and putting yourself first. Practicing good health care is also practice of self-love, like exercising, having a healthy, nutritional diet, getting proper sleep and having healthy social interactions. Further to this, set boundaries. We’ve all heard of the phrase, too much of the good stuff is bad stuff, so limit yourself on certain things to not overwhelm yourself.

Practicing meditation is also a very useful tool to making yourself feel good and clear your mind. There are several scientifically proven ways in which meditation can be of benefit:

  • Reduces stress
  • Improves concentration, which can also help with mindfulness.
  • Encourages a healthy lifestyle.
  • Increases self-awareness.
  • Slows aging.
  • Benefits cardiovascular and immune health.

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” – Wayne Dyer