I was recently shouted down by a charming student doctor who told me in no uncertain terms that Ayurveda is "pseudoscience". The reason for what then became a barrage of insults was my outrageous suggestion that certain foods, the offending dish being cooked apples, could possibly in any way help reduce certain ailments. The topic was gut and microbiome health and it certainly made this very arrogant and ignorant young doctor  flabbergasted. How on earth could I be possibly be suggesting that diet could help reverse a plethora of conditions linked to the microbes in our body? What a fool and how irresponsible of me! Then I thought "Oh shit, maybe he knows something that I don't about the deadly dish of cooked apples!!" His reaction was one I mig...

Anna retired a year ago. She has had fairly good health throughout her life apart from indigestion on and off, bloating and variable appetite, gas, constipation and loose stools occasionally. Her skin is very dry and she feels the cold terribly. She has slightly trembling hands and feels "nervy" often and her sleep suffers fairly regularly. She has noticed a feeling of pins and needles in her lower arms and hands at times lately. She feels anxious and finds it almost impossible to switch off and relax. This means that she often has a couple of glasses of wine to relax in the evenings as it's the only way she can really switch off.

Anna's tongue is usually coated and she has bad breath. She takes no exercise as she is constantly tired from rushing...

How many people do you know that are gluten intolerant? Lots I bet! How many are coeliac? Not many I bet! Why is it that so many people can't seem to tolerate what should be a perfectly harmless protein? Why can some tolerate it easily and others not? Are we perhaps looking in the wrong places to try to solve this? Ayurveda says we are. 

So take two people eating exactly the same bread. If one has a problem with bloating and other symptoms after eating bread, why doesn't the other? It's the same food in each case, but not the same gut. There lies the problem. Not the food, the gut. 

You might ask, "Well what's so bad in just giving gluten up then?". Probably not that much harm in simply cutting out gluten; gluten's neither good nor bad. What is ve...

Wouldn't it be lovely if you could just eat like you used to be able to without any trouble? Eating what you want, when you want, without having to rush off to the loo or look like you're about to give birth!  Always having to think about whether or not you should be eating something, or constantly trying to figure out what exactly it is that upsets your stomach can start off as a bit boring but can end up causing a lot of stress and eventually ill health. Bloating, constipation, diarrhoea and gas are all too common and almost seen as normal as we find that it's the people who aren't intolerant to gluten or dairy that are the strange ones!  Those lucky people who can just eat what they want are rare. Trouble is it's too easy to blame the food, e...

I am passionate about meditation growing in popularity and love seeing how schools are starting to realise the importance of helping our young people feel more peaceful.

I started working about five years ago at Truro High School for Girls and at Newquay Junior Academy as a meditation teacher. The work was very rewarding and although I could see how it benefited the students greatly (I'll speak about some of the benefits shortly), I could also see that for me to go in once or twice a week for an hour at a time was less useful than if the teachers could actually learn how to teach meditation themselves. By teachers learning how to run guided meditations, this enables short sessions, 1 to 1 teaching, small groups and other specific ways of teaching...

Type 2 diabetes, known as the Black Death of the 21st century, can lead to amputations, blindness, kidney failure and death. Good news is it’s almost always avoidable and reversible, with the right changes to diet and lifestyle.

My client thought, like many people do, that to be obese and probably end up with diabetes or heart disease is genetic. She had pretty much resigned herself to the fact that that was how her life would go. A life of struggling and battling with her weight and health, as she has been since her teens. For me the tragedy is this resignation, well before the terrible end. It is unnecessary and I find it criminal that my client, and many others, aren’t given the choice and the information so that they can be healthy and happy....

Are you always hungry? Do you find it almost impossible to stop thinking about food? Do you often find that you are not really satisfied with your meals? I have met lots of clients who find it almost impossible to stick to healthy eating or weight loss diets simply because they are always hungry. After talking to a young lady a few weeks ago I came to the realisation that actually the principles in Ayurveda of taste can be the answer to this problem in most weight loss plans. The young lady was telling me that actually, when she eats a packet of crisps, what she is really wanting is the lovely strong salty flavours that come from the crisps. Why does she crave that salty taste? Why do I sometimes crave the sweetness of cake or chocolate? More of...

Compassion focused therapy (CFT) is a wonderful therapy created to help people struggling with self-criticism, shame and self-loathing. It can be very helpful in working with people suffering with depression, trauma and anxiety.

Our brains were not designed with our happiness in mind. They are the result of evolution. CFT considers that there are three systems which manage our emotional state and our attention levels, bodily feelings and thoughts. These three systems are drive, care giving and threat and they are all vital. 

Some people live very hard lives and their childhoods were not good. If a person isn't given the conditions necessary for their care giving system to flourish they may find it much more difficult to cope with life than those w...

Diets don't work for the majority of people and the reason is simple. Weight loss is complicated and yet most diets are set out the same way for everyone. So how can that ever work? We are all so different, our bodies are different and our reasons for our weight gain are different. So we need to be treated that way, as individuals. What I do believe that lots of diets have to offer is guidance and support, networking and a community that encourages and helps people that otherwise might feel very alone in their battle with their weight. So what happens when that diet finishes, when they stop going to the class with other people who can empathise better than those that don't need to lose weight? Very often this is where diets fail and it's partly...

I was 45, lots of energy, but no passion for a new activity… the weight had started to slowly stack up. I did a half-hearted run now and again which stemmed the decline but wasn’t enough to get me trim. I’d always had a bike, mainly of the off road variety but again this had always been used in adulthood as another half-hearted gesture to extract myself off the settee and away from the biscuit tin. Passing Halfords one day I decided to pop in for inspiration and there, at half price was a shiny yellow Carrera TDF road bike and I thought, ‘I’m having that!’ and so began the new love.

It all started gradually and there was that initial feeling on day one of how easy it was all going to be, whizzing around on a super slick road bike, defying gravity...

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​© Vivienne Clifton Natural Health