Monday 26 November 2012

Winter Fair and Open Day

Here's whats happening on Saturday -

NIA - is dancing/moving to the music, having fun, connecting with other people and making some friends, for kids and adults.

QiGong - stand and move like Bamboo in the wind, strong, vital and flexible!

Try delicious organic breads and cakes from Loaf For Life - Cambridge Organic bakery.

We look forward to meeting you.

Our Amazing Gut!

We are what we absorb.
In a healthy digestive system, food, supplements, drugs etc are broken down into their tiny particles and taken up to become part of us or to be removed as waste. The digestive wall has a mucosal lining and a bacterial layer (gut flora) that scans every single tiny particle to decide whether it is good or bad and treated appropriately. Bear in mind that a meal consists of billions of particles, minerals, amino acids but also bacteria, fungi etc.
Inappropriate ‘labelling’ results in conditions such as hay fever, food intolerances,  even autoimmune conditions and a variety of mental problems can arise or worsen from this.
 Our entire mucosal lining is renewed every 3-5 days.
For our digestion to function properly and subsequent correct absorption and labelling, we secrete an army of enzymes in the mouth, stomach, gut lining, different organs and intestinal flora to break virtually everything down that enters our digestive system. This includes food and bacteria, rendering them harmless or broken down in absorbable particles.
Due to all these factors our digestive system is like our finger print, unique to us and so problems and solutions have to be individualised, after careful investigation. One size fits all, never worked and will never work. There are an enormous amount of variables that can affect digestive health, from emotional issues, infections, inappropriate diet - your perfect diet is another’s worst. At The Therapy Room your therapist draws form a vast pool of collective scientific knowledge and experience and so we can make positive changes where other things may have failed.
Let our expertise help you lead a life where your digestive system doesn’t dictate your day and you have the energy and well-being to live your life your way. Digestive problems are not a fact of life you just have to live with, they are within your control given the right knowledge and tools.
Let us help give you the tools and the knowledge of how to use them. The Therapy Room Integrated Gut Treatment team.

Robert Tempelaar - Naturopath and Medical Herbalist at The Therapy Room

Monday 16 July 2012

American Psychiatric Association
Proposed revision of Autistic Disorder Classification

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is revising its diagnostic manual, known as Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). This is one of the two main international sets of diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorders, including Asperger syndrome.
The main set of criteria used in the UK is the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD).  This is the important bit – we use ICD-10 in the UK, which is not scheduled for review until 2015, and there are no plans to remove the classification of Asperger Syndrome from it.  In fact, the beta version of ICD-11 very clearly retains Asperger Syndrome.
The changes to the DSM include altering the way all conditions are classified, providing an indication of severity and reducing the number of 'not otherwise specified' diagnoses (such as 'Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified').
At present, the people involved feel that there is not enough research to show a definite distinction between Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. So they feel it better to incorporate both of these terms into the overall category of autism spectrum disorder.  It does not mean that the terms will fall into misuse – in fact, I think it is more likely that the term Asperger Syndrome will be retained as a marker for where someone might be on the autism spectrum.  In other words – nothing will change, apart from instead of Asperger’s disorder being listed as a separate disorder, as in DSM-IV,  it will be subsumed into the overall category of autistic disorder, as in DSM-5.  This is stated in the APA’s rationale for changing the classification:
“New name for category, autism spectrum disorder, which includes autistic disorder (autism), Asperger’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified”
There is not felt to be any need to “airbrush” Asperger Syndrome out of existence, either by The National Autistic Society, or many of the more local representative organisations across the UK.  I think that Asperger Syndrome will continue to be used within common parlance, much as it has been since the early 1990’s, despite being listed in DSM-IV as “Asperger’s Disorder”.

David Moat Autism Treatment Consultant The Therapy Room Cambridge

Wednesday 11 July 2012

Autism Therapy Clinic Launched in Cambridge

A new approach to the treatment of autism is being launched in Cambridge this month.  It will aim to provide a “one-stop” shop for advice, assessment and treatment, using the expertise of a wide range of practitioners and therapists.  It represents a new element  of practice for The Therapy Room, Oxford Road, Cambridge.  

“We believe this project to be one of the first in the UK to offer a range of advice and interventions around autism”, said David Moat, Clinical Psychotherapist, and  Treatment Consultant for the autism clinic. “We hope to ensure that families and individuals will no longer have to shop around for advice and treatment, often travelling many miles in the process to sample different therapies. We believe that everyone with autism is different, and that a range of support and help is needed to offer individual solutions.”

The Integrated Autism Therapy Clinic will operate from The Therapy Room, Oxford Road, Cambridge.  “We already operate as an Integrated Health Centre, offering a range of treatments and therapies, aimed at restoring health and emotional well-being. It seemed a natural step to offer this around the autism spectrum”, said Damien Clements, Holistic Health Practitioner, and partner at The Therapy Room.

Families and individuals will be offered an initial appointment with a specialist treatment consultant for autism, who can then advise on treatment and intervention, and refer on to a range of practitioners as appropriate.  Therapies available in the initial stages will include: Functional Health Care, Counselling and Psychotherapy, Diet and Nutritional advice, Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiology, Osteopathy, Chiropractic, Hypnotherapy, Homeopathy and Social Performance Coaching.  There will also be access to Play Therapy.

Support can also be offered to family members of the individual with autism, in the form of counselling and psychotherapy, stress management and lifestyle advice.

Sunday 1 July 2012

Autism 101: an introduction to the best ways to treat autism

Autism is commonly thought to be the result of neural abnormalities in the brain, essentially the chemistry of the brain. In popular culture autism is often linked to individuals with impaired social and communication skills, some of whom have extraordinary abilities for memory, music, art or technology. However, unsurprisingly the reality of autism is far more nuanced and intricate than in the elaborations of popular fiction. 

The exact cause or causes of autism remain unknown. The current thinking is that a combination of factors probably leads to autism. A core factor for susceptibility appears to be genetics – we know this because identical twins are more likely to both have autism than fraternal twins or siblings. Additionally, chromosome abnormalities, neurological problems and language abnormalities are more common in families dealing with autism. A number of possible causes are suspected but are as yet unproven - these range from vaccine sensitivity, mercury poisoning, digestive issues and the inability to absorb vitamins and minerals.

Children with signs of autism have difficulties with pretend play, social interactions and verbal and nonverbal communication. Most parents suspect something is wrong before the child reaches two years old. Some children can also appear normal and then regress, losing their language and/or social skills they previously had. This is the ‘regressive’ type of autism. People with autism often have sensory integration issues, and may experience distress when routines are changed. Repetitive body movements and unusual attachments to objects can also be a feature.

Treatment is always most successful when it focuses on a child's particular needs. Early treatment in most cases improves the prospects for a child with autism, but this doesn’t mean that treatment at a later stage won’t help or have the effect that an earlier intervention could have. In general, formal treatment programs focus on the interest of the child. A specialist or a team of specialists will often devise a structured programme for an individual child. A variety of therapies are available, including behavioural interventions, occupational therapy, communication support, and social skills development. The best treatment programme will often be a combination of techniques.

It has been documented that a gluten-free and/or casein-free diet can help to alleviate the symptoms of autism. Gluten is found in wheat, rye and barley. Casein is found in all dairy products. If you are considering some dietary changes for your child you should talk to a specialist on the digestive system, whether this is a specialist doctor or a good dietician. They will help you to make sure that your child is still receiving the balanced diet they need.

Adults diagnosed with autism
More adults are being diagnosed with autism than ever before, this is mostly down to our greater understanding of the symptoms of autism. It can sometimes be a relief to adults to find out they are autistic as it can help to make sense of why they have struggled for so long with things like relationships and holding down a job. The treatment for adults diagnosed with autism will depend on the individual and their needs. Cognitive therapy is often a good starting point, but the other therapies mentioned in this article can also be of great benefit and can go a long way to help the individual with relationships and in dealing with social situations.

Complementary approaches
Other methods are available that support the more traditional treatments, such as play therapy, psychotherapy, aromatherapy, reflexology and homeopathy. Individuals with autism and Asperger Syndrome can also benefit from treatments that have traditionally been used to treat anxiety and depression. Treatments include cognitive restructuring, psychotherapy and hypnotherapy

Recognising the complex nature of Autistic conditions the Therapy Room Cambidge have now introduced an Integrated Autism Therapy Clinic.

Here are some approaches to treating autism that can help and may be of interest to you:

·       Counselling
·       Functional Health Care
·       Hypnotherapy
·       Osteopathy
·       Psychotherapy

Whatever course of action you decide on just make sure you speak to a specialist first.

Monday 21 May 2012

Get Walking Day 26-27 May 2012

Those feet were made for walkin' ............Start getting fit for the summer, spend some quality time with your family with 'Get Walking Day' 2012

The Ramblers are holding another Get Walking Day to get your legs, arms and everywhere else moving!

The theme of the event will be 'Get Walking for the Games Weekend'. There will be lots of Olympic and Paralympic themes over the weekend at the country gets ready for the 'greatest event on earth!'
But it's not about having a big strenuous work-out! Most of the planned walks will be under 5 miles - so easy to manage and led by an organiser in idyllic country locations.

Sometimes there can be a presumption that walking is simply boring. We walk all the time right, what's fun about that? But taking the time out of our busy schedules to enjoy walking in the outdoors has huge benefits - both for our physical and mental selves. There's no better way than losing weight and having great fun at the same time, is there?!

The Ramblers are hoping that the upcoming event should be even bigger this year. Another aim of the day is to get people involved in a 12 week walking plan called 'Get Walking Keep Walking'.
If you're interested in taking part, keep a look out for updates and walks near you by visiting the Get Walking Day website.

For more information on how The Therapy Room can help you to stay fit book a free consultation with one of our integrated practitioners.

Sunday 13 May 2012

We would like to welcome new therapist Marisol Sanchez-Blesa..........

Marisol Sanchez-Blesa worked as a support worker with different groups, such as people with learning disabilities, immigrants or drug-abusers, after she graduated as a Technical Expert in Social Integration. For several years she worked as general manager, this was perhaps her first training as a coach.

While she was doing the BA (Hons) in Sociology, she decided to turn her interest in human sexuality into a career. During her final year, she specialised in sexuality and gender. Her final project was titled  Discovering Oneself: Heteronormativityand women's desire, which not only gave her access to a large amount of literature, but also to develop her own research. Later, she studied a MSc in Gender, Sexuality & Society. In this opportunity the dissertation was focused onThe Impact of Impotence on Male Identity.

She holds a diploma in Life Coaching, and has also completed different courses such as Sexuality and Its Disorders, or Social Mediator in Emotional andSexual Education in Spain.

In May 2010, she started the blog La Sexualidad de Lilith (Lilith's Sexuality), where expresses her ideas about gender and sexuality. The blog also contains a 'gallery of vulvas and penises' to vindicate the diversity and the beauty of genitalia. She collaborates sporadically with various Spanish news media, such as Periodico Diagonal or Una Buena Barba.


Life Coaching
In life coaching, you lead the process, and you decide the speed of the progress. You determine the outcomes, you decide how many sessions you want to take, and how often the sessions will take place.

Sex Coaching
Sex coaching is a way to share sex positivity and to celebrate our sexual energy. It offers a safe place to heal your pain, to reclaim your right to enjoy sex, and to recuperate sexual power.

For more information please contact Marisol at The Therapy Room Cambridge.

Monday 9 April 2012

World Health Day - Good health adds life to years

Every year, World Health Day is celebrated on 7 April to mark the anniversary of the founding of WHO in 1948. Each year a theme is selected for World Health Day that highlights a priority area of concern for WHO.

World Health Day is a global campaign, inviting everyone – from global leaders to the public in all countries – to focus on a single health challenge with global impact. Focusing on new and emerging health issues, World Health Day provides an opportunity to start collective action to protect people's health and well-being.

The topic of World Health Day in 2012 is Ageing and health with the theme "Good health adds life to years". The focus is how good health throughout life can help older men and women lead full and productive lives and be a resource for their families and communities. Ageing concerns each and every one of us – whether young or old, male or female, rich or poor – no matter where we live.

Ageing and health - to which each and every one of us can relate - is the theme of this year's World Health Day. Using the slogan "Good health adds life to years", campaign activities and materials will focus on how good health throughout life can help older men and women lead full and productive lives and be a resource for their families and communities. Over the past century life expectancy has increased dramatically and the world will soon have more older people than children. This social transformation represents both challenges and opportunities. In particular, countries may only have a single generation to prepare their health and social systems for an ageing world.

The Global brief for World Health Day 2012 takes a fresh look at health data on ageing to help us better understand the needs of older people. Sections include key points, the demographics of ageing and the epidemiology of population ageing. The document also outlines four key actions that governments and societies can take now for healthier and more active ageing.

For more information visit the World Health Organization -

Tuesday 3 April 2012

National Autism Awareness Month

Throughout April it will be National Autism Awareness Month, a chance to highlight autism, a condition which is thought to affect a staggering 1 in 110 children.

The month was first established in the 1970s to keep the public informed about autism and how to help sufferers within the community.

The easiest way to mark this special month is to wear one of the Autism Society's Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbons, showing your support.

By using websites such as facebook or twitter you can also update your status to raise awareness and spread the word.

By making a donation or volunteering to help out in your local area, you can really make a difference and shine a light on an issue which many people feel uncomfortable talking about.

Visit The National Autistic Society website to find out more information about how you can involved in National Autism Awareness Month.

There are lots of tips on how to raise money and awareness to help people with autism and aspergers, so why not get involved today and help out with a fantastic cause!

To find out how The Therapy Room can help you with Autism for example through the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) please call us to book your free consultation. 01223 315400

The 6th and final Life Principle - Sleep

Sleeping Less - you're not alone

Most modern sleep experts agree that the average amount of sleep Westerners get nowadays is significantly less than it was one hundred years ago. Prior to the invention of the electric light, around 1879, we probably spent nine to twelve hours a day in bed. The exact figure would have been a little higher in the winter and a little lower in the summer. Back in those days we were still obliged to synchronize our sleep/wake cycle (circadian rhythms) with the rise and fall of the sun much like we had for thousands of years. This is without considering those who have trouble getting to sleep or waking during the night.

Circadian rhythms are regular changes in mental and physical characteristics that occur in the course of a day (circadian is Latin for “around a day”). Most circadian rhythms are controlled by the body’s biological “clock.” This clock, called the suprachiasmatic nucleus or SCN, is actually a pair of pinhead-sized brain structures that together contain about 20,000 neurons. The SCN rests in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, just above the point where the optic nerves cross. Light that reaches photoreceptors in the retina (a tissue at the back of the eye) creates signals that travel along the optic nerve to the SCN. This creates a release of all your awakening hormones for the day.
Signals from the SCN travel to several brain regions, including the pineal gland, which responds to light-induced signals by switching off production of the hormone melatonin. The body’s level of melatonin (and other repair and regeneration hormones) normally increases after darkness falls, making people feel drowsy. The SCN also governs functions that are synchronized with the sleep/wake cycle, including body temperature, hormone secretion, urine production, and changes in blood pressure.

Causes of Sleep Dysfunction:
1.  Being Overweight: This creates the rib cage and the sternum to drop, putting more weight on the lungs. This increased pressure makes one breath more often and more shallow.

2. Sleep Apnea: One of the main causes of sleep apnea is serotonin deficiency. Studies using AA tryptophan and 5HTP have shown them to be helpful. Why? First, serotonin directly affects the lungs (my assumption is that is causing more of a parasympathetic response). Second, lots of O2 is required for serotonin production, so if physical obstructions block O2 flow, serotonin production is diminished. Third, if a pre-existing low-serotonin condition caused characteristic afternoon and evening carb craving, increased weight could easily result, contributing to obstructed breathing.

3. Drinking too much caffeine during the day: Caffeine has a half life of 6 hrs. So if you drink it later than noon, it is still coursing through your blood at 6pm.

4. Bright lights at night: TV, computer, etc all create a flickering light. This stimulates your body to release awakening hormones, secondary to the light. This can create difficulty falling asleep. As well, most people watch the news at night, which can be quite stressful.

5. Hormonal Imbalances: If you have adrenal gland problems, in the beginning stages you will be releasing more cortisol later in the day (when it should be going down). This will create disturbed sleep.

6. Sugar: Sugar inhibits your immune system, is a large stress to the body (which in turn makes the body release cortisol, which keeps you awake) as well as creates a roller coaster ride of insulin dips and spikes during the day. This can create highs and lows, which create highs and lows at night.

7. Dehydration: The first place the body steals water from when you are dehydrated is the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and colon. If the central nervous system looses water, one might feel anxious and wired.

8. Overthinking and worrying: For one, you are what you think! So if you can’t shut your mind off at night and it is still working, well the body will not shut off as well. Overthinking is typically a sign of not staying present with oneself and always focusing on the what was and what could be. Stillness is created with being present.

1. Consult a nutrition and lifestyle coach, to help customise your diet and make the lifestyle changes you need.

2. Low serotonin, food allergies, being overweight, low/high cortisol and low progesterone have been shown to create sleep apnea. We recommend getting some Functional Lab testing done at The Therapy Room Cambridge.

3. Drink 1 cup of coffee in the morning with no sugar or sweetener. Do not drink any caffeine after 12 noon.

4. Eliminate bright lights one hour prior to bed.

5. Learn adaptive stress techniques (Qi gong, Tai Chi, etc) that you can adapt into your life, take time out during the day for you, start picking up some hobbies and remember time is something we create so we think we are in control! You could also consult with our mind body specialist at The TherapyRoom Cambridge

6. Eliminate all sugar!

7. Work up to drinking 0.033% of your weight in kgs  in litres of water per day.

8. Using essential oils at night (lavender), drinking tea at night (Lian Zi Xin) or taking the neurotransmitter GABA Calm with help reduce anxiety and overthinking. You could also consult with a homeopath, kinesiologist or our integrated health consultant, all available at The Therapy Room Cambridge.

Wednesday 28 March 2012

Movement - the 5th Life Principle

We all have a body and in most cases we can move. It has tremendous benefit, if we tune into what movement is right for us. It helps the heart work better, it helps to detoxify the body, it aids digestion, repair, it helps keep us moving!

Movement helps -
Breathing - If you are seated most of the day the tendency is to breath with your shoulders and chest predominately, and you will be getting only a fraction of the oxygen you need for your to cells to work optimally. Moving regularly can help your abdominal diaphragm (main muscle for breathing and stability) work better, which aids with digestion, detoxification, and blood flow.

The biological oscillators – Brain, heart, small intestine. These vital organs work like 3 pendulums, entraining each other and when all are in good order they work in synchronicity. Exercise helps to balance the use of the brain (working)with the pumping of the heart (moving), and the small intestine (digestion and breathing).

The pumps – pelvic floor, abdominal muscles, diaphragm. Exercise also helps to keep these 3 pumps working, allowing the flow of message down your spine and around our nervous system, stabilising and allowing intense heavy lifting, and helping with the control of elimination.

Types of exercise fall into two categories
Working in exercises - These help to redistribute energy from tight muscles, overactive organs to areas of low energy in the body. They help us feel energised and balanced. Examples of exercise that uses working in exercise - Yoga, slow walking, tai chi, qi gong, stretching. Use these type of exercises when you feel tired are stressed, and to aid digestion immediately after a meal.

Working out exercises - These are exercises that break the body down, in order that it can rebuild itself stronger to move more powerfully, quickly or efficiently. They include sporting activities, weight training, running, cycling.

If you overdo the working out exercises you will not feel the benefits of movement as I have discussed above, although you may look good, you won't feel that way.
Take time each morning to take your waking heart rate (whilst still in bed) for 1 week to get an average. If your waking heart rate is 5 or above its average on any day, only perform working in exercise on that day. By performing this simple daily check, you will get all the benefits and non of the pain of exercise.

Thursday 22 March 2012

Life Principle 4: Are you we truly what we eat?

Well, no we aren't - We are what we eat, digest, absorb, assimilate (make things), and don't excrete.

This may sound pedantic, but one of the most common problems are those associated with the Gut, and this is where most of these things occur (we assimilate once the food has gone through the gut wall, and passed through the liver, and into the blood stream).

The gut is designed to be a huge long protective, and absorptive organ, that keeps out the bad and absorbs only what is usable to the body (with the help of the liver). If at any stage along the gut there is a dysfunction, then no matter how good our diet is, it won't  go to produce energy, rebuild, repair, or produce good function in our body.

Common symptoms of gut dysfunction, are-
rumbling tummy
bad breath
excess gas
and many more.

My top tips for better Gut function are -
-Chew your food more than you think necessary
-Don't drink with your meal
-If you know a food irritates you even only in a small way (eg. a runny nose), eat it only 1 or 2 times per week.
-Pick food that grows in the ground or on trees, and limit those that have labels on their packaging that you can't understand!
-Dairy, and gluten containing grains are the most commonly reactive foods in the UK, and also the most popular!

For a free 15 min no obligation consultation - please call 01223 315400.

Damien Clements - Integrated Health Practitioner

World Water Day 2012

   © Swiatek Wojtkowiak -

  © Anne Wangalachi/CIMMYT

Thursday 15 March 2012

Mothers Day Gift Vouchers Available

Give the gift of RELAXATION this Mothers Day!
A gift voucher is the perfect gift for your Mum this Sunday allowing her to choose from a long list of therapies from one of our qualified therapists here at
The Therapy Room Cambridge.

For more information call 01223 315400 or
email [email protected] 

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Today is No Smoking Day!

Take the leap, quit for good. Here are some useful links to help to make the final decision to quit for good.

Maybe you've tried all the conventional methods of giving up smoking. Here at The Therapy Room we take a more holistic approach, have you ever thought about hypnotherapy, acupunture or even counselling?

The non-smoking day charity -


Complementary therapy guide -

Don't delay, book an appointment with one of our integrated practitioners today and feel the benefits becoming a non-smoker!

Good Luck!

01223 315400
[email protected]

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Life Principle 3 - Hydration

Our bodies are made up of about 75-80% water, and it is involved in many functions. If we are not optimally hydrated we may not be aware of it, as our adrenals, kidneys, and colon help to keep water flowing inside us. 

This comes at a cost though - The first place the body steals water from when you are dehydrated is the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and colon. If the central nervous system looses water, one might feel anxious and wired, and if the colon is being robbed of water we can become constipated, and cannot properly detoxify, so we become toxic.

Metabolism (the use of energy to produce life in our cells) is vital for health, and along with sugar, water in optimal amounts is essential for optimal metabolism and detoxification. We need about 4oz (120 ml) of water per hour for optimal metabolism. This is good quality water, not soft drinks, alcohol, tea or coffee.

Good quality water with adequate minerals to help it to be absorbed in the body is best obtained from using a reverse osmosis filter, and adding a pinch of celtic sea salt per litre. Store and drink from glass bottle or glasses, not plastic. If you question this recommendation, ask for a water test from your local water provider - you'll be surprised at what you will find!

My last tip is to 'eat' your water - swill it around your mouth before swallowing, as this signals to your body that water is on the way the way, and directs it to where it needs to go, so you stay hydrated and healthy.

Damien Clements - Integrated Health Practitioner

Monday 5 March 2012

Life Principle 2 - Breathing

One of the most vital components to good health. Shallow poor quality breathing leads to a toxic body and chronic fatigue, tight neck muscles, lower back pain, headaches and many more dysfunctions within the body. Learn how to maximize breath for optimal health and vitality.

Stand up and take a deep breath in, whilst looking in a mirror. Where does the breath come from - chest, shoulders, neck tummy?

Now try and breath from your tummy only, help yourself by putting on hand on your chest (it shouldn't move) and one on your tummy. Does that feel difficult?

We are designed to take a breath in using the muscles of the diaphragm primarily (just  above your tummy) and the muscles between the ribs and above the shoulders should only get involved when we are exercising hard. 

Retraining to breath in the way we are designed will help every cell in your body work better.

Spend 5 minutes every day, lying on your back with your knees bent, just breathing in and out through your nose (or through pursed lips), just from your tummy. 

It is worth writing down a small record of all the little niggles, like back and joint pain, headache, before you start doing this, revisit this list each week and check off any that aren't there any more - you'll be surprised!

Damien Clements - Integrated Health Practitioner

Thursday 1 March 2012

It’s Self-Injury Awareness Day...

Not many people know that, as well as being St David’s day, March the 1st, is Self-Injury Awareness Day. The chances are that you know somebody who self-harms or has done so in the past, whether you are aware of it or not.
Self-harm can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, religion, race and culture - it is certainly not something that only affects teenage girls.
Statistics show that around 1 per cent of the population self-harm, with women more likely to do so than men. Recent British research suggests that 1 in 10 teenagers have self-injured, although it is important to remember that people who self-harm can be of all ages and do come from all walks of life

What is self-injury?

Self-injury, also often called self-harm, can be described as an act of non-suicidal, yet very deliberate damage against oneself. This is often done in order to cope with an overwhelming situation or emotion. It is not usually just a one off occurrence, but a repeated and regular behaviour. People who self-harm use many different ways to injure themselves: cutting and burning tend to be the most common forms of self-harm, but there are many others, too. Some people will deliberately hit their head; they might scratch or pick their skin, bite themselves, pull their own hair, interfere with wound healing, or they might use asphyxiation or take poisonous substances without suicidal intent. Not all self-injury results in physical marks or scars. Also, the physical severity of the injury does not usually relate to the amount of emotional distress that a person is in, although often an individual’s self-harming can become worse over time.

Why do people self-harm?

Although self-injury as such is not suicidal behaviour, it can lead to hospitalisation or in extreme cases, even death. Also, self-harming is not a condition in itself, but it is usually a symptom of underlying issues and it can also often be an indicator for other underlying mental health problems, such as depression. This doesn’t mean that people who suffer from depression self-harm, it tends to be the other way round: we know that people who self-harm are usually more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and lower self-esteem than those who do not. As mentioned earlier, self-injury as such doesn’t usually start out as suicidal behaviour, however, it may lead to future suicidal thinking and some people who self-injure may indeed go on to attempt suicide in the future.

People self-harm for a variety of reasons, which are as varied as people themselves. Very often however, people who self-harm say that they do so in order to release tension and to cope with emotional trauma and overwhelming psychological pain. Some people state that they self-harm out of the need to gain control over painful emotions or situations where they feel very much out of control. Yet others report that they self-harm as a form self-punishment. In either case, it is impossible to generalise the reasons why people self-injure, and often the reasons and their behaviour can also change over time.

How can you help somebody who self-harms?

If you know somebody who self-harms, remember to treat them with the same kind of respect and compassion you would have for anybody else who is going through an emotionally difficult time.
Remember that self-injury is often a coping mechanism that people use to deal with emotional stress; it is not just a means of acting out or attention seeking and because of this, people cannot just stop self-injuring until they have alternative coping mechanisms in place. The road to recovery can be a very long and difficult one, and telling someone to stop self-injuring or asking them to make promises will most likely only make things worse.

How can counselling and psychotherapy help?

A good first step can often be to initially find an alternative to a person’s current behaviour that isn’t as physically damaging as the current one. For example, sometimes people who have previously cut themselves start using rubber bands to snap at their skin; this of course is only the substitution of one painful action for another and as such doesn’t achieve much. However, as the sessions progress, therapy can uncover the reasons as to why a person self-harms and teach them different ways of coping with a specific emotion or situation instead. Even where a person has been self-harming for years, therapy is usually immensely successful and can very soon lead a person to take the small steps necessary to change how they have so far been dealing with their difficulties.
Also, remember that if a family member or loved one self-harms, you might find it beneficial to talk to a therapist yourself to help you better cope with the situation.

About the author:

Christine Schneider is BACP accredited and UKRCP registered independent counsellor and psychotherapist, providing therapy for individuals, couples, families and small groups. She also provides supervision services for other counsellors, therapists and those in the caring professions.
Christine works mainly in private practice at The Therapy Room on Oxford Road in Cambridge and also provides corporate services as well as online and telephone counselling via Cambridge Therapy Centre. In order to book an appointment either contact reception at the Therapy Room, or if you would like to talk to Christine directly, please go to

Which Therapy is best for YOU?

Don't know who to see? Need guidance?

Book a free consultation with one of our fully qualified Integrated Health Consultants.Choosing a therapy that is best for you is never easy. That's why here at The Therapy Room we take an integrated and holistic approach.With a broad range of different therapies available we are able to discuss and then offer advice before mutually agreeing the best course of treatment.

For more information or to book a free consultation with one of our Integrated Health Consultants call us on 01223 314500 or email [email protected]

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Focus on Liina..........

Liina specialises in body-mind therapy. Body-mind therapy helps you to become more aware of your own body. Together we can uncover reasons why some tensions have tendencies to repeat themselves. Your body never lies so it can be an effective guide to start healing yourself.

Liina uses shiatsu, reflexology, counselling, psychotherapy and hypnotherapy to help people with a range of ailments achieve a better quality of life.

If you would like to book a free 15min consultation with Liina or any other therapist at The Therapy Room please contact us:

01223 315400
[email protected]

Monday 27 February 2012

Thinking yourself healthy? Life Principle 1 - Thoughts

Can the way you think influence your health? Well most of us would agree that if you don't feel happy then it often gives us a headache or tiredness, or tummy ache or some other symptom, and most people would also agree that happiness has something to do with what is going on in our brains - the way we think. So perhaps we all agree, and hynotherapists tap into this. This is actually backed up with quite a lot of research, which is easy to find if you 'google it'.

Wellness (health) is an integration of body, mind and spirit;
Awareness that everything that we 
"think, feel, do" and "say, believe, value" 
impact on our overall state of health and wellness.

Anything that helps  build our awareness of thoughts that enter our head (we have 65000 per day according to Dr Deepak Chopra), and our ability to hang onto only the thoughts that serve us, will help us in any health goal.

Should do, can't, ought to, I'm not good enough, I don't deserve, and many others, are examples of thoughts that may be repeated in your mind over and over, reinforcing themselves. Think how this influences what you do, how much time you spend with yourself for yourself, thinking and feeling what you eat or drink, the relationships you choose. 

This week be aware of when you say or think these things, and stop and say the opposite -
I'm not good enough - I'm good enough.
I don't deserve - I deserve...

It will be a small step, but great journeys start this way..

Tune in next week to see how Breathing influences our health in so many ways..

Wednesday 22 February 2012

The six life principles for health and happiness

Our health comes down to a combination of actions associated with the 6 life principles that we do everyday without being very conscious of them. These principles are the foundation for our health. Doing them poorly over long periods of time results in lack of health, vitality, energy, self-esteem, image and eventually disease. Improving any or all of these will significantly improve health and vitality for us.

I will be covering one principle per week, and offering my insight into how it has worked for me and my clients, and how it can work for you, with practical tips you can use to help yourself.

Next week will begin with how our thoughts or our mind powerfully oversee our health.

How often do you think about what your body does for you, and what messages it is telling you, spend 5 minutes this week, in a quiet place and focus on your body - is there an ache, tension, discomfort, weakness, soreness? Write them down on a piece of paper - this will be very useful to refer back to when we start looking at the 6 life principles.

Damien Clements Integrate Health Practitioner

Monday 13 February 2012

"Home fever" is the new hay fever...

Our homes are a huge source of pollution, and are contributing to making us sick, from outgasing from carpets, curtains, paint, heating systems, dust, household cleaners, but the newest threat is from unseen EMG radiation from WiFi, DECT phones, mobile phone masts. They weaken the systems in our body and leave us open to many  Read more here..

But what can we do about it?
Well here are a few tips -
1. Wire your internet access in your home, and switch of WiFi.

2. Get some house plants that mop up, our household pollution. Pick from some of these - AGLAONEMA treubii - Chinese Evergreen, CHLORPHYTUM comosum Vittatum - Spider or Airplane plants, Dracaena deremensis (Janet Craig), DRACAENA fragens - Cornplant, DRACAENA marginata, Epipremnum aureum (Devil's Ivy), FICUS benjamina - Weeping Fig, HEDERA helix - Engligh Ivy, Howea forsteriana (Kentia Palm), NEPHROLEPIS ex. Bostoniensis - Boston Fern, ORCHIDACEAE - Orchid, PHILODENDRONS, especially oxycardium - Heart-leaf, PHOENIX roebelenii - Dwarf/Pigmy Date Palm, SYNGONIUM podophyllum - Arrowhead plant, SANSEVIERIA, SCINDAPSUS aureus - Devil's Ivy, including Silver Pothos, Pothos Gold and Pothos Marble Queen, and SPATHIPHYLLUM clevelandii - Peace-lilly, White Flag.

  • 3. Get an airtube headset for talking on your mobile phone. Do a search on Google for a selection of options.

    4. For more advice book a free consultation at The Therapy Room here

    Monday 6 February 2012

    LOAF for LIFE - your new source for real bread in Cambridge

    LOAF for LIFE joins first fifty bakeries using The Real Bread Loaf Mark

    Cambridge Home Bakery ‘LOAF for LIFE’ is one of the first fifty bakeries around Britain to adopt The Real Bread Loaf Mark since it was launched in September 2011 by Real Bread Campaign ambassadors, and renowned Real Bread bakers, Tom Herbert and Andrew Whitley.

    The Loaf Mark offers an at-a-glance assurance from a baker that a loaf was made without the use of any processing aids or other artificial additives.

    Dr. Peter Voshol said: ‘I started to bake Sourdough breads for fun and hobby. After many enthusiastic responses and my own enjoyment I applied for Home-Bakery status. All of the loaves I bake are what the Campaign calls Real Bread. The Loaf Mark makes it easy for people to see that I am baking an honest crust.’

    Real Bread Campaign co-ordinator Chris Young added: ‘It’s great that LOAF for LIFE is one of the first (home) bakeries in the country to sign up to the scheme. We still call for an Honest Crust Act that requires all bakers to declare everything that goes into a loaf, but for now The Loaf Mark is a quick guide to additive-free loaves.’

    A survey carried out by Toluna for the Campaign found that more than 70% of Britons believe it’s unacceptable that an ingredient/additives list doesn’t have to be displayed for unwrapped loaves, and that processing aids don’t have to appear on any ingredients list. It also found that 85% of people said they thought a mark to show a loaf was additive-free would be useful.

    Any baker can use The Real Bread Loaf Mark by signing an annual agreement that he/she will only use it to promote loaves made without the use of any processing aids or other artificial additives. The annual fee varies depending on the scale of the business, but for example it is only £10 for Campaign members running the smallest homebakeries; and for others it is included in the Campaign membership fee. The scheme is also open to non-members. Full details of The Loaf Mark scheme can be found at

    Home Bakery ‘LOAF for LIVE’ started February 1st 2012 baking Real Bread and specializes in sourdough breads to sell locally. Peter uses organic certified flour from the local Foster’s Windmill in Swaffham Prior.

    The Real Bread Campaign is Part of the charity Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, and is funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Local Food programme. Membership of the Real Bread Campaign is open to everyone who cares about the state of bread in Britain, and any bakery can add additive-free loaves to the Campaign’s online Real Bread Finder directory.

    For more information please contact Peter Voshol: [email protected]

    February 3rd 2012

    Friday 3 February 2012

    Sugar should be controlled like alcohol...

    ScienceDaily (Feb. 1, 2012) — Sugar should be controlled like alcohol and tobacco to protect public health, according to a team of UCSF researchers, who maintain in a new report that sugar is fueling a global obesity pandemic, contributing to 35 million deaths annually worldwide from non-communicable diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
    See Also:
    Health & Medicine
    Non-communicable diseases now pose a greater health burden worldwide than infectious diseases, according to the United Nations. In the United States, 75 percent of health care dollars are spent treating these diseases and their associated disabilities.
    In the Feb. 2 issue of Nature, Robert Lustig MD, Laura Schmidt PhD, MSW, MPH, and Claire Brindis, DPH, colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), argue that sugar's potential for abuse, coupled with its toxicity and pervasiveness in the Western diet make it a primary culprit of this worldwide health crisis.
    This partnership of scientists trained in endocrinology, sociology and public health took a new look at the accumulating scientific evidence on sugar. Such interdisciplinary liaisons underscore the power of academic health sciences institutions like UCSF.
    Sugar, they argue, is far from just "empty calories" that make people fat. At the levels consumed by most Americans, sugar changes metabolism, raises blood pressure, critically alters the signaling of hormones and causes significant damage to the liver -- the least understood of sugar's damages. These health hazards largely mirror the effects of drinking too much alcohol, which they point out in their commentary is the distillation of sugar.
    Worldwide consumption of sugar has tripled during the past 50 years and is viewed as a key cause of the obesity epidemic. But obesity, Lustig, Schmidt and Brindis argue, may just be a marker for the damage caused by the toxic effects of too much sugar. This would help explain why 40 percent of people with metabolic syndrome -- the key metabolic changes that lead to diabetes, heart disease and cancer -- are not clinically obese.
    "As long as the public thinks that sugar is just 'empty calories,' we have no chance in solving this," said Lustig, a professor of pediatrics, in the division of endocrinology at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital and director of the Weight Assessment for Teen and Child Health (WATCH) Program at UCSF.
    "There are good calories and bad calories, just as there are good fats and bad fats, good amino acids and bad amino acids, good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates," Lustig said. "But sugar is toxic beyond its calories."
    Limiting the consumption of sugar has challenges beyond educating people about its potential toxicity. "We recognize that there are cultural and celebratory aspects of sugar," said Brindis, director of UCSF's Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies. "Changing these patterns is very complicated"
    According to Brindis, effective interventions can't rely solely on individual change, but instead on environmental and community-wide solutions, similar to what has occurred with alcohol and tobacco, that increase the likelihood of success.
    The authors argue for society to shift away from high sugar consumption, the public must be better informed about the emerging science on sugar.
    "There is an enormous gap between what we know from science and what we practice in reality," said Schmidt, professor of health policy at UCSF's Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies (IHPS) and co-chair of UCSF's Clinical and Translational Science Institute's (CTSI) Community Engagement and Health Policy Program, which focuses on alcohol and addiction research.
    "In order to move the health needle, this issue needs to be recognized as a fundamental concern at the global level," she said.
    The paper was made possible with funding from UCSF's Clinical and Translational Science Institute, UCSF's National Institutes of Health-funded program that helps accelerate clinical and translational research through interdisciplinary, interprofessional and transdisciplinary work.
    Many of the interventions that have reduced alcohol and tobacco consumption can be models for addressing the sugar problem, such as levying special sales taxes, controlling access, and tightening licensing requirements on vending machines and snack bars that sell high sugar products in schools and workplaces.
    "We're not talking prohibition," Schmidt said. "We're not advocating a major imposition of the government into people's lives. We're talking about gentle ways to make sugar consumption slightly less convenient, thereby moving people away from the concentrated dose. What we want is to actually increase people's choices by making foods that aren't loaded with sugar comparatively easier and cheaper to get."

    For more information and a free consultation click here

    Immune Boosting tip no 6 - beat that Cold

    Blow your nose often - but the right way. Regularly blowing your nose avoids mucous from being sniffed back into the head. But avoid blowing hard, as the pressure can push the infected mucous back into the sinuses, increasing congestion and prolonging the cold; or into the ear canals, causing earache. 

     Staying warm and resting when you first come down with a cold or the flu helps the body to focus its energy on upregulating the immune system.

    Gargling can moisten a sore throat and bring temporary relief. Try a teaspoon of salt dissolved in warm water, four times daily. An astringent gargle, such as tea (which contains tannins) will tighten the membranes and reduce an irritating tickle in the throat. Or use a thick, viscous gargle made with honey, sage and cayenne pepper all of which are slightly antibacterial or antiseptic. Steep fresh sage leaves with the cayenne in 100 ml of just boiled water for 10 minutes. Add about 50 ml of honey; you can also add a pinch of salt and some cider vinegar to help loosen mucous. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before gargling.

    Hot liquids relieve nasal congestion, prevent dehydration and soothe the uncomfortably inflamed membranes of the nose and throat.
     Steamy showers moisturise the nasal passages and generally relax the body.

    A small dab of mentholated cream under the nose can open breathing passages and help restore the irritated skin at the base of the nose. Menthol, eucalyptus and camphor all have mild numbing ingredients that may help relieve the pain of a nose rubbed raw.

    Sleeping with an extra pillow under the head will help relieve congested nasal passages.

    Don't fly unless it is absolutely necessary.  The change in air pressure will increase the stress on the upper respiratory system and may temporarily damage your eardrums. 
    For more information and a free consultation click here

    Wednesday 1 February 2012

    Carrots: The Natural Aspirin?

    Studies show that carrots are a rich source of natural salicylates.

    You know that aspirin is salicylic acid, commonly used for any type of inflammation.

    The study showed that vegetarians have serum concentrations of salicylic acid as high as those of people ingesting 75 mg of aspirin a day, the amount in half of a baby aspirin.

    Monday 30 January 2012

    Accumulating 'microplastic' thread to shores

    By Mark Kinver

    Environment reporter, BBC News

    Concentrations of microplastic were greatest near coastal urban areas, the study showed Continue reading the main story
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    Microscopic plastic debris from washing clothes is accumulating in the marine environment and could be entering the food chain, a study has warned.

    Researchers traced the "microplastic" back to synthetic clothes, which released up to 1,900 tiny fibres per garment every time they were washed.

    Earlier research showed plastic smaller than 1mm were being eaten by animals and getting into the food chain.

    The findings appeared in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

    "Research we had done before... showed that when we looked at all the bits of plastic in the environment, about 80% was made up from smaller bits of plastic," said co-author Mark Browne, an ecologist now based at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

    "This really led us to the idea of what sorts of plastic are there and where did they come from."

    Dr Browne, a member of the US-based research network National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, said the tiny plastic was a concern because evidence showed that it was making its way into the food chain.

    "Once the plastics had been eaten, it transferred from [the animals'] stomachs to their circulation system and actually accumulated in their cells," he told BBC News.

    In order to identify how widespread the presence of microplastic was on shorelines, the team took samples from 18 beaches around the globe, including the UK, India and Singapore.

    "We found that there was no sample from around the world that did not contain pieces of microplastic."

    The smallest fibres could end up causing huge problems worldwide
    Dr Browne added: "Most of the plastic seemed to be fibrous.

    "When we looked at the different types of polymers we were finding, we were finding that polyester, acrylic and polyamides (nylon) were the major ones that we were finding."

    The data also showed that the concentration of microplastic was greatest in areas near large urban centres.

    In order to test the idea that sewerage discharges were the source of the plastic discharges, the team worked with a local authority in New South Wales, Australia.

    "We found exactly the same proportion of plastics," Dr Browne revealed, which led the team to conclude that their suspicions had been correct.

    As a result, Dr Browne his colleague Professor Richard Thompson from the University of Plymouth, UK carried out a number of experiments to see what fibres were contained in the water discharge from washing machines.

    "We were quite surprised. Some polyester garments released more than 1,900 fibres per garment, per wash," Dr Browne observed.

    "It may not sound like an awful lot, but if that is from a single item from a single wash, it shows how things can build up.

    "It suggests to us that a large proportion of the fibres we were finding in the environment, in the strongest evidence yet, was derived from the sewerage as a consequence from washing clothes."