Acorn Health Blog

Acorn Health Blog

What we love is great health...

...and we like to write about how we can all achieve better health, naturally. Sometimes tips on how you can DIY to better health and sometimes on the therapies that can make a difference to you, your health and wellbeing.
Thank you for reading, We hope you enjoy :)

What really is Nutritional Therapy?

TherapiesPosted by Little Acorn Sun, September 11, 2016 09:02PM

By Helen Duffy - Nutritional Therapist

Hello! My name is Helen and I am a fully qualified Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist. I trained for three years with the College of Naturopathic Medicine in London and Birmingham and am registered with BANT (British Association of Nutritional Therapists) and the CNHC (Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council) who assure that all their members are well trained, qualified and insured.

So what is Naturopathic Nutritional Therapy and how could it help me?

Some people simply want to check that they are on the right track with healthy eating, a kind of 'nutrition MOT' if you like, but most people I see want help with a particular condition or symptoms.

As a Nutritional Therapist, I recognise that each person is an individual with unique requirements and histories. This means that I take the time to explore your current and past health and lifestyle in order to define a personalised nutrition plan designed exactly for you and what you want to achieve rather than a 'one size fits all' approach.

Nutrition has to be one of the main elements, along with our genes and environment, that determines how our bodies will cope in the world we live in. You often hear the phrase 'You are what you eat' and, absolutely, this is so true in many situations. However, there is maybe, a more accurate phrase 'You are what you absorb' as many people can seem to eat nutritious, healthful foods, yet still something isn't quite right. Maybe they still lack energy, still find it difficult to lose weight, still have that annoying PMS each month, still have blood pressure a little bit too high or achy joints in the morning. This may be that regardless of how much nutritious good food you are eating, if your body isn't able to do something with all that goodness, it's just passing straight on through (if you know what I mean!).

In a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapy consultation we look beyond a person's set of symptoms to find the underlying imbalance in the body which is preventing the person from feeling their best. On many occasions, this may lead back to the person's gut and poor absorption of nutrients due to years of prescription medication, stress or inappropriate food choices, to name a few. Nutritional Therapy works with a person (often alongside their GP and current meds) to rebalance and optimise the body systems in order to achieve health and vitality.

What happens in a consultation?

An initial consultation lasts about an hour and during this time I will need to know as much about your current and past health and lifestyle as possible. We will then identify goals that you would like to work on and agree how much you are prepared to change in your current nutrition habits and lifestyle. I will then develop a personalised plan focussing on these areas which will be sent to you 48 hours after your consultation. There may be some short term nutritional supplements or functional testing recommended so that we can really pinpoint exactly what is going on inside you body and therefore focus your plan more precisely. Most people will work with their plan for 4-6 weeks and then return for a follow-up appointment to see what progress has been made or address any difficulties that have arisen. One important point to make here is that your plan won't necessarily be about eating less of all the things that you love, it will be about eating better and allowing your body to experience the health and vitality that comes from feeding each and every cell in your body exactly what it needs.

As Hippocrates said, 'Let food by thy medicine; let medicine be thy food.' Your body will thank you for it :-)

For a FREE 15 minute chat to find out how Nutritional Therapy could help you, contact Acorn or email

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Everything you wanted to know about Indian Head Massage

TherapiesPosted by Little Acorn Mon, May 23, 2016 10:38PM

Indian Head Massage – a wonderful treatment in its own right

This is a wonderfully relaxing massage treatment in a class all of it’s own!

The client is comfortably seated in a low-backed chair for this massage, which makes it perfect for the less able-bodied amongst us.

And it can be with or without massage oils making it ideal for home visits or the workplace, as well as the treatment room.

It provides a wealth of physical and psychological benefits .. and you needn’t go all the way to India for one either!

So what is it?

Indian Head Massage (or “Champissage”) combines stimulation of acupressure points with a wonderful range of relaxing massage moves to release stress that has accumulated in the tissues, muscles and joints of the neck, shoulders, upper back, arms, neck, face, and scalp.

What are its origins?

Indian Head Massage has derived from the ancient Ayurvedic healing system and dates back more than 4,000 years. The art is still passed down the generations by Indian women today, being taught to children so that they can return the favour to their parents and other relatives!

In the West, Indian Head Massage has been adapted to help eliminate stress and tension in our hectic lives, and will usually combine both traditional Indian and western massage techniques.

It is a true “holistic” treatment as it can be applied purely for deep relaxation, or from a healing approach involving work on the energy centres referred to as chakras.

An Indian Head Massage is carried out as a separate treatment in its own right, yet can also be combined with other treatments and is often used alongside conventional care in hospices, hospitals and other healthcare settings.

What are the benefits?

* Gently relieves muscular stiffness and tension

* Helps you let stress and anxiety melt softly away

* Can help relieve depression, and improve concentration

* Lifts the emotions and helps you feel deeply calm and peaceful

* Can help release endorphins to help with positive thinking

* Promotes deeper, calmer breathing

* Aids relief from tension headaches, eyestrain and migraines.

* Softens and nourishes the skin and assists healthier hair

* Stimulates circulation and lymph drainage aiding elimination of toxins and odema
* Can helps relieve sinus congestion and headaches

* Assists deep, peaceful sleep

Can everyone enjoy and Indian Head Massage?

There are certain conditions where you should avoid massage e.g. epilepsy, certain heart conditions, contagious skin diseases or if you have had recent surgery. A full consultation will take place prior to your treatment, which will provide me with the opportunity to ensure massage is right for you. However, if in any doubt, please talk to your doctor before arranging a treatment.

What happens in a treatment?

The client is seated on a low-backed chair for Indian Head Massage, making it ideal for the less able bodied client. As a treatment couch is not essential, it is also suitable for treatments at home or in the workplace. (Contact Eileen for more information on arranging office/home treatments)

An Indian Head Massage can be carried out either with or without massage oils. Without oils, the client can remain fully clothed, wearing a loose-fitting, comfortable tee-shirt or something similar.

When oils are used, the client removes upper outer-clothing and a large towel wrapped around to ensure modesty. Oils help ensure a smoother massage and a range of beautifully aromatic, blended oils are available to help enhance your massage experience.

A full Indian Head Massage lasts around 40 minutes, but do allow a full hour for your appointment so you can take time after your massage session to drink a glass of water whilst you sit quietly, gently bring your awareness fully back to the present.

Shorter taster sessions are also available if you’d like to come along and give it a try for the first time. Contact Acorn for details on latest Taster Session offers!


Some clients can feel extremely tired or slightly dizzy after treatment, so it is essential to arrange your Indian Head Massage for a time when you can return to a relaxing environment afterwards and keep warm, as massage reduces your blood pressure. Drinking plenty of water and avoiding caffeine/alcohol will help your body de-tox so you get maximum benefits from your treatment. You will receive full free aftercare advice following your treatment.

How many treatments do I need?

A single treatment will be deeply relaxing and beneficial for you and it can be tailored to provide an emphasis on specific areas of concern e.g. congested sinuses, stiff neck etc.

You can also include a regular monthly Indian Head Massage treatment as part of your own health and wellbeing regime.

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Massage - Can it really help me?

TherapiesPosted by Little Acorn Mon, May 09, 2016 05:00PM

By Maz Harvey

The term massage encompasses a large and varied number of techniques and approaches.
Massage in its simplest form entails any hands on techniques involving stroking, rubbing, lifting and squeezing of the tissues with or without a skin lubricant. More advanced forms of techniques practiced under the umbrella term of massage include techniques used by Physiotherapists, Osteopaths, Chiropractors and even Acupuncturists.

I believe the time is right for the massage bodies / authorities to distinguish between the various forms of massage so as to enable the public to know which type of massage practitioner to go to for treatment. A simple split may be Spa massage and Clinical massage?

Who can benefit from massage and what can it treat?

The answer to this question would fill a very long blog post so I will give a few random examples of who / what I have treated this week.

I have helped a lady recovering from a stroke, a more mature gent struggling with a thigh problem that was keeping him awake at night and 'more importantly' stopping him play golf, a G.P. with a painful neck, a talented teenage footballer desperate to play in a final this weekend, another mature gent still turning out to play veterans football and several neck and shoulder problems, some with related headaches and some with related nerve sensations down the arm.

As you can see 'Massage' can help with many types of soft tissue, joint and nerve pain. It may well take several sessions to get to the root of the problem and it may involve lifestyle changes by the client but don't underestimate the potential effectiveness of massage.

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5 things you wanted to know about Reiki but were afraid to ask...

TherapiesPosted by Little Acorn Sun, February 28, 2016 07:50PM

By Anne Marie Allen

What is it?

Reiki is a Japanese form of hands on energy healing which helps your body to release stress and tension by creating a state of deep relaxation. By creating this state, Reiki helps your body to heal and balance and clear any negative or blocked energy, boosting your body's energy levels, restoring harmony and feelings of wellbeing.

So, what does it do?

Reiki gets to work on the areas that your body needs the most, including;
*Promoting health & wellbeing
*Pain management
*Helps to reduce stress and tension
*Promotes feelings of peace, serenity and wellbeing
*Enhances any medical and complimentary treatments you may be receiving
*Helps to relieve and eliminate the side effects of conventional medical treatment, such as chemotherapy.
*Helps with post operative healing
*Encourages mental clarity
*Relieved symptoms of stress and tension
*Calms the mind and emotions, relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety
*Improves sleep quality
*Soothes digestion
*Strengthens self esteem
*Heightens self awareness and intuition
*Helps to balance emotions

What will it feel like?

Often during a Reiki session, people report feeling;
Pins and needles
Energy moving in their body
Deep sense of peace & relaxation
Feeling of floating

So what happens during a Reiki treatment?

During your first Reiki session, there will be a short consultation where we will have a chat and you'll have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.
After the consultation, you'll be taken over to the comfortable treatment bed, where you'll be asked to take your shoes off and lie fully clothed under a wonderfully soft blanket. The lights will be dimmed and soft music will be played, whilst you lie back and relax.
Through a series of light, non invasive touches, I will channel the energy through myself and into you.
After your treatment, you'll be offered a glass of water, whilst we have a chat about how your treatment went.

Do I have to believe in Reiki for it to work?

Reiki is not a religion and is not based on any religion, although the energy is spiritual in nature. You do not need to believe in Reiki for it to work, but you do need to be willing and open to it working.

If you'd like to try Reiki for yourself, you can take advantage of the special offer for March.
For the whole of March, I am offering thirty minute Reiki taster sessions for just £15!

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