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Short Features and Brief Takes Issue 223

by Cherry Coad Aldridge(more info)

listed in product news, originally published in issue 223 - July 2015

Liposomal Nutrients Achieve Enhanced Bioavailability

Vitamin C, Alpha Lipoic Acid and Glutathione are important antioxidants that are essential.  Obtaining high levels of these antioxidants in the body is a well-recognized way of maintaining health. Unfortunately they all suffer from either low bioavailability and or peak very quickly after supplementation. Either they don´t get there or are gone before being utilized!  One solution is to deliver them intravenously; however this is hardly practical for daily use.  So how can you achieve higher levels of these antioxidants orally?

The answer is liposomal technology. Liposomes are bilayer, liquid-filled bubbles made from phospholipids. Developed in the UK over 50 years ago, researchers discovered that these spheres could be filled with therapeutic agents and used to protect and deliver these agents into the body and even into specific cells of the body.  It was not until some 40 years later that this technology was applied to vitamins by LivOn Labs producing Altrient C.

Abundance and Health Banner

Ordinarily when vitamin C enters the bloodstream, an active transport process is needed for the nutrient to move across any cellular membrane. This process can be just as restrictive as the one that initially limited the nutrient's entrance into the bloodstream. Much of the vitamin C that is not actively transported into the cells will be filtered out by the kidneys. What makes liposomes effective is that they overcome all these bioavailability and cellular uptake restrictions as they do not rely on an active transport system. Rather, due to their size and composition, they are able to be passively absorbed through the intestinal wall and through cellular membranes. As a result, liposome-encapsulated nutrients such as Altrient C provide a greatly enhanced bioavailability and greatly improved delivery into individual cells.

A recent double blind placebo controlled clinical trial conducted by Princeton Consumer Research Limited[1] on Altrient C, provides good evidence as to how effectively the liposomes in Altrient C are at delivering vitamin C to cells for the synthesis of collagen. Collagen is one of the body’s most abundant proteins, an essential component of the connective tissue that holds skin together, as well as being responsible for the skin's suppleness and elasticity. So skin elasticity increases if more vitamin C is delivered to cells.

In the study, three groups of participants took either three Altrient C, one Altrient C or the placebo over a four month period, during which time their skin elasticity was measured.  100% of those taking three Altrient C a day saw a 61% increase in skin elasticity over the entire body.  Those taking one Altrient C had a 35% increase, whilst the placebo saw no change. If you are looking for truly effective, clinically proven, oral antioxidants then Altrient liposomal is the answer.


1. Double-Blind, Home-Use Study in Approximately 45 Healthy Volunteers with Ageing, Non-Firm Skin to Assess the Efficacy of Different Treatment Dosages of a Vitamin C Dietary Supplement Compared to a Placebo Control Group. 31 Dec 2014.

Further Information

Please contact Abundance and Health on Tel: 020 3239 4907;


International Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy Celebrating 10 Years Publication

In 2014 the International Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy  - - celebrated 10 years of publication with three important changes to the journal’s administration.

International Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy Celebrating 10 Years Publication

  1. The appointment of Gabriel Mojay as Associate Editor, working alongside Editor-in-Chief Rhiannon Lewis. Gabriel’s long and highly-respected contribution to the international aromatherapy community coupled with his honed editorial skills add to the journal’s reputation as the leading clinical aromatherapy publication worldwide;
  2. The journal has transitioned to an e-journal format, with all issues from 2014 being available online. Subscribers may still obtain past issues (pre-2014) in hard copy format;
  3. The IJCA Editorial Board has been revised and expanded comprising experts in their respective fields. This specialist panel works actively to source papers and to support the journal through the peer review process.

What’s more, the journal’s transition to e-format has been combined with a fresh journal image and layout to better reflect the journal’s professional style and engaging content.

Published twice a year (June and December), each issue of the IJCA remains centred around themes of clinical relevance for aromatherapy practitioners. Elderly care and the ageing process with its impact on the body-mind are the current themes for 2015. Research papers, evidence-based articles, case reports, book reviews and service reports all serve to provide depth of information and clinical insight into the chosen themes.

The IJCA together with Essential Oil Resource Consultants is also host of the highly successful botanica conference series, with botanica2016 being held at Sussex University, Brighton, 2-5th September 2016:

Further Information

As well as journal subscriptions to the IJCA, the full Conference Proceedings of both botanica2012 and botanica2014 are available for purchase. Readers of Positive Health PH Online are entitled to a 25% discount of these proceedings if both are ordered together. Please contact Rhiannon Lewis for details of how to unlock your special Positive Health PH Online  discount -


Beyond the Brain XI -  Free Spirits or Determined Machines?

Beyond the Brain Conference

Date: 21st - 23rdd August 2015
Place:  Latimer Place, Chesham
Time: 6.00pm on Friday to 4.00pm on Sunday

Event type: Residential Conference

Category: Beyond the Brain

Speaker(s): Dr. Alison Armstrong, Dr Ulisse di Corpo and Dr Antonella Vannini, Prof Richard Davidson (Skype), Prof Alfred Mele, Nura Sidarus and Prof Richard Silberstein

2015 celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the interdisciplinary Beyond the Brain conferences, initiated with Willis Harman and Edgar Mitchell of the Institute of Noetic Sciences at St John’s College, Cambridge in 1995. Over the years we have covered a wide range of topics and the focus this year is on neuroscience and free will. Do you think you are free? Most of us do, but the mechanistic view of science and some experiments in neuroscience question this view. Our speakers, some of whom are coming especially from Australia, the US and Italy, will share their insights from philosophy, neuroscience, psychology and mindfulness studies.

Speakers will provide practical reflections and exercises along with a sharing of their expertise. There will be optional meditation and movement in the morning, time for small group exchanges and optional workshop sessions after lunch on Saturday and Sunday.

Further Information


Seaweed for Health - Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

5th and 6th September 2015 

The 3rd annual Seaweed Health Foundation event. After the success of the previous two gatherings this event is sure provide an exciting insight into all aspects of seaweed and it’s many uses.

Seaweed for Health Edinburgh

This free event includes exhibits by seaweed producers and the companies who use Scottish seaweed in their products.

There will be talks on nutrition, foraging and food, showing how Scottish seaweeds are being harvested and used as ingredients in food and nutrition products and exported to more than a dozen countries.

Discover all the wonders of sustainably harvested Scottish seaweed including opportunities to touch and taste the different species and find out, amongst other things, the many ways in which they can enrich your diet.

Further Information

For further information please visit Download the flyer at


Hawkwood College Residential De-Tox and Summer Restival

Sometimes less is more and Judy Barber  is convinced that a light, mainly raw food diet is ideal for our health and well-being.

“I discovered ‘Raw and Living Foods’ in 2008. I went on to train at the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida, USA. It was magic watching many people getting better in a short time, some from very serious illnesses, and gaining in strength, energy and positivity,” says Judy.

Hawkwood College Short Feature 223


Soaking and sprouting seeds, nuts, grains, lentils and some beans makes them easier to digest and more nutritious. “Since 2008 I have been growing wheatgrass for juicing, juicing vegetables, sprouting foods, learning to make delicious raw meals that are at least as interesting and varied as any cooked food, making up my own recipes, and teaching others,” she says. Judy is running a two-day residential de-tox at Hawkwood 14-16 July:  

“In this line of work, I notice that people who make changes to their food and thereby health often find that their whole lives have to change. Relationships, occupation, how and where you live, values, goals… many aspects of life may need updating.  My experience in personal development supports these changes.”

Alongside Judy’s course, Hawkwood College offers a smorgasbord of courses in health and wellbeing, ranging from making your own organic skin products to a summer “rest-ival.” 

“The idea of the Restival came one summer when we realized that while everyone else was away on holiday or chilling at festivals, we were working hard! Rest and renewal is an unsung part of our programme, although the atmosphere here is already incredibly nourishing,” says Katie Lloyd-Nunn, Programme Manager. “So we now offer a four day summer retreat, where the emphasis is on un-doing, with a relaxed schedule and plenty of time outdoors, alone or with others in creative exercises of various kinds. 10-14 August Summer Rest-ival;  

Hawkwood is set in 42 acres of beautiful, tranquil grounds with lovely views and gardens.  All the meals are freshly cooked (or raw!) using the highest quality ingredients, locally sourced where possible.  Other wellbeing retreats include tai chi, dance, clowning, meditation, crystal healing, yoga, mindfulness and breath, voice work and sound healing. In addition a wide range of courses in art, crafts, music, nature and spirituality complete the year-long programme.

References - Books by Judy Barber

Good Question!: The Art of Asking Questions To Bring About Positive Change. 2005.

Good Raw Food Recipes - Delicious Raw and Living Food for Energy and Wellness. 2012.

Further Information

Please contact Hawkwood Collage Tel: 01453 759034;  


Embracing The Power Of Truth - Tools for Liberating Your heart

by Shavasti

Published by Findhorn Press. Distributed by Deep Books. 2015. Softback. £10.99.  ISBN: 978-1-84409-661-9.

“The power of truth will liberate your heart from everything you have been afraid of.”  Shavasti 

Embracing The Power Of Truth - Tools for Liberating Your heart

The candidly inspiring personal accounts shared by Shavasti, a seasoned and experienced healer and spiritual teacher, will not only inspire you, but also give you a doorway into simple but powerful truths that may have been eluding you. After years of being established as a healer and author, Shavasti suddenly finds himself with a gun to his head during a harrowing armed robbery experience. This book will take you on a very intimate journey with him as he discovers all of the pitfalls, illusions and delusions we can easily become trapped in on a path of personal and spiritual development;  he welcomes you to this journey of awakening.

“We now go back to 2007. I was sitting in front of my television, watching Oprah Winfrey, and just as she said the words, “And now for our next guest,” three armed men came into my living room.

“I spent the next hour or so tied up and blindfolded with a gun to my head frequently; it wasn’t there constantly throughout the entire ordeal, but the threat that they were going to kill me was very present.

“There was a critical and haunting moment during that entire experience in

which the gunman held the weapon to my temple and released the safety catch

and said, ‘I will kill you now’. That was, to say the least, a major turning point in

my life. It was in that moment that I truly understood the expression,  ‘and my

entire life flashed before me.’

“It was then that I heard a voice, and it was a voice that I’d heard once before.

For me, it was a very deep, male, masculine booming voice that called me by

name and said, ‘Do you want to live?’”

This newest work by Shavasti is filled with profound teachings and a level of candour that will invite you to meet yourself with both authenticity and compassion - aiding the longed for awakening of your very own heart. Shavasti has had many non-induced glimpses of the eternal; what he shares with you is all that he absolutely knows to be true through his experiences as a healer, meditator and explorer of consciousness as layers upon layer of defences fell away to reveal an ever awakening heart. Through his words, you will begin to remember that, above all things, you seek the peace that an awakened heart offers and that you long for the freedom to love as children do.

Shavasti is a healer and spiritual teacher with two decades of experience working with groups and individuals globally. His work spans many disciplines including Energy Medicine, Shamanism and Satsang. For more than a decade he has been considered an authority in the field of Family Constellations & Ancestral Healing. He has authored 4 books under the name of John L Payne.

Further Information

Available from Amazon:


Sprouts for Breakfast

Touted as a superfood for its high nutritional content, gluten free nature and a potential[1] to help lower cholesterol and body fat, buckwheat’s use has grown dramatically in the last few years. New research has revealed we may not be getting the most from the seeds unless we eat them after they’ve started to sprout however…

The research,[2] published in The Journal of Food Science, looked at what happened to the nutritional content of buckwheat seeds three days after they had started to germinate. They found that two natural substances increased significantly with sprouting; phenols and flavonoids.

This makes sense because phenols are essential for the growth and reproduction of plants and help protect them against attack, whilst flavonoids act as chemical messengers within plants to help with a number of processes, including flower pigmentation. In human terms, both phenols and flavonoids act as powerful anti-oxidants and help counter the damaging effects of oxygen free radicals, which are thought to be the main culprits behind a number of conditions, from skin aging to muscle damage.

Sprouts for Breakfast

So, if you’re looking to add buckwheat to your diet, make sure you opt for the sprouted variety for maximum benefits.

How to Ensure you get your Daily Dose of Sprouts

The Living Food Kitchen, leading providers of wholesome natural foods, have recently launched an exciting range of delicious Raw Buckwheat Granolas, made of course with sprouted buckwheat. The range includes three exciting flavours to tantalise your taste buds – apple and cinnamon, blueberry and banana, traditional (with a mix of seeds, currants and cacao) and cacao and vanilla. Packed full of taste and goodness the granolas are perfect for a snack, sprinkled on yoghurt or soaked in almond milk.

The Living Food Kitchen is about wholesome, natural, living food. Pure and simple.  As we all know, Nature provides us with the nuts, seeds, grains, fruits and legumes our bodies need to thrive and we’re committed to bringing that goodness, just as it is, to you.   They may blend, squeeze, and juice them along the way but otherwise The Living Food Kitchen interfere very little with their raw ingredients to bring you great-tasting food, alive with nutritional values.


1.         Tomotake H1, Kayashita J, Kato N.  Hypolipidemic activity of common (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench) and tartary (Fagopyrumtataricum Gaertn.) buckwheat. J Sci Food Agric. Nov 3 2014.

2.         Zhang G1, Xu Z, Gao Y, Huang X, Zou Y, Yang TJ. Effects of Germination on the Nutritional Properties, Phenolic Profiles, and Antioxidant Activities of Buckwheat. Food Sci. Apr 9 2015.

Further Information

Gluten and dairy free and suitable for vegans and vegetarians, the full range of granolas are available from


Pulling Power - Coconut Oil

‘Oil pulling’ has become one of the latest health crazes to sweep the nation. Pulling involves swishing a mouthful of oil around your mouth for up to twenty minutes and then spitting it out.

A supposedly ancient holistic practice, pulling is claimed to have a range of health benefits and coconut oil is said to be one of the best oils to use because of its apparent anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial benefits. However, despite the growing popularity of the practice there has been little or no scientific evidence to show that it works…until now that is.

Coconoil - One of the Highest Quality Virgin Coconut Oils Available

A new study[1] has been published looking at the effect of oil pulling in 60 people. The study was carried out over a 30 day period and measured how using coconut oil for pulling effects the levels of plaque and plaque induced gingivitis (gum disease) in the mouth. The researchers found that by day 7 pulling with coconut oil had significantly reduced levels of plaque and gingivitis since the start of the study. They then observed that these levels continued to drop until the end of the study.

Which Coconut Oil to Pull With?

Coconoil is one of the highest quality virgin coconut oils available. Not only is the oil organic, ensuring there are no nasties in sight, but it is cold pressed, meaning coconut flesh effectively has the oil squeezed out of it - many other coconut oils are prepared using high heat, which can be detrimental to its taste and health benefits. It’s also high in lauric acid, which is the main active component of coconut oil and the sign of a quality product.

Furthermore, Coconoil also helps more than just the health of those using it. The brand was set up after the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami as a way to help rebuild the livelihoods of Sri Lankan farmers and today helps keep over 200 Sri Lankans in employment. The brand has also just started a new project with 200 smallholders from five villages in Ghana, and hope throughout 2015 they can replicate some of the success they have seen in Sri Lanka and help to create new jobs and income streams for those involved.


1.         Niger Med J. 2015 Mar-Apr;56(2):143-7. Effect of coconut oil in plaque related gingivitis - A preliminary report. Peedikayil FC1, Sreenivasan P2, Narayanan A3.

Further Information

For further details, or to buy, visit  or ask at your local independent health store.


The College of Āyurveda UK - Professional and Flexible Ayurvedic Courses

Ayurvedic Medicine

The hallmark of Ayurvedic medicine is that the individual and not the disease is the target of treatment.  In contrast to western medicine, Ayurveda views disease not as an enemy with which to grapple, but as a manifestation of the breakdown mechanisms that maintain control, resilience, and balance.  Dysfunction and disease are rarely organ-specific.  Rather, they are an altered systemic physiological malfunction that requires an integrated or holistic model of therapeutic intervention.

The College of Āyurveda UK - Professional and Flexible Ayurvedic Courses

The College of Āyurveda recognizes that a variety of educational formats are needed to meet the growing demands and different needs of the students.  The College pioneers an innovative blended-learning programme which is based on e-learning via internet downloads and class-room based tutorials.  We believe that this offers a wide variety of students the opportunity to learn Ayurveda at a distance and receive the same experience and credits similar to full-time education without sacrificing quality.  The College offers a three-year programme for Ayurvedic Herbal Therapists, with an additional year to qualify as an Ayurvedic Medical Practitioner, which includes two 6-weeks clinical practice in India.

The College’s Distance Learning programme is a revolutionary programme that integrates home schooling, classroom education (Fortnightly weekend tutorials) and one-to-one relationship with a Tutor who guides the students’ education.  Distance learning is available in all theory-related (academic) learning; however, attendance is mandatory for all practical and clinical training.  At the end of year 1 and 2, students will spend one week in Normandy, France, to gain hands-on experience in practical and diagnostic aspects of the curriculum and participate in group discussions. The course is designed so that at the end of year 1, the student can qualify in “Ayurvedic Therapeutic Massage” and at the end of year 2, based on practical and academic exams and submission of coursework, the student will be certified as an Ayurvedic Nutrition Therapist.

One of the reasons the CoA’s Distance Learning Programme is so successful is that it is a highly structured yet flexible programme.  This is not loosely-administered, open-ended programme that students may or may not complete.  Completion rates are very high because the CoA maintains the highest standards of education for this programme.  Students in the Distance Learning programme are held to the same standards as students in the classes, and will merge with our classroom-based students during the practical/internship programme in India at the end of years 3 and 4.

Further Information

For further details please contact Dr M Athique on Tel: 01908 664518;  


Dental Students Warn “ Look out for Hidden Sugar in Energy Drinks and Snacks

A team of dental students from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry have been working with sport students from the University of St. Mark and St. John, to raise awareness of the hidden dangers to teeth of sugary energy drinks and snacks. The project is part of the dental students’ Inter Professional Engagement scheme which is part of their studies, and which sees them interact with a variety of groups within the wider community. The IPE scheme is run by the Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise. The project comes at a time when charity Action on Sugar has called for the sale of energy drinks to children to be banned. The charity said energy drinks contained up to 78g of sugar per 500ml - more than three times the 25g limit for women proposed by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition.

Dental Students Warn “ Look out for Hidden Sugar in Energy Drinks and Snacks

Dental students present website on the dangers of hidden sugar in energy drinks and snacks

The dental students ran a series of activities with the sport students, culminating in an information stand in the main dining hall at the University of St. Mark and St. John.

Comments from sport students included: "I didn't realise changing how you drink a sports drink could reduce the effect on your teeth";  “I'm so shocked at the amount of sugar in those drinks, that's a lot - there should be more warning on the labels"; "It's great having this sort of information available as it's hard to find anywhere else.”

Lance Doggart, Head of Sports and Health Science at the University of St. Mark and St. John, said: "Oral health and hygiene education, specific to sports participants, has had relatively little coverage in the media or indeed within an academic research context. Although sports participants are aware of the nutritional and hydration requirements in order to perform in sport and exercise, manufacturers tend to 'sell' products on the performance benefits without considering the oral health aspects related to the product. In this aspect unless participants are made aware of the potential dangers of the content of sports drinks, nutritional bars and high energy foods then little or no progress can be made to protect them, or counter the negative outcomes, that result from their consumption. Clearly an educational program addressing this aspect, and raising awareness, is of vital importance for current and future generations participating in sport and exercise."

He added: “The project run by the dental students has been a real eye-opener to our sport students, as it has been apparent that they did not fully understand the potential risks of sports drinks on their oral health."

Further Information


Stroke patients recover arm use with virtual reality

Virtual reality could assist arm rehabilitation in some stroke patients, according to a clinical pilot study published in the open access Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation. The researchers found that using virtual reality to increase a patient’s confidence in using their paralyzed arm may be critical for recovery. Stroke patients with ‘hemiparesis’ - reduced muscle strength on one side of the body - often underuse their affected limbs even though they still have some motor function. Using their healthy limb may immediately improve the ease of their daily activities, but a long period of non-use of the affected ‘paretic’ limb can lead to further loss of function. This so-called ‘learned non-use’ is a well-known effect in stroke patients and has been associated with a reduced quality of life.

Stroke patients recover arm use with virtual reality

The small pilot study involved 20 hemiparetic stroke patients using the ‘Rehabilitation Gaming System’ with a Microsoft Kinect sensor. The system allows users to control a virtual body via their own movements, seen from a first-person perspective on a computer screen, with which they perform tasks in a virtual world. Participants were asked to reach targets appearing in a virtual environment over several blocks of trials. In some of these trials, the researchers enhanced the movement of the paretic limb’s virtual representation, making it appear faster, more accurate and easier to reach the target on screen. These amplifications were introduced and suppressed in a gradual fashion to keep participants unaware of the manipulations.  Following these manipulations, the participants’ performance in the unamplified task was recorded, including the likelihood of them using their paretic limb.

Following the intervention, there was a significantly higher probability that the patient would select their paretic limb for reaching towards a virtual target. This was despite there being no amplification of movement in that session, and the patient reporting no awareness of the previous session’s manipulation. The study will need to be repeated with a larger number of participants to provide more insight into the use of the RGS-based virtual reality intervention as an effective therapy.

RGS is being commercialized via a spin-off company .


Belén Rubio Ballester, Jens Nirme, Esther Duarte, Ampar Cuxart, Susana Rodriguez, Paul Verschure and Armin Duff. The visual amplification of goal-oriented movements counteracts acquired non-use in hemiparetic stroke patients. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation. 2015. 

Further Information

BioMed Central is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.


Jane Plan Information for Health Professionals

What is Jane Plan?

Jane Plan is one of the UK’s leading diet delivery companies. We deliver a portion and calorie controlled real food diet, direct to the door. We’ve helped thousands of men and women lose weight successfully and keep it off. The success of the Plan is down to its ease and convenience, coupled with free weekly support and contact. Each patient is given their own dedicated qualified nutritionist who teaches the essential skills and education for weight loss and long term weight maintenance.

Jane Plan Kitchen

How Does it Work?

We provide three nutritionally balanced, healthy meals every day plus a snack. We do not exclude any food groups, and our meals have been approved by a diabetic nurse as suitable for diabetics. The calorie controlled meal delivery service is complemented by comprehensive weekly support and education.

NHS Guidelines

Jane Plan closely follows NHS and NICE guidelines encouraging patients to develop healthier eating habits and be more active. By reducing calories to the correct levels patients lose weight at a safe and sustainable rate of 0.5 to 1 kg (1-2 lbs) a week. Overall the Plan achieves a 700kcal deficit from total estimated energy expenditure. The Plan is suitable for anyone who has a BMI over 24.9kg/m2, over the age of 18, who is not pregnant. Patients who have a specific medical condition are advised to seek their GP's advice before starting a weight loss programme.

The meals are low in fat and suitable for anyone following a low sugar and low salt diet. Particular care is taken when creating a Plan for a patient to ensure the meals provided from our extensive range fit the patient’s health and dietary requirements. We can provide wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and halal diets. There is an emphasis on high fibre, but for patients with IBS and other related conditions, lower fibre options are available. Patients can add in extra fresh fruits and vegetables and we suggest at least 5 a day. We also recommend adding in extra dairy for teas and coffees. There are no shakes or bars on the Plan – it is a real food diet as opposed to a meal replacement diet.

The Importance of Choice

Patients can choose their own meals from over 100 options to accommodate any specific tastes, preferences or dietary requirements. The full nutritional breakdown and allergen advice is clearly marked on the web site. Alternatively patients can answer a questionnaire and their diet will be created for them, based on the information they provide.

Further Information

Please contact Jane Plan on Tel: 020 3441 6646;  


The Golden Thread: A Quiet Revolution in Holistic Cancer Care

by the late Pat Pilkington, MBE. Introduction from Penny Brohn Cancer Care. Foreword by Caroline Myss

Published by Vala Publishers. 2015 Paperback £10. ISBN: 978-1-908363-12-1.

Written by the late Pat Pilkington, this book has emerged from Pat's 30 years of working with people affected by cancer. Pat and her friend Penny Brohn established Penny Brohn Cancer Care (formerly the Bristol Cancer Help Centre) in 1980 to provide a more holistic support system for the treatment of cancer. The philosophy was based on seeing health or illness as the result of interacting influences between mind, body and spirit, and the environment in which people live. Penny Brohn Cancer Care’s Whole Person Approach has subsequently gained wide acceptance, and their patron Prince Charles is a vocal advocate of their work. 

Cover The Golden Thread

The book is far more than a history of this extraordinary Centre or the autobiography of a remarkable woman. Rather it is a deeply spiritual work that aims to show how we can all find our life's meaning and purpose, and come to a true and lasting sense of peace and fulfilment. Drawing from the inspiration of her late husband Canon Christopher Pilkington and their mutual friend the late Reverend Tim Tiley, Pat explores such subjects as: 

  • The biology of transcendence - how joy and love affect us biologically; 
  • Connecting with the energy of the universe; 
  • Cancer and awakening to the journey of the soul. 

The book ends with some remarkable insights from Pat about life and death, written in her last month on this earth. This is a deeply moving story based on the wisdom and unique insights of one of Britain's most admired and respected public figures. The Golden Thread of the title symbolizes the transcendent nature of love that runs through everything, awakening the potential to uplift, inspire, overcome and create anew, even in the face of severe adversity.

About Vala

  • Vala is an adventure in community supported publishing. We are a co-operative, bringing books to the world that explore and celebrate the human spirit with brave and authentic ways of thinking and being. Our books seek to help us find our own meanings - which may lead us in new and unexpected directions; 
  • Vala is co-owned and democratically managed by its members;
  • Vala exists to bring us all into fuller relationship with our world, ourselves, and each other.

Further Information

The Golden Thread is available to order from all online and high street bookstores. For further information  


Happiness is an Antimicrobial Copper Installation

Happiness Showa-no-Mori - a new, 140-bed elderly nursing home in Tokyo, Japan - is fitted with antimicrobial copper grab rails in every patient bathroom and antimicrobial copper bed rails on its 20 short-stay beds to help prevent the spread of infection.

Copper Antimicrobial Japanese Nursing Hom

When Dr Takeshi Sasahara - Assistant Professor at the Kitasato University School of Medicine and Japan's foremost antimicrobial copper researcher - presented the hygienic benefits of solid antimicrobial copper touch surfaces at a seminar for the social welfare organisation Family, staff were so impressed they ordered copper grab rails and bed rails for their new-build facility.

Director Koichiro Sato explains: “We hope antimicrobial copper will protect the elderly here as part of our countermeasures against the spread of infection.”

Copper is a powerful antimicrobial with rapid, broad-spectrum efficacy against bacteria and viruses, including MRSA, E.coli and norovirus.  It shares this benefit with a range of copper alloys - including brasses and bronzes - forming a family of materials collectively called 'antimicrobial copper'.

Touch surfaces made from solid antimicrobial copper are used by healthcare facilities around the world to reduce the spread of infections such as norovirus and MRSA, supporting key infection control measures such as good hand hygiene and frequent surface cleaning and disinfection.

Further Information

For more information, visit 


Knowledge of Safe Herbal Remedies Dangerously Sparse

We are surprisingly green when it comes to recognizing popular health-enhancing herbs and plants, a new survey has revealed from Potter’s Herbals.[1]  Nine out of ten people (87%) believe we are a nation of gardeners, yet only one in six (17%) Brits could recognize Echinacea - also known as Coneflower - the plant which has been scientifically proven to help combat coughs and colds.[2]  We spend £485 million a year on herbal remedies. Yet only 13% of consumers can recognize the Traditional Herbal Registration (THR) logo - which guarantees the purity and safety of herbal medicines.


Lobelia and Pelargonium

Lobelia (traditional remedy for asthma) and Pelargonium (respiratory expectorant)


Medical herbalist, Dr Chris Etheridge from the Henry Potter’s Advisory Committee (HPAC) notes: “We have used medicinal herbs for centuries and many modern-day medicines, including aspirin and digitalis, are derived from plants. Many plants contain phytochemicals with proven and often potent medical activity.

“Plants provided our very first effective remedies and despite centuries of on-going study and research, Mother Nature’s medicine cabinet continues to reveal new phytochemicals with extraordinary power and potential. Scientists are still discovering new medicines from plants - researchers at Greenwich University believe cassia, a shrub from south-east has potential to combat diabetes.[3] But despite these on-going studies and the rich heritage of plants prized for their healing properties, the Potter’s survey found that knowledge of the health-enhancing power of plants is surprisingly thin on the ground. A double-blind placebo-control study - the toughest scientific test there is - has shown Passionflower, “yields short-term subjective sleep benefits for healthy adults with mild fluctuations in sleep quality.[4] But only one in 25 (4%) realized Passionflower, or Passiflora as it is also known, has a gentle sedative action which aids sleep. That’s a fraction of the number who named Lavender (65%), even though a scientific review concluded the evidence was no more than ’promising’.[5]”

Synergy is the hallmark of the Potter’s Herbals range. Sweetly soporific Passiflora, Hops, Valerian and Jamaican Dogwood are known for their ability to soothe and calm. But when combined in Potter’s Nodoff Plus Mixture they create a gentle, effective sleeping remedy. 


1. OnePoll survey of 1,000 adults aged 25 to 60 conducted in March 2015

2. Linde K, Barrett B, Wolkart K, et al. Echinacea for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2006;(1):CD000530; Melchart D, Linde K, Fischer P, Kaesmayr J. Echinacea for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2000;2:CD000530; Melchart D, Walther E, Linde K, et al. Echinacea root extracts for the prevention of upper respiratory tract infections: a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial. Arch Fam Med 1998;7:541-5.


4. Lakhan SE, Vieira KF. Nutritional and herbal supplements for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders: systematic review. Nutr J. 2010; 9:42.

Larzelere MM, Wiseman P. Anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Prim Care. 2002 Jun;29(2):339-60, vii.

5. Kate Louise Fismer, Karen Pilkington Lavender and sleep: A systematic review of the evidence. European Journal of Integrative Medicine Volume 4, Issue 4: e436–e447. December 2012.

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About Cherry Coad Aldridge


  • Brief Takes


    Rayonex Presentation Dates 2015

    Rayonex is reviewing the latest developments in Bioenergetics. The products test and support the body against electrosmog and geobiological  stresses, testing and regulating with specific frequencies, assisting patients who have acute and complex diseases, testing food, cosmetics etc., identifying and removing allergens and pollutants and detecting and regulating parasites, viruses and bacteria. There will be speakers. The presentations are taking place in Windsor, 20 June and Leeds, 19 September. Lunch, refreshments and hand-outs are included in the price.


    Further information Tel: 01559 364 711;


    GeoVital EMF Protection Seminar Radiation Exposure Workshop

    GeoVital Health Practitioner EMF Protection 23 June. Sascha Hahnen (CEO of Geovital Academy in Austria) and Patrick van der Burght (Director of Geovital Australia / New Zealand) present the key distinctions discovered in dealing with radiation exposure in homes over the last 30 years. 24-26 June: Building Geobiology and Radiation Protection 3-day workshop is about learning radiation assessment for homes and choosing solutions.


    Further Information: Please contact Steve Hough


    SEIKI: Touching the Now

    Daniela Coronelli is running the course SEIKI, Touching the Now, in Dartington (Totnes, Devon) on 27-28 June 2015. SEIKI is a hands-on Ki-therapy, rooted in the Shiatsu tradition, founded by the international Shiatsu teacher Akinobu Kishi in the early 1980s. Working with and expanding Ki sensitivity through breathing and ‘hara’ based exercises and presence. Spontaneous and structured movement and sound. Group and pair bodywork, demonstrating how to develop empathic relationship with the receiver, listening to inner guidance to inform touch, enabling the most effective way to bring about a greater sense of well-being.


    Further information Tel: 01803 862 653 / 07941 841 555;


    Anti-Cancer Stem Cell Compound

    Cardiff University Scientists have developed a novel anti-cancer stem cell agent capable of targeting aggressive tumour forming cells common to breast, pancreas, colon and prostate cancers. The new OH14 compound has been licensed by Tiziana Life Sciences, a British-based pharmaceutical company. It will now undergo further development before proceeding to the clinical trials. Pre-clinical studies have shown it to be effective in eliminating a number of different kinds of cancer cells, including cancer stem cells from human breast cancer patient biopsies.


    Further information Tel: 029-2087 5596; 07950 960 968;


    Wild Foraging Herb Walks Living Wisdom Workshops

    Anne McIntyre is holding Foraging for Wild Medicines Evening Herb Walks on 9 and 23 July 2015 in the beautiful Cotswolds. Anne’s Living Wisdom Workshops are a series of weekend workshops in the Cotswolds to introduce the principles of Ayurveda.  The Six Tastes and Healing Power of Food: 19 July 2015, Ayurveda and the Heart and Mind:12-13 September 2015 and Detoxification and Rejuvenation:10-11 October. Places are limited to 15 people per workshop.


    Further information Tel: 01451 810 096;


    Vote for Elena™ Nature Collection

    Elena™ Nature Collection has entered three products in this year’s Janey Lee Grace Readers Awards 2015; Trinity Soap & Shampoo, Eureka Cream and Body lotion. They have received a number of platinum awards in the past and with your help they can win again. Janey is running a prize draw to win over £100 of winning goodies and all those who vote will be automatically entered.


    Further information Tel: 01435 882 092; , .

  Healthy Living

    Lotus Guide can be read online or can be watched on YouTube. Mt Shasta Summer Solstice Festival takes place on 20-21 June  with live music, Yoga, workshops and solstice global medication for healing. The Inlakesh Festival; Sacred Ceremony, Music, Art and Dance Gathering takes place at Jackson Wellsprings, Hot Springs Resort, Ashland, Oregon on 26-28 June.  Marianna Love’s Art is on display at the Center for Living Living in Paradise, CA in June and July Tel: +1 530 877 5673;  The grand opening of  the Artisans Galleria takes place on 27 July-4 August at Chico, CA.


    Further information Tel: 530 894 8433;


    ‘Nudges’ Schools Health Eating

    Subtle changes to the accessibility and presentation of healthy foods are successful in helping school students to make better food choices, a study by Researchers at Leeds Becket University has found. The 18-month study, published this week in Nutrients journal, found that students were more than twice as likely to choose promoted food items during a trial which used nudge tactics to encourage the purchase of healthy foods in the school canteen. The Alpro Foundation-funded research, led by Dr Hannah Ensaff, a Research Fellow in nutrition at Leeds Beckett, saw a number of complementary changes made to the way food was packaged and presented in a secondary school canteen over a six week period and is the first study of its type in the UK.


    Further information Tel: 0113-812 3021;


    25th AICR Research Conference

    The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is holding the 25th AICR’s Research Conference. The conference will be held on 14-16 November 2016 at the Marriott Bethesda, MD. The AICR will gather leading Researchers, Clinicians, Educators and Policy makers in the Washington, DC metro area to share their insights on the relationship between lifestyle and cancer risk.


    Further information Tel: +1-800-843-8114; +1 202-328-7744;


    Fasting Fiesta Detox Sept 2015

    Join the Fasting Fiesta Detox in Spain between 20-27 September 2015. This date has been specifically chosen to coincide with the Vernal Equinox, when the body’s natural yearning is to cleanse and let go to prepare itself for the winter season. Absorbing every last drop of warmth and sunshine in Spain, you will expand your body with Yoga and Pilates, be inspired with the range of talks, classes and demonstrations and satiate your body with an array of raw juices.


    Further information Tel: 01749 671 555;


    Surgical Incisions Seamless Closure

    Prof Abraham, Katzir, Head of the Applied Physics Group at Tel Aviv University’s School of Physics and Astronomy, has spent much of his career honing a technique he devised called ‘laser welding’, by which incision edges are heated in a precisely controlled manner for optimal wound closure. Now a study, recently published in the Journal of Biomedical Optics explores a radical new application of this technique - sealing corneal transplants.


    Further information Tel: 415.497.6188;


    Power of Detox Telesummit

    Daniel Benor MD gifted Psychotherapist, Author and wholistic healing pioneer is extending a  free opportunity to learn how to make our metabolism work for you so that you can lose weight. He is sharing The Power of Detox summit, which will help release the toxins from the food you eat and environment which are stored in your body, wreaking havoc on your energy levels and metabolism. For you, this toxic process is about to end and all you need to do is follow the detox techniques, superfood recommendations and natural cleansing methods which will be shared in The Power of Detox Summit.


    Further information:


    Being Co-Active in Work and Life

    Integration: The Power of Being Co-Active in Work and Life by Ann Betz, the co-founder of BEabove Leadership and Karen Kimsey-House, co-founder of the Coaches Training Institute will be published on 31 July 2015 by Changemakers Books, imprint of John Hunt Publishing Ltd. We live in a world of both profound separation and deep longing for connection. This book explores not only the historical and spiritual history of our disconnection and its cost to individual and societal well-being, but also provides a compelling, neuroscience-based argument for how to make the next great turning of human development: becoming more integrated human beings.


    Further information:


    Purepotions Scar Oil

    Many high street ‘oil’ based beauty products claim miracles, however this natural alternative purepotions offer offers the same amazing results; with no added nasties. Completely natural, it’s perfect for people who care about what they put onto their skin. It is a perfect natural alternative for scars, stretch marks, uneven skin tone, reduces fine lines, increased wound healing, dehydrated skin, decreasing visible wrinkles, ageing skin, crow’s feet and age spots.


    Further information: Purepotions Scar Oil with Rosehip is available from health stores and pharmacies and from


    Burnout to Brilliance

    Burnout to Brilliance: Strategies for Sustainable Success by Jayne Morris, helps you to identify the signs and symptoms of burnout, recover energy and enthusiasm, regain power, passion and purpose and develop strategies for sustainable success. Burnout has become a global epidemic. According to a new YouGov survey commissioned by Virgin, over half (51%) of employees said they have experienced anxiety, or ‘burnout’ in their current job.


    Further information: 07823 558 672;


    NatraSan First Aid Spray

    NatraSan First Aid Spray, brand new to the market is a revolutionary healthcare spray, essential for every household cupboard. This natural product contains hypochlorous acid, a safe, but incredibly effective substance, which is now commonly used by healthcare institutions and hospitals around the world to kill germs in wounds as well as disinfect surfaces and equipment. It can also be used to treat minor burns, athlete’s foot, acne and spots.


    Further information:


    Nelsons Relief of Sniffles

    Nelsons Coldenza is a homeopathic medicinal product used within the homeopathic tradition for the symptomatic relief of colds and related flu-like symptoms. It contains a 6c homeopathic potency of natural Gelsemium sempervirens, suitable for anyone over 12 years old. Summer colds, unlike winter colds can last for weeks, so Nelson’s Coldenza is an essential for the summer.


    Further information: Nelsons Coldenza is available from Boots, Holland & Barrett, selected Lloyd’s pharmacies and from


    Dementia Awareness Week

    Dementia awareness week was 17-23 May; in support of this, the Alzheimer’s Society is offering 15% discount on four titles, Seeing Beyond Dementia by Rita Salomon, Living Well With Dementia by Shibley Rahman, Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia in Down Syndrome and Intellectual Disabilities by Edited by Matthew P Janicki and Vee P Prasher and Practical Management of Dementia – A Multi-Professional Approach Edited by Stephen Curran and John Wattis.


    Further information: 15% discount on the above 4 titles.


    Adventure Soul Journeys 2015 / 2016

    Join Catriona MacGregor on one of her Adventure and Soul Journeys. Orkney Spirit & Nature Quest - 23-30 Sept 2015 - discover an ancient land known as the Egypt of the North with settlements and a temple older than the pyramids and Stonehenge. California Vision Quest - 24-28 Oct 2015, Spiritual journey into nature to provide greater life direction and harmony. Mt Shasta Spiritual Nature Quest - 19-25 Feb 2016 - visit sacred spots, hike the mountain to glorious views, meditate next to a pond of water like velvet to touch. Catriona has a gold medal winning book Partnering with Nature: The Wild Path to Connecting with the Earth.


    Further information:  


    B12 Deficiency School Trouble

    Vitamin B12 deficiency in elementary school children from Bogota, Columbia was strongly associated with the students having to repeat a grade and with their number of school absences, Researchers from the University of Michigan School of Public Health found. Dr Eduardo Villamor and team discovered that students deficient in vitamin B12 were at 2.4 times greater risk of repeating a grade and had 1.9 times more absences than those who were not deficient. Their findings are reported in The Journal of Nutrition.


    Further Information: 


    Heart of Relating

    Grief Counsellor, Author and Communication Coach, Carmella B’Hahn, is preparing for the release of her latest book, Heart of Relating in June 2015. The 52 week course packed into one book, has been written to help everyone have a better relationship with people and the world around them, but Carmella is focused on the book being available to those in teaching and caring professions, where communication is fundamental every minute of the day.


    Further information:


    Physiotherapy for Female Infertility

    A 10 year study of 1,392 infertile women treated with a hands on physiotherapy to address adhesions (Clear Passage Approach®) met or exceeded standard medical treatments for the most common causes of female infertility. Available in England and the US, the therapy opened totally blocked fallopian tubes, a procedure previously thought impossible without surgery and achieved double the surgical pregnancy rates. Treatment is available at Clear Passage locations in London and Canterbury.


    Further information:


    Nutrient Rich Wheatgrass Powder

    Did you know that wheatgrass powder has more vitamin C than oranges and twice the vitamin A as carrots have? Wheatgrass is a nutritional food supplement rich in chlorophyll, minerals, vitamins, enzymes and amino acids. For many years it has been considered as a superfood with antibacterial and restorative properties capable of providing a range of health benefits and boosting energy and vitality, help with detoxification and with maintenance of the correct acid-alkaline balance in the body.


    Further information Tel: 01342 410 303;


    Sheffield New Cancer Treatments

    Two cutting-edge cancer treatments using targeted radioactive therapy injections to destroy cancer cells, are now being offered to patients with rare neuroendocrine tumours and patients with prostate at Weston Park Hospital. The first treatment, known as dotatate therapy, will be given to patients with neuroendocrine tumours. These relatively rare tumours arise from cells of the endocrine (hormonal) and nervous systems. Patients are injected with high doses of radioactive dotatate, which attaches to the cells within the tumour and destroy malignant cells. The second is Xofigo, a mildly radioactive form of metal radium into the blood which destroys cancerous cells without damaging healthy tissue.


    Further information:


    HOLA™ Laser Therapy

    HOLA™ laser therapy by biolitec® shows significant advantages compared to other gynaecological therapies - International School of Laser Hysteroscopy founded in Barcelona. HOLA™ laser therapy is the new alternative myoma treatment, used to gently remove myomas and polyps. It is a gentle and effective outpatient laser treatment, which can be performed under local anaesthesia. Its laser light precisely removes the diseased tissue, as it can be focused in a way that no surrounding tissue is damaged or open wounds are caused.


    Further information:


    Sibberi Birch Water

    Sibberi is an all new natural food brand that is shaking up the burgeoning alternative water market with their natural, unsweetened Birch water. Containing only pure birch sap, collected drop by drop, fresh from mature silver birch trees, Sibberi is an ideal choice for a revitalizing and cleansing pick-me-up. Coconut water, maple water, cactus water and artichoke water have all become popular, but with endorsements from health professionals, top athletes and models, birch water is tipped to be the next big success. Birch water tastes a little sweet from naturally occurring xytol and crisp, with a delightful aftertaste of the forest.


    Further information:


    Alpha Waves Easybirth™ Programme

    Antonia Boyle, of Alpha Waves PDS has devised a quick and easy 90 minute programme called EasyBirth™, which promises to put pain in perspective and replace it with calm and control. Antonia believes that the answer to this eternal question lies in the response of the lucky few that possess a high pain threshold. These individuals naturally adopt unconscious behaviours, which enable them to divert their attention away from the source of pain and become less aware of these physical feelings. The EasyBirth™ using powerful NLP techniques and practise sessions before the birth, means that the birthing partner does not need to do the complete technique with the mother during childbirth, but can use the NLP triggers that are part of this programme.


    Further information Tel: 01959 562888;


    Health Blogs of the Year: Nic’s Nutrition; Evidently Cochrane

    Nic’s Nutrition and Evidently Cochrane scooped the individual and company awards in the Health category at the UK Blog Awards. All 20 finalists in the Health category were scrutinized by an industry expert Dinh Tu, Social Media Consultant at BUPA UK and Kath Evans, Head of Patient Experience, Maternity, Newborn, Children and Young People at NHS England.  Nicola Whitehead, took the award for Best Individual Health Blog of the Year for her blog Nic’s Nutrition. Evidently Cochrane, who were crowned Company Health Blog of the Year, shares health evidence and in particular Cochrane systematic reviews of primary research in human health care.


    Further information:   

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