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a glamp weeken ing dw Wigwam ith Holiday s



Phil Vickery’s top gluten-free recipes


Get set for summer DON’T MISS


Do you live in Edinburgh? Ecas is an Edinburgh based charity set up to support people with physical disabilities. We run a range group activities for adults and a Befriending Service for those who find themselves vulnerable and isolated due to their condition. Our Befriending Service is volunteer-led and supports the health and wellbeing of those facing social isolation. Over 10 years... • 106 volunteers involved • 104 people befriended • 17,000+ hours of visits!

Get in touch to... • meet someone new • support your community • have fun!

Ecas also operates a Grants Fund, which is open to people of all ages. Grants are available to help assist individuals with increased costs associated with a physical disability. For further information, please contact Ecas on (0131) 475 2344 or email or visit our website: Company limited by guarantee in Scotland No. 102790. Registered Charity Number: SCO14929



to the June/July issue of Holistic Scotland Magazine and thank you for your positive feedback on our first issue! We’ve published some of your thoughts and reviews on our new letters page entitled ‘Have your say...’.

Meet the team

This issue, we have refined the magazine, increased the number of pages and introduced even more distributors to further spread the feel-good vibe. There are lots of insightful features inside, from 5 great ways to start the day to 5 foods for a summer body and how to stress less and enjoy life more – all designed to help boost your day-to-day health and wellbeing, naturally. And, of course, it’s our glamping special! We hope you enjoy our articles on campfire cooking and what to pack, and reading about our top-rated UK glamping locations. Don’t forget to enter the competition to win a glamping weekend, courtesy of Wigwam Holidays! Feel free to get in touch at any point and keep your letters coming. Have a great summer!

Lynda Hamilton Parker Publishing Editor

Hannah Hamilton Editorial Assistant


Lynda Hamilton Parker Publishing Editor, Holistic Scotland Magazine Holistic Scotland Magazine Email: Facebook: HolisticScotMagazine Twitter: HolisticScotMag Instagram: holisticscotlandmag Published by Lynda Hamilton

Communications, 14 West Vows Walk, Kirkcaldy, Fife KY1 1RX Publishing Editor: Lynda Hamilton Parker Editorial Assistant: Hannah Hamilton Design & Production: Adam Pajdzik, Project Eleven Print: Gladstone Media Next issue: July/August 2018

DISCLAIMER: The views within this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. Articles and advertisements are for information only and are not intended to replace medical care. Always check with your GP before embarking on any new nutritional or fitness programmes and before trying any of the remedies featured in this magazine. Always seek medical advice if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or taking any medication before following any advice featured in this magazine. Although the publisher has made every effort to include and recommend products and services which are sustainably packaged, vegan and cruelty-free, please note it is not always possible to tick every box. Always visit the product website to check the nature of its packaging, along with its vegan and cruelty-free credentials.

03 | june 2018 | holistic scotland

Katrina Mather Columnist

Pamela Spence Columnist

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Have your say... Thank you for all your emails and messages. Please keep them coming - whatever the topic! In the meantime, here are a few of our favourites


. really enjoyed reading your first issue - it’s an excellent read and covers a real breadth of topics. I was also surprised to see that you are based in Kirkcaldy, which is where I was born and lived until I went off to uni and where I still have family. It’s great to see that a new exciting business venture like yours has chosen the town. Keep up the great work! – Adele via email


. ‘ve never written to an editor before but I thought I would just drop you a line to let you know how much I enjoyed this publication – so much so that it’s inspired me to apply for a course in Naturopathic Nutrition. Looking forward to the next and subsequent editions! – Jan via email


. ow, well done, amazing! Thank you all for putting Holistic Scotland Magazine together. There’s lots going on and starting holistically in Dumfries and Galloway so your magazine is going to be an amazing (well needed) connector. Thank you very much. – Patricia via email


hank you for the magazine! It looks great – a very nice magazine; we are proud to be associated with it. – Kyle via email


.uch a great little magazine. Very pleased to have this arriving monthly and thanks for the samples! – Victoria via Facebook


.nock on the door this morning from the postman, who handed me my very own copy of Holistic Scotland Magazine. I am loving the first issue. You and your team should be so proud. Can’t wait for the next one! – Streets Ahead Social via Twitter

Last month’s competition winners: Clare Arnold (Comrie Croft), Arlette Holmes (Reflexology), Pei Yoong Lim (Scotfest), Judith Wilson (Blu-Air Purifier)


.y copy of Holistic Scotland arrived just before I went on my holiday - what a treat! I love a good magazine to read on holiday and this trip was even more special as it is my first time abroad with the kids - so here I am with the first edition on the Costa del Sol! – Shona via Facebook

Write to the editor, electronically, at Or join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter 05 | june 2018 | holistic scotland

Contents June/July 2018

26 37

Is your bed making you sick? Columnist Pamela Spence – How to manage stress symptoms with simple herbs


It’s summer but are you getting enough Vitamin D?


Homeopathy vs herbal medicine – what’s the difference?


Don’t sit on stress incontinence – check out the latest non-surgical solutions

How to stress less and enjoy life more


Columnist Katrina Mather – The benefits of oil pulling and how to do it


Shine bright – bright eyes, white teeth, glowing skin, healthy hair and nails and how to get them!



50 Get set for summer

30 32 56 58


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WIN one of 5 organic soap sets from Mary Jean


Unravelling the meditation myths



How to build an open fire pit


Choosing the right charcoal for your BBQ food

a glamping 69 Win weekend

Phil Vickery

60 Let’s go glamping!


Top 10 UK glamping experiences


25 things to do in Scotland for free this summer


Eco living


Business of the Month – Yogabellies

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June & July are great months to...

Take up something new Why not get along to Balgove Larder’s new series of Floristry Classes? Its Summer Blooms workshop takes place on 10 and 17 June in the farm shop’s very own Flower Shed where you can enjoy a complimentary glass of bubbly while you get creative. Find out more at

Get more Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and the best way to boost your level is to get outside and soak up some natural sun light. Take a look at our feature starting on page 14 for everything you need to know. 08 | june 2018 | holistic scotland


Eat watercress Did you know BBQ is also watercress season? The peppery leaf not only tastes great but it’s packed with natural glucosinolates, whose powerful compounds when chewed are thought to be able to help limit the blood supply to cancer cells and boost the body’s recovery after exercise. Why not have a go at growing your own?

Exercise outdoors

It’s thought that training outside can improve mood, offer variety and increase motivation. But you don’t need fancy equipment to work out – your local park has everything you need! Check out our blog for six exercises you can do outdoors from personal trainer Keith McNiven.

Eat more oily fish

Just one gram of fish oil a day could help to reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis, according to a new study by the University of Surrey. Check out our great BBQ recipe combining oily fish and watercress on page 68.

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A few of our favourite things… Belvoir Fruit Farms Elderflower Cordial

Mantra Jewellery

Mantra’s range of meaningful jewellery has been lovingly created to help inspire and uplift. Each piece symbolises a specific mantra designed to make a positive impact on the way you feel. Founder Jo Stroud says: “Jewellery can’t change the world, but it can change the way you feel – and that can change your world”

Elderflower season may only last for six weeks but, thanks to the artisan makers at Belvoir, we can enjoy it all year round. Did you know it takes 600 tonnes of elderflowers (or 3.6 million flower heads) to guarantee supply of Belvoir’s awardwinning elderflower drinks? There are also so many ways to use it: Drink as a cordial, add to your favourite tipple or use in a range of recipes. Thank you Belvoir!


New soft drink Switchle is said to be the only certified organic fermented adult soft drink to provide premium-crafted refreshment and natural, sustained energy. It’s made with natural spring water, organic honey, organic apple cider vinegar and a unique blend of organic fruit juices, spices and botanical extracts and comes in three different flavours: Rooibos, Raspberry & Pomegranate; Turmeric, Ginger & Peach, and Matcha, Lime & Mint. Not only do we love the taste of all three, we love their health-boosting properties. Apple cider vinegar, for example, is a traditional remedy with countless health benefits. Drinking it every day has been said to help lower blood sugar and help fight diabetes, as well as lowering cholesterol and improving heart health. Now Switchle has made it easier to drink!

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Balanced & Beautiful

This balancing face oil by Angela Langford is an indulgent mix of kiwi, rosehip and safflower blended with omegas 3 and 6. Cypress, bergamot and lemongrass are folded in to clear blocked pores, while mandarin and frankincense help to tone and lift. Angela lovingly creates her organic, vegan, crueltyfree, mood-boosting products by hand in Somerset and this particular anti-ageing oil is great for normal, combination and oily skin. It feels like the height of luxury on your skin and smells great too.

Celtic Herbal CYMRU Refresh

Celtic Herbal’s pretty Refresh range combines botanicals, essential oils and pure, natural skin-loving ingredients to help to lift your mood and nourish the skin. The floral scent of Rose Geranium has been said to help bring balance, lift depression and relieve anxiety, while refreshing Grapefruit helps to make the skin firmer and smoother. Although this range is our favourite from the Welsh artisan skincare company, there are plenty of others to choose from – such as the Mandarin, Lime and Basil-infused Purify range, and the Wellness selection which combines Exotic Wood and Ylang Ylang for a balancing effect. Why not collect them all?!

Natural soap by Azara Beautique

Practising GP and botanist Dr Samira Zaidan has teamed up with her daughter to launch Azara Beautique and bring the healing secrets of the Arab world into the everyday. Together, they have travelled across the lustrous valleys of the Middle East, collecting rare ingredients such as frankincense, zamzam and camel’s milk to use in their new luxury soap range, which is organic, cruelty-free and free from herbicide and pesticide contamination.

BLOGGER OF THE MONTH Morag Lee, who is based in Glasgow, is passionate about animal welfare, feminism and supporting independent businesses. You can check out her cruelty-free beauty and ethical lifestyle blog at mo’ adore, where she writes about being vegan and growing veggies on her balcony. She is also the cofounder of the Cruelty-Free Blogger Chat which runs on Thursday nights between 9pm and 10pm GMT.

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Morag Lee

What’s new in natural health? Park improvements to help people with dementia

Kings Park in Stirling has been transformed to make it more accessible and safer for people living with dementia. The improvements, which include a new handrail on a steep section of the path, dementia-friendly toilet signs, and new benches to provide intermittent rest points, make it Scotland’s very first dementia-friendly park. According Paths for All – the walking charity behind the improvements – there are around 90,000 people in Scotland with a dementia diagnosis who could benefit from more everyday walking opportunities. The charity says even 10-15 minutes of daily walking outdoors can improve the overall wellbeing of anyone living with dementia.

New tool to help spot erectile dysfunction

Lloyds Pharmacy has launched a new online erection checker to help men establish whether they would benefit from erectile dysfunction advice. It follows the company’s latest research which found one in 10 men would rather give up sex than get help for their erection problems. The same study reveals that nearly a third of men were under 40 when they first experienced erection problems, and that 59% of British men have struggled to develop or maintain an erection during sex at some point in their lives.

Sensory food education key to kids healthy eating

New research by the University of Eastern Finland has found that sensory-based food education encourages children aged 3 to 5 to eat fruit, berries and vegetables.The findings show that sensorybased food education given in kindergarten increased children’s willingness to choose vegetables, berries and fruit – especially among

children whose mothers have a lower educational background which, according to the University, tend to eat less of these foods. The University has concluded that positive and personal foodrelated experiences gained in the kindergarten (or nursery) can help modify dietary preferences in a direction that’s beneficial for health and says dietary preferences learned in early childhood often stick with a person all the way to adolescence and adulthood.

Snoring puts relationships at risk

A new study suggests nearly one in six Brits have considered leaving their partner because of snoring. The poll conducted on 1,500 adults in relationships by Breathe Right found that a third of couples often feel at their wits end due to lack of sleep. Twenty-eight per cent said they were less attracted to their other half because of it.


waking. Between 8am and 9am your body is naturally flooded with cortisol – a stress hormone that has an alerting effect and mobilises energy after your overnight fast. “Your blood cortisol levels are highest between half an hour and two hours after waking and when your cortisol is peaking, it’s the worst time to drink coffee because caffeine mimics the stress response and causes your cortisol levels to rise even further. This disturbs your biorhythms and induces a caffeine intolerance so it is less effective later in the day.”

The perfect time to drink your coffee

Research into the nation’s coffee drinking habits has revealed that 82% of people have been doing it all wrong. According to health expert Dr Sarah Brewer, who teamed up with Time 4 Sleep to study the nation’s coffee-drinking habits, your first cup of the day should be no earlier than 10am.  “The perfect time to have a cup of coffee is an individual thing and depends partly on the genes you have inherited, your lifestyle and your biorhythms,” says Dr Brewer. “It’s never a good idea to reach for the coffee pot immediately after

Saunas could reduce your risk of stroke

There are now more reasons than ever to visit the spa because new research has found that frequent sauna bathing can reduce your risk of stroke. A 15-year follow-up study by six international universities found that people taking a sauna 4-7 times a week were 61% less likely to suffer a stroke than those taking a sauna once a week.

Men more concerned with looks than wellbeing

A new survey of more than 2,000 males has revealed that British men are still more interested in their physical appearance than their mental health. Research carried out by the Samaritans and The Bluebeards Revenge male grooming brand found that 41% of men spend less than an hour a week looking after their mental wellbeing, compared with just 16% who spend less than an hour a week taking care of their physical appearance.

It’s summer, but am I getting enough Vitamin D?

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Vitamin D is essential for good health. By regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in our bodies, Vitamin D supports healthy bones, teeth and muscle growth, as well as the immune system. But it’s not always easy to get enough of it. Sunshine is the best natural source of Vitamin D, yet nearly two thirds of Brits have dangerously low levels – partly because it’s impossible to get the required amount of sunshine in autumn and winter in the UK. Research by VEGA Nutritionals recently found that, after being tested, 53% of people in Scotland were Vitamin D deficient. It also shows that while 19% of Scots are aware of the government’s recommendation that everyone (adults and children aged five and over) in Scotland should take Vitamin D supplements in autumn and winter, only 17% actually do. The good news is that, according to the Scottish Government, the majority of people aged five years and above are likely to get sufficient Vitamin D between late March and September from sunlight when they are outdoors, alongside foods naturally containing – or fortified with – Vitamin D. Correctly-applied sunscreen blocks the synthesis of Vitamin D, however, so we can only absorb it while we are out in the sun without protection. Therefore, the Scottish Government recommends that 10 to 15 minutes of unprotected Scottish sun exposure should be safe for everyone aged five and over to give us our daily dose of Vitamin D.

HEALTH Who should take Vitamin D supplements in summer?

It’s recommended that people at the greatest risk of Vitamin D deficiency should take a daily supplement all year round. If you fall into one of the following categories, a daily supplement of 10mcg is recommended throughout the year: • Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers • Children under 5 • People who aren’t exposed to much sunlight, such as those who are housebound, or who cover their skin for cultural reasons • People from minority ethnic groups with dark skin, including those of African, African-Caribbean, and South Asian origin, whose skin requires more sun exposure to make enough Vitamin D. “Numerous studies have shown that Vitamin D deficiency can lead to bone diseases, such as rickets, osteoporosis, factures and falls,” says VEGA Nutritionals. “Vitamin D absorbs and regulates calcium and phosphate in the body – both of which are needed for healthy bones, teeth and muscle growth. They also support our immune system to fight illnesses such as cancer and heart disease, as well as depression and obesity. Recent studies have shown that Vitamin D also protects against colds, so it’s vital for us to get our required daily amount. “Large numbers of the UK

population are at particular risk, including some ethnic groups with dark skin, who may not get enough Vitamin D from natural sunlight year-round. Also vulnerable are people with little exposure to sun, such as those who cover most of their skin whilst they are outdoors or people who don’t spend much time outside. This can include the elderly or people living in institutions such as care homes, as well as babies and

small children. “Office workers and most indoor occupations reduce your time to be outdoors. A recent survey found that 15% of workers spend no time in a nature-like environment outside during the working week. In addition, only 30% take a proper lunch-break. Finally, workers on nightshifts are often asleep at the key time of day when the sun can help your Vitamin D levels.”

Foodie sources of Vitamin D • oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel and fresh tuna • red meat • liver • egg yolks • fortified foods – such as most fat spreads and some breakfast cereals 15 | june 2018 | holistic scotland

The danger of taking too much Vitamin D

Still worried you’re not getting enough? Don’t be tempted to take too much. A 2017 American study found that D can also spell danger. In fact, the research* showed that too much Vitamin D can increase the risk of kidney stones, fractures and certain cancers. Unlike Vitamins B and C, Vitamin D is fat-soluble and can, therefore, be stored in body fat and in the liver. High doses of Vitamin D are thought to be able to cause excessive levels of calcium to build up in the blood, causing high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, and kidney problems. Too much Vitamin D can also be a factor in headaches, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea or constipation, palpitations and fatigue. In 2014, the Food Standard Agency’s Committee on Toxicity concluded that “high intakes of Vitamin D from medication or dietary supplements (often over prolonged periods) have caused toxicity in humans, and many cases of such poisoning have been reported.” Official guidelines in Scotland state that everyone takes a supplement supplying 10mcg (400 IU) Vitamin D per day during autumn and winter. This is viewed as a minimum amount to prevent deficiency diseases such as rickets and osteomalacia (bone softening in adults), and assumes that their dietary intake is minimal. But many people take a Vitamin D supplement without realising that the multivitamin they are already taking contains Vitamin D, and

REMEMBER! Staying in the sun for prolonged periods without adequate protection increases the risk of skin cancer.

so does their cod liver oil supplement. A Birmingham lab that provides a vitamin D blood testing service found that, out of 14,806 samples tested, 454 (3.1%) had Vitamin D levels within the toxic range. In most cases, this resulted from taking Vitamin D supplements at doses above 100mcg (4,000 IU) per day.

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Some had taken doses as high as 300,000 IU to 900,000 IU in the form of a liquid supplement, which is dangerous without medical supervision. “Taking a low dose Vitamin D supplement (400-600 i.u.) through the winter is a sensible precaution in the UK,” says A.Vogel Nutritional Therapist Alison Cullen. “Many of us in Scotland will happily continue this through much of the sun-starved ‘summer’, unless we are going to seek the heat abroad. Avoiding higher doses means you don’t risk a build-up of vitamin D, which is fat-soluble and can therefore be stored in the body.”

DID YOU KNOW? It’s thought that the symptoms of dangerously high levels of Vitamin D in the body are very similar to those of a Vitamin D deficiency.

Don’t supplement D without Mg If you do supplement Vitamin D, then it’s vital you take magnesium to help activate this nutrient so it can be used by the body, claim researchers. The review published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association found that Vitamin D can’t be metabolised without sufficient magnesium levels. Deficiency in either of these nutrients is reported to be associated with various disorders, including skeletal deformities, cardiovascular diseases, and metabolic syndrome.

A.Vogel Nutritional Therapist Alison Cullen

To check whether you have a Vitamin D deficiency, pick up a Vitamin D home test kit from Better You. *Rooney MR et al. JAMA. 2017; 317(23): 2448-2450. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.4392

Researchers say the magnesium consumption from natural foods has decreased in the past few decades, owing to industrialised agriculture and changes in dietary habits. Magnesium status is low in populations who consume processed foods that are high in refined grains, fat, phosphate, and sugar. Andrew Thomas, founder and managing director of natural health company BetterYou, said: “Vitamin D is just one piece of the health jigsaw. Seven in 10 of us suffer from low levels of magnesium. And because we don’t get enough from our daily diet, a supplement that gets straight to where it’s needed is the way to recharge our systems.”

17 | june 2018 | holistic scotland

Homeopathy vs herbal medicine what’s the difference? Our own medical herbalist and columnist Pamela Spence helps clear up the mystery

Herbal Medicine

erbal medicine uses any part of a plant to create medicine. It might be the flower, leaf, stem, bark, H root, berry, fruit. You name it, a herbalist will use it.

erbal medicines come in many forms. The most common are tinctures (alcohol extracts), infusions H (often called teas), essential oils, creams, and ointments. Slightly less common are decoctions, infused oils, glycerites and liniments.

Herbal medicine can trace its roots through all cultures and as far back as the Stone Age.

here are many different philosophies – Ayurveda (from India), Traditional Chinese Medicine (from T China), Unani Tibb (from the Middle East) and Traditional Western Herbal Medicine with its roots in Ancient Greece. Each has its own view of the body and the ways herbs can be prescribed.

erbal medicine is allopathic – just like pharmaceutical medicine. This means using the opposite to H cure. So if someone is hot, a cooling remedy is given.

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Homeopathy •

Homeopathy was developed in the late 1700s by German physician Samuel Hahnemann.

omeopathy uses natural substances including plants, minerals and some animal products to create H medicines.

hen a remedy is made it is highly diluted until it is possible that no molecule of the original W ingredient is present in the remedy. It is the information that is passed into the water which is then made into sugar pills or powders.

The name homeopathy reveals the philosophy that like cures like. So if someone has been stung by a bee a homeopath would give a tiny dose of bee sting thereby provoking the body to heal itself. Each remedy is a tiny dose of the substance that in larger doses would produce the same symptoms.

DID YOU KNOW? • H omeopathic arnica is widely taken to reduce bruising. In a herbal preparation arnica is highly toxic and can only be used on unbroken skin. • Homeopathic chamomile granules are commonly used as teething powders for babies. • A medieval hospital was discovered at Soutra, Midlothian where an order of monks treated patients with herbal medicine from the 12th Century until 1460.

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Don’t sit on stress urinary incontinence

Check out the latest non-surgical solutions

Figures show that a third of women suffer from pelvic floor disorders but, according to new research, this could just be the tip of the iceberg. A study of 2,300 women in the UK suggests these statistics are conservative and that more than half suffer from stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and accidental bladder leakage. If you’re one of them, you’re certainly not alone. According to the officials behind vSculpt, a new non-surgical treatment for SUI, women are also inclined to sit on their problems – believing it to be an inevitable consequence of childbirth or the menopause, thinking it’s too embarrassing or can only be tackled surgically. But obstetric consultant and gynaecologist Ellis Downes says there are lots of options available for women looking to take control of their own health and that non-surgical at-home solutions could be the way forward. “Instead of opting for surgical procedures, I’m seeing more and more women looking for non-

surgical and natural treatments,” he says. “I believe this is driven by the introduction of a number of new non-surgical treatments for SUI – vSculpt being one of them. “I’m noticing the positive emotional impact this type of ‘at home’ treatment is having on women suffering with SUI. Interestingly, the emotional relief brought by realising their problem can be treated discretely and non-surgically is as significant as the physical improvements they’re noticing.” These sentiments are echoed by some of the global campaigners lobbying against the use of vaginal mesh or tape for conditions such as prolapse and SUI. In fact, the past 12 months has seen an unprecedented level of campaigning and debate to highlight the damaging effects on some women following such treatment. The team behind Bulkamid, another non-surgical alternative, says the latest research suggests that, following the mesh media campaign, women are now much more

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likely to put up with SUI than explore all the treatment options. It says nearly half (48%) of those surveyed admitted that the recent concerns with mesh covered in the media would deter them from seeking out advice from a health professional about treatment options for SUI. Yet, according to Bulkamid, the condition can have a significant impact on daily life – affecting activities, relationships and emotional wellbeing. It can also occur at any stage of life, with risk factors including pelvic disorders from childbirth, obesity and ageing. And despite its prevalence, research shows women still find discussing SUI taboo. Four in 10 (39%) women admitted they avoid certain activities, such as bouncing on a trampoline with their children; wearing certain clothes, or attending an exercise class for fear of accidental bladder leakage. This rises to 52% of women aged 35-44. More than a fifth (22%) said the final “tipping point” for getting help was experiencing leakage while running for a bus, while 16% said it was the moment their partner pointed out a wet patch. Leading experts are now calling for women to see past the recent headlines and, rather than suffering in silence, speak to a healthcare professional. “I encourage women to take those first steps towards discussing their condition with a GP,” says Dr Helen Johnson, a consultant urogynaecologist for the NHS Trust. “There is really nothing to be frightened of or embarrassed about and I feel some of the less invasive, non-surgical treatments available should now be at the forefront of any discussions.”

NON-SURGICAL SOLUTIONS Bulkamid is water-based gel which helps the bladder neck to close to help prevent bladder leaks. It’s reported to have an 80% success rate and has treated more than 50,000 women. INTIMINA’s KegelSmart pelvic biofeedback product has been proven to deliver measurable results in just 12 weeks – making it the world’s only kegel trainer (or pelvic floor exercise trainer) with clinical trial accreditation. INNOVO offers ‘innovotherapy’ designed to strengthen your pelvic floor. Using a hand-held controller attached to a twopart garment, it sends targeted impulses via conductive pads connected to your upper thigh and buttocks to activate the pelvic floor muscles. vSculpt’s unique combination of treatment modalities is said to help stimulate collagen regeneration and vascularisation in the vaginal tissues and muscles. Results include vaginal tightening and improved bladder function.

Neen Aquaflex is an at-home pelvic floor trainer consisting of different-sized vaginal cones and weights to aid Kegel exercises and help rebuild pelvic floor strength in around 12 weeks.

21 | june 2018 | holistic scotland

“I was caught out on the trampoline!” TV presenter and mum-of-two Carol Smillie has vowed to break the taboo of incontinence


– laughing, running, jumping and sneezing – when we’ve been caught out by stress incontinence. One of mine was on the trampoline,” she says. “But women generally don’t want to get help because they worry it’s a sign they’re getting older and losing control of their bodies. Light stress incontinence is becoming more and more common, however, and is completely different to elderly incontinence. In fact, light stress incontinence now affects one in three women. “I think it’s partly because we are much more active than our mothers were. My mum joined a sewing bee and that’s pretty much all there was

regnancy, childbirth, obesity and getting older are just a few of the causes of urinary incontinence, with one in three women thought to be suffering from a weakened pelvic floor. But the stigma of bladder weakness being an age-related condition is a thing of the past – because Scots TV presenter and mum-of-two Carol Smillie has made it her mission to break the taboo of incontinence. She has developed a range of pretty pants which provide extra all-day protection from stress incontinence with their triple-layer waterproof technology. “We’ve all had those ‘oops’ moments

22 | june 2018 | holistic scotland


to her social life. These days we like to get involved in activities (such as bouncing on the trampoline) with our children and have hobbies of our own, such as running, going to the gym, Zumba and other sports. “Yes, we all get told to exercise our pelvic floor muscles when we leave the hospital with our little bundles of joy but that’s pretty much the extent of it. “The truth is that any light stress on your body after giving birth can give rise to little leaks. But, thankfully, it’s never too late to start doing something about it. Your pelvic floor is completely fixable! You don’t even have to get into lycra to work-out your pelvic floor, you can do it anywhere, such as sitting at the traffic lights!” While we all work on strengthening our pelvic floor muscles, Carol has made it easier to cope with little leaks thanks to her Pretty Clever Pants. The range of protective underwear has a concealed waterproof layer which offers women extra peace of mind. Just like any other pants in the drawer, they are soft, comfortable and machine washable and are a great support for those suffering with stress incontinence. But Carol didn’t just create them for incontinence, she had heavy periods in mind too. In fact, the concept came about after a chat about periods with her daughters. “When I thought about it, I realised there was

plenty of shapewear and comfort wear, such as sports bras, out there but nothing to give us peace of mind at that time of the month,” she says. “My daughters helped me realise that heavy periods and embarrassing leaks are a real concern for lots of women. After all, we have to deal with periods our whole lives.” 23 | june 2018 | holistic scotland

Carol has recently introduced her newest style, Black Lace, to the range of Pretty Clever Pants – featuring luxurious lack lace side panels with floral detailing, a high-waisted design with tummyshaping control and a built-in discreet waterproof panel. Find out more at


Urinary incontinence doesn’t just affect women – 1 in 10 men experience bladder weakness and, in many cases, it’s the result of a radical prostatectomy, a form of surgery to treat prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer in the UK, with 47,000 men diagnosed every year. But thankfully, if detected early, the chances of survival are high and a common treatment is to have a radical prostatectomy, which involves having the entire prostate gland and some of the surrounding tissue removed. But this surgery is not without its potential side effects, the most common being urinary incontinence – the involuntary leakage of urine generally known as bladder weakness – caused when the nerves and muscles that control urination are damaged or weakened. It is experienced by as many as 69% of post prostatectomy patients with up to 88% of these patients still suffering up to one year later.

The severity of bladder weakness can vary significantly. For some men, it will be a little leak when they cough, sneeze or experience a sudden change in temperature, such as getting out of the shower. But for others, it can mean a complete loss of bladder control and the effects can be devastating and have a huge impact on daily life. In some cases, men with bladder weakness as a result of a prostatectomy will get better in time. But for others, it is a much longer and more painful journey – and thankfully, the cause, not just the symptoms, of urinary incontinence can be treated.

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There are three main ways to do this:


2 3

Types of male incontinence

Pelvic Floor Exercises (Kegel Exercises): Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegel Exercises, involve repetitive voluntary contraction and relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles. These exercises are performed multiple times a day for several months


Biofeedback: Biofeedback devices are inserted rectally and teach the user pelvic floor muscle control via pelvic floor exercises. Biofeedback measures the strength of the pelvic floor contractions, enabling the patient to strengthen the pelvic floor correctly over time.


Pelvic Floor Stimulation: Pelvic Floor Stimulation involves the electrical stimulation of the pelvic floor muscles using either a probe-based device (inserted rectally in men), or a non-invasive, clinically proven, restoration system such as INNOVO(pictured on page 20), which painlessly restores the pelvic floor muscles strength by stimulating the nerves within the pelvic floor to contract.

Leakage is brought on by coughing, laughing, sneezing or exercise. It’s the most commonly-experienced type after prostate surgery Men have trouble emptying their bladder. They tend to take a long time to urinate and with little force, described as a ‘dribbling stream’. It’s generally caused by blockage or narrowing of the bladder outlet by scar tissue.


Is when men have a sudden need to urinate. This happens when the bladder becomes too sensitive to stretch as it fills with urine. ADVERTORIAL

IS IT TIME TO BECOME A BETTER HUMAN? Better Humans is urging all of us to look after our whole health, both in terms of mind and body. It is focused on helping us feel, think and do better at work and at home. Better Humans is based at its Therapy Centre in Edinburgh, where it offers everything from physiotherapy, specialist massages, pilates to yoga. It will also broadcast specialist online classes from its new studio. These classes, called Better Lives, will be aimed at the individual, and local businesses, helping people access high quality classes, wherever they are. Bespoke classes are an integral part of its digItal REACH Programme. Believing that brain and body health are intrinsically linked, REACH is a unique blend of assessment and tailored training using the latest developments in neuroscience, motor imagery and visualisation to boost brain and body performance. For more information please visit 25 | june 2018 | holistic scotland

Is your bed making you sick? Did you know we spend roughly a third of our lives in bed? That’s why it’s important to make sure your bed is fit-for-purpose. After all, quality sleep (or lack of it) can impact on your physical and mental health. “Poor quality or older mattresses – especially sprung ones – tend to sag over time and can contribute to back problems and impact the quality of your sleep,” says Richard Tucker of awardwinning mattress brand Leesa Sleep. “It’s important to think not only about the bedroom set-up or bedding, but what’s under the sheets too – such as your mattress. “Your bed and its ability to offer a good night’s sleep doesn’t just impact physical wellness, but also your mental health. We deal with enough strains on our health, so the last place we should be concerned about getting sick is in our own beds.”



Neil Robinson, a sleep expert at bed brand Sealy UK, shares his tips for making sure your bed stays in tip top condition and a dust-mite free zone!


CLEAN YOUR MATTRESS You should clean some mattresses every six months to prevent dust mites, dead skin and dirt accumulating. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dirt, hair and crumbs, following up with baking soda to deodorise the mattress.


DECLUTTER UNDER YOUR BED Items under the bed can become magnets for dirt and dust which, in turn, can cause problems, especially if you’re prone to dust allergies. Keep the space under your bed clutter-free or invest in some under-bed storage.


AIR IT OUT Dust mites love warm, moist environments. Throw back the covers and remove the pillows from your bed for at least 20 minutes every morning.


MAKE IT MINIMALIST A messy bedroom not only looks unpleasant, but did you know it can make you more anxious and even disturb your sleep?


DON’T FORGET THE SMALL STUFF Many mattresses need to be turned every three months to avoid sagging and increase their lifespan. If you have a memory foam mattress, rotate your mattress head to foot instead.

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ways to optimise your bed for health and wellbeing


1 Invest in a good mattress

“Think about how you slept last night: were you comfortable and did you feel supported? If not, it’s probably time to think about getting a new mattress,” says Ruairi Giles of luxury bed-maker Harrison Spinks. “On average, you should look to replace a well-maintained mattress every eight years, depending on its quality. “The wrong type of mattress can put excessive pressure on your joints and spine, causing a restless night’s sleep, poor posture, and stiffness. For this reason, it’s important to choose a premium quality mattress that has a high spring count as more springs mean more support. “A good mattress will support your whole body, alleviating the harmful pressure on your joints and keeping the spine perfectly aligned. Remember, no two spines are the same, so beds should be tailored to adapt to the contours of your body. “A pocket-sprung mattress contains individual springs and each spring is in a fabric pocket. This provides much more support and comfort than an open coil mattress, where each spring is lined together within a wire frame.”

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2 Good hygiene

3 Get the perfect pillow

Did you know the average person sweats almost enough to fill a 330ml can of fizzy drink every night? “To manage the high levels of skin bacteria that accompany sweat, the material used to stuff your mattress is very important,” says Ruairi of Harrison Spinks. “Foam is a relatively good material for absorbing the moisture lost while we sleep, but isn’t as effective at evaporating it. The sweat is often stored at the mattresses core, making it the ideal breeding ground for bacteria. While foam mattresses may be comfortable, they don’t offer the best sleeping environment when it comes to breathability. After all, you can’t just put your mattress in the washing machine! “By choosing a mattress that has a host of natural fillings, you’re helping to keep your sleeping environment fresh and hygienic. There’s a misconception that the fibrous nature of natural mattress fillings mean they’ll house more bacteria, but this isn’t the case. “Mattresses containing natural ingredients such as cotton help improve the quality of your sleep by keeping you dry and cool. Wool and hemp regulate body temperature and are resistant to mildew, as well as keeping beds fresh, dry and hygienic. Wool also absorbs 23% more moisture than foam. “A top tip to keep your mattress fresh is to leave the duvet turned back each morning to allow for evaporation to happen. It’s the perfect excuse not to make your bed in the morning! “Overall, when you’re looking for a new mattress the most important factors for maintaining health and wellbeing are comfort, hygiene and support. If you sleep well, you feel well.”

According to research carried out by The National Sleep Foundation, 91% of those polled rated high quality pillows as essential for getting a good night’s sleep. “Inappropriate pillows don’t support the anatomy of the human body so it’s not surprising that sleep science has turned to pillows as a major focus,” says Noel O’Connor, who founded the brand reflexpillow to help relieve back and neck pain. “While your mattress may support your lower spine, the soft tissue of your upper spine and neck need even more support.” Noel spent 15 years carrying out pressure sensitivity tests on feather, memory foam and polyester-stuffed pillows before creating ‘Reflex Foam’ - the magic formulation of materials needed to create what he describes as the optimal pillow. He has recently launched the Perfection pillow, with a head dip designed to keep the spine aligned and a dedicated shoulder slot to help naturally eliminate the key causes of sleep deprivation, teeth grinding, neck and back pain, tossing and turning, insomnia, snoring and sleep apnoea.

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Get your day off to the best possible start with these 5 great morning rituals


“There’s no better way to start your day than spending five minutes doing absolutely nothing,” says Jacqui Macdonald, author of The Lost Art of Being. “When you first wake up, rather than reach for your phone or turning on the news, gift yourself five precious minutes of simply being. Make a pact that even if thoughts arise, you won’t engage with them. Try to focus only on what it feels like to be alive.  “Connecting with your ‘beingness’ in this way soothes the central nervous system and sets you up for a calmer day. Better still, it strengthens your connection with your inner wisdom, meaning you are more likely to make decisions throughout the day that are better for your health and wellbeing.”


Healthista’s nutritional director Rick Hay recommends starting the day with nutrient density – aka food that’s high in nutrients and low in calories. Nutrient-dense foods typically contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats – basically everything you need nutritionally to start the day on the right foot. “A fruit and vegetable smoothie with rice or almond milk will do the trick and is great for weight management and energy,” says Rick. “Think berries and beetroot with almond milk, or spinach, banana and dates with rice milk. You can even turbo charge it with a serving of plant-based protein or a few nuts.”

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Physiotherapist Kristi Bester recommends adding morning stretch routine to your am itinerary for a great way to start the day. “It’s best to do your stretches about 15 to 20 minutes after waking up to give your joints and muscles time to move a bit and loosen up,” says Kristi. “It’s really good to have a morning stretch routine to improve joint mobility and prevent lower back pain, or for those with osteoarthritis. For optimum prevention, the exercises need to be done daily and should be slow and controlled. “You need to do at least 10 repetitions per exercise and hold muscle stretches for 20 seconds and three repetitions.”

Fitness guru and author Steve Bennett swears by a cold shower to start the day. “I used to love them dearly and took them daily as they really woke me up,” says Steve in his new book, Primal Cure: The Secret to Weight Loss & A Healthy Long Life That Government, Food & Pharmaceutical Corporations Might Not Want Us To Know “These days I only have the guts to do them after a workout in the gym. But, if you can, wow – what a great start to the day. “The cold water makes us breathe deeply as we gasp so that we take in more oxygen. This leads to an increase in heart rate – releasing a rush of blood and energy throughout the body. Cold water is also great for our hair and skin. “On a technical level, taking a cold shower, exposure to cold temperatures, cold-water swimming or cold baths is referred to as ‘cold thermogenesis’ (CT) and many elite athletes embed it into their weekly training. “CT can help cure or reduce stress, increase our immunity and metabolism, and activate adiponectin hormones, which increases consumption of glucose and breaks down fatty acids.”


Apex Hotels’ wellbeing ambassador Celynn Morin says playing your favourite tunes in the morning can help to put a spring in your step. “Something as simple as upbeat music can be enough to get you pumped up for the day ahead,” says Celynn. “Your favourite tunes may also encourage you to get moving.” Celynn has produced a podcast series with Apex, entitled ‘Relax, Rejuvenate and Refocus’. 31 | june 2018 | holistic scotland


KINESIOLOGY What is kinesiology?

Do I have to take my clothes off?

In its most basic form, kinesiology can be described as ‘the science of movement’. There are lots of different types – from Systematic and Touch for Health to Optimum Health Balance – but they all involve testing muscles to identify and address imbalances within the body that can affect health and wellbeing.

How can kinesiology help me? Kinesiology is recommended for a wide range of symptoms, such as IBS, headaches, anxiety, constipation and even those associated with the menopause. It’s thought to work by restoring balance to the body

No, all consultations are carried out while you are fully clothed.

What is kinesiology taping? Kinesiology taping is thought to have been developed by a Japanese chiropractor in the 1970s to help relieve pain and encourage soft tissue damage to heal. It has become an increasingly popular therapeutic tool within the sporting industries and has been used for a long time for the prevention and treatment of sporting injuries. Typically, kinesiology tape is applied over manually stretched skin above the injured muscle.

What happens during a consultation?

The kinesiologist will first want to determine your medical and lifestyle history and most likely get you to fill out a questionnaire. Then he or she will assess your muscle response by asking you to place your arms, legs or head into specific positions before applying some light pressure. Based on his or her findings, he or she will work with you to devise a plan to restore balance. This might include adding or eliminating certain foods from your diet, introducing nutritional supplements, lifestyle changes, relaxation techniques and much more. 32 | june 2018 | holistic scotland


Systematic kinesiology Applied or Systematic Kinesiology, as we know it today, was developed by Dr George Goodheart in the 1960s but its origins date back much further than that. Orthopaedic surgeon R.W. Lovett developed a system for testing and grading the strength of muscles in the roaring 20s. Brian Butler is thought to have simplified Goodheart’s work and coined the term ‘SYSTEMATIC KINESIOLOGY’ before founding the Association of Systematic Kinesiology (ASK) in 1988 and bringing the modality to the UK.By testing the resistance of a muscle when a small amount of pressure is applied, the practitioner can identify imbalances in the body in the corresponding meridian. This technique was developed and is often known as APPLIED KINESIOLOGY and, historically, was most commonly used by practitioners such as dentists and chiropractors to relieve pain. According to those in-the-know, this manual muscle test can help to identify whether an emotion is linked to that area of the body, whether specific nutrition would be helpful, whether hydration could be useful, or whether it’s linked to another area of the body. The experts say most people can benefit from kinesiology in this way because most of us are stressed from time to time and that, when we are stressed, areas such as digestion, hormones, sleep, energy levels and mood tend to suffer. Kinesiology is said to be able help with symptoms such as headaches, bloating, disrupted sleep, whirling thoughts, anxiety, diarrhoea, constipation, IBS, PMT, and those related with the menopause.

Touch for health

greater comfort, vitality and enjoyment of your life. It doesn’t treat or diagnose symptoms, but works with the energy and lifestyle aspirations of the client to enhance health and wellbeing. It’s thought to have been developed from the applied kinesiology techniques first developed by Dr Goodheart.

DID YOU KNOW? Actress Eva Longoria has a degree in kinesiology

Create a Meaningful Life Full of Inner Happiness

Individual Kinesiology Sessions * Schedule a free telephone Discovery Session * Sessions available in Glasgow * 10% off first session with reference "Holistic"

Workshops Short 1, 2 day or weekend workshops available, learn some simple balancing techniques to boost your energy levels

Professional Kinesiology Practitioner since 1999 Member of the British Register of Complementary Practitioners

According to the International Kinesiology College (IKC), Touch for Health kinesiology is a system of balancing posture, attitude and life energy for

Glasgow Clinic Contact Alison Finlay t: 07775 837033

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A Health School with a difference

Introducing intensive kinesiology training Last month, Health School – a new kinesiology therapy training school – launched in Edinburgh. Naturally, we wanted to find out more so we caught up with founder Rosemary Tarrant, a kinesiology practitioner and instructor of 17 years who will lead Scotland’s first intensive kinesiology training course and retreat in the Borders this July to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Association of Kinesiology (ASK). Q: What does kinesiology mean to you? A: Kinesiology is an amazing holistic therapy or modality. Kinesiologists test the resistance of a muscle by applying a small amount of pressure and, by determining the level of strength or weakness, be able to pinpoint a balance or imbalance in the corresponding meridian (or energy pathway). Over the years, the technique has been developed into the system known as ‘APPLIED KINESIOLOGY’ – the form most widely used by medical practitioners such as dentists and chiropractors. Q: Who can benefit from kinesiology? A: Most people can benefit from kinesiology since most of us experience stress. When we are stressed, digestion, hormones, sleep, energy levels, and mood can all be affected. Then symptoms develop and life can get quite tough. As a kinesiologist, I don’t

treat individual conditions. If a new client came to see me with eczema, for example, I wouldn’t just focus on that. I’d get a good insight to their lives, past and current illnesses and ailments, their diet, lifestyle, how they are feeling emotionally, past and present, and the health of their family. Then I let them know what my proposed treatment plan may be – which can be reviewed as I find out more about them. Q: How long have you been practising? A: I started my training in September 1998 by doing the Foundation Course in South London and thought it would be a hobby for the winter. After the third week of study I was hooked! I finally realised in my 30’s that I had found what I wanted to do in life and felt totally passionate about it. I wasn’t sure how I was going to achieve it

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– I just knew I would. The year 2000 saw me enrol on the Diploma Course in Systematic Kinesiology and, during every weekend of the modules, I had huge ‘lightbulb’ moments. I went on to study Holistic Massage and herbal remedies known as Homeobotanicals and I still use both today. I later studied Nutrition in Glasgow and, more recently, Clinical Massage and Advanced Myofascial Techniques, so I have a lovely set of tools and techniques! Q: What’s your background? A: I had always had an interest in natural health. I was born with a liver condition so I was always a little bit different in that respect. The paediatrician encouraged my mum to keep my body as “clean” as possible and to let my body work on its own as much as possible. That meant, if I had a fever, I had to let my body go with it. I rarely had any painkillers, antibiotics or vaccinations – just lots of olive oil! After that, practising kinesiology felt like home to me – and a natural extension of myself. Q: Can you tell us a bit about the new courses you are offering? A: When I studied the Clinical Massage in 2014, I did it as a 24-day intensive (every day) and it was an incredible experience. I vowed then that I was going to do the Kinesiology Foundation Course as an Intensive and 2018 is the year it’s happening. This year sees the 30th anniversary of ASK, of which I have been a member since 1999 and am also

now a trustee. This seemed like the perfect time to do something special and what could be more special then to allow a small, select group of people to come together in the beautiful Scottish Borders countryside to learn and complete the Foundation Course in July? In 2019 I will teach the Full Practitioner Diploma. I’m a firm believer that to be a professional kinesiologist, the full Diploma is required. When you complete it, you are then given permission to use Dip ASK after your name. Q: Who should sign up? A: The Foundation Course is open to anyone over the age of 18. No former knowledge of the body or how it works is needed, so if you have an interest in boosting your own health or that of friends and family, this could be right up your street. You might be thinking about a change of career, are newly-retired but not ready for full retirement, or might be a mum whose kids are now off at school or university and would like to run your own health business. Alternatively, you might be a practitioner in another field and want to broaden your skill-set or offer your client base another way of looking at their health. Kinesiology can work beautifully with modalities such as aromatherapy, reflexology, chiropractic, physiotherapy, sports massage and many more. If you want to become a professional kinesiologist, this is the full pre-requisite course. This means you could follow on by doing the full diploma. To be a registered practitioner, you must first complete anatomy and physiology, and nutrition. The nutrition course can be done online and doesn’t have to be a full diploma course. The Foundation course will be held over 15 consecutive days. As well as study and practical workshopping, there will also be plenty opportunity to be outdoors, go for walks, do some yoga, explore the local countryside, and have a picnic. So, it’s not all work and no play. Together, we will work hard and rest well. Find out more at

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Optimum Health Balance Kinesiology

“Kinesiology is about identifying connections. Things don’t happen in isolation from each other” ptimum Health Balance (OHB) Kinesiology was developed in the 1980s by the late Charles Benham, an experienced kinesiologist and fellow of the Kinesiology Foundation. He developed a system of vibrational icons to replace the finger modes used in kinesiology. The vibrational icons are unique to this form of kinesiology and their specially sequenced use is monitored by muscle response testing to gather information about the client’s state of wellbeing on all levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. “One of the benefits of using the icons is that the expectations and opinions of the client and practitioner can’t influence the treatment session as neither of them speak the symbolic language of the icons,” says OHB kinesiologist Lois Radmer. “The client’s body really is doing the talking.” Each icon is said to have a specific frequency or


resonance, which the body understands and responds to – like a “conversation” at a symbolic level. “We all hold a vast amount of information at an unconscious level, which we are unable to access consciously,” says Lois. “We would be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information otherwise.” Charles Benham likened the OHB balancing process to “taking a file off the hard drive and putting it on the computer screen, where it can be edited”. “By bringing the relevant information held at a subconscious level into a person’s conscious awareness, their problem(s) can be addressed and treated effectively in a simple, safe but very profound way,” adds Lois. “Kinesiologists often talk of balancing a client rather than treating them. Imbalances originate in

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our energy field and we are constantly balancing the impact of a myriad of influences upon us. “Optimum balance is a challenge to maintain at any time but particularly so in today’s fast paced society. Energy imbalances, which become established in our energy field will over time work their way through to the physical level and impact on our health resulting in disease.

If energy imbalances can be addressed and effectively treated or cleared at an energetic level before they manifest at a physical level, this is true preventative health care

“If energy imbalances can be addressed and effectively treated/ cleared at an energetic level before they manifest at a physical level, this is true preventative health care. “Kinesiology is about identifying connections. Things do not happen in isolation from each other. In my experience nothing happens randomly in this life, even though it may initially

appear so, there is always a trail, a ‘story’ to unravel. “By identifying connections using the icon sequences monitored by muscle response testing, the OHB process gently and non-invasively unravels the ‘story’ leading to a person’s current problem, making the treatment so much more profound and effective. “OHB sessions can be very enlightening for clients as they start to make connections themselves and learn to understand their body’s language. A symptom is really our body talking to us, but are we listening..?”

Optimum Health Balance Kinesiology

OHB Kinesiology and its practitioners are recognised by the Kinesiology Federation. Training now available in Scotland: OHB Self-Help Workshops, OHB Foundation Training, OHB Practitioner training FOR INFORMATION ABOUT TREATMENTS AND TRAINING CONTACT:

Lois Radmer

KFRP, MAR, OHB Practitioner and Tutor Mo:07541120540

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HOW TO MANAGE STRESS SYMPTOMS WITH SIMPLE HERBS In its most basic form, stress is our protector – the ignition to our fight or flight system. When we lived in caves it catapulted us from resting to fighting or fleeing wild animals. Our bodies haven’t changed much since then but life certainly has. We have evolved to function in the resting, relaxing, digesting, sleeping phase 80% of the time and only 20% fighting or fleeing. Nowadays the tigers we fight or flee are present around the clock in the guise of a 24-hour society. Our brains can’t tell the difference between an imagined threat and a real one. That’s why a chemical cascade of fight or flee hormones flood our bodies on repeat when we worry. Is it any wonder we feel so exhausted? When our adrenal glands, which secrete the stress hormones adrenalin, cortisol and norepinephrine, are repeatedly provoked they become tired over time (like a burst hose, my teacher would say) until we’re stuck on alert. Then we can experience palpitations, disturbed sleep, anxiety, brain fog, energy slumps and relapses or worsening of chronic conditions. 38 | june 2018 | holistic scotland



The stress-reducing benefits of exercise are well documented, as is the negative effect of the stimulant caffeine. Caffeine is a bit like poking your adrenals with a knitting needle – they don’t like it! Yet when fatigued it can become the thing you rely on most. That’s why I recommend just swapping out every other caffeinated drink for a non-caffeine alternative. Choose herbal infusions which actively reduce stress, such as chamomile or lemon balm. A relaxing blend may be even better.


Busy people often skip meals, or don’t feel like eating. Unfortunately, this compounds the problem. A drop in blood sugar triggers the adrenals to manage the release of sugar from the liver – which, in turn, creates more work for them. But eating foods high in protein can keep blood sugars stable. Try grabbing a handful of nuts and seeds between meals.


Medical herbalists can suggest remedies specifically for each patient. Liquorice, for example, is a wonderful adrenal restorative and digestive support. Gotu Kola is a key adrenal tonic which also helps reduce brain fog. We herbalists also use nervines (herbs which specifically help to support the nervous system) to reduce anxiety – such as California Poppy for overthinking and Scullcap – a favourite of mine – for those who get irritable under pressure. For sleep struggles, Valerian is a classic remedy to help restore calm. However stress manifests in your life, there are lots of practical ways to get on top of it. Time to ditch the burst hose and be more Zen garden! To find a medical herbalist in your area, go to

For more from Pamela, visit or PamelaSpenceHerbalist

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HOW TO STRESS LESS AND ENJOY LIFE MORE Learn to live life to the full with our 8 top tips 1




There’s one simple way of reducing your stress and enjoying life more and it’s right under your nose – quite literally. It’s nose breathing. It sounds obvious but, quite simply, nose breathing encourages your breathing to be slower and steadier. “When you have a stress response you are more likely to breathe faster than you need and breathe more into your upper chest – which is otherwise known as hyperventilation,” says Alison Waring, an osteopath and breath-work expert at York Natural Health. As you breathe faster the fight and flight stress response activates which maintains a more rapid breathing rate and maintains the stress response. This might be so subtle that you don’t even realise it and people will often switch to mouth breathing in this state. “Most people breathe at around 12-15 breaths per minute. Ideally at rest you would be breathing six breaths per minute for optimal relaxation, which means in for four seconds and out for six. Check to see where you are breathing by placing one hand on your chest and one on your abdomen. Focus on letting your chest rest, breathing through your nose, under your chest into your lower hand. Keep your nose breathing silent. “If it helps to relax your breathing, imagine yourself in your favourite place of relaxation. Your subconscious won’t be able to tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined.  At the end of each out breath, pause for a couple of seconds and allow your body to take the next in breath. “These mini pauses will help your nervous system to reset to a slower rate and before you know it you will be floating on your breath, feeling lighter and happier on your dessert island as the waves lap against the shore.”

New data from Michigan Technological University suggests that even just a single mindfulness meditation session can reduce anxiety and stress levels in the body. Why not try buddhify, a mindfulness app for people who don’t have hours and hours to sit in a quiet space and 40 | june 2018 | holistic scotland


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zen out with tranquil music in the background? In fact, the app is designed for on-the-go meditation – for people who are in the thick of it and only have five minutes for zen time. For more about on-the-go meditation, see our feature on page 53.



“A key thing to remember is that stressors are external,” says Luke Hughes, a personal trainer, life coach and co-founder of OriGym. “ Humans aren’t innately stressed, therefore stress is, in almost all instances, something that occurs because of external factors. “One way to eliminate a whole load of these factors is to root yourself in the present. People talk about ‘enjoying the moment’ or ‘living in the moment,’ but it’s advice that’s rarely used in practise. “By focusing on what’s occurring the present, you eliminate worrying about the things that could happen in the future, or the things that have happened in the past. This is an effective coping 41 | june 2018 | holistic scotland


Designed to help us deal with anything life may throw at us, this remedy is ideal to use as a preventative as it instils calm and prevents stress. It’s 100% and is said to relieve the symptoms of anxiety and distress and restore harmony in those panicky moments.

DR TEAL’S PURE EPSOM SALT SOAKING SOLUTION RELAX & RELIEF WITH EUCALYPTUS & SPEARMINT This unique blend of essential oils and magnesium sulphate, which is absorbed through the skin to boost magnesium levels, detoxifies the skin and restores muscle function. It’s the ultimate bath time addition for relaxation and mindfulness – just soak in the bath for 20 minutes to unwind.

A.VOGEL STRESS RELIEF DAYTIME ORAL DROPS A herbal remedy containing extracts of freshly harvested, organically grown Valerian and Hops. Use Stress Relief Daytime to help you cope with the pressures that can sometimes build up around you when you are busy, to reduce symptoms of stress and mild anxiety.

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mechanism used by sufferers of mild anxiety. “Another way to stress less is to consider whether you have an external or internal locus of control. Now, this may sound abstract, but it’s quite simple. If you have an internal locus of control, you believe you can affect change on your life, whereas an external locus of control is the opposite: life happens to you and is outside of your control. “Either choosing to accept that some factors are out of your control and you don’t have a say in everything, or wrestling back some control from the world, can eliminate stress from everyday situations.”





“Exercise releases serotonin, which is directly linked to positive thinking and happiness,” adds OriGym’s Lee Hughes. Building strength with regular exercise also helps reinforce feelings that you have control over your life, which is important when it comes to stress because often sufferers of anxiety have feelings of helplessness, or that they can’t affect change in their lives so there’s no point in trying.

“We hear the term self-love all the time and I am a great believer in it,” says Cat Raincock, a 40-yearold mum-of-two, life coach and


hypnotherapist who specialises in boosting energy, stress relief and self-esteem. “To learn to love yourself is the greatest empowerment there is, but it’s such a blanket term that it can be confusing about exactly what we need to do to self-love. That’s why I talk mostly about self-care as it’s the act of self-love. When we self-love, we nourish ourselves on an emotional, spiritual and physical level. It’s a commitment we all need to make. “What constitutes self-care? Stop saying ‘yes’ when you mean ‘no’, accepting invitations to things you ‘should’ go to rather than you ‘want’ to go to, burning candles at both ends, consuming toxic food, and taking on more than you can manage because you won’t delegate. “Start by taking a bath and having some peace and quiet to rest your mind; cancelling plans because you need to rest; eating clean, nourishing food; doing exercise you love, tuning into yourself and

meditating or doing yoga. All of these will help rebalance, reset and BOOST your system. “When we get stressed we neglect ourselves and the first thing that goes is self-care. Think about what you need to do to find balance and start taking care of yourself. If you don’t, no one else will. So start today, taking care of YOUR needs before others. Why? Because you matter.” Indigo Herbs echoes these self-care sentiments and recommends body temperature bathing. “Bathing at around 37°C, which is generally our body temperature, helps to calm our sympathetic nervous system (which is activated by stress) and promote relaxation via stimulation of our parasympathetic nervous system,” says Gareth Bilton, naturopathic physician at Indigo Health. “Combine this night-time bath with a couple of drops of Indigo Herbs De-stress and Unwind aromatherapy blend for extra comfort.”

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“Start the day with a stress-busting boost by having porridge or oat cakes for breakfast,” says A.Vogel nutritionist Emma Thornton. “Full of B vitamins and magnesium, oats calm the nervous system. Avena sativa (oat plant) extract has also been shown to reduce anxiety thanks to its antioxidant effect. “Switch your coffee for soothing lemon balm or chamomile tea. The calming herb Valerian isn’t such a nice taste, but taken as a tincture disguised in a little juice it can give swift relief to mounting tension. “Programme alerts to remind you to drink water (excellent for stress reduction) and eat at regular intervals to avoid your blood sugar levels dropping and triggering panicky feelings as adrenalin surges.”

“Personal time and annual leave is often encroached upon which reduces our ‘down-time’ from the normal stresses and strains of modern-day living. This type of long-term stress can have a negative effect on the body, and it is important to lessen stress whether that be through physical means, learning to say no, or using herbal medicines for short-term relief at particularly stressful times. “There are several herbs that have calming properties and have been used traditionally for many years to relieve symptoms of stress and anxiety such as Avena sativa, Passion flower, Lavender oil, and Hops and Valerian. “These herbs don’t have the addictive or withdrawal problems which can sometimes be associated with long-term use of prescribed benzodiazepine drugs. Always look for herbal medicines that display THR on their pack when buying over the counter or on-line to ensure you are buying high quality, safe products.” You might also want to try a botanical boost in the form of an adaptogen (meaning it helps to support the body to function normally in times of stress) such as Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) – available from Indigo Herbs as a powder of tincture. Ashwagandha helps to promote homeostasis and balance.




“The instant nature of electronic communications has created a culture where people feel obliged or compelled to respond immediately,” says Dr Dick Middleton, a retired pharmacist and director of The British Herbal Medicine Association (BHMA).


“Look at your life holistically and consider all the aspects affecting it, such as work, relationships, home environment, career, finances, health, social life and spirituality,” says Gareth Bilton, naturopathic physician for Indigo Health. “Then rate them out of 10 so you can identify areas for improvement, along with the root cause of any discontentment or unhappiness. “Think SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timescale) to give structure to your goals. By developing an awareness that we create our own reality through the lives we choose to lead, we can then be active in creating the life we want.”

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Why everyone’s talking about oil pulling... Katrina Mather One of the simplest and safest ways to detoxify the body and whiten teeth is oil pulling Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic detox technique. It’s one of the easiest ways to cleanse the body and, because it gives such remarkable results, it’s definitely worth shoehorning into your morning routine. So, what does it entail? Basically, putting a teaspoon of organic cold pressed oil (I like to use coconut oil, but you can use any oil) into your mouth and swirling it around like a mouth wash, before spitting it out. Why am I such a fan of this 3,000-year-old technique? Because whether we like to admit it or not, our mouths are home to bacteria and toxins and, after a nice long sleep those uninvited guests have been gathering and incubating away in our mouths. An indicator that that’s been the case might be bad breath in the morning or an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Oil acts like a magnet, attracting and binding to any bacteria, toxins or mucus in the mouth before they get a chance to spread around the body, causing inflammation or compromising the immune system.

1. Teeth Whitener:

It’s found recent fame for this benefit alone – oil pulling with coconut oil is the cheapest and safest way to naturally whiten your teeth. Its antimicrobial properties clean and brighten them, so there’s no need to use chemical whitening products that can harm your teeth.

2. Gets Rid of Bad Breath and Improves Oral Hygiene:

Oil pulling removes the bacteria responsible for tooth cavities and bad breath, as well as helping with plague-induced gingivitis, which makes it great for oral health.

3. Simple and Efficient Way to Detox:

Germs and bacteria in the body act like poison and not only waste the body’s precious energy in trying to deal with them, but they also cause inflammation, which can trigger chronic ill health. Oil pulling draws and removes these toxins from the mouth before they get a chance to spread to the rest of the body.

4. Keeps Your Skin Clear:

Getting rid of toxins that would otherwise end up circulating in the bloodstream will give your skin something to smile about. Skin problems, rashes etc often reduce significantly when you begin to use oil pulling as the body no longer needs to use the skin to “get rid” of what it doesn’t need.

5. Clears Congestion and Sinuses:

Many at the retreat notice that after a couple of days of oil pulling their sinuses begin to clear – one guy even found that his sense of smell returned after a couple of weeks. The oil pulls congestion and mucus from the throat and clears sinuses. 46 | june 2018 | holistic scotland


How to Oil Pull

Katrina Mather is a health educator and founder of ‘The Body Toolkit’, awardwinning health retreats in Scotland

• For the best results try oil pulling first thing in the morning, before you eat or drink anything else. • Any oil will do, but coconut oil has the added antibacterial and antifungal properties • Put 1 teaspoon of coconut oil into your mouth (if it’s still solid it will melt quite quickly). • Swirl the oil around the mouth, pulling it through the teeth, like a mouthwash (but no gargling!). • Aiming to do it for 5 to 20 minutes – you can build up the length of time gradually, but the best tip is to distract yourself when you’re oil pulling, e.g. read a book or make your bed. • When you’re done, empty the oil into the toilet or into the bin (never spit coconut oil into the sink, as it solidifies at cold temperatures and can block drains) • Rinse your mouth out with water two or three times and brush your teeth as normal. And if you swallow the oil by accident, don’t worry – coconut oil is incredibly good for us anyway. In just six nights at the retreat people notice that their teeth feel cleaner and look noticeably whiter, and when kept up for a few weeks clients have commented that even their dentists have noticed a difference in their oral hygiene.

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Shine bright Nothing says healthy like bright eyes, white teeth, glowing skin and healthy hair and nails. Now here’s how to get them!



ollutants, irritants, stress and age can all cause dryness and result in dull and unhealthylooking eyes. But, according to expert optometrist Sarah Farrant, we can easily prevent this by keeping our eyes moisturised and hydrated. “The things that make eyes beautiful, such as being bright, white and clear, are often the things which indicate healthy eyes,” says Sarah. “The eyes naturally produce a layer of tears – acting as a protective barrier to environmental insults and to keep the eyes bright and healthy – but this can be lacking in many people.” Sarah recommends Scope Opthalmics’ Heat, Cleanse, Hydrate regime to transform tired, red and dull-looking eyes into bright and healthy ones: • Heat with the OPTASE Moist Heat Mask which uses steady heat to stimulate the eye’s natural oil production and treat the underlying symptoms of dry eyes • Cleanse using Optase Tea Tree Oil Lid Wipes to remove any debris • Hydrate with Optase Eye Spray containing sea buckthorn oil to moisturise and protect eyes against dryness and irritants.

othing beats good nutrition for keeping your hair in good condition. Celebrity hair stylist Paul Smith, who has his own Be Gorgeous haircare brand, recommends eating meat and greens, such as kale and spinach, to give you iron and protein. He also swears by salmon, walnuts and avocados as great sources of omegs-3s, which help your hair stay shiny and healthy. “For an extra boost, you


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could ask your local health food store to recommend some vitamins,” says Paul. “If your hair lacks softness and is thinning, it could be a sign that your body has low iron levels or anemia. A blood test can easily determine if this is the case. “The average person loses around 100 hairs daily but this hair loss is normal and doesn’t make your hair feel any thinner. Vegetarians or women who have heavy periods, however, are prone to thinning hair due to low iron. Iron supplements or a change in diet to include more iron-rich foods can help keep your hair healthy. “You may also notice hair loss or thinning if you lack protein, which is essential to building your hair. But having a deficiency isn’t a problem – all you need is a daily serving of a high-protein food about the size of your palm.”

SUPPORT YOUR BODY WITH SUPERFOOD GOODNESS eauty starts from within so fuel your body with nutrientdense ingredients to give your body a boost and help it achieve the glowing skin, shiny hair and strong nails that it’s working so hard to produce and maintain. One Earth Organics recommends its Shine Bright superfood blend, whose leafy berry mix is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients, including Acai Berry, which is also high in essential omega-3 fatty acids; Match Green Tea, which is also energising; Baobab – rich in Vitamin C; Goji Berry for its immuneboosting properties, and Moringa, which is not only antioxidant-rich but a wellknown anti-inflammatory. The blend also contains Vitamins A, C and E, iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium to support skin, hair and nails and vision health; a reduction of tiredness and fatigue; immune function; bone health, and metabolism and protects cells from oxidative stress.


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s you get older, you may notice your teeth yellowing and this is likely down to your enamel, which thins as you age. When you have thin enamel, the true colour of your dentin, which is naturally yellow, shines through. To achieve whiter teeth naturally, you could try oil pulling, brushing with baking soda, using apple cider vinegar and, of course, avoiding stain-causing food and drinks such as tea, coffee, red wine, berries and tomato sauce. You could also try using a paper straw when you’re having the likes of beetroot and berry smoothies. For a helping hand, try the Diamond Whites Home Whitening Kit, which has a whitening time of just 10 minutes and is peroxide and sensitivity-free.


GET SET FOR SUMMER 5 FOODS FOR A SUMMER BODY Clinical nutritionist Suzie Sawyer shares her top five foods to get your body ‘beach-ready’ and packed full of nutrients! SWEET POTATOES

Not only are they full of fibre, which keeps the bowels in smooth working order, they’re also loaded with potassium, which helps to banish water retention. Sweet potatoes have a better nutrient profile than ‘normal’ potatoes and are packed with immune-boosting beta-carotene to help protect you from those summer colds.


A great versatile summer vegetable, which is packed with potassium to help stop water retention. Its lovely dark green colour means it’s high in immune-boosting polyphenols (plant compounds which are full of antioxidants). Just don’t boil them or they’ll go mushy!


One of the best and tastiest ways of getting a flatter summer stomach! Not only is watermelon packed with antioxidant-boosting nutrients to stop the ageing process and to help protect against sun damage, it’s one of the juiciest fruits around. Therefore, it’s a natural diuretic and it’s also loaded with potassium to stop any water retention. The body tends to hold onto water during the warmer summer months which can lead to bloating.


Similar to yoghurt but with even more health benefits. Kefir is a fermented milk drink, whose main ‘claim to fame’ is the wealth of beneficial bacteria it provides. Beneficial bacteria (or probiotics) are essential for keeping the digestive system ‘sweet’ and in good working order – and this means a flatter stomach. The more fermented foods that can be included in the diet the better!


Packed with anti-inflammatory nutrients that help calm the stomach but it’s also a natural diuretic, therefore bans any water retention. Interestingly, celery seeds are also high in nutrients and are frequently used to spice-up recipes.

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Beach bag beauties Salvation Intensive Moisturising Ointment

This 100% natural beeswax-based ointment from Purepotions is the perfect travel companion for 2018. Made with hemp, cold-pressed organic olive, safflower and sunflower oils and biodynamic herbal tinctures of chamomile, calendula, nettle and chickweed, it’s great for popping in your bag to cover every skincare eventuality. Use it as a lip balm, a salve for sore or tired eyes, to soothe chapped noses, as a primer under make-up, for instant relief for grazed knees, cracked heels, itches and scratches, and mosquito bites. It’s also great for deep hydration after the drying effects of flying or air conditioning and as an emergency make-up remover. It’s even good to use as a nappy salve or nipple cream for jet-set or busy mums on-the-go.

Scent-Free Sun Lotion SPF30

A high-factor sun lotion is a must for days out in the sun. As we all know, long days spent beneath harmful UV rays can seriously damage the skin. Fragrance-free and rich in natural antioxidants, this water-resistant lotion offers broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection and is formulated with 84% certified organic ingredients. Unlike many sun creams, you won’t find any silicones, emulsifiers or essential oils making it ideal for sensitive skin. Antioxidant rich avocado works to reduce damage from free radicals, whilst soothing aloe Vera keeps skin moisturised without clogging pores.

Full Metal Laquer 3 in 1 Metallic Make-Up Pen

This 3-in-1 make-up pen, which is exclusively available at W7 Cosmetics,is perfect for travelling light and for adding some beach babe glamour to your eyes, lips and nails. The formula is smooth and creamy, with a metallic effect that’s available in three different colours. The twisting mechanism means you can easily control application and make sure there is zero waste. It’s great for quick touch-ups and transforming your look on-the-go. The ingredients are non-hazardous so while the fast-drying formula can be used on nails, it will not cause any harm to the eyes or lips. 51 | june 2018 | holistic scotland


One of five Mary Jean hand-crafted organic soap selections ary Jean organic soaps and skincare are made in the heart of Speyside using an age-old tradition. Inspired by the Scottish countryside, each and every product is 100% natural and handcrafted in small batches – using only coldpressed carrier and essential oils. The family company’s ethical products are said to bring out the very best in natural health and beauty and are cruelty-free and sustainable. In fact, they come so highly recommended that we’ve teamed up with Mary Jean to offer five lucky readers the chance to try them out first-hand. We have five of Mary Jean’s handcrafted organic soap selections to give away this month. That means five lucky Holistic Scotland Magazine readers will be able to pick four soaps to try absolutely free!



This mild Honey & Oat Cleansing Bar is both exfoliating and moisturising. Made with hydrating honey, coconut oil and soothing oats, it gently

polishes your skin for a smoother, more refined skin texture.


The fresh lemony scent is stimulating, relaxing, soothing, and balancing. The soap also contains moisturising soya bean, apricot for softer skin, and pumice for a clearer complexion.


May Chang is an excellent cleanser with coconut and olive to moisturise and soften sensitive skin, as well as kaolin and bentonite clay for a toning effect.


Lavender a firm favourite to give you smoother skin while protecting your complexion from everyday elements. Email your details to with ‘Mary Jean’ in the subject line by 16 July to enter. For other products, visit

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“Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it,” Sharon Salzberg

Harley Street hypnotherapist Malminder Gill shares the key steps to mindfulness 1) It’s vital that mindfulness shouldn’t feel like a chore or a task to complete. It should be an enjoyable moment where you recognise that you’re in the present moment. 2) The first exercise should be to focus on your breathing. Start by sitting comfortably and noticing your in and out breaths. While this is very simple, it’s also very effective. Your mind may drift but, every time it does, acknowledge this and return to focusing purely on your breathing. 3) Allow yourself to acknowledge every sensation your body is feeling. Start with the tip of your toes and address every feeling you experience as you work your way up. If you notice a tingling, itchiness or ache, note it, but let it pass. 4) Another great practice for mindfulness is walking. With every step, you can note how thankful you are for your body and how each breath helps heal you and improve your wellbeing. Focus on the joy you experience and how each sense is stimulated.

EASY WAYS TO BE MORE MINDFUL Mindfulness doesn’t have to be a set task. As you practice, you can begin to let mindfulness be part of your dayto-day routine. Walking is a common habit you can do mindfully, but you can apply mindfulness to the simplest of tasks – even washing up! As you put your hands in the water, for example, focus on the temperature, the softness of the bubbles and the shape of the dishes. Another way to help your mindfulness is with music. Music and mindfulness work as a powerful combination to reduce stress. Start by choosing your favourite relaxing song and simply listen. If your mind wanders, try to pull it back gently to the song.

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FORGET EVERYTHING YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW ABOUT MEDITATION… f you think meditating is all about mantras, lotus positions and long periods of concentration, think again. According to those-in-the-know, meditation can be super simple and there are styles to suit everyone, regardless how little time we have. The team behind MINDBODY, a top health and wellness app, helps to unravel the myths.


Myth No.1 You have to sit in a crosslegged position

Meditation is about being comfortable, so if this means you are most relaxed propped up or sat on a cushion, then so be it. The traditional crosslegged lotus position is considered the best pose for meditation because it places all the primary Chakra energy centres in alignment, making spiritual perception easier. But it isn’t the only meditative position and not everyone can do it. It requires open hips and a lot of practise. Instead of battling with this particular pose, find peace in a comfier position and make use of tools, such as a yoga block, blanket or meditation cushion.

Myth No. 2 There is only one way to meditate

Any activity that gets you to focus and allow the subconscious to let go can be meditative – colouring, drawing or even cooking, for example. Illustrator and keen yogi Kate Phillipson launched Yoga Life Drawing to fuse her two passions and says drawing is a moving meditation and a great way to relax and unlock creativity. Mindfulness is also considered a form of meditation.


Myth No. 3 Meditation takes years of dedicated practise

You can quickly learn the basics of meditation and it’s not about achieving total ‘perfection’. Like anything, regular practise helps you to improve and means you’ll learn more, but the benefits of meditation can be almost immediate. A study led by Harvard University found that as little as eight weeks of meditation helped people experience decreased anxiety and improved stress regulation.

Myth No.4 You need to ban distractions, including technology

Many apps and online programmes have helped to bring meditation into the mainstream. Technology such as Muse and apps such as Headspace have guided users through focused meditation and can be a practical way into the discipline. If you find you’re distracted by something in the room, don’t rush to block it out. Just acknowledge the distraction before bringing your attention back to the breath. If you try and eliminate every single thought that pops into your head, you might just end up frustrated.

Myth No. 5 You don’t have time to meditate With common benefits including improved concentration and decreased blood pressure, meditation is absolutely worth your time – as limited as it may be. You’re likely to feel more productive and calm after a meditation session, meaning you can fit more into your day. Focusing on the present moment also means you’re not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, so you can focus on the ‘right now’ and make the most of your time. Even just five minutes in the morning can be enough to set you up for a more productive and positive day. Why not download the MINDBODY app?

Phil Vickery of ITV’s This Morning talks nutrition and going gluten-free Q: Why are you so passionate about healthy eating? A: We are all getting older and living longer and I want to help people appreciate life as much as possible – which is very hard to do if you’re unwell.

Q: How would you describe your own diet? A: I have never dieted and don’t think it’s healthy to have an overly prescriptive diet unless you have a condition such as diabetes or coeliac disease. I try to monitor the amount of sugar I have and

Q: What, in your opinion, is the secret to good nutrition? A: It’s a cliché, but balance has a huge part to play. I’d never advocate staying away from one particular food group unless you have an underlying illness. Having a healthy, well balanced diet and enjoying food will usually mean you are living a healthy life. The Greeks and the Italians have understood this for years. Keeping fit and active also has a big part to play. Q: What’s your signature dish? A: I don’t have a signature dish as this tends to change season to season and year to year, but I’m currently really happy with my Sweet Ricotta doughnuts (see the recipe on page 58).

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seldom drink (but I do still love a pint after I play football). I am a cook and tend to know what goes into 99% of what I eat – so that’s a big help. Overall, my diet is healthy and balanced, with the occasional indulgences that are good for the soul. Q: What is gluten and why do we need it in our food? A: Gluten is naturally formed when water and wheat flour mix and is in a huge amount of foods. For most of us, it’s nothing to worry about, but many people have an intolerance that can lead to bloating. For those with coeliac disease, it’s far more serious and gluten can be a very dangerous thing to have in your diet. I have tried to create recipes for these people in mind. So many great recipes can be cooked at home without any gluten at all.   Q: Who comes to you for gluten-free advice? A: Hundreds of people of all ages – from mums worried about their kids at university, to large businesses such as airlines and B2B caterers.

going ‘sugar-free’. The latter is almost impossible and a lot of people are using the term ‘sugar-free’ incorrectly, when they actually mean ‘no added sugar’. I’ve found the natural sugar alternative xylitol has enabled me to reduce sugar in baking. But you also need to be asking yourself questions such as ‘do I really need two biscuits or is one enough?’ Q: Should everyone be doing it? A: Most people will benefit from reducing sugar in their lives but, as with everything, balance is key. If you cut all the sugar out of your diet you’d be removing most fruit and vegetables, which would be very unhealthy. Instead focus on reducing processed high sugar foods such as cakes, biscuits and chocolate bars. Phil has teamed up with Diabetes UK to create a fantastic collection of recipes which will help you achieve a healthy, balanced diet without sacrificing the pleasure of food.

Q: Even if you don’t suffer from digestive issues, is there a benefit to going gluten free? A: It all depends on now your body feels. I would always encourage a well-balanced diet. The problems occur when you have too much of one type of thing in your diet and not enough of another, such as too much sugar and not enough vegetables or essential fatty acids. Going gluten-free or cutting down is good for you if you know that certain foods make you feel a certain negative way – but I would never suggest a restrictive diet unless you have no choice.    Q: What is low sugar cooking? A: Low sugar cooking is based around reducing the amount of sugar in your diet, to help lessen the negative impact too much can have on our bodies. It’s important to make a distinction between reducing sugar and

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“When I wrote my gluten-free cook book, these doughnut balls were one of my favourite recipes,” says Phil. “So, I thought I’d have a go at creating a no added sugar version and I’m delighted with the results. “For a sweet treat, just make sure the oil is deep and hot enough to make the dough inside fluffy and light. You can use a wheat flour (which contains gluten) instead of gluten-free, in which case leave out the xanthan gum. PREPARATION TIME: 10 minutes plus 30 minutes to drain the ricotta COOKING TIME: 25 minutes DOUGHNUT INGREDIENTS: Vegetable oil for deep frying 250g ricotta cheese 45g gluten-free flour blend (see below) 1/8th level tsp xanthan gum 1 level tsp gluten free baking powder 58 | june 2018 | holistic scotland

1tbsp. xylitol sugar alternative (available in stores as Total Sweet Xylitol) Finely grated zest 1 lemon 1 egg, beaten 1 egg yolk


CINNAMON DUSTING INGREDIENTS 2tbsp. xylitol 1tsp cinnamon METHOD: • Drain the ricotta: turn into a colander and leave to drain until dry, about 30 minutes or overnight. • Heat the oil in a deep fat fryer to 180oC, or a deep sided pan filled one third with oil. • Place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, xylitol and lemon zest into a bowl and mix together evenly. Add the egg and yolk; next add the drained ricotta cheese and again mix well. • Spoon the dough into a piping bag (not fitted with a nozzle) and when the oil is hot, pipe small balls of dough straight into the hot oil. If you don’t have a piping bag, roll little balls of mixture between metal spoons and transfer to the oil. • Cook a small batch at a time, swirling and turning with a slotted spoon so you get an even colour and until nice and golden: about 3- 4 minutes. • Drain well on kitchen paper and then roll in cinnamon dusting while still warm. Serve warm and fresh straight away. The recipe makes about 30 to allow 5 servings of six little bites.

WHITE & BROWN RICE FLOUR BLEND Simply mix the following together: • 175g mixture of half white rice flour with half brown rice flour • 175g potato starch • 150g tapioca flour/ starch

PARFAIT Serves 8


“With so many alternative ingredients available today, you can easily make healthy tweaks to recipes without noticing any difference in taste and texture and this parfait is a brilliant example. “Made with double cream it’s still very indulgent, but without any added sugar (although there are natural sugars in the pears), the guilt doesn’t have to be quite so bad and you can always enjoy the pears with Greek yoghurt.” INGREDIENTS • 3 medium free-range egg whites (100g) at room temperature (Red Lion stamped) • Pinch of cream of tartar • 130g xylitol sugar alternative (available as Total Sweet) • 4 level tsp mixed spice (ensure contains no gluten) • 600mls double cream, lightly whipped METHOD • Place the egg whites into a clean mixing bowl and add the cream of tartar • Place the whisk on the machine and whisk at high speed until thick and foamy, probably 1-2 minutes • Slow the machine down and sprinkle over the xylitol, then re whisk for 3-4 minutes until thick and glossy 59 | june 2018 | holistic scotland

• Add the mixed spice to the lightly whipped double cream and fold in • Add the finished meringue to the lightly whipped cream and gently fold in • Spoon into a container or bowl, cover with cling film and freeze until firm, for the best consistency I reckon about 6 hours. If left overnight you may need to remove from the freezer and pop in the fridge for 1 hour to soften slightly before eating • When serving you may need to remove the parfait from the freezer 10 minutes before serving to soften slightly • Using an ice cream scoop, scoop into balls or open curls and serve in bowls with the pears.

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LET’S GO GLAMPING Spending time outdoors is good for your health – just think of all that fresh air, exercise, natural sunlight and spending quality time with your loved ones. But if you don’t fancy taking your chances with the Scottish weather and spending 24 hours wild camping under the stars, there are lots of alternatives to choose from. How about a night in a traditional Mongolian yurt, for example, a luxury lodge with hot tub, pet-friendly pod, cosy loch-side cabin, or Scottish-built Wigwam? If fire pits, outdoor cooking, toasting marshmallows and early evening nature walks sound like your idea of fun, what are you waiting for? Let’s go glamping!

Travelling tents for any occasion festivals - holidays - parties

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Your guide to the ultimate



Mosquitos and other biting insects (with their dive-bombing and bloodsucking antics) are guaranteed to put a dampener on things when you’re outside so don’t leave home without Zap-It! While scratching a bite might bring short-lived relief, it also floods the bitten area with histamine – causing swelling and incessant urges to scratch (meanwhile damaging the skin’s surface and risking infection). Instead, pack this small but effective device, which generates a mild (no stronger than a gentle pinch) low electrical impulse generated by crystals – to deliver harmless little zaps which stop the itching and urge to scratch in minutes.


This compact micro-fibre beach towel from Theye has multiabsorbency properties. Made from micro-fibre suede, it takes only 10 minutes to dry in the sun and remains dirt free, allowing you to enjoy a fuss-free trip to a festival or camping park.


This compact micro-fibre beach towel from Theye has multi-absorbency properties. Made from micro-fibre suede, it takes only 10 minutes to dry in the sun and remains dirt free, allowing you to enjoy a fuss-free trip to a festival or camping park.


Nothing can replace a good clean with a proper toothbrush. These bamboo toothbrushes from The Pearly White Club not only do a good job but they’re environmentally friendly too.

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Don’t be left in the dark trying to find your tent at the end of the night. The VARTA LED Outdoor Sports Flashlight 3C is the perfect gadget for illuminating the campsite. The 3C also has a handy bottle opener on the end of the cap.


A waterproof picnic blanket is essential for lazy lunches in the sun – and the quirkier the better. We love this Kissing Hedgehogs from Not only is it waterproof-backed, it’s super lightweight and machine washable. The material is 100% printed cotton front, with a nylon water-resistant back and the whole thing even rolls up to produce adjustable carry handles.


TRAVEL YOGA MAT The YogaBellies® SKINNY Mat is perfect for yogis on the move and means you can travel light. No more packing a yoga mat and towel! This solid travel-style mat won’t move around as you practice and its vivid, non-fade colours and stunning design will make you the envy of the campsite! We use high tech heat sublimation printing to make sure the design will not fade over time. It’s perfect for every style of yoga, pilates or fitness practice and rolls or folds – making it compact and travelfriendly. The 1.5cm-thick SKINNY mat is thin enough to be light and portable, but with just enough cushioning to support your yoga practice. Made from 100% natural tree rubber, it’s also biodegradable and recyclable.

The launch of Swish To Go, a 3-in-1 oral care solution, means you don’t even need to leave your tent to keep your teeth squeaky clean. This quickdissolving, natural powder turns to liquid on the tongue, where it can be swished for 10 seconds then swallowed to deliver cleaner teeth, healthier gums and long-lasting fresh breath wherever you are.


You might be glamping but you’ll still need to take the everyday necessities, such as: • Bedding – don’t forget your pillow • Food supplies – try to pack healthy snacks that don’t need cooking • Cleaning essentials – you’ll still need to wash your own dishes, wherever that may be • Your own dishes and cutlery • Bottled water

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HOW TO BUILD AN OPEN FIRE PIT Whether you’re glamping or wild camping, nothing beats an open fire pit. Swedish chef Niklas Ekstedt explains how to get it right first time in his new book, Food from the Fire: Back to Basics Scandinavian Cooking: • Build your fire where it’s open and there’s no risk of grass, shrubs or drooping branches catching fire. The fireplace should be about 50–70cm/1½–3ft in diameter. • Prepare the ground. Sweep an area clear of dry grass and twigs. Build the fireplace with stones that can be packed close together, so they cover the ground completely. A raised ring of stones around the fire is good to have as a wind break, and as a support for the grill grate. Look for stones around 10–15cm/4–6in tall. How wide your fireplace should be depends on the size of your grill grate. Start by adding the largest stones close together. Fill the gaps with smaller pieces of stone. Try to build the fireplace base so it slopes slightly toward the middle, so there’s less risk of embers falling out onto the ground. • Depending on the size of the grill grate, place two large stones, or several smaller ones, on one side of the fire pit. The grill grate should be placed about 25cm/10in higher than the base of the fire. • At the restaurant, we use Swedish birch wood that’s been allowed to dry slowly in the sun. Birch quickly dissipates heat, which makes it easy to control the temperature. Spruce and pine are more difficult to light and contain resin which crackles and emits sparks. More solid woods such as ash, rowan and oak are slightly harder to ignite, but burn at a good, high temperature. But they’re more expensive and there is limited supply. A practical size for firewood logs is 40cm/16in long, and about 7cm/3in in diameter. As a guide, to cook a meal for four people, you will need about 12–15 logs. Never use painted, glued or stained wood to fuel your fire. It will give off dangerous fumes. Also, avoid using 64 | june 2018 | holistic scotland


lighter fluid to light your fire as that will give your food a bad taste. • To light the fire, you need some strips of birch bark, about 10 x 10cm/4 x 4in, and two sizes of sticks for kindling. Birch bark is easiest to pull by hand from the logs (alternatively, use newspaper). The smallest size of stick, about 0.5–1cm/¼–½in in diameter, is most easily made by placing a log vertically on a stable surface. By eye, measure out the stick at a corner of the log, apply a sharp knife edge against the top of the log, going with the grain, and, using another log, bang firmly on the knife. You can usually get halfway through the log before it breaks in the middle – it doesn’t matter. Get together three handfuls of this smallest stick size. For the next size of stick, chop a couple of logs into 6–8 pieces, about 2.5cm/1in in diameter. Set two pieces of firewood parallel to each other, about 20cm/8in apart. Place two pieces of birch bark between the logs, then place a handful of the smallest stick size on top. Now place 3–4 of the larger sticks, diagonally, so that they rest against the logs. Light the birch bark with a match. If the larger sticks do not catch fire, feed with more birch bark and the smallest kindling sticks. When the larger sticks are burning, you can start to place more logs. You have your cooking fire.


SERVES 4 4–8 apples 8 tsp maple syrup

“This is my one of my favourites when spending time with friends and family at a picnic,” says Niklas. “Bake the apples in the embers while you cook your lunch – or grill the hotdogs – over the fire. If you don’t have a cast-iron doughnut pan, you could cook this batter as a thick pancake in a cast-iron frying pan.” DOUGHNUTS 5 eggs 250g/9oz/1¼ cups caster (superfine) sugar 600g/1lb 5oz/5 cups plain (all-purpose) flour 5 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt

225ml/8fl oz/scant 1 cup double (heavy) cream 225ml/8fl oz/scant 1 cup milk 225g/8oz/1 cup butter, melted 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Wrap the apples in foil and place them in the embers of your fire (or the oven, preheated to 180°C/350°F/gas 4) for 30–40 minutes. Press a small knife into the centre of one apple to make sure it is cooked and soft. To make the doughnuts, beat the eggs and 225g/8oz/1 cup of the sugar together until pale and creamy. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the egg mixture and stir until smooth. Fold in the cream, milk and half of the melted butter. Mix the remaining sugar with the cinnamon and set aside. Heat a cast-iron doughnut pan over medium heat and add the remaining butter; it will sizzle and brown. Pipe or spoon the doughnut batter into the pan, filling the moulds half way, and cook over medium–high heat for 3–4 minutes, then turn each doughnut over in its mould and continue cooking until browned all over. Tip the doughnuts out of the pan and roll in the cinnamon sugar. Serve with maple syrup and the emberbaked apples.

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Did you know that by choosing the right charcoal for the food and drink you’re serving, you can enhance the flavour of your BBQ food? BBQ expert Bill Gardner has even created a food, drink and charcoal pairing chart using artisan charcoal from The Oxford Charcoal Company, which is handmade from a single tree species and available to buy online. Not only is it gourmet charcoal, but it’s fast-lighting and free from any nasty chemicals. Bill recommends the following charcoal and food and drink pairings: • Apple (sweet, medium-like smoke flavour) – with pork, pulled pork, ribs and chicken Also great with cider, IPA, Pilsner, Amber Ale and Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Beaujolais • Alder (light and delicate smoke flavour) – with salmon, trout, potatoes, roast veg, beef, chicken and turkey Also great with: Pilsner, IPA, cider, Amber Ale, Porter and Sancerre, Poully Fume, Chardonnay, and Malbec • Ash (lighter soft smoke) – with cod, hake, haddock, lamb fillets and marinated legs • Also great with Pilsner, Sancerre, Poully Fume, and Rioja • Beech (heavier, rich soft smoke) – with hot dogs and oily fish. Also great with: Pilsner, Weiss Beer, Amber Ale and Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir • Birch (subtle smoke, mineral flavours) – with oysters, scallops, prawns, trout, lamb and mackerel. Also great with: Light IPA, Pilsner, Amber Ale and champagne, sherry, Sancerre and Pinot Grigio • Cherry (medium, sweet smoke which adds colour) – with duck, goose, ham and beef. Also great with: Lager Beer, IPA/EPA, dark ale and Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Riesling, Chenin Blanc • Hardwood Blend (classic BBQ smoke flavours) – with classic BBQ steaks, burgers, sausages and chicken. Also great with: Pilsner, Belgium Beer, Porter, Cider and Merlot, Pinot Noir, Bordeaux and Malbec • Hazel (light to medium clean smoke) – with rabbit, chicken, turkey and game. Also great with: Belgian Beer, Amber Ale, Porter and Pinot Noir, Rhone, Douro, and Burgundy. Other charcoal flavours include Maple, Oak, Orange, and Sweet Chestnut. 66 | june 2018 | holistic scotland


Safe stove advice

If your bell tent or yurt is luxurious enough to be kitted out with its own heating source, make sure your glamping staycation is as safe as houses with these 10 top wood-burning stove tips from flue, chimney and renewable heating specialist Specflue.

• Aim for a small, hot fire – a fast burn is the cleanest and most efficient way of running the stove. • A little smoke in a wood burner is good, but beware of dense, black smoke which is a sign of poor combustion. • When lighting the stove, open the air vents, place firelighters and dry kindling on the fire bed and ignite to a vigorous burn. • At this stage, leaving the wood burner door slightly ajar can increase the ‘flue pull’ and avoid condensation building up on the inside of the glass. • Ensure that all combustibles, including logs, are at a safe distance from the stove. • Make sure air ventilation grilles/flues are not blocked. • Securely fit a fireguard to protect children and pets. • Don’t leave the wood burner lit overnight. • Is there a working carbon monoxide (CO) alarm?  This is absolutely vital to ensure your safety during your stay – CO can kill.  If you feel unwell, consult a medical professional immediately. • Know the signs – symptoms of CO poisoning include: headaches, collapse, breathlessness, nausea, drowsiness, chest and stomach pains, erratic behaviour

Don’t forget!

The marshmallows for toasting! 67 | june 2018 | holistic scotland

IN SEASON – WATERCRESS Watercress is a great way to pep up salads, burgers, burritos and more. It’s said to contain more than 50 different vitamins and minerals and could actively help to prevent cancer. Gram for gram, the peppery salad leaf provides more Vitamin C than oranges, more Vitamin E than broccoli and more folate than banana. Why not boost your intake by giving this BBQ recipe a go?

Ingredients: • 4 whole mackerel, gutted and scaled • 100g salted butter, softened but not melted • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely diced • 1 bag watercress • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped • Zest of half a lemon • Sea salt • Olive oil

Method: 1 Finely chop a small handful of watercress. Mix together butter, chilli, watercress, garlic, and lemon zest. Spoon the butter mixture onto a sheet of eco-friendly greaseproof paper, then roll into a tight cylinder, twisting the ends to keep the shape. Put in the fridge for 10-15 minutes or until it has set firm. 2 Using a sharp knife, slash the skin of the mackerel diagonally on both sides. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Remove the butter from the fridge and take off the paper before slicing into 8 rounds. 3 Place the mackerel on a pre-heated barbecue, either directly or in a barbecue fish basket. Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, only turning the fish once. After the fish has been turned, place two rounds of butter on each fish and allow it to melt slightly. You will know when the fish is cooked as the flesh will come away easily from the bone. 4 Place the remainder of the watercress in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve together with the cooked fish and some lemon wedges. For more watercress recipes, visit 68 | june 2018 | holistic scotland


WIN a glamping break with Wigwam® Holidays If you’re ready for a glamping break, then you’re in luck! Holistic Scotland Magazine has teamed up with Wigwam® Holidays – one of the UK’s leading glamping accommodation providers – to give you this exciting chance to win a fantastic staycation! As part of its mission to promote ‘Great Holidays in the Great Outdoors’, Wigwam® Holidays is offering one lucky Holistic Scotland Magazine winner a £250 glamping voucher

towards a staycation at one of its UK-based glamping sites*. Perfectly at peace with Mother Nature, Wigwam® Holidays specialises in creating handcrafted cabins from sustainable timber – all of which are made in Scotland. Its glamping breaks are a great opportunity to rebalance your mind, body and soul; have a gadget detox, and create some special memories.

You might choose to glamp on the edge of a Scottish Loch, on a bustling working farm or overlooking the majestic Welsh mountains, for example. To be in with a chance of winning a peaceful staycation, send your details with ‘Wigwam Holidays’ in the subject line to by 16 July.

*Terms and Conditions: The prize is subject to availability and the booking terms and conditions of Wigwam® Holidays. It has no monetary value and is non-transferrable. Once booked the holiday cannot be transferred to another Wigwam® booking or site, nor can it be transferred to any other type of holiday accommodation or to another customer. The prize is only available to those aged 21 and over. Food, bed linen and additional costs are not included. The prize is one £250 glamping voucher which can be used to book a Wigwam® Cabin online. Please check if dogs are permitted on individual sites before booking – an extra tariff may apply. Once a booking has been confirmed, no changes are permitted. If a booking is cancelled, no alternative dates can be arranged. No compensation and/or refund will be provided in these circumstances. The photos for this competition are used for illustrative purposes only and the type of Wigwam® Cabin, it’s facilities and site location varies.The draw is not open to persons employed or contracted to Wigwam® Holidays and their agents, Holistic Scotland’s employees or any of their agents.

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Holistic Scotland’s Top 10 UK glamping experiences Drumshademuir Caravan & Camping Park, Kirriemuir

Situated mid-way between Glamis and Kirriemuir, Drumshademuir has to be one of the friendliest sites in Scotland. Its recently-introduced glamping pods sleep up to four people and are fully kitted out with all mod cons, including a fridge, microwave, TV, kettle, dining table and heater. Sadly, there’s no fire pit but there is a great outdoor decking area on which to sit out. The site has a great woodland walk where, if you’re lucky, you might spot the odd deer. Dusk at Drumshademuir is a great time for bat-watching, as well as spotting frogs and toads. The site has a playpark, small shop and popular restaurant and bar, as well as occasional live entertainment. Nearby, you’ll find Glamis Castle and, of course, Kirriemuir – the birthplace of J.M Barrie, creator of Peter Pan.

Dimpsey Glamping, Somerset

This shepherds’ hut retreat offers luxury glamping, with a wood-fired hot tub and views across the Blackdown Hills – an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – which is also great for walking and cycling. This is a high-end experience in a field, with a concierge-style recommendation service. Each hut has en-suite facilities and a full-size double bed and is kitted out with UK vintage and artisan-made pieces using natural materials such as wool, leather, stone and wood. The owners are inspired by the Mandarin Oriental mantra “Luxury is achieved when service is intuitive and goes beyond obligation” and beauty treatments can even be booked in the hut.

Flying Scotsman, Brecon

For a truly different and romantic break, the Flying Scotsman is a great choice. This rustic retreat – whose design is based on a railway carriage – is set in the heart of the Welsh countryside surrounded by woodland, hiking trails and open fields. Part of the Original Cottages portfolio, before it’s the perfect base for keen walkers and, thanks to nearby access to the River Crave, fishing enthusiasts. Its cosy interior has been thoughtfully crafted from Welsh oak and red cedar for a quirky finish and features a fold-away dining area, hand-crafted bed and well equipped kitchen. Outside, the decking area is perfect for star-gazing on a clear night.

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Strathfillan Wigwam Village, Tyndrum

Situated on a working farm in Scotland’s West Highlands, within Trossachs National Park and near Loch Lomond, Strathfillan Wigwam Village is surrounded by thick forest and wildflowers. It’s a great haven for birdwatching and for getting back to nature in general. The site’s popular woodland walk leads to an idyllic waterfall and there’s plenty of opportunity to relax by the nearby babbling River Allt Auchtertyre. The site is also close to a new gold mine that’s been given the go-ahead near Tyndrum.

Sheperds Hut at Ridge Hall, Staithes

Standing on its own and surrounded by a glorious south-facing meadow, this cosy hut is a perfect hide-away for anyone who wants to get away for a relaxing rural retreat. Situated near the Yorkshire Coast in the heart of the Yorkshire countryside, Sheperds Hut which is also part of Original Cottages’ portfolio is fully insulated with a comfortable king-size bed. What’s really special about it is that you can wake up to Tai Chi lessons and personal tuition in the open air, hosted by the owners.

Forest of Dean Holiday Park

Forest of Dean Holiday Park in the heart of the Forest of Dean has introduced 20 new glamping pods to its Whitmead Forest Park location – bringing the total number of pods at the site to 29. Visitors can now choose from the pet-friendly Mega Pod XL, which houses a double bed and sofa bed, as well as its own toilet, wash basin, shower and kitchen area; Mega Pod X, which offers open-plan living and an outside picnic area and parking spot, or a Camping Pod, which offers an eco-friendly alternative to a tent but with a double bed and bunk beds. The site also offers cabins, lodges and apartments for up to six people among acres of woodland and has an on-site swimming pool, spa and restaurant and bar. There’s even kids’ activities and free live evening entertainment.

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Galloway Point Holiday Park, Portpatrick

Situated less than a mile from the unspoilt coastal village of Portpatrick in south west Scotland, the park offers panoramic views of the Irish Sea – also taking in the distant Mountains of Mourne. Its new chalet pods, which sleep two, are the height of glamping luxury – complete with en-suite and shower. Each pod also has a private decking and BBQ area, as well as its own parking space. Galloway Barn Restaurant is just a short walk away.

Braidhaugh Park, Crieff

Braidhaugh is a cosy little site you’ll want to return to again and again. It offers two types of glamping experience: Standard petfriendly Wigwams, which sleep up to six people, or its new Premium Wigwams with Wood-Fired Hot Tub, which sleep four. The site itself is small but perfectly formed and one of the highlights is the River Earn which runs through the campsite, which also takes tourers and motorhomes and offers a range of cabins and holiday lodges. The River provides endless entertainment – for visiting kids who can catch minnows with their nets from its banks and for more serious fishing fans who can catch rainbow and brown trout, as well as the odd salmon, for the fire pit. The site also has an on-site games room and attractions such as Gordon & Durward’s traditional sweet shop – unofficially dubbed the best in Scotland, Crieff Visitor Centre and The Nutcracker Christmas Shop, which is open all year round, are only a short distance away. 72 | june 2018 | holistic scotland


Caalm Camp, North Dorset

Caalm Camp offers idyllic glamping experiences in original Mongolian yurts in the beautiful North Dorset countryside. From the site, which is located on a former dairy farm just south of Shaftesbury, you can enjoy stunning views across the Blackmore Vale to Duncliffe Woods, Bulbarrow and Hambledon Hill. The site houses six different yurts – all with a luxurious twist. Each of them comprises a comfortable wrought iron bed – complete with white, cotton linen, fur blankets and cushions – electric lighting and sockets, private bathroom with flushing toilet and hot shower. Each yurt also has a woodburning stove which, traditionally, would be fuelled by animal dung, but there is plenty free firewood at Caalm Camp. Relaxation is a huge part of yurt life and it’s a great excuse to lounge around and read, play games or just enjoy the peace and quiet. Just make sure you take plenty of marshmallows as each yurt has its own fire pit and BBQ right by the front door. As if that wasn’t luxurious enough, guests have full access to the communal indoor kitchen and an incredible pizza oven which can be booked for private pizza parties. Come nightfall, you can listen to the local wildlife while star-gazing through the clear roof dome. Nearby, you’ll find Longleat, Stonehenge, Wookey Hole and a plethora of pretty Dorset villages and towns to explore.

Valley Yurts, Scottish Borders

More Mongolian yurts await in the stunning Ettrick Valley in the Scottish Borders, where you can enjoy cycling, fishing, hiking and nearby horse riding. The yurts are fully furnished and finished off with colourful rugs. There’s also a wood-burning stove and a BBQ and fire pit for outdoor cooking. Wall hangings, twinkly solar lights and candles add a touch of magic, while each of the five yurts sleeps six people. You’ll find a shop on-site and a common room where you can borrow books and games.

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Wild swimming

Discover the best wild swim locations in Scotland at or stay tuned for our July/August issue which covers the best places to take a dip.


Live music at Balgove Larder Night Markets


Pleasance’s Kidzone at the Edinburgh Fringe


Glasgow’s Parklives programme

Get along to Balgove Larder near St Andrews for a full programme of live music, crafts, street food and, of course, the very best food and drink from Balgove itself. The markets take place from May to September in the farm shop’s Steak Barn whose walls are made from recycled potato crates, with a huge wood-fired BBQ at its centre. Markets run 5pm till 9pm on 12 June, 17 July, 14 August and 18 September.

This giant, inflatable igloo – located on The Green, in the heart of The Courtyard – remains the only Fringe venue in Edinburgh to offer a dedicated child-friendly area. Here you’ll find a café selling kid-friendly food, a nappy change area, pram shelter and weather-proof art pods where children (and adults) can enjoy crafts and activities. There will also be storytelling sessions, face painting, music, author book signings, and regular visits from the Pleasance performers.

Take part in a range of free, fun activities – suitable for all ages and abilities – across Glasgow this summer. Highlights include parent and child yoga, women-only yoga, family yoga, social Nordic walking, companion cycling, fun fitness, tai chi, mountain boarding and karate fun tots. 74 | june 2018 | holistic scotland



Wild camping


National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

There are lots of unofficial campsites in Scotland where you don’t have to pay a penny. Check out for details

For a great, free (and educational) day out, head to the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. Explore multiple floors of biology, science and technology and much more – documenting history right up to the present day. From dinosaurs and ancient Egypt, to Scottish heritage and archaeology, you’ll find it all here.


Shows at the Free Festival


East Neuk Festival

Get along to the Free Festival, which is part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, for hundreds of free shows in August. Shows include stand-up comedian Andy Stedman’s Parental Guidance show, which includes plenty of fatherhood-based satire and some tongue-in-cheek advice.

The 2018 East Neuk Festival in Fife runs from 27 June till 1 July and includes some great free events, such as Festivallaround, a day of free open-air concerts by the prize-winning Tullis Russell Mills Band.

Walk the Fife Coastal Path

This route really needs no introduction. Whatever your walking aptitude, the Fife Coastal Path can – and will – accommodate. From the university town of St Andrews to Fife’s former coal mining towns, you will enjoy so much more than just a coastal walk.



10. Visit the world’s first museum to specialise Museum of Childhood, Edinburgh

in the history of childhood. Newly-refurbished, it features 60 rarely-seen objects relating to childhood through the ages.

The Ecology Centre, Kinghorn

Pay a visit to The Ecology Centre and nearby Fife Earthship in Kinghorn for a great green day out. This summer, the Centre will also host its own Summer Festival to mark 20 years on the site on Saturday, 8 September. Enjoy live music, games for the kids, a Puddledub BBQ, treasure hunt, face painting, pond dipping, a range of stalls, yoga taster sessions and Indian head massages.

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Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Glasgow


Beach walks at Lunan Bay

The 2018 East Neuk Festival in Fife runs from 27 June till 1 July and includes some great free events, such as Festivallaround, a day of free open-air concerts by the prize-winning Tullis Russell Mills Band.

Lunan Bay has to be one of Angus’ best-kept secrets, not to mention its finest beach. The broad east-facing beach, with its white sands and dunes framed by cliffs to the north and south, makes a fantastic picnic location on a clear, blue sky day. There’s also a cave and arch at its northern end, as well as a ruined castle.


Themed walks of the Lomond Hills


Garden games at home

The Lomond Hills are Fife’s most prominent landmark and a vast conservation area, with a network of paths and interesting features along the way. There are also public toilets, picnic areas, and mountain bike trails. Choose from The Water of Life, Rock History, or A Working Landscape walks.

Lunan Bay has to be one of Angus’ best-kept secrets, not to mention its finest beach. The broad eastfacing beach, with its white sands and dunes framed by cliffs to the north and south, makes a fantastic picnic location on a clear, blue sky day. There’s also a cave and arch at its northern end, as well as a ruined castle.


Birdwatching at Birnie and Gaddon Lochs

Manmade Birnie and Gaddon Lochs near Collessie in North East Fife are havens for all sorts of wildlife – namely birds, damselflies and other mini beasts. The two lochs are joined by a network of paths surrounded by woodland, with wooden benches at various vantage points. As well as being a great spot for birdwatching, the site has been known to accommodate some of the Kingdom’s rarer mammals, such as red squirrels, otters and bats. It’s a great family picnic location and an easy and enjoyable walk round the open water.


Wildflower spotting in Scotland’s forests

You’ll find plenty of native wildflowers at the likes of Glenbranter at Argyll Forest Park, Garscadden Wood near Glasgow, and Glenmore Forest Park – all run by Forestry Commission Scotland.

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Visit the Scottish Dolphin Centre

Spot the largest bottlenose dolphins in the world, as well as ospreys, grey and common seals, otters and lots of coastal birds, enjoy a guided tour and step inside the UK’s biggest Icehouse at the mouth of the River Spey in Moray.


Join the National Whale and Dolphin Watch 2018

Lochaber Geopark

Lochaber Geopark – stretching from Rannoch Moor in the south to Loch Garry in the north – is home to some of the most breath-taking and awe-inspiring scenery in the world. Explore mountains, lochs, rivers, coasts, cliffs and sandy beaches, spot local wildlife, and learn how the landscape has been shaped over many millions of years.


Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries


Wetlands Wander, Beveridge Park

Pay a visit to the new Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries, whose museum explores Scotland’s cultural heritage across six different themes: Royal Dunfermline, Industry, Transport, Leisure, Homes, and Conflict.

Take part in one of this year’s organised watches across Scotland, or set up your own.



Wetlands are a vital part of the natural world, from rivers to ponds and marshes they provide shelter and food for a wide variety of life. Join Greener Kirkcaldy along with local expert Tony Wilson at Beveridge Park in Kirkcaldy to explore the pond, marsh and nearby river on Saturday, 23 June.

Munro bagging

Get your hiking boots on and bag a Munro! The highest is Ben Nevis at 4,411 ft (1,345 m), but there are more challenging peaks to climb, such as Black Cuillin on Skye and the UK mainland’s narrowest ridge walk - the Aonach Eagach - in Glen Coe. Can you scale all 282 peaks and bag them all?


Walk the West Highland Way


The Kelpies

The 96-mile West Highland Way from Milngavie to Fort William is one of Scotland’s most popular long-distance hiking routes. Pass some of Scotland’s most inspiring landscapes, encounter wildlife, check out bothies and camp along the way. There are also lots of comfortable pitstops along the way. Visit Scotland’s 30-metre-high horse head sculptures created by artist Andy Scott next to the Forth and Clyde Canal near River Carron in the Helix – a parkland project built to connect 16 communities in the Falkirk Council Area which has its own cycle routes, canals and play areas. 77 | june 2018 | holistic scotland

Tackling the UK’smattress landfill problem ave you ever wondered what happens to the millions of old and discarded mattresses thrown out by UK households every year? Meet Nick Oettinger, founder of The Furniture Recycling (TFR) Group, who launched the business in 2012 to help tackle the UK’s mattress landfill problem. His journey into the recycling industry began while he was working as an improvement consultant. There was a poignant moment at a landfill site when a mattress became wrapped around the drive shaft of a delivery vehicle on site, which spurred Nick to think about how he could break down each component of the mattress to ensure as much of it was recycled and 100% diverted from landfill. With his passion for the environment - and with a great deal of determination - Nick decided he wanted to tackle difficult waste streams to generate a sustainable business,


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which achieves maximum recycling. It was only a matter of time before the UK’s businesses, local authorities and hotel chains became aware of this new, forward-thinking company, and mutually rewarding partnerships soon began to blossom, including a partnership with retail giants John Lewis. Last year, TFR Group was behind the build and launch of the world’s first automated mattress recycling machine. This innovation has cut the time taken to recycle mattresses from a day’s work to 2.5 minutes, meaning that more mattresses can be recycled than ever before. The company recycled 30% of all mattresses in the UK last year and has its sights set on recycling 50% of all mattresses in the UK by the end of the year. In 2014, TFR Group teamed up with the University of St Andrews to transform textile recycling processes in its student accommodation and introduce a circular economy system. Since joining forces, more than 2,000 mattresses, duvets and pillows have been donated for recycling and reuse by the University of St Andrews’ student body. As a result, the University is steadily working towards the target of achieving zero waste to landfill by 2020. “It can often be a difficult task for universities, and its halls of residence, to remove, transport and dispose of

mattresses,” says Nick. “Figures show that in the UK, only a small percentage of mattresses are recycled responsibly, with 7.5 million discarded to landfill sites – usually the cheapest, quickest option. “From a policy point of view, end of life (EOL) mattresses have long been perceived as a problematic waste product, not least because of their size and cumbersome nature. Difficult to handle, mattresses fall under the category of bulky waste; awkward to manoeuvre, expensive to transport and breakdown. All in all, a chore to recycle and as a result, fewer than necessary are disposed of in this way. “Every year in the UK we throw out around 1,600,000 tonnes of what is defined as bulky waste. Approximately 19% of this falls into the textile category, largely made up of sofas and mattresses, with the majority of items being sent to landfill instead.” “With more than 1 million mattresses recycled so far, TFR Group has an average recycling rate of 96%, with the remainder going to energy from waste providing 100% landfill diversion. For more information on recycling mattresses responsibly and efficiently, visit

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Why Scotland needs to step up

Scotland is the worst offender when it comes to recycling, according to a new report. Thanks, in part, to its low levels of recycling (just 42.8% of waste) the UK will fail to meet its overall target of 50% recycling by 2020, unless changes are made now. The current focus on plastics has left a mounting crisis when it comes to other waste, with a lack of attention on bulky waste like mattresses, says TFR Group. Mattresses are a particular landfill problem, as recyclers can struggle to find space to store mattresses with an ever-growing mountain of mattresses going their way. More than 7 million mattresses go to landfill each year in the UK, according to TFR Group, which is enough to fill Wembley Stadium five times over. Despite the landfill tax increasing every year, landfill still remains a cheaper option than recycling.


Yoga and mindfulness - Spotlight on yoga founder Cheryl MacDonald heryl MacDonald is a celebrity yoga teacher, author, successful and ethical business woman and, most importantly, mum to 7-year-old son Caelen. She started YogaBellies when she was made redundant from her role as business analyst when on maternity leave. When her son was 6 weeks old, she started teaching pregnancy yoga classes in her spare room and things have grown rapidly ever since. Cheryl, who was born in Glasgow, now has more than 100 franchisees around the world teaching YogaBellies classes.


She now also produces ethical YogaBellies products along with husband Mike, a cardiologist, with whom she was successful on Dragons’ Den.

wellbeing. Every time YogaBellies sells a yoga mat, for example, the business contributes $1 to Women’s Aid. Cheryl is also the author of two books for women, Birth ROCKS and YogaBellies for Pregnancy, as well as a best-selling YogaBellies for Pregnancy DVD. A successful ‘mumpreneur’, she has been honoured with multiple awards and accreditation’s including The Scottish Edge Award and three What’s on 4 Little One’s Awards and was a Woman of the Year, Working Mum’s Best Employer and What’s on 4 Junior’s Awards finalist. Cheryl, who has taught yoga and birth preparation to celebrities such as Kimberley Walshe (Girls’ Aloud,) Fearne Cotton and Catherine Tyldsley, is a keen advocate of mindfulness, which she says goes hand in hand with yoga.

Their PeaceLoveYoga by YogaBellies products, which include eco yoga mats, are designed around the female form in a way that’s not only kind to the environment but contributes to women’s

“Yoga does more for your brain than combat stress and keep you flexible,” says Cheryl. “It’s one of the best forms of exercise to improve brain function. “Yoga also helps you be mindful, both on and off the mat, throughout the day. Yoga can help keep your mind focused on a single task—a technique easily transferrable to other areas of life.” 80 | june 2018 | holistic scotland

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Easy vegan midweek recipes

Enhance your yoga practice with essential oils

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Why I decided to go vegan – Strictly’s Kristina Rihanoff »» Wild swimming

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Scotland's first title dedicated to natural health and wellbeing and more mindful living.