Intuitive Eating – Making Peace with Food

This short essay introduces the concept of Intuitive Eating, and how it helps get people back to a normal healthy attitude to food. Also I discuss why I see it as being a great gateway into developing mind-body attunement and trust. I recently qualified as an Intuitive Eating counselor and I am incorporating these ideas into my practice.

  • First, what is normal eating?

Here’s some food :


What happens when you think about eating these foods. How do you see them and what thoughts come into your head?

Here’s some typical things I’ve noticed in my head or heard other people saying :

easy-kale-recipes-400x400“Kale. KALE…. This has to be the most virtuous food out there… It’s so full of vitamins and goodness I should eat it no matter what, even if I don’t like it…. Maybe blend it into a smoothie so I can’t taste it? If I eat this, I’m a better person.”

potato“A potato… is this a even a vegetable? Or Is it just bad carbs? It has a high GI, so a sweet potato would be better…. It’s some kind of toxic nightshade and I shouldn’t eat it..although apparently cold potatoes provide good resistant starch? Hmmm I’d like some fries tonight, but those are bad…. How many calories are in a potato this size? Have I run out of points today? Can I eat the whole thing or should I cut it in half?”

Fork cutting into a slice of chocolate cake. Isolated on White.“Cake../ mmmmm cake..oh god I want to eat this so badly, look at that chocolate…It’s such a sinful food… I’ll get fat instantly if I eat it… I’d feel so guilty. Is today a cheat day? If I eat some of it I might as well eat the whole thing. I wonder if it’s gluten free?”


Notice – a lot of rules, judgements, moral codes even. Deep beliefs.

However, some people are able to look at these things without judgement, and a potato is just a potato. They might feel how their body is right now. Are they hungry for it? Do they want to eat it? They might trust their body and take a few mindful bites, noticing how it affects them, whether it feels nourishing and satisfying. When they’ve had enough, which may be just one bite, they stop.

This is, perhaps, how an animal or baby approaches food – without the overwhelming information, judgements or rules. They are tapped into their instinctive, intuitive wisdom and respond accordingly. They know when, what and how much to eat.

A lot of people have become disconnected from that wisdom, which leads to a real experience of conflict with foods, or life consuming ‘food worry’. People go on diets to change how they look, or they can create strict rules about “forbidden foods” in order to be healthy. People also use foods as rewards, and to numb out from emotions. A lot of people are simply too busy and distracted to pay attention to what their body says and would prefer to follow a meal plan or mindlessly grab whatever is easiest.

Enjoyment and satisfaction in the eating experience go out the window.

Being an intuitive eater is part of having good mind-body attunement and self trust. It is a way out from dysfunctional behaviors around food, such as binge eating or emotional eating – or chronic diet mentality. It is making peace with food, regaining deeper satisfaction and enjoyment with the whole eating experience.

  • What is Intuitive Eating? Is it the same as mindful eating?

Mindful eating is a process of paying attention (on purpose), to your actual eating experience,without judgment. While this sounds straightforward, the process can be quite complex, especially for those inclined to multi-tasking.

Intuitive Eating is an approach developed by two Dieticians (Evelyn Tribole, and Elyse Resch) that teaches you how to create a healthy relationship with your food, mind, and body–where you ultimately become the expert of your own body.

Intuitive Eating a broader philosophy than just mindful eating. It includes physical activity for the sake of feeling good, rejecting the dieting mentality, using nutrition information without judgment, and respecting your body, regardless of how you feel about its shape. There are 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating, but they can be boiled down to these three core characteristics, which were validated by the research of Tracy Tylka:

● Eat for Physical Rather than Emotional Reasons
● Rely on Internal Hunger and Satiety Cues
● Unconditional Permission to Eat

  • Unconditional Permission to eat? Isn’t that crazy?

Like many people, when I first imagined giving myself unconditional permission to eat, I felt a rising panic. If I do that, truly, then won’t I end up eating loads of junk food and ballooning out weight wise or get some horrible health issue?

It’s definitely a challenging concept. A key point to clarify is this is not the same as mindless binges. This is getting rid of all the food “rules” given by some external authority (or “food police”), and instead eat with attunement, really paying attention to what happens for you and what you REALLY find satisfying. It’s a path that requires self-responsibility and awareness, which is hard but also allows more presence and guilt free enjoyment with your eating.

People often confuse this concept with just ‘giving up’ on caring about what you eat. Claiming freedom from food judgements and rules does not mean freedom from caring. Becoming an Intuitive Eater requires us to replace those rules with self-awareness, responsibility, and paying a lot more attention, at least initially. The idea is eventually you will effortlessly be able to eat the right amount and type of food for your body. You eat not to change the shape of your body but to nourish yourself. You get real satisfaction from food without over indulging.

  • It sounds too good to be true – it can’t really be healthy? Can it?

Since the Intuitive Eating book was published in 1995, there have been over 30 peer reviewed studies investigating it (something the academic in me finds very encouraging). A simple but scientifically validated test provides an Intuitive Eating scale which gives as clear score system, which then allows for robust research.

Research shows that people who score high as Intuitive eaters have:

– lower : BMI, triglycerides,thin idealisation, disordered eating.
– higher : HDL levels, food variety, body appreciation, trust, enjoys eating, body cue awareness, interoceptive awareness, self esteem, well being, proactive coping, optimism

In contrast, the research base on Diets demonstrate that chronic diet behavior PREDICTS higher BMI, weight gain over time and an increase in disordered eating.(such binge eating and emotional eating)

  • What’s going on here? Why are diets bad?

Firstly, the Diet industry is worth $61 Billion dollars, and is perhaps the only industry that first sells a consumer a faulty product and then blames them for it not working. AND THE CONSUMER BELIEVES THEM. How many times do you hear people talk about not having the “will power” to stick with a diet? And how often are those people high achievers in many other parts of their life, demonstrating the capacity for tremendous will power. Something doesn’t add up.

The failure of diets is not about willpower.

Diet rules and systems come from external authorities who apparently know better than you do about what to eat. Actually most people live in a world that is very externally driven. We are bombarded with information from the beauty and diet industries, and now the health authorities who are terrified of the obesity epidemic. We have massive amounts of knowledge and opinion around us. Without a strong connection to self it is easy to become full of worry, doubt, disconnect from your own feelings and knowing. When you live in a world full of rules and thoughts, it is easy to loose attunement with the messages from your body. Brain scan studies on people with anorexia have shown that they essentially are ‘living in their heads’, actively suppressing or ignoring their body sensations and instead focusing on control. This is just an extreme example.

Even if you are not “on a diet”, many people categorise foods in some way into “good” or “bad”, “virtuous” or “sinful”. These moral judgements cause havoc in attempts to eat well. What happens when someone eats a bit of cheat/sinful/diet-fail food? A typical pattern is they decide they have “failed the diet” so they might as well indulge and then start again the next day or week. The inevitable cycle of restriction and starvation then binging/indulging and then starting the diet again. On top of this, eating “sinful” foods can generate feelings of stress and guilt, and people eat more food to numb out those uncomfortable feelings – another vicious cycle.

Wouldn’t it be simpler if we could just eat what we needed and then stop? Eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full sounds deceptively simple – but the reality for most people is there is so much more going on with their relationship to food. People eat for many other reasons than just satisfying hunger. They eat socially, eat when they are bored, eat when they are stressed, eat as a reward or substitute for love. We have inherited all kinds of rules and beliefs (like – finish everything on your plate!) that need to be unearthed and examined for us to truly be free. It’s a journey, and a process, learning how to live based on inner guidance, reclaiming your own authority. It is something I love to support, as I see people return to a state of freedom and enjoyment. This is one reason why I wanted to go more in-depth into the intuitive eating process and how to counsel people in it – because it aligns well with that goal of self-responsibility and freedom.

The other big reason I am excited about this area is because of the cross over between intuitive eating and body awareness. My own journey has been one of going from a very disconnected mind-person to one who is much more embodied and enjoying it! I believe body awareness and connection is an important key but it’s quite abstract and hard for people who haven’t experienced it to understand the value unless something has gone wrong or become a crisis.

  • Intuitive Eating and Interoceptive awareness

So, one of the studies that got me excited was showing that people who score high on the IE scale ALSO have high levels of Interoceptive awareness. What is Interoceptive awareness? It is a new area of study, and essentially is the person’s capacity to feel body sensations. One example is feeling when your bladder is full so you know it’s time to pee.

Other examples are the sensations of hunger and satiety, and also emotions. Scientists have started mapping out the sensation correlates to our emotions, finding that they all have physical sensations that are perceived in different areas of the body.

Interoceptive awareness – tuning into these sensations – is a primarily Right brain activity. In contrast, the analytical approach of many diets and rule systems comes from the left brain. The 10 principles of Intuitive eating all have an affect on improving someone’s interoceptive or body awareness – either directly, like practicing attuning to hunger/satiety, on indirectly by tackling the blocks and obstacles from the left brain that make is so hard to ‘hear’ those messages from the right.

To me, what this means is that not only is Intuitive eating a good idea in terms of normalising our relationship with food, but it also turns every eating occasion into an opportunity to develop our body awareness. It also suggests to me that other activities or modalities (like body work or emotional release) that help develop body awareness will have a syngeristic effect with Intuitive eating, making the process easier. This is what I’ll be doing with interested people here in Victoria, in 1 on 1 sessions and also some small group work or workshops.

A final word about Nutrition – principle number 10 is “Honoring your body with Gentle Nutrition”. It is an important part of helping people make the food choices which are right from them. However, people are so used to following rules instead of trusting themselves that it is very easy for them to interpret well-meant nutrition advice as the next new diet. This can happen regardless of the intent of the practitioner and I believe we have to take this into consideration. I’m very keen to link up with a Nutritionist or Dietitian who resonates with the Intuitive Eating approach, so I can refer to them for the nutrition advice – please get in touch if this is you.

Want more information?

I highly recommend checking out a copy of the book “Intuitive Eating”. It is an in-depth, considered book, that covers the concepts in detail with excellent references.

This essay was in part adapted from the first part of an excellent presentation by Evelyn on making peace with food – it is worth an hour of your time to hear her explain in more detail the benefits and science of the intuitive eating approach:

Video Inspiration : Our collective dream – Lynne Twist

in 2004 I was apple farming in Nagano, Japan. I got in trouble for pulling out the stalks - in Japan apples are an expensive delicacy and need to look beautifully intact.
in 2004 I was apple farming in Nagano, Japan. I got in trouble for pulling out the stalks – in Japan apples are an expensive delicacy and need to look beautifully intact.
    One of the gifts of travel is the opportunity to step outside your own culture, and see the world from a new perspective.

My first distant adventure was 4 months spent in Japan in my early twenties – mostly volunteer working on organic farms out in rural areas. This was a radical departure of lifestyle from office work in IBM.

Exploring a new place is compelling and mind expanding. The unexpected surprise was the severe culture shock I experienced when I returned to England. I remember my first morning ‘home’ staring blankly at the toaster wondering where the breakfast rice was. I remember the brick buildings and churches seemed solid and heavily suffocating after the sliding wall paper houses of Japan. I learnt a lot more about the assumptions of my own culture than I did about the new one I’d visited – the shock part was discovering certain daily “facts” about life where not universal. But how far can we really go to get out of our own cultural mindset?

Lynne Twist has a wonderful TED talk about the importance of changing our collective dream. The indigenous Rainforest tribes she visited had a clear message – that from their perspective we are all stuck in collective trance, disconnected from the world and nature. She considers that our problems with economy, money, resources are fed from this dream, and that a key part of transforming those problems is to create a new dream for our global community.

For more than 40 years, Lynne Twist has been a recognized global visionary committed to alleviating poverty and hunger and supporting social justice and environmental sustainability.
For more than 40 years, Lynne Twist has been a recognized global visionary committed to alleviating poverty and hunger and supporting social justice and environmental sustainability.

I really liked Lynne’s idea of acting as a hospice for the ‘old’ world, while being midwife for the new one – which is currently being born through us! I’ve often looked around the world and despaired at the whole situation – or felt an angry rage and desire to destroy it to find something else. But to hospice someone is not the the same as to kill them! Perhaps we don’t need to fight to destroy the current world, with wall-street cocaine economists, greedy bankers, corrupt politicians – because this old world is already dying?

Lynne’s message is one of hope – that our efforts should be to assist in that dying, with love and compassion, whilst simultaneously focusing on birthing and nurturing the new life-giving ideas and world. I see this new world emerging in diverse ways – it is as wide ranging as supporting new environmental food practices, such as buying locally where possible — to new money systems such as Bitcoin or peer-to-peer currency exchanges (I use “Currency Fair” all the time) that bypass the banks and their charges completely.

I decided when I finished my Cognitive science degree (and was an optimistic 21 year old!) that I wanted to dedicate or offer my life in service to the world – but I didn’t know at that point if it would be focusing directly on nature, the environment – or if it would be focused on working with health and people. I followed the second path but my view now is that the two are really woven together. When people are tranced out, suffering mentally and physically, caught up in their traumas or disconnected from their body-truth – we don’t really know, think or care about the environment beyond perhaps a moral or intellectual interest. In contrast, the journey back into your body brings all manner of new awareness. For example – when you start to feel the effect of nourishing food vs chemical processed food on your thoughts and world – then you begin to reallyc are about where your food is coming from and how it is made. It has become personal, not abstract.

The feeling of separation from Life IS an illusion, a core part of the trance we sustain ourselves in, or try to escape from. This I know to be true, even though I forget when in depressions or fear. When we feel intimacy with ourselves, others, the world around us- joy and presence fills us. The experience of the world shifts, and we start to truly notice and care. It can be easy to look around us at the mess of an industrial world we have, and despair – to feel that working on changing ourselves is insignificant, if not self-absorbed.

life-is-pure-magic-lgActually starting with ourselves is essential! We are the one part of this existence we can have real control and influence over, if we take some self responsibility. We are like fragments of the hologram that is our whole humanity – each containing the image-dream in complete form. Perhaps if enough of us change our inner fragment, the overall picture will shift – a new dream is born. It is happening already : how many times do you find yourself reading something on the internet written by a person across an ocean from you – and found yourself deeply resonating with their words? A great joy with my friends and clients are those moments when deep understanding and mutual recognition occurs – moments when you realise that you are not alone.

[infobox]Would you like support in finding a new dream? I’d love to help! claritysession[/infobox]I also love seeing people emerging out of that heavy trance – sometimes it can be as sudden as dog shaking away the water, fluffing out in an instant. Other times it is a slow effort-full shift like pulling yourself out of sticky, sucking mud. It is much easier when you have a new dream to move into.

Often I see and hold that new dream for my clients, when all they can see is the pain or heaviness of the muck around them, or caught in the anxiety and fear of the old familiar world-way of being dying. Lynne’s metaphor – to be both hospice and midwife – is as equally valid for our individual healing journey as for the whole world. I agree with her in that courage and compassion are key. It took me a long time to realise that sometimes courage and compassion is knowing when to ask for and allow ourselves to receive support.

What is the dream you are living in? What would you change if you could? Is creating a new dream for your life critical fuel or a distraction from facing reality?

Inspiration / Review : Wild Women who Run with the Wolves

    “A healthy woman is much like a wolf – strong life force, life-giving, territorially aware, intuitive and loyal. Yet separation from her wildish nature causes a woman to become meager, anxious, and fearful.

With the wild nature as ally and teacher, we see not through two eyes only, but through the many eyes of intuition. With intuition we are like the starry night, we gaze at the world through a thousand eyes. The wild nature carries the medicine for all things.

She carries stories, dreams, words and songs. She carries everything a woman needs to be and know. She is the essence of the female soul.

It does not mean to lose one’s primary socializations. It means quite the opposite. The wild nature has a vast integrity to it. It means to establish territory, to find one’s pack, to be in one’s body with certainty and pride, to speak and act in one’s behalf, to be alert, and to find what one belongs to. It means to rise with dignity, to proceed as a powerful being who is friendly but never tame.

The Wild Woman is the one who thunders in the face of injustice. She is the one who keeps a woman going when she thinks she’s done for.

She is intuition, far-seer, deep listener, and she is loyal heart. She thrives on fresh site, and self-integrity.

Where can you find her? She walks in the deserts, cities, woods, oceans, and in the mountain of solitude. She lives in women everywhere; in castles with queens, in the boardrooms, in the penthouse, and on the night bus to Brownsville.

Whether you are possessed of a simple heart or the ambitious, whether you are trying to make it to the top or just make it through tomorrow, the wild nature belongs to you.

She lives in a faraway place that breaks through to our world. She lives in the past and is summoned by us. She is in the present. She is in the future and walks backward in time to find us now.

Without us, Wild Woman dies. Without Wild Woman, we die. Para Vida, for true life, both must live.”

~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D

“Women who run with the wolves” is a classic book for any wildish woman looking for new stories and myths of femininity. Having my own connection to wolves, this was one of the first books I grabbed when I begun my embodiment quest. I was still at university and lapped up the dense-poetic prose as a wonderful contrast to the scientific papers (not to mention bullet point self-help books).

7646553df4771f1aafdef9b41646e138Clarissa’s book holds a dear place in my heart, I remember reading it with a sense of wonder – to find someone who recognised and validated the sense of inner-wolf-creature I’d had my whole life. It was the first time the link between inner wildness and mental health had ever been suggested to me. It was also the first book to introduce to me the idea of healing myths, archtypes and the wisdom held in stories. Reading this book was like a remembering : of a time long ago before the written word, let alone the internet. The way to pass down key information on how to live was to encode it stories, and then through an oral tradition of tale-telling, keep that information alive across generations.

In the book, Clarrissa shares specific stories for women to help them understand more about their natures, relationships, and life. She takes a traditional tale, then goes into it in depth, explaining the symbolisms and meaning. But it is more than a collection of stories, it is a story-account in it’s own right, with Clarissa guiding you into the territory of your inner wild-poetic soul.

    I remember getting completely engrossed, reading it avidly almost as if I was a wolf following a scent trail. But I also remember the forest-book getting denser and denser and eventually giving up somewhere towards the end. Everybody I’ve met who has read this book shares a similar story – if you’ve read the whole thing, I’d love to hear from you!

“Wild Women who Run with the Wolves” is definitely on my return-to list, but it is a book to be given time and space to really take in and consider. I am very grateful to have found this book at a relatively young age, it shaped my twenties by giving me permission to be wild, free and trust my instincts.

Review : The Art of Travel

    “If our lives are dominated by a search for happiness, then perhaps few activities reveal as much about the dynamics of this quest – in all its ardour and paradoxes – than our travels. They express, however inarticulately, an understanding of what life might be about, outside the constraints of work and the struggle of survival. Yet rarely are they considered to present philosophical problems – that is, issues requiring thought beyond the practical. We are inundated with advice on where to travel to; we hear litle of the why and how we should go.”

-Alain De Botton, The Art of Travel

Do you ever dream of a life of travel and adventure? To just pack a suitcase, leave work and rent obligations behind and live in multiple countries across the globe? This was my life for a year – out of a mix of necessity and choice in order to be with my Canadian husband. We lived in Germany – on the edge of the Black Forest, various places in Italy, California, Canada. Beautiful, magical parts of the world. Better than the London basement I’d been in before.

[infobox]“Our capacity to draw happiness from aesthetic objects or material goods in fact seems critically dependent on our first satisfying a more important range of emotional or psychological needs, among them the need for understanding, for love, expression and respect.” -Art of Travel[/infobox] There are certainly many amazing aspects to a life of travel – but a lot of times it was really hard. Sharing photos on facebook of smiling adventures is one thing, but the reality of days spent depressed and hiding in a strange bedroom, or the anxiety of not having roots or routine – I felt that I couldn’t share this to my mortgage-bound friends, stuck living in one place – I’d just seem petty. I should be having the Time Of My Life! I even denied to myself the challenges of an itinerant lifestyle – wondering why I was finding things so hard and blaming myself as weak or ungrateful (Maslow and your Hierachy of Needs – how much I thought about you during this time. You are right, sir!)

My battered copy of the Art of Travel
My battered copy of the Art of Travel

So one day whilst staying a week in Bath Spa, I saw a book by Alain De Botton – The Art of Travel. Good reviews, nice picture, and best of all small enough to pack in my bag without adding much in the way of extra weight. Since then it has been in said bag the last few months as I’ve moved about, getting creased and worn. Finally, back in Sacramento California, I take it out and start reading.

Already I am impressed, and a few times I have laughed out loud in recognition. According to the Sunday Times, the Art of Travel is :

    “Lucid, fluid and uplifting…it can enrich and improve your life”

I agree – not only is this an enjoyable read with well written prose, but Alain cuts straight into the reality of the traveling experience. It turns out that no matter where you go, you still have to be with yourself! He mixes accounts of his own story with references to artists, philosophers and other writers. The book is split into different episodes and themes, which makes it perfect for carrying in your hand luggage and taking it out for brief reads on the train or waiting at aiports. For myself, having a companion with me as I grapple with learning the “art of travel” is both soothing and inspiring. However I consider this book equally relevant for anyone who has ever traveled or simply yearns to do so.

[infobox]“My body and mind were to prove temperamental accomplices in the mission of appreciating my destination. The body found it hard to sleep, it complained of heat, flies and difficulties digesting hotel meals. The mind meanwhile revealed a commitment to anxiety, boredom, free-floating sadness and financial alarm.”-Art of Travel[/infobox]

It is so easy to think that it is the external surroundings that give us our happiness and explain our moods. That our problems stem from the basement flat, rainy country, painful shoulder, bad relationship, lack of money and time, diet (or lack of diet!). It’s easy to delay our happiness and excuse our misery.

“I was to discover an unexpected continuity between the melancholic self I had been at home and the person I was to be on the island, a continuity quite at odds with the radical discontinuity in the landscape and climate, where the very air seemed to be made of a different and sweeter substance.” -Art of Travel
“I was to discover an unexpected continuity between the melancholic self I had been at home and the person I was to be on the island, a continuity quite at odds with the radical discontinuity in the landscape and climate, where the very air seemed to be made of a different and sweeter substance.” -Art of Travel

My own traveling life has certainly given me a lot of evidence that no matter the climate, location, activity – it is the inner world, the relationship with yourself, that creates our experience of being. Small changes in our sense of self, the habits of our minds, the awareness of our bodies – these can have dramatic effects on our capacity to take in, savour, and find satisfaction in the world around us. (Such changes are also cheaper than package holidays – and accessible to everyone!). We don’t need to go far away or change everything in order to feel better in ourselves.

    The “Art of Travel” is as much about how we approach our daily life as it is having grand adventures. I recommend it for it’s rich insight mixed with amusing and very honest exploration of being human no matter where we are.
Purchase “The Art of Travel” from Amazon :


What is Osteopathy?

“It is the object of a physician to find health, anyone can find disease”
Andrew Tayl
or Still M.D., D.O. (founder of Osteopathy)

Osteopathy is one of the most effective and safe treatments for a great number of our health problems because the osteopath  seeks to understand the answers to three basic questions in every case:

1. why this problem?

2. why this patient?

3. why now?

With this information at their finger tips osteopaths are able to decide how best to treat the patient and if it is appropriate when to refer the patient to somebody better qualified to diagnose or treat the patient instead.

Continue reading “What is Osteopathy?”

About Osteopathic Treatment – what to expect

Osteopathic treatment is gentle and non-invasive. Osteopathy works on the muscles, joints and nervous system as well as evaluating other relevant structures where necessary. It treats the body as a whole unit and considers many aspects of the patient’s life.

Adhesive-capsulitis-treatmentBritish Osteopathy is a primary healthcare system, complementary to other medical practices, with a sound foundation in biomedical sciences. An important principle of osteopathy is the recognition of the body’s natural self-healing mechanisms. Patients may be referred by their doctor or opt to attend an osteopathic clinic independently.

Osteopathic Consultation
Osteopathic Practitioners consider the whole person, so at the first consultation a detailed case history is compiled, followed by a thorough examination of the muscles, ligaments and joints, as well as evaluating other relevant structures where necessary. This will take up to 60 minutes depending on the complexity of your problem.

Your Osteopathic Practitioner will also observe your movements carefully. Once a diagnosis is reached they will discuss with you a range of options relating to your care. If osteopathic treatment is felt to be appropriate, with your consent a wide range of gentle manual techniques may be used. This may include deep tissue massage and the movement of joints. You may also be advised on exercise, posture or diet.

Some patients need only one treatment; others have a longer course of therapy or some patients choose to return periodically for help managing longer term conditions.

Why “Wildfox”?

Inside us all is a Primal Creature,

Something of Being…of feeling and expressing with a directness that has no shame.

This wild animal is full of Will to Live; and an instinctive understanding of where to be and what best nourishes.

It is the glossy coat and intense life-filled eyes, the grace of power held in muscle-motion. The creature inside does not stumble mournfully-ragefully-grumbling in sorrow. The creature inside dances lightly upon the earth, with grounded feet-paws-hooves. It breathes in deeply and scents the world around – taking IN.

It is awareness. Noticing with a directness that has no judgement.

It is pleasure when pleasure is ripe, and it is pain when pain must be felt. It is play and it is grief. It is the light that is untarnished by sin, the natural beauty that draws us home to Earth. It does not need gender, nor does it need lables, or scores, or templates, or rules. It is. It is the gut-wrench and heart-crush, it is the lost-howl and the fear-pricks. It is orgasms and it is tears. Our primal nature is our embodiment, in raw-commonality with all people beyond the walls and rules of any culture. It connects us to the scream of birth and sigh of death. We can not transcend our body without rejecting our soul.  We yearn for ourselves. Time to come home.

– April 2015 © Catherine Bryant

(Foreword : This article applies to Osteopathy and Osteopaths as practiced in the UK. In America Osteopaths are a type of licensed physician. I am not a licensed physician, and in Canada I use the term Osteopathic Practitioner to describe myself and my work.)

Osteopathy is not a set of techniques, but rather a philosophy and approach to health. When applied in practice,   Osteopathy can make profound changes to a person’s wellbeing.

Osteopaths do not focus on fixing the disease or symptom. Instead we look for restoring the inherant health in a person. Osteopaths take detailed case history and examinations of your whole being – looking for what is blocking or interfering with that expression of health. We apply understanding and techniques to support the body and mind to release, remove and overcome these obstacles, thus allowing the natural vitality to restore. The best medicine comes from within, and all Life has a strong drive towards balance and wholeness.

Osteopaths are all different! What we share in common is a deep grounding in clinical science, medical diagnosis, principles of anatomy and physiology – but the way we engage with our patients is our own art. You can not separate the artist from their art, or the clinician from their work. The connection and relationship we form with you, what we notice, how we see things – all of these colour and shape our approach, as well as our choice of techniques and application of manual skills. Transformative healing is a deep and personal journey. Finding the right practitioner for you is important. Osteopaths often develop their own specialities based on personal interest and passion.

The core artistic passion fo my Osteopathic practice is to restore to you a personal knowing of your “primal  creature”. This is an experiential, lived-in sense of wild embodiment and personal truth. What does that mean? It means you experience your body as an integrated, cherished, respected, shame-free core of your being, rather than something separate, feared, numbed or traumatised. It means you are attuned to what you really desire, need, and know. It means you hear and trust your instincts and wisdom. It means a restoration of sanity, ease, and gentle living in world so often ruled by stress and fear.

This passion has been born from my own journey back ‘into’ my body, and supported by a fusion of skills, expertise and training. My life is an ongoing exploration into discovering gateways, methods, tools, and inspiration(link) that I bring back to share with you. We create art together, transforming your experience of self and recovering a great vitality and joy in life.