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August 27, 2020

Our brain and gut are intrinsically connected. We have ‘gut feelings’ about a person or event, and feel ‘butterflies’ in our stomach when something exciting happens. Neuro-scientists have become increasingly aware that our gut may hold key insights into brain function.

The gut itself has what is often likened to a ‘mini-brain’ — an extensive network of neurons called the enteric nervous system. The brain and enteric nervous system talk, and the shared communication line between the two is often called the gut-brain axis.

The gut-brain superhighway

The gut communicates with the brain via hormones released into the bloodstream that cross the blood-brain barrier, controlling our desire for food.

For example, the gut hormone ghrelin tells us when we’re hungry, and other hormones tell us when we’re full. Such hormones act on the reward-signalling neural circuits in the brain, explaining why food tastes better when we are hungry.

The gut also makes neurotransmitters, which are the...

March 20, 2020

We are all understandably concerned about how this latest flu virus is going to affect us. How can we sort fact from media sensationalism?

Who isn’t a bit stressed at this point with children at home and work uncertainty?

But if you are prone to depression, anxiety or already stressed it can become very difficult to function.

Anxiety and fear affect the chemicals produced within our mind and body - reducing our ability to think clearly, sleep well, digest food and regulate our weight.  

But the most important reason to deal with anxiety at this time is because it REDUCES OUR IMMUNE FUNCTION.

When we are anxious, stressed or depressed our immune system actually turns itself down and this reduces the production of the cells essential in the control of disease.

So what can you do to help yourself reduce anxiety?

Make three lists

1. What you CAN control – even the little things

2. What you CAN’T control and need to let go of (or possibly trust to divine help?)

3. What you might need to ask some-one...

March 13, 2019


Stress can affect immune cells in the skin that are important in controlling wound healing.


Stress triggers the release of inflammation-causing proteins called cytokines, which can make the skin's nerve fibres more sensitive to pain.


A recent review shows that 44 percent of psoriasis patients experienced a stressful event just before the appearance of the condition, and 88 percent had flare-ups triggered by stress.


Stress weakens the protective barrier that keeps out toxins and holds in moisture, making skin more vulnerable to infection and dehydration.


An inflammatory immune response is thought to be important for disease flaring in stressed patients with atopic dermatitis


A 2014 study found that 62 percent of patients with alopecia had anxiety, and a 2012 study linked the condition to stressful life events.


High anxiety can increase levels of cortisol making skin more reactive to irritants


Chronic stress c...

February 6, 2019

The answer is usually because of something called state dependent memory.

Memories are laid down in our minds with a unique chemical signature and also an emotional charge, depending on how we feel at the time.

Research has shown that memories are best retrieved whilst in the same emotional state, and in the same context or surroundings that they were laid down in.

Studies have demonstrated that students who took an exam in the same classroom in which that they were taught, did significantly better than those who were examined in another room.

So when we revise in a relaxed state in a familiar place, it’s going to be more difficult to retrieve that information when we are stressed out and anxious to perform well in a strange place.

Added to that ,when you’re stressed and in “Fight or flight” mode your brain kicks out of clever thinking  and into reflex thinking because you need to just react quickly to get out of danger.

So what’s the best way to resolve this?

How can you find a way to contro...

January 29, 2019

When we are fit and supple we can cope better with life's ups and downs - both physical and emotional. We have a little more balance in ourselves. When we unconsciously understand this we start to believe in our abilities and push ourselves a little more. 

When I was recovering from a hip replacement, I was determined to be able to ride again and so I was very conscientious about doing the exercises I was given by the hospital physiotherapist, but I also had the excellent help of two wonderful ladies:

Pilates instructor Sarah Ribbans ("Pilates with Sarah" in Worthing) who used Pilates herself to help recover from serious spinal injury following an accident to get back to riding and competing Elementary Dressage.

Yoga teacher Anna-Lucy from "LoveLifeYoga" in Godalming, who has a haven of calm at her home studio.

I also continue my yoga practice at home, and I highly recommend Adriene who has a 30 day yoga introduction available for free ;

January 18, 2019

I work with athletes in a wide variety of sports but I never considered that I'd be invited to chat on a Boxing podcast ! 

Darren, Ben, Tyler and Simon were fabulous. They put me at ease and had some very interesting questions and it was great fun to delve into the mindset of a boxer.

January 8, 2019

The 4 -7- 8 Breaths technique:

Breathe IN through your NOSE to your mental count of 4

HOLD your breath for your count of 7

Breathe OUT completely through your MOUTH to your count of 8

Repeat THREE more times.


This technique is natural tranquilizer for the nervous system

The ratio of 4:7:8 is important but with practice you will be able slow it down and breathe more deeply.

Do not do more than four breaths at one time for the first month of practice.

Later you can extend it to eight breaths.

This technique can also be used to help you fall asleep naturally.

If you feel a little light-headed when you first do this exercise, don’t be worried that’s normal and will pass as you get used to breathing this way.

May 29, 2017

Why have I lost my confidence?

When working with riders I hear these anguished comments all the time ...“....But I’ve ridden challenging horses all my life...I’ve had so many falls and it’s never affected me like this before...I used to really enjoy a good gallop across country but can’t do open spaces any more.....I just freeze when I think about jumping ....”

So WHY do we lose our confidence?

I think it helps to imagine loss of confidence as the brain’s way of keeping us stuck – or a BRAIN CAGE – a place where we do the “What if’s” to be on the look-out for trouble - a place where we don’t voluntarily want to move out of.

Now why would the brain want to do that to us ?

Simply put – to keep us from harm.

At some point we had an experience that frightened, confused us or threatened us in some way, and our Physical Emergency Response (PER) aka “Fight or Flight” response kicks in. But there are two other aspects to the PER that riders might also relate to, those of “Faint and Freeze”.  I’ve ha...

February 12, 2017

As "Continual Professional Development" at the back end of last year I thought I'd learn a new process called BWRT - Brain Working Recursive Therapy  (snappy little title !) 

Nevertheless - a useful process to add to the toolkit, not a universal panacea, but it does have the benefit of being a quick process - usually able to address a variety of issues which keep people stuck -  including fears and phobias - in a single session.

For those interested in the technicalities - BWRT actually turns out to be not so new, it utilises aspects of NLP combined with a couple of clever hypno-therapeutic double binds and pseudo-orientation.

Happy to chat further to see if I can help with any issue you may be struggling with.

Sherree 07880 336059

November 25, 2016

Emotional Eating : how often have these feelings led to these consequences –

Angry + lonely = ice cream.

Hurt = chocolate.

Bored + cookies = guilt.

We've all let our feelings overrule our appetites and then regretted it.

Many of us have, at one time or another, eaten beyond our hunger—and I don't just mean at Christmas. Millions of people regularly turn to food during times of stress, sadness, anger or frustration. They eat in response to their emotions instead of their appetites. And once they get used to dealing with their feelings in this way, they find it almost impossible to remember what true hunger feels like.

When I first meet with a client who appears to have some issues with food, I usually ask her to draw a pie chart with each segment representing an important area of her life - such as health and fitness, family, friends, career, spirituality. Then I ask her to cross off the areas she feels are going pretty well.  The segments that aren't crossed off represent the parts of her...

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4 Paddockside, Burningfold Manor, Plaistow Road, Dunsfold, Surrey, GU8 4PF, United Kingdom

Tel: 01483 201151

Mob: 07880 336 059

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