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  • Nikki Robinson 9:10 pm on April 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: emotions, fight or flight, , how to relax, , overwhelm, , , relaxation, stress   

    Calm in the chaos 

    Stress has always been a part of human existence and modern life is no different. The causes of stress and how we manage it are, however, distinctly contrasting. We can face stressful events at work, for example work overload, redundancy and retirement. Family life throws more stress at us, such as being a carer, having a baby, moving house, becoming ill, getting divorced, losing someone we love and having financial issues. While we can’t change what is causing you stress we, at Holisticare, can help your body manage the effects better.

    How our symptoms of stress manifest themselves is unique to every individual but commonly there is a combination of emotional, mental and physical symptoms. Emotionally you may feel agitated, moody, overwhelmed or out of control. You may find relaxing difficult or feel bad about yourself and rely more on negative habits such as drinking too much or using drugs or cigarettes. Mentally it might be harder for you to make decisions, you worry constantly with your thoughts racing and you may slip into depression and anxiety. Physically your body will be shouting at you to take notice with headaches, low energy, aches, pains and tense muscles, possibly with diarrhoea, constipation or nausea, excess sweating, clenching jaw and grinding teeth and the frightening chest pain and rapid heartbeat of a panic attack.

    There is something which can help though. Myofascial Release treatment can help alleviate all these symptoms by gently loosening up the tension. The psoas is an extremely important muscle in the body. It is the only muscle which connects the top half of your body to the bottom – the spine to the legs. It’s important for posture and movement and is known as the “fight or flight muscle” sunsetbecause when you are under stress it contracts and tightens setting your body ready to tackle the perceived threat.

    While some stress can be positive and helps to keep you alert and ready to avoid danger it becomes negative when you face continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between the challenges. The psoas, and other parts of your body, store up this tension and you get the symptoms listed above.

    Our therapists can gently work through the layers and layers of fascial restriction created by constant stress, allowing your body to release and relax, to loosen and feel lighter in a warm, safe and comfortable environment.

    Let Holisticare be your oasis of calm in the chaos of daily life. Book an appointment and allow us to help you soften and unwind, reducing the effects of stress and letting your body know you’re listening.

    Call 01279 718331 and visit our website

  • Nikki Robinson 6:24 pm on April 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: exercise, , , , , spring, warm up   

    Spring is the time of plans and projects 

    Tolstoy wrote that “spring is the time of plans and projects” and once the clocks go back, the sun comes out and Easter is here we, as a nation, head out into the garden to begin the next year of plans and prainbowrojects – and by the time school summer term begins we’re aching and nursing a pulled muscle or a strain. But Holisticare patients need not suffer!

    “Country Living” magazine quotes a survey that shows 69% of UK adults aged over 45 have experienced physical pain from gardening. The British College of Osteopathic Medicine say that their clinics see a huge surge in injuries, strains and sprains in the spring months. They put this down to people not preparing themselves properly for working in the garden. They equate it to an elite athlete taking a break then going straight into competition. So many of us are more sedentary over the winter months and when the days brighten we go all out, don’t pace ourselves properly, mow the lawn, dig the whole allotment, weed all the flower beds, tidy the trees…and end up with a strain or an injury.

    Of the garden equipment we use, the lawnmower is, unsurprisingly, the most dangerous. Second on the list is the flowerpot! Flowerpots are involved in approximately 5300 accidents and injuries a year with strains and sprains from lifting them as a significant factor. Backs, knees and shoulders tend to suffer the most. Think of the motions your body goes through. Backs have to put up with repetitive jarring, pulling, bending and twisting. Prolonged kneeling can aggravate the knees and increase the risk of bursitis (an inflammation of the small fluid filled sacs in your joints) because of the pressure as well as the repetitive strain which causes pain and swelling. Shoulders are the other garden injury hotspot. The shoulder is a complicated structure in order to allow the large range of vertical, horizontal and circular arm movements. This is perfect for lopping branches, trimming hedges and any other job above waist height but if the top bone of the shoulder rubs against the muscles or bursas you’re left with irritation, pain and inflammation. The neck, wrist, hip and elbow joints can also be affected and then of course there are all your muscles.

    Holisticare therapists can help you if you find yourself in pain after gardening. You knew that already so here’s the clever bit! Myofascial Release Treatment can help to prepare your body to be in the best shape it can be before you start! This will help you withstand these extra pressures and if you do still hurt yourself you’ll already have a head start on recovery. If you suffer from conditions such as, or similar to, arthritis, back, neck or muscle pain, or tennis and golfer’s elbow, preparation is particularly important.

    Gardening is exercise so it’s important to warm up. Watch our video on YouTube and let Nikki guide you with safe, gentle stretching techniques so you can reduce your risk of damage and injury. . If you have ideas for other videos that would help you please let us know.

    Now is the time to book yourself in with us to prepare for your plans and projects and put a spring in your step! Call 01279 718331 to make an appointment and remember we are open Monday-Saturday and on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

  • Nikki Robinson 5:55 pm on April 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , st clare hospice, £50 challenge   

    Helping Hands for St Clare Hospice 

    Holisticare is participating in St Clare Hospice’s £50 Challenge. The event runs from April to June and the aim is to turn £50 into as much as we can with all money going to St Clare. We share many of the values of the Hospice and both Holisticare and St Clare provide fantastic, compassionate care and support for our patients.

    “So what is Holisticare Helping Hands?”
    It’s your chance to get creative and support a great charity at the same time by entering our competition – and it’s easy! As myofascial release practitioners our hands are the tools we use every day to provide effective and gentle therapy for our patients so our competition is based around the theme of Helping Hands. There are 4 age categories, Pre-school, Primary, Secondary and Over 16s, and there is a prize for the winner of each category.

    “What do I do and how do I enter?”
    Simply draw round your hand on a piece of paper (or print out and use our template – email info@holisticare so we can send it to you) then decorate the hand however you like! Put your details on the back of the picture and send or bring it to us with a minimum donation of £1. We need your full name, age category, email address and phone number and if you are entering as part of an organisation put that on too. It is perfect if you’re looking for an activity to do with your children or grandchildren. It’s also a chance to have an impromptu “fun at work day” with your colleagues, encourage people in your local organisations such as sports clubs, WI, Church or youth club or why not enlist some friends in the pub to decorate hands over a glass of wine! Ask at Reception if you would like template copies.

    “What happens then?”
    The entries will be judged by local artist, Paulene Brakespear. She will pick a prize winner from each category who will be announced at the Holisticare Quiz Night. We felt it would be great to have a physical representation of the helping hand that every competition contributor is giving to the Hospice so entries will be used to create a special piece of artwork. This will be donated to the Hospice and they plan to auction it to raise even more funds.

    “Quiz Night? You didn’t mention a Quiz Night.”
    Our Quiz Night is on Friday 30th June in Hatfield Broad Oak Village Hall, CM22 7HN. Tickets are £8 per person if you book in advance or £10 on the night. We strongly advise that you pre-book as we are expecting to be full! Teams are a maximum of 8 people – please confirm team numbers when booking. There will be a licensed bar and you may bring your own nibbles. There will be a raffle with great prizes including a Holisticare treatment voucher, an Indian meal, a bottle of brandy, chocolates and much more. Tickets are £1 a strip. If you can’t make the quiz you can still join in the raffle by buying tickets from Holisticare Reception.

    “Great! Is there any other way I can help?”
    Yes! First, spread the word about the Helping Hands Competition. The more entries we have, the better the final artwork will be. Second, all donations of raffle prizes are greatly appreciated – more prizes = more winners! Third, buy some raffle tickets. Lastly, we have St Clare collection boxes in Holisticare Reception and will be taking them round and about and to the Quiz too. Please give as generously as you can and if you see a Holisticare member of staff off duty we will be happy to take your competition entries, donations and raffle prizes for you.

    Call 01279 718331 to book your treatment and maintenance appointments, Free Yourself Hour or Intensive Treatment Programme and our new Bump to Baby Classes, beginning on Thursday 20th April, to help you prepare your body for your baby’s birth. Find more information about MFR, and our £50 Challenge events on

  • Nikki Robinson 11:52 am on March 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , world poetry day   

    World Poetry Day 

    To celebrate World Poetry Day, on Tuesday 21st March, we have decided to blog in rhyme, this time!

    If your head needs a bed
    And your neck is a wreck,
    If your shoulders are boulders,
    And your arms feel harmed,

    If your chest’s not its best,
    And your back makes a crack,
    If your pelvis shuns Elvis,
    And your behind is unkind,

    If your thigh makes you cry,
    And your knees start to freeze,
    If your shins make you wince,
    And your calf’s not a laugh,

    If your ankles rankle,
    And your feet need a treat,
    Have no fear and don’t shed a tear,
    You know where people really do care.

    Let Damian help your cranium,
    Our Nicola won’t tickle ya,
    See Sally, don’t you dally,
    Or Nikki , it’s not tricky.

    If you need us you know where to find us
    And don’t forget to check our reminders!
    We know we’re not Shakespeare
    But Holisticare is here !

    Some reminders:
    • Our Pregnancy Open Evening is on Wednesday 29 March, 6.30-8.30pm. No need to book, just drop in.
    • Our Mother’s Day Offer begins on 18th March. If you book and pay for a treatment for your mum you will get £25 off her treatment PLUS £10 off your next treatment too. Quote MOD17 when booking
    • We are open on Wednesday and Thursday evenings until 9pm and on Saturdays from 9am-3pm
    • If you recommend someone to us and they become a new patient we will give you £10 off your next treatment as a thank you.

  • Nikki Robinson 10:57 pm on March 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: endometriosis, endometriosis awareness week, gynaecology, help for endometriosis, , international women's day, , , period pain, , women's health   

    A Focus on Women’s Health 

    Last Wednesday, 8th March was International Women’s Day, and the week from Friday 3rd to Thursday 9th was Endometriosis Awareness Week so for this blog we are looking at women’s health with a focus on endometriosis.

    The main aims of the awareness week are:

    • to increase awareness and understanding of endometriosis as a debilitating disease
    • to highlight the consequences of living with endometriosis
    • to raise the profile of endometriosis amongst medics, educators, employers, politicians, and society in general
    • to highlight the need for best practice and consistent care for sufferers
    • to enable those affected by endometriosis to make a difference.

    So what is endometriosis? The answer given to this question rather depends on who you ask.

    A family doctor might say it’s a long term chronic condition and its symptoms can vary significantly from none to one, or a combination of, painful, heavy periods,                                                    pain in the abdomen, pelvis or lower back, infertility, fatigue, suppressed immune system, pain during and after sex, bleeding between periods, discomfort when going to the toilet, bleeding from the rectum and blood in the faeces.

    A statistician might tell you that it is a condition that affects around 2 million women in the UK, most of whom are diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 40. It is rare in women who have had their menopause. 1 in 10 women of reproductive age and 176 million women worldwide suffer from it. It’s the 2nd most common gynaecological condition in the UK (

    We asked two women from Bishop’s Stortford who have the disease to describe their experiences. This is what they had to say.

    M said, “Endometriosis isn’t just “period pains”. It’s being sick at work pain, it’s fainting on your commute pain, it’s can’t-leave-the-house pain, so bad it gives you diarrhoea. It’s 14 operations by the time you’re 35. None of it is normal, but how do you know when every woman is different? If you think your periods aren’t quite right, trust your instincts and get help.”
    J said, “There is nothing can help with chronic fatigue, it feels like you spend your days going through a mind fog! Nobody can see what is going on inside so you either spend your bad days putting on an outward smile to hide the pain you are actually suffering or you give in to it & people wonder what you are complaining about. It would be easier if you could outwardly show the mess that you have inside. I dread the symptoms coming back but sadly I know this is inevitable. Contrary to what people think they know, there is no absolute cure.


    3D illustration of Hip Skeleton, medical concept.

    I have tried acupuncture, reflexology, mindfulness, detoxed my beauty products & household products & followed an Endo friendly diet to help. I found heat pads & hot baths always helped too. I have had cocktails of pain meds throughout including naproxen (anti inflammatory), codeine & paracetamol (together with laxido to counteract the side effects) & oral morphine for flair ups or exacerbated periods. After surgery I was given physio which helped. I went to A&E on a couple of awful occasions when I could not get on top of the pain & was given a drip & stronger opiates. But this only lasted until sent home again.

    I was not offered the therapies or advice for these on the NHS, only through self research & our local Endometriosis UK support group. Nobody looks at the bigger picture & combines all the therapies together. It has been a frustrating journey! One of the things I have never had is a referral for pain management!”

    A Myofascial Release Therapist will say many of the things written above. At Holisticare our therapists will also advise that no, we can’t cure it but we can help you to manage and reduce your pain, tension and anxiety that comes with this disease enabling you to need fewer drugs. We can teach you methods to continue your treatment at home. If you have surgery we can help you to recover faster. We can liaise with your medical team to increase your circle of care.

    Please go to the Women’s Health section of our website to see which other women’s health conditions we can help with or call us on 01279 718331.

  • Nikki Robinson 10:34 pm on March 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 100% satisfaction, awards, customer service, , , survey, winner   

    Our Survey Said…

    We recently emailed our patients asking them to complete a short survey about their experiences at Holisticare. Thank you to everyone who took time to complete the survey, it is very useful for us to assess our own performance and identify areas we can improve. Here is a summary of the responses with some of our favourite replies.

    We asked:

    1. When did you first visit Holisticare?

    We couldn’t have a broader range for this question as the earliest was from the very start of Holisticare and the most recent was this month. It’s great to see that our patients are loyal to us and also that new patients are coming for treatment.


    1. What is the most important factor that keeps you coming back?

    The most frequent answers were “the treatment”, “it works”, “pain relief” and “they care.”

    One patient wrote, “The care and service and feeling that I matter… My treatment was amazing. I’ve been pain free since. The reception staff were incredibly helpful. I recommend to all my friends.”


    1. Have you been to other Physiotherapy practices?

    Yes = 76.6%

    No = 23.3%

    One patient said, “Yes, several, and this is by far the best I’ve used”.


    1. What other treatment have you tried for your problem?

    Our patients have tried a wide range of treatments and therapies including osteopathy, physiotherapy, chiropractic manipulation, acupuncture, massage techniques, reflexology, relaxation, rest, yoga and exercise as well as medication.


    1. Do Holisticare show good customer service? (If yes, how?)

    We are extremely pleased to report that 100% of responses were positive with most saying good or very good and 17% saying excellent. The most popular reasons given were: helpful, friendly, professional, therapists, reception and polite.

    This patient’s comment has made us very happy as this effect is exactly what we aim to achieve, “Yes, I love the clinic’s warmth mixed with professionalism. You feel you are in a clinical environment but it has a feeling of wrapped around care and comfort. Like putting a warm blanket around yourself..but one that knows what it is doing and is going to help you.”


    1. Why did you choose to have treatment at Holisticare?

    A huge 43% said they came after we were recommended to them. Many others said that other treatments hadn’t worked for them and had left them still in pain or had seen our therapists give talks. We’re glad you came to us as this is the result. “Initially I was intrigued – now I can’t get enough” and “Incredible results way beyond my expectations.”


    1. Would you recommend Holisticare to your friends and family? Why?

    Another 100% positive result. 40% said you already have and by far the most popular reason given was it works. One patient commented, “Yes, I am constantly recommending it. The service and the treatment are exemplary.”


    1. How far do you travel to come for treatment at Holisticare?

    Of those who responded, our nearest patients are about a mile away and the furthest patient comes from 170 miles away. In fact, so far, the furthest a patient has travelled to Holisticare is from Denver in the USA!


    Patient participation isn’t over yet though!

    winner-logo-01 2016Nikki spoke at the launch of the 2017 Best Business Women Awards this week. We won the Health and Wellness award last year, which means we can’t enter it again this year. So we need your help to decide which category to enter: Best Customer Service or Most Inspiring?

    Please let us know what you think! You can either comment with your choice on our facebook page or tick the sheet in reception.

    Thank you!

  • Nikki Robinson 9:09 am on February 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: help, , nobrainer, , , treatment   

    It’s a no brainer! 

    Monday 27 February is No Brainer Day! You’re probably as surprised as we were to find this exists but it’s true! This “holidate” was created by Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith (self-professed Premier Eventologist of America), through Washington DC’s Insight Magazine in August 1995. The special unofficial working holiday has apparently been increasing in popularity since then.

    There are conflicting theories about the origin of “no brainer”. Some say it originated sometime between 1975 and 1980 in engineering jargon in America. However, Carl Grubert used it in a cartoon in 1959! It certainly became more popular during the 1990s and 2000s.

    The term is used to describe a problem or question that allegedly has a very easy solution, requiring little effort or thought. So how easy does a no brainer have to be to qualify? Well, in a study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, neuroscientists found that the human brain can process images that have been flashed in front of the person for just 13 milliseconds. A no brainer is faster than that and is a decision or choice that is so easy that it requires no thinking at all!

    What, then, is the purpose of No Brainer Day?

    HeadIt is to remind us all that most things are simple and many of life’s daily problems have obvious and easy solutions. It allows us to stop over analysing things, second-guessing ourselves and to take it easy. Don’t sweat the small stuff! If you’ve got things to do which require analysis and heavy thinking, No Brainer Day isn’t the day to do them. Give your brain a mini vacation instead, it’s the brain’s special day for a rest.

    Take the day to relax and just be happy about its existence. If you absolutely can’t leave tricky problems for another day then that choice, in itself, is a no brainer celebration! See how easy it is?!


    At Holisticare we can make celebrating No Brainer Day even easier for you. How? Now that really IS a no brainer – book yourself a Myofascial Release Treatment appointment of course! Let us gently alleviate your pain, stiffness, anxiety, headaches and more in our calm, soothing environment. Jacina, Ali and Al look forward to your calls to book you in.

  • Nikki Robinson 8:07 pm on February 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Be Kind to Yourself 

    We’re now in the part of the year that recent research, by the Statistic Brain Research Institute, has highlighted that almost 60% of us have broken our New Year Resolutions already! A ComRes poll showed that seven out of the top ten most common resolutions are about improving our health and wellbeing so that’s a lot of us neglecting ourselves by February. But don’t let it get you down – it’s time to start being kind to yourself again!

    Friday 17 February was Random Acts of Kindness day and thousands of people joined in by doing various kindnesses to those they love and also to strangers and even to people they will never meet. The most popular acts include donating to charity, either financially or through taking unwanted clothes, books and other goods to charity shops, donating to a food bank and giving up your seat on the bus or train to someone who may or may not need it more than you.

    It got us thinking that random acts of kindness are performed everyday – just letting someone go before you in a queue, offering to carry someone’s shopping or calling someone you haven’t spoken to in a while can make a huge difference to their day, and to yours. If you smile at everyone you see for a week, or compliment them, you will be rewarded with seeing lots of smiles spreading around you and that ripple effect feels good.

    Cartoonist Scott Adams said, “Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end”. This fits well as an analogy for Myofascial Release StrollingUnderSkin (Dr JC Guimberteau)Treatment as tightness in your fascia can ripple out and have a knock-on effect on the rest of the body. One area of tightness can lead to another and another as the fascia is a network of continuous fibres around the whole body. Therefore if we treat one area we can effect an improvement in another, and another.

    So, at Holisticare we can say that MFR Treatment is being kind to your body! If you’ve let your New Year healthy resolutions slip act now, be kind to yourself and come for treatment with our excellent therapists.

    We have discovered that some patients were unaware that we cater for those who can’t come for treatment in our normal 9am – 3pm day. We are open on Wednesday and Thursday evenings until 9pm (2 therapists on Wednesday, 1 on Thursday) and we are also open every Saturday from 9am-3pm (1 therapist). If the standard day times are impossible for you call us to book an evening or Saturday slot.

    Visit for more information, call us on 01279 718331 to book your appointment and be kind to your body.

  • Nikki Robinson 12:37 pm on February 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , valentines   

    How to love someone on Valentine’s Day 

    free-valentines-vector4Valentine’s Day is just for couples, right? No, wrong! Here at Holisticare we believe that everyone can show somebody some love on Valentine’s Day.

    Love is defined as a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection. It can be shown by friendship, appreciation, respect, tenderness, cherishing, enjoyment, involvement and high regard.

    Let’s begin with you. Love yourself first and treat your body to some Myofascial Release treatment to put yourself in a great physical and mental position to be able to share that love and support others. If you’re already there why not show someone else you love them with a Valentine gift that does more than pamper the outside of the body?

    A manicure or a facial might make you look better but what will really make you feel loved inside and out? Myofascial Release of course! The word “Valentine” derives from the Latin “valens” which means “strong, vigorous, healthy” and Myofascial Release treatment at Holisticare is the perfect solution to improve strength, vigour and health and is a caring answer to how to love someone on Valentine’s Day.

    Choose between three great options: a regular hour of MFR treatment; a Free Yourself course of 6 group classes to learn relaxation and visualisation techniques to work with the mind and body to relieve pain, reduce anxiety and improve general wellbeing; and our Intensive Treatment Programme which comprises 15 hours of Myofascial Release Treatment over the course of 5 or 6 days focused on your individual needs and goals, including at least one multi-therapist treatment and self-help instruction allowing you to build on the progress made during treatment.

    However you spend this Valentine’s Day look after your fascia and it will look after you.

    Call us on 01279 718331 and show yourself and others some love.

  • Nikki Robinson 5:05 pm on September 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Free Yourself Hour at Holisticare 

    Free Yourself at Holisticare!

    We are now taking bookings for the next series of the Free Yourself Hour.

    Six one-hour weekly sessions offering a calm space where you will learn how to listen to your body and work with it to access the healing potential within.

    Progressing from an introduction to Myofascial relaxation and stretching to more advanced techniques, you will discover how to release your own restrictions to enhance the benefit of your treatments and prevent build up in the future.

    Guided by an experienced therapist you will learn techniques and visualisations that you will be able to practise on your own, wherever you are. Each session will build on the previous week, eventually covering the whole body.

    Some sessions may also incorporate equipment (supplied).

    Tuesday evenings 7pm – next series starts November 1st

    Friday mornings 10.15am – next series starts November 4th

    Series of six sessions £120

    Relax, Stretch, Self-Treat – Free Yourself with Holisticare

    Call us on 01279 718331 to confirm your place.


    To find out how Holisticare can help you and your family, or it you would like to book in for some treatment, please call us on 01279 718331.

    We look forward to hearing from you soon,
    The Holisticare Team
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