Find your balance
Starting off her resolution to detox, Rachel Soothill heads to Chichester for a health overhaul.
A hidden haven in the heart of Chichester provides a sanctuary for the mind, body and soul. Balanced Wellness, in the Boardwalk, Northgate, is a one-stop-shop for alternative health, holistic fitness and organic beauty.
As I sit in the waiting area, before meeting with the owner Laura Knowles, I already feel a sense of calm and relaxation wash over me thanks to the styled and feng shui-ed decoration designed to create the ultimate soothing atmosphere.
“We wanted to create a space where people can come and escape their busy lives for a few hours to look after themselves and find the right health solutions,” explains
“We offer everything from yoga classes, organic facials, detox programmes and retreats to counselling, physio and mindfulness courses.”
Founders Claire Snowdon-Darling and Laura were determined to help others discover a journey into wellness using a totally new approach to health.
Now six years on they have evolved into a community of practitioners in kinesiology and last year saw them open their first wellness centre in Chichester.
At the heart of everything they do at Balanced Wellness is kinesiology, which is the theory of muscle testing to discover the underlying cause of any health issue – be it physical, nutritional or emotional.
“We all have 42 muscles in our body which are directly connected to organs”, explains Laura.
“Through kinesiology we can read the muscles and communicate with the body to understand what it needs and what it is lacking.
“It is very empowering to have this understanding,” she insists. “Too often we go to the doctors and are prescribed drugs without really knowing how we can help avoid further issues.”
Claire first stumbled on kinesiology when she was looking for a natural way to cope with the post-natal depression and fatigue she was experiencing.
Like Claire, Laura also discovered an interest in health through her own personal experiences.
“I had always suffered with bad digestion, hormone problems and a low immune system,” she explains.
“The turning point for me was when I had my tonsils removed when I was younger but then woke up the next day with psoriasis.
“I felt that my body was trying to tell me that something was wrong and I just wasn’t listening.”
After visiting a nutritionist, Laura became hooked on learning more and went on to study nutrition, yoga and kinesiology while still working as a marketing director in London.
In 2010 she made the decision to relocate down to West Sussex and join Claire in sharing what they had learned with others.
“I have been doing this for four years now and I still get goosebumps when I can help someone through health difficulties using a completely natural solution,” Laura smiles.
Laura and Claire both specialise in helping men and women with digestive and hormone problems.
“There is no balance in our lives nowadays and most of us just aren’t looking after ourselves properly,” Laura explains.
“This then usually causes problems such as bad digestion, a hormone imbalance or a toxic build up in our bodies.”
To help people further, Balanced Wellness will be launching a new VIP membership card as well as running their own detox programme in January.
The four week RejuvaDetox includes 12 sessions at the centre to ensure participants are supported physically, emotionally and nutritionally.
“Our detoxes aren’t just about diet,” explains Laura. “We come at it from every angle to completely nurture the body back to health.”
The programme combines a clean eating programme and yoga classes with emotional support.
“This detox shouldn’t just be a quick fix,” Laura says. “We want to help re-educate people about what they are eating and give them the support to break bad habits and overcome food cravings so that they can lead a cleaner and more fulfilling life.”
What’s more Laura promises there are plenty of healthy sweet recipes to enjoy while on the detox, including a delicious dairy free chocolate mousse and strawberry pudding.
“We know that we can’t live the ultimate healthy lifestyle all the time so we have a 80/20 rule – this has become a way of life for me now,” Laura admits.
“I don’t think I would recognise the fatigued, insecure, low self esteem girl I used to be.
“I hope that I can share this way of living with others, but we can only offer the pathway, it is the individuals that have to walk it.”
If you would like to book a consultation at Balanced Wellness, please visit www.balancedwellness-chichester.co.uk or call 01243 278511.
– Drink two litres of water everyday – so many illnesses and conditions come from dehydration.
– Give up wheat – the wheat grain was modified in the 60s and the gluten content increased massively. Gluten sticks to intestines and joints, which can cause arthritis. Cut out bread, pasta, cake and biscuits and try alternatives like rye and spelt.
– Make sure when you go to bed you sleep in a pitch-black bedroom – no digital clocks, mobile phones or TV standby lights. Any kind of light will stimulate the pineal gland and prevent you from getting a relaxed night’s sleep.
– Turn off computers, mobile phones and the TV an hour before going to bed – they all stimulate your nervous system when you should be relaxing and preparing for sleep.
– Get into a yoga, pilates or tai chai class – they will help you exercise, de-stress and relax in a positive way.
– For constipation and digestive problems, you should try and lift your knees above your hips when going to the toilet by putting your feet on a kids step or the bathroom bin. Modern toilets are the worst invention; we just weren’t built to go to the toilet in this position.
– Finally, have a good detox every year.