My Secrets to Health, Happiness and Eternal Life

I’m often asked how I look so youthful and fit and what my secret is. Joking aside I do have a regime that I have been using for sometime now that does have great benefits for health, happiness, energy, sleep, stress and fulfilment. Before sharing it’s important that you only undertake new activities if you are fit to do so, it’s appropriate for where you are and what your goals are. I’d be happy to discuss with you what may be best for you and we can tailor make a plan. I’ll touch on the various areas and hope to publish more detail on each in the future.


Yes its important and again very much down to the individual. Generally I follow a plant based diet with some fish and very occasional high quality, lean meat. I rarely eat processed or junk food and avoid wheat and refined sugars. I’m mindful of good gut bacteria and add kimchi, sauerkraut and tofu.


Drink lots of water! It’s just a habit but you will feel better and your skin will be eternally grateful.


This is a huge topic and could fill many books. Generally I find that my patients are more likely to stick with something if they enjoy it and it’s easy to access. It can be anything that brings the heart rate up a little for 30 minutes three to six days a week. Rest days are important for recovery. Walking is a fantastic form of exercise and thoroughly underrated especially if done in beautiful surroundings. Otherwise I have patients who garden, dog walk, jog, swim, ride etc. Anyone who knows me well has learnt that my passions are kayaking (especially white water) and now triathlons (short course).

Sleep, Rest, Meditation

I’ve not had the easiest relationship with sleep and I’m all too aware how dreadful insomnia can be. But it can be tackled through various means. Just employing some of this health tips will likely help. Talk to me if you have problems with sleep. I may be able to help.

Ensure rest is part of your day and try to establish as good a balance between work, family and leisure as possible.

I’ve been meditating for many years now and I cannot over stress the benefits this brings. More on this later.

Green Tea

This one is easy. A good quality sencha green tea is packed with healthy, natural ingredients. It’s low in caffeine and evidence suggests that it neuro-protective.


Again a huge topic and more later. I take omegas, garlic, turmeric, vitamin D and multivits/minerals. Be sure to discuss this to find out what’s best for you.


I fast around 5 days each week. I prefer the 16:8 approach ie only eating in an 8 hour window usually between 10.30am and 6.30pm. This nudges the body into fat burning and autophagy when old defunct cells and components are broken down. Get advice on this before commencing.

Cold Water

I’ve touched on this before. It really does live up to the hype boosting energy, mood and immune system


Yoga, pilates or whatever takes your fancy. I do a few hours each week and couldn’t live without it.

More on all this later but remember to start small and experiment with what works for you. We are all different but with time a better lifestyle can be adopted and you really will feel better.

Cold Water Benefits

The benefits of cold water has been well documented and researched. These include:

Improved Immunity

Improved Cardiovascular function

Reduced depresssion

Reduced anxiety

Improved pain response

Improved sleep

Increased energy

With this in mind I decided to have a go and see if I noticed any benefits. I found a good protocol to follow involving a steady, measured exposure over the course of a month which can be found here ( Have been following it for ten days I can confirm that not only does it get easier but its accompanied by a significant sense of well being for a few hours afterwards. I’ve noticed my energy levels have improved and sleep is better too.

I will be recommending this to some patients to try (if there are no contra indications) and will report back at the end of the month trial.

The Importance of the Pelvic Floor (and what you can do to keep it healthy).

The pelvic floor is often an under-appreciated but nevertheless very important part of our anatomy.  It plays a vital role in keeping our low backs and rest of our bodies healthy and functioning well; it is directly linked to the role and importance of the “core” ie in core stability; it aids the functions of our internal organs and perhaps most well known is that it plays a huge role in bowel and bladder function especially after the effects of pregnancy and childbirth.

So what is the pelvic floor?  It’s best thought of as a “sling” of muscles the covers the outlet of the pelvis.  A little like a hammock, the contents of the abdomen lies on top of it and is supported by it.  Being made of muscle it is contractile and therefore is a dynamic structure capable of movement.  When it has good tone (the resting contraction of the muscles) it helps gentle close the structures that pass through it, most importantly the urethra and the lowest part of the large intestine – in other words the tubes that our pee and poo travel down to find their way out of the body.  More on this later.

How is it important in low back pain and posture?  As an osteopath this is of particular interest for me.  The low back relies on a number of different structures and their health for good low back functioning.  Some of the most significant are the shape and alignment of the lumbar spinal vertebrae, ligaments, intervertebral discs and the muscular support of the spinal muscles.  The pelvic floor blends with the diaphragm and abdominal muscles (if core stability is good) making a balloon like container.  When we move or lift this container acts like a support – a little like a weight lifters belt.  These days people are more aware about the abdominal muscles and their importance of this but the pelvic floor is a vital component playing a very important part in supporting the spine and keeping it strong, stable and free from pain.

How is the pelvic floor important to general health?  One way of looking at the abdomen (the area below the rib cage but above our thighs) is as a muscular container within which is our viscera (large and small intestines; kidneys; liver; spleen; pancreas etc).  These organs all individually need to function well for the for the health of everything things else in our body and minds.  For this to happen we need the usual things for health eg good diet; exercises; posture etc but also it needs a good blood and lymph supply and drainage.  Again many things influence this but often forgot is movement.  Movement at a the level of the body but also within the body.  When we breathe well (more on this in another blog) our diaphragm descends and rises gently massaging the the organs, helping the gut to transport things along its length, aiding the blood supply and improving the lymphatic health.  So where does the pelvic floor fit in?  The rest of the muscular container is comprised of the abdominal muscles to the front, the spinal and posture muscles at the back and the pelvic floor underneath.  As the diaphragm descends the overall function of the abdomen will be that much better if the pelvic floor and the rest of the container are functioning well.  The pelvic floor will allow the abdominal organs to return back up receiving gentle compression and relaxation with every breath.  This helps the blood and lymph flow and, you guessed it, improving all the organs functioning and health.  As well as gently moving the spine with each breath and aiding its health in the same way.

How does the pelvic floor help bowel and bladder function?  As I mentioned above the urethra (pee tube that leaves the bladder) and lowest part of the large intestine travel through the muscular pelvic floor.  As well as supporting the bowel and bladder the muscles offer some ability to close off the tubes.  If the floor is weak then it can lead to urinary incontinence, haemorrhoids and other pelvis disorders.  These conditions are not uncommon but can be a source of embarrassment and inconvenience.  Can anything be done?

Can I improve my pelvic floor?  Yes!  But as with all self help regimes it takes a bit of time, effort and self discipline.

Pelvic floor exercises:

Take a seat and imagine you’re sitting on the loo. Now imagine you’re having a pee and want to stop the flow. What muscles would you contract?  If you’re unsure, next time you’re going to the loo then experiment with stopping the flow of wee.  Contract these muscles and hold for a count of 10 seconds.  Next squeeze and relax the muscles quickly five times.  You can then see if you can isolate the muscles mid way back on the pelvic floor and repeat the same set of exercises.  Then again for the muscles at the back of the pelvic floor.  Over time try increasing the number of sets of exercises.  Remember not to strain and if you get any pain then stop and let me know. 

For more complicated exercises imagine you’re contracting diagonally across the pelvic floor (eg right of the pubic area to left of the tail bone area and vice versa).

Do these exercises at least once a day.  When you get proficient the exercises can be done anywhere and in any position.  If you have any questions then contact me at either my Ashburton or Newton Abbot Clinic.

You should feel the benefits in a couple of weeks.  Good luck 🙂