Neal’s Yard Remedies on your Christmas Wishlist?



Kerry Oliver is our Neals’ Yard Remedies Independent Consulant here at PNH. She loves introducing people to these amazing organic products.If you would like some on your wishlist call in to pick up a Christmas catalogue and spread the word to your friends and relatives. Gift vouchers also available – call Kerry on 07966 518 386 or Contact us

Or you may prefer to order direct from Kerry’s online shop



Embodying mindfulness

some thoughts from our Alexander Technique Teacher, Julia Woodman

julia-at-tribeI’ve sometimes heard the Alexander Technique described as ‘Zen for the Western World’. With the help of an Alexander teacher we can learn to become more present and mindful as we go about our daily life.

It’s not just about ‘being in the moment’ though − we are, after all, embodied beings. Being more present is incredibly important but is not enough on its own to allow free and easy movement, and a better quality of life without the so-very common back, neck and joint aches and pains. Alexander lessons engage us as a whole (mind-body) in an experiential learning process in which we begin to think, move (and be) differently; over time it becomes a truly transformative process. The lessons guide us to continue to apply the skills we’ve learnt to our everyday activities, and gradually our postural support, balance and movement coordination improve. I always remember the time while I was having lessons and before I trained to be a teacher, when I suddenly realised one day sitting at my desk at work that I was comfortable for the first time, sitting effortlessly. After many years of the continual ‘yo-yo of habitual slouching / trying to sit up straight’, my postural muscle support system had gradually ‘woken up’ through the lessons and started working well again, while I was also letting go of the excessive muscle tension that I’d been using to try and hold myself up. During this period my colleagues were also commenting on how I was the one who always remained calm when our work became particularly stressful.

Through the Alexander Technique we become more aware of ourselves and how we’re responding, moment by moment, to what life presents; it enables us to discover how to lessen the habitual interferences with our natural movement coordination, balance and postural support. So yes, I think that the term ’embodying mindfulness’ is a good way of describing what the Alexander Technique is and what it achieves.


Jane Jamieson, Nutritional Therapist & Realignment Specialist

Jane Jamieson offers appointments on Wednesday mornings and by arrangement. She can be contacted on 07905 636 050 or via Contact page.

Jane creates tailor-made nutritional programmes tojane-snip

  • improve energy levels
  • assist detoxification
  • balance hormones
  • improve digestive problems and immunity

Jane has been practising nutritional therapy and has also been lecturing for the College of Naturopathic Medicine in biomedicine and nutritional therapy for the last 9 years. Jane’s emphasis is on diet and natural foods and combining these with natural supplementation which is either made from food, or is food state supplementation. Jane believes these approaches work best in the long run as they are safe, effective and don’t result in toxicity or any issues in the long term.

Jane finds that working with the body to create optimum health is the best approach and whilst you may come along with different disease states, very often the body can help to reserve some of the symptoms and severity if it is given the correct nutritional resources. Jane also finds that using nutrition alongside bodywork, acupuncture, emotional resolution, counselling and other healing modalities creates a synergistic effect which has very exciting results.

Jane is keen to help you find an approach which works for you, and his involves looking at dietary preferences, lifestyle characteristics as well biochemical challenges for your own body. Some people come to nutritional therapy to be given the assurance they are on the right track or to be given a few minor tweaks, other people come as they are aware they some regular ongoing support for a period of time while they make the changes in their habits that will support long term health.

Nutritional therapy costs £60 for an hour. If you would like to discuss with Jane whether this treatment would be suitable for you, please text her on 07905 636 050 or email her on


Jane also has a background in musculo-skeletal realignment. Combining advanced massage techniques and cranio-sacral therapy, she can work with you to understand how your problems may have started, the most beneficial treatment approach and the changes needed to maintain good health afterwards.

Realignment works very well alongside regular massage, Bowen technique, acupuncture or other body work therapies and creates a fast-track approach to wellness and optimum function

Curious about Acupuncture?

All the fun of Porty Village Fair

The sun shone on Saturday 5th September and it was a grand day out for folk from Portobello and beyond – including the Practitioners at PNH. Alongside duck races, Tug o War, Olympic vegetables, dog shows, refreshment tents and much more, we were there to spread the word to local people about all the therapies they were lucky enough to have on their doorstep.


There was a plenty of interest in our stall and we enjoyed a hectic 3 hours of chatting about the benefits of Acupuncture, Bowen Technique, Massage and more. Many a cup of herbal tea was sipped, Neal’s Yard Organic skincare sampled and bought, taster sessions of Alexander Technique left people feeling and looking taller and freer, and the name of the skeleton was finally guessed. The  prize of course was a FREE treatment at Portobello Natural Health!

Trial shows Alexander Technique and Acupuncture improve Neck Pain!

A major clinical trial published yesterday in the prestigious Annals of Internal Medicine, demonstrates that both Alexander Technique lessons and acupuncture lead to long-term benefits for people with chronic neck pain. Our own Alexander Technique teacher, Julia Woodman contributed to the trial and has provided a summary of the findings.

Alexander Technique
Alexander Technique

Following either 20 one-to-one Alexander lessons, or 12 acupuncture sessions (of equal overall time to the Alexander lessons), people experienced nearly a third less pain and associated disability at the end of the trial, 1 year later. This reduction was significantly greater than that experienced by the group who received usual GP-led care alone. The reduction is particularly encouraging given that the trial participants had experienced their neck pain for an average of 6 years before joining the study, so many had quite an intractable problem. The study also showed that people’s ability to manage and reduce their pain (‘self-efficacy’) increased following Alexander lessons or acupuncture and that this contributed to the long-term reductions in pain and incapacity that were observed.

We offer both acupuncture and Alexander Technique lessons at Portobello Natural Health, so if you have chronic neck pain you may like to consider having some acupuncture sessions first followed by Alexander Technique lessons. Acupuncture can relieve pain by diverting or changing the painful sensations that are sent to your brain from damaged tissues and by stimulating your body’s own pain-relieving and self-healing functions. Alexander lessons will then give you the tools for continued self-care to help prevent future relapses.

To discuss how acupuncture or the Alexander technique could help you or to book an appointment go to our contacts page here:

For further information on the trial click on the link here:

Why is Achilles Tendonitis Common in Runners & How Can Sports & Remedial Massage Therapy Help?

Achilles tenodonitis is a common injury for runners
Achilles tenodonitis is a common injury for runners

Did you know that whilst running, the loads placed on the achilles tendon on each step is 7-8 times the body weight? Therefore, a woman who weighs 63.5 kg or 10 stone (140 lbs) that is approximately 450 kg 1000lbs or 70 stones on the Achilles tendon with each and every stride. It is clear then that running places a lot of strain on the Achilles tendon and not surprising that issues associated with it are common place.

Occasional maintenance treatment on the Achilles tendon by a qualified Sport and Remedial Massage therapist can help to reduce the damage and risk of injury. More information can be found in this article:

John Whelan is qualified in Remedial and Sports Massage and will work with you to find a suitable individualised plan and specialised Treatments. He works at Portobello Natural Health, Monday, Friday and Saturday. To book an appointment, call him on 07454313739 or click here.

Research study shows benefits of Post-Exercise Massage on damaged muscles

Massage Massage can be wonderfully relaxing and has therapeutic benefits too. A study conducted in 2012 found that massage can reduce inflammation and promote healing to muscles that have been damaged through exercise. Link to the article here or watch an interview of one of the study author’s explain the research here.

We have 3 fully qualified and experienced massage therapists working at Portobello Natural Health:

Kerry Oliver: Holistic and Clinical Massage

John Whelan: Sports & Remedial Therapy, Swedish Massage

Melissa McConnell: Swedish Massage

Portobello Natural Health Open Day – Sunday 10th May 2015 11 – 2 pm

10 | 05 | 2015
Portobello Natural Health Open day. Find out more about our therapies and pick up some freebies!

Portobello Natural Health is up and running. We have been getting some great feedback about our lovely bright and relaxing space from our clients and patients. We’d like to give you the opportunity to find out more about our services and how they can help you restore your natural health.

On Sunday 10th May, Tribe Porty will be holding its first TEDx Talks upstairs from our little clinic. We thought this would be a great time throw our doors open to the people of Portobello (and beyond!). From 11 – 2pm, our practitioners will be there to talk to you about what we do and offering samples of our services. There will money off vouchers and even some tasty little nibbles courtesy of our Nutritional therapist.

We will have:

  • Alexander Technique – Julia Woodman will available to offer demonstrations of how you can use the Alexander technique to improve your posture and help back pain and other ailments.
  • Acupuncture – Jill Storstein will be available to do pulse and tongue diagnoses to explain what your tongue and pulse says about your health and how acupuncture could help you.
  • Massage Therapy – we have 3 massage therapists at Portobello Natural Health each with their own specialisms including holistic massage, Swedish massage, Sports & Remedial therapy, reiki, indian head massage. Kerry Oliver, John Whelan and Melissa McConnell will be there to talk to you. John will also be offering PNF hamstring stretches as tasters.
  • Nutritional Therapy – Jane Darlington will be available to discuss how nutritional therapy can help you and is making some delicious little nutritious treats for you to sample – get there early though or they might all be gone!

Find us next to Earthy at 19-21 Windsor Place, Portobello, EH15 2AJ

Spring Allergies – An Acupuncturist’s View

Woman sneezing (Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici /

The warmer weather and longer days makes such a welcome change after the long dark and wet Scottish winter. It is glorious to see all the flowers and blossom blooming. It seems decidedly unfair that this can mean the arrival or exacerbation of allergies. An allergy is an overreaction of the body’s immune system to something in the environment which would normally be harmless. Its this reaction that causes the irritating and even debilitating symptoms. Allergies can present in a variety of different ways. Most commonly people associate the Spring with hayfever (allergic rhinitis) and its symptoms of runny/blocked nose, incessant sneezing, red itchy eyes and headaches. However, other allergies such as eczema, asthma and even migraines can also get worse for some in the summer months. These allergic reactions can be caused by allergens which is the collective term for anything provoking this reaction and includes pollen, man-made environmental pollutants, dust and animal dander which also increases as furry animals shed their winter coats.

A recent study (Acupuncture in Patients with Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis: A Randomised Trial) showed acupuncture can be an effective treatment. So how does acupuncture help? Chinese medicine evolved over several millennia with an Eastern philosophical framework and without the use of microscopes and blood tests to identify environmental pollutants or measure increased immunoglobins. Nevertheless, it recognised and identified the invasion of pathogenic factors causing the symptoms we call allergies. The impact these pathogenic factors can have depends on the individual person’s constitution and the relative strength of the pathogen. Its for this reason that Chinese medicine (which encompasses acupuncture and Chinese dietary therapy) recognises that people can be more susceptible to allergens depending on what’s been going on in their lives, what their constitution is like, what the surrounding environmental conditions are and what foods they have been eating. What’s more, Chinese medicine has a diagnostic framework that combines these factors allowing practitioners to formulate a treatment that will not only address the immediate symptoms for example, itching or sneezing, but also the underlying causes. Using the appropriate acupunctures points can help to expel the pathogen, alleviating the symptoms and can help to strengthen the body’s defences and constitution to minimise future attacks. Moreover, using the principles of Chinese dietary therapy, traditional acupuncturists can provide easy to follow general dietary advice that will help further reduce sensitivities to allergens.

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