In Safe Hands

If ever you had to choose somewhere to start your journey of finding inner peace, tranquility and sense of purpose then there is one place you should definitely visit in the town of Harrogate where you are sure to be in safe hands. The Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing has a past and a future you […]

If ever you had to choose somewhere to start your journey of finding inner peace, tranquility and sense of purpose then there is one place you should definitely visit in the town of Harrogate where you are sure to be in safe hands.

The Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing has a past and a future you can trust.

Founded in January 1990, it has a longstanding tradition and history as a reputable provider of all things Yoga, Ayurveda and Pilates. When others were still jumping around in legwarmers with bouncy hairsprayed- perms, Anne-Marie had a vision that went beyond the temporary fads of Callanetics and step aerobics, she turned to holistic therapies and wellbeing and she was right. Her staying power is mirrored by the firm role the traditional Indian practices now play in Western society.

Just because the centre has  been advocating the benefits of yoga, massage and other complementary therapies for almost three decades, it does not mean that they sit on their laurels. There are new additions to the team and they have recently refurbished and upgraded their centre. See beautiful photos below:

New relaxing studio
Fabulous new look at the Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing

Since his return from India James Burford has been a driving force in implementing many of the new developments with his usual dedication and passion.
He is a yogi in the true sense of the word and has  over 5 years in India. He was awarded one of only 2 grants given by the Indian commission to commonwealth students to study in India- impressive, right! I’m sure I’ll be adding him to my Wellness Warriors soon!

All under the same roof (and if you think they have missed something from the world of wellness, I am sure if you asked them they probably are offering it…)

  • Ayurvedic Dietary and Lifestyle Consultation
  • Vibration Training
  • Soundwave Therapy
  • Narl 517
  • The Back Revolution
  • Neals Yard Remedies
  • Astrology Readings
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi
    Holistic Therapies

  • Angelic and Star Reiki with Crystal Chakra Balance
  • Spirit Body Balance
  • Consultative Aromatherapy Massage
  • Hot Himalayan Salt Stone Massage
  • Ayurvedic Kansa Wand Massage
  • Mandarin Mother to be Massage
  • Well being or Deep Tissue Back Massage
  • Ayurvedic Head Massage
  • Head and Toe Heaven
  • Reflex Foot and Reiki Rebalance
  • Rose Crystal Revitalising Facial Therapy
  • Stress Soother
  • Relax and Renew
  • Skin and Sparkle
  • Pedicure Therapy
  • Mini Mani or Pedi
  • Eye brow or lash tint
  • Eye brow wax
  • Angel Card Reading

I am sure you’ll agree this firmly rooted yet forward thinking centre for wellbeing is well worth a visit.

Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing
Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing


Wellness Warriors

Who are Harrogate’s Wellness Warriors? Who proactively promotes the health and wellbeing of our town’s residents? You’d be surprised with what I discovered.

1. The prime promoter of wellness and the kintalini way is the town’s own council. It may not be the glamorous or visually inspiring warrior you may have envisaged to top these polls of wellbeing, but Harrogate Borough Council has numerous projects and schemes in place to help us improve our health – both mental and physical – get our children off to a solid start, maintain the balance of country and town, encourage creative stimulus throughout the town in all areas and to keeping our stress levels down!

2. NHS Harrogate and Rural District – another unlikely suspect? With its pioneering NHS Natural Health services incorporating complementary therapies into the “traditional” methods used by GPs and doctors, our NHS reflects the open-mindedness and mindful nature of our local healthcare system. We should be proud of this. We are lucky enough to have choices.

3. OneWellness: A health and wellness provider that aims to help you get well, stay well and live well. It is Yorkshire’s first GP-led health and wellbeing coaching service to physiotherapy, health checks, personal training, workshops and specialist fitness classes.

4. The Acorn Wellness Retreat is a place that encourages individuals to find ways to improve their lifestyle whether it is through engaging in a new activity or simply by allowing themselves time out to reflect.

5. Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing – A wonderful centre offering holistic therapies, treatments and consultations promoting wellbeing and a healthy lifestyle: yoga, Reiki, massages, Ayurvedic practices and much more.

More to come… why not vote for one of your Wellness Warriors to be listed in our top promoters for health and wellbeing in Harrogate:



A man amongst the women

I am terribly proud to have met with this young man: Matt Symonds.

He has set up a wonderful therapy clinic in Harrogate where he offers the soothing benefits of acupuncture alongside the exotic treatments of Tui Na massage and cupping.

Harrogate Acupuncture
Matt Symonds – Acupuncture Harrogate

His affable and amiable nature will win you over and set you at ease in an instant. Despite his imposing height, he is a gentle giant ready and eager to help those in need.

His enthusiasm and passion for acupuncture and holistic therapy emanates through the bright sparkle in his eye as whenever he broaches the subject of healing. Matt graduated from the Northern College of Acupuncture in York with a Bsc Acu (Hons) and is a fully accredited member of the British acupuncture council (BAcC).

harrogate acupuncture
Matt’s inviting clinic on Ripon Road


So watch out all you lady therapists in Harrogate, there is a man in your midst now and I have a feeling he will go from strength to strength.

Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Least sexy massage name ever for perhaps one of the best massages ever. Just what is lymphatic drainage and its benefits?

Before I dive into the wonders of a lymphatic drainage massage, maybe I need to enlighten you of what your lymphatic system is just in case you have never  heard of this alternative health treatment before… after reading this you will definitely be heading out to your nearest lymphatic drainage therapist. (For Harrogatonians it is a lovely lady called Rachel at Fusionage Therapies )

What is our lymphatic system?

The white vessels in our body circulate lymph, a clear fluid that flows from our lymph nodes, through out our body. As you can see from the diagram there is a high concentration of nodes around our throat, armpits, abdominal  and groin area. These nodes filter out and stop infection and other “invading” bodies – a bit like a waste filtration system. Lymph is to our lymphatic system what blood is to our circulatory system. While our circulatory system has the heart to pump and keep it moving and flowing… the lymphatic system depends on your skeletal muscular system moving it through your joints. If the lymph is not flowing freely then our system will block up with excess fluid and contamination (e.g. excess protein, debris, cells, etc). These blockages could cause swelling and become a breeding ground for infection.

So you can see why it is important for your lymphatic system to be flowing freely.

What a lymphatic drainage massage involves:

A certified massage therapist will apply a series of gentle, rhythmic tapping on your lymph nodes to stimulate them to open and drain. The massaging may be done by hand as well as by using a little suction cup that actually draws out the lymph. The treatment is very comfortable and is not invasive at all – no hose pipes attached to dubious areas as may have been envisaged by some of you! A typical session will involve drainage of the head, neck, abdomen and your extremities and will last anywhere from one hour to 90 minutes.  It is a completely non-invasive “massage” consisting of gentle stimulation in the areas of your lymphatic glands.

Don’t expect to be kneaded and pounded and stretched, this is a very gentle process involving tapping to stimulate the nodes and smoothing of the skin to get the lymph fluid moving.

The effects of a lymphatic massage

If you are in a sedentary job like me, maybe not exercising enough, you may feel “sluggish” and want to give your body a bit of an MOT. It is also great for getting your immune system working properly, reducing water retention (don’t expect your cellulite to disappear overnight!) and improve your metabolism. Plus it is a great way to DETOX.

Here are the astonishing “effects” I experience after just one treatment:

Day 1 – A very relaxing treatment, during which I felt my body tingling and literally felt the lymph fluid starting to circulate. A little tired in the evening but generally just relaxed. Increased intake of water. Didn’t want “unhealthy” foods or wine.

Day 2 – A pounding headache. Obviously the toxins that had been released through the movement of my lymph fluid were on the move. I also felt tired and emotional (I cried at Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!!) Continued increased intake of fluid and did not want snack food.

Day 3 – Overrun by sheer fatigue. Do not plan anything strenuous the days after your massage – you just want to sleep. It can hit you any time soon after. Plus a little nauseous.

Day 4 – Not really tired anymore, still hungry for good food and thirsty. Visibly improved complexion.

Day 5 – A miracle. Everything seems easy. Exercise is easy. Concentrating is easy. No sense of fatigue. Like a teenager again without the angst!

Day 6 to Day 14 – A fortnight of mad unstoppable creativity and energy. A wrote a book, I made videos and audios, woke early, started exercising properly again, didn’t feel tired.

I am not sure if everyone experiences a flood of creativity, but I am sure it is related to my lymphatic massage. Clearing the toxins out of the body really peps you up, so you are working at 100%.

An amazing experience I would recommend to anyone:

Here is a link to my amazing therapist Rachel Inchboard at Fusionage Therapies (Lymphatic Drainage Massage Harrogate).

I went for 3 sessions and would say you need at least 2 to ensure it works. You can also help yourself by exercising regularly, even jumping up and down helps!, or trying some DIY drainage techniques.

Keep your engine well serviced. Go for a body MOT and be ready for instant rejuvenation, increased productivity and endless creativity!

Magic Massages at Vanity Health and Beauty Clinic

How many massage parlors does a town need!!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Repetitive strain injury giving you neck ache?

Being in the same position at a desk day in and day out can put a lot of strain on our posture.

Now those good girls and boys out there who are following their Yogitivity routine or standing up, walking around and stretching regularly can read this with a smug smile and no pain!

But for us mere mortals who slave away at a computer and can’t quite seem to tear ourselves away, it is very easy to fall prey to the excruciating burning and jabbing pain that grows in our neck and shoulders and even in our lower back.


Aromatherapy massages Harrogate
Aromatherapy massages at “Vanity Health and Beauty”, in Harrogate

But don’t fear help is at hand.

In the form of Alice’s magic hands! Here in Harrogate Alice Danker from Vanity Health has been my saviour for many years. I initially went to her with a lot of stress knotted between my shoulders and a veritable “lump” of tension on my neck.


Hot stone therapy Harrogate
Hot stone therapy at “Vanity Health and Beauty” in Harrogate

Alice set about working her magic weaving and intertwining the beauty of several different massage and aromatherapy together in order to come up with her magic potion. Now I cannot reveal her trade secrets, you’ll have to visit her yourself for that!, but what I will say is that she took the best from all the worlds of complementary therapy and poured them into my aching shoulders. She kneaded my twisted nest of pain and stress with her hot stones and warming oils, she soothed away my worries with her uplifting blend of essential oils and then she deftly worked away the pain in and around my shoulders and back to leave me feeling like a new woman.

The only nagging pain was that there was something missing: it was the sensation of the missing ache that I had been carrying around and was used to feeling for so many years. It was gone and I was missing it like I would miss a hot water bottle in the Sahara!

Other therapists would do well at times to take a leaf from Alice’s book. Sometimes we do not need to rigidly stick to one routine, one therapy, one massage technique, sometimes what is needed is a blend of many to come up with just the right solution.

If you’re busy working at a screen or hunched over a desk and not keeping up the yoga or holding all of your stress and tension in your neck as we sometimes do!) you may well be feeling the strain, but remember, for around £40 all that pain can go away. What a small price to pay – don’t delay treat yourself to some Alice Magic from all the wonders of the world of wellness.