Joyful and healthy 2023

4 January 2023

Newsletter January 2023 – A Gift

“Here I am, send me” (Wellesley Tudor Pole, The Chalice Well Trust Silent Minute)

Wishing you all a healthy and joyful New Year 2023!

As mentioned and “beta” tested in the past few months with some of my clients, I will open my clinic in the new year to the concept of the gift economy, to begin with for returning clients only

It has become obvious to many of us in the last 2-3 years, if not much longer, that many of our institutions seem systematically unequipped for the challenges facing us today, public health and finances amongst others.

We are asked to find solutions outside the mindset that created the problems, even beyond the concept of a problem-solution timeline and causality itself.

Even though, by definition, a gift “is an item (or service) given to someone without the expectation of payment or anything in return” (Wikipedia), it is more often than not somehow expected to be directly reciprocal, and in a commercial context it is usually associated with a promotional intention. Who has not ever had the thought, this person gave me just a small token last Christmas, I’m not going to come up with an expensive present again this year? This is making perfect sense in the world of numbers, of measurability, which we seem to be so caught and invested in. Deep down in our hearts though we all understand that the world, the Cosmos, life, operates on different principles which are infinite, immeasurable. It is built on trust, on synchronicity, on purpose within community and mutual love and friendship. All that is truly important has been given to us freely; life itself, our bodies, minds, the sunshine that sustains us. Reciprocity for the immeasurable comes from a place of gratitude, of awareness, from the intuitive knowing that a gift always returns to the giver, often in mysterious ways.

Ever since I’ve been working for private clients it struck and hurt me often that money seems to be in the way of human connection, of service. Those who are most in need of care struggle often to afford the costs of private care.

The problem with offering anything “for free” is that it will not be seen as valuable. People will come with low expectations and, most importantly, a lack of commitment, when not honouring the effort and time spent on a product or service. No technology, no therapy module will work without the effort of the participant herself to heal.

Healing is not done for you, nor is it ever done, it is the dynamic flow that keeps life in balance.

Maybe the biggest threat to health, to being well, is not just found in the physical realm. More than a clean diet, exercise, rest or the avoidance of environmental toxins, what keeps us healthy, what nourishes us most, is a sense of belonging, of purpose, of relationship and interdependency.

So, more than only the desire to be of service, to return my gift and to make it available as much as possible, my strongest motivation for this initiative comes from an understanding that paying a certain price in exchange for goods or a service severs a relationship between two humans. When the exchange has taken place this relationship ends. Imagine, if you would that by giving a little bit more or a little bit less than a fixed price, even if marginal, a relationship is maintained, is kept open. This relationship is the place beyond numbers and quantity, the space where true healing and connection lies.

And thirdly, whilst there are many, much more clever brains than mine, working on concepts to create indipendant and accessible health care, still, like with so many brilliant ideas floating around for as long as I remember, the argument ever so often ends with “if only enough people would understand, join or participate”.

A new world is unveiling, a world of collaboration, not competition. We are in the process of unlearning old truths derived from a reductionist world view, we are seeing the ending of a story, or mythos, of separation and scarcity, and the beginning of an age of community and gift. “We are at the brink of the Age of Abundance” (C.E.), all that is asked from us now is daring to step forward, into it.

The practicalities, three baskets:

When booking an appointment you agree on paying into the first basket the price of my direct costs, £20/hour for rent and travel expenses, your commitment.

After your treatment you can pay into the second basket to me, your practitioner, what feels right for you, what your economic situation allows you to or what you feel the treatment was worth to you with regards to common rates.
And, additionally or alternatively, you can pay forward into the third basket a contribution to those less fortunate than you that cannot even afford the charge for my expenses. The amount in this third basket will be published on my website.
If you are not quite ready to walk that path with me, you certainly can pay me my fee of £60/hour, just as any new client.

Many of my ideas around this – and so many other subjects – are inspired by the work of philosopher, public speaker and author Charles Eisenstein. Much gratitude to him for so often finding the words that speak from the bottom of my soul. If you want to delve deeper into this and other of his topics, you can find his work on economics, politics and “the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible” on his website here, and a recent interview on the gift economy here.
Jan Erik

You can subscribe to this newsletter HERE.

The Future is Here

24 November 2022

Hillside Massage introducing The Gift – and going Sonic

It has been a good 2 years – and we all remember them well – that I have had the courage to write down some of these many thoughts that are with me since even before this special time we are in the midst of.

Because, as Charles Eisenstein in his timely essay “The Coronation” (4/2020) pointed out, nothing essentially new has come up with the pandemic, or rather our reactions to it. What is has brought about is a dramatic intensification and revelation of underlying conditions that most of us have been and are experiencing as ill health both physical and mental, diminishing quality of life, the loss of loved ones, friendships, work and communities, not to mention the dramatic degradation of the biosphere.

Without wanting to go too far into the many rabbit holes here I think it is safe to say that the past two years have taught many, as myself, that our existing institutions, medical, academic, political and financial, seem to be ill equipped with the tools needed for the pressing challenges.

But just as much as there is despair, a lot of hope is emerging in this Unveiling. New concepts of understanding, healing and interdependent communities are being developed and are growing everywhere.

My intention has always been to work in the field of natural healing with a gentle, personal and non-invasive approach to not just symptoms but the underlying issues causing them. As a manual therapist I include energy work (Reiki) in my work and life. I am convinced that by limiting our understanding of life to the physical and chemical realms we not only miss most of what life really is made of but we are even doing harm to ourselves and the living world in the process.

I became interested in particularly two of these emerging new and ancient fields, which I am now integrating into my work.
One is a technological aid that I have begun to use, a sonic or vibrational healing devise that addressed, amongst many other areas, even muscular/skelletual issues.
The other is an economical concept that intends to open my clinic to those of us that, even though needed, could not bear the financial burden of private care. As ancient as vibrational healing, the Gift is the way life collaborates and thrives, we have just temporarily forgotten about it in our predominant civilisation.
Eckhard Tolle, one of our best known contemporary sages, called this dissolving and collapsing time “the time of the ego”, the illusion of separation that has brought so much suffering and destruction over this planet and humanity.

When we open our minds, when we listen to the whisper in the breeze of the wind, we can see the dawn of “the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible” emerging.

Newsletter September 2020

3 September 2020

Newsletter September 2020
Prepare to be forever changed
Hello all, and WELCOME back, or rather forward, into our new reality.
I sincerely hope that you have been keeping well, sane and healthy during these challenging past few months of global shifting and awakening.

Gladly, after more than 3 months of governmental restrictions on physical therapies (with the exception of Chiropractors, Osteopaths and Physiotherapists who were allowed to practice since June), we are again able to receive and give so-called “close proximity treatments” like massage and reflexology with recommended hygiene and distancing measures in place.

I’ve been using this “time-off”, amongst many other things, to finalize my diploma as reflexologist, and can proudly announce that I now offer reflexology treatments on their own or in combination with massage therapy.

A full reflexology treatment of mine lasts about 45 minutes at a cost of £40, the wonderful combination of reflexology followed by a massage treatment lasts about 90 minutes at £70. Aiming particularly at easing and dissolving mental issues, I can also offer Reiki treatments both in person and remotely.

I am aware that there is a great need and desire for physical healing and human touch like massage and reflexology, whilst many of us struggle financially. If you feel that you cannot spare the full amount of my fees but want to contribute to your community in other ways I am open to consider treating you at a reduced rate.

I always looked on the healing I give as gifts that were not essential to my life. I feel humility and I feel gratitude. And I feel the happiness and release of tensions just as much when treating you.
“There is only one real deprivation…,and that is not to be able to give one’s gift to those one loves most. The gift turned inward, unable to be given, becomes a heavy burden, even sometimes a kind of poison. It is as though the flow of life were backed up.” (May Sarton)

We need to loose hope – in order to find it somewhere else.”
Whilst few of us had to experience the severity and hardship of the infection itself, I believe that we have all been affected deeply by the rules and restrictions in connection with lock-down, not to mention the media spectacle with regards to Covid-19.
I certainly am no exception and despite still not following the “real” news I’ve been in and out of many rabbit holes along the way, from Dr.Fauci on one side of the spectrum all the way to David Icke on the other. And experiencing my own grief for the world we “lost”, I’ve made the observation that we are entering a time of the paradox. In the “old” world paradox was the domain of comedy or mathematical theory, but certainly not something any of us would have considered as reality. But the world appears not to work in the simple linearity of time and space any longer: truths have become lies, medicines are poisons, beginnings seem link endings. And vice versa. It feels that the more I learn the less I know.

In the process we’ve all become enthusiastic virologists, immunologists and hygienists. Unfortunately much of our focus has shifted away from what I initially perceived as a strong search towards health and lifestyle awareness, at a time when authorities and our highly technological health system had not many answers to offer but washing hands and lying low. Sadly we seem to focus again, as in many other domains, on thoughts and actions that separate us: from others, our natural environment and ultimately from ourselves: masks, isolation, social distancing, the war on the virus or enemy. Instead, what I believe is needed, is to draw our attention onto what connects us to each other and to everything around and inside us, to life itself. Human touch, shared celebrations just as much as healthier lifestyle choices for both body and mind through nutrition, physical exercise and mindfulness, be it meditation, connecting to nature or the arts.

“The truth is right before our eyes, right under our noses, so simple that every child understands it – and yet the further you enter into it, the deeper it is.”

This virus has not been telling us anything that we didn’t know already. We knew with our minds, intellectually, that our medical, our political and our economical systems were detrimental to ourselves and to our planet. But now, as I see it, and for the first time collectively, we are invited, some may say forced, to engage emotionally in this knowledge. For many of us this is a true revelation, the quiet streets, the dark nights, birdsong, the time with our families and children, the absence of so many distractions that were so central in our lives. For many, too, this was and is a very painful experience, financial insecurity, fear for themselves and others, cabin fever, uncertainty for the future and much more. And whilst many of us are ready to embrace what is to come, many are clinging on even harder to “normality” as we knew it. And both of it is part of everyone’s journey, to various degrees.

For complicated minds, drastic measures are needed.

“There is no true responsibility without awareness. One of the weaknesses of the western medical approach is that we have made the physician the only authority, with the patient too often a mere recipient of the treatment or cure. People are deprived of the opportunity to become truly responsible. The more we can learn about ourselves, the less prone we are to become passive victims.”

Viruses seem to be unmasking toxicity in our environment, not causing the disease. As Gabor Mate says, illness itself is an agent of healing on the soul level. Our unconscious wisdom knows when we are ready to have the experience. “Disease.. is not a simple result of some external attack but develops in a vulnerable host in whom the internal environment has become disordered.”

What if, and just allow yourself to dwell in the thought for a minute if you can, Mother Earth has had enough of our fruitless squabbles, our wars and disrespect of our own kind and life on earth, and decided to send us into our rooms to reflect on our actions, and to come back with higher intentions and insights? What if this virus is a gentle push, as hard as it seems for many, to directs our energies towards collaboration and away from competition, towards healing and away from distraction, towards mature self responsibility and away from blame games, judgment and separation?

Are we so afraid of illness, of ageing and dying that we won’t allow ourselves to live our lives fully? Are we about to put Existence before Being, seeking safety at the price of liberty?

Whilst trying to listen to the many questions that I believe are asked of us, without rushing in with answers that habitually come from a past that created these problems, it seems obvious that we are all called for more participation in essential aspects of our lives. Being ultimately self responsible for our own health by choosing more sensibly the foods we eat, physical exercise and activities we engage in, getting enough sleep and being mindful with what we are feeding our emotional bodies, we can regain a medical and emotional intelligence, not just individually but as community at large.
The very fact of observation alters the observer and the observed.

True health does not come in a pill, a capsule or syringe but by celebrating and supporting the inert strength and wisdom of our bodies and nature around us.

Our minds try to predict future events on the basis of past experiences. Mind loves stories. Right now there are very little reference points to our situation. And since it is obvious that the future is always unknown, all we need to and can do is focus on a positive mind flow, a positive future not imagined but felt.

With attention and experience we are the best and only judge for what is needed for our bodies, our minds and the world at large. Listen to what she is telling you. Listen carefully to the whisper, so she does not have to scream.
Give from your heart – not just your hands.

What is more healing than rejoicing in connection, love and understanding, than human fellowship and physical touch? It is fear and disconnection that weakens us and makes us susceptible to illness and oppression!

Finally I’d like to share some recommendations, words and actions that have inspired and supported me in these past months.
I am following Mother Meera, a saint in the hindu tradition, that has been streaming since the end of March every day (!) at 6pm (UK time) an hour of silent meditation, free for anyone to tune in and receive healing.
More “locally”, together with a group of friends and fellow healers, we started a meditation circle, initially at the end of March in Alexandra Park in Bath and then since lockdown “remotely” in spirit. On Monday evenings at 6pm for about 20mins we meet holding each other’s hands and setting our intention on healing and supporting all of life and particularly all those that are struggling or feeling disconnected. Please follow this link to subscribe to our mailing list here. I hope that soon we will be able to sit together in person again.
This essay “The Coronation” by Charles Eisenstein, but also this little video “Petite Corona” were an important insight for me right from the beginning of this remarkable summer.

I am most grateful for being able to connect with you all, both in person and spirit.

Much LOVE and LIGHT – right back at you!

All the best

Jan Erik

You can subscribe to this newsletter HERE.

Are you still happy to hear from me?
You can unsubscribe any time on the bottom of this mail.

We store and use your details according to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
and will never share them with others.

Newsletter April 2020

26 April 2020

Prepare to be forever changed

Nowhere to go, nothing to attain, no one to be.

What sounds like a quote from Buddha or Christ himself has become the 3-dimensional reality for many of us just a few weeks ago. “The Great Pause”, lockdown or social distancing here in Britain and in the rest of the world.


Many of us are struggling with uncertain work situations and we find ourselves being confronted with either physical solitude or crammed into a confined space with relations that more often than not had been avoided by distractions of all sorts, be it the pub, the gym or work.

Meantime nature awakens and the whole planet opens up to higher vibrations, clearer skies and long forgotten sounds.


This is not happening to us, its happening for us.

Behind the veil, more and more visible as time passes, this unprecedented situation has the potential of being a blessing for mother earth and, inevitably, humanity with it.


When we come to the point that we learn to embrace the unknown, surrender to it, only then can we transform our struggles into new expanded perspectives.
Once in motion, everything gathers speed.


The global dimension of this crisis is what makes this a unique challenge and chance. Most of us have lived through critical changes in our personal lives, many have seen or experienced national or international disasters like war, famine or displacement, and have witnessed the profound changes that pain has the potential to induce in us. For the worse but more often for the better. Now, for the first time in history, the whole of humanity is experiencing what potentially is a collective turning point, not just intellectually but emotionally, felt as reality beyond words and thinking.

If I don’t have the answer I have to move into the unknown, into my potential, leaving behind old limitations, learned behaviours and perceptions.

The future is always unknown, not just since Covid-19.


This virus hasn’t created any aspect of the current crisis but it makes it impossible to not see what had been there all along. It puts unmistakably in front of our eyes a dysfunctional health system, the vulnerability of our globalised food supplies, a political system and a leadership that is detached from most individuals in our societies and a financial system that is based on beliefs that no longer work for most of us.


We are taught to be told everything. We depend on a medical system that is predominantly based on patented petrochemical drug prescriptions and this virus too endorses more than just a sneaking suspicion that our modern health care system has little to do with health and much more with maximising revenues for doctors, hospitals and behind it all pharmaceutical industries.

One of the weaknesses of the western medical approach is that we have made the physician, the specialist, the expert the only authority with the patient too often a mere recipient of the treatment. People are deprived of the opportunity to become truly responsible for themselves. But the more we learn about ourselves, our own bodies, the less prone we are to become passive victims.

The same applies in varying degrees to all aspects of our industrialised societies.

Safety is not the lack of a threat. True health is not the absence of illness. Both comes only through connection, community and purpose – not from a gun, a syringe or a pill.


Enhanced by this increasing awareness of being ultimately connected to each other and everything else on this planet we are on a search for more information how to empower ourselves. The need and urge to be able to better take care of us and our families is exploding even though it still is not passed down by the traditional channels or health professionals. This information, these often ancient wisdoms, should dominate our discourse, not the next drug or newest procedure. True messages of health can prevent the need for high tech fixes and in times like this they may be our best chance of not only getting through this pandemic, but coming out stronger, and changed, on the other side.


Separated as we might seem in a 3-dimensional reality, we are all together in this.

You are not alone!

Prepare to be forever changed.

Cut out the noise. Now is the time to be conscious of what you put into your body and mind, the food you eat and the channels you watch.

Be slow. Allow yourself to be distracted, not by shutting down but by opening up.

Listen. Listen to your feelings, to your fellow woman, to the sounds of the earth and the stars. They are your best guides.

Have faith in the process. No matter what happens next, you will be ready to serve what is calling you.

Play. Sing. Dance.



I was about to finish with: Be safe.

But I rather say: Be adventurous, open to the unexpected, curious about yourself and kind from your heart!


Much love and gratitude

Jan Erik

P.S. I attach a couple of links that inspired me:
– Charles Eisenstein’s long and inspiring piece “The Coronation” (also as audio)
– The celtic tale Finnegas
– a just as poetic as political 12-year-old Swiss movie on Universal Basis Income (Grundeinkommen)in my opinion an obvious solution to the current economic situation, and the way Spain as a first European country has decided to embark on.


Please follow your national and local guidelines in how to reduce your own risk of infection as well as the risk of infecting others. All advice I’m giving here is for information purposes only. It is not intended to replace or substitute medical treatments or prescriptions from your physician or other health care professionals.

Metamorphosis – based on a true story

22 April 2020

This is a story I was told many years ago by a wise woman. It’s the story of the becoming of a beautiful creature, matured to it’s highest potentials, beautiful in sight and gently adapted to it’s environment.

But earlier in it’s life this creature was all but gentle, not much more than an eating machine, an organism that’s only purpose was to devour it’s environment whilst growing faster and faster, greatly harming not just the world around it but even itself. Immature and unsustainable, creating havoc to most other beings wherever it appears in greater numbers.

Let’s call it a Caterpillar.

Inside it’s organism, in very small numbers to begin with, are little cells that are very different in behaviour from the great majority of the other cells. Called imaginal cells because they perceive, they react differently, they are able to imagine a different way of life. At first the other cells don’t take much notice of them since they are few and far between. But these imaginal cells are becoming more and more, eventually recognised by the organism as intruders, attacked and heavily fought by it’s immune system. Still, they continue to multiply, imagining and preparing for a different life, more than just eating, than just destroying everything around it. Maturity harmonious with themselves and all other beings.

Then comes a moment when the imaginal cells are connecting with each other. They begin forming small communities, they become aware of each other, they communicate.

This is when the caterpillar stops eating, coming to a complete halt. It looks for a place to rest and locks itself into a cocoon. From the outside it looks like dead, a motionless shell of it’s former self, a chrysalis.

Inside something happens that was not predictable to anyone involved. The imaginal cells are building larger structures, becoming legs, antennae, wings. The other cells begin to eat each other, destroying the whole organism to a purposeless mass of cells, and the imaginal cells begin to teach them, show them, use them to build different structures, creating an entirely different organism.

Fly, Butterfly!

On a more scientific note, in this clip Bruce Lipton and others are making a point from an epigenetics’ or quantum physics’ point of view:

2 weeks into lockdown..

Listen to your body, as the quote goes, so it doesn’t have to scream at you. Now: Listen to your planet…
We’ve heard the Planet, Gaia, most of us, for some time. She was whispering, crying, even shouting and screaming lately. We began to hear it but didn’t know what to do. We knew with the brain between the ears that we had to change, our kids even started telling us, but we couldn’t feel it in our hearts enough, not enough to be changed.
Now we are, unprepared, all of us, in many ways and to different degrees. And we are beginning to feel, to feel her.
And for some time and to different degrees we will hold on, grieving the time gone, some very hard, less so over time, coming and going in waves. We all are grieving the way of life that needed shedding for a new, a more beautiful to embrace.
We can feel her already. We can hear her. She is breathing more freely. Already.
And maybe most of all, she will help us in unforeseen ways when we help her.
Just for a while, just for today:
And you will hear her calling you.

Best wishes for the new year and decade

7 January 2020

Newsletter December 2019 Breathing, the gut biome and new feathers

24 December 2019

Newsletter December 2019
Breathing, the gut biome and new feathers

“Perhaps these days of less sunlight are opportunities for more contemplative time, more looking deeply to see what perhaps can only be seen in the dark.” Sylvia Boorstein

I hope this lines find you all well and in not too hectic preparations for the festive season and the change into the New Year. I am spending the holidays first with family and old friends in my hometown Frankfurt and then with my partner for a week somewhere in Wales to snuggle with the dog in front of an iron woodstove.
So here are my last contemplations of the year, a year not without struggles but I remember most many positive moments both in my professional and private life. It feels that some seeds planted earlier are beginning to grow roots and fruits.

Breathing. The connection between soul and body. Tibetan Buddhism claims that the amounts of breaths we take in our lifetimes are counted. Most meditation and mindfulness techniques center on the breath and even though breathing is mostly automatic and unconscious, unlike other automatic physical functions we can consciously alter and influence our breathing patterns. But many of us often breathe improper, too shallow, too fast, which is affecting both our physical and mental wellbeing. I mentioned here earlier that I’ve been practicing for a year now as one of my daily routines an exercise known as “Wim Hof Method”, which is claiming, together with cold exposure and meditation, to influence both the autonomic nervous system and the body’s immune response. A similar succession of hyper- and hypo-ventilating is also endorsed by others here and here and has origins in ancient eastern Ayurveda and yogi traditions, and has been supported recently by scientific research.
And although I’ve only recently picked up on cold exposure (a daily 2-minute cold shower and the occasional dip in the river) it feels effective and empowering  as both intermittend breathing and even intermittent fasting does – exercising body and mind through temporary stimulation and stress.
Done without any further preparation by lying down (I usually do this right after waking up) it is important to know that you might “pass out” at times, as it happens to me for some moments quite regularly – so don’t ever try this in water or when driving a car. Also, as a word of precaution, people with asthma, severe bronchitis, pneumonia, COPD or other respiratory problems would be well advised to check with their GP before starting these exercises.
One takes a certain amount of deep breaths (from 20 to 70, see audio links below) and then hold the breath after an out-breath (with empty lungs) for up to 3.5 minutes, in the beginning or on a bad day more like 2 minutes.
For me this works by trying to completely relax, in particular letting the brain rest – the more I mentally go through my shopping list or generally engage in thinking the shorter I can hold my breath. These days I usually listen to this shorter or this longer audio guide to skip the counting.
I’ve been recommending and sharing this exercises with friends and clients (we’ve had little breathing parties on the lawn last summer) and I would consider it an excellent “shortcut” into meditation because one can physically endorse to quiten the mind.
As Wim Hof states: you are getting high on your own supply – well, he’s Dutch, isn’t he. On a more serious note, my experiences are very encouraging. My challenge in life has always been raging emotions, the mental drama of my life, that regularly resulted for example in disrupted sleeping patterns. My way of dealing with these emotions has been and is for a few years now the practice of daily meditation, maybe a topic to explore further some other time here. The breathing exercises have had profound effects on my emotional state because they bring on a deep state of relaxation and calm and have a similarly powerful effect on me as the practice of meditation has. I haven’t experienced insomnia for some time now, and if I would have to point out one single most effective element of the various regimes and routines that are part of my daily life, I would probable put the breathing first. So: Breathe in, breathe out!

As mentioned in my last newsletter my interest in nutritional health has let me to meet an experienced and very knowledgable nutritional therapist, Sue Thomas. She has created a 21-day detoxification program that cleanses and rebalances your gut biome. This complex system of bacteria, fungi and microflora resides primarily in your gut and impacts literally every system in your body. If you are suffering from lack of focus or motivation, fatique, IBS, leaky gut, heartburn, bloating, weight problems, menopausal/hormonal imbalances or sleeping disorders this combination of strict dieting (no coffee, refined sugars, alcohol, processed food, “easy” carbs) and nutritional supplements will shift things in the right direction. I’ve gone through a “test run” in October before recommending it to you and my clients, and even though I don’t really suffer from any of the above conditions and my diet is pretty close to the recommended one anyway, I too experienced nothing short of a miracle: I’ve intuitively overcome my addiction to coffee, “the last vice” and those of you that know me, I was “Mr.Coffee” himself (writing this my mother I’m staying with for 5 days tells me that she had bought 200 capsules of coffee in anticipation of my visit, I had forgotten to tell her). Now in January Sue and I are offering this program, Pure21, as introductory offer for the price of the supplements only (£200) to the first five participants signing on, 2 spaces are still available.

This year has been, and still is, a year of learning new skills, adding some more feathers to my boa: Apart from the massage course on lower back and sciatica I mentioned earlier I’ve completed an online course on geriatric massage and a 30hour course qualifying for treating people with cancer. Statistically every other person in the western world will be diagnosed with cancer once in their life, for many a wake up call for a more intimate relationship to their bodies. Usually a contraindication for most complimentary therapists we’ve had to send these people away without a written consent from a GP at a time they needed us most, so this has been close to my heart.
As always one thing leads to another; Angela Green, a reflexologist and the teacher of that course, showed us a few tricks of her trade, which literally shook my world. Reflexology feels like the link between my spiritual practice (Reiki/Meditation) and my physical work and interest (physiology based massage therapy/nutrition), even though both is highly interconnected without clear boundaries. And as if made for me a course in Bath came up and I signed on to it. More than any other therapy I’ve been receiving in the past reflexology has provoked unusually strong physical and mental reactions in me. The good news for all of you is that I will need 100 hours of case studies done until May, so if you are interested in trying out one or several reflexology treatments for free (or the price of renting a room if needed) please be in touch.
I’ve finally incorporated an online booking system, which shows my availibilties. Bookings in The Bath Practice still have to be confirmed since I’m booking the room there on demand.
And finally, if you are still short of a sensible last minute Christmas present to yourself or someone you care about, you can order a massage voucher with me by mail and it should be with you in time to put under your Christmas tree.
Wishing you all a relaxing holiday time and much abundance, gratitude and humility in the New Year 2020.
“As you start to walk on the way, the way appears.” Rumi
With Love
Jan Erik

Newsletter October 2019 – Fasting, Nourishment and the Gut-brain

11 October 2019

Fasting, Nourishment and the Gut-brain

 How can a troubled mind

Understand the way?

If a man is disturbed

He will never be filled with knowledge.


An untroubled mind,

No longer seeking to consider

What is right and what is wrong,

A mind beyond judgments,

Watches and understands.

(From: Mind; Dhammapada, Sayings of the Buddha)

It’s been a while since my last blog. Those who know me might have a difficult time believing that I’m actually feeling quite shy, not qualified to write or being recorded on any medium.

But I’ve had some encouraging feedback from unexpected corners and I realize that the longer I avoid the next post the lengthier it gets.
So here is what this summer came up with for me, the stuff that life brought forward and the experiences I’d like to share with you.


For about 6 months now I’m keeping to an intermittent fasting routine, as mentioned in an earlier newsletter, I only eat within a period of 8 hours (usually from 1 to 9pm) and consume no nutrients for the remaining 16 hours of the day. I’m loving it, not only because I’ve got rid of this small but persistent little 50’s belly but much more for the fact that my love and awareness of eating and preparing food has increased, even in some unexpected ways: my felt attachment to food, the comfort in eating. After months of “practice” my body knows very well by now that there will be food coming, no need to panic when supplies are running low in the mornings. Finding myself in emotionally challenging situations I sometimes surprise myself thinking of eating, a bit like my dog that is running for cover to his food bowl when getting too much loving and cuddles. This is quite similar to my experience of smoking, after having kicked the addiction. The thought of a cigarette now leads me to reflect on what it is that I’m trying to avoid by triggering this old reflex.

There are many different kinds of fasting, some more extreme than others, not everybody has to go as far as my friend Alan who says that anything less than 72 hours is not really fasting. I’ve met quite a few people that spontaneously eat only 1 or 2 meals a day. About 12 hours after your last meal your body will be running on reserve, burning the stuff that otherwise would get wrapped up in fat cells for a rainy day that usually never comes. Some background information on this you can find here.

You are what you eat, more to the point though: you are how you eat. This sentiment is initially inspired by Charles Eisenstein’s book “The Yoga of Eating” and now came up again when reading this summer the truly fascinating “Nourishment” by Fred Provenza – both of which I can highly recommend to all interested or working in the field of nutrition. Like in any other domain surrounding us we are seeing a paradigm shift happening in how we are beginning to understand the relationship between our bodies and the natural world as well as the connections between the material and spiritual world. We live in a society obsessed with dieting; a multi billion-dollar industry is thriving on it. But despite of all research, recommendations and regulations it does not look like we are making much progress in terms of healthy and balanced eating habits. Partly this can certainly been attributed to our more and more sedentary lifestyles – what cigarettes were for my generation are chairs for our children – and a systemically corrupted agricultural and pharmaceutical industry responsible for the production and manipulation of most of our food supplies, but truly behind this lies the disempowerment of the individual with regards to both responsibility and judgment/expertise. We trust authorities more than our palates and we consume food with as little awareness as we consume most other things on this planet. A packet of crisps is never big enough when washed down with a couple of pints and an exciting football match on TV; we choose the newest scientifically developed diet before old wisdom innately inside of us. “Newtonian physics cannot offer the whole truth about the human body, let alone the universe. Medical science keeps advancing, but living organisms stubbornly refuse to be quantified.” (Bruce Lipton, The biology of belief) The sheer multitude of components in our food, our hereditary and environmental factors, age, seasons, down to the time of day, and order in which foods are consumed is far too vast an amount of data to grasp or measure for one individual only, let alone for larger groups or societies at large. “The body – not nutritional scientists and medical doctors – is the final authority in our food choices.” (F.Provenza) To support the individual, more often than not out of tune when it comes to food choices, we need to cultivate an inner wisdom, an awareness when eating, with an outer wisdom, personal knowledge of nutrition and physiological digestion processes. Going back to the crisps: Truly aware of texture, the flavour, undistracted by conversation or anything else, my bet is you wouldn’t want to get very far into the packet. Eating consciously we can (re) learn to understand the feedback messages our bodies are sending back to us with the knowledge we have acquired heretically, in the womb of our mothers and in childhood.

The Australian aborigines apparently know that humans have three brains. The biggest and most important one being the gut, second the heart and third the smallest one, highly overrated it seems, between our ears. They know it is vital to ensure balance between these different centers. To some degree this has been recognized by recent scientific research; for any signal from the brain to the gut there are about 9 signals from the gut to the brain.

The importance of nutrition and a thriving gut biome for maintaining physical and mental health and in treating diseases – in particular chronic inflammatory disorders – is getting on the forefront of public discourse and scientific research (some interesting articles here and here). What would have been ignored or ridiculed a mere decade ago will most likely be in the center of medical care in the coming years, rather than pharmaceutical intervention aimed at the symptoms, predominant in today’s allopathic medicine. Interestingly, I was invited to and participated in a clinical trial this summer, paid for by a big pharmaceutical company, testing the effects of high doses of natural probiotics on psoriasis patients, an indication that even Big Pharma is catching up on more natural ways of healing. Still, I don’t think that healing comes as a pill, as natural the content may be, but rather requires a more holistic change of lifestyle and living environment in general.

Paradoxically enough, right now I’m finding myself in the middle of a nutritional dietary course called Pure21, a three-week program that cleanses, detoxifies and re-balances the micro biome. I’ve teamed up with a nutritional therapist, Sue Thomas from Worcester, who developed this program around nutritional supplements by the American Company Synergy. It aims at supporting individuals with a wide range of conditions such as fatigue, IBS, leaky gut, heartburn, menopausal and hormonal imbalances, sleeping disorders, weight problems, bloating, irritability, lack of focus and motivation. From my discussions with her I consider Sue a very experienced therapist and she is reporting great results from this program on herself and her clients. After my own “trial” we will be offering a one-off course for the cost of the supplements only as a case study of mine. More about this with a summary of my personal experience you will find in my November newsletter. If you are interested in participating please be in touch.

In September I attended a one-day course on advanced treatments of lower back pain. I love studying, meeting other therapists, refreshing old and acquiring some new tricks and knowledge to help my clients. I also did a course on complementary treatment for people with cancer, I will be writing in more detail in my next month’s newsletter.

Look forward hearing from you all.

Take care of your minds and your bodies.


Jan Erik


Saturday 12 October Family Wellbeing Fair in Bradford-on-Avon

Next Page »


Facebook Reviews widget is disconnected, please delete this widget, create new one and connect reviews again

Back to top

© 2024 Hillside Massage · Web design by Tom Keeble