Newsletter March 2019

24th May 2019

Diet, Exercise and Sleeping Out

Health, contentment and trust

Are your greatest possessions,

And freedom your greatest joy.

(Joy, Dhammapada)

Last summer – for the first time since my early 20’s – my moderate psoriasis – an inheritable skin condition that in some form or other affects more than a quarter of the population – disappeared miraculously after less than 2 weeks on a gluten and dairy free diet. Astonished I started reading up on gluten, autoimmune conditions and other diet-related topics whilst watching my personal reactions.

I found, amongst others, this documentary very interesting, in particular the interview with William Davies (59:13 to 1:04:26) which argues that we might be on a detrimental diet not just since the agricultural “green revolution” but for the past 10.000 or so years.

I soon came to realise that probably other lifestyle factors were involved, for example much time spent in the sunshine on beaches that summer, a retreat with much bliss and meditation and emotionally, not to be underestimated, a big load off my shoulders after having quit a restricting work situation. My psoriasis eventually returned when autumn came and with it the conclusion that there is no silver bullet or universal solution to any condition, be it physical, mental, environmental or other. Individual and holistic approaches only seem to allow any long term, any true healing – and not fighting the symptoms in a warfare mindset.

Nevertheless, I eventually stuck to a gluten (wheat, rye and barley) free and dairy free diet, feeling less bloated, not only after meals, both physically and mentally. My occasional joint aches (psoriasis often develops into arthritis with age) have almost entirely ceased.


Do as you teach! Whilst I often advice stretching or yoga to my clients I’ve been pretty lenient with myself, apart from daily meditation and some basic spine stretches. So when I came across the yoga classes of Stamena Milusheva in Bradford-on-Avon I was impressed on several levels. New to me, in that context, was a mental warm up in form of a “dharma talk” in the beginning of her sessions, a story or short talk relating to emotional and spiritual aspects of the “yoga of life”. There I found myself amongst pretty advanced yogis and went – particularly on the first session – through a lot of pain. And in the midst of it, when stretching my pelvis to the max, I experienced, to my astonishment, strong emotional relief. I’ve always been advising on the connection of particular the hip flexor muscle (Psoas) to emotional luggage – but until then never really experienced it first hand.

If you know what you teach, you can teach what you know.

More recently even I became aware of the “Ice Man”, Wim Hof, after I posted a short clip of my second cold water dip in the river. I learned about cold water swimming being used as “medicine” substituting anti depressents in a BBC documentary “The doctor who gave up drugs”. According to Wim Hof cold water swimming in combination with a certain breathing techniques can go as far as voluntarily controlling your autonomous nervous system. I’m sure I’ll be writing more of this journey in the future.


Coming Friday – after warming up chanting with Tim Chalice – I’ll be sleeping out in Victoria Park at the annual charity event “The Big Bath Sleepout” by Julian House in support of this local homeless charity.

Not so long ago, even though it feels like ages, I found myself being homeless myself, if only for a few weeks and throughout this time always supported and sheltered by friends.

Still, for most of us homelessness is not more than a couple of paychecks away. And some don’t have family or friends to fall back onto to none of their fault or wrongdoing.

It’s my first fundraising and I will donate a free massage treatment of choice (deep tissue, seated or indian head massage) worth £50 to the donor of the largest contribution.

Please join the team or contribute to our fundraising.
Thank you!
Together we can make a difference.

Whatever you choose to do, I’m wishing you happy healing!

With love
Jan Erik

Hillside Massage goes local: Charity and Currency!

10th February 2019

Again, it popped up on my newsfeed as for quite a few years now. The Big Bath Sleep-out.

For the 10th time the local charity Julian House invites to sleep outside in Victoria Park for one night on March 8 and raise money for the homeless.

I love sleeping outside. Usually on a holiday, on the beach or in the mountains – but the park will do.

And even though I have a rather complicated relationship to charities in general, there are actually 2 local charities that touch me in a way I can agree with. Both a house, Julian and Dorothy, the latter engaging in hospice work of all sorts of shape and form.

Not bound by work duties for the first time of my time in Bath I will commit to the Sleep-Out as “Team Hillside Massage” raising money for Julian House. Join the team for the night or/and contribute to my fundraising here, the highest contribution will qualify for a Massage Coupon (1 hour massage).

The really big news this week is just as local and even more political: Hillside Massage now is part of and accepts “Bristol Pound” as payment. According to the app I’m the first business in Bath that has joined Britains biggest local currency!

In order to engage in and contribute to our local community I now offer the first massage treatment for almost half price (£20/30mins, £30/hour) to local residents. Qualifying is everybody with a “Discovery Card” or a B£ account.

This feels like coming home since I passionately believe that the solutions to most  of our so-called global problems are to be found locally, be it healthcare, environmental healing, food production, social engagement, energy or banking. Active in my community in Sweden before 2012, less so since living here, I think one of the most promising and engaging initiatives I’m aware of is “Transition Towns” , founded by Rob Hopkins, Peter Lipman and Ben Brangwyn 2006 in Totness, local currencies being one of many ideas for creating more resilient communities.

Until Wednesday 13/2 you can still admire the abstract artwork by my fellow students and myself in the Guildhall in Bath. “Unfurling” has been put together and made possible by our amazing teacher Lucy Baile at “Fern”.


Happy 2019, blocks and silver bullets

2nd February 2019

On Happy New Years, Blog Blocks and the Silver Bullet of Wellbeing

“Health, contentment and trust

Are your greatest possessions,

And freedom your greatest joy.”

(Joy, Dhammapada)

How long can one wish a happy new year? I’ve learned, probably from one of my moderately superstitious italian friends, that it supposedly brings bad luck to wish a happy new year before the 31st of December. There seems to be no fixed rule though how long into January it is still appropriate. Certainly the beginning of February seems highly inappropriate! I like the swedish greeting after New Year, which combines both a late Christmas and New Year greeting, is used well into January and could be translated with  “Happy Continuation”.

So, inappropriately late even by swedish terms, I would like to wish you all happy beginnings and continuations in 2019.

Blogging. It’s been on my mind forever and on my to-do list for quite some time. Apart from some feeble random outbursts in the past I’ve always found ways and reasons to avoid it. Typically, I believe, for many us that were informed and educated in pre-internet times, I’ve always felt not sufficiently entitled to write and publish words and other content (with the exception of photographs). I never considered myself a writer, jokingly I even used to say in the past that I had to become a photojournalist because I could not read or write.

Here’s my resolution – feed content! The expectations are high.

Last summer, for the first time since my early 20’s, my mild psoriasis – an inheritable skin condition that in some form or shape affects a quarter of the population – disappeared miraculously after I joined my partner on a gluten and dairy free diet for just 2 weeks. Astonished I began reading up on gluten, autoimmune conditions and other diet related topics.

Not only did I have a few relapses in my ongoing diet but I also realised that there were most certainly other lifestyle factors involved. My psoriasis eventually returned when the summer was over and contrary to my initial, wishful, impression I come to the belief that there is no silver bullet, no holy grail and no universal solution to any condition, be it physical, mental, or environmental. Only individual and holistic approaches will serve long term, true healing.

More on this and other health related issues coming up here or in my newsletter.

The body is extension and servant of the mind, but when the body becomes the mind with desires, with distractions or with pains – the servant becomes the master.

14th January 2019

Hillside Massage at Shindig Weekender 2018

7th June 2018

Thank you all for a great time, filled with healing, connecting to new and old friends, thunderstorms, music, food and family.
Hope to see many of you in my clinic or elsewhere – stay tuned and be in touch!

Site is up!

19th May 2018

Hello world!

By the time you can read this we’re there with the site and a blog and..

Lots of thank you’s for help and support and patience and interest.

Tom Keeble is the man, the hacker and the designer, an amazing climber and friend, and all that in the midst of his A-Levels!

Thank you Frida Posth for her amazing drawings that we used for some logos! You rock!

Let us know what you think of the site, of the treatments and of all the things I forgot to think about. Leave a comment or review on facebook or on yellor in a mail.

So long!

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