Welcome to ReBoot Health.
Before you sigh: 'Not another blog...' give me a few minutes to explain. I'm Sara Davenport. I'm 55 years old and I'm passionate about holistic health. Over the past thirty years, I have devoted myself to the study, exploration and promotion of complementary therapies and alternative approaches to treating everything from chronic diseases such as cancer to low energy.
I am not a doctor, or a nurse and I have no formal qualification in nutrition, psychology or psychiatry. But I have spent at least 30 years travelling the world, looking at health care in different countries. I set up Breast Cancer Haven, now one of the UK's largest breast cancer charities. Through my work with The Haven, I have researched and tried countless complementary therapies and alternative treatments. I have listened to everyone from conventional medics to complementary health practitioners. I have examined their advice and observed their treatments.
Passion for holistic health
My passion in life is listening to what others have done to restore themselves to health. I love discovering the many non-invasive ways to get better.
So. Why start a blog? To explain it simply, many of us are tipping down the hillside that leads towards old age. Myself included. With old age often comes ill health. It's tempting to hand responsibility for our health to our doctors. But at a time when the NHS is more stretched than ever, and GPs are bound by restrictive budgets, limited time and the small range of treatments available to them, it's easy to see why this is a bad idea.
Have you spent months with a nagging problem that won't go away? Perhaps you’ve been to the doctor repeatedly and been sent away with various pills and ointments that don't make it better. It would be easy to give up at this point. You are getting older, after all.
But the fact is, there are so many ways, other than pharmaceutical, to prevent disease and improve your health. However, from herbal medicine to mindfulness, acupuncture to oxygen therapy, it can feel utterly overwhelming to know where to start. That's where I come in. I want to help you navigate your way through the range of theories and therapies on offer to discover the ones that work for you.
I want to show you how to carry out a full health ReBoot.
How I set up The Haven
About 20 years ago I set up The Haven. The charity provides all aspects of advice and care not already available in the hospitals to people affected by breast cancer. It offers one of the widest ranges of complementary therapies in the country, alongside counselling and support. Everything is free of charge and open to anyone. Breast Cancer Haven has five existing centres with two more underway, and has helped many thousands of men and women get through what is one of the most difficult times in their lives.
In my work at The Haven, I have sat and talked to hundreds of people. I have heard their stories and observed over the years what worked for them and what didn't. Many were struggling with other health issues alongside their cancer.
I have read vast amounts of literature and countless research papers. No light reading for me at night! I think of myself as an amateur detective. I search far and wide for clues to explain what it is that makes our minds and bodies function better. As a result, I have a vast collection of information about remedies that really work, as well as an impressive array of weird and wonderful machines and contraptions. Many of these are inexpensive, easy to use and most importantly, have no side effects. If you are looking to reboot your health, then this is the blog for you: an unofficial health advisor.
I got up this morning to find two emails from friends in my inbox, asking for advice about their health. I get several each week. I spend quite a bit of time referring people to appropriate doctors or therapists who work with a range of complementary therapies. There's always more than one option, so it's important to look around rather than accepting the first recommendation you receive.
The enquiries keep coming, more now than ever before. It seems to me a good time to share the things I have picked up. It's too easy to forget that there is more to health than just diet and exercise. What’s more, few people (and particularly not conventional medical doctors) seem to realise that the mind and emotions can profoundly affect physical wellbeing.
Time to take charge
Statistically, as a nation, the U.K. is getting sicker and sicker. A whopping 85% of us can expect to die of a chronic disease, according to the World Health Organisation. By the time the average person has reached 60, 58% will have had one serious disease according to a Department of Health report from 2012.
Once you make it to 70, the figure is a staggering 80%. Daily tales in the news of bed-blocking, financial restrictions and medical staff leaving in droves for a less stressful and better paid existence in Australia demonstrate that the once all-encompassing NHS is clearly struggling, possibly terminally.
My 'Oh no!' Moment
When I hit 50, I noticed that my health was beginning to fray at the edges. Having taken youth and health entirely for granted, it was a shock to find that my hair was thinning. I could no longer shed the additional pounds I had put on with my usual medicine (a few days of eating salad and drinking water). The odd hot flush started to bother me. And having slept like a log for 50 years, I began to struggle to get through the night.
Then, one day while sitting in a restaurant in front of a large and healthy avocado, nut and seed salad, I heard a terrible crunch. Half my tooth fell out. That was my wake-up call. Time to pay attention to myself in far greater depth than I was used to. My body could no longer be taken for granted. It wasn't working nearly as well as it used to and it was time to do something about it. Time for a full body reboot.
Time for an MOT?
When you think about it, you probably pay far more attention to your car than you do to your wellbeing. You take it for an annual service, replace the worn out bits and pieces and renew the oil. You fill it up with petrol and probably dust and clean it regularly, ensuring it is in a fit state to run happily for another 10,000 miles. When was the last time you did the same for yourself? Take a good hard look and start mending all your own broken or worn out parts!
It seems time to reiterate the message that sorting out your health now, before you get sick, is much easier than tackling it later on, when you are frightened by a diagnosis. It's a no brainer.
Watch this space
I'm going to choose one topic each month to focus on. I am starting with 'Detox', one of the most important of the fundamentals of health. At least half the posts over the next four or five weeks will cover various aspects of how to do it thoroughly, and safely. All the information in the blogs will be based either on scientific research, personal experience or the experiences of people I have talked to first hand.
Whatever your issues, I hope this blog will help you to refocus. I'll show you how to reboot your own health and that of your family, setting you on the road to a healthy, happy and long life.
Written by health advocate Sara Davenport, who founded one of the UK's largest breast cancer charities, The Haven, twenty years ago. With Reboot Health, Sara aims to bring the best preventative and curative health solutions ranging from nutrition, alternative therapies, fitness and conventional medicine.