Holistic Therapy for Executive Stress, Part 1


Executive Stress, a helping hand – Gemma Clare

My name is Michael Grenville, I am 46 years old and a Virgo. I would describe myself as a perfectionist, a creative, an observer, an entrepreneur and yes a little bit of a worrier.

No I am not putting in my entry for celebrity big brother or adding my name to a new dating show but giving a brief introduction to me as a person, as this feature is probably one of, if not the most personal set of features I have written.

Like many people in the media the concept of downtime or days off is something that is learnt rather than innate, to give a biological description.

As with many counterparts the last few years has seen a lot of change on all fronts and in 2013 I started an overhaul of my stress levels.

Have you, or do you suffer from anxiety, do you worry; find it difficult to switch off. Well I think most of us have experienced this at some point. Like many things that arise in ones forties approaching things from a new perspective can often deliver great benefits

In August of 2013 I met Gemma Clare, a holistic health expert outside a little café at St Marys Church in Putney, ironically enough a very apt venue for such a spiritual and uplifting conversation.

Interestingly we had quite a few things in common and one of those was that both had had ME. Listening to the impact this had had on Gemma and how she fought her way from being wheelchair bound was certainly impressive. You would never know as Gemma espouses her profession with confidence, well presented and beaming with that oh so healthy look, she not only speaks with great passion but is one of the most caring practioner’s I have ever met.

I introduced some of the areas I wanted to look at, fitness, flexibility, stress, diet and mentioned I was very happy to be a Guinea Pig for a few weeks and so we agreed to take part in a six week executive stress overhaul. One of the unique aspects to Gemma is she does touch on several inter connected areas which I found very helpful.

In a way like a boot camp for the mind “Come out super chilled and wearing your Hawaian shirts all year round” “Calm down Michael, that might be taking things a little too far……”

Gemma had recently moved into Triyoga’s very smart studios on the Kings Road

So on 12 September I walked into Triyoga on the Kings Road to meet Gemma and experience my first session. My initial impressions were, feeling slightly out of my depth as the studio which I would say is over 65% female is full of very together and trim people and a few days earlier I had developed an inflamed foot, due to an infection so I would not say I felt like Tarzan.

I think particularly men, but more so slightly older men need a plan and need someone to lead them…..before I hear all the jokes about men never growing up… men needing mothering ….men being simple ….men being lazy ….!!!

I sat down and had our initial conversation …where Gemma took lots of notes…

I discussed the present inflammation issue, stress levels, flexibility and fitness.

  • Gemma suggested water (get a 1.5 litre or 2 litre water bottle) and fill up every day
  • Getting the work/life balance right – give the brain some downtime and get oneself ready for sleep so no computer screens after 9pm
  • There will be more to follow about posture and flexibility  but to start with Gemma started me off with a stress reducing massage using  – The pre-blended Aromatherapy Apothecary blend called ‘Muscle Release’.
  • To help build up the body’s immune system she put me on a daily supplement Progreens by Nutricology, which I bought from Revital.
  • And to help with flexibility, she had booked me in for my first yoga session (hear about how this went in the follow up later this week).

Though I had already lost some weight and had started back with regular swimming, this was a major part of moving forward. In relation to the yoga I was certainly out of my comfort zone, a little phased by the amount of very together and healthy people that walked through the door, but also massively encouraged by the very approachable staff and the fact that I did know I was in good hands, both with Gemma and Triyoga. I think as adults we can fall into a zone where, not very often do we really try something new, which whether you are 6 or 46 is always a little nerve racking.

So how did I feel? The massage was great, not because of being in a 5 star hotel but because of Gemma excellent skills, by the way she has worked at several top luxury spas. I felt that I was with someone who cared and I was in good hands, with a good dose of positivity.

Read the following 2 features later this week to find out how things proceded



Disclaimer – this story relates to Michael Grenville and any medication or exercise regimes have been prescribed to Michael Grenville following a consultation. Everyone should always check with the relevant professionals before acting.