Achieve a content, healthy and successful life in 2014 with these 5 integrative health tips from holistic health expert and therapist Gemma Clare.

1. Good self care

Ensure your work-life balance optimises your wellbeing by allowing adequate high quality sleep time daily to preserve cardiovascular health, energy levels and immunity and allow yourself time to sit down and eat regular nutritious meals containing a balance of fresh fruit and veg, protein, carbohydrate and fats to fuel your body and brain whilst giving you a little time to recharge. A weekly plan should include an exercise program comprising of cardiovascular, resistance, flexibility, and motor skills for physical fitness, health, balance and co-ordination, and social activities, to promote social interaction, a sense of belonging, knowledge and emotional support.

2. Spend time in nature

Research shows that those exposed to natural environments and wildlife, including natural areas in urban areas, raises physical and psychological wellbeing compared to those who those who are not. Wellbeing benefits include stress relief and resilience, improved work performance and job satisfaction with fewer health problems and less domestic violence. Living at or near a water environment is also confirmed to increase wellbeing and physical health with beach city residents eating healthier, exercising more and smoking less. So whether you head for your local park, lake or beach, be sure to take in lots of clean air because that also dramatically improves your wellbeing.

3. Eliminate toxins

From BPA in food packaging, carcinogens in food colouring, dioxin-like compounds (DLCs) in meat and fish, ethanol in alcohol, formaldehyde in cigarettes, drug toxicity from medication to aluminum in deodorants and lead in lipstick these toxins build up in your body and cause numerous health complaints. To advance your wellbeing, switch to “clean” skincare brands such as REN and Eve Taylor for cosmetics and bellapierre for natural mineral makeup. Food wise choose organic meat, fish and unprocessed food such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, which will deliver a whole host of physical, mental and psychological benefits including improved mental clarity, mood, concentration, physical performance, quality of sleep and disease prevention. A great all-round supplement to optimise wellbeing is progreens, an all-natural blended formula by nutricology, (£41.48 from www.thefooddoctor.com).

4. Use natural therapies

Holistic comes from the Greek word holos meaning ‘whole’ and is an approach that works on a physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual level to treat the whole person by relieving symptoms and treating the underlying imbalance, which improves the body’s energetic flow to encourage self-healing and optimum wellbeing. When the ‘whole’ self is integrated and the body systems are in balance you protect yourself from disease and benefit from an increased quality of life and longevity. There are many different types of natural therapy from osteopathy to reiki though scientific studies show aromatherapy, the use of essential oils, is highly beneficial to promote physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing. Aromatherapy can be used in a different ways. You can try an ultrasonic diffuser, I like madebyzen (www.madebyzen.com prices start at £33.00), where the essential oils work with your sense of smell and changes brain chemistry in the limbic part of your brain relating to emotions. Choose your favourite scent or oil with the therapeutic properties you need to enrich your surroundings and mood. Alternatively you can use an aromatherapy blend, which will pass through the skin and enter the blood stream where it is carried to all the tissues and organs of the body to support optimum wellbeing. Aromatherapy blends can be used to alleviate physical, psychological and emotional symptoms in areas including stress, muscular tension and joint pain, digestive problems, Women’s health and skin care. For bespoke blends to meet your individual needs check out Aromatherapy Apothecary. Lastly, for the ultimate bliss combine aromatherapy with a massage to rebalance and rejuvenate.

5. Practice mindfulness

With busy lives many people often find themselves in a hypnotized state, not really present to what they are doing. Multitasking or hurrying to complete a task are classic examples. Practicing mindfulness is a great way to achieve a relaxed state whilst being alert and focused. By improving awareness of physical and emotional sensations and thought patterns and learning to detach from them people are empowered to respond to them rather than react. There are many different ways people practice mindfulness such as sitting for a set period of time or an informal meditation, including yoga or qi gong, where you focus on doing one thing at a time in a slow and present manner to allow a better connection to your self in the present moment, which in turn allows a greater ability to form deeper connections with others. A Harvard Health Publication confirms that mindfulness can improve physical health; reducing stress, blood pressure and chronic pain, improving sleep and treating stomach concerns and psychological problems including addiction, anxiety, depression and relationship difficulties. Emotionally, mindfulness transforms negative perspectives around areas such as success and self esteem allowing an experience of inner peace.

Ultimately achieving and maintaining optimal wellbeing is a lifestyle choice to commit to. I hope these tips help to get you on your way.

Gemma offers one-to-one appointments at The Food Doctor Clinic, Harley Street & Triyoga, Chelsea & Soho

For further information or to book a treatment please call: +44 (0)7821 413174 or e-mail: gemma@gemmaclare.com