10th Oct 2018

Lifestyle before Pills – In-sourcing Healthcare

Rather than complementary/holistic versus conventional/allopathic I prefer to categorise healthcare according to what you can do for yourself versus what other people can do for you.  By outsourcing your health to other people you are taking a risk with your life.  Medical intervention is the number three cause of death according to the medical world! (Number one cause of death according to the complementary world).

Furthermore, people seem to use ‘holistic’ approaches in the same way as they would use a medical drug from a doctor.  For example, a specific herb to treat a skin condition, Osteopathy for backpain, acupuncture for a shoulder injury etc.  These can certainly help without the unwanted side-effects of conventional medicine but, this is treating symptoms which will only ever lead to short term and temporary improvement, and not address the underlying cause.

We have been conditioned to medicalise our health even to the extent of language such ‘walking in the forest is medicine’ – […]

4th Sep 2018

Let’s Talk Dirty

Could being too clean and hygienic cause cancer, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, heart disease not to mention being overweight and obesity disease?  We now also have modern diseases never seen before such as autism, auto-immune disease, depression, anxiety but throughout evolution we didn’t have anti-bacterial products and we didn’t have chemicals  – we did have dirt!

Only about 2% of microbes are harmful to us and the best way to control these is through the flourishing of the other 98%

Let me introduce you to your mitochondria and your microbiome as these are the key to your health, longevity and vitality.


The energy powerhouses. You have in the region of 100 quadrillion (that’s 1 and 17 zeros) mitochondria in your body.  They produce energy for you meaning they are vital for your health and vitality.  You are born with a set amount through parental (maternal) lineage and you need to look after after them.


Mircobiome is the totality your microbes in your body.  […]

15th Jan 2018

Get healthy to lose weight

not lose weight to get healthy

Being overweight is a sign of metabolic imbalance, just like any other health complaint, such as dry skin, allergies, chronic fatigue, etc. We have observed that when the body chemistry normalizes, weight tends to seek its natural, normal, genetically-programmed level.

Therefore, we recommend that you seek to balance your body chemistry, improve your metabolic efficiency and build good health, rather than attempt to force your body to lose weight. Statistics show that in over 90% of such weight loss cases, excess weight will just come back, along with even more pounds than you lost in the first place, as long as the underlying cause is still there.

All the scientific evidence states that diets do not work in the long-term. This is not staggering new evidence. Over 60 years ago Ancel Keys researched calorie restriction diets and found that when the diet ended not only did participants put […]

29th Nov 2017

Core & Back Strength

“a bad back is a weak core”

Rather than use the terms core stability or back care I’d rather talk about the strength of both. There is nothing wrong with caring for your back or a stable core but it gives the wrong impression of how the body really works.

The best core exercises are total body exercises such as movements found in sports or functional exercises e.g. a squat. However, for many people, rehabilitation of the core is needed before it works properly in these total body movements. In fact it is dangerous to do functional exercises without a fully functioning core, hence the injury rate rate in activities such as Crossfit.

Core training is best as a continuum of progressive training such as:

Core activation – generally mat based exercises
Core coordination – pressure/biofeedback monitoring – see below
Core Stability – often with a stability ball
Core Mobility
Core Strength
Functional Exercise – generally standing
Fun training – often in the air
Daily life / Sports
& then back to the […]

10th Oct 2017

15th Birthday

Takeshape Health is 15 years old this October!

In this time I’ve seen all sorts of health and fitness crazes / fads come and go, such as ab rollers, insanity, power plate etc. Also, ideas that were laughed at initially that are now mainstream such as gluten free, free weight training. Furthermore other ideas, such as saturated fat and breathing techniques helping you lose weight are still to take hold!

The key element I have taken is that, although theories and ideas change, the body doesn’t. We evolve 0.01% every 100,00 years and there are some keys concepts such as daily movement and nourishing food that we just can’t get away from. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix!

The problem is that we are attracted to the quick fix promise of ’10 minute abs’, ’10 day fat loss’ etc. The trick is to appeal to need for early results to help our motivation but […]

29th Aug 2017


Values are your compass in life whether they are conscious or unconscious. Values drive thoughts, words, deeds. They shape your perception, your choices, your actions and how you feel. Values reflect your purpose, what you have come to learn in your lifetime.

Values determine how you spend your most time and most money as well as your discipline, commitment and focus – all very important when you want to get healthier. They also determine where you spend these the least.

‘invariably you run out of time/energy/money/resources for that which is
least value to you’

The challenges you face are when you are not clear about your values. If you are not living your own values (either consciously or unconsciously) and are trying fulfil someone else’s or society’s values, you will have inner conflict and incoherence. This causes tiredness, anxiety, depression.

Values are reflected by body/mind relationship and lead to symptoms and […]

15th Aug 2017

Diaphragmatic Breathing

(Belly/nose breathing)

Optimal breathing is breathing in through your nose with your belly coming out, then breathing out (through your mouth or nose) with your belly coming in. When we inhale, the normal pattern of abdominal wall action is such that with inhalation, the abdominal wall should relax and expand so that the diaphragm has the ability to push the organs downward. This is an essential means of creating negative pressure in the lungs to draw fresh air in with inhalation.

Tip: Watch a baby breathe – they do it right instinctively.

Most people have an inverted breathing pattern, i.e. their belly coming in when they breathe in. With an inverted breathing pattern, as a person inhales, his/her abdominals remain tight, or tighten more! This blocks the diaphragm’s ability to contract effectively, and stops the organs from being able to move downward with inhalation.

When someone has an inverted breathing pattern, there is over-recruitment of the scalene muscles in the neck, which help lift […]

31st Mar 2017

Pain Teacher

The pain teacher is one of the best teachers I’ve met. Do not mess around, daydream, or skip her classes or you’ll never reach your full potential, resulting in, ’Could do better’ reports all round!

Even worse is to do what most people do, and ignore the pain teacher by taking ‘treatments’ to muffle her. Treatments are generally painkillers in drug format, but can also be any treatment including the complementary ones. Killing the pain teacher is akin to taking out the bulb on a warning light on your car. It gets rid of the symptom but does nothing for the cause nor for your long-term performance (and health).

“Do you take medical drugs? If the answer is yes, what have you avoided or ignored that led to a weakening of your ‘self’ to the point of needing/wanting medical drugs? Allowing your life to become too stressful is the primary reason for all medical drug consumption and lost time from work!” – […]

30th Mar 2017

Natural Movement

The Take Shape Obstacle Course opened in the Summer of 2003 and each year it evolves with new obstacles/activities. We currently have over 30 obstacles, with hundreds of variations and games. Summer 2015 saw the new barefoot path.

The 10 acre course has a 500m grass track, mown weekly, and is set in picturesque countryside.

The obstacle course fits in with the principles of Frenchman, Georges Hérbert’s Method Naturelle (c.1900) which has been the inspiration and foundation for new activities such as parkour and free running. These principles are now being engaged by the top health professionals in the world for health and performance.
10 natural ‘utilities’

Pursuit – walk, run, crawl
Escape – climb, balance, jump, swim
Attack – throw, lift, fight

These are best performed outside and are non-competitive. “Exercise only with the intention to carry out a physical gain or triumph over competitors” Hérbert believed, “is brutally egoistic and just […]