I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Inevitably you end up forgetting you’ve made them or breaking them. I tend to give myself some achievable goals instead and don’t beat myself up about it if I don’t get around to following them up. I am however sure that the one thing I will be focusing on this year is my own self-care. I am forever running around trying to please everybody else for fear of letting people down or upsetting them that I often forget about my own well being. By that I don’t mean my own physical health like eating well, exercising and drinking plenty of water…I mean making sure I have time for me. That could be reading a good book with a hot chocolate or maybe getting away doing something energising and inspiring. Perhaps a self-care day just like the one Holistic Health Retreats put on last month in the heart of the Devonshire countryside?
Let me tell you a little bit about Rosie and Katie. The driving force behind Holistic Health Retreats.
Rosie Russell M.Ost – Principal Osteopath and Director of Health House
Rosie has a wealth of experience treating with both, structural and cranial osteopathy. She is not only able to ease pain and tension but also able to recommend tailored exercises to strengthen weak areas and aid rehabilitation.
She graduated with a Masters’ degree in osteopathy after a four-year intensive course. She is passionate about osteopathy and its ability to produce great benefits in pain management and general wellbeing. Rosie is also an experienced Sports Massage Therapist (ITEC Level 3 Qualification) having treated a wide range of patients including national athletes.
She has gained a mat-work Pilates qualification in order to correctly and safely rehab her patients and give specific stretch and strengthening advice.
Rosie has a particular interest in cranial osteopathy and treating paediatric patients. She has continued her post-graduate professional development with study in these fields.
Katie Joyce – Junior Doctor
Katie’s passion for mental health and wellness arose whilst she was studying for her undergraduate degree in Psychology. She went on to study medicine at the University of Warwick and is now currently practising as a doctor in Exeter.
My Health House Retreat Experience
My day started with a train journey to Honiton from Exeter which took about 20-25 minutes. From there I was picked up by Jilly, Rosie’s lovely mother for the short drive to the venue just outside Colyton. A private residence in the heart of the rolling Devonshire countryside with views across the valley to one side and woodland to the other.
On arrival, I was greeted by our hosts for the day, the aforementioned Rosie and Katie as well as the other guests who had beaten me to it. Natasha Cornish, a yoga instructor who would be leading our yoga class later that day, Lydia, Sasha, Jilly and Dane. A small intimate group all looking forward to what the day had to offer. Tea and coffee offered and in hand, we all sat at the large kitchen table to get to know one another before our first experience of the day. Chatting with the other guests I soon found myself relaxing and enjoying the prospect of the day. Everyone on the retreat had similar interests and backgrounds and very quickly we were all becoming friends.
The first activity on our agenda was a country walk. The retreat, as I mentioned earlier, was held at a lovely old smallholding in the middle of the Devonshire countryside with woodland to one side. Wellies on, we took ourselves out across the muddy fields towards the woodland for a walk. We meandered through the woods gradually climbing up and up until we reached the brow of the hill with views to be in awe of. Devon really does have beautiful countryside despite the greyness of the day. We stopped, caught our breath and took in the views before our descent back through the fields to the house where warming hot chocolate was waiting for us.
After the most divine hot chocolate imaginable, all thick and unctuous we headed into the lounge where the log fire was ablaze and the Christmas tree glistening. It was time to sit back, relax and spend some time being mindful. Meanwhile, lunch was being prepared for us all in the kitchen. Homemade sweet potato soup with scrumptious toppings and fresh and warm crusty bread.
After lunch, we were offered a bespoke osteopathic treatment with one of our hosts Rosie Russell. Rosie focussed on my arthritic left big toe as well as my upper body. The tension caused by my asthma and the stresses thrown at me through my daily life had created an imbalance through my body. Rosie worked her magic throughout the treatment which left me feeling blissed out. Tea and cake followed.
The final activity for the day was a yoga class led by Natasha Cornish. An hour of yoga for all abilities with me being an almost beginner. Natasha was sympathetic to my yoga naivety and pitched the class just right with options for those with more experience.
With the soothing yet intense yoga class over we made our way back to the main house to say our goodbyes to one another before heading back home. I came away from the Health House Retreats day with a new found spring in my step, new friends and a sense of well being. What more could you want from a day of self-care? Thank you to Rosie and Katie for inviting me to be a part of your inaugural retreat. I think you have created something very special and hope that in the not too distant future I am able to partake in again.
Due to busy schedules, Katie and Rosie do not currently have any retreats booked but you can find treatments and yoga at Health House Clinic. However, keep an eye out for retreats in the future.
Disclaimer: I was invited to join Rosie and Katie free of charge on their retreat. I was not paid for this post and all views are mine as always.
Photo credit: Dane Ridgway