Bare Health

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Art Psychotherapy at Bare Health

Art Psychotherapy at Bare Health

By Elle Hopkins

I believe it is important that everyone lives a creative life. What creativity means, or how to live a creative life - will be different for every person. Some characteristics of creativity involve  the capacity to see things from a new perspective, adaptability, to experiment and find solutions to problems or to create things or ideas. Another aspect of creativity, as in the arts, is to do with self-expression and self-discovery, and with communicating and connecting with the unconscious self.

It is my experience that giving expression to our need for creativity gives human beings a deeper sense of fulfilment; it requires the transformation of patterns that may be blocking us, and the courage to move forwards and finding meaning amid life’s uncertainties.  

The use of art in psychotherapy can add another dimension to the way issues are explored in the therapy room. An image, such as a drawing, painting, collage or a clay figure can richly express what is being communicated in the therapy. The art psychotherapist, in witnessing the client’s exploration, can support the process of art making and encourage thinking and reflecting linked to the image and to the client’s insights.

Art psychotherapy is not about artistic skills; whether a client is good or bad at art, or about the psychotherapist interpreting the work for the client. It is about being curious and playful in exploring meaning with the client. In art psychotherapy, the process of art making and how the client experiences this is also fundamental.

Talking, although a fundamental human way of expression, is by no means the only way that we can give expression to our experience. Taking place at the client’s pace, art psychotherapy can be a powerful tool to bring about change and transformation and help to work towards the unique process of developing a creative approach to life, whatever that may mean for the client. As in other forms of psychological therapies art psychotherapy also utilises the safe and boundaried relationship between the client and therapist as an agent for change.

Who can benefit from art psychotherapy?

The versatility of art psychotherapy makes it accessible to a range of different people. It can be particularly beneficial to those who have tried other forms of talking therapy and found it difficult to express themselves. Art psychotherapy tends to look at issues in a different way and can help participants to tap into emotions that have previously been buried or ignored. Anyone who finds it difficult to talk about their feelings or feels distanced from their emotions. Art psychotherapy can help with depression, anxiety, trauma related issues, grief and loss. Art psychotherapy can help to improve communication skills and offers an easy way for participants to express themselves and deal with their feelings in a healthy way. Tapping into the creative part of the brain helps to lower stress levels and restore a sense of personal identity. This type of therapy can help clients regain a sense of control, freedom and self-expression.

Being creative in this type of safe, therapeutic environment can be revitalising and often lifts mood. The sense of freedom and lack of judgement that is felt within art psychotherapy can be cathartic and unique when compared to other more traditional forms of psychotherapy.

What happens in an art therapy session?


During your art therapy sessions, your therapist may ask you to engage in creative activities. These are designed to help you explore your emotions and feelings in a new, creative way. Sometimes the therapist may ask you to make images of your choosing without giving you any particular direction.

What qualifications does an art therapist need?


Art therapists and art psychotherapists are regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). This means that their title is legally protected, and only individuals that are registered with the HCPC can call themselves an "art therapist".

If you feel this is something that you would find helpful to support your emotional and psychological wellbeing please contact

Elle Hopkins BA Hons, MA.  HCPC Registered (AS13975) /BAAT Registered Art Psychotherapist

Via Bare Health, Congleton

You can also send me a direct message on Facebook via my page @ellehopkinsart

Or Instagram via elle_hopkins_art

for an informal discussion and further information.

Friday, 26 January 2018

Chaga – Mushroom of Immortality

  Who among you love mushrooms? I’ve grown up in a family of mushroom lovers, yet to this day I cannot stand the taste or smell of cooked mushrooms and have become what I call...’an expert mushroom picker outerer’ after carefully picking out the awful little things out of my meals! For me, it’s a little like Marmite, you either love it OR Hate it! However, despite my dislike of eating mushrooms I cannot deny that they have truly remarkable benefits upon health. Reishi, Maiitake, Cordyceps all varieties that research is highlighting as having a multitude of health benefits from increasing energy & endurance levels to immune support. But the one mushroom that is currently piquing my interest is Wild Chaga! Certainly not a mushroom that you’d come across on your weekly trip to the supermarket to throw into a risotto or find growing in a field, no, this amazing fungi, grows on trees! (primarily, the Birch tree)

Inonotus obliqus or as it’s commonly referred to Chaga, originally derived from the Russian word for mushroom, has been traditionally used in Siberia, Russia and Northern Europe since the 16th century for its’ medicinal properties. It is a parasitic fungus that grows on ‘living’ hardwood trees particularly in cold climates and unlike the image of a mushroom we are used to, it appears as a large, cracked black/brown growth on the tree that is hard and dense. Large concentrations of melanin, the pigment responsible for our skin colour, can be found naturally within and this is what gives Chaga its dark colour. Wild Chaga survives by extracting an abundance of nutrients from the inner layer of the tree bark whilst at the same time giving the tree vital nutrients to support its’ health in return - a truly unique ‘symbiotic’ (mutually beneficial) relationship. However, this relationship only occurs with wild Chaga grown and harvested in its natural environment as opposed to cheaper, less nutrient dense Chaga commercially grown in vats.

During the past few decades the health benefits of Chaga have been actively studied with the aim of shedding some light on its biochemistry and reported human health benefits. Chaga has been noted to have activity in a wide range of health-related areas such as its free radical (molecules that damage our cells) scavenging potential, immune stimulating effects and anti mutagenic and anti cancer properties and is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the most medicinally valuable fungi. In China it is referred to as ‘The king of all plants’, the Siberians call it a ‘gift from God’ or the ‘mushroom of immortality’ whilst in Japan it is often referred to as the ‘diamond in the forest’. It certainly is one of the most praised superfoods and that can be attributed to its unique concentration of nutrients that include: flavanoids, phenols, antioxidants, various B complex vitamins, minerals including copper, manganese, iron, zinc, potassium and calcium, high levels of SOD (Superoxide Dismutase) a component that exhibits a very high antioxidant activity, Beta glucans, melanin, amino acids, dietary fibre, enzymes, sterols, vitamin D2 and K to name but a few.
So what health benefits does Chaga potentially offer?

·         Cellular Protection – research has shown Chaga to have very high concentrations of antioxidant compounds that help to protect our cells from damage and premature ageing. In fact it is one of the richest sources of antioxidants in the world, not only boasting the highest levels but also an exceptionally rare diversity of antioxidants. It has been reported that the Emperor of China once outlawed Chaga as he wanted exclusive use of the age defying tonic so that he could appear ‘eternally young’ whilst everyone around him grew old.

·         Anti inflammatory – it contains specific anti inflammatory compounds such as ergosterol that help to combat inflammation a process that is often present in chronic degenerative disease. So, with this in mind, Chaga may help reduce systemic inflammation and help in the prevention of a number of health problems, leading to a longer and healthier life.

·         Anti Hyperglycemic – a few studies have shown that polysaccharides in Chaga have the potential to reduce, glucose, triglycerides, fatty acids and cholesterol in blood.

·         Immune support – There is increasing research exploring the role of Chaga on immune function with evidence suggesting that it has a stimulating and balancing effect whilst increasing white blood cell population. This has been attributed to high levels of Beta Glucans (immune supporting polysaccharides) occurring naturally within Chaga. Making it a fabulous immune remedy to have at hand during the cold & flu season.

·         Anti bacterial , Anti Viral & Anti Fungal– Wild chaga has been reported to to enhance anti viral activity in the body with research demonstrating positive results in cases of the Herpes simplex virus and additional research showing that chaga polysaccharides work equally to broad spectrum anti viral drugs for respiratory and gastrointestinal infections with additional significant favourable outcomes for its anti bacterial, anti fungal and anti parasitic effects.

·         Adaptogenic - It has strong adaptogenic properties. The European Medicines Agency tried to define adaptogens as clearly as possible in a 2008 treatise, "Reflection Paper on the Adaptogenic Concept":Adaptogenic substances are stated to have the capacity to normalize body functions and strengthen systems compromised by stress.

How can Chaga be incorporated into our health & wellness 

Traditionally in Eastern Europe and Asia where it originates, Chaga has been boiled and consumed as a tea, however with its growing popularity in the Western world Chaga can now be found as a tincture, in capsules or powder. In powder form it is ideal to add to smoothies or juices or taken as a warming, immune supporting hot drink tat makes an ideal coffee alternative. Perfect during the cold winter months. Top Tip - Always try to source the best Chaga, preferably Wild and 100% organic where possible to ensure you are obtaining a full spectrum of nutrients with no added synthetic binders, fillers or preservatives and that is also from a sustainable source.

For further information, please call Bare Health, Congleton your local, independent health store on 01260 408413. We are always happy to answer your queries.

Bare Health highly recommends...

Viridian Nutrition Organic Wild Chaga & Cacoa hot drink -

SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY OFFER! 15% off in store at Bare Health #Congleton #Cheshire until end of February 2018

Vegetarian, Vegan, Organic
Potent Wild Nordic Chaga extract and flavanol-rich Cacao from the Peruvian rainforest creates a bi-cultural melting pot.
Harvested in two hemispheres, from organically certified forests to ensure purity and sustainability and carefully blended to create a pleasant tasting, nutrient dense beverage.
From the icy Birch forest of Finnish Lapland and the steamy rainforest of Peru to your cosy kitchen.

Certified organic by the Soil Association.

The content of this article is for information purposes only. Always seek the advice of your GP or healthcare specialist if taking prescribed medication or undergoing any form of treatment prior to embarking on any new health regime.

Useful References:

Friday, 1 September 2017

Get Ready For Organic September!

With Organic September launching on the 1st September, the Soil Association will begin its annual national campaign to raise of the benefits of organic. But what does organic really mean?

Many people are now choosing organic fruit and vegetables to avoid the chemical sprays used in intensive farming. The term ‘organic’ is highly regulated, therefore growers and producers cannot claim organic without certification – the highest standard offered by the Soil Association.

According to the Soil Association, organic means:

  • ·         Fewer pesticides

Almost 300 pesticides can routinely be used in non-organic farming. Many of these remain in the food we eat, despite washing and cooking.

  • ·         No artificial colours and preservatives

Hydrogenated fats and controversial artificial food colours and preservatives are all banned by organic standards.

  • ·         Always free range

Organic means the very highest animal welfare standards.

  • ·         No routine use of antibiotics

Organic means happier, healthier animals raised without the need for routine use of antibiotics.

  • ·         No GM ingredients

GM ingredients and crops are banned under Soil Association standards.
In fact an international team of experts led by Newcastle University has shown that organic crops are up to 60% higher in a number of key antioxidants than conventionally-grown ones.
Analysing 343 studies into the compositional differences between organic and conventional crops, the team found that a switch to eating organic fruit, vegetable and cereals – and food made from them – would provide additional antioxidants equivalent to eating between 1-2 extra portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

This adds more support to the Soil Association’s campaign that organic food is beneficial for good health and achieving wellbeing. This year’s campaign message being ‘organic is food as it should be, better for the environment and animal welfare’ and with the #ChooseOrganic hashtag on social media.

Remember, eating or incorporating organic into your diet and lifestyle does not always mean paying for more - it can be the small switches to your weekly shop. Eg swapping your normal pasta for an organic variety. See if you can taste the difference! Besides there are many organic alternatives becoming more widely available ranging from organic teas, dairy products, sauces, cereals and nutritional supplements. Go visit your local health food store to discover the array of organic options.  How do you know if product is certified organic? Look for the Soil Association certification logo. For more information about organic visit:

Bare Health in Congleton will be joining the campaign’s Organic September Saturday on 16th September - a dedicated day of organic in the independent retailers. For nutritional advice,  ideas of how to incorporate organic into your lifestyle and free product sampling please pop in. We’d be delighted to see you.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Bare Health Summer Stars! Upto 50% off in our Sale!

Up to 50% off on selected items in store now!

We invite you to Bare Health this August to browse our Super Star Sale! Selected items are now discounted up to a huge 50%. Why delay? Come and follow our 'star trail' today!

Bare Health. Your health, your well being, naturally!


Whilst stocks last...





5) ORGANIC EXTRA VIRGIN COCONUT OIL (1LB JAR) £7.99 (RRP 12.99) OR 2 for £15

6) WILEYS FISH OIL RANGE - Save a fantastic 20%




10) BUY ECOMIL Sugar Free Almond Milk and get ECOMIL Coconut Milk FREE

11) SYNOVITAL HYALURONIC ACID £26.95 (Was £29.95) OR BUY 2 for £23 each



14) FAITH IN NATURE - Brave Botanicals Range 15% OFF

15) ANTIPODES SKINCARE - Buy any two full size products (including NEW lipsticks) get a FREE Hand & Body Cream (worth £28) or Facial Cleanser (worth £25)

WHAT'S NEW IN STORE? Let's take a peek...


Vegetarian, Vegan, Organic
Organic Curcumin Latte is a contemporary take on the traditional turmeric latte also known as ‘Golden Milk’ or ‘Haldi Ka Doodh’. Originating from South East Asia, Golden milk has a rich history of use and is a blend of turmeric root powder with aromatic spices stirred into warm milk. Viridian’s Organic Curcumin Latte features turmeric root extract with enhanced levels of the prime active known as curcumin. A fantastic way to get your daily dose of high strength Turmeric - just 1/2 tsp gives you a dose of 200mg Organic Turmeric with 85% curcuminoids!


Now a firm favourite at Bare Health - it's delicious! 

SuperSeed & SuperGrain Artisan Pasta was born from two gardener’s long standing dream of making healthy, nutritious & tasty gluten free pasta

Marianna and Keith are both passionate about food and healthy living, so started to make pasta out of ancient grains and seeds they knew as gardeners and already used them in their kitchen, only sprinkling on their lunch and dinner. The pastas they made proved to be scrumptious & flavoursome, so they decided to try to make a living out of it and the rest is history!
​You may ask why?
​Because they believe their pastas are good for everyone (not just for gardeners!), they are full of nutrition, have low sugar levels (great for diabetics) and bursting with protein and fibre! They will keep you on the move – no more energy slump after having a delicious pasta meal.
​Their approach is fresh, but the methods used, traditional, to give you good, tasty products with a homemade feel. This super tasty gluten free pasta will pleasantly surprise you!



Raw Halo is an artisan raw chocolate brand committed to bringing you the finest organic, refined sugar free, gluten-free and 100% natural Peruvian raw chocolate. They also make delicious dairy-free and Vegan raw chocolate so you can eat well without having to sacrifice life’s little luxuries.


Sourcing some of the worlds finest organic ingredients and produced in Switzerland this award winning chocolate is so tasty and full of flavours you'll love it! Winners of Great Taste Awards for EVERY flavour in the range! GLUTEN FREE SOY FREE with 5 Variants being DAIRY FREE


Buy Shampoo get Conditioner 1/2 price!

Tony Maleedy, MIT is a renowned Trichologist, Cosmetic Scientist and founder of Tony Maleedy Hair. 30 years of clinical practice and development have shown Tony that good hair starts with a healthy scalp. Hair loss, hair growth and the condition of hair can all be drastically improved if the scalp is completely healthy – something Tony has seen thousands of times through professional in-clinic treatments. Through this research, expertise and experience, Tony has now developed the Juniper Scalp Therapy Shampoo and complimentary Juniper Conditioner to achieve the same results at home. Why do we love it? Because it works! The Juniper Scalp Therapy Shampoo has been clinically proven to improve the health of the scalp – which leads to enormous improvements in the quality and condition of the hair, as well as its ability to grow. Long-standing scalp conditions have been treated time and time again with Tony’s expertise and highly effective products.


charged with a Dual Repairing Complex of Blackberry & Coconut Milk for damaged, over processed hair and all skin types



Certified Natural, Vegan Approved, Traditional natural & organic cosmetics based on the herbal recipes of Dr. Konopka.
Dr. Konopka was a pharmacist with a passion for natural products. He dedicated his life to learning about how herbs and plants could be used in his pharmacy formulations. Initially he created a cream with a wound healing effect, which contained extracts of 48 valuable herbs. The first users were so impressed with the instantaneous effect of the cream that it was named “Dr. Konopka’s wonder cream”.

Dr. Konopka’s family have carefully collected and kept the recipes of invigorating balms, infusions and ointments and have passed those from generation to generation. 

Random Apple Company RAW Honey

9) INCOGNITO INSECT REPELLENT RANGE - Winner of the Queens Award. Don't go on your hols without it!

incognito® spray is highly effective -  In clinical testing, incognito® was proved to 100% effective. incognito® offers a totally unprecedented level of protection. We also provide a complementary range of travel toiletries, such as moisturiser, hair and bodywash and soaps, all designed to work together with the spray or roll-on to provide maximum protection.
incognito® is 100% natural - They only use natural ingredients including the active ingredient, Citrepel75 (PMD). There is no residue left on the environment after use. As incognito® is bio-degradeable, the formulation simply breaks down over time and doesn’t disrupt the world’s eco-systems. It is the repellent of choice for the conscientious and considerate traveller.
incognito® can be used by all the family - incognito® spray and roll-on can be used by people of any age including babies over 3 months. It can also be used by most people with sensitive skin. Always carry out a patch test on the inside of your wrist, if you are one of these people.
incognito® won’t harm you or the environment - Esteemed neuro-scientist Vincent Corbel found in 2009 that Deet is a neurotoxin. It blocks an enzyme in the nerve cells of your central nervous system that breaks down toxins, allowing them to build up and kill off your nerve cells. incognito® doesn’t work in the same way as DEET and isn’t absorbed as far through the skin meaning it doesn’t interact with your inner chemistry. In this same way, it won’t interact with delicate eco-systems, especially those involving aquatic wildlife.
incognito® can protect from malaria - Clinical trials took place in the Amazon rainforest over 6 months whereby individuals slept under impregnated (LLI) mosquito nets but also applied our active ingredient during the day, at dusk and at night. The results proved that the combination of the application of their active ingredient and sleeping under an impregnated (LLI) mosquito net protected the users from malaria by being so effective at repelling mosquitoes.

incognito® is sustainable - they believe sustainability means quality. This means incognito put the environment first. 10% of their profits go to charity. They also support environmental causes such as the Bethsaida Hermitage in India and Plant a Tree Foundation. They are an eco-business that runs on renewable energy and fights for the future of the planet. Their involvment with Bethsaida for example has meant that they have more than offset the carbon dioxide they produce as a company. Incognito constantly re-evaluate all of their products and their packaging as well as their logistics and transport methods. This ensures the planet is their top priority and that our environmental impact is as minimal as possible. in 2015 Incognito won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Bare Health Holistics... Our Complementary Therapies & Treatments

Bare Health Holistics... 

" Professional treatments & therapies to support and nurture your health and well being, naturally"

Here At Bare Health we have created an experienced team of therapists, all professionally qualified to offer a diverse range of Holistic treatments. Our Complementary Therapies are designed with your health & well being in mind, with a key focus on treating mind, body & spirit. Each therapy is specifically tailored to your individual needs. Whether you require a therapy for aiding in the treatment of a specific condition or are just in need of a little bit of relaxation and pampering, time out from the stresses that everyday life can bring, our therapists are here to support you on your journey to optimum health.

Our exclusive treatment rooms have been created to offer peace & tranquility and have taken on an energy all of their own. Our main treatment room dates back to 1624 and has original beams and a feature revealing wattle and daub walls - a room steeped in history.

Therapy Menu and prices:

Access Bars £45
Acupuncture & Japanese Spinal Touch £40
Aromatherapy £33
Bach Flower Consultation £39
Back, Neck & Shoulder Massage £25
Body Massage £33
Emmett Technique £30
Food Intolerance Testing (Monthly Clinic) £45
Hands Free Massage £33
Holistic Facials £38
Homeopathic Consultation:
Initial Visit £65 Follow Up £45
Hopi Ear Candling £30
Hypnotherapy £
Indian Head Massage £25
Life Coaching £40
Naturopathic Nutrition
Initial visit £40 follow up £25
Medical Herbalist 
Initial Visit £59 Follow up £35
Natural Facial Lift Massage £38
Neals Yard Signature Treatments:
Calming Rose and geranium body harmony £55
Invigorating Frankincense and Mandarin Body Boost £39
Oriental Thai Foot Massage £33
Edify Psychological Services:
Mindfulness, CBT, Compassion focused Therapy, Integrative Psychotherapy £65
Reflexology £33
Reiki £30
Sports Massage & Rehabilitation:
30 mins £15, 60 mins £30 
Initial visit £53 Follow up £43
NEW Traditional Thai Massage:
Initial Visit £55 1hr £40 1.5hr £55

Gift Vouchers Available

To book a treatment please call Bare Health on 01260 408413

34 High Street, Congleton, Cheshire. CW12 1BD
Parking nearby.

Our latest Therapists joining 'Bare Health Holistics'...

Traditional Thai Massage
Mel Ratcliffe BA (Hons), FHT and founder of 'Bare Health'

Traditional Thai Massage is an ancient system of healing with its roots in Yoga, Ayurvedic medicine and Buddhist spiritual practice. This unique and complete system of yoga therapy combines rhythmic massage, acupressure, gentle twisting, deep stretching and meditation in a flowing and harmonious full body massage. Thai massage releases tension, increases vitality and creates wholeness of mind, body & spirit. 
Thai Massage is different from many western forms of massage in that there is no oil used, the therapist uses a mattress on the floor instead of a couch and the client remains completely clothed throughout the session. It is very different from the 'massage' that we are all so familiar with and often described as 'Lazy Man's Yoga'.

This treatment is the perfect complement to any exercise routine and is suitable for clients of all ages and abilities, the routine can be varied to suit a wide range of physical needs and can be used as a form of physical therapy to aid in the increase of motion and muscular strength.

Acupuncture & Japanese Spinal Touch 

Ann Mitchell

Ann Mitchell is a state registered nurse with her last nursing role as sister on a Intensive Care/ High Dependency unit. She is also a trained Acupuncturist having qualified with The British College of Acupuncture and has over 35 years experience in her field. As a therapist Anne offers Acupuncture for many conditions, backs, necks, knees, a range of joint problems including ligament and core strengthening, anxiety and stress, to name but a few. She also uses a Japanese system of Painless 'Spinal Touch' in combination with Acupuncture and has achieved great results with the combined use of these treatments.