Interview with acupressure expert Laurent Turlin

Interview with acupressure expert Laurent Turlin

Steve Nobel sat down with Laurent Turlin to interview him about his book ‘Heal Yourself with Chinese Pressure points’

Laurent talks about your qi, and how your qi can become stagnant, and how acupressure helps relieve stagnant energy to nourish your organs.

Steve:   So hello and welcome. My name’s Steve Nobel and today I’m speaking with Laurent Turlin on “Heal Yourself with Chinese Pressure Points: Treat common ailments and stay healthy using a 12 acupressure point system.” This book is a wonderful introduction for beginners. Explores 12 key acupressure points for treating common ailments and conditions according to the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. And this book explores how to use these 12 key points to treat a range of conditions, from headaches, sciatica, and fatigue, to insomnia, motion sickness, and even a sore throat. Now Laurent is a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner and qualified acupuncturist, where he practises in a clinic in Paris.

Hi Laurent.

Laurent:                Hello.

Steve:   Hi. So can I ask you, many people are really familiar with acupuncture as a complementary form of treatment for conditions. I mean I’ve had it many times. But many are less familiar with acupressure. Can you just say something about acupressure?

Laurent:                Acupressure is the very first thing everybody does from the beginning of humanity. For example, when you have a shock, you touch or press the zone where you have had the shock. This is acupressure, it’s healing to relieve the blood and the qi stagnation. So acupressure, now we can specialise with acupoints, but it can be done anywhere on the body when you have a pain, self-administered, like with intuition it’s just a natural reaction, you know.

Steve:   Yeah. Can you say something about qi stagnation, and what is qi? Many people may know this, but just in case they don’t.

Laurent:                qi is energy. What is qi? Everything is qi. It can be a dense energy, solid, energy in movement. And in the body we have 12 meridians, 12 channels, and the qi goes in each of the 12 meridians to nourish the organs. Qi equals life. So when you mesh some points with other points, you create the formula and you can have synergy to treat yourself, for example, for back pain or headaches.

Life is movement, so when there is a blockage, there is pain. Chinese medicine is about moving the stagnant qi. And the blood? The blood is the substance of the qi. Qi is young. It’s immaterial. And blood is material, it is you. So the qi needs blood to circulate, and the blood also needs qi to be able to circulate. So when you bruise yourself, the blood is stopped in that area. The pain breaks the flow of circulation.

Steve: So what kind of things cause qi stagnation? You mentioned bruising, is there anything else that causes stagnation?

Laurent:                Yeah, emotion. Frustration and anger creates qi stagnation. Especially around the liver. Now tomorrow is the Chinese New Year of the Dog. This is the New Year Chinese is celebrating spring. Every season we nourish special elements and special movements. And in the Spring, the Chinese nourish the liver. And the liver is very important. It’s one of the most important organs in Chinese traditional medicine. The liver is the organ which creates the impulse, the qi, and the blood, and it regulates all the glands. It is the endocrine system, the endocrine glands. The liver nourishes the tendons and the fibres in your body, to your eyes and your brain. So the liver is very important because it is the ‘boss’ of the circulation– the flow and circulation and also your stresses. And we can say the liver digests your emotions.

Steve:   Yeah.

Laurent:                When you feel an emotion, if you receive bad news, something happens and you get frustrated and get angry, your liver is trying to digest these emotions, you can have qi stagnation around the liver. It can also lead to qi stagnation resulting in a heavy feeling on your chest, and feeling of having something in your throat, in sadness, and also for men, genital organ pains. For woman, PMS. And even migraines.

So, Chi stagnation can come from your internal emotions, can come from external shock. It can come also with the season. For example, you can have a qi stagnation if you are outside, you don’t have enough clothes, and of course you get super cold. If you have any deficiencies in your internal terrain, the cold can go, for example, into your lumbar. You can have a qi stagnation in your lumbar because the cold and the humidity go in the channels and go inside your skin and create all sorts of stagnations.

And you can have qi stagnation by having bad posture. Bad posture or torticollis. Torticollis is when you have a pain or something in your neck and you are in your car, you open the window and you drive, for example, for three hours – that’s a lot of wind. And this wind goes into your neck and the qi can stagnate.

Steve:   Now I know you’ve got this 12 main points, and I know there are a lot of points on the body, but there are just 12 you’re going into. Why these 12?

Laurent:                Why these 12? Because I studied Chinese medicine in China, and I have read a lot of Chinese medical texts. These 12 points are from the optics Chinese medical books. Zhen Jiu is the flow of acupuncture and moxibustion. And Zhen Jiu is a very fine mix of medication. There are four principal points in acupuncture and in moxibustion. And the idea for this book it that everybody can use it. They don’t need to know what is diagnostic, what is yin, what is yang, what is deficiency, what is plenitude, and what is the cold or heat. So this is book is for everybody. These 12 points are chosen because they target and treat the main areas.

So the idea is to give 12 key points. It’s for people that know nothing, but just want to do something before they go to see the doctor, before going to see the acupuncturist, or to call the emergency services. The purpose is not to say, “Here are 12 points – now you can do everything.” No. It’s a guide so you can help yourself.

Steve:   It could treat a lot of things, can’t it.

Laurent: Yes absolutely, for twenty years now I have been doing acupuncture. The emergency point between the top lip and the nose has a lot of applications.  It is a great, wonderful point to help someone that has passed out. And its also wonderful for the Lumbar (lower back) pain. You know if you have a such a great pain that you can’t stand up. It’s really hard for you to move and you just, even can’t walk. And you practice acupressure, and then acupuncture with needles, and you can ask to the patient to move, after this treatment, the person can stand again. Not to run, to do the New York marathon but he can walk. For example, if has to take the train for his job, he can do this.

Of course acupressure doesn’t use needles and its not manipulation, but really it’s energy. The Japanese do Dao-ing, Chinese do Qi Gong in the morning or so. That’s one treatment. These practices nourish life.

Steve:   Nourish life.

Laurent:         Nourish life. When we touch or treat our selves we just make our energy balanced. In our occidental world, to touch someone it to steal something they’re in need of. And in Oriental countries and in Africa, where they touch themselves, especially in India, they treat they touch they massage, it’s very normal. But still, us in occident (western cultures), there is always a connotation when we touch ourselves. We need to touch, we need to have contact, I say this in my lectures in Paris, press yourself, touch your family, your loves, your children, your friends, and with the acupoints something happens. It helps you to open your mind and maybe, your heart.

Steve:   Beautiful book, Laurent and full of lovely illustrations. And it goes through all the 12 points and lots of different issues such as asthma, or ringing in the ears, or back pain, or sinusitis, or pains, just generalised pains in the body. So it’s a very good book. If you’re interested in this kind of form of complementary medicine, I encourage you to buy this book.

And, Laurent, thank you for taking the time to chat with me.

Laurent:                Thank you so much. It was a pleasure.

Heal yourself with chinese pressure points

Laurent Turlin
with Alix Lefief-Delcourt

This perfect introduction for beginners presents the 12 key acupressure points for treating common ailments and conditions, according to the principles of Chinese medicine.

After a simple overview of the meridian system of energy channels in the body, plus easy-to-follow instructions on different massage techniques, you are then introduced to each of the 12 points in turn, and how to use them to treat a wide range of conditions, from headaches, sciatica and fatigue to insomnia, motion sickness and even a sore throat! Clear illustrations and diagrams are included throughout, along with tips on other useful complementary treatments.

ISBN: 978-1-85906-056-8

Eat Good Food to put you in a Good Mood (Podcast)

Eat Good Food to put you in a Good Mood (Podcast)

Vegetarian and vegan cook book,

Lina Bou talks about the importance of using local and seasonal ingredients for a well-balanced gut. Lina combines her knowledge as a Nutritional Therapist, her creative flair and her love for cooking to create delicious, nutritious meals.

Discover nutritional therapist Lina Bou’s recipe for healthy living, with this inspirational cookbook for the modern lifestyle.

Cooking isn’t just about eating the right foods – it’s about being inventive, having fun and enjoying a healthy relationship with what you eat. Whether you’re looking for tasty brunch ideas, delicious dinners, energizing snacks or mouthwatering sweet treats, Lina shows you how to make simple, nutritious vegetarian meals (suitable for all!) easy enough for anyone to rustle up with the minimum of fuss. There are also suggestions for vegan alternatives, plus recipes free from gluten, dairy and sugar – the most common intolerances. All recipes feature a health-benefit key, indicating at a glance whether they help improve your immunity, boost your energy, balance your hormones, and more. And there’s advice on sensible detoxing, too.

Watch the mouth-watering video, and listen to Lina chat to Steve!

Subscribe to this youtube channel! We publish 2 podcasts a month, helping you get to know our talented authors.

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 Get the Book!

Vegetarian and vegan cook book,

 Good Food Good Mood by Lina Bou
ISBN: 9781859064108
Price: £13.99 RRP
Use the ISBN to order from any bookshop near you.







How To Breathe (Podcast)

How To Breathe (Podcast)

Good breathing involves a coordination of our whole being. Alexander Technique expert Richard Brennan talks us through how Alexander solved his vocal problems by looking at what he was doing with his breathing. Richard explains how being hunched over your computer impairs your breathing. Let the beautiful illustrations wash over you; read some excerpts; try some breathing along with the audio and learn some exercises to improve your breathing for health happiness and well-being.

How to breathe using the alexander technique


‘How To Breathe’ by Richard Richard Brennan
Breath is essential for life, but did you know that the way you breathe can be detrimental to your well-being? Poor posture, stress, muscular tension … all can make the ‘effortless’ act of breathing hard work without us realising. And breathing isn’t just a physical activity; it influences our mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, too.

HOW TO BREATHE shows you how to relearn your natural rhythm of breathing to bene cially alter the way you think, feel and act. Packed with breathing techniques to use at home, and featuring groundbreaking methods developed by the founder of the Alexander Technique, it will help you rediscover how to breathe naturally to improve every aspect of your life. By applying consciousness to the action of breathing, you can become aware of harmful habits – and alleviate common breathing problems in the process.

We breathe more than 20,000 times a day – so why not make sure you do it as efficiently and effectively as possible? This is a book you can’t afford to be without.

Subscribe to this youtube channel! We publish 2 podcasts a month, helping you get to know our talented authors.

Get the book!

How to breathe using the alexander technique►
ISBN: 978-1-85906-397-2
Use the ISBN to order from any bookshop near you.

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Read an excerpt of ‘How to Breathe’ – Alexander’s Story

Prefer to read? See the transcript below!

Steve :     Hello and welcome. My name is Steve Nobel, and today I’m speaking with Richard Brennan on his book How to Breathe, Improving your Breathing for Health, Happiness, and Wellbeing. Richard has studied Alexander technique since 1983 and has been teaching the technique full-time since 1989. He travels extensively through Europe and the US teaching the technique. And he’s a director of training in the center for the technique in Galway, Ireland, and he’s a leading figure in helping people resolve back and neck problems. Now this book will help you relearn your natural rhythm of breathing that will change the way you think, feel, and act forever. And his website is, if you want to check out his work. So welcome to you, Richard.

Richard :                 Oh, hi Steve, how are you today?

Steve :     Oh, good. Yes, it’s a sunny day and we don’t always have that in London, I guess.

Richard :                 Yeah.

Steve :     Let me ask you about Alexander technique. How did it all begin?

Richard :                 Well, Alexander was an actor and reciter, and he was getting a very good reputation, so he was reciting in bigger and bigger venues. And then he started to notice his breathing was audible, which is something that actors do not like. So he was rasping or breathing in air. And then, after that, he began to get a voice problem. He started to lose his voice on stage, and this was going to affect his whole career, so he was very worried about it.

And he went to various people to try and get help. He went to someone who gave him neck exercises, that didn’t work. Somebody else gave him medication, that didn’t work. And then eventually he went to a doctor who examined his vocal cords. Now, we’re talking about 1890. So the way you examine someone’s vocal cords in those days was pretty much dangle a small mirror down someone’s throat. But the doctor found out that his cords were red and inflamed. And he told Alexander, “Oh, you’ve just been over straining your voice. I’m sure, if you just rest your voice for a couple of weeks, it’ll all be fine.” So that’s exactly what Alexander did and he was so determined, he hardly spoke to anyone for 2 weeks.

He went back on stage and he was delighted because his voice was crystal clear. But, after half an hour, the voice began to get bad again and, at the end of the performance, he could hardly speak. So he went back to the doctor and the doctor said, “Well, it did improve a little bit and maybe you need to rest your voice for longer.” But Alexander said, “Look, if my voice was okay in the beginning of the performance and it wasn’t okay at the end of the performance, surely it was something I was doing while performing.” Okay, if my back is okay before I used to go and do the gardening but it’s not okay when I come in from doing the gardening, it must be something I’m doing while I’m doing the gardening. That whole principle can apply to actually anything. It’s a cause and effect. So he wanted to know what was causing the voice. And, if he could find out what was causing the voice, stop doing it, his voice would be fine.

So he asked the doctor, “So, what am I doing?” And the doctor said, “I have no idea.” So Alexander said, “Well, I’ll go and find out for myself.” So he studied for about 5 or 6 years. He studied posture, the way he was standing. He observed himself in the mirror and he noticed that when he took a breath, he opened his mouth and breathed in through his mouth. So he sucked some air in, which basically dried out the vocal cords and then, on top of that, he pulled his head back and depressed the larynx. And it was this habit that was causing the voice and the breathing problem. So then he experimented and he tried positioning his head in all different ways, and every time he did it the problem would get worse. And then eventually he came to a point where, if he thought of his head as not going back but thinking of his head going forwards, the problem went away again.

Steve :     Mmm.

Richard :                 So then he devised a whole system whereby you just think your way out of problems. You think of your back getting longer. You think of your neck getting longer. And then he helped his fellow actors. And then doctors got wind of it and then they used to send him people with back problems, neck problems, shoulder problems. So he got very used to helping people with a whole … a wide range of people. And a lot of it was just muscular tension was the root cause of most problems.

Steve :    Let me ask you generally about Alexander technique, cause nowadays in the modern world it seems to be applied to people with back pain, stress, posture issues, sports performance, musicians, it’s kind of a vast range of people it helps, isn’t it?

Richard :                 Yeah, it is, yeah. Because in all those things, let’s say a musician would be holding their instrument too tightly, they’ve been having too much tension in their shoulder. Maybe a runner would be having maybe injuries with their knees because there’s too much tension around their knees. So we have 651 muscles in the body and any of them can be tense causing problems in the ankle joint, or in the neck, or shoulder, or pretty much anything. And also, muscular tension … muscles control breathing as well. So, if I’m tense around the rib cage, my rib cage can’t move in and out. So, yeah, it is. It can help a great deal of people in all sorts of ways.

Steve :    Now, when the publisher said to me, “We want you to interview Richard on his book How to Breathe,” I kind of looked at the publisher and they looked at me, and I thought, “Really?” And when I read in your introduction, you said, “When I told my eldest daughter I was writing a book about breathing, she replied, ‘That will be interesting. Page one, breathe in. Page two, breathe out. Page three, breathe in again. Page four, breathe out again.'” I mean, initially, I looked at it and thought, “Well, there’s not much in it.” But of course, it’s a very deep area, isn’t it?

Richard :                 It is, it is. I mean, we all breathe thousands of times a day. And most people are not aware of the way they breathe. So in the same way we can have punctual habits, we can also have breathing habits as well. We have set ways of breathing, which are maybe not very healthy and they can be detrimental. But because they feel normal to us, we don’t even know they’re there.

Steve :     What kind of poor breathing habits are you talking about, Richard?

Richard :                 Breathing in too quickly.

Steve :     Yeah.

Richard :                 Breathing in through the mouth, which dries out the vocal cords. There’s hairs in our nose, which acts as a filter. When I started doing the technique, I was amazed that many people might breathe up to 30 or 40 times a minute. So they’re very fast breathing and very shallow breathing. So they don’t get rid of the C02 in the same way as the body is designed to. So then toxins build up and, yeah, you can get ill from it.

Steve :    Right. Now, the book says good breathing involves a coordination of our whole being. So can we just go into Alexander technique, the posture and the breath. How do they work together?

Richard :                 So, if somebody came in with a breathing problem, let’s say something like asthma, I would probably … we have a teaching table. I would lay them on the teaching table and check out to see where they’re holding tension and ask them to let it go. Just even doing that, their breathing will change. Their breathing will be much more beneficial afterwards. But also, you can actually have little breathing exercises you can actually do. And most disciplines like yoga, or whatever, would have a whole set of breathing exercises. But most of them involve breathing in, breathe in through the nose, breathe into the lungs. Whereas, Alexander technique, the whole thing is breathing out of the lungs. What Alexander realised was, if I breathe out, I create a vacuum in the lungs, and the next breath it’s all taken by reflex. So the emphasis is on the out breath. So even if somebody, you know when you blow up these children’s bubbles?

Steve :     Yeah.

Richard :                 You know, if you just blow the air out and you just extend the out breath and then you wait you’ll feel that you actually breathe in better. And anyone can do that listening to this audio.

Steve :     Right. Is this in the book? You talk about natural breathing. Is this the natural breath focusing on the exhalation rather than inhalation?

Richard :                 Yeah, yeah. If you look at a small child when they’re asleep, it’s almost looks like the whole body is breathing. It’s not just their lungs, their whole body is actually expanding and contracting. And breathing is a reflex. So to trigger the reflex all you have to do is breathe out. So people are usually … the main habit is to start taking a breath before the out breath is finished.

Steve :     That sounds simple, but is it simple?

Richard :                It is simple, but you have to go against your habit. So when people first do it, it feels strange to them.

Steve :    Yeah.

Richard :                In the same way as, if I drove your car and you drove mine, your car would feel strange to me. The indicator would be in the wrong place and the pedals would be slightly different. But after an hour or so, I would get used to it and you would get used to mine. It’s the same way … Alexander used to say, “Good posture feels strange to begin with,” if you’re not used to having it.

Steve :    Yeah.

Richard :                So people go, “Well, I feel really good and I feel I’m really breathing well, but I don’t feel like me anymore. I feel like somebody else.”

Steve :    Yeah, do we compress our rib cage? You know, if we’re like crouching over the computer or kids at school, is there a kind of compressing of our breath as well?

Richard :                Oh, yeah. Absolutely. If you look at most children at school, they’re bending over their desk and they’re not able to breathe. If you slump down and you pull yourself down, the minute you try and take a deep breath you can’t do it. So posture and breathing are very, very inter-rated. So when you’re improving breathing, you’re also improving people’s posture.

Steve :    Right.

Richard :                And when you’re improving people’s posture, you’re also improving their breathing. So they go hand-in-hand, it’s all the same stuff.

Steve :    I know when I did … cause sports, I did long distance running and also short distance running. But particularly in the long distance running, I noticed I had to get a certain … I practised all kinds of breathing rhythms and I noticed that my breathing was so connected to my performance.

Richard :                Yeah.

Steve :    Can Alexander help in something like long distance running?

Richard :                Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. We just had a guy called Malcolm Bark over here in Ireland who did a week’s running course with us and it was really interesting, cause I actually learned something too. He said, “If you get out of breath while you’re running, you’re trying to hard.”

Steve :    Right.

Richard :                And for me that was amazing because, when I run, I always get out of breath. And then he just showed us how to run in a certain rhythm, especially long term, marathon running, where you just stay with this rhythm of your breath and you don’t get out of breath at all. And you can run for a long, long, long time.

Steve :    You must see singers, I guess, cause singers are something where the breath and the voice is so interconnected. Is, again, Alexander technique something that can really help a singer, or performers who do lots of speaking on stage?

Richard :                Oh, yeah. Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah, there’s a lot of singers. Madonna is one. Paul McCartney is another. And there’s a whole range of singers and musicians that come to the Alexander Technique. It’s very big. It’s very big in the music world. Yeah.

Steve :    Why?

Richard :                Most colleges, performance, like drama colleges or music colleges, Royal College of Music for instance in London.

Steve :    Yeah.

Richard :                They all have resident Alexander teachers because there is so many problems around … I think there’s a statistic that 70% of people playing in orchestras play in pain.

Steve :    All right. That’s not good is it?

Richard :                No. Seventy percent, that’s a lot, that’s a lot, yeah.

Steve :    Wow. Have you ever had to deal with opera singers? Now, I know the opera singers really have to have these bellow like lungs, don’t they?

Richard :                Yeah, I’m actually working with an opera singer in London at the moment. And I’m going to teach her class, that’s in October. So I’m looking forward to that. Yeah, again, there’s this whole concept of I have to try really hard and, therefore, I over try, I strain. And Alexander had a philosophy, if you want to give your best, give 80%. So when you’re playing, just give 80%. If you give 80%, that’s pretty good but it doesn’t push you over to this thing of Alexander – most people are too goal oriented. They try too hard. And, in the trying too hard, they get nervous, they get stage fright, they get tension problems, and then they can’t play their musical instrument properly.

Steve :    I get from what you’re saying that really Alexander technique is not really so much learning something new but really unlearning something. Is that true?

Richard :                Exactly. Exactly. It’s an unlearning, because we all as children had perfect posture and our breathing was absolutely fine. And our movements, I mean, if you look at a child playing in the sand, they’re squatting with so much ease, their balance, they’re breathing well. Their movements are amazing. And, if you go to people outside the modern world, let’s say aborigines or the Berber people, they have the same movements as children. They feel very upright. The native American Indians, for instance, they’re very upright. They’re not bent over. They don’t have neck problems and back problems. And in India, hardly anyone gets a back operation or a hip operation, unless they’re in a car accident. Not from posture. But in our society, all these aches and pains suddenly come on for no reason.

Steve :    So Richard, one thing about the book I noticed is, lots of brilliant exercises from improving air circulation, releasing tension. Can you give a simple exercise for our listeners that would help them perhaps with their breath and perhaps with their voice?

Richard :                Yeah. Well, it’s not mine. This is Alexander’s. He didn’t really believe in exercises because he felt that most people exercise their habits. But in breathing he made an exception, because he felt it was an exercise of inhibition. And the exercise is basically, you just maybe lie on a bed and you just notice your breathing. And it comes in and out. And then, after a few breaths you whisper an ah sound. When I say ah, I mean ah, as in father. And when you make that ah go as long as you can without straining. And then you close your mouth and you let the air come back in through the nose. And you just repeat that about 6 or 7 times and afterwards you just really feel that your lungs are working much, much better. Yeah, just very, very simple, very simple. It’s not complicated. It takes one minute to learn it.

Steve :    Yeah, most of the practises are very simple like that.

Richard :                Yeah. They are, they are.

Steve :    Well, it looks a wonderful book. I love the cover. It’s got a beautiful blue/green cover with a kind of huge spiral on it. How to Breathe, Improving Your Breath for Health, Happiness, and Wellbeing. So, Richard, again, thank you so much for speaking with me today.

Richard :                Okay, you’re very welcome, Steve. Thank you.


How to get glowing skin – Using 4 different superfoods to get glowing skin

How to get glowing skin – Using 4 different superfoods to get glowing skin

Dr Sarah Brewer’s, Eat Well Look Great, shows the amazing link between good nutrition and good looks, and how diet can affect the health of your hair, skin and nails. Her book covers 40 different beauty superfoods that can help you look your best – whether eaten or applied directly to the hair and skin.

40 different superfoods to help you look great

These nutritional approaches can improve niggling beauty problems such as thread veins, acne, age spots and wrinkles through to cellulitebrittle or flaking nailsthinning hair and dark circles under the eyes.  

How to get glowing skin

Carotenoid plant pigments can give your skin a healthy, slightly golden glow, and eating just two extra portions each day can make a positive difference to skin tone as well as providing some protection against sunburn. The foods that are most beneficial for healthy, glowing skin are carrots, pumpkins, papaya, mango, sweet potato, bell peppers and dark green leafy vegetables, especially spinach and kale. Plant isoflavones found in edamame beans and other soy products also help to improve skin tone.

Avocado for beauty

Avocados are good for you

Avocado is a rich source of healthy, monounsaturated fatty acids, plus antioxidant carotenoids and vitamin E. Avocado oil also contains hormone-like phytosterols that have a regenerative effect on ageing skin. Avocado oil can improve dry, inflammatory skin conditions such as acneeczema, psoriasis and rosacea, damping down redness and inflammation. When applied as a cream containing vitamin B12 and avocado oil, psoriasis plaques improved significantly. Several studies suggest that the antioxidant pigments found in avocados (especially lutein and zeaxanthin) help to protect against premature cell ageing.

Tomatoes for beauty

The vibrant red colour of tomatoes comes from an antioxidant pigment, lycopene, which protects tomatoes from sun damage. Tomato lycopene can offer the same protection to human skin, reducing the adverse ageing effects of ultraviolet light. Researchers compared the skin of women eating five tablespoons (55g) tomato paste plus 10g olive oil every day, for 12 weeks, with a similar group taking just the olive oil as a supplement. The volunteers were exposed to UV rays at the beginning and end of the trial, and those eating tomato paste developed 33% less redness (erythema) suggesting this simple dietary step offered a sun protection factor (SPF) equivalent to 1.3. Skin biopsies also showed increased skin levels of procollagen, which improve elasticity, in those consuming tomato paste and less damage to skin mitochondrial DNA which is linked to skin ageing.

Dark chocolate

Cocoa solids contain more antioxidants than just about any other food – there are over 25,000 antioxidant units in a single spoonful of raw cocoa powder! – helping to combat the signs of premature ageing.

Dark Chocolate is great for your skinJust 40 g (11/2 oz) of dark chocolate provides more than 300 mg of super- protective polyphenols known as oligomer flavonoids. These have beneficial effects on the circulation, helping to dilate blood vessels and boost the supply of oxygen and nutrients to hair follicles, skin and nails. They also have anti-ageing effects that may protect against premature wrinkles. In addition, cocoa powder is a good source of minerals, including calcium, copper, magnesium and zinc, which are needed for healthy hair, skin and nails.

Dark chocolate improves skin thickness and hydration, important for healthier, younger-looking skin.


Cucumber is 96 per cent water, yet still provides an astonishing array of beauty benefits. Both as part of your diet and as a beauty treatment, this unassuming fruit should be a key component of your beauty regime.

Tone your skin

Blend half a chopped cucumber, 45 ml (11⁄2 fl oz) witch hazel and 30 ml (1 fl oz) filtered/mineral water until smooth. Pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or squeeze through cheesecloth to remove the solids (save the solids and use them for a 5-minute face mask). Pour the liquid into a clean screw- top bottle and apply with a cotton-wool pad as required. This brightens, refreshes and tones skin, as well as tightening enlarged pores.

Zap a blemish

Mix a small amount of cucumber juice (grate some cucumber and squeeze to obtain the juice) with an equal amount of lemon juice. Apply to spots for 15 minutes, then wash off. (If you have dry rather than oily skin, add a little manuka honey, too.) This will shrink spots and reduce inflammation and redness.

After-sun treatment

If your skin is parched and sore from too much sun, cucumber juice can cool and soothe the affected area. (Sunscreen and sensible sun-exposure times will prevent burning, so this remedy should only be used as a last resort!)

For a refreshing bath

Add a handful of Dead Sea salts, one sliced cucumber and a few drops of diluted essential oils (see note below) to a warm bath, and lie back and relax for 15–20 minutes, preferably in candlelight.

NOTE: Most essential oils should be diluted before coming in contact with your skin. Add 5 drops to a tablespoon of carrier oil (such as almond or avocado) and mix. Choose a single favourite oil, or a blend of up to three (for example, 1 drop rose, 2 drops lemon, 2 drops vanilla).

cucumber smoothie recipe
Soba Salad With Roasted Vegetables & Pumpkin Seeds

Soba Salad With Roasted Vegetables & Pumpkin Seeds

Cooking for me is like when I paint or write. That is what I love, and I always work with colours as much as flavour combinations.

I like to use a variety of grains and seeds, as they all give you different vitamins and minerals, and mixing them gives you a more complete source of protein. Not only that, each vegetable colour has different nutrients – for example, dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, dandelion and spinach contain the carotenoid lutein, important for eye health. Just go to your local market and buy the fresh and seasonal vegetables that inspire you; each season and colourful vegetable has its charm.

vegetarian and vegan cookbook, start the new year off rightThough I cook for a living, I am also pretty impatient and want dinner to be quick, and served in half an hour max most nights – especially when I’ve spent all day working in the kitchen. Still, I want to enjoy my meal, and I want to make it beautiful, but in a easy way – so I can assure you that the recipes are not too complicated.

I hope you enjoy them!

-Lina Bou



Serves 2
Preheat the oven to 175°C/350oF/Gas 4.

1 packet soba (buckwheat) noodles
1⁄2 butternut squash, cut into small cubes
2 carrots, cut into small cubes
1⁄2 aubergine, cut into small cubes
35g (11⁄4oz) pumpkin seeds
coconut oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1cm (1⁄3in) piece fresh ginger, finely grated 1 bunch fresh coriander, rinsed
1–2 tbsp pumpkin seed oil

Cook the soba noodles according to the instructions on the packet, then rinse and set aside. Meanwhile, place the vegetables on a baking tray together with the pumpkin seeds and add some coconut oil, salt and pepper and the grated ginger.

Mix thoroughly – ideally massaging the veggies with your hands – to make sure everything is well coated in the oil and seasoning. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables have turned a nice golden colour.

When the vegetables are done, add the cooked noodles to the tray and mix everything together, then put the tray back in the oven for 5–10 minutes to warm the noodles through. Take the leaves off the coriander stalks and add them to the salad, drizzle over the pumpkin seed oil and it’s ready to serve. (For a tasty variation, try adding sun-dried tomatoes and a little feta, too.)

The ginger adds a delicious spicy touch, as well as aiding digestion and giving your immune system a boost.


This dish is…..


Food that is easily digested, and which an upset stomach can handle, thanks either to digestive herbs, the cooking process or a combination of foods that are smooth and gentle on the digestive system.


Dishes that boost your immune system due to containing a high amount of antioxidants and/or antibacterial properties.

Nutrititonal Therapist Lina Bou


Discover Lina Bou’s recipe for healthy living, with this inspirational cookbook for the modern lifestyle.

Nutritional therapist Lina Bou’s shares recipes for healthy living, with this inspirational cookbook for the modern lifestyle.

Cooking isn’t just about eating the right foods – it’s about being inventive, having fun and enjoying a healthy relationship with what you eat. Whether you’re looking for tasty brunch ideas, delicious dinners, energising snacks or mouthwatering sweet treats, Lina shows you how to make simple, nutritious vegetarian meals (suitable for all!) easy enough for anyone to rustle up with the minimum of fuss. There are also suggestions for vegan alternatives, plus recipes free from gluten, dairy and sugar – the most common intolerances.All recipes feature a health-benefit key, indicating at a glance whether they help improve your immunity, boost your energy, balance your hormones, and more. And there’s advice on sensible detoxing, too.

Vegetarian and vegan cook book,

Price: £13.99 RRP
ISBN: 978-1-85906-410-8

Use the ISBN to order from any book shop

Buy the book: Quick links

Follow the inspirational Lina on Instagram! 

2017 Round Up | Eddison Books

2017 Round Up | Eddison Books


Merry Christmas 2017 from Eddison Books

Merry Christmas from everyone here at Eddison Books!

Thank you all for your support and excitement over our books this year. Our team of authors, editors, designers and more have worked tirelessly to print a range of interesting books and decks, for your continued enjoyment and learning!

In 2017…

We released the stunning Druid Oracle decks by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm; the DruidCraft Tarot and the Druid Plant Oracle. These beautiful decks combine the two fundamental spiritualities of Nature – Wicca and Druidry – and reflects the explosion of interest in the Western magical tradition and paganism.

Druid Craft Tarot- Philip and Stephanie Carr-GommDruid Plant Oracle- Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm

To complement the ever popular WildWood Tarot, Mark Ryan and John Matthews have released ‘Wild Magic: The Wildwood Tarot Workbook’; a book written to allow you step further into the magical Wildwood world; get the authors insight on how to read the cards;  plus an intriguing glimpse into what science can tell us about tarot.

Wild Magic: The Wildwood tarot workbook by Mark Ryan and John Matthews

In October we released a gorgeous set of gold gilded cards by Ambika Wauters, titled ‘The Angel Oracle’. The cards are designed to offer clarity of thought, knowledge and insight to help you with everyday problems, as well as the major challenges of life.

Angel Oracle Deck by Ambika WautersAngel Oracle Cards by Ambika Wauters


Following the success of the original bestselling Mood Cards box, we have released a new, stand-alone volume “Mood Cards: Understand Deep emotions”. Author Andrea Harrn created this pack to offer an accessible way to help mental health professionals, schools and families identify and explore moods, feelings and emotions.

Mood Cards: Understand Deep emotions by Andrea Harrn

Our range of Personal Development books has increased with some fantastic manuals and guides:

How to BreatheRichard Brennan

The Chakra WorkbookPauline Wills

Thai Massage (Manual Series) – Maria Mercati

The Alexander TechniqueRichard Brennan


Eddison Books 2017


Buddhist Fabrice Midal wrote an illuminating book, written to take the reader on a true journey of discovery. He reveals how the story of the Buddha reflects our own lives, and offers meditations to guide us in the everyday situations we face.  

Is Meditation only for Buddhists? By Fabrice Midal


Stay tuned for 2018

We have some great books in the pipeline, unique and beautiful oracle decks and a PODCAST!

Listen and learn more from your favourite authors such as Philip Carr-Gomm, Mark Ryan and Richard Brennan. Coming soon!

Mark Ryan Quote- Wild Magic Podcast