Dr Chatterjee looks at foot health in new podcast

Dr Chatterjee1.jpgIn this latest instalment of his Feel Better, Live More podcast series, GP, Author and TV presenter, Dr Rangan Chatterjee talks to Nick and Mike from The Foot Collective, a group of Canadian physical therapists on a mission to help people reclaim strong, functional and pain-free feet through foot health education.

Dr Chatterjee says that Nick and Mike ‘believe that there are many ailments that many of us just write off as something that we just have, or that we’ve inherited, yet in actual fact, there may be something we can do to improve these conditions. The truth is, that while we might have a genetic susceptibility, our environment and our lifestyles also determine what happens to our bodies.’


Rangan talks about how he looked at his feet to address a problem and asks whether genetics play a part in foot problems? Other highlights include a discussion on the difference between movement and exercise, addressing sedentary behaviour in children, improving hip function easily at home and tips and exercises to have healthy mobility in the future.

Listen to the podcast

Read an interview with Dr Chatterjee in the Winter 2018 issue of International Therapist

Hypnotherapy highlighted by Metro


Daily newspaper, Metro, highlights the use of hypnotherapy for fertility and the Accredited Register in a recent article on its website.

The article discusses whether hypnosis improves the odds of conception, saying that ‘research has shown that hypnotherapy tends to work for around 72% of people in relation to fertility’.

Furthermore, a fertility expert quoted in the article says that they recommend hypnotherapy to clients because of ‘it’s ability to change our outlook’, which in turn ‘releases brain chemicals that support fertility and our nervous system to operate from feed or breed (rather than fight or flight, which is a response to danger)’.

The article quite rightly highlights the importance of finding a suitably qualified hypnotherapist and suggests that readers search for a practitioner through an Accredited Register,  approved by the Professional Standards Authority, such as FHT’s Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register.

Access the full article



Do good things this December


Spreading good will through acts of kindness is the theme of Action for Happiness’ (AFH) Do Good December’ action calendar.

AFH publishes monthly calendars, offering daily affirmations on the theme of the respective month. ‘Do Good December’ follows ‘New Things November’, ‘Optimistic October’, ‘Self-care September’, ‘Altruistic August’, ‘Jump Back July’, ‘Joyful June’, ‘Meaningful May’, ‘Active April’, ‘Mindful March’, ‘Friendly February’ and ‘Happy January.’

Suggestions for this month include the following:

  • Support a charity, cause or campaign you really care about
  • Listen wholeheartedly to others without judging them
  • Treat everyone with kindness, including yourself
  • Visit an elderly neighbour and brighten up their day
  • Be kind to the planet. Eat less meat and use less energy.

Download the calendar

UK doctors at greater risk of anxiety than the public

GP mental health

A growing body of evidence indicates that GPs need more support from the wider workforce, due to the increasing demands of their job and the toll this takes on their health and wellbeing.

The latest report by the Society of Occupational Medicine and The Louise Tebboth Foundation found evidence to suggest that UK doctors are at greater risk of work-related stress, burnout, depression and anxiety than the general public. The risk of suicide is also high compared to the general population.

Mental health problems among doctors are on the rise, alongside increasing demands, lack of support, a faster pace of work, lack of autonomy and diminishing resources. GPs and junior doctors are said to be the worst affected, often experiencing burnout early on in their career.

The report also suggests that current working conditions could have major implications on patient health.

Access the full report

Integrating mindfulness with art


National charity Paintings in Hospitals has partnered with Imperial Health Charity, the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust and emerging curator Briana Oliver to develop ‘Linear Meditations’, a new mindful hospital exhibition featuring the works of influential British abstract artist Wilhelmina Barns-Graham.

At Charing Cross Hospital, London, from the 14 November 2018, ‘Linear Meditations’ dives into the representations of water made by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham in her drawings, paintings and etchings between 1975-2002. Capturing water in a variety of forms, from glaciers to seascapes, the exhibition explores the power of water to both calm and captivate.

The exhibition is accompanied by a series of mindfulness activities for patients, staff and visitors of the hospital. These will include mindful drawing, mindful listening and yoga. Mindfulness involves paying special attention to what is happening in the present moment: in our thoughts, our bodies and our surroundings. Studies show that practising mindfulness can help us to manage depression, anxiety and stress.

Curator Briana Oliver says:

‘We’ve integrated mindfulness into all elements of the exhibition, including our artwork labels. The labels prompt mindful reflection and provide a tool that patients and carers can use when experiencing difficult emotions. I hope this exhibition will create empowering and uplifting care spaces that inspire health and happiness for all.’

Linear Meditations will tour three healthcare spaces: Charing Cross Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital and Hammersmith Hospital for the rest of the year and  throughout 2019. The exhibition will then be available for other hospitals across the country to borrow from the end of 2019.


New Dr Chatterjee Podcast addresses plastic pollution crisis

Dr Chatterjee1.jpgGP, Author and TV presenter, Dr Rangan Chatterjee turns his attention to plastic pollution in his latest Feel Better, Live More podcast.

Dr Chatterjee talks to campaigner and Head of Oceans at Greenpeace, Will McCallum, about the effect of single-use plastic on the environment and what we can do to stop it.

In addition, they discuss how human health and environmental health are inseparable, and how the current state of the environment is a reflection of our always on the go, highly stressed lifestyles.

Will also shares tips on ways we can all help reduce our contribution to the plastic pollution crisis, including buying reusable coffee cups, water bottles and bags, as well as saying no to straws.

Plastic pollution pixabay

Dr Chatterjee says, ‘Shockingly, even if you throw your coffee cup in the recycling bin, the chances are, it still won’t be recycled and may end up in the ocean. The same is true of the 35 million plastic bottles we use in the UK every day. Although the statistics may sound gloomy, small policy change can make a big difference. Since the introduction of a 5p charge, plastic bag use has been reduced by 85%. Now more than ever before, we have access to the people in power via social media and are able to ask for real change and we will be heard.’

Listen to the podcast here

Read an interview with Dr Chatterjee in the Winter 2018 issue of International Therapist

Reading could help people experiencing loneliness

Reading pixabay_low res

Around 9 million people in the UK say they often or always feel lonely, a figure that is expected to get worse by 2030.

A significant body of evidence has shown that reading could help halt the loneliness epidemic facing Britain, according to a report by leading think tank, Demos and charity The Reading Agency.

The report, entitled ‘A Society of Readers’ says that reading books can significantly reduce feelings of loneliness for people aged 18-64 and it is also associated with having close relationships.

The report coincides with the launch of a new programme from The Reading Agency called Reading Friends, funded by the Big Lottery Fund. By sharing stories in groups or one to one sessions, Reading Friends empowers and engages older people who are vulnerable and isolated, including people with dementia and carers. An evaluation of the test phase showed that a staggering 88% of participants appreciated the increased social contact from reading inspired conversations. The same percentage felt they added purpose to their week. Building on the initial success of the programme, The Reading Agency plans to expand Reading Friends for national rollout in 2020.

Previous research has found that reading groups can provide a route out of social isolation for young mothers, who are particularly susceptible to loneliness, with many saying reading helps to foster conversation. In addition, 95% of people who are blind or partially sighted read at least once a week to alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation.

As well as revealing how reading can be used as an intervention for loneliness, the report explores how reading can benefit wellbeing and mental health, by regulating mood, exercising the brain, and providing an effective form of support for depression, anxiety and anger issues—for example, through self-help books. The report recommends that the NHS should encourage Clinical Commissioning Groups to invest more in book-based interventions as part of its social prescribing strategy and fund the provision of book based therapies in libraries across the country. Social mobility can also be positively influenced through reading; it breeds important life skills, which translate into greater opportunities in life. The report suggests that, in order to build a more productive, creative and fairer society, access to reading needs to be made universal and common for all.

Sue Wilkinson, Chief Executive of The Reading Agency said: ‘Demos’s predictions for 2030 offer a desperately concerning outlook. If we don’t start to tackle issues of loneliness, mental health and social mobility now, then we will continue to put pressure on our vital workforces such as the care sector and the NHS. The forecasts for the loneliness epidemic are particularly shocking, but reading can be part of the solution: as this report demonstrates, it is not only an essential life skill but has huge power to bring people together to combat loneliness among all age groups. Through reading-based national interventions, we can futureproof our society, and ultimately use reading to help protect younger generations at risk of rising levels of loneliness. We have already seen through our Reading Friends programme that social reading can have profound impact on older people who are often the most vulnerable in society. We hope these benefits will eventually be opened up to everyone.’

Access the report